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Create Now

17 September 2018

If you follow my Instagram Stories I am sure you saw an exciting event I was able to attend a short while back benefiting Create Now.  I was so excited to go to this event because I absolutely love working with non-profits that help children and arts!  It also helped that I was able to bring Joey along for the ride!

If you’ve never heard of Create Now they are an amazing organization that help bring art to underprivileged youth in the Los Angeles area.  They focus on the most vulnerable kids who have been abused, neglected, orphaned, made homeless, victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking, on probation, incarcerated or experiencing other severe challenges.  Through Cultural Journeys, Create Now brings thousands of challenged youth each year to concerts, plays, museums, film studios, circuses and much more

For this event Create Now teamed up with Open Foundation.  I was so ecstatic to have a chance that speak with the founds of Open, Ken Marshall and Andrew Schleicher.  Open was created to start a conscious movement of being the change you want to see in the world.  They sell tees and 50% of the sales goes back into hosting events like this one in their local communities to promo arts, education and exploration. This is so near and dear to me because I have made such a huge effort to do this within myself.  Open is a lifestyle brand that sells apparel to generate funds to put towards meaningful connections within the community like Create Now. If you’d like to partner with them, visit their website at www.beopen.us.

Our AMEX Cash Magnet Card & Why We Love It

30 August 2018

This post is sponsored by American Express. Thank you so much for supporting the brands our family truly enjoys!

Allen and I have been talking with a financial planner and he suggested that we find a credit card with great rewards to suit our needs best. And I was looking for a new credit card that had the absolute best Cash Back benefits for our upcoming summer adventures!  My favorite thing about the American Express Cash Magnet Card is the simplicity of the program! With my Cash Magnet Card, we get 1.5% Cash Back on our purchases. Let’s just say I can’t get enough of this Card!

Apply for Card Membership here: https://amex.co/2IJmEqX

Another feature I was swooning over is that the Card offers Pay It Plan It, a feature from American Express that gives you more control over how you pay for the things you buy. This was super helpful for us when we planned our summer, and as we look forward into the next chapter of our (always) busy lives.

Thanks to simple Cash Back benefits and the Pay It Plan It feature, I definitely recommend the American Express Cash Magnet Card for anyone looking for a no-fuss Card that integrates easily into your life. It lets us focus on what’s important – like farmers markets and fun!

Jo’s Favorite TV Shows & Films at Age 2

29 August 2018

Because Allen and I love watching TV and film, it’s only natural Joey would probably enjoy it a lot. We kept her away from it all for as long as we could and to this day only show her favorite shows and TV for about 20 minutes max. We try to stick to shows and films that are about nature (i.e. BBC’s Planet Earth), musical shows for kids and cartoons mostly about animals or girls who are not the typical “princess.”

Since so many of you have asked what we play for Joey, here’s a list of Joey’s favorite shows and films at age 2 (in no particular order because it depends on her mood!):

  1. Rock Dog – A film about a Tibetan dog who leaves his home in the mountains to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. Joey really liked the music in the film and I’ll sometimes turn on the soundtrack in the car to calm her down. The story is super cute and the cat character is HILARIOUS. (Watch it on HBO)
  2. Moana – Joey’s not really into this film anymore but was completely obsessed for months after we showed it to her. Love the strong female lead character played by Moana in this film! (Available on Netflix)
  3. Frozen/Frozen Fever/Olaf’s Frozen Adventure: Can’t tell you how many times these films have entertained us so. Joey goes bonkers when any of these films are playing. Disney definitely knows what they’re doing! (Available on iTunes)
  4. Ferdinand – Her current favorite movie to watch. After watching this, she keeps smelling flowers every where she goes! It is based off of the children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand about a bull who dreams of smelling flowers while the other bulls dream of competing in a bullfight. (Available on iTunes)
  5. Hi-Five House – Joey’s absolute favorite dancing kids show. (Watch it on Netflix) It’s a group of Australians who like to sing and dance to different colorful skits. Beware, the songs are very very catchy. 😉
  6. The Electric Company (the recent seasons) – One of the first TV shows that we played for Joey. It’s like Sesame Street but with an urban flair. Lin-Manuel Miranda makes appearances on the episodes too! (Watch it on HBO)
  7. Bolt – Of course Joey would love this film cuz it has dogs, cats and a hamster in it! (Watch it on Netflix)
  8. Coco – I thought for some reason the imagery of skeletons would scare Joey, but it didn’t! She absolutely loves all of the songs and is her go-to soundtrack in the car. (Watch it on Netflix) I bawled watching this film with her. It’s so good!
  9. Nella the Princess Knight – About a princess who is also a brave knight. (Episodes available on iTunes) Sometimes when Joey is scared, I remind her of Nella and how brave she is and Joey suddenly feels better! It’s so crazy how referencing these shows actually work for kids!
  10. Planet Earth I & II– Joey will watch these episodes so intensely! (Watch it on Netflix)

On YouTube Kids, Joey likes to watch live performed shows and parades from Disneyland and videos of Kinder egg surprises. The latter is the strangest thing. Literally videos of someone opening Kinder eggs with toys inside.

Are there any shows or films your toddler loves to watch?

Living Little Moments: Laundry

21 August 2018

This blog post isn’t about anything except me simply wanting to document that Joey loves helping me out with house chores lately. Whether it’s moping the floors, washing the dishes or taking care of the laundry loads. It’s so strange for me to watch Joey develop such a willingness to do certain things that she watches me do on the daily. Where did my baby go?? [Joey is now 2 years and 4 months old]

Not sure how long I’ll have before she’s not as willing to do house chores but for now, I’m going to fully enjoy these moments. 😉

I’m starting to see a very “helpful” personality in Joey. I watch her with others and she’s always asking people if they’re ok when she sees them fall or hurt themselves. She also surprisingly very good at wanting to help out with random things like setting the dinner table or throwing away trash. This is going to sounds really weird but because I grew up raising dogs, this is wild to me. My dogs have always had a limit to where they can grow in doing tricks (mainly because I haven’t taught them many haha!) so watching Joey understand what I ask her to help me out with is just nuts to me. Any dog owners, now parents understand what I’m saying? Anyway, watching Joey transform into this mature young toddler has been getting me excited for when baby C comes. I just have this gut feeling that Joey is going to be the BEST older sister.

[Side note] For those of you who are curious, our washer and dryers are the FlexWash and FlexDry. We absolutely love these machines because they’re so quiet (they’re right next to Joey’s bedroom and she never wakes up during the night when we have the machines running!) and on the washer, you can do smaller loads on top simultaneously with the larger load on the bottom and on the dryer, you can dry delicates like shoes and accessories.

 

Our Plants

7 August 2018

Can you tell we like plants??

Because we’ve been renting a home, I haven’t been able to go all out with decorating (i.e. wallpaper, paint, wall installations, etc.) and so I’ve been trying to fill up our empty space by adding as much plants as I could possibly keep alive altogether! It does take a while to water them every week but it’s my way of taking a break from work and it ends up being such a relaxing routine.

Many of you have been asking me weekly about what plants we have currently in our home and how we maintain them. I’ve been collecting plants from random places: Home Depot, small nurseries, and grocery stores. These are plants we have in our home now:

IMPORTANT NOTE! Most of these plants are toxic to either pets and/or humans so please be careful when having them in your home. Our two dogs have never been interested in ingesting our plants so we’ve been ok with having them at a floor level in our home. Because we’ve always had plants in our home, Joey’s been so used to them that she was also never interested in eating them. Even so, I’ve always kept a close eye on her around the plants. Having her water them weekly with me has also taught her how to respect the space of the plants and never to touch them unless we’re cleaning the leaves together.

If you can’t find these at your local stores, you can find them online like this store in the United States. What’s great about a lot of these plants is as they grow, you can separate them, repot them and “multiply” the number of plants in your home! When watering my plants (with the exception of the huge ones that I cannot move), I usually give them a quick “bath” in the sink or tub and let the water drain until there’s no more dripping. I do this once a week on Monday mornings. Another thing I like to do is to rotate my plants around the house every few weeks just to see how they do. When I see a plant that starts yellowing, I make sure to trim them right away and try moving them to a different location.

Here is some more detailed information about the maintenance of these specific plants above:

Epipremnum pictum Argyraeus – Satin Pothos

  • Light: Moderate light levels.
  • Water: Water when slightly dry. Drought tolerant. Too much water will kill the plant.
  • Temperature: Happy in room temperatures from 15-24°C / 59-75°F
  • Humidity: Prefers increased levels of humidity but will tolerate normal conditions.
  • Feed: Apply a weak general purpose fertilizer during the summer.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Moderate to slow growing. Trails will grow to 3m. Cut back to maintain desired length.
  • Toxicity: Mildly toxic to humans, harmful to pets. Keep away from children and animals.

Epipremnum aureum – Golden Pothos

  • Light: Medium light conditions.
  • Water: Water when slightly dry. Drought tolerant. Too much water will kill the plant.
  • Temperature: Happy in normal room temperatures from 10-24°C / 50-75°F
  • Humidity: Prefers increased levels of humidity but will tolerate normal conditions.
  • Feed: Apply a weak general purpose fertilizer during the summer.
  • Care Tips: Pinch out the tips to create a bushier plant.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Fast growing. Trails will continue to grow and grow for anything up to 20m. Cut back to maintain desired length.
  • Toxicity: Mildly toxic to humans, harmful to pets. Keep away from children and animals.

Dracaena fragrans Lemon Lime

  • Light: Dracaena Lemon Lime needs plenty of bright, indirect light to retain its vibrant colouring. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water: Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Try to keep the soil moist at all times, however they are drought tolerant. Do not over water.
  • Temperature: Average household temperatures between 16-24°C / 60-75°F but can cope with as low as 12°C / 53°F for short periods.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of a fertiliser once or twice a month during the growing season.
  • Care tips: Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove accumulated dust. Cut back by removing the top of the plant if it grows too tall. Don’t use leaf shine on these plants.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 1.5-2m. Slow growing.
  • Toxicity: The sap is toxic to animals. It is not considered poisonous to humans but should not be ingested.

Dracaena fragrans Burley

  • Light: Dracaena Burley prefers medium to bright light but can tolerate lower light levels.
  • Water: Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Try to keep the soil moist at all times, however they are drought tolerant. Do not over water.
  • Temperature: Average household temperatures between 16-24°C / 60-75°F but can cope with as low as 12°C / 53°F for short periods.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of a fertiliser once or twice a month during the growing season.
  • Care tips: Wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove accumulated dust. Cut back by removing the top of the plant if it grows too tall. Don’t use leaf shine on these plants.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 1-1.5m. Slow growing.
  • Toxicity: The sap is toxic to animals. It is not considered poisonous to humans but should not be ingested.

Nephrolepis exaltata Green Lady – Green Lady Boston Fern

  • Light: Moderate light requirements, anywhere from bright, indirect sunlight to light shade.
  • Water: Keep the soil moist at all times. Water when the surface becomes slightly dry. Do not overwater and use lukewarm, soft water where possible.
  • Temperature: Average household temperatures 16-24°C / 60-75°F, but no lower than 12°C / 53°F. Avoid cold draughts.
  • Humidity: These ferns prefer higher humidity levels, but can thrive in average room conditions. Do not place near radiators etc.
  • Feed: Liquid fertiliser can be applied occasionally during the growing season.
  • Care Tips: Boston Fern may develop deep brown spores on the underside edges of the fronds. These are not pests, so don’t panic.
  • Air Purifying: A top houseplant for purifying and filtering the air.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 1m. Fast growing.

Monstera deliciosa – Swiss Cheese Plant

  • Light: Prefers bright, indirect light but will tolerate moderate shade. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water: Water when the soil has started to dry out.
  • Temperature: Monstera deliciosa likes warm conditions from 18-27°C / 64-80°F. Anything lower than this will reduce the plant’s growth rate. It will tolerate 12°C / 53°F. and above but keep away from cold draughts.
  • Humidity: Happy with average to high humidity levels. Cannot cope in dry air situations.
  • Feed: Feed once a month with a balanced fertilizer during the growing period.
  • Care Tips: Wipe the leaves occasionally to remove accumulated dust.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Use a moss pole to support the plant (the roots will cling to this for support) or cut back if it gets too big. Slow to moderate growth, but depends upon the conditions.
  • Toxicity: Leaves are poisonous, keep away from pets and children.

Ficus elastica Melany – Rubber Plant

  • Light: Ficus elastica Melany prefers bright, indirect light but does cope quite well in lower light conditions.
  • Water: Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Keep the soil moist at all times, but do not over water as this will cause leaf drop.
  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures are 16-24°C / 60-75°F. Avoid cold draughts.
  • Humidity: No specific requirements, although the occasional misting wouldn’t go amiss.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of a fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing season.
  • Care tips: Insufficient light or incorrect watering can trigger leaf drop. Adjust as necessary and your plant should quickly recover. Wipe the leaves occasionally with a damp cloth to prevent dust accumulation. Note: Ficus sap contains sticky latex which can be an irritant, therefore wash your hands if any comes into contact with your skin.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: In their native environment, Ficus elastica can grow to many metres tall. As an indoor house plant, it is up to you: simply trim to maintain your desired height. Typical indoor heights are anything from 30cm to 2m. Moderate to fast growing.
  • Toxicity: Considered poisonous, therefore keep away from children and animals.

Ficus lyrata – Fiddle Leaf Fig

  • Light: Ficus lyrata prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate some light shade and some direct (but not harsh or midday) morning or afternoon sun.
  • Water: Water when the soil starts to become slightly dry at the top. Keep the soil moist at all times, but do not over water as this will cause brown spots and leaf drop.
  • Temperature: Ideal temperatures are 16-24°C / 60-75°F. Avoid cold draughts.
  • Humidity: No specific requirements, although the occasional misting wouldn’t go amiss.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of a fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing season.
  • Care tips: Insufficient light or incorrect watering can trigger brown spots and leaf drop. Adjust as necessary and your plant should quickly recover. Trim to maintain shape, but be aware that sticky latex will ooze from the ends of the cut stems. This can be an irritant, therefore wash your hands if any comes into contact with your skin.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate indoor height 3m. Slow growing.
  • Toxicity: Considered poisonous, therefore keep away from children and animals.

Chlorophytum Variegatum – Spider Plant

  • Light: Bright, indirect light. Will tolerate some shade; however, this will slow its growth rate and it may lose its stripes. Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Water: Keep well-watered, with moist soil, throughout the growing season. Less water is needed in the winter.
  • Temperature: Average household temperatures are fine (above 16°C / 60°F). These are fairly tough plants so should survive temperatures above 8°C / 46°F in winter if the soil is kept fairly dry.
  • Feed: Feed with a weak solution every few weeks during the growing season. Do not feed during the winter.
  • Care Tip: Baby Spiders can be pressed down into compost and left to self-root, giving you a second plant to pass on to friends and family.
  • Air Purifying: This plant filters airborne toxins and is part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 50cm. Fast growing.

Sansevieria trifasciata Laurentii – Snake Plant aka Mother’s Tongue

  • Light: Best in moderate to bright, indirect light but will adapt to low light conditions too.
  • Water: Allow the soil to dry out before watering, then water thoroughly and allow to drain freely. Do not allow the plant to sit in water as this will cause root rot.
  • Temperature: Happy anywhere from 15-23°C / 59-73°Fand as low as 10°C / 50°F for short periods.
  • Feed: Apply a weak dose of cactus or general-purpose feed once a month at most during the growing season. Sansevieria are low maintenance plants and do not require a lot of supplementary feeding.
  • Air Purifying: Sansevieria filter airborne toxins and are part of our clean air plant collection.
  • Height and Growth Rate: Ultimate height 75-100cm. Slow growing.
  • Toxicity: Mildly toxic if eaten. Keep away from children and animals.

Some extra tips:

  • Before committing to a plant, think about its size and how it will grow. Some plants grow very slowly and some the opposite so make sure to research before committing to a plant.
  • You can encourage growth by repotting in spring when the plant is ready. Signs that a plant needs to be repotted include roots appearing through drainage holes or a network of fine roots visible on the surface.
  • If your plant is old or particularly fragile and the soil looks cracked, tired and lackluster, you can top-dress with potting mix. Gently scrape away the top few centimeters of soil – making sure you don’t damage the roots – then replace it with fresh potting mix. 
  • When choosing a plant, choose ones that have lots of new buds, moist soil and perky leaves. 
  • Make sure not to over water them! Plants can drown especially when there are no drainage holes. 

In the photo:

The black shelf that we use for hanging our plants in our living room is from Home Depot. We used the Everbilt Shelf and Rod Bracket and a shelf to match (sold separately at Home Depot). The bar was also purchase separately.

Learning about Respecting Flowers

19 June 2018

I love how curious Joey always is and how she loves to learn by touching and feeling things in her hands. She definitely doesn’t mind getting a little dirty. Lately however, she’s been picking flowers EVERYWHERE. Anytime she sees a nice vase of flowers, she’ll want to pick at it. At restaurants, she’ll see flower arrangements on the table and she’ll go nuts. At her grandma’s house, she pulled out all of the blooms from my mom’s favorite faux flower arrangement. While it’s “cute” and all to pick flowers, I was starting to think she wasn’t understanding that flowers can also be enjoyed just by looking at them haha. The best way I thought I could teach her was to allow her to pick flowers with me from our garden the proper way so we can enjoy them.

When the flowers outside her room starting blooming, we decided to pick them out and put them into little vases. I told her how important it is to allow flowers to rest in “their flower bed” and let them grow without having any of their petals plucked. We did this once and have started making it a weekly tradition where we identify different flowers (including weeds haha) and place them into little vases. I think it’s been helping but she’s been asking for her own clippers now haha.

Laura Iz x Riser

12 June 2018

So excited to announce that we collaborated with Riser to create three Mama + Me T-Shirts! Scroll below to see the designs.

Right now if you use my coupon JOEY, you’ll get 20% off of your entire purchase. Find them here!

 

Joeyland: Joey turns 2!

6 June 2018

I am still in utter shock that Joey is TWO!  I remember the day we found out I was pregnant, the day we brought her home, the day she took her first steps…I remember it all like it was yesterday.  This year I was entirely too busy to host a big party myself so I reached out to my dear friend Easter (who is actually a fine jewelry designer) from Easter Ahn Design to help plan a party for our very own Mousketeer. We had the amazing photographer, Jeffery Cho take priceless photographs of the day.

This party was inspired from Joey’s love of Disneyland.  Growing up I went to Disneyland with my family and absolutely fell in love with the thrill of it all.  I knew when I had kids I wanted them to experience the same joy I felt when visiting the park…and Joey absolutely loves visiting!  As Walt once said “If you can dream it you can do it”; so we did it!  We created our very own Joeyland!

Location: We transformed the new E2Beauty lounge into Joeyland.  It was the perfect venue for our party. They just opened their new salon location in Orange County. If you’re ever looking for hair or makeup for an event, go with them! They did my hair and make up for almost every big event in my life including my wedding.

Photobooth: Our friends at Third Eye Photobooth graciously came out and snapped photos for us for the day!  If you’ve never been to a party with them you are seriously missing out!

Party Favors: If you remember seeing my Instagram stories from Joey’s birthday I am a realistic gift giver.  I wanted to give each child something they would actually use so we got for all the kids custom name shirts from Jean and June.  It was so fun seeing how excited each kid was when they got their own shirts to match Joey. Jean and June have the most softest organic tees so go check them out!

Ice cream: I used to live next to a Scoops ice cream in LA and when I moved I was incredibly sad because they had my favorite flavors.  When I realized they opened up one in Orange County (Scoops OC), right next door to the party venue, I was absolutely thrilled.  It was a no brainer that we had to try them out and I don’t regret it for a minute.  Joey may have ate a bit too much gelato that day but who’s really counting? I asked them to create a special flavor for us, inspired by Disneyland’s Pineapple Dole Whip, and they created the most delicious Pineapple Coconut ice cream! Their Brown Bread flavor is one of their signatures. You need to try it if you’re ever in SoCal!

Florist: As usual I cannot throw a party without my friend Hanna at Echo Floral.  She helped put so many small, feminine touches on the party. She took the colors Easter used for the party and created the most perfect floral arrangements. I can just imagine these being planted at the Disneyland parks. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Food: If you follow me you know I have a real love for Wholefoods!  So naturally, I had to have them make some delicious food and treats for the party.  We opted for beautiful simple cakes and pastries for dessert.  These cakes were seriously some of the most delicious, mouthwatering cakes I have ever had! One of the great things about all Whole Foods catering is that they never use artificial coloring or ingredients! Joey loved poking her fingers in the cake haha!

Cookies: Joeyland could not have been complete without cookies!  Sweetleemade & Sweets by Keeks took my cookie dreams and ran with it!  Have you ever seen a cuter cookie? I haven’t! I don’t know anyone else who makes the best custom made desserts like these two. If you’re looking for cakes, cookies, macarons, or whatever desserts for your event, ask them! Thank you ladies!

We also put together a cookie decorating station for each guest to put their Disney imagination to work!  Let me tell you we had some amazing decorators in the house that day! I think Joey ate most of the sprinkles though.

Graphic Design: When Easter and I first started brainstorming for this party we wanted to give the guests a true Joeyland experience.  We teamed up with Kim Estoesta to create custom signs for each station, menus, props and placemats. When I first walked into the party these signs took my breath away!  It was like I was really in a whole new world (see what I did there?).

Balloon art and cotton candy: What is Joeyland without balloons and cotton candy?  Well, it’s not Joeyland.  Her Balloon Art took Joeyland to the next level with the most amazing balloon art and custom cotton candy! I wish you could all taste her cotton candy because you’d never want anything else!

I wish so badly I could have invited each and every one of you to Joeyland!  It truly was the most magical place on Earth.  But until Allen let’s me open Joeyland up for good I will just have to share my memories of the day with you.

Custom built booths and backdrops: Easter wanted to have booths like how it would look like at Disneyland so she asked Iron Grace Rentals to custom build these amazing pieces for us. I was absolutely shocked. They came in to install, breakdown, and take everything with them at the end of the party as well. Wow.

All printed goods: Everything including the popcorn containers, signs and posters, menu maps and the incredible photo booth backdrop were all printed by Avant Print Media.

  

Party plates, napkins and cups: Geese and Ganders

 

Event planner: Easter Ahn Design

Photos: Jeffery Cho Photography

Venue: e2beauty

Graphic design: Kim Eillo

Backdrops: Iron Grace Rentals

Custom shirts: Jean & June

Food/desserts: Whole Foods Market

Ice cream: Scoops OC

Flowers: Echo Floral

Cookies: Sweetlee Made

Balloons and cotton candy: Her Balloon Art

Photo booth: Third Eye Photo Booth

Printing: Avant Print Media

Party supplies: Geese & Ganders

Rentals: On Call Events

How I Got My Dream Garage

4 June 2018

This post has been sponsored by The Container Store and Life In Jeneral.  All opinions are my own. Photos of Day 2 are by Sunny Kim Photography.

When Allen and I got married 6 years ago we quickly realized we both had a lot of stuff.  Every Spring we told ourselves we were going to go through all of our junk and purge it.  Well 6 years later and 1.5 kids later and it still wasn’t done.

When I found out I was pregnant for the second time I decided this is happening this Spring no matter what! So Allen and I decided this was the perfect time! We opted to give this to each other for Mother’s Day/Father’s Day. If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the guy that’s hard to shop for here’s the answer.

I sat down and browsed the internet for home organizers because I knew I was in over my head doing this on my own.  I came across Jen Robin of Life In Jeneral and fell in love with her work instantly!  She made this one of the easiest processes I have ever done! Check out her website and her Instagram for instant inspiration.

One of the reasons why I first hesitated to use an organization service was because I wasn’t sure if the investment was worth it, but I’m telling you, IT IS TOTALLY WORTH IT. It’s hard for me and Allen to find time to really tackle our home organization because of work, BECAUSE OF LIFE, so being able to trust a professional team to do it within use days for us was an investment we were willing to make.

We opted to join forces with The Container Store for this project because I knew if we were going to organize our garage we were going to do it right!  Jen is also a Contained Home Specialist and was able to design an amazing elfa Shelving system for us.  The elfa design is perfect for any budget.  There were so many options when it came to designing the space we had.  They also offer a full install or if you are looking for a more budget friendly option you can install the system yourself.  We opted to have one of The Container Stores professional installers come and install our system.

Here’s where the fun began!  When I decided to get this project started.  Jen quickly got to work designing our garage….I literally just sent her a few pictures and measurements. From there she was able to send me a few designs that would work for our house and specific needs/goals.  And she even took care of ordering everything from The Container Store that we needed for the shelving systems! Get ready for some crazy “before” photos of the garage below!

Crazy right?? Believe it or not, Life in Jeneral’s team (headed by Kamille) were able to go through all of this and organize it in just 2 days!

On day 1, the team showed up bright and early!  I was told to go inside and relax.  Excuse me??  I get to sit inside my house while these people do all the work I have put off for years?!  Who would pass that up?? After a couple hours, I went back to the garage and everything I had been dreading to go through was on my driveway and out of my dumping zone. It honestly was such an amazing feeling being able to see the floor of my garage finally!

While it was slightly embarrassing to see all the junk I had accumulated over the years, but it had to be done!

We spent the remainder of that day with Jen’s team purging what we no longer needed.  I quickly realized we were holding onto so much stuff we really didn’t use or need.  I mean who really needs that box of receipts from 2007? All I had to do was point at what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to give away and they did everything else. I didn’t have to lift a finger!

The Container Store showed up a couple hours later to install the Elfa system while we were purging. What’s amazing about this Elfa system is that it’s completely easy to remove and can be adjusted to your custom sized wall. It requires very minimal drilling, that means less holes in the walls!

These are the products that were used in the Elfa rack installation:

Platinum elfa utility Track

Platinum elfa Easy Hang Top Tracks

Platinum elfa Ventilated Wire Shelves

Platinum elfa Mounted Standards

Platinum elfa Easy Hang Standards

Platinum elfa Bracket Covers

Platinum elfa Top Track Cover

Platinum elfa Ventilated Wire Shelf Brackets

We realized we had to upgrade to a new storage system because ours were all hand-me-downs since our college days and many had cracked and had missing lids so our items ended up getting spoiled by weather, moisture and dust overtime. The weathertight (air & water-tight bins) totes are all from The Container Store and you can find them here.

Find the links to all The Container Store products we used at the end of this post!

I have a lot of craft materials from various projects and of course from Naptime With Joey costumes but finding a way to organize everything was always a hurdle for me. Many times I wouldn’t be able to find something like glue sticks for my glue gun, and I KNEW that I have like 2 full bags of those laying around somewhere! For the LIJ team to be able to organize everything so I can find everything left me speechless.

At the end of Day 1, everything had been separated into keep & donation piles and then for the most part almost everything was already organized into their separate bins with temporary labels attached to the bins. What was SO IMPRESSIVE to me was that they took the time to separate my mountain stash of family photos into their respective years. As a photographer, this was EVERYTHING to me. They even fit our old dresser in the tiny little nook and designated that spot as Joey’s costume/prop area. It fit perfectly! Don’t ask me why that bottom part of that dresser is off-colored. (We had a small installation mishap when we put that together ha!)

I was amazed that evening when everyone left.  I remember walking into my garage that night and just stood there thinking how could this get any better?  The shelves were up, our purged items were in their designated containers….LIFE WAS GOOD!  Little did I know it was about to get A WHOLE LOT BETTER!

On day 2 it was like an organizing spree in the Choi garage!  Kamille and the team went full force with a label machine and file folding! I honestly had never seen anything like it.  Her team got right to work making all of my garage dreams come to life.  Like I said I didn’t think it could get better but I was sorely mistaken. All my costumes for The Joey World Project and Naptime With Joey were all stored in freezer bags and labeled.

I came back down to the garage at the end of the day when it was time for the big reveal and this is what we saw!

My photography gear and various household items that we need to access frequently like batteries, tools and extension cords, were stored in the corner.

They even hung up my Playdate Project sign!

There’s something about color coordinated books that thrills me.

They even found the perfect display box for Joey’s first shoes!

The costume dresser had been organized into various costumes in alphabetical order as well as different accessories like shoes and headwear. And WOW, do I have A LOT of wigs!

Our shoes were previously thrown together in several large bins where we’d have to fish out our shoes but the team went ahead and separated each pair of shoes into their own separate containers to protect them from dirt and so that they are now easy to find. The bins they used for that were these smaller shoe boxes and these larger ones. Joey’s snacks were kept in the garage because we always grab a few on our way to the car when we go out so the team put them in bins that were easy for us to pull them out from.

Our strollers were hung up on the wall so that it would save on floor space and the shoes we often wore, we put on a separate rack. You can find a similar rack here from The Container Store.

I know most people don’t think of their garage as a place to spend money designing but I am so glad we did!  I can actually park a car in there now, I can walk in there and find that picture I was looking for, I can easily get to our suitcases.  It seriously is such an amazing feeling!

If you’ve been putting off that dreaded organizing project because you just don’t want to deal with it now is the time! My biggest regret about this project is not starting it sooner.  I was so stressed over the mess we had created in the garage I didnt realize just how out of hand it had gotten.  Jen’s team and The Container Store made this such an easy and smooth process and I now have the most organized garage in all of Southern California!  And the best part?  I can now focus on the interior and preparing for a new nursery without worrying about this big project I need to finish!

Below are all of the wonderful products Life in Jeneral used.  All items were purchased at The Container Store and are available online too!

Label Maker

Smart Store Adhesive Labels

Grey Modular Stackable Crates

Our Men’s Shoe Box

Our Shoe Box

Our Clear Storage Boxes

Small Smart Store Tote

Medium Smart Store Tote

Large Smart Store Tote

Tall Smart Store Inserts

Clear Weathertight Totes

Clear Stackable Plastic Storage Bins

Platinum elfa utility Track

Grey elfa utility Accessory Hooks

Grey elfa utility Tool Holders

elfa utility Wide Ladder Hook

Acrylic Bracelet Box

Large Modular Clear Acrylic Premium Display Case

InterDesign Linus Deep Drawer Organizers

Platinum elfa utility Track

Platinum elfa Easy Hang Top Tracks

Platinum elfa Ventilated Wire Shelves

Platinum elfa Mounted Standards

Platinum elfa Easy Hang Standards

Platinum elfa Bracket Covers

Platinum elfa Top Track Cover

Platinum elfa Ventilated Wire Shelf Brackets

Intermetro 4 Shelf Solution Rack

 

 

Book Signing at SCCM

15 May 2018

Dear friends, Joey and I will be doing a local book signing this spring in the Los Angeles area! It’ll be at the Southern California Children’s Museum in Pasadena on Saturday June 2 from 10:30 am to noon.

Tickets are $25 which includes:

– Entry for one adult and up to one child (age 12 and under): Kids may play all day at the museum!

– One copy of Naptime with Joey

– Light refreshments

– One Raffle ticket

You can purchase tickets here: http://socalkids.org/NaptimeWithJoey

Tickets WILL sell out so grab them while they’re still available! Hope to see you there!