I finally got my hands on a nice camera to take these photos for you guys. I hope you enjoy this virtual tour of my new dorm room…
As far as bedding goes, I decided to stick with the simplistic “white-out” look. Thankfully, my room was blessed with lots of light, and paired with white walls and bedding, I open my door to a bright oasis every afternoon.
The hanging frame and mirror display was always a look that I loved for bedroom decor. During my two weeks with Grams and Gramps in SD, I compiled this small collection for my own version:
-As you know, the pink cake plate is one of my favorites and it brings back sweet memories of my baking days in TJ.
-The picture frames were given to me by Grandma, and as you can see I haven’t found photos to fill them with yet!
-The two mirrors were actually $2.00 from Goodwill. I spray painted them black.
I am obsessed with succulent plants right now and believe it or not I lugged this gold pot of cacti all the way from a farmer’s market in SD. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself to have a green thumb, but so far so good for these little guys 🙂
The map above my bed is my favorite piece of decor so far. Coincidently it fits perfectly under our bedroom light fixtures, which in my opinion, gives it an elegant look.
~Every time I look up at it I can imagine all of you talking around the dinner table at home in China.
The school year is nearing at an uncontrollably swift pace, and in looking forward I also look back at the memories I shard during the summer of 2013. This particular day, in Dallas TX, was one of my favorites because I had the privilege of spending an entire day snuggling my baby cousins.
The day started with a batch of caramelized french toast made by yours truly, and ended with a sunset as I held a little, sleeping girl in my arms. Everywhere in between, I enjoyed time on the lake’s shore, taking photos, cooking out, and playing with the dog, Snorts (as we have nicknamed her).
I’ve been so blessed with family who love and care for me, I will treasure this day for a long while to come.
I made this two-tier cake for my grandparents’ 50th anniversary last week. I was going for a woodsy theme as we were spending the weekend in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Maple is a favorite with Gramps hence the frosting is a silky, rich & earthy, maple buttercream.
Before leaving my Grandparents’ house for the Hills, I made both an 8-inch and 6-inch vanilla cake for the special occasion. Working all day before we were to leave, I finished the cake’s most important components, leaving just the assembly to be completed at the cabin.
Simply put, this anniversary cake is compromised of rich vanilla cake, maple buttercream filling and frosting, and candied pecans sprinkled between each layer and atop. It was a huge hit. We enjoyed this cake together while watching slides of different events and snapshots of Gramps and Grams’ married life (including Gramps’ time serving in Vietnam)
We had the great privilege of visiting the Ellsworth Air Force Base last week during our trip to the Black Hills. Through Grandpa’s clearance, we were able to enter and discover a little bit about their life as a military family. My Dad was a life guard at the base pool when he was around my age, he told us about what he and his brothers would do for recreation, shopping, etc.
I love the fact that Dad’s childhood was similar to ours in the way that he and his family were also constantly on the move. As a military kid, Dad lived in more than 8 states before he went to college.
While at the Ellsworth AFB, we had the opportunity to see some active B1 Bomber air crafts. What an awesome experience this visit was for us kids.
After our vast assortment of flight itineraries and travel plans, we all (finally) made it to my grandparents house in South Dakota. One of the main reasons that we returned to the US this summer was to celebrate my Grandparents fiftieth anniversary- congratulations Grandma and Grandpa! A couple of days after arriving in SD, my Dad’s two brothers and their families joined us for a family get-together in the Black Hills to celebrate this milestone in the Headrick family.
While in the black hills we drove through the beautiful Custer State Park- spotting buffalo, prairie dogs, and deer on the way. We also enjoyed many river-side picnics, mountain hikes, and campfire s’mores together throughout the weekend on top of visiting Mount Rushmore for the first time.
The night of their anniversary, my Grandpa unpacked his slide projector to show us some photos of his time in Vietnam where he served as a pilot in the Air-force. I’m thinking we have a hidden photographer in the family because his photos were exceptional! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to capture some of the best shots, so these will have to do.
On the six-hour drive up to our cabin at the beginning of the trip, I had the opportunity to listen to Grandpa’s stories of his life as a pilot in the Vietnamese war. I am so honored to have had this chance, hearing about his life at that time is such an honor.
Grandpa sent Megan and I out to pick the last peonies of the season late yesterday afternoon. Unaccustomed as we are to caring for garden-grown flowers in China, I took full advantage of this special opportunity. Snipping away joyously, Megan and I carefully chose the prettiest blooms to gather for dinner’s bouquet.
Since arriving at my grandparents house in the beautiful, Eastern South Dakota region, I’ve noticed how good it feels to live in a place where nature is rich and vibrant. There is a comfort in growing your own fruits and vegetables, which my grandpa faithfully continues to do each spring. I hope that one day when I have my own family, I might be able to do the same.
After peony picking, we gathered in the kitchen for some rhubarb crisp and vanilla ice cream. yum.
This afternoon Michael, Jessie, and I made our first proper meal all week! With just three of us in the house, full meals are not necessarily a priority- we’ve been eating sandwiches and lattes everyday for a while now.
My Southeast Asian meal is definitely checked off the bucket list with this lunch consisting of Malaysian curry, stir-fried bokchoy, and Chinese tea (普洱茶).
We missed you this evening at our get-together with the Chin family. With an aura of celebrating relationships felt throughout the afternoon, I dearly missed you.
I was invited to share some baking techniques with Sister Cai and her husband to give them time together and a shared pursuit. I so enjoyed teaching and guiding them through the process of making chocolate cupcakes.
After a successful turnout, we topped the freshly baked cake with dollops of whipped cream. You know I love it when a sweet treat is thrown together in a completely natural way.
What started out as a cupcake-baking lesson turned into a Chinese cookout with our Uncle and Auntie Cai. We grilled meats of all shapes and sizes: lamb, shrimp, and fish skewers, grilled beef steak, and even a delicious rotisserie chicken in the oven!
We made a huge dent in my bucket list today. What fun.
My last week in Tianjin has come. In just 6 days I will be moving back to the States to begin school at Carnegie Mellon University. After five years here, I can hardly believe that China will no longer be my home.
I will miss it more than I can say.
In the meantime, Michael and Jessie are helping to fill my last days with unforgettable memories. Earlier this week we made a long list of various activities that I want to complete before flying out next week.
The first one to be checked off the list was a trip to Tianjin’s “City Center.” Some of my favorite eating and shopping areas are downtown so late Wednesday afternoon we buseed there.
What a lovely outing! Churros and bubble tea－珍珠奶茶－were the first stops we made upon arrival. We then walked around for a while before settling into a quiet Starbucks for a couple of hours spent chatting, planning for the future, etc.
Our last stop was at a Japanese store called Muji, where I stocked up on pens for the next year! Michael was able to snap a few photos of Jessie and I enjoying the Muji “furniture displays” before a shop-keeper gave us some unhappy stares, after which we quickly made our way out.