Name Tag Residue on Clothes… ERG!

I should have taken a before picture, but I didn’t even think this post was worthy until it actually worked. Our son leaves stickers on his clothes and then puts them in the hamper. Am I a lazy mom for not checking every single item before I throw it in the wash? Yes, yes I am. The worst are name tags. Since we started a new school, we’ve been having to use a lot of name tag stickers. I thought we were being pretty diligent about taking off the tags after the event, but one got away. It got away and went into the washing machine and the dryer. That sticky residue looked like it had been there for ages and made its home on the front of his shirt.

I looked up how to get rid of it online, and most of the suggestions immediately turned me off. I didn’t want to rub the sticker off with dish soap and a toothbrush forever, or use vegetable oil or peanut butter on a shirt. I mean, come on people. I’m trying to get something off a shirt. The last thing I want to do is then have to deal with an oil stain afterward! Then you see the chemical treatments like nail polish remover, goo gone, and WD-40.

I was pretty happy to find that some people used DUCT TAPE to remove the sticker residue.

Here’s how: Put a book inside the shirt and cut off a piece of duct tape. Firmly apply the duct tape and rub it over with a coin (or something hard). Then, pull it off quickly. The trick is to pull it off quickly.

photo 1And voila! It even took off some of the pilling from the shirt, so now there’s a really nice square patch on the t-shirt that looks brand new. I’m glad I tried this method first before whipping out the WD-40, eesh.

photo 2{Images by Nancy Cho for Uncle Owly}


The Five and Dime

Ok, this is for the San Francisco Bay Area folks who live on the East side. A friend of mine sent me this link and I love it. If you’re around here, check out 510 Families. I think everyone should have a resource like this in their area. If you don’t, then get a bunch of your mommy friends and make one!

Benjamin’s Dol

We had Ben’s Chut-Dol party at my aunt’s house. She has a lot of furniture, so it was hard to arrange things to put the head table. We ended up putting it in the middle of a room, which isn’t ideal, but it had to work. The shot above is one of the few taken of my hubby, baby, and I together. Can you believe that we forgot to take more photos as a family? Eesh, these parties can be hectic! But we had lots of fun and ate lots of good food. That’s what it’s all about, right?!

My mother ordered a HUGE ddeuk cake. It was beyond enormous. It didn’t fit in with my table scheme plan, but I let her put it on the table anyway. What can I say but two words… Korean grandma.

However, our friend and photographer from Shades of Beautiful Photography took a picture with the cake I made for Benjamin in the middle of the Dol-Goh-ims like I envisioned before the set up was changed by all the Korean “Ah-jum-ah’s”. You can still see the enormous “Ddeuk” cake. That thing weighed 30 pounds and I was afraid that it was going to swallow us up, “Aaaai-gooo!” Note that all the good photos were taken by him and I took the “other” ones. I’d like to share more of the photos, but maybe in another post! And by the way, how in the world do you spell “ddeuk” in english?

I liked decorating the raffle table the most. It was simple and the easiest thing to do. The stuffed elephants were made by my amazing Mother-in law. The green represented daddy, the pink represented mommy, and the blue was baby. The elephants were also on tables as center pieces and the babies who came to the party got to take them home with them. The blue fabric from the baby elephant was used as table runners and was also used as the bunting flags that was scanned in to make things easier.

After getting used to his surrounding for about an hour, Benjamin finally picked up the pencil and the money. Poor guy was a little freaked out because he just woke up from his nap to see all these people surrounding him.

We set up a “photo booth” for people to take pictures. I have a feeling that this booth idea will be in every party we have from now on because I just loved it. I made the back drop out of two fabric panels and there were decorations that were attached to it. The mustaches and lips were made of scrapbook paper and heavy cardboard in between.

Remember the awesome Poms that I won from Pom Love? I wish I ordered more of them and just had them everywhere. They are so much more beautiful in person, but very difficult to photograph for me!

I think I focused on so many details at this event that there’s just too much to post! i.e. the favor bag, (pictured in previous post with Benjamin eating cake), was filled with Asian goodies and I put a label on it that matched the whole paper scheme, and the Chopsticks and napkin rings. Oh well, we’ll just have to have more birthday parties. In the meantime, I’m taking a break!

First Birthday

The first birthday, chut-dol, dol-janchi, shi-bang, shin-dig, came and went last Saturday. I think I’m still recovering from it! We had some family emergencies this month, so I was seriously thinking about postponing the party since I did nothing this month to plan. But we made a last minute decision to keep the date and with the help from family and friends, we pulled it off. I was decorating and frosting cake up until the start time, and the rest… well… I think it went pretty well. A friend of ours took pictures, so I will post those up when we get it. In the meantime, I have a few photos of the party on my camera. A very LITTLE few. Stay tuned for uploads! oh yeah, and see that little prize bag in the background of the picture? That was the whole theme for the party.


My halmoni passed away last Thursday night. She was a remarkable woman who lived a very good and very hard life. Her whole world revolved around her children and grandchildren. She worried, prayed, and did everything she could for others. If you met her, chances are, she prayed for you. Her memory was amazingly sharp. Not only did she remember specific dates of when things happened, she remembered the exact day of the week and time. She remembered all of our birthdays, of course, but she also remembered birthdays of friends and my cousins from my father’s side who barely knew her. When I thought she got a birth date wrong, I realized that she calculated the Lunar date in her head.

If you grew up with me, you may have called my house and my halmoni answered the phone. If I wasn’t there, then you heard, “Sung-Mi jeeb-eh uhp-so.” My friends could only understand, “Sung-Mi” in the whole sentence and hear a click afterward.

She made delicious food for us and grew the most beautiful vegetable garden. Before coming to the US, she usually wore traditional hanboks everyday. They are now carefully wrapped up in cloth and with me… all that I have left of her. She and my grandfather fought all the time. She married him when she was 18 years old and they had been married for 70 years. One time, my husband was upstairs and my halmoni was yelling at my grandpa to keep it down. It went on for so long that my husband ran down and in his best Korean (with a pretty good Korean accent for a white boy), exclaimed, “Halmoni, Gaen-cha na-yo!” Meaning, “Grandma, it’s okay!” She laughed and went in her room. And that’s another thing… I did not marry a Korean man, so there was much controversy over that in my family. But my halmoni was the only one who loved my husband from the beginning.

She was our second mother who raised me since I was 8, and my sister when she was 1. She got to meet her great grandchild and we will miss her tremendously. She never judged, she never hated. She truly is an angel.


I love the feeling that I get when I cross something off my list. Just feel so darn organized! I just crossed off, “Print out Dol Poster” on my list and that was great. Didn’t want to spend more than $30 on a poster, so I was trying to think of a way to print this thing. Then I found that you can print posters at Costco for cheap! I got mine on a board and it cost $10. Picture of it will be coming soon!

My list grows everyday, but I can’t wait until I can cross off “Birthday” (and that’s not on the top of my list.) Top of the list goes to “Job”… hence the time I’ve had to work on this DIY birthday party.

Pure Baby

So, baby and I are housebound with colds. This is the nastiest one we’ve had so far. Runny noses, coughs, and no appetite. What a bummer. But, amongst the snot, drool, and coughs, there is a sweet part to it all. As I lay on the floor with blankets and toys all around, (and very much lethargic), my little guy crawls up and gives me hugs. We just kind of lay on the ground being pathetic together… it’s pretty sweet. This has nothing to do with this adorable Colour-Me-In t-shirt I found from Pure Baby, but I guess I’m just fishing for sympathy points ;) And folks, this is one company that ships internationally. yay for us! If you aren’t into that, then just buy some fabric crayons, a plain onesie, and customize your own. See, we all win!

The Dailey Method

A friend of mine told me about The Dailey Method and said that she was going this morning. So at the last minute, I decided to go. (They have childcare!) We went to the “basics” class, and boy oh boy, it kicked my butt. I’m so out of shape. But I wish I felt more in my abs since they need the most work! Unfortunately, my baby was screaming his head off in the other room, so I had to end class early. Maybe that’s when they worked on the abs. Anyone else taken these classes and seen actual results? They have an awesome New Member Special, so I thought I’d just go for it. I’ll try anything at this point…. lipo ain’t that far down the list either :p


I’m so happy to introduce a necklace I designed in collaboration with Carrie Saxl. This necklace represents the birthstones of the people in your family. I have four shown here for mommy, daddy, baby, and Nigel (our dog… come on, he’s a part of the family too!).  I was thinking about giving one to my mom for mother’s day, but then ran into the Lunar calendar problem.  Their birthdays change every year!  Haha!  I guess we’ll just have to go by the birthday on their drivers license.  If you’re interested, click on the “Shop” page for more info!

Watch It

SF Bay Area locals! Vicky Nguyen will be hosting NBC @Work tomorrow night, Sunday, at 6:30pm. They will be taking you inside the jobs that are for hire in the Bay Area. Check out this super woman who co-created, co-produced, AND is a mother to a cute one year old!

Dol Jan Chi – Korean First Birthday

So I told you that I was already planning our baby’s first birthday, right? Well, here’s why. Our little boy is a “halfie” or “hapa” kid, (half Korean, half Caucasian). In Korean culture, the first birthday, or Dol Jan Chi, is a pretty big birthday. Even though we live in the San Francisco Bay Area, our resources are still slim. There ain’t no K-town here like there is in Los Angeles. So, the planning begins now because I believe we’re gonna be doing a lot of DIY-ing. Plus, we’re not loaded, so DIY is best for us!

The image above represents a pretty traditional Dol Jan Chi. The head table is the main attraction with Dol towers, rice cakes (duk), and fruit. The baby of the hour will be dressed in a hanbok, a traditional Korean outfit. There is a fun ritual where the parents place items like a pencil, book, thread, rice, and money, in front of the baby. Whatever the baby picks up tells you the future procession of the child. (We’ll be laying out the bid wad of money and stethoscope… haha!)

Now check out these modern Dol’s. People go all out for these things. Yeah, it can be a big deal… no joke.

OoooooKaaaay now, so we’re not gonna be that elaborate. But gosh darnit, I want it to look good!  And yes, there are plenty of people who do these at home and keep it low key. I just wanted to show how BIG these can get. We’ll be playing it cool at my relative’s house. I’ll be making the invitations, raffle tickets, cupcakes, cake, Dol towers, and eeesh, whatever else.   I have laughed and cried while learning Photoshop.  I have torn my hair out looking for Dol towers, (which we really will be making).  I did mention that I signed up for a cake decorating class, right?  Stay tuned in the months ahead! I’m sure I’ll be ranting and raving about my failures and accomplishments.

The First Road Trip

THE DRIVE: The six hour drive to Jacksonville, Oregon was great.  The baby slept almost the entire time.  BUT, we did have to pay the price that night.  Because he slept for nearly six hours straight, he didn’t eat anything.  Therefore, he woke up every 2-3 hours at night… brutal.  We then drove to Florence, Oregon, and that was another 3 hours away.  He was fine on the way there, but it was one and a half hours of crying on the way back… brutal.  Our way back home on Sunday was a perfect trip.  He stayed awake a played in the car the first hour, slept for two.  We took a lunch break for one hour together, and then he slept the rest of the way.  Lesson learned?  Yes.  Make sure baby is awake some of the times and eating.  Take breaks to make baby eat, or else he’ll be hungry at night!!

Jacksonville was beautiful and the visit with family was wonderful.  I wish we could’ve stayed longer so that we could check out the restaurants and little shops.  There are a few bed and breakfasts there for anyone who really wants to get away.  This historic town is so sweet and the surrounding landscape is breathtaking.  Next time, we’ll have to stay longer so that we can really check out the scene!

Our little guy played with some toys that his dad played with when he was a baby.  Check out that Carter’s rattle below!  (I focused on the rattle in this picture.)  It was his favorite toy and the noise it made was like a cowbell.   I love the colors on the key-ring toy below the rattle too.  So funny to think that the toys that we played with when we were kids are now VINTAGE… oh dear.

Best and Stupid-est

Baby is four months now so I started cleaning out his 0-3 month stuff.   Upon going through all his STUFF, I realized that the best thing I ever bought was a Swaddle Me infant wrap.  Husband and I did become expert swaddlers, but it seemed to not be good enough.  With sleep deprivation and baby undoing our beautifully wrapped swaddle, we decided to buy the instant infant wrap.  Probably saved us hours of swaddling baby.  He can’t undo and get himself out of the thing and it’s so easy.

Now, the stupid-est thing I bought, (and am still all raw about), was a crib bumper.  Correction, TWO crib bumpers.  All for the sake of decorating his crib, I thought it would be great.  I ripped the sucker off last week and was so happy to see the crib all nice and clean without a bulky crib bumper wrapped around it.  What’s the use?  Infants don’t roll around bumping their heads.  And by the time they can, there’s controversy now that it can be a SIDS hazard.  Arg, what a waste.  Could’ve bought some cute clothes with that money.  Arg, arg, arg.  But I just had to buy them to decorate.  I guess it was worth it for that, right?  right?  I’m such a first time mom.

um… anyone want two crib bumpers?  they’re up for grabs!  haha!  seriously though….

Being Inventive

belly_beltI’m not that inventive.  I know people who can look at things and turn it into something awesome.  I tried on one of my maternity dresses thinking that it would still work after pregnancy and laughed my head off seeing the front side dangling so low.  I put it away in my closet not thinking that I would hem it later.  So, the one inventive thing I can’t live without and thought of all by my lonesome self, was using my pregnant belly support belt into my hands free breast pump holder.  I cut out two holes for the pump to fit through and voila!  I can snap it on easily over my clothes and I don’t have to fuss with bands, hands free bras, and other doo-dads.

Have you re-invented something?  please share!

Oh My Word

When I was pregnant, I got Gestational Diabetes.  I was on a strict diet, had a nurse call me every week to check my blood sugar numbers, went in to see the doc every two weeks and then ever week at the end, nutritionist, NST’s, blah, blah, blah.  The risk???  yeah, there are a few.  The biggest risk for me was having a big baby, even though I only gained 13 pounds during my pregnancy.  Since baby didn’t come on his due date, I was to be induced just one day later.  I didn’t really like the idea, but trusted the docs.  Oh, I also had to take insulin every day because I was allergic to the pill form.  97 insulin shots later, baby was born 6 pounds 7 ounces.  NOT a big baby… but then I see this baby onSFGate. Dude, the docs had nothing to worry about with me.
big baby - sfgate