Today, we announced to the world (a.k.a. Facebook) that we are expecting a baby!

funny photoshopped maury pregnancy announcement for faceboook

It’s been difficult keeping the secret, but I am about 12.5 weeks along and it’s time to share our happiness with the world. Despite the facial expressions of the images I chose to layer on a googled Maury Povich show image, we actually are so thankful and cannot wait to welcome the little one in early October!

It happens to be the year of the Dragon in the Chinese Zodiac. Of course, this means that Donny started calling it "Bruce the Dragon Baby". And since I am not as quick or witty enough to come up with something better than ‘Baby D’ or ‘mini DonThao’, the codename {Bruce} has stuck.


Beating My Husband

by Thao on 03.17.2012

My husband has plotted to take over the world.

By the world, I mean our circle of friends.

By plot, I mean to secure a basketball-watching fellowship by encouraging everyone we know to join a measly $5 bracket.

By everyone, I mean we now have a $140 winning pot with $5 back to the second place finisher. Do the math. It’s a decent sized pool.

This is, by far, his most favoritest time of the year. The month of March is his favorite holiday. And now he’s got me hooked because for the first time ever, I have participated in this pool and completed a bracket.

ncaa bracket

I’m losing. Good thing I’m not a sore loser. (Mainly because it’s not over yet and I am willing the hell out of my TV for my picks to win so that I can rub it in his face.) I’ve learned from this experience so far that I am a pretty conservative picker. A couple of upsets, but only when the seeds were relatively close. I’m not sure how I feel about being a conservative bracket chooser. I feel like a wuss, so in order to be vindicated of the uber-careful choices, I am willing my teams to win. Right now. Even though I am a wussy, conservative picker… I am very competitive… ESPECIALLY when it involves the husband.

long nailsI beat him in Mortal Kombat. Or was it Street Fighters? I don’t remember. I just remembered I won. I beat him in mini-golf. I would beat him in thumb wars if he ever played me. He keeps complaining that I have an advantage with my long nails. Whatever. HE’S the wuss.

Enjoy your St. Patty’s day weekends and will for me to beat my husband, please. Thank you.


Ornament Conundrum

by Thao on 12.16.2011

Every Christmas, we buy a Hallmark ornament to add to the tree. Not sure how this started, but for the most part, we have pretty big occasions in our lives each year. This year must have been a boring year because no occassion stood out. Once it was ‘our first home’, then ‘our engagement’, ‘wedding’, ‘europe’, and 2011? Ummm.

We… went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Apparently, Hallmark discriminates against making ornaments specifically about Punta Cana so that was out. We redecorated our home. Not too many ornaments about that either.

Then it hit me. Of course… everything that required something in memory of 2011 always defaulted to ‘the year of the trapped skunk in our back yard’.

Perfect for an ornament. Hallmark PROBABLY has an ornament about killing skunks and having your house smell for a month, right?


Pepe Le Pew and Penelope Hallmark Christmas ornament

That’s right. It’s even better because we dressed up as Pepe Le Pew and Penelope for Halloween. Crisis averted.


Decked Out

by Thao on 12.03.2011

For some reason, I love to decorate the house for Christmas. After Halloween, I anxiously count down to an ‘appropriate’ decorate time (typically after Thanksgiving if we’re not having people over and before if there’s a party).

Since we finally had the family room set the way we wanted, I finally got rid of the mismatched on-sale decorations I nabbed at the end of the last 4 seasons. I chose to theme the decorations like the space it was going into: turquoise, silver, and greens. Here’s how the family room in the house looked.

Family room and kitchen christmas holiday decor in turquoise, green, and silver
Family room and kitchen christmas holiday decor in turquoise, green, and silver
Family room and kitchen christmas holiday decor in turquoise, green, and silver
Family room and kitchen christmas holiday decor in turquoise, green, and silver
Family room and kitchen christmas holiday decor in turquoise, green, and silver
Family room and kitchen christmas holiday decor in turquoise, green, and silver
Family room and kitchen christmas holiday decor in turquoise, green, and silver

The dining room base colors are brown and green. I didn’t want to make the whole house green, so this time, I brought in reds, whites, and silvers to play off the typical Christmas red and green theme.

turquoise, green, silver christmas decor in modern living room
turquoise, green, silver christmas decor in modern living room
turquoise, green, silver christmas decor in modern living room
turquoise, green, silver christmas decor in modern living room

The living room is our travel/art/music room and even though there is a common color theme: grey and yellow, I wanted to bring out all of the different colors of Christmas. Primarily, this was because the tree ornaments were of all sorts of origins. I don’t want a Martha Stewert monotone decorated tree… yet. I like the idea of varying ornaments and trinkets.

yellow and grey living room in christmas decor
yellow and grey living room in christmas decor
yellow and grey living room in christmas decor

Actually. I think I like it better this way than normally. Christmas d&eacut;cor year round?

This was the first year we decorated the physical house as well.

lights on the house for christmas


Mi Amor on Halloween

by Thao on 11.02.2011

I had a hard time coming up with a unique costume idea this year. I like to make my own and we often like to pair up as something. One year, we were Chun Li and Ryu, another year, it was a flower and a bee.

All of the couples costumes out there were so overplayed… Adam and Eve, The Plug and The Socket, Fred and Wilma Flintstone. None of them called out to us until we thought about what had happened in the past year. One of the more notable events was not our vacation to Punta Cana nor the completely finished basement. No, it was the fact that our house got skunked.

So. We decided to be skunks. Obviously, that is too simple, so we chose Pepe Le Pew and Penelope from Looney Tunes.

Pepe le pew and penelope the cat costume inspiration

Penelope was pretty simple. Black clothing, white paint strip midway down the back, sewn-on paint handle, makeup. Bada boom, bada bing.

Pepe was an all out production of black and white fur, hair fauxhawk, and black fishnet. The whole costume was handmade with materials from JoAnn.

Did I mention that I was Pepe and he was Penelope?

Pepe le pew and penelope the cat costume inspiration

Homemade Pepe le pew and penelope costume Homemade Pepe le pew and penelope costume

On another night, we switched it up for him. I remained a skunk named Flower and he became Thumper from the beloved classic, Bambi.

Thumper and Flower from Bambi costume

Not bad for throwing them together last minute on the night before Halloween.


30 Bars for a 30th Birthday

by Thao on 10.02.2011

I think we just outdid ourselves again.

Donny turned the big 30 this past weekend. About a month ago, he threw out a crazy notion that he should go to 30 bars.

"Wouldn’t it be awesome if we did 30 bars for my 30th?"

We did just that.

Approximately 30 of us wore shirts with his face plastered on the front and a rather large ‘Grand Rapids Bar’ checklist on the back, and wandered Grand Rapids on the GR Hopper and by foot to meet the challenge. The front image on the t-shirt was designed using his high school senior picture. It’s pretty hot:

90s high school senior picture front of 30 bars for 30th birthday party t-shirt check list on back of 30 bars for 30th birthday t-shirt

Doesn’t he look older than he does now?

I was strategic, of course. I had lists of all the open and close hours. I had a map so that we would maintain the rule that the shortest distance between two points is indeed a straight line so that we didn’t waste time with the GR Hopper. We started with brunch at 11AM at O’ Toole’s. That meant a solid 15 hours to achieve this daunting task… that no one has ever done before. (I just know this, so believe me.)

Our friends trickled into the bar… even with Donny puppets.

life size face puppet to bring around to bars

Here’s most of the group outside of O’ Toole’s, ready to hop on the bus.

group ready to crawl thirty bars for a 30th birthday party

We only had the bus until 7pm, at which point, it dropped us off right downtown on Ionia in Grand Rapids. Then, that’s where we lost about half the bodies. Dinner was at The Ritz Koney and I guess after eating, people get realize how inebriated they really are and start wandering in various directions. Long story short, we lost a lot of people and gained others so in the end, only he and I were the ones that made it to 30 bars in downtown Grand Rapids to celebrate his big 30th birthday.

More pictures for your viewing pleasure.


The Tale of Cyclones

by Thao on 05.09.2011

We just got back from Punta Cana. It was such an amazing week… I don’t want to be home but that’s the shitty part about vacations. They aren’t forever, unless you’re retired or a hitchhiking hobo.

Typically, people post up pictures from vacations so that you can be jealous and wish you had left your crummy job for a week to do and see what they did. No, I’ll spare that for you until at least another post.

I am currently sitting in a whirlwind of fans that were purchased from Meijer on our way home from the airport. All of the windows are open and I’m hoping this artificial cyclone helps our… situation.

I have a story to share about us and our backyard. The night before our flight left, we eased ourselves into a relaxing marathon of enjoying some quiet time. We packed all week, making it a breeze that night. At dinnertime, there was no sense in cooking a big meal when we’d be gone for the week, so naturally, Donny chose to heat up some popcorn chicken from the freezer. Good stuff.

There we were, sitting on the living room couch, plates in hand as we opened our mouths to take the first bite of our meaty popcorn… and it hit us.

An recognizable odor pervaded the living room and with our mouths wide open, we took a huge gulp and realized that a skunk had just been killed in our trap by the bay window on our left. The trap had been put out there to catch the woodchucks that often visit us every spring. You know what else lives in woodchuck burrows? Yup. Skunks.

I don’t remember if I finished eating before we grabbed all of our stuff and ran upstairs to hide under the covers. All of the doors leading to the bedroom were shut, yet, you could bite into that stench from underneath the blanket.

Sleeping that night was a chore. We tossed and turned, but could not escape the smell.

The next morning, we woke up early to catch our flight out, only to realize that the smell was worse. Donny bravely ran outside and threw the skunk (with trap) into the ditch behind our yard. Sorry, neighbors. I’m glad he did, because its smelly butt juices were seeping into the side of our home, right by the windows.

We left. We didn’t just leave… we hauled ass. BUT. It gets worse…

To be continued.


custom diy wedding album -

{DIY} Wedding Albums

by Thao on 01.27.2011

The BEST part about our wedding photographer was the fact that he handed me DVDs of all of the pictures he took on our wedding day: high resolution, gorgeous images that I could take and do whatever we wanted. Because of that, it’s so easy to credit him whenever we did post online.

Part of our package was an album that was just as beautiful. However, I didn’t choose the images and wanted to include the photos that our guests took from the full day of events.

This is where the magic of DIY album websites and companies such as came in to save the day. I used their software (though it was rather cumbersome and slow) to choose the images I wanted to use. Really, they could have done better with the program.

In all, it came down to a design of two albums: one for the ceremonies and one for the reception.

I just received the albums and am so pleased with how they turned out. The quality was awesome and with the coupons that they always have, it became so affordable. Here’s one of the books as it came out of the box:

custom diy wedding album
custom diy wedding album
custom diy wedding album

Good, fun packaging.

custom diy wedding album
custom diy wedding album
custom diy wedding album

I wasn’t thrilled with the curved pages from the spline so since it wasn’t what I wanted, they let me reorder with lay-flat pages at no extra charge! Now, THAT is great customer service and worth dealing with the software. The new books are even better and I love, love, love our new coffee table albums.

Because of the great, affordable quality, I will be making ‘yearbooks’ of our life together with instead of the traditional scrapbooks that I tend to slack and get behind on.


Choose Wisely

by Thao on 12.06.2010

Do you go to the optometrist to get your eyes checked? I wear glasses at night when I drive. I got Lasik surgery a couple years ago, but I still need glasses to help me out when my eyes are tired. I had my appointment earlier today.

I always feel like I give the wrong answer when the optometrist asks me, “which one is more clear, 1 or 2?”.

“Uhhh, again.” He flips between 1 and 2 again.

“1 or 2?”

“Uhhhh… two?”

“2 or 3?”

Ahhh. I feel so pressured. THEY LOOK THE SAME! Every once in awhile the two options look different, but most of the time, I think he’s crazy. It felt like 20 rounds of this or that today at my appointment. I end up guessing and then boom, somehow he manages to still get the right prescription. It’s like going to a restaurant and the waitress is ready to take your order since everyone else has ordered. She’s standing there with her pen in hand and you blurt out "LIVER AND ONIONS" when what you really wanted was the chicken fingers and deep fried cheese.

AND THEN, I’m attacked with a glaucoma check. He can probably tell that my eyes are nervous for the poof. They start irrationally blinking and just when he figures out what the blinking pattern is, he attacks.

I am set to get new glasses before the end of the year, which is the most terrible time to shop for yourself. Money is flying out of my account for gifts, which is fine, but it makes spending on yourself a little tougher to swallow. I hope all of your Christmas shopping is going well!


Photography Website

by Thao on 12.03.2010


Check out my new photography website =)! I am so excited. I have a couple of bookings this month so I am excited to keep posting.

Do you have a photographer? Send me a link, I love inspiration!

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