Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mama Said Knock You Out

When not on hovering over my daughter to keep her Dora the Explorer underpants dry (we're potty training season here in the Huang household), I can be found wallowing in self-pity over my manatee state. Seriously? I don't even own a full-length mirror because for as long as we've lived in this house, I've been incubating little humans (first with Olive, now with baby Quinn). Pregnancy is not a good look for me (Snork snout bellybutton, veiny breasts topped with intimidating nipples). Seeing my reflection depresses me.

However, when not preoccupied with either of the above-mentioned, I've been enjoying myself at Refuge Design Build. Visuals of a few of the projects I've been up to:

Project Maltman. Duplex renovation. The whole shebang.
I asked the guys to take the stairs.
They did as they were told.

Photo from the first day of demolition at Maltman.
Love it.

Lower unit of Maltman.
Looking like a feature on HGTV's House Hunters Gone International.

Lower unit of Maltman. 
More framing to come down to make for an open floor plan.
Imagine Jenna Lyon's former kitchen inserted into this space.
 You know, the much-loved, much-pinned space from her Brooklyn brownstone...
Yes. It's happening.

Project West Hollywood. Single-family residence renovation. Kitchen and then-some.
Shot from cabinetry install day.
Farrow & Ball's Cornforth White is never a bad way to go, people.

West Hollywood.
Breakfast nook to come.

West Hollywood.
A masculine palette of denim, ticking stripe and linens for the nook.

In a nutshell? I've been knocking a lot of stuff down (with the help of my contractors). Finished product photos due mid-April. Just had to share some work-in-progress shots. I find perfection in the imperfection!

P.S. Refuge Design Build business cards designed by the talented Aileen Cheng are in and they are gorgeous! So thankful for you, Aileen!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Stuff I Like

While surfing the web for home renovation-related items for work-related projects, I can't help but save images into a folder on my desktop titled: STUFF I LIKE.  This past weekend, I decided to do some desktop cleaning, and came to the realization that I am a total freak. The following images will give you a taste of the stuff I've been hoarding so dearly. 

Alas, I fear for the future of my daughter.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Look Who's Talking

"Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn." 

The little booger is now a month over the 2 year mark and has become quite the talker. (I wonder where she gets it from.) My BFF, Pam, had warned me that this would happen. Not so much the fact that toddlers eventually talk, rather the fact that when they start, they just can't stop. Words that shouldn't be strung together are being strung together and come babbling out at embarrassingly loud volumes. And yes, the phrases aren't always appropriate.


I stop chewing my chicken nugget (we're at the LA Zoo). I have no words.


Olive looks annoyed by the fact that her message of alert is not processing. The look of confusion on my face, on the other hand, is. She points at a sign with a monkey. Next to it is a long, brown walking stick... Ahh. Reminder to self. Your daughter's mind is good and pure. Mine, on the other hand, is clearly in the gutter.

Ay... Kids say the darndest things.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Hopes & Dreams

When Olive was first born, she was gifted a lovely baby book. Or no. Rephrase. When Olive was first born, I was gifted a baby book. Because let's get real people. A baby book is really just mommy homework. Super moms eagerly fill them in regularly (like they're supposed to) while shitty moms *ahem*, push them to the side until their child hits 9 months of age, and then freak out. "What was the ankle biter's first word? When did she take her first step? A mini envelope to house a lock of hair from her first haircut?!" Uh-oh. I'd like to phone-a-friend...

Having forgotten all the sentimental stuff (details of who, what, when and where), I recall jumping to fill in all the blanks that did not require me to jog my memory. "Hopes and dreams for baby." Ermahgerd! I can tackle this one. I can make this up now. Felt-tip pen in hand, I scribbled, "When you grow up, I hope you grow up to be a happy non-asshole." Oh shit. I did not just curse in her baby book.

I did. Needless to say, I stopped filling out Olive's baby book after the third page...

Fast forward to today, my baby girl is exactly what I hoped and dreamed for. A happy non-asshole.

She is such a delight to have around. Funny and chatty. Kind and generous. Now... was I supposed to be more specific? As in, what hopes and dreams I hope for her career-wise? She's only two, but check her out. My little sous chef...

I may have created a monster...

Baby apron and utensils by Odette Williams

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I Swallowed a Beach Ball

As is typical of my FREQUENT blog posts* I shall open with an apology. An apology for being so darn absent. For those of you raising little human beings, you understand. We have to keep the munchkins alive and healthy (the baseline for motherhood), and it's not as easy as it looks. Look at what I'm dealing with:

Ahh... The beauty of potty training. In the kitchen. 

Anyhow, Olive aside (she's a time-suckage, so a photo was warranted), I have been juggling my day job. Refuge Design Build completed two home renovations in time to ring in 2014, and is now attempting to deliver three more happy homes before ankle-biter 2.0 makes her grand debut in June. Lots to look forward to. But in the meantime...

I am looking like I swallowed a beach ball. 

I'm a mere 5 months along, but am looking the way some women look at 8 or 9 months. I suppose it doesn't help that my torso is like that of a midget. Where else is baby Quinn supposed to go?** Even Olive has taken notice of her mother's rapidly expanding waistline. 

"Mama, BIG."
"Mama, mountain." (Pointing at my stomach.) 

In the work place, I'm a proprietor of good taste, or well, one of slightly-above-average taste. I try my best to look presentable, but baby Quinn's lil' condo is hindering my usual fashion choices. I'm She-Hulking out of my go-to shrunken leather jackets, my button-ups are pulling at the chest, and my pants... let's just stay I'll be looking into our crawlspace tonight in search of the maternity jeans I wore when incubating Olive. My jeans are getting uber-tight, and the last thing I want to be doing is running down Sunset Junction chasing a button that's sprung from my beloved Rag & Bones. My only connection to fashion as of late is how similar my belly button is to Michael Kors' nasty belly button.*** WARNING: You cannot unsee what you are about to see, so look away if you don't want to scar your eyeballs for life. 

Will be posting more regularly in the coming weeks because I've been having more and more thoughts about my munchkins which I feel are worth sharing, exploring, and making fun of...

* Line should be typed out in font, SARCASTICA. 

** That's right, people. We're naming ankle-biter 2.0, "Quinn". Olive's favorite name, one which she refers to Thomas the Steam Engine by, is "Quimby." When le huz and I found out ankle-biter 2.0 would be a girl, we thought, "Why not let Olive name her future tormentor? It's only fair." So "Quinn B. Huang" it is. We've yet to figure out what that middle initial "B" is going to stand for, but are open to suggestions. 

*** I don't have an outy, but my inny (by the way, am I spelling these technical terms correctly?), but my inny is totally flipping itself inside out to become one. OMIGOSH. I'm grossing myself out.


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