2021 Holiday Gift Guide

This list is being updated frequently. Please check back often for new additions. Feel free to share your suggestions in the comment section!

It’s that time again! At the end of the year, we love to express our gratitude and good wishes with gifts to people around us. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, our living styles and purchasing habits have shifted. With the current situation of the supply chain, we may want to find gifting options that support small businesses and artisans, are environmentally friendly, are digital, or create an experience. 

Send Cards

It is so joyful to receive a handwritten note. For those of us who can’t quite make our own cards, there are wonderful artisans who help us to say what we want to say. 

Playa Paper

Handcrafted paper goods. All cards include postage.

Pretty by Post

Curated greeting cards for snail mail lovers available as single collections or subscription.

Handmade Goods

There is something charming about handmade goods. Artisans make jewelry, soaps, candles, pottery, and food. 

J&S MakeScents

Lower Level at 555 The Shops at Mission Viejo, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Hand poured soy wax candles with intoxicating fragrances that only come in one color – white. No worry about choosing the right colors to match the decor. The brand just recently opened a store space at The Shops at Mission Viejo.

My Creative Outlet

21758 Devonshire St. Chatsworth, CA 91311

This creative space has an Artisan Boutique featuring local makers. 

Art for Sale

There is something charming about handmade goods. Artisans make jewelry, soaps, candles, pottery, and food. 

Andres Palos

Andres Palos is a Los Angeles based digital and film photographer. Prints are available in different sizes and frame options on this website.

Matt Spangler

Matt Spangler is an artist who draws robots. His website has prints, original arts, and merchandise available. 


Studio Channel Islands

2222 E Ventura Blvd. Camarillo, CA 93010

This art organization has a gift shop within its gallery. Beautiful and one-of-a-kind art objects fit all budget levels.

Creating an Experience

With some imagination and planning, this gift can be memorable without necessarily costing a lot of money. It could be a trip to a museum, self-guided architectural walking tour, a spring picnic at the park, etc. The options are limitless. You can create a ‘gift certificate’ to be redeemed after the hectic holiday season.

Other Ideas

With some imagination and planning, this gift can be memorable without necessarily costing a lot of money. It could be a trip to a museum, self-guided architectural walking tour, a spring picnic at the park, etc. The options are limitless. You can create a ‘gift certificate’ to be redeemed after the hectic holiday season.

Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Guide by Elemental Green

Elemental Green has gathered some of our favorite eco-friendly products to help infuse your home with healthier, more-sustainable gift-giving ideas. Whether you are looking for something for loved ones or dropping hints about a special treat for yourself, we are continually curating this list with fresh products that members of our team have vetted, tried, and recommend enthusiastically.

 

Visual Identity Guide

This is a documentation of my journey of creating branding for a local bakery café that desperately needed creative help when COVID-19 hit. I was clueless and had to figure out everything. Many thanks to wonderful professors at Arts Media & Performance at LAMC for their support and encouragement! There is still so much to do. I am not satisfied with what I have done but is thrilled to see some results of my sweat and tear.

https://indd.adobe.com/view/964e8507-1134-4c30-a7f4-06477f639e54

American Riviera Design Conference 2018

After the success of last year’s first American Riviera Design Conference, ASID Los Angeles Chapter once again held the event in beautiful Santa Barbara, California this year.
The weather was perfect. The format followed last year’s event with an improved scheduling and more presentations. It was great to spend time with friends I already knew and made new friends. It was a tremendous effort of the organizers, sponsors, presenters and the attendees to made the two-day conference go smoothly.
Another mission of this year’s conference was to support the local communities that have been severely impacted by fire and flood. ASID LA held a raffle with 75% of the proceeds benefiting the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigate.
Below is the event timeline. I have added links for quick access.
Thursday, June 7th, 2018
11:00 am – 1:00 pm – Kick off Lunch
Riviera Ballroom at The Canary Hotel
11:15 am – Speaker: Ed Paulsen and Lisa Masino, Kravet Fabrics
            “Modern Tailor”
12:15 pm – Speakers: Shannon Ratcliffe and Venessa Kogevinas, LUXE Interiors + Design
            “Mad for Marketing”
My takeaway from the LUXE presentation was sending follow-up emails to new contacts right after the events no matter how tired you are. I always thought it was best to wait until the next business day, and I almost always got so busy and procrastinated until it didn’t make sense to email those people. 
1:30 pm – 3:00 pm Tour Kogevina’s Luxury Properties Landmark Estate, “Robledal”, situated in the most exclusive part of Hope Ranch
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Tour of Armstrong Associates Arlington Village Santa Barbara, a mixed-use residential and commercial development
Architects: Peikert +RRM Design Group
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm – Luxe Interiors + Design Reception  
Champagne Reception and hors d’oeuvres
Speaker/CEU: Julie Arcelay, Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove
        “Luxury Outdoor Kitchens”

Ready for another day of fun!

Friday, June 8th, 2018
9:00am – 10:30am – Breakfast and Presentation 
Presentation: Raina Cox & Eric Runner, Farrow & Ball Inc.
11:00am – 1:00pm – Lunch & CEU’S
Pullman Room at The LARK
11:15am- 12:00pm Speaker/CEU: Barry Cik, Naturepedic
“Flame Retardant in Home Furnishings”
12:00pm-12:45Pm Speaker/CEU: Guy Elston, Morris Tait Associates
“Disguise and Hide- Designing for Technology”
1:30 – 3:30pm – Montecito
William Laman, Furniture Garden Antiques
Elizabeth Ribons- Walking Antique Tour in Montecito
        The list of shops curated by Elizabeth Ribons can be download from http://www.mentormeresource.com/ when you provide your name and email.
4:00pm – 7:30pm – Tour of SBIFF The Riviera Theatre, and Movie
4:30 Speaker/: Shelby Fowler, Sherwin Williams
4:45 Speaker/: Leslie Delli-Venneri, Victoria + Albert
5:00 pm -7:30 Movie: RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsberg

The ‘Flat Stanley’ Project

In spring of 2017, I agreed to help my niece in Northern California with her ‘Flat Stanley’ project. For two weeks, I was to take Stanley to visit various places in Southern California. It was an interesting experience. Below is a list of places we visited. Yes, I took the assignment seriously.
Thursday, 4/6/17
Arrival (Chatsworth)
Saturday, 4/8/17
9301 Tampa Avenue, Northridge, CA 91324
Sunday, 4/9/17
300 E. Martilija Street, Ojai, CA 93023
KNEAD Baking Company
469 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai, CA 93023
Bart’s Bookstore (Ojai)
302 W. Martilija Street, Ojai, CA 93023

Waypoint Cafe at Camarillo Airport (Camarillo) http://www.thewaypointcafe.com/

740 Ventura Boulevard, Camarillo, CA
Gardens of the World (Thousand Oaks) http://www.gardensoftheworld.info/
2001 Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Thursday, 4/13/17
Belwood Bakery Cafe (Northridge) http://www.belwoodbakerycafe.com/
8735 Tampa Avenue, Northridge, CA 91324

Saturday, 4/15/17
Downtown Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
Little Tokyo
Union Station
El Pueblo
Olvera Street
Millennium Biltmore Hotel
Jewelry District

Sunday, 4/16/17
California State University, Northridge (Northridge) https://www.csun.edu/

Thursday, 4/20/17

The Way I Cook

I love eating! Eating and cooking come together in my life. Cooking to me is not a chore but a creative process that I enjoy. Cooking and eating involve all five senses.
I am not a gourmet cook. I don’t have any formal training in cooking. I didn’t start cooking until I left home for college. I cook for my own enjoyment with ingredients I can get. I believe cooking has many benefits:
  1. building a connection between the food and my body/mind. Knowing what is in my food and how the ingredients come together to become a dish, my body doesn’t experience ‘anxiety’.
  2. eating exactly what I want. I have certain preferences that no restaurant can accommodate. This is important for people with diet restrictions.
  3. good for the environment. I do feel guilty when I order take out, fast food, or taking home leftovers. All the packaging that I don’t use when I cook and eat at home.
  4. quality time with family and friends. Food brings people together.
  5. save money. I enjoy going out for good food with good service but it gets expensive. I invest in good quality cookware so I get better results.
Cooking does take time, but it is time well spent. My goals is encouraging people to cook more for and with their loved ones. Through sharing recipes, I hope to create an energy of happiness.

IMG_20160215_200224

9 dishes I made for Chinese New Year celebration with family.