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Home Sweet Hong Kong

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We are home!


No we don't actually live in Sleeping Beauty Castle at Hong Kong Disneyland, but we did spend a month at the Disney Explorers Lodge while waiting for our household goods to arrive in Hong Kong! My husband immediately began work on some of the exciting expansions coming to Hong Kong Disneyland and the boys and I enjoyed summer to its fullest (spoiler alert, today was the third day of school so buh-bye summer!). 
We are all settled into our new flat, the last two boxes were unpacked yesterday (record time!) though we are still figuring out where to put everything... Our home in Shanghai was twice the size (and half the price) as our home here in Hong Kong. That's what you get when you live in a tiny country where the only way to get more space is to build straight up into the sky! Our flat is actually pretty big by Hong Kong standards to be honest. We live on one of the islands where there is some room to breathe and we have the South China Sea as our front yard and…

Ode to a Shanghai Sofa

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When my Mama was growing up, the walls in her home were a riot of noisy color. Mustard yellow, avocado green, deep crimson. And though my Mama is an artist, she found the colors to be dark and oppressive. She dreamt of a quiet, peaceful home with pale white walls where her furniture and art could be the focus. 

When I was growing up, the walls in my home were white. White, white, white, every room, every wall. My little brother and I wore my Mama down when we were in the 4th and 5th grades, and my brother got one wall painted the palest of blue in his room, and I got the palest of creamy yellow painted on a single wall in mine. It was barely satisfying though... I daydreamed of a home with walls dressed in a riot of noisy color. 
At age 18 I moved from the family home into a tiny bachelor apartment, and then got married at 21. In our almost 21 years of marriage, we have never yet owned our own home. Which means I've lived the entirety of my adult life with Rental White walls. Some…

Wandering, Again (Finally!)

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BIG NEWS: 

Our Five Year Shanghai-versary is just a few weeks away! This is a huuuuge record for us, since becoming Mr & Mrs over two decades ago, my husband and I have never before lived in one city (or country!) for five consecutive years. 
But considering there are five of us in our little family, it seemed like five years is a good solid number of completion. Soooo after much thought and deliberation, we decided it was time to say goodbye to Shanghai and move home! 
BUT... Where is home, when you've moved fourteen times between five countries in twenty-one years of marriage? 
Is home a place you were born but have no memory of living, as America is to Benjamin, our youngest son? 
Is it one of a dozen places you've lived and loved and created family out of friends, people who are closer than any actual relative because of the crazy life you've walked through together?
We left it up to the littlest member of our family to decide where to go. And with great furry enthusiasm…

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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Can I tell you a secret? Though if you knew me in my childhood or in America, it is perhaps not such a secret. I'm terrible at keeping a space, any space, tidy. While plenty of people share design secrets about "less is more," my life motto since birth has been MORE IS MORE. Why settle for less? In childhood I had the messiest room of anyone I knew. And it was partially because I had more stuff than anyone I knew (I collected a lot of things. One thing was plush monkeys. You can read about that here).

A big part of my problem is that I am incredibly sentimental. If I were an actress and had to cry on cue, I could do it like a pro because just looking at something I treasure can start the waterworks. There's something about the way my memories are tied to tangible stuff that makes me want to hang onto everything. And if you ever come to my home, you'll see there isn't a single item in it that doesn't have a story attached to it. (If you do come over, you&…

Imagine

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Timely. Thank you, Pentatonix.

A Bookish New Year!

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Happy New Year from Shanghai! Ours was completely low key. We had a friend over and made my traditional New Years Eve Loaded Baked Potato Soup (recipe here) while watching an animated film none of us have ever heard of previously called Kubo and the Two Strings. Evidently it came out last summer everywhere else in the world, but is just now making its way to China. It was strange and unique and fantastic, and if you didn't see it and want a treat for the eyes and mind, check it out!
I never really do New Year's Resolutions. They are weird and silly and don't really work. In the past I've set more of an intention or a goal and have pretty much been wildly successful with those. This year I'm writing a LOT, working on a book of my own. So I decided to set a goal of that has to do with books, creating a 52 Weeks, 52 Books Challenge. I read every day, and I read very quickly, so it's not going to be a huge difficulty (I hope). It's only January 3rd and I'v…

Merry Christmas from Shanghai Disneyland!

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This festive greeting was over four years in the making!

Christmas cards are a big deal for me. Though we move a lot, our annual Christmas card is one way I can keep in touch with people all over the world that I don't get to see very often. We do one every year, and it occupies my thoughts throughout the year as we travel or have big family moments. Instead of a thousand words, I try to figure out what photo can tell the story of our family's year. 
We moved to Shanghai, China from Macau in spring of 2012 when my husband took on a project opening Disney's newest theme park, Shanghai Disneyland. The minute he signed his contract, I had a vision of this Christmas card. Each year as an opening date was not yet announced, I'd think, "Okay, maybe next year will be our Shanghai Disneyland Christmas Card!" When they finally announced the opening date of June 16, 2016, I knew the card I'd been waiting for was finally going to happen. Christmas card in mind, we t…