Budget Boho Graduation Picnic

Over the weekend, I threw my first-ever surprise graduation picnic for my close girlfriends, and it was so much fun! We ate, fellowshipped, played graduation-themed games, and ate some more. I'm going to show you exactly how I threw this party for under $150! It takes quite a bit of resourcefulness, but it's worth it. :) You'll also find hilarious graduation games and decor in here as well. Feel free to take all the ideas! I want to see what you come up with!! ^_^

Fun facts:

  • I actually deconstructed my wooden pallet bed to make this long picnic table
  • The sticks were originally for my macrames :D
  • The blankets, bottles, and florals were borrowed from my church!
  • The plates and utensils were from Target
  • The platters were from Dollar Tree
  • Finally, the incredible cupcakes were from SerendipityCupcakesCA.com!

My crew (consisting of Emily and Natalie) and I immediately got to work by setting up all the decor as we saw fit. The boho tent maneuver was a total last-minute decision! Since this was a party for close friends, we had the liberty to improvise on the spot. And, honestly, that was the best part of decorating!

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Kristy from Serendipity Cupcakes did such an amazing job!! They were absolutely delicious and fit the theme perfectly! I highly recommend her online cupcakery. You won't be disappointed!

Meet Emily, one of the sweethearts who helped me set up! ^_^

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I got this graduation dessert table idea straight off of Pinterest, and it worked perfectly! Just get Nerds, Ring Pops, gummy worms, and Smarties, and label them Nerds, Class Rings, Book Worms, and Smarty Pants! They were a hit!

Here is the finished product!! ^__^ YAY!

Sasa said a prayer for the graduates before we started devouring the food! God is SO faithful and gracious, indeed!

Time to dig in! ^_^

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The photo above was the table setting before people brought their dishes (it was a potluck). Below is what it looked like during our meal:

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Yummyyy

Meet Maya, one of my very best friends! I love her oh so much!

Here I am with my four beautiful graduates!!

Another unplanned success: my friend brought all THREE of his puppers to the picnic! It was doggo heaven!! Btw, thank you to EcoWish for the comfy tropical romper. It was the perfect outfit for this occasion!

LOL! Everyone was busy taking pictures until this adorable scene stopped us in our tracks! All cameras were pointed towards one direction, and one direction only!

So adorable, right? x)

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"What a lucky boy!" we kept saying. It turned out that his name really was Lucky!

After lunch was GAME TIME!!! The first game was called Graduation Fashion. I broke them up into teams with each graduate as a team leader, and each team received two black trash bags, one slab of cardboard, tape, and scissors. The objective was to create the most beautiful cap and gown in ten minutes. They would be judged based on their cap and gown design, runway walk, and theme. 

And I've gotta say, a few of the competitive boys here were quite the fashion designer! LOL! 

Oh yes - they were also allowed to use all the resources in the vicinity, so here's Brandon fighting off other team members for resources:

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I thought this game was pretty awesome because you get to dress up the people you're celebrating in trash bags, and they liked it! In fact, they're trying to OUTDO one another in trashiness! It's hilarious. Just watch the final runway show below:

The next three games were combined into one competition for the ultimate prize: a $50 Sephora giftcard. Bwahahah! During the first round, they had to blow mini marshmallows into a tiny bucket (pictured below). That round was called "Shoot for the Stars." After all team members completed that challenge, they got to move onto the next round, which was de-scrambling letters to form the intended sentence. It's kind of like hang man, except you only get one hint: a word from the phrase. The phrase was, "A piece of advice." 

Finally, once the team completes the second round, they can move on to the final round, which was fairly easy. I didn't take any pictures at this point because I was so hyper, but each team member had to balance a book on their heads and complete an obstacle course. For us, there were no obstacle courses and I forgot to bring the books, so we used the candy buckets instead. Hah!

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Well, that concludes our awesome adventure! Here are a few of my mains:

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Was  this post helpful? If so, let me know in the comments below! If you have some other fun, grad-themed ideas, feel free to share them as well! ^_^


Check out Serendipity Cupcakes for your next special event! They are absolutely delicious and Kristy delivers them to wherever you are!

You can purchase the EcoWish tropical romper here

Impressing My Flower-Hating Mom with Fresh Cut Flowers

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Alright, ya'll. Every year during Mother's Day season, I'm always stumped because I've never been able to give this woman a gift that she wants. One time, I got her a $400 Tory Burch handbag and I got in trouble for spending so much money. Like, legit TROUBLE! She yelled at me and everything! πŸ˜‚  Another year, I got her flowers and she ridiculed them to DEATH! Yeah, they died pretty soon after I bought them because of all the rejection, lol! So, we usually just go eat together on Mother's Day and I simply make her a nice card. 

However, this year, a floral company decided to rise to the challenge and deliver flowers to my mom. The florals looked ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS online but I was still nervous as to how my flower-hating mom would receive it. Below, you'll see what the box looked like when it arrived. "Drumroll please" was right! *Fingers crossed*

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Right away, I noticed the details on the packaging. It said, "Get me out of here!" and a handful of other cute slogans on the side - lol! I've never seen a floral company put so much thought into their packaging before! I was starting to feel really excited at this point, because if the packaging is this good, how beautiful must the flowers be?!

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...AND I WAS RIGHT!!! Ugh. How GORGEOUS are these?!?! The violet calla lilies added such an understated elegance to the bouquet. I had a really good feeling about this because violet is my mom's favorite color and she has quite an understated style. This charming little bouquet was perfect!! 

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The "Calla Back Girl!" bouquet is a mixture of seasonal calla lilies, white snapdragons, and some purple pom pom mums (try saying that ten times)!

This was looking fine and perfect, but all that was going through my mind was, "How is she going to receive it..!?!? This anti-floral mother of mine!?!?"

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...Well, based on this picture, you can probably guess that she received it well. 😌  In fact, she loved it! I know-- I was quite stunned myself!! Just look at her sweet expression:

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This is my MOTHER, you guys. The one who complains when people buy her handbags and get angry when people buy her flowers. She LOVED these. She said she'd never seen the violet calla lilies before. It was so heartwarming!!

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πŸ’–πŸ’–πŸ’–

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She actually loved it so much that she wanted Jesus to have it LOOOL! But then I told her to take it down and put it in a vase because it will die on the altar Β―\_(ツ)_/Β― 

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All of this was made possible by the AMAZING floral delivery service called BloomThatThey completely exceeded my expectations and gave my mom the most beautiful bundle of flowers I could ever hope for. Honestly, one of the best (if not, the best) floral delivery services I've ever tried. I highly recommend that you order from them this Mother's Day! Here's a generous coupon code for ya'll to use:

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I hope you enjoyed this post! I feel like my mom and I bonded a little more after this sweet surprise. May you all have a blessed Mother's Day, and may your moms be ENAMORED by the flowers you give her via BloomThat!

Realistic Faux Plants for Plant Killers

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Disclaimer: I'm not a plant killer, but I'm surrounded by them. They lurk around every corner of my life, destroying each plant they touch with their yellow thumbs and hiding their regretful mistakes behind guilty smiles. But plant killers aren't evil. They don't have the intent to destroy. On the contrary, they try very hard to sustain life. It's like a tragic real-life King Midas situation.

I have plenty of funny horror stories to share with you, such as the time when my sister babysat a fern and left it in the sun. She came back to crispy fern chips because the heat literally fried it. There isn't much to say about faux plants, so I'll sprinkle these horror stories throughout. You'll find where I buy all my plants at the bottom of the post, but I can't imagine why you'd skip all my fantastic stories to get to the point... πŸ˜‚  Jk, I'll sprinkle them throughout the post as well. I love you guys.

Okay, let's get started with the formalities. Why did I get faux plants if I'm not a plant killer? Simple: it's less work. In fact, there's almost no work involved at all. You just unwrap the plants from its packaging and stick it in a planter. There's no need to put it in the sun everyday and worry about it when you're gone. It's like having a stuffed animal rather than an actual pet; you get to take cute photos with it and not worry about feeding it or taking it to go poo. You get the point.

I take pride in my fake plants because they've been nothing but a joy to work with. If you're a plant killer, take pride in buying faux plants. You're helping the planet by killing one less living organism. Alright, so let's talk about which faux plants look best for your space. If you have a modern bohemian space like mine, then hanging plants and succulents will do just fine. Also, don't forget about the much-loved fiddle leaf fig! 

I got my beautiful fiddle leaf fig from Target and my potted monstera from Michaels, although I can't find it on Michael's website :/. The fiddle leaf is still at Target, though! I highly recommend!!

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If you prefer a more sleek look, I'd recommend these faux plants:

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My mom is actually a natural-born plant killer, but through sheer determination, she overcame her curse and now gardens for fun. Her roots began as a child. She tried to grow some veggies but it wouldn't sprout, even in the rich tropical soil of Vietnam. Her stepmother tried to grow the same vegetables and it sprouted right away. They had enough of a harvest to make several pickled dishes. Being the curious child that she was, my mom reached inside one of the pickling jars for a taste of the vegetables and yes, it spoiled the very next day. Those veggies died twice.

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If shaggy/jungly is your thing, give these charming guys a try:

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My dad was an agricultural engineer in Vietnam (a fancy farmer, if you will). It was actually hard for plants to not grow on his watch. He was a beast at farming. So, naturally, many businessmen from overseas would contact him for consultations and farming projects. Once, two men from China insisted that my dad would teach them how to grow a mysterious herb. They said that the herb required such meticulous care that it was impossible for them to grow on their own. My dad took up the challenge and before long, we had acres of those mysterious plants sprouting on our soil. Well, it turned out to be weed, and my dad dropped the project as soon as he found out. Someone else bought the land from us and managed to kill all the sprouts within a matter of weeks. LOL! The ultimate plant killer.

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Well, that's all I have for you today! I hope you enjoyed the photos, stories, and plant recommendations :). Take pride in your faux plants! Until next time ❀

DIY New Years Party (Ombre Balloon Wall, Pipe Cleaner Crowns, Wreaths, etc)

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Since I wasn't in the country during New Years, I decided to celebrate with my girls a little later than usual... but the party turned out to be everything I imagined and more! We designed our own wreaths, made custom crowns out of gold pipe cleaners, and took photos with a DIY ombre balloon backdrop that I made the night before. It was so much fun!

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This wall hanging is a part of my new collection, soon to come to the shop! Fun fact: I made cake for the party, but it MELTED?! So I opted for chocolate cookies instead. They were a great hit! However, since when do cakes melt? Mine started oozing from the bottom. Hmm..

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Thanks to Pinterest, I got major inspo for my rustic table decor!

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I made this ombre balloon wall out of cheap, clear tape. The trick is to tape most of the balloons to each other-- not to the wall. :) Only select a few large balloons to tape directly to the wall. You'll save yourself SO much time! I finished this whole thing in 2 hours. Here's the amazing little machine that helped me blow up all 80 balloons in about 5 minutes (not kidding):

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After eating for a bit, we dove straight into arts & crafts time! I provided the wreath materials for the girls and we customized it ourselves. My dog, Gus, was pretty enamored by all the pretty girls in the room. He just couldn't get enough of them!

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...So much so that he fell asleep right in the MIDDLE of our pile of materials. Silly boy!

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Here's a list of the materials I bought for this DIY:

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In addition to wreaths, we also made our own crowns using gold pipe cleaners. I lovee seeing everyone's different take on their crafts! Btw, in the picture below, Maya looks like she has a missing tooth because of the berry. LOL!

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We had a great time evaluating each other's designs, LOL! Mine was a sunflower, Emily was the pope, Christy was the Queen of Abstract, and Sasa was the ice queen "Elsasa."

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And here are our awesome wreaths! Look how unique and beautiful they all are!

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I kept mine pretty basic, but I'm quite happy with how it turned out!

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Take a look at ms. Evelyn's gorgeous design!

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My friends are the best!

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And then my mom dropped in unexpectedly with this HNY hat she miraculously found somewhere around the house! What a joy!

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If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share it with your friends or give it a thumbs up! Have you ever thrown a DIY/Pinterest-y New Year's party with your friends? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below! 

My Complete Room Transformation (On One Paycheck)

Realizing that I would probably be living with my mama for a while, I decided to give my bedroom a complete makeover so I would look forward to coming home everyday :). I used to just view my bedroom as a place to sleep, but now it's my sanctuary! It's still far from being done, but this is pretty satisfactory methinks. One big thing I learned from my research is that wallpaper makes a huge difference. We're talking YUGEEE. If you're looking for a complete transformation, opt for peel-and-stick wallpaper. They're so forgiving towards mistakes and they look absolutely amazing!

I did this all in 3 weeks flat on one paycheck's worth of renovations. I sold my queen sized bed, my table, and a bunch of other furniture and trinkets to make up for the extra costs. It worked out perfectly!

Here's what it looked like before:

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Here's what it looked like after:

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What a difference!! My room looks so much cleaner and roomier. I bought the gorgeous watercolor cacti wallpaper on Etsy, via Dominika. Check out her shop because she has some excellent quality and gorgeous wallpaper! 

I think my favorite spot in the room has got to be that single-person hammock. It's my personal reading space. After coming home from work, I just light a candle and snuggle up on my hammock with a good book for hours. I bought the hammock on Etsy, but I made that little crate bookshelf myself! :) Tutorial coming soon! 

Let's take a look at the other walls!

Before:

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After:

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I made the pompom blanket, tassel blanket, wooden pallet bed, and hanging macrame within those three weeks, and guess what?! They are available for purchase right here! :) More variations of handmade macrames and tassel blankets will be available soon!

Before:

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After:

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This macrame was also handmade and is available right now on my shop

If you enjoyed my room transformation, feel free to leave a comment below! I'd love to hear your thoughts! 

These were some of the main items I bought:

How To Recreate This Room For Under $350

When I first moved into my Pasadena studio, I researched like a maniac to see what inspires me the most in terms of interior design. I stumbled upon design blogs of all styles-- modern, minimalistic, traditional, bohemian-- you name it! Of course, the style that resonated with me the most was bohemian. I love the freedom of weaving all sorts of textures and patterns together to make a truly unique look. This style feels so unlimited, and it encourages me to add more things in tiny spaces! I'm also a plant hoarder, so this is perfect. If you enjoy my (amateur) sense of decor and found the inspiration to re-do your room, then I hope this article will get you one step closer to recreating your very own masterpiece! Trust me, you don't have to be a professional to get a sense of design. If you love a certain look, then feel free to explore it! Like my #1 inspiration told me in the beginning of my journey, "A perfectly curated room takes time." Don't buy everything at once. Take your time, find out what you love, and you'll see that everything will gradually fall into place!

1. Oriental Rug - $49.99

The VALLΓ–BY rug from IKEA is definitely a winner for me. Most oriental rugs this size costs much more than $49.99.. We're talking about a thousand dollar difference! Yet, with only fifty bucks, you can find something equally majestic and have some money left over for more goodies. You can buy the rug here.

2. White Birds of Paradise Plant - $19.98

Those who follow me on Instagram might know that I've affectionately named my Birds of Paradise, "Horace." Horace has been with us since we moved into this cozy apartment last year, and he has been thriving in this space ever since. He has always brightened up our mornings. Everyone needs a Horace. Get yourself a Horace today by clicking here. Having plants in your home will also help filter the air and boost your health, so the more plants you have, the better! The fiddle leaf fig and the snake plants are also in style right now. They seem to be present in almost every boho room that I see, and for good reason. They're absolutely wonderful!

3. Moroccan Throw Pillows - $4.98 Each

I am obsessed with Moroccan patterns, especially when they come in cobalt and white. Make your couch look happier by purchasing one or two of these beauties here

4. Modern Accent Table - $49

I would actually love to have this metal accent table, but I got my accent stool for $19.99 so I can't really complain. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the exact replica of my stool but here is an expensive alternative for those who are crazy about it. This is also a fun little accent piece.

5. Boho Wall Hanging - $30-$40

Ever since I discovered the existence of the macrame through my casual design research, I was immediately hooked. It blew my mind how this simple piece of art could transform a room entirely. With the macrame, my walls instantly look more interesting and visually appealing. You can purchase my handmade macrames hereEvery piece is one of a kind and made with absolute integrity, so you can be sure that no one else will have the exact same piece of art hanging on their walls. Have fun shopping! :)

6. Crates Coffee Table - $13.99 Each crate

I noticed that quite a bit of comments revolved around my coffee table, which, I'm convinced, was the easiest DIY project on planet Earth. Here is where you can get these crates, and here is how you can make the table yourself!

7. Floor Lamp - $95

This is the exact floor lamp that I have in my living room. It is so worth the investment! Lighting is the key element to set the mood in any room. I just happen to adore overhanging floor lamps. You can purchase your own by clicking here!


Well, those are all the major components to recreating my studio. I truly hope it helped you in your journey to curating your own creative space! I know that there were a few items I didn't mention, so if you want to know where I got certain things, feel free to ask me personally or in the comments below! Thank you for reading! :)