Monday, October 6, 2014


I'm sitting here at work wearing a brand new pair of skinny jeans.  I stupidly bought them after a tiny boutique owner convincingly told me a size 29 was for me even after I asked her for a size 30.  She looked at me with a straight face and said everybody looks good in skinny jeans.  I expected the ceiling to fall in the second after she said those words, but it did not.  She explained that she could give me other type of jeans to try on, but I wouldn't look fashion forward.  So, due to my vanity/insecurity, I left the store with the Spanish inquisition torture-device jeans.  The truth is almost no one looks good in skinny jeans except 14 year-olds and exceptionally thin college girls.

Off topic, I think this is the best damn photo of actor John Cho ever taken.  Courtesy of The New Potato

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Becky G brings summer

A friend lamented to me she had no official song of summer.  My summer can be wrapped up in a tune by Ms. Becky G, called "Shower."  I like the beat and how the callback in the chorus reminds me of 80s tunes by Martika.  My runner-up song of summer would be "Boom Clap" by Charli XCX.  Talk about 80s!  Though I wish it was called "Boom Crash."  "Boom Clap" makes me think someone suddenly got gonorrhea.

You may be wondering why I posted "Becky from the Block" instead of "Shower."  The reasons are as follows:
  • "Becky from the Block" gets down.
  • It's filmed in Inglewood, California.
  • There's a surprise at the end.
  • "Shower" is a dull video (filmed in an Eichler) with repeated product placements for Cover Girl.  No likey.

To recap, my girl of summer is Becky G.  I like her spunk, her fashions, and how she reps Chicanas and Inglewood.  I hope she stays true to her roots, doesn't allow herself to become too overproduced, and lets her talent speak for itself.  The last time I hoped young talent would prosper it was Justin Bieber and we know how that turned out.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

What happened to A Very Young Dancer, Stephanie?

I've been watching the online episodes of Strictly Ballet on Teen Vogue.  I've never been a dancer (my Beijing opera teacher was particularly horrified by the clumsy way I move), but something about their culture fascinates me.  I appreciate how ballet is art come to life, and dancers' relentless drive to make their bodies do what they want.  In this vain, I loved the documentary about ballet students, First Position (2012) and the controversial Oscar winner, Black Swan (2010).

My first foray into the world of ballet came by way of Jill Krementz's photo essay book, A Very Young Dancer (1976).  The book follows Stephanie, a student at the School of American Ballet, as she practices and performs as Marie in The Nutcracker.  I repeatedly signed out the over-sized book from my school library and escaped into the romantic world of ballet in high energy New York City.  I always wondered what happened to Stephanie as an adult.

The New York Times tracked down Stephanie in 2011.  The former ballet student, now living in Wyoming, gave a candid interview about what followed A Very Young Dancer.  The article is a must-read for fans of Jill Krementz's photo essay book.

Photos via The New York Times (Lynn Donaldson), Delightful Children's Books, and Teen Vogue

Monday, August 25, 2014

Booties for your footsies

'I see booties!  They're rubber.  You can use them like galloshes, but they're easier to slip your feet into.  Make them strange looking enough that people will realize they're for private, in-home use, not to wear to the market.  Did I mention the feet holes must be extra large?  And what's great is when you're done cleaning you can cut a whole in the toes and use them as pipes.'

---The creator of Japanese cleaning booties (as imagined by Ajumma)

Bars, bars, bars

If a dessert represented your home state, what would it be?  I'm from Minnesota.  I say that s'mores and lemon bars generally represent the Land of 10,000 Lakes.  Slate Magazine disagrees (slightly).  Writer L.V. Anderson tasked herself with naming official desserts for all 35 states (15 of them already had them).  According to her, seven layer bars represent Minnesota don't cha know!  She may be right on this one.  Seven layer bars made appearances at every church event, funeral, holiday party, and potluck I attended growing up in the ice box state.  Apparently Germans and Scandinavian Americans love the combination of chocolate chips and coconut.

Illustration by Jess Fink

Friday, August 22, 2014

Daniel, Emma, and Rupert

Photo via Business Insider

* Origami wall flowers *

We get keys to our new, one bedroom apartment tomorrow.  I've been freaking out about how we'll fit all of our stuff into the space.  While it has more cupboard space in the kitchen than our current abode, it's sorely lacking in closets.  (Plus we found a guinea pig dumped on the grass a few weeks ago, which means we now have a gigantic cage on IKEA tables, a plastic bin full of hay and pellets, a stockpile of polar fleece, and (truly the piece de resistance) a full size plastic trash can for her refuse.)  I wonder where the hell we're going to put her items, plus our books, coolers, ironing board, mini Christmas tree, box of ornaments, framed art, my husband's office furniture, electronics, volleyball net, and his knick knacks from his Army days.  But, I digress. 

Every wall in our new apartment is white.  I'd like to spruce things up with adhesive wall decals.  I am thinking of buying origami wall flowers by MyVinilo USA.  They remind me of a Korean bojagi pattern.  I can even select my own custom colors!

Previously on Ajumma's Pad
Bojagi mania
We sold our house!
Before and after: Ajumma's kitchen

How to say "ukulele"

Right way to say ukulele: OO-KOO-LEH-LEH
Wrong way to say ukulele: yoo-koo-lay-lee

We Americans have really mucked up the word ukulele, like like how we call karaoke CARRIE OKIE.

Previously on Ajumma's Pad

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hoosier kitchens appeal to the clean freak in me

In the 1920s and 30s, Hoosier cabinets helped homeowners (read: the woman of the house) to stay organized in the kitchen.  Everything was off the floor allowing easy sweeping and mopping.  (I get a serious case of the willies thinking about spaces under modern-day stoves and refrigerators.)  My dad uses a Hoosier cabinet base and table in his art studio.  Someday I hope to inherit these pieces.

Previously at The Pad: I'd totally live here: Bluff Park
I'd totally live here: Hong Kong
I'd totally live here: Ortega-Vigare adobe
Heck yeah, I'd live here: Echo Park

Other home features:
Newport Beach cottage makeover
Neutra home my idea of heaven
San Diego Cinderella home for sale
One house, three exteriors
Venice home restaged, back on market
Dream midcentury house: 1966 post and beam
Report: Lee Snijders at Home & Garden show 

Photos courtesy of 1924 Hoosier Kitchen, PR Log, Live Auctioneers, Etsy blog, Pinterest, and Gallery Hip

♥ Daniel Henney, animal advocate ♥

World news has been utterly depressing lately.  A bright spot is Daniel Henney's support of animal adoption and spaying and neutering of pets via PETA.  Thank you, Daniel Henney.  Aja, aja fighting!