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Foreign Creatures

thoughts

We bought a Poke Shop!

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Here's the story of how we bought a poke and boba shop called Snociety Urban Eatery in Little Tokyo and how all of this happened in 3 days! One Friday we found out that our family member was planning to sell the poke shop. They offered it to us but we said no because we had no interest in being restaurant owners nor did we know anything about it. BUT THEN my parents talked to us about how it's a great opportunity and they crunched some numbers for us to see. And on Saturday night, we were like okay maybe we should do this. (Everything also made sense. It wasn't just because my parents that we decided to do this.) Then Sunday we prayed about it and Monday morning we decided YES. We needed to make the decision quick or else the shop would've been sold to someone else. So that Monday I had to tell my boss that that week will have to be my last week with the company.

Here are 3 reasons why we decided to take on a poke shop and call ourselves restaurant owners!

  1. The opportunity was there - the shop's Yelp reviews were good, people liked the food, everything was set in place. We just had to survive. And will we?
  2. It's been hard waiting to adopt and we needed to do something BIG to keep our minds off of kids. We figured owning a shop will definitely help us with that.
  3. We love poke, boba, Little Tokyo, and Japan. The Saturday my parents talked to us about the shop, was the same day Aaron and I had our Japanese Day Date. On those dates, we would go to Little Tokyo to eat ramen for lunch and then pick up sashimi at the Japanese market and eat it for dinner at home while watching a movie, which ends up being a Marvel movie. Was it meant to be?

It's been about 3 months since we owned the shop and a lot of things have changed. I'll be posting before and after photos and many many challenges and joys of being a restaurant owner. So many things to share! Aaron and I could not have done it without our parents, family, and friends support. We've had so many visitors and we feel so loved every time a familiar face opens our door. It's been a joy and I am thrilled to serve our family and friends in this way.

Let's Be Open

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This year has been insane. Or maybe that's just the nature of Aaron and me. So let me just let it out and tell you what's going on. I'll explain more in future posts but here's what's been happening since our Paris trip.

  1. Aaron and I are planning to adopt
  2. Aaron and I were almost matched with a child but the adoption plan didn't go through. We we're sad to say the least
  3. I quit my job as a full-time graphic designer at a corporate company, where I've been working at for almost 4 years
  4. Aaron and I opened a poke shop
  5. Our guestroom's custom bookshelf is finally done

I'm pretty proud of #5 btw. Is this God's plan for us? We shall see.

My Current Priorities

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February has been a busy month for Aaron and I. Beginning of January I got pretty stressed about all the things I had to do. So Aaron helped me make a list of my priorities. I'm not saying I rather do one than the other but if you gave me a task in each category, I would do it in this order.

  1. Family
    This involves household stuff and spending time with family. Household stuff like cleaning the house and making sure we have lunch and dinner food prep. Seems like this shouldn't be my main priority but keeping a home organized keeps me sane and it's a way that I can serve my husband.
  2. Aaron
    Aaron and I have been Disney Annual Passholders ever since we were dating and Disneyland and Disney California Adventure has been our go to dating spot since. It's a good time for us to be together, stay creative, and have a good break.
  3. Church
    I teach Sunday school every 4 weeks, attend our young adult group on Thursdays, counsel 5th grade girls on Friday nights, have small group once a month on Saturdays, and just go to church to learn about God and to worship with others. I'm committed to our church and I love it. We've been praying if we should stop serving in some of the ministries but as for now we want to keep going.
  4. Work
    This means my actual full-time job as a graphic designer. This might not be considered a priority since it's something I have to do anyway. But I would put it here.
  5. Freelance
    I focus on my paid freelance work first and then I'll do my unpaid ones. I would work on freelance after dinner or go to a coffee shop on the weekend to finish up my work. I love freelance work and wish I could make it a higher priority but that's just not doable right now.
  6. Blogging
    I only blog twice a week and that's still a bit tough for me. I want to create quality content, which takes me about 1 hour to 4 hours to create/write. It's been getting harder to blog twice a week since this blog isn't my main priority. Sounds so negative! But looking at this list it makes sense right?
  7. Designing for church
    We're updating our church since it's been 30 years since we did anything major to it exteriorly, interiorly, and now digitally. I'm excited to design for our church but it has been real slow progress :(

All of these things are exciting but it's just about balancing my time and being wise on what to take on and to say no to.

Things are still on the wild side but without God and the support from Aaron, I don't know how I'm beasting through everything right now. And I still got the chance to relax over the weekend and show binge. God has really given us time to just relax in the midst of all this.

#GOALS

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I am very excited for this year! Aaron and I have a lot of fun plans ahead and I look forward to sharing our plans with you all here. Here are my #goals for this year.

Listen to audio books and podcasts
Since graduating college, I've been slacking off in all things reading and learning. So I really need to step it up this year. But I'm just going to start off with listening to books. I've never been much of a reader but I'm hoping to get thru listening to the whole Harry Potter series this year. Seems like one of those books everyone needs to read right?

Aaron is really good at listening to podcasts when he's driving and I want to do the same. I've been listening to NPR on my way to work but I want to include podcasts like The Briefing, Ask Pastor John, Serial, and some other fun podcast during my commute.

Eat smart
Towards the end of 2015, Aaron and I have been getting sick. Unfortunately, one of my sickness was due to inhaling too much spray paint. Whatever the case, Aaron and I vowed less consumption of fast food and more acai bowls and salmon. Because they are both really tasty, why not eat something you love?

Finish furnishing and decorating
It's time to get control of our home. We've been moving very slowly in our home and we're tired of the slow pace. So we're speeding it up and getting our furnishing and decorating in order.

Give
We don't need a lot and we're resolving to keep it that way and to live life simple. And a part of that is using the money God has blessed us with for others - whether it is through design and music, service, or monetary giving.

Create
Since moving in, we've realized how much STUFF we collected. We just have way too much stuff. The good thing about this STUFF is that we can get rid of it with intention. A lot of the things I own are craft supplies that can be used and given away as gifts. You'll see more of those things on the blog.

Cleaning Up

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After our walk through we cleaned the house everywhere! Just kidding...I wish. We did clean our floors, cabinets, counters, windows, and all our clothes though - which I felt was the biggest accomplishment. It took many loads but it feels so good. I highly recommend washing all your clothes when moving especially since clothes collect a lot of dust. And once you put your dirty clothes up to hang it's game over.

There were some grout and other dirty stuff on our counters. So to get rid of that we used a razor and slid it across. It's great because it doesn't scratch our granite tops.

Walk-through

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Before moving in we did a walk-through of the condo to make sure things were in order and to see if there's anything that needed to be fixed. Not everything can be fixed and not everything will be perfect so I didn't want to expect too much. You know when you buy a shirt and you make sure there's no stray thread? No problem cause you just grab another shirt until you find no flaws! Not the case here.

Before we started the walk-through I bought this pretty tape. It makes taping things a lot more fun. Aaron and I walked around the condo and taped anything and everything we saw - dents, missing paint, floor molding mishaps, missing grout, smoothness of door...anythinggggg. We were picky and we knew not everything will be fixed by the builders but at least we can remember to fix it ourselves.

We also checked every electrical plug to make sure they were working.

And we opened all drawers to make sure it was working properly.

GUYS GUYS it's been crazy

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We moved our bodies in 3 Fridays ago and it's a mess! Oh boy has it been a mess. But we've made some good progress. BUT FIRST! Let me catch you guys up. After we packed, we returned our keys to our first apartment as a married couple. Reminds me of the last episode of Friends. Nostalgia. Except I'm happy.

Tips for Packing

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We are very slow to pack. I thought we were going at a good pace but the night before we had to move, I didn't think we could finish on time. My parents helped us pack and we just stuffed boxes and threw away a lot of things. Yay to buying new things though! Here are some tips I've gathered. Half of these I didn't do and wish I did.

  1. Buy boxes - don't be frugal. Home Depot sells mediums boxes for under $2. I collected Amazon boxes for 4 months thinking that it would be enough. But it wasn't enough and the boxes just cluttered our apartment.
  2. Label boxes - top and all sides. When you move, you stack the boxes so it's hard to tell what it's in each box. We labeled our boxes with who it belonged to, what's in the box, and what room it should go in.
  3. Bag of cleaning supplies - we set aside these things so that we can clean our home before we unpack our belongings.
  4. Bag of food supplies and utensils - essential for those long hours of moving.
  5. Week's worth of clothes - after packing all our clothes, it just becomes a hassle to have to sort through boxes to find your clothes.
  6. Hire movers - the best tip I can give. We still moved a bit but this took a lot of stress away. We didn't strain our backs and we just directed the movers to move the boxes where they should go. All of our stuff were moved safely too. It took about 7 hours total.

After moving all our things I wanted to call it quits and never move again. From packing to finally moving things, it becomes a hassle. I'm just excited that we're done with that part. Now to unpacking!