happy terrific two

today is my 2 year anniversary of blogging. 

first of all, i want to say thank you for reading my blog. and all of its randomness. 

i have enjoyed meeting as many of you as i can (via blog comments, emails, facebook, instagram, etc…). i have enjoyed reading your blogs. i have enjoyed trying your recipes and experiencing your life through your stories. i have enjoyed reading about ingredients i don’t even like, and have not “enjoyed” reading about your dating woes and disasters. but you are all fantastic writers, and that’s what keeps me reading. 

there’s nothing sophisticated or themed about my blog. it’s just a bunch of random experiences that i want to share. 

and with that said, stay tuned for more random experiences that i will still be sharing!

may you all have a fantastic week. =)

xoxo,

sierra lei

 

images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

january 19, 2012

ugh!!!! i’ve been so busy lately!!!!

where do i start!?

love life: 

so after my first date on january 6, i went on a lunch date with R (because i couldn’t think of a nickname, i’m just using a letter for now…haha) that following monday. we had sushi buffet. =) i was happy. things have been going great since then. i’ve been terribly busy so that was the last time i saw R, but it’s okay. i use other ways to communicate with him-we talk on the phone, text, and i shoot him emails often to let him know how my day has been. he’s real sweet. i think this would be the time in which girls ask themselves, “hmm…what IS bad about him? is there something on the other side? there has to be something.” nah, i’m not gonna look or try and figure that out. i’m not out to look for the bad in people. i don’t have time for that, and my first few weeks of the year have been GREAT, so why ruin it? =) he’s REALLY, REALLY sweet…like, “no, sierra, you better not be playing taylor swift over and over again” sweet. okay, enough of this mush…but hopefully, i’ll get to see him tomorrow. =)

moving along….

work life: 

work has been great. this week was inventory week and it’s finally over. when i think of inventory week, i think of all of us getting together, which is very rare, so it was fun. here are some pictures of more gorgeous NIQUEA.D jewelry. the bracelets are new. swarovski crystals. UUUUUUUUGH, SOOOOOOO PRETTTTTTYYYYY!!!! i want THEM ALL!!! and the rings are amazing.

 

my life: 

there are 7 days left until i turn 30. where did my 20s go? to texas. this year marks my 10th year here in dallas, texas. i love it. i’ve definitely enjoyed my 20s. they were spent discovering texas, driving through cities, making new friends, going to new places, meeting and loving my nephew, going to school and working, finding hobbies and passions, reading good books, eating good food, tasting bad alcohol, and breaking hearts. i was half joking on the last one.

i’m very excited for what my 30s have in store for me! =)

my nephew did very well in kindergarten, so he did not fail to remind “aunty ra ra” to give him a prize:

 

on the way home from spending too much money on whatever those things are, i drove by a field that looked great for pictures. the grass was almost all dead, there were no leaves on the trees, the sky looked nice, and the weather was great. i thought, “man…punkin would be great to take pictures of in that field.” and so i did take some pictures….if you consider 92 pictures “some.”

this first picture was just a test shot and it turned out great:

 

out of the other 91, here were some of my favorites. i usually need help from someone to get my nephew to look off in the distance, so i used my sister for that. there were a lot of “look at mommy!” and “look at the cars!” so i could capture some good photos. none of these photos were edited. he just looks that awesome. haha.

 

it was a fun little photo session. =) i’m glad my nephew loves getting his pictures taken or i’d be in big trouble! he’s so much fun to photograph. ❤

 

this week, i made 4 dozen cupcakes. my friend (who is also on my pool/billiards team) asked me to make birthday cupcakes for her husband and have them north carolina tarheels themed. all i knew about north carolina was “baby blue and white.” because i was so busy, i never got a chance to practice my piping skills, but i think they turned out pretty good…my friend’s husband was super happy for them…and even more pleased that he got to take them home. usually, when i make cupcakes and bring them to my pool league, they vanish…so what i did was make 2 dozen for him and 2 dozen for the people at pool league.

 

 

i would much rather pipe icing from a ziplock bag than a tip. i don’t seem to have as much control on the icing when i use a tip and i’m piping tiny letters. i think my lettering is pretty alright. the other 2 dozen cupcakes were just strawberry with a banana cream pudding/cool whip topping.

 

the great thing about a pudding/cool whip topping is that there’s not much sugar and it’s lighter. i found the recipe somewhere on the internet and was obsessed…because i hate sugar icing!! i wanted to do a take on strawberry and bananas. everyone seemed to enjoy the cupcakes, they kinda just disappeared. the picture doesn’t look spectacular because i was running late for pool league and i just squeezed the topping on before heading out the door.

next week, i will be working on baby shower cupcakes. i took a picture of a photo i saw on google images from my phone, so it’s not all that clear, but this photo is going to be somewhat of my inspiration for the cupcakes:

the colors will be baby blue, light green, and yellow. i won’t be doing the little baby cupcake there, with the head. i just want the decorations cute and simple, and something that wouldn’t take an entire day to make. i didn’t want to spend my birthday weekend making cupcake decorations. we’ll see what i end up doing, i might change my mind if i see something better.

i must say, i’m really enjoying my first month of the year. i’ve been in such a good mood lately, there’s a high possibility that i could be annoying a lot of people because of it. haha. but i hope you are all having a great jump start to 2012 as well. =)

that is all for now.

xoxo

november at a glance

november 2: we have fun at work. this here is samantha sporting one of our 2011 holiday ornaments…

NOVEMBER 8: these are the fashion glam earrings i want from NIQUEA.D PAPYRUS NORTHPARK.

NOVEMBER 9: this is what boys do in pool halls in between games. they arm wrestle to prove…um…who’s stronger?

NOVEMBER 12: i helped decorate and attended a quinceanera. 

NOVEMBER 16: i did a radio interview with 103.7 LITE FM for a segment called “READY, SET…CHRISTMAS!” which was released on november 27. it was a fun radio interview, but the funny thing is that the interview got released on paige’s “NOT SO PERFECT PARENT” website, and it was completely shortened and…..not really anything i had said. haha. but CLICK HERE to read the 8-10 minute interview that turned into a 1 question, 1 answer article.  here are some pictures from the interview. what happened was that i brought a wrapped display and one of the deejays was suppose to copy it as we were doing the interview. it was hilarious. the last picture is just of a display i did for our northpark location.

NOVEMBER 17: over 5 years later, i am still in love with my nephew. i came home one night to capture this. 

NOVEMBER 18: my buddy, tony, and i went to the JEAN PAUL GAULTIER exhibit at the dallas museum of art. of course, we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the exhibit, as it was exclusive to dallas and there was security ALL OVER THE PLACE, but that’s what the entry way was for.

NOVEMBER 19: my lovely friend, mishi, invited me to a party and i got to dress up! this was such an amazing weekend!

NOVEMBER 20: chromeo was in town (*tear*) but after work, 2 of my girlfriends and i went to visit a friend of ours that got out of surgery the week before. his mom made lemon bars, pecan pie, and starbucks coffee for us……so yummy!!!!!! we all just lounged around the living room, watching tv, and gossiping. fun times!

NOVEMBER 24: thanksgiving, my favorite holiday of the year. we spent this holiday at my brother’s girlfriend’s house. my nephew was obsessed with the trampoline, so he was on it all day. we opted for lunch instead of dinner, so we got to take naps in the evening. the weather was nice. it was fun. =) 

NOVEMBER 27: select papyrus stores came out with a signature wrap for the holidays. the toppers were handmade by yours truly. i spent the next few days wrapping displays for our 4 dallas locations and training them on how to do each topper.  these are 4 of the 6 wrapped displays: 

NOVEMBER 30: some co workers and i got together for dinner at chuy’s in dallas to wind down from our hectic past few weeks. these are some of the amazing people that fulfill your custom printing/gift wrapping/jewelry/gifting needs in the dallas (northpark, dallas galleria, southlake, and the shops of willowbend) market: 

i apologize for not blogging lately in the past few weeks. as you can tell, the holiday season has kept me quite busy. i have been at our northpark location for the past 3 weeks, so it has been quite an adventure in that store. i still haven’t completed half of my christmas shopping, so i really need to get on that. other than that, i hope y’all had a wonderful thanksgiving and will have a fabulous christmas!

xoxo

how to gift wrap

hello, my name is sierra lei, and i am here today to teach you how to gift wrap. how to make a bow will be later. =) that seems to be the one everyone wants to know more.

i don’t quite remember how talented of a gift wrapper i was earlier than 5 years ago. i must have been decent because a few people would have me wrap gifts for them. but then again, i might not have been decent-they might have just REALLY not wanted to wrap their own gifts. who knows. but i did enjoy wrapping.

when i got hired onto papyrus, i was told we were going to be doing “a lot of gift wrapping and a lot of custom printing.” awesome and awesome.

and then i got trained to gift wrap and………………….they used double sided tape?

double sided tape is your best friend.

for every roll of regular tape we use, we probably use 4-5 rolls of double sided tape.

it’s my #1 supply at work in between the months of october to january. when october rolls around, must start stocking up on double sided tape. must order two times more double sided tape. must never run out of double sided tape during the holidays. never. it will ruin my holidays at work.

ruin.

“oh my gosh, that gift is sooo pretty!”

“you have to teach me how to wrap like that one day!”

“look at that bow!”

“how long did it take you to learn how to wrap like that?”

five minutes.

five and a half years ago, while i was being trained at our northpark location, a customer walked in with about 5 gifts (what is up with the common number here?) on a busy day.

“i’d like to have these wrapped.” all i remember was that they all came in tumi boxes. nice.

the manager looked at me and said, “alright, i can now train you to wrap.”

i watched her measure out her paper, put one sided tape here, lots of double sided tape here and there, fold, fold, fold, crease the corners…

she grabbed some ribbon, tied some around the box, rolled the rest up, snipped both ends, tied it to the ribbon on the box, fluffed it out, snipped excess off…

…then handed me the scissors and said, “okay, there you go. do the other 4.”

and there you have it. the only commentary i got while learning was, “then you do this…then this…then tape this…then do this…then crease this…then you’re done.”

last year i wrapped about 250-300 gifts in between thanksgiving and christmas at work. just at work. that’s not including wrapping OUT of work. i have 2 big clients that i wrap for-they are both sweet ladies. i have been wrapping for one of them for over 4 years now. there are 14 people in her family (from her parents/in-laws to her grand children) and i wrap for all their birthdays, graduations, and other holidays (easter, valentines, etc.) throughout the year. i feel as if i know every member of her family just through wrapping their gifts! every single gift for this client is detailed to the tissue paper in the box matching the wrapping paper which matches the ribbon, which is always a double bow, not a fluffy bow. if she brings a neiman marcus gift box in with neiman marcus tissue paper and a silver neiman marcus sticker on it, that tissue gets thrown in the trash and replaced with a new pack of tissue to match whatever roll wrap she chooses. little details matter to certain people. oh, and she never wraps more than 3 gifts with the same roll of wrapping paper. heavens, no. my second client, on the other hand, doesn’t mind how many gifts are wrapped in the same paper. but she wants her gifts to look like money. they have to look grand. that “little” $500 gift card needs to be put in a pen box with a BIG, FLUFFY BOW. her choice of wrapping paper leans more towards our sheets of handmade paper. they used to be priced anywhere from $3.95 a sheet (which is about 20 inches by 30 inches-enough to just wrap one gift, really) to $12.95 a sheet. whereas my first client would buy out our entire district’s stock of holiday spooled ribbon (i’m not kidding, she’ll buy out all 4 stores), this client would buy out all the sheets of wrapping paper. these ladies mean business, y’all. and when they want their gifts wrap, they want it done right. and if you don’t do it right, they’ll make you redo it. and…if you don’t do it right that second time…..they’ll make you wrap it again. =) it has happened! (not to me, haha) i will refer to my clients as MRS. D (client 1 who i have wrapped for in the past 4 years) and MRS. T (client 2 that i have wrapped for in the past 2-3 years) because i already know that i will be blogging about them this holiday season. they always make it on my facebook, so they will eventually make it on my blog. =) they are just very giving ladies. i wonder if mrs. d’s son is still single…….hmm…..

that was a joke.

gift wrapping isn’t everyone’s cup o’ tea. it might not even be a big deal to others as far as doing the task, whether they like doing it or not. and to some, it is what makes the entire gift, regardless of what is in it.

if you’re going into a shop and having someone wrap your gift, you’re either:

A. not wanting to wrap it yourself because you’re terrible at it

B. wanting it to look REAL GOOD

C. lazy

and there is a price tag that comes with all of the above. having a bottle of perfume wrapped could range from $10 to $30, depending on what you would like to have your gift wrapped with. there’s lots of different ways to have your gift wrapped: just with the wrapping paper and nothing else, with tissue and in a gift box, with a few yards of ribbon, with a shoestring tie bow, with a fluffy bow, with more that one style of ribbon, with a topper, or with an enclosure card. some people don’t care. some people really care. it completely varies. but we do have promotions in which we can gift wrap for 99 cents, so you get to save some money every now and then.

i know i have taken y’all on a long journey through the history of sierra’s gift wrapping experiences when all you wanted to read (and see) was how to gift wrap.

so without further ado, let’s do this.

DO YOU WANT TO LEARN HOW I GIFT WRAP?

this is how i do it.

first, we have our supplies (paper, box, scissors, double stick tape, regular tape):

measure at least 2/3 of paper on the sides of your box:

if the under side of your paper does not have a grid or pattern that can assist you in cutting a straight line, fold the paper across and just cut on the crease:

place your gift upside down and bring the edge of one side (the side closer to you) to the corner of the box:

carefully release that side of the paper and bring the other side to tape down to the box:

place double stick tape along the edge of the side closer to you (you can barely see my double stick tape):

bring it over to the edge of the box and tape it down:

doing that creates a seamless look:

next, take the top flap of one side and tape it down:

fold in a side flap, double stick tape the edge, and tape it to the paper (repeat on the other side, duh):

fold a little bit of the bottom flap in (to get a straight edge), double stick tape the 3 sides, and tape to the box:

take note that we are wrapping the gift upside down, so that flap will end up facing downwards in the final product. repeat the last few steps on the other side of the box and you are done wrapping.

although the paper gets wrapped tightly around the box, it still causes a round edge around the corners:

simply run your fingers to crease the edges of the box:

and this is what your corner will look like:

and there you have it. your “no tape showing” gift wrap tutorial.

that was actually a gift i wrapped for a display at work, so i had no choice but to use that or a silver wrap, and the silver one would have been more difficult to see. in the next few days, i will post some pictures of my store display because one of the rolls i used is SOOOOOOO GORGEOUS, we’re all going nutty over it this season.

more pictures, tutorials, and blogs to come from the past week. i must hurry, as this weekend is going to be FILLED with fun and over 300 more pictures!

have a good day, y’all!

xoxo