happy 4th!

this is the third year in a row that i have gone to lucas for the 4th of july. lucas is in the middle of nowhere. there are 2 huge fireworks stands and behind them are fields in which you can blow up your fireworks and park carnival-style to watch them as close or as far as you want from the site. you can park so close that the fireworks can be right above you, but no matter how far you are from the site, you will get rained on by debris. i think my brother, sister, and i are the only ones that have gone to lucas all 3 times in a row. the group we go with has been different every year, but they have always been fun. this year was the best so far because my brother found the fireworks feature on my camera, so we got to capture some amazing photos. i had issues using the flash on my camera because there was SO MUCH debris and smoke in the air, so we had to improvise and use my sister’s iphone flashlight app and try different ISO/fireworks/auto settings. we got some great photos, and i have to share them RIGHT NOW……

i hope you all had a wonderful and safe 4th of july! 

the entry sign…


this was one of the first shots my brother took when he got my camera on the fireworks setting!


this was my favorite picture because it was one of my firsts on the fireworks setting! i was super excited!


this was my favorite photo that my brother took because he captured the firework on the right which was about to blow up and looks like a flower!


you can see the cars below…it was a packed house this year!


snacks, coolers of drinks, blankets, and cameras. check!


this is such a pretty one!


yay for fireworks!


love. this. photo!


great photo of my sister and tiffany.




the guys were fun to photograph!


…and another one…




time is up, blow up all your fireworks before you leave!




jammed music in my car so long that my battery died and these guys jumped my car! thanks, guys! =)


they probably didn’t believe that i’d blog about them. this is why i need business cards. lol.



xoxo! =)

01/05/2012 random post

it’s an ungodly hour of the night and i’m back to being a night owl…again.

here is a bunch of random thoughts….

a junior high/high school friend of mine is getting married back home (saipan) on the 7th. one of the downfalls of working in the retail industry is that there is no vacation time around the holidays (and that would be in between october and february). i would have loved to be at the wedding, and would have loved to see my parents who i haven’t seen in 3 years (*sob*), and would have loved to bask in the saipan sun during these cold winter months. but for now, best wishes to my friend and her soon-to-be husband! i wish them all the best. =)

after work, i grabbed a late dinner with a friend. we chatted over finger foods, non-alcoholic beverages, and dessert at TGIFridays because it was the only place open late on a wednesday night. we happened to sit next to neat wall decor…and of course, since i have my camera handy at all times, here are 2 winning pictures of the night:





during our late-night girl pow wow sessions, we can talk about anything with or without substance…like the crazy night out we had a few days ago…or the cute boys we recently met…or figuring out where i should live in the next few months…or dating, in general.

which brought up an idea for my blog…

should i start blogging about my dating life?

i’m about to turn 30 and i’m single. 

(alright, so i began blogging to post up shoe and cupcake inspirations on top of posting about everyday random acts of kindness and the positive things that happen in my life…and then i started posting tons of pictures of events that i’ve attended, on top of posting about the jewelry i wear to work…..and now DATING?…..yes.)

but wouldn’t that make for a good blog topic every once in a while? i guess it would if the stories were interesting. i’m not sure how exciting my dating life would be. but the characters that pursue me are pretty interesting individuals, that’s for sure.

i will make sure to change the names of each individual, to prevent embarrassment and shame.

JUST KIDDING…on the latter part, not the former.

i might even go as far as asking y’all, the readers, to name each person i talk about. that would be fun. but let’s not get carried away with the nicknames or anything…we’ll keep it simple.

and with that being said…

i am suppose to meet someone this week….i don’t like to say, “go on a date” because i’m stubborn and it sounds too official. also, it was suppose to be a “date” but because i’m still recovering from being sick earlier this week, eating wouldn’t be a great idea since my tummy still needs to take baby steps before it starts consuming food like a starving man….i didn’t even feel well after eating finger foods tonight. bleh. so this indian dining experience has to be put on hold until a later date (it sounded great, though…like one of those dates in which it would take me 4 hours and 23 outfit changes to get ready before i decide on a cute top and jeans in the end…and maybe a paper bag to breath in and out of because i’d be way too nervous). we might just make it a coffee-grabbing deal instead.

but back to this guy. he’s 35. he’s hispanic. he’s handsome. he’s a libra (for all you zodiac-crazy friends of mine). and he’s very passionate about traveling…which i’m very envious of, because i would be completely content with visiting half of the places he has. he just got back from spending a month out of the country for “christmas break” as i like to call it. must be nice. i can already predict the dialogue when we meet:

him: so how was your christmas?

me: so what was the first thing you ate when you got there?

him: and how was work this holiday season?

me: so did you eat any good dessert?

him: so what are you doing next week?

me: what was the best thing you ate there?

oh, of course i’m gonna wonder if he took pictures of his food, but i already know he didn’t….because only crazy people do that…

why did i tell my mom that i was going on a “date” this week? now she’s going to be sitting around with her phone in hand, waiting for me to call her…every day…until i do. and then she’s going to want to know every detail. i guess i better meet this guy so i can give her good mother/daughter girly gossip. now that i think about it, that would be fun. we have discussed boyfriends in the past, but not prospects or “first dates.” *getting nervous*

i’m going to end this topic now before i ruin anything…tune in later on this week for an update on whether it was a hit or miss or epic fail. thank you.

in other news…

i have a new journal for 2012. and yes, it’s a moleskine. it’s the moleskine 2012 daily diary/planner. it has a page per day, so it will force me to write in it every day. it can’t be hard to write a page a day, right? WRONG. i failed miserably in 2010-not even half the journal was written in. i was very upset. so this year, i am determined to write/draw/scribble in it every day. whether it’s a full page of a terrible rant or a scribble of a song lyric or a drawing of something that i got bored and doodled, i will have something in my journal every day. that is one of my resolutions.

what is my other new year resolution?

to meet and blog about one person a week. that’s 52 new people i meet for 2012. these will not be people i already know-they must start off as complete strangers. i will accept them if they are friends of friends, so long as i have never met them. this one might be hard because i could spend weeks hiding under a rock…so i guess i better be social…and i better be social OUT of the pool hall. i do meet some interesting individuals there, though. my camera will be with me, and there will be pictures of these new and potential friends. =) cheers to this adventure!

my other resolutions are personal, but once achieved, i will definitely blog about them. =)

i haven’t shot pool in weeks…and it feels kinda good…i’m not sure whether i will be shooting pool by the end of the year or not. we’ll see about that. more on that in another blog.

i guess i should get some rest now. thank you for reading my random junk of the evening. =)


work bling.

i have been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days. for christmas, i got sick. boo! so here i am, at 1 a.m., sippin’ on some orange juice, listening to the tunes of feist on my itunes, suckin’ on a cough drop, blogging in bed…

i have been working at my company’s northpark location for over a month now. it’s been over a month of playing dress up and wearing the NIQUEA.D jewelry line that the store (the only store in the state of texas) showcases. i’ll admit that sometimes when i get ready to go to work, i base my outfit on what possible jewelry i will be wanting to wear. and i’ve been wearing a ton of dresses. it’s been fun. 

the otazu trunk show has been featured at the store for over a month now, and it has been my guilty pleasure. i love clear jewels (swarovski crystals), so you will see me wearing a lot of them. i should wear more colored pieces so i can show them off on the next blog. but for now, enjoy….

these first 4 are by (rodrigo) otazu. i love them all. i want them all. the second necklace was bought by a client that asked her husband if she could buy it before she made the purchase. she collects accessories. i was so sad that it left my store. i told her (linda is her name) to wear it the next time she came to visit. i loved that necklace…and how the crystals just dripped everywhere. ugh…so amazing, these necklaces…linda ended up buying the same bracelet that i had on at the time (that i own-pics further down) and a few other crystal bracelets that i need to take pictures of because i love them. we have the exact same taste. that makes me happy. 

these earrings are from our holiday collection. aren’t they AMAZING!?!? the shades of blue are just gorgeous! 

this bracelet and necklace is also from our holiday collection made by sorrelli. the bracelet makes me feel fierce with the gunmetal and crystals. i love how it looks like a blingy cuff. the necklace is from sorrelli’s french blush line and i obviously love it because i love pink and black! i want the entire french blush line. it’s super pretty! 

this next set of pictures is called our fashion glam collection. when i become a bazillionaire, i will shop otazu…but because i’m not, i shop fashion glam. =) one great thing about our NIQUEA.D line is that there is something for everyone. the first piece of NIQUEA.D that i bought was the pair of earrings in my previous blog, new ear bling. the second piece i bought was the wrap bracelet in the last 2 photos. i love chains and grommets and studs, so i fell in love with the bracelet when i first saw it. HAD. TO. HAVE. IT. i laid it out so you can see how long it is. i actually can wear it as a choker around my neck! i will do that one day-out of work. i don’t have a dress that it would look nice with as a choker. that is the bracelet that linda bought because she loved it on me. =)

these last 2 pictures are of me and my girls at work, wearing some serious NIQUEA.D bling. we love jewelry, and we know you do, too. =)


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!


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.


“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.


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!


new ear bling

one of my girlfriends, jessica, went to LA for the adobe MAX conference a few weeks ago.

she is one of the most thoughtful people i know.

…a little bit about jessica…

we have known each other for a total of about 8 or 9 years now. i could actually say that i have known her the longest out of all my girlfriends. she was more of an acquaintance when i first met her, and then became closer as a friend in the past 4-5 years. we got much closer as friends when we started shooting in our pool league. here is a picture of the first team we were both on together:

that was our winning team…*sigh*…i miss getting all those shiny trophies…

anyways, back to jessica…

here are a few random pictures of us:

i think the highlight of our friendship definitely has to be the fact that i got to be a part of her wedding this year.

she jokes around about how we are such good friends because we share the love of PINK! haha!

anyways…that’s my little friendship with jessica in a photo gallery of goodness.

when we shop, we see cute things and think of each other-and then we buy each other a bunch of things.

although it’s not pink, she bought me these pair of earrings, which i SUPERlove:

thank you, JEP! ❤

of course i wore them to work the day after she gifted them to me. and, of course, i have a necklace that happens to match it!

another pair of new earrings i got are NIQUEA.D, the new jewelry/accessories line at our northpark location.

i figured i’d wear them to work and chat up my customers about the new brand since they always compliment me on my earrings.

i love these:

i love my new ear bling.