hi, my name is linda

I'm a designer and paper shop owner from Seattle and I blog about things in my life that are simple, beautiful, practical or fun. I love books, flowers, organizing, and above all, good food.

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One Fine Dae uses images owned by me as well as others which are credited to their rightful source. If you see anything that belongs to you and want it removed, let me know. Photos that are mine are free for you to share on your blog or social media accounts as long as you credit and link back. Thanks!

Blog design and original content ©2009–2016 One Fine Dae / Linda Pham.

feeling at home tip #2: cook a meal
/ Tue, September 20, 2016

one fine dae: cook a meal

Even a simple one. 

When you're cooking something, you're actually investing time into creating a meal. And any form of investment to me has some form of ROI, whether it be the meal itself, or the effort put into it, or the fact that you're actually using the appliances and cookware that you own. 

I remember when I first moved into my apartment, I didn't cook my first meal until around the 3 month mark. Yes, crazy I know, but that's a story for another day. Anyway, I remember when I finally cooked something it was the first time I felt at home even though my place was barely maneuverable due to stacks of boxes that had yet to be unpacked. Albeit the meal was a simple one—fried eggs with Chinese sausage and nori over a bed of rice—it was the first time that I felt rooted. 

Now, when I say meal, I'm talking about a real one, made with ingredients that require prepping and pots, pans, or an appliance to cook with. Microwaveable dinners and cup noodles do not fall under this category, tempting as they may. However, I wouldn't write off packaged ramen if it's cooked over a pot and veggies and/or protein are added to the mix. 

one fine dae: cook a meal

My point is the kitchen is most often the heart of a home. Every house gathering I've been to have always included food to some degree. But the ones that felt most home-like always included some delicious concoction cooking on the stove or in the oven. I'm not sure why, really. Maybe it has to do with your senses being on alert when you're cooking? Either way, it's one of the key things I've discovered that instantly makes a space feel lived in.

P.S. This series is inspired by Erin's "Life In A Tiny Apartment" posts on Reading My Tea Leaves. I've followed her blog for years and am particularly fond of her posts on how to live minimally. When I moved into my own tiny apartment last year, I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to create the space that I had envisioned when I signed the lease since I had SO much stuff (read crap). But her posts about living minimally helped shape my own ideas and discoveries of what it means to make a space feel special.

bidding adieu to you, summer
/ Mon, September 19, 2016

one fine dae: bidding adieu to you, summer

Well, before summer officially ends, I should say a few words before I bid adieu. This summer's been pretty short but sweet. Had a bit of a rocky start and a few hiccups here and there, but overall a memorable one nonetheless. I had a chance to visit family in SoCal (whom I haven't seen for 5+ years) for a cousin's wedding and explored a few new spots in LA. Then crossed over to NYC (again) to eat and catch up with a life-long friend over food and evening strolls. 

I think what also makes this summer a milestone one is the fact that I've finally lay to rest a part of my past that's been haunting me on and off for the past 2 years. It didn't fold up neatly like I wanted, but I think having the ending that it did finally forced me to accept its fate and reality. Sometimes we really can't explain or comprehend why things happen the way they do, even when we try our best to not let the cards fall that way. But I believe the universe knows what it's doing and how to balance itself out so I just have to trust it and let it do its thing.

The photo above was taken at the Santa Monica Pier where I had the evening all to myself to people watch and catch the sunset. It's one of my favorite photos taken this summer because it captures the essence of the season so perfectly. Whenever I visit SoCal, a sense of nostalgia floods over me and always takes me back to my childhood summers spent with my cousins. It's also where I had my first gush of puppy love and discovered what a rush of butterflies felt like. Le sigh. As an adult I can't see myself living there, but it's nice to know that whenever I visit there's always a sense of familiarity and fondness for the place.

I'm excited for fall and especially the holiday season this year. Mainly because I plan on making my place more holiday-friendly and maybe even host a teeny tiny get-together with friends. So much to look forward to. More to come, soon!

life, lately...
/ Sun, March 6, 2016

one fine dae: life, lately...

For some reason, February felt like such a cold, dark, and emotionally draining month for me. For being the shortest month of the year, it definitely felt the longest, and even more so with it being leap year. I swear the 29th felt like two days. But hooray! March is here and I can already feel it slipping away, especially with a jam-packed agenda. 

It's been almost a year of my tiny, 400-square-foot apartment life, and things have finally settled in. For the first 6-8 months, I spent my weekends purging most of my possessions. It was a slow and steady process, but one that I'm glad to be done with. I think it will always be my nature to organize and purge, but I'm at a point where I get to enjoy my apartment. I can wake up groggy and not have to maneuver through a bunch of boxes as I make my way to the bathroom. And cook regular meals because I now have proper kitchenware. Or linger in bed on weekends because on sunny days (and cloudy ones, too), the natural light is glorious. And finally feel at home every time I walk through the door. 

one fine dae: life, lately...

one fine dae: life, lately...

one fine dae: life, lately...

one fine dae: life, lately...

I'm also getting into gardening and have a teeny, tiny budding garden of herbs and plants. Some are more fickle than others, and keeping them alive hasn't been easy, but I'm enjoying the process and it's definitely satisfying when I can pluck a few stems from my garden to add to my cooking. 

A lot of my friends have acquired their own houses during the last few months, and if you could peek into our chatroom, you'll see non-stop messages about home improvements, cleaning, and organizing. Sounds like topics that will put a baby out in a snap, but surprisingly we are so very much giddy about them. It also makes me happy that I'm slowly acquiring certain domestic skills that I never cared for during my adolescent years, and you know what, they're actually fun and enjoyable! I'm totally an old soul.

one fine dae: life, lately...

Here's to March and spring!

feeling at home: a new series for 2016
/ Wed, January 20, 2016

One Fine Dae: feeling at home

Hello and happy 2016. I have to admit, I haven't had much inspiration, let alone time, to keep this space of mine updated on a regular basis like I did in years past. My schedule is a little more relaxed these days and I've been itching to get back into my creative groove and start sharing again, so here I am.

There's been so many changes that took place in my life in 2015, but I think the recurring topic that comes up a lot in my conversations with friends as well as quiet thoughts to myself is the idea of living with less and feeling at home. These ideas are not revelations by any means, but what I've discovered this past year, after two moves within 2 months (from a 2,000+ sq ft, 2-story house to a temporary yet dingy and damp apartment to my current 400 sq ft apartment) and feeling in limbo for even longer, is that there are little moments and things that one can do to create a sense of happiness, home and belonging. 

So let's get on with it:

One Fine Dae: feeling at home tip #1

Tip #1: Have fresh flowers, or plants, or both—always

I don't know anyone that hates flowers or plants. I have friends (and myself) who have a hard time keeping plants alive, sure, but hate? Nope. I think keeping a little bit of nature inside your living space makes the place feel a little more alive, fresh and homey. If you're like me and have a tough time remembering to water plants that are super needy (looking at you herbs!) then try something more independent such as an air plant or cactus. Air plants are easy and you can dress them in cute glass bulbs. They're so low maintenance you almost want to water them more often than need to. As for flowers? Well, they're just easy on the eyes and some on the nose. Have you ever felt uninspired or dull in your home office? Next time try adding a handful of fresh flowers, hauled from the market, store, or a neighbor's garden, and boom! Instant cheer. And if these reasons don't convince you, may I bring science into the conversation and say that plants help with air quality and circulation? Cuz NASA says so.

summer 2015
/ Fri, August 7, 2015

One Fine Dae: summer 2015

Okay, I'm not even sure where to begin with this entry since I've neglected my blog for so long due to huge life changes that's happened over the last two seasons, but I just wanted to poke my head in and say hello before I blink and Autumn arrives.

The short and sweet version is I've started from scratch, both personally and professionally, and have been so busy trying to balance the two that my creative endeavors for blogging and paper making have definitely taken a back seat. I hope to get back to them once things are a little less hectic. Nevertheless, I'm very grateful for how things turned out and hope to share more soon.

The above photo was taken yesterday on Yesler Way Bridge above 4th Avenue while I was on my way to grab dinner (see video version here). After viewing it on my phone while still standing there, for some reason I felt so happy and content with myself, both in that moment to watch the sky slowly fade to dark on a perfect summer evening and about where I am in life. There's so much I want to do and accomplish within the next year and this summer has given me a platform to start that. 

In the mean time, hope everyone's having a wonderful summer. Seattle's been killing it with the weather this year—seriously one of the best in a long while. We had such an early spring that the leaves are starting to fall and I'm trying to make use of these cooler August temperatures before the cold kicks in. 

Also, NYC in September. First time. Eeks!!!

february sun streaks
/ Mon, February 16, 2015

one fine dae: february sun streaks

Every morning this past week I've woken up to sun-drenched windows casting shadows and playful light streaks that could fool any person into believing it's summer. While much (I mean all) of the east coast is experiencing ridiculous amounts of snowfall and crazy blizzard temps, Pacific Northwest peeps are baskin' in balmy high-50s to low-60s weather, leaving me wondering if we're going to skip the rest of winter all together. Although I wish to have some pretty flakes around here, I can't help but admire all the pockets of light I've been seeing.

one fine dae: february sun streaks

one fine dae: february sun streaks

one fine dae: february sun streaks

new notebook in the shop
/ Fri, January 30, 2015

one fine dae: isosceli notebook

one fine dae: isosceli notebook

I made this notebook sometime last year but didn't get around to adding it to my shop until now. It's called isosceli and it's decked out in tiny, hand-cut triangles with specks of gold shimmer. A perfect notebook for everyday writing or doodling. 

a girl and her skin
/ Sun, January 4, 2015

one fine dae: a girl and her skin

The other day, over lunch, my girlfriends and I were discussing New Year's resolutions and one of my besties said she wanted to focus on taking better care of her skin. Nodding in approval, her declaration reminded me of my own battle with skin care and the time and commitment it took to finally resolve it. So today I want to share that with y'all.

Please keep in mind that skin care, and beauty in general, is a personal topic and is different for everyone. You are the only person that lives in your skin and should know it best to know what it likes and doesn't like. This post is not meant to be the holy grail of skin care methods, but serves to share my experience of getting to a happy place with my skin, and highlights things I've learned along the way.

This is a lengthy post with sections to help guide you through. I tried to be concise but still thorough enough to capture my whole experience. I hope it'll provide some direction for any of you who are going through a similar process. Here goes...

Continue reading "a girl and her skin" »

end and beginning
/ Sun, December 28, 2014

I'm sitting here, the last Sunday evening of 2014, trying to find some clever or noteworthy quote to bid farewell to this year, but can't find anything to sum up what I want to say.

I have to confess, 2014 hasn't been the best year. It's not terrible, and there are a few highlights (like being brace-free after 3.5 years), but overall, I feel like I took a few steps back in life and still trying to make sense of everything. There's only so much I can do to control things before I have to let the universe do its job while I exert a bit of patience. Still working on that last part.

Either way, this year has taught me a lot about myself and the direction I want to take, both personally and professionally. Thanks to everyone who still follows this blog of mine. I know posts were few and far between but I hope to remedy that in the coming year.

Best wishes to you, and here's to the end and beginning of things. 

the days are cold, the nights are long
/ Mon, December 22, 2014

one fine dae: the days are cold, the nights are long

According to the winter solstice, days should be brighter and longer from now on out, but it certainly doesn't look or feel that way from where I'm standing. I'm really dreading winter.

Mornings are especially hard this time of year and all I want to do is linger in bed ever so slightly longer as the weekdays progress. Life is a bit up in the air for me these days. As much as I want to embrace this uncertainty, who am I kidding? I always need something to keep me grounded and lately I don't have an anchor holding me in place, which makes me anxious. I'm wrapping up a project soon and need another to fill my days. And there's also the daunting task of culling most things I own to prepare myself for a much-needed move. There are so many things on the horizon, and it sucks that I can't control the timing of them all. 

Sigh, at least there's still photography to help me capture a bit of beauty in the most repetitive of tasks.

(See more on Instagram.)

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