hi, I'm Irene and this is my blog. all images and content © 2005-2017 Irene Nam unless stated otherwise. please do not use original images without permission. thank you!


in loving memory of
Oliver Yu-An Nam
Feb 1 - May 20 2014



bonjour! this is where I document my life with my family, things we like to do, places we like to go and random things that inspire and make me happy.

for Oliver's story click here.


cheering on his brothers


run, boys, run

I've been complaining a lot about the lack of opportunities for children in France to get involved and volunteer. so I may have screamed my lungs out and embarrassed my boys in front of their classmates this morning while they ran for Race Against Hunger and raised funds for Action Against Hunger's programs in Madagascar.


birth announcement cards... at last

from Fresh Baked Paper Goods.

makes me giddy every time I see them. even though we're a couple of months late.


100 days

long ago in Korea, the survival rate for young children was very low and parents refrained from taking their baby outdoors until the 100th day after his birth. today the milestone is still significant, gathering family and friends to celebrate with traditional rice cakes.

happy 100th day my crazy baby monkey.

cupcakes from Sugar Daze 20, rue Henry Monnier 75009 Paris


three crazy little monkeys

(blurry) morning cuddle shot with the Fuji Instax Mini.

Pretty Packages: 45 Creative Gift-Wrapping Projects (so proud of you Sally!)


books are my favorite gifts to give

and receive. these were gifts for Oliver from my best friends from kindergarden and middle school.

note: I am madly in love with this collection of sound books


May the fourth be with you


for our first outing as a party of five (and no, church on Sunday and the local Starbucks do not count), we decided to visit the Star Wars: Identities exhibition which displays original costumes, props and models, and explores the theme of identity using ten components that help make us who we are: species, genes, parents, culture, mentors, friends, events, occupation, personality, and values.

Sean and Will loved it. Oliver cried during most of our visit. I did put him in front of Darth Vader, but he was totally unimpressed.

Star Wars Identities : 60 second spot


seoul #2

it is common for us to get disapproving stares when we travel to Seoul. a lot of people find it confusing (if not shameful) that Sean and Will respond in French when I talk to them in Korean. they actually used to be fluent when they were very young, but stopped talking in Korean after being regularly picked on because of their accent or lack of vocabulary. now we get the stares.

once in a while though, someone shares something thoughtful and considerate. and I listen carefully. this time it was a taxi driver who suggested I take the boys to GyeongBokGung Palace before we leave and expose them to a bit of Korean culture and history. and so I did. and while walking through the beautiful site, I realized that it's not about how much they actually learn. it's about giving them access to a part of who they are, and helping them develop a sense of personal identity that resonates for them, beyond the limits of language.

so thank you mr taxi driver.

the whole force in small size


May Day

on May 1, 1561, King Charles IX of France was presented with a Lily of the Valley as a gift. he liked it so much that he decided to offer a bouquet to all the ladies of his court every year on May 1. since then, it has been a tradition here to celebrate this day (also a paid public holiday) by giving friends and loved ones little bouquets of Lily of the Valley for good luck.

note: there are special dispensations on this day that allow individuals and organisations to sell Lily of the Valley without paying tax or working to retail regulations. I bought this tiny bouquet from a boy scout who is raising funds to build a school in Ivory Coast.

33 Graphs That Reveal Painfully True Facts About Everyday Life


sunrise in Seoul

the boys and I spent a couple of weeks in Seoul last fall. we knew it would be a while before we are able to travel together again (the three of us I mean), so we made the most of it. like waking up early to watch the sun rise above the city. and we had the best of times.

Star Wars: Episode VII Cast Announced