Kids + Weddings: Checklist

Kids at Weddings with Here Come the Bride Flags

Can I tell you a secret?  I’m not great with kids and babies.  For some, babies fit like puzzle pieces in their arms.  For me, I avoid holding babies at all costs.  I’ve gotten wonderful at excuses – “Oh you go ahead first!” or “My hands are dirty” or “I’ll grab some water first.”  Although so many of my friends are having kids, I’ve never held one of them.

I always thought I would have an all-adult wedding, but when we decided on a destination wedding, all the kids would have to be included.  We planned a very chic lounge area around the dance floor, and when one of the mothers told me that she’d put her son there to sleep (“Umm.. Excuse me?”), I knew we had to make some special arrangements. Continue reading


A Simple Dessert Bar

Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting by oh my omiyageI’m all about the dessert so when I plan a party, it’s hard for me to narrow it down to just one!  Naturally, I love a dessert bar.  It sweetens up the decor and adds anticipation for the rest of the meal.  Plus, I love the guests’ ooohs and ahhhs as they investigate.  This is especially great for kids – they light up when they spot the sweets, and it’s a great bribe to behave until the end of dinner!

Chocolate Cream and Banana Cream Pudding by oh my omiyageTip: finish cooking the desserts before your guests arrive.  When the guests spot all of the sugar and butter that goes into some of these sweet treats, it can hold them back from fully enjoying the desserts later on.  No reason to make your guests feel more guilty!

Japanese Girls Day Treats from oh my omiyageMy dessert bar this time included vanilla cupcakes with strawberry cream cheese frosting, chocolate cream and banana cream pudding, treats for Japanese girls day (cherry blossom marshmallows, puffed rice, strawberry Pocky), and a cheese round topped with honey and dried fruit.

Simple Dessert Bar by oh my omiyageFor more ideas for a dessert bar, check out my Cocktails & Canape Party last year!

Indoor Hanami Party

Indoor Hanami Party by oh my omiyageI’m so ready for spring, and although the weather hasn’t caught up with me, I warmed up my apartment with a hanami party this weekend!

Indoor Hanami Party by oh my omiyage

‘Hanami’ literally means ‘looking at flowers’ in Japanese, and every year when the cherry blossoms bloom, people flock to the parks and picnic beneath the pink cherry blossoms – called hanami parties.  Even though the blossoms bloom near the end of March, it’s typically still chilly so I brought the flowers (and the party) indoors with Japanese-inspired table details.

Indoor Hanami Party by oh my omiyage

My vases were inspired by obi (the sash wrapping a kimono).  I finally used my kozogami washi paper!Indoor Hanami Party by oh my omiyage

Place cards were fashioned using washi tissue paper and fun spring quotes!  Stay tuned for the DIY tutorial later this week :)

Indoor Hanami Party by oh my omiyage

Indoor Hanami Party by oh my omiyage

All of the flowers put me in the perfect mood for spring!

Lately on Instagram…

Lately, my life has been filled with cooking, learning new crafts, and planning a party for this weekend! :)  Here’s some snapshots from this month:

Tokyohamster Instagram snapshots of Tokyo

  1. Homemade BBQ Sauce for Valentine’s Day Gifts
  2. I came across this adorable book on kuttari that I couldn’t put down!
  3. A new ramen shop opened by my place
  4. Peach blossoms are in season and on sale – perfect for the upcoming Girl’s Day on March 3rd.
  5. Beautiful saucers from Kappabashi – I wish I could take them all home!
  6. I found a little smiley face on my wine glass.  I love this idea for casual place cards.

Follow me on Instagram here :)


Hawaii Wedding Band: Tahiti Rey

I can’t believe that it’s been almost a year since my wedding, and I haven’t featured any of my vendors on here!  Finding the perfect vendors is always hard, but it’s especially trying when it’s a destination wedding – as are many Hawaiian events.  I worked with so many wonderful, helpful, and down-to-earth people that I’d love to share them with you in case you’re planning an event on Oahu (or any of the Hawaiian islands – they travel!).

The first of my vendors that I’d like to feature is my wedding band: Tahiti Rey and Jason Alan.  From first contact, everything was simple with Tahiti.  They are truly professional and know what they’re doing.  She even coordinates their outfits to your wedding style and colors.  I used them for my ceremony and cocktail hour and changed to a DJ for the rest of the night.  If I could do it over again, I would consider keeping them through the night.  I was really sad to see them go!  They create such a great, laid back and happy atmosphere.  So many of my guests commented on how good they were as well.  If you like acoustic Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat-style music, I’m sure they’d fit right in at your event too!

*All of my recommendations are from the heart.  I haven’t received any compensation.*

Chinese Celebrations

You know my craziness about food?  My apple fell right under the tree (with some roots now in Japan as well).  For Christmas, my family always celebrates with a full-on Cantonese dinner of at least 10 courses.  My dad’s favorite job is to plan the night’s menu, and he always takes it very seriously.  He always includes everyone’s favorite foods.  My dad always plans a few surprises, but a few dishes haven’t changed over the years like this dried abalone.

Chinese Dried AbaloneAnd a shrimp fruit salad:Chinese Shrimp Fruit SaladThis year instead of a cold platter, my dad only ordered my and my brother’s favorites – marinated jellyfish and deep fried pork chops.

Jellyfish and Fried Pork ChopsAnd of course, what kind of celebration would it be without peking duck?

DSC_0042Sometimes I just dug into my food without taking photos first, but the rest was just as scrumptious!  ‘Til next year :)