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 :)

Mask(ed) Season

A public service message:

During this time of the year, people fill planes to be with friends and family for the holidays.  It’s the time to gather with those your love.  It’s the time to shop at crowded malls.  It’s the time to embrace holiday cheer.

In a season filled with more contact with people than usual, don’t ruin your own holiday season by catching a cold or flu.  Or if you’re sick yourself, don’t spread your misery to others.  Wear a protective mask.

Start the trend. Don’t let glares from others or strangers trying to avoid your path stop you. You’re doing everyone a favor and a social kindness.  And if their fear of ‘the mask’ gives you a little extra room on a plane, so be it.  “That’s my arm rest anyways!”

This message is brought to you by Those Against Colds and Flus

P.S. This is one trend that I really wish would be adopted outside of Japan.  At our wedding in Hawaii, someone was sick, and it spread throughout my entire wedding party (including me!).  Sick on a Hawaiian vacay.  Can you imagine anything worse?  Now who’s with me?! :)

[images via Digital ApoptosisUrban Photo, and Japan Today]

Colorful Christmas Printables

Thinking about wrapping your gifts a little less traditional this year?  Here is a free printable round up that’s sure to bring some easy pizzaz under your tree!

First from Mini Mega Design Studio:

Free Christmas Tags from Mini Mega Design

Some patterns from Eat Drink Chic that remind me of Palm Springs:

Christmas Tags from Eat Drink Chic

And lastly, monogramed tags from How About Orange:

Happy Tuesday, folks!

Mini Pies: 3 Ways to Entertain

Mini Pie Messages Place Cards

I’ve been in a pie phase since I discovered how to make the most perfect flaky, chewy pie crust here.  I just can’t stop making pies.  So I combined this love with my love of all things mini and made these adorable letter-pressed mini pies that are perfect for entertaining!  There are so many ways to use these mini pies – here are my 3 favorites.

1. Presented on a simple table runner with autumn fruit, it makes a great texture addition to a rustic, casual tablescape.

2. Use these pies as place cards – just press your guests names’ on them and you’ve got dessert and a cute addition to your place setting in one!

3. Presented simply, they’re a great addition to a dessert bar or wrap a little twine and add a utensil, and it’s the perfect dessert to go!  Or cute homemade Christmas gifts?

Apologies for the lack of posts recently – my computer is still at the shop for a makeover.  Hope you’re all keeping warm!

Christmas in Paris Party

This past weekend, we celebrated Christmas with a French menu paired with modern, bold, and fun decor!  All of the decor was done by myself and the queen of party ideas, little projects in style.  Here’s our table…

Busy cleaning our table mid-meal…

A close up on the paper roses (I’ll post a DIY tutorial later this week!)

The place settings (place cards from Martha Stewart)

A BIG thanks to Daniel and Yichin who hosted and cooked up a 9-course meal!

I’m just drooling looking at the pictures again! I can’t wait for our next party :)  How was your Christmas celebration?