Firefighter Birthday Party

Hey y’all!  (Do you hear my southern twang?) There’s been a lack of posts because… I’ve moved back home to Atlanta!  It’s been a whirlwind of moving and settling in.  Thank you to all who have followed me in Tokyo.  Although I’ll be posting less on Japan, there’ll still be lots of parties, food, travel, and DIY.  My first project back was my dear friend’s son’s firefighter-inspired 4th birthday party.  It was peak summer in LA so I had decor to match – bright, happy, and fun-filled!  There were separate tented areas for the kids and adults, brought together with yellow and red decor.


What kind of cake do you have for a firefighter party?  A fire engine of course…


.. topped off with adorable minions.


And matching water bottles!


I’m kicking myself for not taking photos of the party favors – fire house books and Diddy Reese cookies in custom-made fire engine canvas tote bags.

dallas birthday party


The topping of the party?  A real fire engine complete with real firemen from 5 Alarm Fire Engine.  These guys were awesome – great with the kids, prepared with tons of activities, professional, and patience galore for the 40+ (yes FORTY!) kids that attended.  I highly recommend them if you’re having a similar party in the LA/OC/Inland Empire area.  The kids and many of the parents were thoroughly entertained with fire hose water shooting, tug of war, dressing in all the gear, and fire engine rides around the neighborhood.  Fun for everyone!


Tomorrow, the adult tables! :)


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

Shichi Go San Festival

Shichi Go San Festival in JapanShichi Go San is a Japanese festival held every year on the weekend closest to November 15th.  It’s a celebration for children 3, 5, and 7 years of age and involves a special short ceremony at their local shrine where they pray for health and longevity.  For most, it’s the first time they dressed up in kimono, and boy were they cute!

Shichi Go San Festival in Japan

All of these little girls and boys dressed to the 9s in their intricately-detailed outfits.  Their parents must have planned and worked very hard the morning before the ceremony.  It usually takes an hour and one or two people to dress an adult in a kimono.  For a squirmy toddler?  Haha I can just imagine!

Shichi Go San FestivalNevertheless, the kids looked adorable and were full of energy as during the ceremony and posing for plenty of family photos.  I managed to sneak a few shots of the pretty kimonos including one of my nephew, complete with a samurai sword (ornamental of course!).Shichi Go San Festival

Pear Ghosts for Halloween

Looking for a healthy dessert for your Halloween party?  Try these adorable pear ghosts!

These peeled pears are gently simmered in a yummy mix of cinnamon and apple juice, decorated with dried blueberries and sunflower seeds, and then served with a little drizzle of pomegranate juice ‘blood’.  Nothing I love more than a great, festive dessert and a house filled with fragrant cinnamon and fruit!

Get the complete recipe and the how to over at Tesco :)

DIY Halloween Costumes for Boys


Carl from the movie Up [from My Modern Met via Pinterest]

Are you and your family dressing up this Halloween?  After a few years off, I’m excited to get back into it this year!  I’ve been a bit out of touch with American pop culture since moving to Tokyo so I’ve been hitting the net for inspiration.  I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do, but I spotted these adorable kids costumes that I just HAD to share.  They’re too cute for words!

via Oh Happy Day

via Wild Ink

What or who will you and your family be this Halloween?

Japanese Paper Balls

Walking into one of my favorite shops last week, I spotted these adorable Japanese paper balloons.  There were available in a a handful of designs – globes, cute animals, and beach balls.  They’re made out of incredibly thin paper so they’re very light and can be blown up with just one or two huffs and puffs.

Japanese Paper Balls

Japanese Paper Balls - Seal

I found out later that they’re used by kids as hackie sacks.  Surprisingly, they don’t really deflate when you bounce them with your feet.  It made me a bit sad to kick these adorable characters.  They’re just too cute to wreck!  They would be perfect decor for a kids birthday party or for a children’s room.  Plus they’re really cheap so you can replace them or give them away as party favors!

Japanese Paper Balloons for the summer

Japanese Paper Balls Beach Balls