Thursday, January 10, 2019

How To Throw A Chinese New Year Party For 2019 Using Our Amazon List.

Have you ever celebrated Chinese New Year? After having spent the past 4 years in Hong Kong and Beijing, we have been introduced to this wonderful celebration that we plan to continue back here in the United States. 

Full blown fireworks displays would be set off on every street corner that would last for hours and begin again early in the morning while you were still laying in bed. Red packets filled with money would be handed out to our children and which we would also hand out to our housekeeper, the doorman at the entrance to our apartment building, and the shopkeepers of the places we would visit regularly. Banners on red paper with Chinese lettering would be hung on either side of a front door and above the door. There would be intricate laser cut paper decorations in red that would be attached to the glass panes of windows. Dragon and lion dances would be performed in public places on the street or in shopping plazas. There was a mutual celebratory feeling hovering throughout the air.

This year, we are celebrating the Year of The Pig by having friends over for a dumpling making party. You know we can't have a party without decorations, so we put together a list of the items we ordered from Amazon. We're planning to go with a pink and red color scheme, incorporating some traditional decor items and putting a modern spin on other items like pink paper lanterns with red ribbon. You too can shop our full list for your party by clicking right {here}. Chinese New Year is officially February 5th, which means you have time to order your items and get them in time for your event.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Moving To Tanzania.

Although we're familiar with the nomadic lifestyle, it is not our family that is moving this time, but another family who is relocating to Tanzania. We got asked to style the going away party for the family that was moving, and were more than happy to oblige. The venue was held after hours at a coffee shop and allowed friends of the family to drop in and say farewell before they fly out in a couple days.

We chose to incorporate globes and maps into the design scheme, since the family was moving to another country. Vintage suitcases were used to hold farewell cards for the family as well as to create height for framed photos on display. Throughout the picture table we placed authentic handcrafted knick knacks from Africa that the family has picked up over their years of travel to the continent. 

This family is well loved in the community, and we were not sure how many guests would be attending. We had several hundred people swing through, so we kept the food simple and confined primarily to a variety of cookies that we picked up from Sam's Club. Guests were welcome to  order a drink at the coffee bar, and we served complimentary water and lemonade from drink carafes on the food table.  

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Christmas Decorating 101.

I surprised myself and my immediate family members that know me so well, when a small part of me did not want to decorate for Christmas this year. We had just purchased our house 3 months earlier, and we were still working on the basic decor of the home, the thought of putting up a Christmas tree in every room exhausted me! But then our relatives that live far away decided this Christmas was the perfect time to come down from Canada to celebrate the season with us, so in true Julie Ann Events tradition, the Christmas trees went up the day after Halloween. We pulled out all of our trees and decorations that had been sitting in storage for the past four years and decked our halls.

In our formal living room, we went with a basic tree and trimmed it with neutral color palette, using primarily all white and silver decorations. The tree popped nicely off of our bright pink floor rug. After four years of not seeing our annual holiday decorations, it was fun to pull out what we have had and incorporate the Christmas decorations we purchased in Hong Kong and China. There was a fun mix of bespoke ornaments interspersed with Ikea ornaments!

How many Christmas trees is too many? I asked that question out on our Instagram feed. In our family room, I put up three trees around our television. I used colored ornaments that I had purchased on clearance from Target 4 years ago and never had an opportunity to use since we moved. Unconsciously I had also purchased a garland in a coordinating color scheme from a market in Hong Kong. It worked perfectly to tie all three trees together. White star tree toppers on each tree pulled the look together.

One room in our home held our family tree, which is hands down my favorite tree of the house. We wait till the day after (American) Thanksgiving to pick out a live tree and hang our family ornaments on it that hold sentimental meaning to us throughout the years. There's a heart ornament I made in the third grade, snowmen footprints that all three of our kids made that one year we had three kids living in our house, the yearly ornaments that we buy each of our kids which one day they will take with them to their own homes, and the ornaments from our first Christmas spent together. It's under this tree that the gifts we give out reside, and where we sit in front of on Christmas morning to open stockings and read Luke 2 as a family.

We managed to put up eight trees up this year, and next year we hope to add four more to that number. Christmas is the one holiday I go all out in decorating for, since it's such a significant holiday in the spiritual life of our personal family. We truly enjoy celebrating the birth of Jesus, and continuing the traditions we have established as a family. It's such a special time in the year to celebrate with those we love dearly.

Entertainment Dresser - Wayfair {Similar}  ::  Marte Lounge Chair - Urban Outfitters {here}  ::  Chamberlin Recycled Leather Sectional Sofa - Urban Outfitters {here}  ::   Hamilton Wood Media Console - Urban Outfitters {here}  ::  Natural Carved Zaria Headboard - World Market {here}  ::  Round Glass and Metal Ilene Coffee Table - World Market {here}  ::  Metal, Wood, and Leather Bar Cart - Target {here}

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Secret To The Perfect Pumpkin Pie.

It's probably a tale as old as time, but when you discover the truth for yourself, you can't help but shout it from the rooftops... or blog about it so your readers can take full advantage of your discovery for their Thanksgiving holiday meal! 

Fifteen years of baking a pumpkin pie every Thanksgiving, and I've finally learned to treat the filling as a custard while I'm baking it. Which means lowering the oven temperature and baking the pie low and slow for it to come out of the oven with no cracks on the top. This year, I also pre-baked the pie crust for the first time, so ensure that the crust was not soggy and remained crisp and flakey. 

These two tips have forever changed my pumpkin pie baking days for years to come! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

We Were On A Break.

Apparently we were on a bit of a break from blogging thanks to the firewalls that China has up in their country. Since this little ole blog is located on Google, writing on it just required the extra step of making sure the VPN was on and running. Call it what it really was... pure laziness to give this blog the attention it was needing. But here I am, sitting in my house in South Carolina, dusting off the cobwebs to this site and rekindling our relationship. 

So welcome back. I've missed you. Let's get to know each other again!

[photo by :: L.E. Photography Canada]
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