Tuesday, November 27, 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]

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How To Host A Gingerbread Party.

Every year during the Christmas season, one of our traditions as a family is to decorate gingerbread houses. This year we figured we would make a party out of it, inviting a bunch of friends in our building and community over for the evening for dinner and decorating.

I took a trip to any expat's favorite store... Ikea, where I purchased the gingerbread house kits and majority of the holiday party decor. For a fun festive twist, I decided to tie a red ribbon around each individual package and top it off with an ornament that each guest could take home with them at the end of the evening. Wrapping paper in a coordinating color and style was lined down the center of the table, and on it was placed bowls for the different candies that would be used to decorate each house. The white candy bowls are the perfect backdrop to hold all the colorful candies. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

We Decorated For Christmas But We're Not Going To Be Here.

Yup, you read that correct. I put up a Christmas tree, hung our stockings, and played Sufjan Stevens' Christmas albums, all the while knowing that we weren't even going to be in the country for the actual holiday. Our family had planned a full three week vacation exploring the country of Vietnam during the advent season. But as a mother with two smallish children, we all needed to have some semblance of tradition, so up went the decorations. That Ikea Christmas tree has done wonders for us for the past four years. It comes with such easy set up and easy take down as well.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

American Thanksgiving In China.

I'm all about celebrating holidays even if the holidays are from another country other than the one we are living in. After-all, it's all about the traditions you're familiar with. We ordered our full turkey meal in from a chef in Beijing, which worked out beautifully after having worked a full day. There was no need to stand over a stove, I simply dressed the table with a simple place setting and invited our Hong Kong/Beijing family over for our weekly family dinner night. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hosting A Whole30 Dinner Party.

A friend of mine that loves to entertain put together a small group of couples to host monthly dinner parties. We each took one month and chose a theme for the dinner. The sky was the limit for each of us and as a lover for all things entertaining, this group was right up my alley.

For our evening, I chose to do a full on Whole 30 dinner menu. I raided the Whole30 Instagram account for meal ideas, and settled on roasting individual Cornish hens, mashed potatoes, pumpkin soup, an arugula bacon salad, and green beans for the main course. For appetizers we enjoyed prawn and avocado bites, pear and prosciutto wraps, and finally chili and rosemary roasted nuts. 

A trip to Ikea for a couple yards of fabric that I had them hem on the spot and turn into a tablecloth for me. I loved the simple black and white color scheme with a bold pattern. Another trip to the flower market to visit my favorite flower vendors for some greenery and white roses helped pull the look all together. 

I made sure to print off the evening menu with everyone's name at the top as not only a place setting, but to also inform the guests of what to expect for the dinner for the evening. For a take home party favor, I placed a dish towel with a Chinese print made by another expat artist living in Beijing. 

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