Monthly Archives: August 2012

Great gift: Wedding invitation platters.

For several of our weddings this past summer, I had platters painted replicating the couple’s wedding invites for our wedding gifts.

I love how this makes your wedding invitation a permanent part of the newlywed’s home and entertaining. And you know I LOVE wedding invitations, and all three of these are also from Minted. My dear friend Jen from college went with a simply elegant design called Just My Type by Ann Gardner for Minted.

My friend Tammy was given an invite platter for a wedding gift, which I saw at her shower and thought was awesome!

She referred me to Alesia at To Your Art’s Content. I think she did an awesome job! Alesia’s Etsy shop can be found here.

Alesia did a lot of fun touches like the pink edging on this platter for my lovely sister-in-law Deirdre and her new husband John.

Deirdre’s wedding invitation is called Kristin by Splendid Press for Minted.

For my sister-in-law Suzanne, we went with a square platter for her Azaria wedding invitation by Dauphine Press for Minted.

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Jiro Dreams of Sushi.

Of course, you always want what you don’t have, but I think I would have loved to have inherited a line of work from my parents and so I’m fascinated by family businesses. And I love sushi and have missed it an awful lot during the last nine months, so I really enjoyed Jiro Dreams of SushiYouTube Preview Image It’s the story of Jiro Ono, the 85-year-old proprietor of Sukiyibashi, a 3 Michelin star restaurant in a Tokyo subway station. I loved learning more about all the intricacies that go into making fine sushi, like did you know that octopus needs to be “washed” for hours in wooden barrels to make it tender?

Jiro has two sons who feature prominently in the documentary. The youngest now has his own sushi restaurant, while the plan is for Jiro’s eldest son, who is now in his mid-sixties, to one day succeed his father, obviously very late in his life. It doesn’t seem like life outside of sushi was ever a real possibility for either son, nor does it seem like it’s easy to follow in their father’s footsteps, seeing as he’s considered by many to be the finest living sushi maker in the world. Sadly, we don’t see or hear about any grandsons likely to continue the operation once he’s gone.

The film also explores the Japanese concept of Shokunin. The Japanese word shokunin is defined by both Japanese and Japanese-English dictionaries as ‘craftsman’ or ‘artisan,’ but such a literal description does not fully express the deeper meaning.  The Japanese apprentice is taught that shokunin means not only having technical skills, but also implies an attitude and social consciousness. … The shokunin has a social obligation to work his/her best for the general welfare of the people.  This obligation is both spiritual and material, in that no matter what it is, the shokunin’s responsibility is to fulfill the requirement.” – Tasio Odate

To Jiro, making a perfect piece of sushi is an honorable act that comes from a lifetime comitment. At one point he says, “Once you commit to a career, you must commit yourself fully–and work toward improving your skills for the rest of your life.” Would we all be so lucky to find such meaning in our daily work.

You can rent the film here.

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Passionfruit.

One of my pregnancy cravings that has continued after birth is anything sweet and sour, like passionfruit.

Before moving to Asia, I’d only had the fruit in jams or candied, never fresh.

But I’ve been enjoying it all summer long over yogurt with a little honey. Passionfruit is native to Brazil, Paraguay and Northern Argentina.

It’s also yummy with honey and ice in a little smoothie. I first got into the fruit back in May on a visit to Thailand where the resort we were staying at served passionfruit ice cream and I took some passionfruit jam home for a souvenir.

I am thinking it would be fun trying to make the jam myself. The fruit is high in fiber and Vitamin C. The name of the flower is so called from the Passion of Christ. The three stigmas reflect the three nails in Jesus’s hands and feet and the threads of the flower resemble the crown of thorns.

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Hong Kong Bundle: Francis Xavier.

Our little bundle arrived quite peacefully on Saturday morning at 7:42am.

As it turns out, the birth of your child is every bit as incredible as everyone says it is. It left me shaking; literally from the adrenaline, but also from the emotion of seeing Francis for the first time. We really couldn’t be happier with him and really do find every little look, hand gesture, or squeak enchanting.

Our first post-shower family picture!

The view from our hospital terrace was pretty amazing after the thunderstorm Francis was born in cleared.

Francis Xavier was named after Father Xavier, our dear friend and the priest who married us, as well as after the Saint who was one of the first missionaries to Asia and who died off the coast of Hong Kong, trying to reach China.We’re back home now getting to know one another in between naps!

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Baby on the way…

I won’t be posting for a little while… We are off to Hotel Matilda, hoping to be wheeling a baby home with us!

Wish us luck!!!

P.S. Isn’t this watermelon baby carriage perfect for a baby shower? I love the orange and kiwi wheels. So clever. All credit to Kate Phipps.

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