Category Archives: Hostessing

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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Hong Kong stork baby shower.

My mom very nicely threw me a baby shower while I was back in California.

It was themed around Ana Sousa’s baby shower invitation.

Minted was nicely able to replace the Paris skyline with a few buildings, like the knife building (my favorite!), from Hong Kong’s skyline.

My mom and I set up a fun little dessert table display, which was featured yesterday on Amy Atlas–she is such an inspiration so that’s quite exciting!

My mom got the fabric from Natural Expressions, an awesome fabric store in Los Gatos. I thought it went with the invite so perfectly!

Cake pops were from Sweet Lauren Cakes. Cookies were from Sugar Mama Cookies SF.

Wrapped up, they were the party favors.

The cupcakes were insanely delicious and from Icing on the Cake Bakery.

My mom set a very pretty table, again incorporating some fabric as a runner.

She just cut it and draped it nicely… no need to even hem it!

I thought the colors were exceptionally gender-neutral!

Here I am with Mom & Sis.

And a couple of dear friends: Kim, who I met in Hong Kong and now lives in SF, on the left and Andrea, one of my oldest friends from grammar school, on the right.

I was given a very cute Margarete Steiff momma and baby teddy bear set from my Aunt Steph and little Alise took to it right away! Good sign baby Lawler will also love it!

I was so excited that two of my best friends Tam (left) and Andrea (right) were sweet enough to fly up from LA just for the shower!

I really can’t tell you how nice it was so to feel so much love and excitement from dear friends and family. Having a baby is a really big thing and can be quite scary on your own… so it really means a lot to have so much love sent your way and to get to celebrate with people I live so far away from was really special.

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Honeycomb and chicken wire baby shower.

Every now and then I see an idea in my blog surfing that is just so clever, I can’t help but share it with you, like this honeycomb baby shower adorable from A Subtle Revelry.

The main element of the décor? Spraypainted chicken wire!! How brilliant is that? The hexagonal pattern is recognizable everywhere and so easy to integrate into other little party touches.

My father-in-law is an avid bee keeper so a chicken wire / honeycomb party would also be perfect for his birthday! He even built himself an observation hive for his home office. All image from A Subtle Revelry.

I would pair that shower with this mom to bee minted invite from Kelli Hall!

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Purple and yellow send-off dinner and bulk flowers.

Before our good friends Monique and Jay went back to the States to both marry and relocate to their mutual hometown area of Chicago, we hosted a little send-off dinner for them.

The bride-to-be’s favorite color is purple, so I wanted to highlight that, but also mixed in some yellow to make things a little more summery.

Although, I’m a huge fan of professional florists, they’re not always in the budget… and so I often turn to bulk flowers.

In Hong Kong, I’ve had excellent luck with HingFatFlora: frankie.chan@hingfatflora.com. I know my sister-in-law Rosie is a big fan of BloomsByTheBox in the US.

In this ridiculous heat, the first thing I did was get those steaming flowers right into ice water and stuck them all right under the AC!

And then the pruning begins. I am far from a brilliant floral arranger, but one thing I do know is you have to get rid of a LOT of those leaves… you really don’t want any leaves below the water, or really the vase, line.

The one ESSENTIAL tool for DIY-flowering is Japanese (yes, they make the best ones) floral shears. They are super precise and last forever. If yours get a little rusty as mine have from time to time–although I do try to wipe them down after using them–a little WD40 will do the trick.

I really like these Ohkubu shears from Korin. Floral shears also make lovely shower or birthday gifts by the way… even if you’re not DIYing your flowers, you should always trim any flowers you receive on a bias for a longer life!

I don’t have seating for 15 so I ended up renting tables and chairs from Relish Kitchen. I used some purple cloth napkins underneath my arrangements so they would really pop off the long table.

The one thing that is helpful with flowers by bulk is to know the names of flowers you like so you can order appropriately, but it’s easily remedied… sometimes I start with a simple ‘purple flower google’ and lots of pretty things pop up.

The guests of honor are both vegetarians, I served a chilled gazpacho and coordinated another vegetarian salad bar–see one from May here!–and had several guests brings salads to round out the menu. Even with 15 guests, I think everyone still managed to get very full even without meat.

Oh and then there was the cake! I made Sweetapolita’s lavender and lemon cake.

I was really happy with how it turned out. You basically soak lavender in milk for the cake and then you also make a frosting with lavender infused milk. In between layers goes fresh lemon curd.

Personally, I can find lavender in food to be a bit too cloying and soap-like, but  the acidity of the lemon balanced that out perfectly.

I think everyone had a nice time and enjoyed getting to spend some real quality team with the departing guests of honor.

I especially loved when we were all sitting around the table toasting and roasting them!

Meeting fascinating new friends is the best part of living abroad. Saying good-bye to them is the worst!

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Kate Spade inspired wedding shower.

I came across this Kate Spade inspired wedding shower on one of my daily reads: Em is for Marvelous. I love of the idea of taking inspiration for a party from one of the guest of honor’s favorite brands.

I thought it was super clever so wanted to share it with you! Emily, who’s also the creative director of Southern Weddings, created the invites herself and did such a great job… even mimicking Kate Spade’s signature Baskerville italics.

She also had a really fun game idea. She had each guest write a note for the bride for the 12 days leading up to the wedding… I love stationery and notes of any kind so it’s not surprising that I thought this was a really thoughtful idea.

It would also work well for a baby shower as the days leading up to a due date can get a bit intense as well… only it’s a very different type of intense as compared to leading up to a wedding.

And isn’t nail polish such a cute idea for a favor? LOVE. Check out her post for more pictures here.

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