Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tacos, Burritos, Jarritos, Oh My!

My sister and I were thinking of baby shower ideas while our other sister was pregnant with her 2nd child. Since she already had a traditional baby shower while pregnant with Caden, we decided to do something a little different. We wanted to include men, children and everyone in between. In the end, we decided on a "Caden is going to be a big brother" party!

Caden was almost 3 years old and we thought it would be cute to put the focus on him and his last days of being an only child.

Everyone loves tacos, burritos and Jarritos, so we rented the El Tonayense taco truck! Luckily at that time my brother's family lived on a dead end street. Perfect place for the truck to park and have our guests gather around.

El Tonayense brought their separate catering truck and provided tortilla chips

Getting their orders in before a line forms

Here they come!

We set up a small jumper in the backyard that kept the kids entertain for a while

Personalized 1-inch buttons with Caden's picture, set on cardstock were the favors

The favors set out with a lovely framed drawing by the big brother himself

In the end, the party was a big success! Since the taco truck provided a majority of the food, we didn't have much prep to deal with or many dishes to wash after. We made sure to get a good parking space and set out folding chairs in front of the house and inside the garage. Renting the taco truck for the party was a fun experience and I highly recommend it! Thanks El Tonayense!

Hot Pot Party

My family uses any excuse to have a party with great food and even better company. My aunts and cousins prepared a Hot Pot party to celebrate all of the birthdays in January and February. Hot pot is a traditional Chinese meal where you sit around a boiling pot of broth with a variety of raw meats, vegetables and noodles that you cook at the table.

Portable butane burners are perfect to set up on tables. You can buy them for under $20 on or usually at Chinese kitchen supply stores

The veggies, mushrooms, meats and fish paste are all washed, cut and ready to go!

My favorite part is the selection of sauces. Soy sauce, ginger, scallions, oil, oyster sauce, ketchup and more! Everyone can make their own mixture of sauce and be happy.

Everyone places the food in the broth and scoops it out with little metal nets. Here's the kid's table enjoying some good hot pot!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Surprise Luau!

It's easier for me to be a host or a helper at a party instead of just a guest. I think it's because my family likes to have parties and we like to go all out. When my Hawaii loving dad turned 60, we had a surprise luau!

We rented the Mill Valley Golf Clubhouse. It had multiple rooms with plenty of space, a kitchen, a stage, and a bar area. We had the perfect cover to get my dad to come to the golf course for a "tournament" with his brothers.

We made the welcome sign by painting letters cut out of cardboard and stuck it onto some burlap from Joann's.

Downloaded a Hawaiian looking font, placed it on some fabric and stuck it into a simple, cheap Ikea frame

Here's a shot of some of the food. Ahi Poke, Spam Musubi and Hawaiian chips

Close up of the Poke garnished with slices of mango

We were able to cook and wrap the spam on-site to have it as fresh as possible when eaten. We added a little style to it by cutting it at an angle ;)

It's not a luau without shaved ice! Island Sno has THE softest shaved ice outside of Hawaii. They bring their own syrups and even add ice cream!

The bar was decorated with plastic backdrops from the party store, another burlap sign, and some birds of paradise flowers. We had an assortment of Hawaiian Sun drinks and helpful friends and cousins to man the bar!

We ordered the cake to be frosted plain because we added fresh orchids to the top

For favors, we filled clear plastic boxes with nori crackers and Li Hing gummy candies. Finished the boxes with green raffia and a little tag.

We set up a photo area complete with a blow up Hawaiian arch, cardboard surfboards/boogie boards, hula skirts, coconut bras, ukuleles, and other fun Hawaiian accessories.

For entertainment, we rented a Hawaiian band and a hula dancer. They really added to the Hawaiian feel and vibe of the entire day.

We love DIY projects because they are cheaper than pre-made items and we just like making things. It was a lot of work, but we were lucky to have a lot of help from our family and friends!

Friday, October 1, 2010

My Favorite Corner

I like having things neat and tidy, but I have to admit I can't keep it that way for long. I always think I'll clean it up later, but of course later turns into next week...or even longer. But there is one area of my craft room that always stays tidy. It also turns out to be one of my favorite parts of the room.

I initially bought the yellow pin board from Sally Shim on her etsy site to hold inspiration pictures. Once I received it in the mail, I thought the mustard linen was too great to hide with pictures, so I decided to keep it empty.

I love the texture of the 3 white vases from Ikea. I've thought about putting flowers in the vases, but I like the simplicity of them being empty.

The finishing touch is the little elephant my friend brought me back from her trip to Thailand. I think it's the cutest thing with it's trunk in the air and the little smile on its face.

It's a simple corner of a shelf, but I think it comes together well. I have to confess that my sister was the one who put the pieces in their place. I can't take credit for the arrangement, but I'm glad I get to be the one to enjoy looking at it!