Smooth Fruits and Veggies

We recently got a Nutribullet and I am now obsessed with finding new recipes. I love my usual spinach + banana + berries + flax seeds, but I really want to get in more veggies {rather than fruits} that I wouldn’t usually eat, while keeping it relatively low calorie, and, of course, tasty. It doesn’t hurt that they are so colorful!

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1. Beets + avocado + strawberries + lemon + celery + apple

2. Carrot + banana + almond milk + cinnamon 

3. Greens + almond milk + flax + banana (can I handle it without the berries??)

4. Fig + banana + vanilla extract + flax

Red Carpet Ready

Do you get excited for the Oscars? I do. I enjoy watching movies anyway, but with the added challenge of seeing the top movies before the Academy Awards airs, it gives it a sense of purpose to the past time. And I love having friends over to hear what they liked and loathed that year. I’m proud to say that I’ve nearly seen all of the best picture nominee this year, with just one hold out {and I’m hoping to see Captain Phillips in time!}.

Here’s some fun ideas if you want to have a red carpet party this Sunday…

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These black and white popcorn containers are so cute, they could be centerpieces.

Gotta get the right cookie cutter for this, but the results are amazing.

I love the glitter and tickets to spruce up these cups.

The Hollywood sign really takes the cake here.

Downloadable one page ballots here.

These ballot envelopes are so cute.

Popcorn boxes are great for show munching.

Modern and Whimsical Fairy Wings Kids Party

I adore everything about this private book reading party. What a gorgeous setting, with tons of pops of color, crafts, and snack.  And, seriously, I’m loving those wings.
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Kelli Murray‘s photo’s bring this party to life. See more from her and this party here.

Animal Figurines

This weekend I was sick on the couch most of the time, and online shopping {and chocolate} made me feel better. I started looking at Shopbop’s home decor and fell in love with these little guys.

The beautiful white porcelain with the touches of gold make these animals’ regal nature shine through. That horse cake stand is mine– as soon as I have a big enough kitchen to keep it.

 

 

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All images from Shopbop.

Some Cool Things

A few things I’m thinking about right now…

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I’ve been looking for a small bag to go inside a bigger tote. Could this be the one?

I love these luggage tag save-the-dates.

These quinoa breakfast bars look yummy and hearty.

If they made this tea towel in a card, I’d be ready for Valentine’s day.

Beautiful Cupcakes and More

When we were in Australia over the Christmas holidays, we were lucky enough to take a side trip to Newcastle and visit this perfect little shop that recently opened.

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After reading Naomi’s blog for years, drooling over her beautiful cakes and cookies, it was such a treat to try her goodies. And believe me— they were as good as they are cute!

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And we got to meet Naomi herself! It was a bit like meeting a celebrity– I’m sure my face was bright red. But she couldn’t have been nicer. It may have been one of the highlights of my trip!

If you are nearby, you must visit Naomi and her bakery. I read her menu to my husband daily (it changes regularly) and even he has pondered when we are going back– or if we should move closer. :) And if these cupcakes aren’t enough, the town of Newcastle is full of wonderful delights, definitely making it a must- destination.

If you go, tell Naomi I say “hi!”

Gold and Red Love Party

A couple of girlfriends got engaged recently so I thought I’d put together a pre-drink and snacks before our brunch plans. Since this set-up was intended to celebrate love, this could easily be used for Valentine’s Day.

As we were headed out for a meal directly after, I kept the drinks and food light– but big on style and theme. DSC_0490

I used my favorite gold polka dot plates with gold napkins tied with red twine and created seating cards with a “lucky in love” motif.

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I added a little guava juice and a mint sprig to the prosecco to freshen it up a bit, and give it that “love” color. Some chocolate heart shaped cookies in a gold polka dotted glass added to the fun.

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Apparently, finding flowers after CNY is an impossible task, so I went with the edible centerpiece instead. The cookies were really tasty with the strawberries and raspberries from red striped and polka dot bowls.

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Lastly, I put together little take away {with little chocolate} that fit the theme.

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The girls were really touched and after some snacks we took off for a yummy brunch. Maybe I’ll have to recreate this in a few weeks! :)

Best Wishes in the Year of Horse

This weekend we are celebrating lunar New Year, or, as we call it here, Chinese New Year. It’s one of the best times of year– and not just because we gets days of work. There are decorations, red packets of money are given, and lots of eating to celebrate the coming year.

This year is particularly fun for me, as I am a horse, and it’s year of the horse. {And this description probably fits me better than my western zodiac.} And look at this gorgeous display. A fun way to celebrate, right?

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Lai See, or red packets, are given out to younger colleagues and people that help you, like doormen. Similar to a tip at Christmas, you put clean, crisp bills in envelopes for a better presentation and hand them out the day of or after. I got these beautiful envelopes this year that I can’t wait to give out.

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And this map helps you know who to give packets {because it can be a bit confusing}.

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Not to mention, there will lots of fireworks and food– dumplings included. Check out my instagram for updates through the weekend. It’s so fun to join in the cities celebrations!

Kung hei fat choi! xoxo

Australia Day!

One of my favorite parts of living overseas is getting to celebrate more holidays.  I love exploring cultures through their important traditions. This week is a big week in China– but more on that later. Tonight we were lucky enough to join in an Australia Day dinner at a proper Ozzie restaurant.

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Similar to the 4th of July, Australia Day includes meat cooked on barbie {I love how they served it over grilled herbs}. My favorite part of the menu was kangaroo pie.  Rich and yummy, it was was delicious. And, naturally, the meal ended with a traditional lamination.

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The restaurant also had an Aussie comedian, which added some entertainment to the evening. Good food, good fun, good cultural experience, good company! xoxo

Recent Celebrations

Since we’ve missed out on each other’s recent lives, I wanted to give you a snapshot of some our celebrations lately. December was busy with birthdays, advent activity calendars and holiday cards (we created our own!)– then we headed to Australia for Christmas and New Years. I decorated our beach rental then we headed out to watch the fireworks in Sydney, over the Opera House. It was a jam packed month but full of wonderful!

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What did you do for the holidays? Any other fun recent celebrations? xoxo