Let’s Taco ‘Bout It!

This is the first birthday party that almost didn’t happen.

We planned really well, ordering fun items from the US in time to be hand carried by my Mother-in-Law who came to visit for East’s first birthday. She arrived the end of February. Not 2 days later, East started coughing and came down with a cold, so bad her chest was rattling. Then my Mother in Law fell ill. By the weekend, a week before the party, I succumbed. My husband held out, making me a short time believer in the flu shot. But we forged ahead planning, thinking we’d be better in a week.

We weren’t. My glands were still swollen a week later and I had no voice. East was probably the best, but she still had a cough. My Mother in Law was ill, and my husband was starting cough. But the real kicker was Friday afternoon, the day before the party, the cat got sick too. With running all over town, going to vet and the pediatrician, still not full recovered, we decided to postpone the party a week.

I’m glad we did– we ended up with more babies able to come in the end. We lost some people, gained some, and fun was had by all. My sweet MIL made 2 pinatas and supervised the food, I had a voice and could talk to guests and give instructions, my husband managed the drinks and the non-baby friends, and East was able to play and have fun. Some people may have thought it was a bit odd to have a taco and margarita party for a 1 year old– but I think it was just perfect for us.

I dreamed of having a park party– a common US kids’ party location– but the weather in Hong Kong is too variable. You don’t know when it might rain, or be cold or crazy hot. So we settled on the common rooms of our building (our apartment– and most apartments– are much too small). Thankfully this offered us flexibility in terms of the date– although not much of the decor. It’s what I call medieval Vegas– but there is a kids playroom, a kitchen, a bar, and a couple of sitting areas. We made it as festive as possible, with tons of papel picado, balloons, flowers, and pinatas.

When guests walked in: DSC_0134

You can just see the sitting area to the right, with the baby food (veggies and no salt food) to the right. And you may be able to make out the taco pillow! (These quesadillas were popular!)



Also some fun hanging elements in this room. DSC_0142

This was outside the kids playroom, with the first pinata. DSC_0157

We put out mats for the little ones to crawl around. I also found taco and burrito felt toys to get the kids in the mood. (The birthday girl trying them out!)


Heading the other way, towards the food, stopping at the bar is mandatory! DSC_0111


And chips, salsa and guacamole, of course. I love those pineapple plates!


The obligatory letter balloon– which is still inflated! East loves playing with it!  You can also see the papel picado  and the cake in the background.


We had an a regular full sugar cake (lemon with blueberry filling) as well as no sugar banana cupcakes for the babies. East ate a whole cupcake herself.


The taco menu–

easts birthday party 2

Can you believe we didn’t end up with any pictures of the tacos?? What’s wrong with us?! But we do have a pic of the taco pinata!



For activities, we had story time, read by my husband. Appropriately, Dragons Love Tacos. East loved it. easts birthday party


And we made maracas! Using just plastic eggs, beans, wooden spoons and tape, I think the kids (and parents!) had a good time. And it was a good take away.



Lastly, cake time!



And the next day we left for Perth!

Sending Invitations…via What’s App

East’s first birthday is nearly upon us, and we are deep in planning mode for her party. For as much as I love paper and would have loved to send out (or deliver!) gorgeous invitations, I communicate almost entirely by Whats App these days. Not only to talk to my family back home, but to schedule play dates, learn about events, or share baby stories with other moms. So when it came time to getting out the word for the party, I wanted the fastest, most effective way to get on people’s busy calendars. So via text it went!

taco-invite-east blured

Mamas have to be adaptable, even party planner ones!

Update: Motherhood

Why do pregnant women always think they will get tons done during their maternity leave? I’ll be home, they say, I can organize the kitchen, look for a job, find the perfect table for the living room, all while taking care of the baby! No problem!

Ha! At four months, and with tons of help, I barely have to eat somedays (and I don’t even have to cook it!). My little girl is wonderful– happy, playful, alert, a good sleeper at night (naps we are still working on), really a delight. And even when I just do feedings, that’s still at least 6-7 hours of my day right there. Lovely, sweet time, but time none the less. Time I wouldn’t give up for the world, but will have to when I go back to work.

If you want to see how I’ve spent the last four months, here’s a peek.

collage first 4 months


I still have plans to post more regularly. Is that a pipe dream?

Baby East’s Modern Nursery

If you’ve known me for 5 minutes or longer you will know that I don’t like pink. I am the youngest of 4, all boys proceeding me, so the family was pretty excited when a girl finally came along, drowning me in pink.  Finally at about 12 I said no more pink and I haven’t looked back. So there was no question my daughter’s room would not be pink.

I wanted to create something peaceful and modern using mint, gold and a touch of coral. {please forgive these iphone photos. I had hope to take some better pictures, but it’s just not happening!}10854864_10152449123636216_9018783072522979469_o

I ordered the fabric from spoonflower and got it made into a cushion, some bedsheets, pillows and a changing pad cover. I applied the decals on the wall over 2 weekends– it really didn’t take too long, and I’m hoping it comes off easily when we move.


We added a bar to the shelf to create some hanging options {and who doesn’t like to look at cute baby clothes?}. That cute picture on the dresser is her daddy when he was a baby. His mom sent this, along with his childhood bunny. 10900068_10152467660051216_1563751980564133319_o

I love this quote from Kate Spade– I can only hope that she will embody these qualities! I couldn’t find it in print any longer, so I ended up making this. I cut out the letters with my Silhouette, painted them gold, adhered them to painted cardstock, and framed it.


Our little girl was due right around Chinese New Year (a big deal here in Hong Kong) – although she ended up being a bit late. This year on the Chinese zodiac is year of the sheep {or goat, or ram, depending on how you translate it} so when I saw this big fluffy stuffed animal I couldn’t help but get it for my little sheep. The turtle and the rabbit were given by friends.

She’s still sleeping in a bassinet in our room, but I’m hoping she loves the room as much as we do when she moves in.

A Little Update



I haven’t posted much lately  and I’m sorry for that. I have so many ideas that I want to share– and not the energy to implement them. But here’s the reason behind my radio silence — we are having a baby!

I could not be more excited for this little girl and how she will change our lives. I can’t wait to see her smile, her eyes bright with curiosity, and, of course, throw her some fabulous parties! Right now, though, between moving, setting up our new apartment (including the nursery!), my regular work schedule, and lots of rest and naps on the couch, I’ve been a crappy blogger. Other than the fury of thoughts, emotions, worries, and excitement in my head, the miracle of life is a bit of a snooze fest. {I’m sure that will change as she gets more and more active– and as the birth gets closer. eek!}

I’m not going away, by any means. I still have tons of parties in me! I hope you can be patient with me as I make this life transition.

Summer Lovin’

How’s your summer going? Can you believe July is nearly over? I’ve gotta get in my sunny days in while I can!

Here are some things I’m loving right now…

collage fav july

1. This baby shower tablecloth is so cute.

2. I must have this gold {temporary} tattoo.

3. Chocolate potato chips? Yes please!

4. I adore this 40th birthday. It gives me ideas for a future party for my hubby…

5. Tiny gift parade. {this has made the rounds, but I love gifts!}

6. Candy necklace napkin ring. So colorful and fun for summer.

What are you loving this summer?

Gift for a New Mom

Speaking of gifts… I remember reading awhile back (probably on a blog) about a new mom, home on maternity leave with her new baby, asking for books to read while breastfeeding. As sometimes the baby will feed for hours at a time, she was looking for ways to entertain herself beyond social media and reality tv marathons. Being a big reader myself, I found this to be an interesting and thoughtful gift idea and stored it away.



I recently had a chance to try it out, as a friend had the good timing to have her baby exactly a week before we planned to see her. We were able to see her, her new baby girl– and the amount of down time she had those first few days. We certainly wanted to get her something to celebrate the baby’s arrival — and maybe we saw her on a day that she was feeling stir-crazy, but she seemed excited by the idea of some books.

I sent her 3 of some of my recent favorites– The Signature of All Things, The Language of Flowers, and Cutting for Stone. All paperbacks, to make it a bit lighter to balance. Hopefully she will enjoy them and find this to be a useful gift.

Moms, any feedback or thoughts on this gift?


June Crush

Some things I can’t stop thinking about this month. #happysummer

collage june love


1. A how-to for writing on a cake

2. A Farmers Market First Birthday. So adorable.

3. Everything you love about your state, in a postcard.

4. Color code your bar cart. Yes please.