Friday, May 31, 2013

A day in pictures: 5.7.2013

This is the first of a new series I'm calling "a day in pictures". If you are an Instagram friend, feel free to stop reading as this will be a repost of images you have already seen. 

May 7, 2013, the original plan - take the day off and celebrate me. I was planning to start with a trip to the spa; get my facial on, full body massage, and maybe throw in a mani and a pedi. 

May 7, 2013, the reality - the Commonwealth of Massachusetts had other plans. They scheduled me for a court hearing in the middle of the effing day. Seriously? WTF?! You are probably wondering what the hearing was for. It was to contest the insurance hike due to my car accident. MA automatically faults the driver in a single car accident. 

Thanks for nothing, MA. I won the case. Pretty sure that I have no control over the weather.

Court took a whole 5 minutes (It took me 45 minutes to find the stupid place!) so I decided to enjoy the rest of the afternoon in Boston. I parked under the Common...

Found my way to City Hall Plaza on a mission to find the Mei Mei food truck...

Ordered too much food, but it was so good!

Left: The Double Awesome - scallion pancake sandwich with poached egg, pesto, and Vermont cheddar.
Right: Beef Dumplings and friend rice.

After wandering around Faneuil Hall for a bit, I texted a friend to ask her about the bar she recommended. Unfortunately, I got there 20 minutes before it opened. So I grabbed a soy latte at Barrington Coffee next door.

Coffee lovers, go here!
Drink - The Bohemian. I think it contained St. Germain, gin, grapefruit juice, and bitters.
Great cocktails, highly recommend this joint.

Since I was already in Boston and didn't have a real agenda (other than walking around and eating/drinking), I made my way to the Apple Store to purchase Jake's birthday present. (His friends thought it was hilarious that a) I bought his bday present on my birthday, and b) gave it to him the same day.) I meandered slowly back towards the Common to meet up with him for "dinner."

Public Garden. It was just a gorgeous day!

Bugatti! Just happened to walk past this beauty. If only it had been gifted to me...

"Dinner" - Boston Cream Pie. I was still full from all the noshing throughout the day that I just grab a sweet treat from Thinking Cup

My random, organic walk. Almost 5.5 miles!!! (Click on photo to enlarge)

I probably should have worn sneakers, but my feet were good until the very end. (Sandals blogged here).

Happy Birthday to me! Not a shabby day after all.

*All photos taken via Instagram

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Kentucky Derby 2013

If you follow me on Instagram, then you knew I was prepping to throw a Kentucky Derby themed party. I tried to keep some of the details secret to keep some element of surprise for our guests. But let's be real, all the details are for me because I love details.  

Kentucky Derby, every year a week or two or a month after it has already passed, my friends and I say "we should have a party and drink mint juleps." This year I was proactive about it and decided to throw one. And not just any derby party, it was also a birthday party for myself. Now, I don't usually celebrate my birthday. Growing up, it was just another day. For whatever reason this year, I wanted to celebrate. 

Let's move on to my ridiculous details shall we? First up, mason jars, striped straws, "chalkboard" drink tags, and baker's twine.

Mason jars - Kerr regular mouth pint jars via Amazon.
Paper straws - Pick Your Plum. Drink tags - DIY.

The drink tags were DIY. I started with this printable, photoshopped the text out, printed onto white paper, glued it onto black cardstock (I was stupid and forgot to print it directly onto white cardstock), and then wrote in the names with a white gel pen. This came together super quick.

The "derby cups" are actually bathroom tumblers I found at Home Goods. Unfortunately, they actually rusted on me. I probably should have coated the inside with a some clear nail polish to protect it. Oh well. The deep red roses I scored from Costco; 2 dozen for $18! Can't beat that.

Just an example of how crazy I actually am: I rolled up the napkins! 

Believe it or not, I totally forgot that I had the Gait and Gallop dress from Anthropologie in my closet. I had picked it up on clearance a long time ago. It was totally perfect for the occasion. I opted to forgo the giant hat for a crazy fascinator.

My dress had horses on it!
Ralph Lauren Linen Rosebud fascinator headband via Nordstrom.

Too make things a little interesting, I created cards for each of the horses in the race. Each guest was to pick 2 horses to cheer on. Now, imagine a room full of engineers trying to pick their choices based on statistics,  probability, and odds. Also, throw in some weather talk (since it had been raining). The race was half over before we even realized it had started!

DIY tags using photoshop (chalkboard background + Kentucky Derby logo).
Numbered clothespins were DIY'd from a previous project.

It's not a birthday party without cake. I made my childhood cake, but followed different recipes for the cake and frosting.

Yeup, I made my own birthday cake.
TAG birthday candles.
Banana chiffon cake, filled with bavarian cream, fresh bananas, all frosted in bavarian cream.

Just so you know, I'm not entirely crazy. I let everyone else take care of the hor d'oeuvres and for dinner, we went out to a local restaurant. Until the next party...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Easter 2013

This post is only 2 months late. 

We hosted our first family dinner this year! We had Jake's parents over for Easter. Originally, the plan was to go out to a local restaurant. But as Easter got closer (the week before), we decided that it would be better to just stay home. No crowds to deal with! Plus, I could control the ingredients without badgering potential servers.

With only a week, I started compiling ideas (because you know that I can't keep things simple) and creating a menu. Honey Baked Ham took care of the ham, while I threw a few side dishes together: twice baked sweet potatoes, vegan mac n' cheese with quinoa pasta, spring salad, and hard boiled eggs. For dessert we had macarons from Macaron Sweeterie, chocolate covered macroons found at Whole Foods, and mini lobster tails I snagged from a wedding I had been working the night before.  

Now onto the decor details...

Bunny folded napkins! Whatever you do, do not follow the Martha Stewart instructions. They won't work. I think I followed this one.

Flowers and votives were leftover from the wedding I was working. Perks of being a wedding planner's assistant.

Calligraphy Easter Eggs! Get this, they're actually tattooed! I followed Oh Happy Day's tutorial. But saved some money by purchasing the tattoo paper from Amazon. So one tip that I want to share with you. You need to cut out all the excess tattoo paper. As in, cut out the blank space around the letters and between words. But leave enough so that it is still connected in one piece. This will help make the tattoo look smooth and seamless. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 12: Paris

Remember that time I went to Paris in 2012? Yeah, I don't remember either =P Warning, this is a wordy post.

My second day in Paris was low key. My only goal was to roam around the city shopping and dining only at local establishments.

They day started off damp. My first stop was Merci, in the Le Marais district. A friend recommended this place to me and promised that I would not be disappointed. I wasn't, not one bit. At the front, you'll find a cute and bustling coffee shop that also serves small plates. The heart of the building is 3 floors of shopping. You'll find everything from clothing and accessories to furniture and housewares. I fell hard for a set of grey dishes (I still dream about them). On the bottom floor, next to random kitchen gadgets is an open restaurant. I knew it existed, but I couldn't figure out  how to get to it when I first arrived, so I ended up grabbing a bite to eat upstairs at the coffee shop.

Here's a hint, do not ever ask for soy milk in Paris (or France for that matter). You'll get laughed into oblivion. I was pretty sure the answer was "no", but I asked just to be sure. My server giggled and told me no. Then she was surprised when I told her that I'd take my espresso straight up.

Soup du jour: Carrot, and an espresso.
'EAT ME' had me giggling. 

After lunch and a small purchase (mydrap napkins), I headed out into the rain to my next destination, Le Petit Atelier de Paris, cute shop featuring handmade ceramic goods from local artisans. If you can't make it there in person, they have an online shop: Unfortunately an online purchase means that you don't get to play with their adorable Shiba! He ran over to greet me as soon as I began to push the door open to enter the store.

I wanted to buy one of everything, but I didn't think that it would survive the trip back home. I ended up with a small keepsake pendant. I realize that it's a bit juvenile after I got it home, OK, it's REALLY juvenile, but I still like it!

How cute is this packaging?
The details kills me.

On my way back to the subway station, I wandering about the neighborhood a bit, stopping in a small creperie. I'm pretty darn proud that I ordered completely in French! Two flubs happened. The first came when I asked for water and my server asked if I wanted tap water or bottled water. I think she asked this one or that one. Good thing pointing is universal. The second time was when she asked me if she had given me my change. I thought she was asking if I wanted to order anything else. OOPS!

Random (kinda creepy) water fountain display. (HTC Incredible)

The next stop on my shopping expedition was to Sabre. This is practically Heaven for food stylists. They have the cutest kitchenware I have ever laid eyes on. (Anthropologie had some awhile back.) I got in just moments before closing, but shop keepers were really nice and friendly. Probably because they could tell I was a foreigner and was about to drop some serious cash. I only wished that they would ship to the USA or open a store here. What I wouldn't do for a set of polka dot dishes!

The rain let up and I was able to spend the rest of the day wandering about on foot. Here are some random sightings on my way home:
celio...I would have gone in if I'd seen women's wear in their windows. (HTC Incredible)
Ridiculous Hermes window display. (HTC Incredible)

My exploration ended with quick peek in to Le Bon Marche. I equate this to a Barney's type of place. Nice items, but a too spendy for souvenirs, even for myself. And my accident, I stumbled across a foodie paradise: La Grande Epicerie! It's a like Disney World crossed with a candy store filled with delicious, delicious food. I can't even tell you how much time I spent just staring (and contemplating) at the La Fermiere yogurt section. I may or may not have walked away with a basket full of yogurt.

PSA: If you haven't had French yogurt, you are missing out. It is nothing, NOTHING! like the stuff here. The stuff here is crap in comparison. French yogurt is all natural, pectin free, extremely low in sugar, thick, smooth, and it comes in the cutest glass or terra cotta jars! Oh my god, I'm drooling just thinking about it. The orange blossom honey by La Fermerie and the lemon by Le Petit Basque are my favorites of all time. The lemon was so good that I didn't even realize that it was sheeps milk yogurt.

Day 11: Versailles
Day 10: Edinburgh/Paris
Day 9: Edinburgh
Day 8: London/Edinburgh
Day 7: London
Day 6: London
Day 5: London/Greenwich
Day 4: London
Day 3: London
Day 2: Cambridge/London
Day 1: London
Day 1: London - prefunc

*All photos taken by me with Nikon D7000 unless noted.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Worst. Blogger. Ever.

Remember how I threatened to flood you with blog posts, oh I don't know, like 2 months ago? Yeup, clearly nothing but an empty threat. I think what is keeping me back (in additional to a) being lazy and b) having a love-hate relationship with blogging), is that I never finished my Paris recaps. At least, that's what I'm going to blame it on for the time being. 

Anyways, we're alive and well and we have lots of new adventures to share, like house hunting! For now, I'll leave you this this (because I prefer posts with photos):

Instagram: @_celiamhung

Jake and I returned to our wedding venue for the first time in almost 2 years to take a quick stroll through the grounds while it was still light out, plus the weather was superb on Saturday.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This happened last night...

This happened last night...

I opened my own shop on Etsy! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

It has been a  work in progress for awhile, but I hadn't fully committed to the idea of having my own shop just yet. Out of the blue yesterday, I decided the my shop should share the same birthday as me, so I launched it last night just in the nick of time. (If only I had thought ahead and been able to launch my party planning consultation services yesterday, too.)

Anyways, feel free to stop by and browse around. Be sure to return regularly for new products. Spread the word!