Halloween 2016

Happy Halloween!

I am taking a break on baby/newborn postings for a bit to showcase some Halloween fun! If you know me, you know that I’m a Halloween fan. What’s not to love about creative foods, crafting costumes, and using your noggin for fun ideas! When I first met my husband, he said it was weird for people to decorate for Halloween. Clearly he didn’t know me at all, because THAT’S WHAT I DO! Now that we’ve been married for 4.5 years, he appreciates this “holiday” a bit more. Goal complete.

We hosted a Halloween party last night on Hallow’s Eve for friends. A baby doesn’t change the fact that this holiday must call for a gathering. Crafted Halloween decor. Themed pot luck foods. Mandatory costumes. Success!

Just take a look at these amazing pictures. And of course, I have some new food ideas to share with you.

First the family costumes:

Snow White themed

Snow White themed

 

Stranger Things

Stranger Things

 

My barbie

My barbie

Right above my TV, I added floating candles this year! Here’s a great tutorial from Consumer Crafts. Instead of toilet paper rolls, I rolled up craft paper.

DIY floating candles

DIY floating candles

Now for the food ideas!

Back and front end!

Back and front end!

 

Ribs and Intestines

Rib of dead man and pot pie intestines

And how about these delicious mummy potatoes!

Twice Baked Mummies

Twice Baked Mummies

The dessert table

The dessert table

And you cannot forget:

Sangria - duh

Sangria – duh

My favorite new item that I made this year was the jar of eyeballs. So much fun and easy to do. Here’s the tutorial:

What you need: Jar, Can of Lychee, and Boba

What you need:

You can purchase a can of lychee at any Asian grocery store. With the Boba, you can buy a milk tea and just use the starch balls. Huge bonus, you get to drink the milk tea!

Directions:

  1. Drain the can of lychee into the glass jar
  2. Take out each lychee and stuff with boba
  3. Place the “eyeball” into the glass jar
  4. Fill the remaining jar up with water
  5. Create a label, display, and eat!
Delicious Eyeballs

Delicious Eyeballs

 

Jar of eyebals

Jar of eyebals

Easy and fun right? Now tell me, what are you doing this Halloween?

Sending haunts your way,
Jay

Battery powered flickering tea lights on Amazon here

  

Third Baby Shower at Work

And my third baby shower was held at work!

Party!

Party! ^^^

My sweet friends surprised me on my last week with a team get together, filled with presents and dim sum. They call me Asian mama so it was an Asian themed shower (ha!).

They even baked fortune cookies, made with hand written fortunes like:

  • You will fit into your old jeans soon!
  • Wine is in your future
  • A baby is on the way

img_1358

img_1376

Ah! I love them.

Unfortunately, I put in my resignation a few weeks ago because it’s demanding to be a first time mom. Who knew?!? My previously held position had also changed quite a bit so in the end, I decided not to return. I’m sad because I love my team, but my priority is spending time with the baby right now. And that’s what I shall do, with a HUGE smile on my face.

With love,
Jay

  

Brunch Baby Shower in Texas

Six months into my pregnancy, I flew home to Texas to visit family and friends. We first flew to Austin for a friend’s wedding and then drove back to my hometown of Sugar Land to see my family. I’m so glad I did because I got to see people that I love, and they got to see my big belly.

My Kay and I

My Kay and I

Maybe we went to 6th street. Okay, yeah we did!

Maybe we went to 6th street. Okay, yeah we did!

The beautiful Driskill Hotel

The beautiful Driskill Hotel

A little bit of us for a while longer

A bit of only us for a little longer!

A bit of only us for a little longer!

When I was home, my parents and sister threw me a mini baby shower with my aunts and cousins. That was a nice surprise to have a brunch shower. Lots of food including a crepe cake, fruit tart, french toast, croissant casserole, Torchy’s queso, and bacon deviled eggs.

Delicious!

Delicious!

We also played a fun little game, similar to pin the tail on the donkey, but a much more adult version. It’s funny playing a game like this with your cousins, aunts, and dad!

Pin the sperm on the egg!

Pin the sperm on the egg!

Ming-Gih and little MG

Ming-Gih and little MG

These photos totally remind me to count my blessings. I’m fortunate to have the people around me to love and support me through my entire pregnancy.

^^^ My sister and mom ^^^

^^^ My sister and mom ^^^

I love my mama

I love my mama

No love like the one between a mother and daughter!

Did anyone else fly during the end of their second trimester? What did you do? What about third trimester? How was that experience?

Lots of love,
Jay

  

Mid-December Recap

How is December flying by so quickly? It’s already mid-December. I can’t believe Christmas is next week! Are you done with your Christmas shopping yet?

I’ve been a bit MIA on the blog recently, due to lack of time because I’m working now and because the holiday season is always packed with adventures (what I actually mean is feasts). Activities lined up every single weekend until my parents come to town (yay, this weekend!). I’m especially excited about this year because we’re renting a cabin in Tahoe in between Christmas and New Years for my family and my in-laws. Don’t know if we’ll be skiing yet but there’ a high possibility!

Since my last post, I’ve had 3 holiday parties. One that consists of all you can eat Brazilian BBQ. And two other parties where I was one of the main head chefs (think pounds and pounds of prime rib). Here are some fun recaps from pics on my iPhone.

Here at Espetus in sequins and fur – my favorite combo!

Dinner

And now for the church Christmas parties – here are the goods. The Costco employees even commented on how much food we had in our carts!

Goods

And look at these awesome veggie trees – you simply buy a styrofoam cone, wrap it in plastic wrap to keep it from crumbling, and skewer veggies onto the cone with toothpicks. I carved stars from pineapple as toppers (remember to soak your pineapple in salt water so it doesn’t brown).

Veggie Trees

Crab cakes galore! I definitely made over 100 crab cakes.

Crab Cakes
Use my crab cake recipe here

And MEAT!

Prime Rib
My perfect prime rib recipe here

And here’s my little sweetheart guarding the presents. “You shall not open the presentz!”

Chubs' Present

I’m also taking my parents to The Christmas Story musical on Christmas Eve. Each year, Neighborhood church in Castro Valley hosts a broadway-like musical for only $5 per ticket. It’s such a great form of entertainment and good price too! Tickets are going fast so order ahead, and constantly check their site to see if there are new musicals on the horizon – totally worth the cost.

What are you most excited for during this Christmas season?
Jay

  

Halloween Potluck

How was your Halloween? I’d love to hear some of your costume ideas and what you did on this special occasion!

For my Friday, I hosted a Halloween Potluck at my house. I’m not usually a fan of potlucks, but for Halloween, I make an exception. I love to encourage people to use their noodle to come up with something creative, in this case, imagination with food.

Everyone had to bring a Halloween-themed food to the party. In the end, we had a lot of good food, and some too creepy to eat. Take a look!

First, drinks.

Drinks

Here are the amazing appetizers:

Halloweenies

Deviled eggs

Pumpkin vomit

Meatballs

Mummy Brie

And the delicious main courses:

Chili

Carcass

Pumpkin^^^ Pumpkin fried in salty egg yolk (It’s a Chinese dish)

Bat wings

Minced guts

And no meal is complete without dessert, and we had plenty!

Jello
^^^ Jello ^^^

Red Bean
^^^ It’s red bean paste from Japan

Mummy cakes

Zombie cake pops
^^^ My favorite item of the night because how cute are they!?!

After we filled our bellies, we watched Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (oh, that’s how the Emancipation Proclamation came to be) and Hocus Pocus (classic). As you can tell, we weren’t scary movie people at all, rephrase, just the girls, including me. Best part, I have some leftovers in my fridge that I’m still eating. Yay!

What are some of the potluck items that catch your eye? What are some other food ideas I can use for next year?

Now it’s November, and I’m already thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love this season!
Jay

  

DIY Tassel Garland

It’s Friday! So this calls for another festive, party DIY!

Both these tassel garlands and the circle ones (previous circle garland DIY here) make for a very decorated party!

I know I’m currently not working right now so you might be thinking what’s Friday to you? It’s a time to finally have a moment to spend with MG. It’s a time where things slow down a bit because I’m not working on projects. The best thing? It’s a time where people come over to my place and all we do is watch TV, snack, and relax. Even though I watch TV during the weekday, it doesn’t have the same “weekend” feel.

It’ll be another eventful Saturday this weekend. I’m going to a boat party again! I’m also going dancing again; I think the club bug bit me. Tehehe

Anyway, whoohoo it’s Friday! Let’s party!

Done

What you’ll need:

  • Tissue paper in various colors
  • Scissors
  • Twine (or string or ribbon)

Directions:

1. Fold the tissue paper hamburger style in half, fold in half again, and in half again. Cut fringe while leaving 1-2 inches intact at the fold line. Don’t forget to cut fringe at the folded creases too!
2. Unfold paper and start rolling down the middle until completed and twist in half to create a loop.
3. Place the tassel over the twine, and wrap twine around to secure tassel. Continue until desired length.

DIY Tassel Garland

So easy right? And so beautiful!

Display

What do you think of these garlands? Is this something you can do?

Have a great weekend,
Jay

  

Circle Garland DIY

I truly believe that decoration can change the entire look and feel of an environment. After I painted the walls in my home, it became a more comfortable environment. Typically people stick with white, but I painted a dark navy that almost looks black during the day. I love it! To add some fun aspect, I stenciled the opposing wall with a yellow lattice pattern. I’ve also put up curtains which makes any room feel more grand. I’m starting to really love this home decor thing. I’ve been asked to help decorate a dentist office recently. I immediately accepted the offer and will be starting on designing this week. And of course, I’ll be taking you along the journey via my blog. We’ll see where this takes me! I’m so excited for the opportunity!

Perhaps you saw the decor at the bridal shower from my weekend post (previous post here)! I helped with that! Today’s post will be a DIY on how to make those circular garlands. Perfect for parties! It’s great to use as a backdrop for pictures as well!

These are so easy to make but it does take time. It took me about 3 hours a day for 5 days to make 15 garlands. Worth it when you get some great photos!

Chubalee

What you’ll need:

  • Paper to cut circles (I made about 225 circles for 15 strings of circles)
  • Circle cutter (similar one hereOR circle punch (affordable one here)
  • Cutting mat (I used a piece of plywood)
  • Fishing line
  • Hot glue gun with extra glue sticks

Directions: Cut out circles, line them up in a straight line, and hot glue the circles onto your fishing line. When cutting the circles, make sure you have something underneath so you don’t scratch up your surface (oh my poor dining table…).

Another option to put these together is sewing the circles into a straight line (perhaps you’ve seen this option on Etsy). I think the hot glue is easier but that’s up to you!

Aren’t these colors so pretty?

Colors

Here’s the photo tutorial:

DIY-tutorial

If you have a Silhouette, use it! It’s a cutting machine for avid scrapbookers or crafters. The best thing about this machine is that you can design your own shapes and fonts to be cut, whereas with the Cricut cutter you’re limited to their cartridges. It’s a pricey machine at $270. I would suggest only purchasing if you’ll use it often. Otherwise the Martha Stewart cutter at $12 is a great option. Still interested? You can purchase the Silhouette here.

I was able to cut 12 circles per every standard sheet of paper easily on the Silhouette. It saved me a buttload of time!

Silhouette

I really love these garlands, so festive!

Done

Have you ever purchased these garlands? Where did you get them and what did you use them for? Is this something you can make for your next party?

With love,
Jay

  

Annual Pumpkin Carving Party

I love the Fall/Winter season. For one thing, the weather gets colder so warm and comfy sweaters and boots. Secondly, the holidays – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

It’s Halloween this Thursday! Halloween has always been one of those holidays where my parents decorate the house so the Fall/Winter fun kicks off on 10/31. Now that I’m married, MG and I get to start our own annual traditions. The pumpkin carving party started last year, and I really hope to continue this event year after year. We go to the pumpkin patch in the morning with friends, pick out our pumpkins, head home to rest a bit and snack on treats, then start the carving!

This year I decked out the decorations for the carving party. Our closest friends joined us, and we had a great time!

Holly, David, and I went to the patch together to pick out our pumpkins at Pastorino Farm and Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay. MG wasn’t able to go since he had a bachelor’s party this year. It was the perfect day – some wind and lots of sun! We got there early too to avoid traffic. It’s always a joy to watch little toddlers running around while parents are trying to get pictures of them in the patch. Guess that will be me one day!

Here are some fun pictures from my iPhone. Sadly my camera died right before we got to the patch (newbie mistake)!Pumpkin Patch

Special thanks to David for the next three pictures! Glad someone’s camera was working!

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin patch

Holly and me
Do you go to the pumpkin patch every year? What do you like to look at?

Look at our carved pumpkins!

Carved PumpkinsWhich one do you like best? What did you carve this year?

Carvers

Carved PumpkinsSo pretty when lit up! I sprinkled some cinnamon on the lids before lighting the candle. My house smells awesome!

Messy
W
e collected all the ooey-gooey-ness and cleaned off the seeds and made….

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Wash and dry your seeds. Add two tablespoons of melted butter, sprinkle garlic seasoning, pepper, and salt. Then roast them for 45 minutes at 300°, turning the seeds over every 15 minutes for an even roast. So crunchy and delicious!

To make things more fun, I adorned the house with some low cost, easy to do decorations!

Webs
Done over and over again, but definitely adds to the setting!

Mice
I found some cute mice wall decals at Target for $5 a pack (10-15 mice decals)

Zombie blockade
I’m really proud of this zombie blockade! I found a cardboard box and cut it into strips, then used a Sharpie and drew wood grain. I cut out hand silhouettes from poster and spray painted them black for the zombie hands. Looks really cool over a window or a fire place! What do you think?

Stairs - Zombie
I cut out and spray painted some extra hands and taped them against the banister so that it looks like zombies are reaching out to you as you walk up the stairs. It actually took 2 days to adjust to this because looking from the bottom of the staircase, it’s a bit terrifying.

Zombies
Here’s an up-close shot

As I was spray painting the hands against a cardboard, the outlines turned out to be a pretty cool backdrop.

Zom HandsI placed this against a wall for some extra effect

Lastly, Halloween themed food is one of my favorite parts of this holiday!

Chex Snacks
Chocolate covered Chex with Candy Corn and Reece’s Pieces. This is such an easy to make snack! Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and mix into Chex evenly. Then add 3/4th cup of powdered sugar and evenly coat (I like to shake them in a Ziploc).

Eyeballs
Blood shot eyeball deviled eggs. Use a toothpick and red dye to draw veins, use green coloring in the mashed up yolk, and olives for the pupils.

Spiders
Spider deviled eggs with olives

Cupcakes
Owl and brain cupcakes! The owl’s eyes are Oreos with Reece’s Pieces. Aren’t they so cute?

Brain CupcakeBrain cupcakes! Red velvet cake with strawberry filling/guts. Yum

Do you celebrate Halloween? What is your annual Halloween tradition? Anything you want to try from this post?

Happy Halloween!
Jay

  

Nerd Party & Antiques

What do you do during a 3-day weekend?

Let the husband plan one day.
Rest another.
Let the wife plan the last.

This makes everyone happy!

Husband’s plan:
Host a LAN party, aka nerd hangout. Props to you if you know what LAN stands for… anyone? MG invited his childhood friends, and they all brought over their laptops and PCs. After stuffing our faces with turkey weenies in a blanket, triple chocolate brownies, caramel chocolate chip cookies, guacamole, and garlic fries… After a few sodas and a few beers… After 2 hours of configuration and downloading (4 routers, 10 people hardwired into the cable, 2 on wifi, lots of IT knowledge), we were finally ready to game.

Here’s the gang (we had to get an extra table at Costco the morning of).

LAN

LAN Players

The Milkcrate
Pretty cool set up right? Even if you’re not a nerd, you have to appreciate this (at least the hosting aspect of it)! Also this picture directly above ^^^, that’s MG’s cousin Brian. He built his own computer, at least it’ll never heat up right? We named thee, “The Milkcrate.” Don’t hate!

We played Team Fortress 2. It’s a first-person shooter game, with missions, like capturing bases, unlocking sectors on the map, and pushing a cart down a rail. I basically bum rushed people and set them on fire. I was an amazing Pyro. Proof? Look at the screen grab below. Yay! Obviously this was a one-time thing – I was usually towards the bottom. Heh.

Team Fortress

Wife’s Plan:
On Monday, we went to Danville (my first time), and it’s an adorable little town in the North Bay. We walked around downtown, and the city is lined with antique shops. You can call me Explorer Jay, because I LOOOVE antiquing. Look at how lovely this place is:

Danville Sites
The town is full of shops like these.

Crafts in Danville
Perfect for crafting!

Antiques
Antique bottles, vases, and gadgets galore!

Had a little bit of fun in front of a mirror at an antique shop:

Just for fun

It was SO HOT. So we took a break and got some Starbucks. Always a delicious treat!

Break time

More importantly, look what I found for the house!!!

Shelf
Only $10!
I will be putting this above the toilet in our guest bathroom. I’ll be revamping this just a bit! Stay tuned…

Bench
Only $15!
This bench has SO much potential. It’ll be going downstairs so that people can sit and put their shoes on. Reupholster the seat and fresh paint will give this bench new life! A reupholstery tutorial to come soon…

CabinetNow, this is my favorite piece so far. Only $20 at the Salvation Army (OMG and still in great condition)!
I’ve been looking for a storage unit to go in my living room, so that I can put away some of my appliances since our kitchen space is limited. I am going to tint the wood, add some hardware pieces, and it’s going to look fabulous. DIY tutorial on this later as well.

I’m really excited for these projects. As you can see, this will be keeping me busy for a while!

What did you do this weekend?