I hope people believe in this incredible poet’s words because I sure think it’s true. Though it may take months or years to discover one’s talent, every person has something that they are good at, even if it is the simplest thing. The joy of it all, is discovering someone else’s talent and shouldering your talent on theirs. The learning never stops, and the concept of “copying” isn’t always necessarily a negative thing.
A great friend and talented calligrapher, Wendy Fung, brought up the idea of hosting an arts & crafts day every month. I offered to host it at my apartment and rather than it being 2 hours as originally planned, we ended up working on projects for almost 5 hours nonstop. Turns out there are a lot of tools beyond color pencils and crayons that we may all know! 🙂 While we experimented with some of her calligraphy pens, we also worked with stamp, heat embossing, and collage work. Joy, whose beautifully crafted cards can be found at www.smithereenes.etsy.comalso showed us some of her talent with card-making. I like to think of our day as a therapy session – it was far more relaxing than being a couch potato and I learned heaps from these friends.
I’ve reached that age where my beloved friends and family members are either getting married or having children and it is a beautiful blessing to be part of each journey. Besides giving a gift and being part of their big days, I’ve been wanting to be a bit more creative since the idea of Lilspirations was bloomed last year. The timing couldn’t have been better when my friend’s aunt asked me and another friend to throw a baby shower!
Though our friend didn’t have a theme preference, we knew an all-around animal theme would be perfect. Let it be farm, zoo, or safari, who doesn’t love cute animals decorated with icing or sketched onto onesies? (Her registry was filled with adorable items that had animals on them too).
Here were some of my favorite pictures from her shower.
It’s always a beauty to see gorgeous flowers everywhere and snack on delicious sweets! Whether you have a Valentine or not, give someone a hug or send a message and tell them how much you appreciate them. 🙂 May you enjoy this holiday with your loved one(s)!
The other day, a friend of mine drove me through Soho and my eyes WIDENED when I saw Ladurée. I thought I imagined it, but after looking it up, I found that it had its opening for its 2nd NYC location just last week on February 4th (Miami folks – it’s opening there in 3 weeks!) If you are a big fan of the macaroon pastries, this is a must go-to spot. Though upscale and quite fancy, its desserts are all that it claims to be and more. Macaroons are incredibly hard to make, requiring specific temperature and a detailed process that few can master. It can easily become too sweet, breakable, or hard!
It has officially been 1 week since the first day of the Chinese New Year. Chinatown, NYC has exploded with festivities during the first weekend! Lion Dancers and Chinese unicorns roamed the streets while visitors and celebrators took the day off and enjoyed the company of friends and family. Many also used this great opportunity to purchase and shoot confetti all over the streets before sanitation cleaned up at dusk. I didn’t quite appreciate all this “craziness” until recently, when I realized how incredible the culture really is and how important it is to keep tradition for our future generations!
If you’re interested in seeing the last celebration of the New Year festivities, come out to Chinatown this Saturday! Streets are blocked and Lion Dance groups and organizations come out to bless the stores with good luck and scare away the bad. I highly suggest public transportation because there will be no parking!
Here’s a few photos taken during the first weekend.
Gong Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!
2014 is the Year of the Horse. One of the most important night of the Chinese New Year celebrations is the Eve, which falls on January 30th of this year. On this night, families gather together to celebrate the end of the year and the beginning of a new year with an important feast. Though each family cooks different dishes, many of the foods included are symbolic of good fortune, prosperity, longetivity, promotion, health, and happiness. The pictures above are dishes that my mother and mother-in-law made. They were simply delicious! Although I can’t translate the significance behind every food, I know that oranges and the tofu skin wrapped in vegetables represent gold & fortune. The fish represents abundance and the shrimp means laughter and happiness.
Other traditions that occur on this eve include throwing out the garbage and cleaning before dinner (not after as to not sweep away the luck), rinsing with grapefruit water (to wash away the bad), bowing to the God of Wealth, and having flowers & paper decorations to put around the house. It can get quite busy, but after dinner, it’s all rest and hope for a wonderful year!