Monthly Archives: December 2010

Snow Yurt.

Last week my parents treated me to dinner in a Viking Yurt, half-way up the Park City Mountain Resort. I thought you might like to see the pictures!

They served gluhwein, red mulled wine, and if you wanted to spike it they were also selling aquavit shots. The wood burning fireplace also kept the yurt super toasty.

I have to say the food was surprisingly amazing, especially for serving it at 9,000 feet… Waygu beef was the main and it was so tender. 

The sorbet was served in a stone from Norway–it was a little gimicky, but still pretty cool.

The cheese plate on a cedar plank was just beautiful.

All in all, it was one of my favorite tourist-trap excursions in a long-time!

New Year’s Resolution Ideas.

So, I am very much aware of the fact that I have some major shortcomings. I feel like I am constantly losing my mind and constantly apologizing… so I never have a shortage of ideas for New Year’s resolutions. You know you are inevitably going to get asked what you’ve resolved to do in the New Year no less than 3 dozen times, so why not at least have something to say even if you don’t end up completely, totally, following through.

(Resolution pencils, courtesy of Kate Spade.) Here are some of my favorites, please do comment with your ideas!

–Write one handwritten note a day. If you don’t have a note to write thanking someone for hosting you or for a holiday gift, then think of someone important to you and write them a quick note of thanks. We all get a million emails a day, but a handwritten note actually has some staying power. Of course, Minted has some nice stationery if you need some to get started.

–Stop losing your keys.
After managing to lock my car and house keys in my car parked in front of our old apt, blocking the driveway, fully loaded with enough food to fead an army I decided to make this my resolution last year. I didn’t keep it perfectly, in fact I wish I had done a better job… but making a serious point to develop a system and put things where they belong every time is a really good discipline to develop, or at least try to develop.

–Stop rushing.
Force yourself to internalize the fact that in order to always be on time, one must be early 95% of the time. The Mr. and I have a new plan of attack: we try to get  a drink just the two of us before we meet a couple for dinner…. usually shooting to be 45 minutes early means we’re on time, but sometimes we get to enjoy a little cocktail cuddle time. And
if you are late, then you’re late. There’s nothing you can do about it. So accept that you’re late, call who you are meeting and give them a realistic estimation of your expected arrival. Don’t do what I like to do is split the difference between when you wish you could say you are arriving an when you actually will arrive. And then relax. Accept the fact that there is nothing you can do now to make the traffic go away.

— Be nicer to those in the service industry.
It’s not the poor lady in India’s fault that your computer won’t work. The doorman is a person with real feelings, too. Without nice people to talk to, bagging groceries must get a bit tedious, no? I have to say that everyone here in HK seems just so nice–especially all of the janitors everywhere. And I have to say, what they do is incredible. This city is so clean and immaculate.

— Keep one empty shelf to grow into.
You could resolve to be a neater, tidier, clutter-fighting person, but if you’re like me and you somehow manage to fill / cram  / jam every spare inch with something and then wonder when you’re running around with your head cut-off, why you can’t find anywhere to stash all of the piles (or droppings as the Mr. likes to call them) before company arrives… then you’ll understand why to be truly organized you need to have hidden, empty room.

–Drink more champers.
It’s important to have resolutions that are fun, too! This one hails from my dear friends back in S.F.

–Wear more “duh, dun, du, duhs.”
This is a good one for the year after drinking more champers. Too often we fall into the rut of not putting in effort around the house and shlepping around in gross sweats and that oh, so compfy (but also, oh so ugly) sweatshirt. Your Mr. will appreciate this one. Once a week is a nice way to quantify this one. Plus, this gives you an excuse to shop for you during those great New Year’s sales.

–Use cloth napkins.
What are you waiting for? And why not make every meal celebratory? If you don’t already have some, get a nice set of sturdy white napkins and use them for a week — it’s helpful if you get a napkin ring for each family member — and then when they are starting to get really dirty just bleach the heck out of them. Also, you get green points for this one!

Christmas China.

Remember back when I promised you pictures of my friend Tori’s mother Sylvia’s Christmas China?

Well, we are still within the 12 days of Christmas so here you go! I love that Christmas lasts longer than one day.

Isn’t this tabletop to die for?! If I ever have room for a separate set of china, I want it to be just like Sylvia’s!

Proud Aunt!

As of yesterday morning, I am a first-time aunt, thanks to the arrival of Philip Edward! Every now and then the timing of living half-way around the world just works out and we ended up being in San Diego to greet Prince Philip 12 hours after he was born! What is also funny is that we also managed to be their first visitors–we really treasured our time with them.  Continue reading

Update: Rainbow cake

My friend Sydney read my recent post on December birthdays and rainbow cakes and shared with me the cake she made for her daughter Claire’s birthday–apparently these layered beauties are all the rage!

Sydney also recommends Wilton’s frosting whitening to get that great contrast even with buttercream frosting. Sounds like a fun $2.99 little, extra tool to have in your pantry.

Winter dogs.

We spent Christmas in Park City with my parents and their dogs Brinkley and Enzo. I couldn’t get over how mesmerized they were by fire and falling snow.
We got about four feet of snow in the first few days we were there so the snow was amazing for skiing.
But because this is Hong Kong Housewife, I feel like I must bring China into the picture: a Tibetan Mastiff recently sold there for $2 million US. Yes, seriously. Weighing it at as much as 270 pound and 32 inches high, these are dogs that don’t just look at the snow…
The $2 million puppy was less than a year old and was purchased by a buyer in Dalian. The puppy was rated a ‘best-quality’ purebred. The Tibetan Mastiff is quite ferocious and has historically been used to guard herds, flocks, monasteries, and palaces.
Last month, another black Mastiff made headlines when it was bought for a small fortune and its Chinese-owner literally rolled out a red carpet for its arrival. The dog was then taken home in a big convoy of luxury cars.
As the Chinese get wealthier and wealthier, dogs are more and more becoming a status symbol. In typical fashion, the government is already responding to the influx of dogs with a series of rules and regulations including the ‘One Dog’ policy which mandates one dog per family in the city of Shanghai. They have also legislated the maximum height and weight of the dog allowed based on apartment size.

Given how crazy my parents little Westies can be, I’m quite thankful that they don’t weigh ten times as much!

December birthdays & Rainbow cake.

I feel so bad for December birthdays. No matter how much we all try… they always get the short-end of the stick. I try to do my very best to do right bey all the December birthdays in my life–and there are so many of them: my Dad, the Mr., two of my SILs, the Mr.’s grandmother, it looks like my godson may arrive in the next week, and my beloved Miss Morgan. Morgan’s mom went out of her way to make Morgan’s December feel like a real birthday with this awesome rainbow cake.

Continue reading