Monthly Archives: January 2011

Measuring cups.

Let’s be honest. You can never have too many measuring cups. For some reason, I can NEVER find the 1C when I need it. And they really are a lovely shower gift.
These lovely botanical cups are from Terrain. And they even have a liquid jug to match.

Valentine cookie party.

Do you have plans already for the 14th? Whether you do or don’t is actually no matter… I’ve always thought cupid’s day was more about good girly fun than relying on any Mr. to make it festive. So why not have a ladies cookie making party? Cut-out cookies after all are way too much work all on your own!

Some tried and true tips from a veteran cookie decorating party thrower (5 years in a row!):

1. You absolutely have to make at least several batches of dough ahead of time or your guests will be twiddling their thumbs. I highly recommend my friend Mitra’s sugar cookie recipe. Sneak peak: the secret ingredient for non-flat cookies is sour cream.

2. Make sure there is non-sugar sustenance provided. Usually I order pizza, but this year I may attempt to make some Vietnamese salads, because I’m currently in Saigon and am obsessed!

3. Ask each gal to B.H.O.A. (Bring Her Own Apron) unless you have a hefty stack of your own.
4. Top your decorative tablecloth with a clear protective table cloth that wipes down easily because this will get messy I promise.

5. Make sure you have paper plates, saran wrap, and some decorative ribbon so that each gal has something lovely to take away.

Maybe you have a Mr. you want to give your cookies to… maybe your doorman needs a pick-me-up… I’m sure you can think of someone who needs a little cheer!

Why one wife is better than four.

Truth really is stranger than fiction. Local media has been all abuzz about Stanley Ho, the famous polygamist and Macau casino tycoon, because the families of his second and third wives have teamed up to strip him of his billion dollar company and divide it up even before he is is even dead! The two wives apparently got him to sign something without his realizing it (yes, that’s why you have to actually read the fine print), that gave them his shares in SJM, which owns 20 casinos in Macau, including his flagship Lisboa. Ho has been in better health–he was released from a seven-month stay in a hospital last March. According to his lawyer, he wanted to divide assets equally among families of his four wives and so is now suing his two wives and five children… wait for their names: son Lawrence and daughters Daisy, Pansy, Maisy and Josie.

Ho with several of his wives and children in November of last year. AFP/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

To make things even more interesting, Angela Ho Chiu-yin, the daughter of Ho’s dead first wife issued a statement, saying she could not believe her father would leave nothing to her mother’s family, as he had “always prided himself on being a fair, just and honest person”.

“Her [her mother’s ]connections in Portugal and standing in Macau society was a big factor for my father winning the gambling monopoly in 1961. Daddy never forgot her importance in the creation of the empire he presides [over] today. My father speaks to me often and has stated publicly about how he intends to divide his estate evenly amongst his children and I therefore find statements and actions made and taken by his mistresses and their children, which do not conform to this wish, highly disconcerting and hurtful.”

P.S. On a happier note, there is only one day left to enter our güs passport folio giveaway.

Chinese New Year’s Limoge gifts.

Chinese New Year is just around the corner and when looking for a commemorative gift, I always think of Limoges. This Chinoiserie Rabbit is perfect for this year where we’re seeing bunnies everywhere, while the Tangerine is lucky here in China any time of year… in fact, there are now tangerine sculptures all over town. Here are some shots of the Mr.’s lobby:

I hope we get to eat all of these fruits after New Year’s has past?!

But back to the Limoges… I just love that they are hand painted and that there is always a surprise inside.

Limoges also have their roots in China because they are made from porcelain, which the Chinese invented. Marco Polo discovered it in China, where he named it porcelain–Latin for seashell.  The purest kaolin (a clay mineral that is the secret ingredient in porcelain) mine in Europe was discovered in Limoge in 1765, hence the name for these delightful objects.

I love them so much I’ve started a little collection for my SIL — I get her one for her birthday or Christmas every year that has something to do with what she is loving right then, like a puppy for when she got her dog, or a typewriter for all of the writing she actually did for awhile on an actual typewriter, which I just thought was so cool!

Recipe gift packages: Mexico edition.

So I just posted about Villa Cascadas and how much I love Mexico and I got to thinking that although it is beautiful and the people are exceptionally warm, what I really love about it is the food!
And by the way Hong Kong has amazing food: Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian, French…. everything except for Mexican–which I really don’t understand because the ingredients are non-perishable for the most part, although I don’t see a lot of avocados here.
And then I received this amazing package in the mail from my friend Tammy… a little kit to make the Chipotle Salsa we fell in love with while we were there!
What I love most is when food conjures about the memories of a certain place and time… the options for taking Tammy’s great idea for a hostess gift and running with it are endless. A s’more kit to remember a cozy ski weekend, a breakfast-in-bed package to thank someone for hosting you, a dumpling kit to remember a Chinese adventure, a spaghetti package to remember wine tasting in Italy, a six-pack of beer to remember that great time at Oktoberfest.
What a lovely way to brighten someone’s day… send your friend who you studied abroad with in Switzerland a fondue pot for example?! And if you can track down the recipe from your host Mom all the better. It will make her so happy–I promise!

Villa Cascadas.

Oh, Villa Cascadas how I miss you and Mexico, you too! New Year’s with you was so wonderful and I just returned to Hong Kong and people are donning hats, fur and real coats. It’s crazy how it can be so nice in one part of the world and so not nice in another.
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On a limb.

A very cool new online magazine just launched today: Matchbook Mag. I am so impressed by Katie and Jane‘s labour of love! (Image courtesy of these lovely ladies!)

Sydney Newsom just went full-time with her creative endeavor and shared this inspiring quote with me:

Way to go ladies!