Bollywood Bash!

As I mentioned on Friday, Steve and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary this past weekend. We’d been wanting to throw a Bollywood-themed party for years and we figured this was our chance.

My husband applied henna to my hands and a couple of friends and their daughters’ hands. No stencil, all freehand. He also made an arch so people could walk through it. If at this point you are getting the impression that he’s the crafty one and I just take pictures, I wouldn’t argue with you.

Our friends’ and their daughters’ hands:

My hands:

See that on the left (my right) hand? Yep, he put in a fleur de lis for me πŸ˜€

Awwwww – ring shot.

Entrance to the “Taj Mahal”

In order to hang lovely swaths of color (i.e. dollar store tablecloths) Steve and our awesome neighbors pinned them around the fan . . .

… and then spread them out to hang away from the center.

The vanilla chai cupcakes were made by my awesome friend J. – the cupcake toppers are from Bird’s Party, so cute!

In my test batch I used a box of French Vanilla cake mix and substituted a cup of strong chai tea (3 bags steeped for 20 minutes) instead of the cup of water in the instructions. The Buttercream is from the Wilton website and has 2 T of strong chai tea. My friend offered to bake them for me and they were a hit, my uncle had six of them, I think!

I found Ellie, our party mascot, during a visit to Goodwill. She was there, right in the end cap and I thought she was perfect, so she came home with me:

Ellie and the perfect-for-our-theme doormat we got at Pier 1:

This being our tenth, we decided to splurge a bit and have a local restaurant provide the food. Everything was delicious, we had Tandoori chicken, Butter chicken, Basmati rice and Naan bread, Salad, Okra masala, and Vegetarian korma. Even though everyone who RSVPd showed up – about 40 friends and relatives – we have lots of leftovers, so we get to enjoy our yummy party food for a couple of days.

My brother, awesome bartender that he is, whipped up some delightful mango concoctions – both family-friendly and with alcohol.

They were frosty and delicious in the warm afternoon. We also enjoyed some gulab jamun for dessert.

My husband got his kurta at a local boutique, we were so happy with the customer service – the salespeople are nice, helpful, will work with your budget, etc. We sent a few friends there to get their costume and they were very happy as well. We never require people to dress up but it was nice to see so many of our dear guests embracing the theme.

I purchased some red glittery fabric – and let me tell you, I still have glitter all over my skin – and the lady from the boutique showed me how to pleat and wear it. My headdress is the necklace I made for my wedding, I was very happy to wear it again ten years later. I wore a teal shirt to coordinate with my husband’s kurta, and teal flats, tons of bracelets (from H&M), and turquoise earrings I already had.

We are so thankful to all the friends and family who joined us, everyone who helped out, and those who couldn’t make it but were there in spirit. I kept thinking my dear daddy would have had a blast at our party, he loved my husband and I know he was happy to know we are happy together.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, I am off to scrub still more glitter off me!

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Ten years ago

We swore to love each other.

Sometimes it feels like yesterday. And, let’s be real, sometimes it feels like a hundred years πŸ˜€ But I chose well. Steve is the love of my life, my best friend, and the best father I could ever have wanted for our children.

Things are going to get a little colorful this weekend . . . see you on Monday!


No, not just the chai cupcakes – which, seriously, are yum on a major scale.

Not just the buttercream, made by my sweet friend J.

But planning something with a good friend or two who have your back. Planning something with people who get as excited as me about the color of the paper plates. Because they’re happy for me.

I haven’t always had that, and I’m so grateful.

So proud

And the school year is over. 2013 is going by so quickly, and yesterday was the last day of school for my boys.

First and second grade were filled with learning, laughter, tears, friends, field trips, etc. One boy wanted the same thing in his lunch bag every. single. day. And it wasn’t the autistic one. Oh no. He wanted to choose from the cafeteria offerings, giving his unsolicited opinion on the menu, such as “this pizza tastes old!” or “the chicken sandwich is yucky!”. The teachers agreed with him.

In late August they will begin 2nd and 3rd grades. Until then, our days will have structure but will allow for plenty of fun, day trips, and friends.

Congratulations, Aidan and Alexander, you have earned yourselves a wonderful summer!

Delicious Fruit Salad

We love us a yummy fruit salad. Eating sweet, ripe fruit, each bite a little different, it makes me grateful for the bounty we are able to enjoy. I’ve been wanting to try something I saw on Pinterest a while ago, a little trick from Rachel Schultz to make fruit salad even yummier.

I chose some basic ingredients:

and then added Rachel’s magic ingredient – instant vanilla pudding mix!

Mixed everything well, and then the vanilla pudding powder began mixing with the juices from the fruit. So good! I don’t think I will ever make fruit salad without pudding mix – thank you Rachel for this awesome tip!

Sunset mag Weekend Celebration

My sweet friend M. invited me to go to the Sunset Magazine Celebration Weekend this past Saturday – we had such a good time!

The Sunset Home exhibit was interesting – the style reminded me of Mad Men and wasn’t something I’d replicate at home but there were some gorgeous touches such as this light fixture, which I want in my home. Now. Immediately.

I would LOVE a reading nook looking out onto the backyard and I have the perfect place for it. Unfortunately, that is where my children play ;D so, not happening for now.

Loved the idea of having a lit up map of California!

How sweet is this little stool with its nail head detailing? Also, need one stat, please!

What I really, truly, absolutely wanted to bring home with me were these two beauties:

Seriously, how gorgeous are they?

This lovely lady shared some of Susan Feniger’s AMAZING pork tacos. Holy crackers, those were so good. We also got a recipe card so both M and I will be attempting to recreate them.

How about THIS for a true glamping experience?

This company sets up these divine tents for your enjoyment – I’d like one in my backyard, please!

The food truck selection was amazing – including my favorite, Peruvian food truck Sanguchon – both M and I enjoyed our lunch there, even though it was a little spicy.

There was also a booth for a truck that only does Creme Brulee, my husband’s favorite! So M and I bought three, because she came over for dinner that night πŸ˜€

Putting the final touches on mine!

This being a Sunset magazine event, there were some lovely displays of plants and I got a lot of ideas for plants that will do well in our environment.

This tree basil was adorable! And yummy πŸ˜€

Of course, we partook of some wine tasting – these lovely ladies from Lola Kay had a great, easy-to-drink red wine that I loved:

I am so glad M called me to go to this event, and I am also glad my husband was able to hang out with the boys so us girls could bond over wine and window treatments and pretty plants. Lots of great ideas and now my project list is about 7 items longer!