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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cat in the Hat Party

I can't believe it's been 2 months since I've posted on the blog. Yikes!  Well, mainly it's because I went back to work full time.  And, then, I planned 2 parties in one weekend - Nikhil's 3rd birthday party and my parents' 40th wedding anniversary party.

So, I'm finally posting pictures from Nikhil's birthday.  The party just kept getting bigger and bigger - I'm not sure how.  I did a Cat in the Hat theme, since he loves the TV show, it's one of his favorites.  But, I did want to use all the Dr. Seuss pre-made stuff that's for sale, I wanted to do things myself.  My friend, Daphne Hargrove, took most of the pictures.  She's an amazing photographer and was so sweet to come armed with her camera.

I swiped the idea for the invite from this blog.  It had a lot of great ideas on there for Dr. Seuss food ideas, but since we were having the party around dinner time, I didn't really use any of the food ideas.

When guests arrived, they were greeted with a Dr. Seuss book to sign.

I rented 3 kids tables with these cute chairs (I think the total was like $30!) and then put them all together.  I wanted the kids to have their own table, since there were 25 children invited and they seemed to love having their own seats.

I made coloring book Cat in the Hat placemats and the orange fish out of cloth as table decorations.  I was surprised how much the kids enjoyed coloring.

For the adult tables, I made red/white striped hats out of Gerber puffs cans and red flower pom poms.

The big splurge was getting a bounce house.  But, it was well worth the money - everyone enjoyed it, and I loved seeing Nikhil's face as the castle was inflated.

And, after the party, my parents and my mother-in-law jumped in the bounce house too!

Instead of a gift, my parents got Nikhil a balloon guy and this guy was terrific.  Nikhil was so happy.
 Of course Nikhil wanted a Thomas the Train balloon.

Here's the food stations.  I didn't keep with the Cat in the Hat theme just because I wanted to have food that people would actually eat. I had a separate adult and keiki menu.  And, we also had a sushi bar - it was actually a really good deal and we had more than enough food.  

I spent the most time on the dessert table.  It was the first dessert table I've made though i bought cute red and white striped straws for bottles of milk and I totally forgot the milk.  I made the birthday sign on my printer and strung it with ribbon.  Our surgical coordinator made the delicious cake pops and the cake.  They were such a hit.

 The same blog had this great tutorial on this DIY cupcake stand.  I pinned it on pinterest and it's been repinned like 60 times. Kind of neat.  My parents helped me make it.
 I've seen tons of Thing 1 and 2 cupcakes with blue cotton candy topping all over the internet. But all the sites reported how the cotton candy melts after like 10 minutes and since we live in Hawaii, I didn't think it was a good idea.  Plus, even though I like sugar, even I thought a red velvet cupcake topped with cotton candy didn't sound that tasty, so I just dyed the frosting blue.

My mother-in-law bought this singing candle which unfolded into a flower when lit.  It kept singing, even after we threw it in the trash for 2 days (we were warned about this!)

 My niece, Maya, who came all the way from Boston to celebrate her cousin's 3rd birthday!
 My dad and Taj

Family portrait

My good friend, Hope, and her son.
Our AWESOME nanny Shawna and her fiance.

And, here's the final shot of the gift bag table.

And, yes, I was crazy enough to hand paint those little clothes pins.

All in all, a great birthday party for Nikhil!  You can see all of the pictures from the party here

Friday, February 17, 2012

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I wanted to share the anniversary present that I made for my husband.  Since we are renovating our office and some time soon want to add a roof to our outdoor patio, we decided to keep things simple this year (plus I had already planned our January date for our anniversary). 

So, I went to my go to source when I want a great idea - pinterest!  And, I came across this great picture and idea.  Click here for a full description.

I got a couple maps from AAA and I was going to just look online and print the rest.  Originally I was going to do hearts just like in the tutorial, but my friend, Shawna, had an awesome idea.  She suggested doing a different shape for each picture.  I had already decided upon the following "stages" of our relationship to do a map/picture for:

1. One boy (Hawaii for Jeff), one girl (Raleigh for me)
2.  Met in a hospital (New York City), I wanted to get a subway map
3. Traveled (2 awesome trips before we were married - Argentina and Morocco)
4. Got Married (Waikiki)
5. Bought a house (blueprints for our house)
6.  Had kids - ?Hawaii again?

Instead of doing a heart for each one, I decided to do a hospital symbol for the NYC one, an airplane for the traveling one, and house for the house, etc.  I also had to narrow down the maps - I opted to do just Argentina instead of doing half Argentina-half Morocco for the map because Jeff got really bad food poisoning on our trip to Morocco and sometimes that brings up bad memories.  And, for the kids one, I found some cute clip art of babies in a similar style as the man/woman icons and I found a map online of Queen's Medical Center where  I delivered both boys, so this way it was different than the wedding one.

I don't have a Cricket machine like the post mentioned, so I just printed out shapes on cardstock on my computer, cut them out and then traced them on to the map.  I did keep the part that I had cut out and used that like the post said to move around the map to find the section that you want.  The hardest part was getting the particular part of the map that I wanted to incorporate.  Like, for the boy one, I really wanted Jeff's neighborhood of Kahala to be really evident and that was a bit hard to center.  Finding a good, high resolution map of Argentina online was also tricky, but I found one that was from lonely planet guide book we used on our tirp.

And here's the final result.

one boy, one girl

met in a hospital (NYC subway map)

traveled (Argentina map, our favorite trip as a couple)

got married (Waikiki - map from AAA)

bough a house (blueprints of our house)

had kids - Queen's medical center map downloaded from online

I love how it turned out. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our January Date

Jeff and I went our "January" date last weekend from my Year of Dates Christmas gift to him.  To see the full idea for the dates gift, click here.

I have been looking forward to this date for a while.  To recap, I let him open his January envelope a little early (on Christmas) and the date was a bit extravagant since it was also to celebrate our 4 year anniversary.  I booked a Swedish couples massage at the Abhasa Spa at the Royal Hawaiian hotel.  The Royal Hawaiian is where we got married 4 years ago (wow - seems like forever)
Just being at this hotel, surrounded by tourists,  makes me feel like I'm on vacation.  And, it was romantic walking around reliving different moments of our wedding ceremonies.  We got to the spa around 4:45 pm and checked in for our massage.

Jeff had never had a massage before, so I was excited to share this with him.  My mom treated me to this massage exactly 4 years before, the day before my wedding to de-stress! (great gift Mom!).  And, after we changed into our robes, we had our massages in this beautiful outdoor cabana.

That was the fastest 50 minutes of my life.  As any mothers who breastfeed can attest to, your neck gets extremely sore when nursing at 3 in the morning and this massage was just what the doctor ordered!  Afterwards, I had arranged for dinner at Azure Restaurant, at the Royal Hawaiian hotel.  I had called way in advance so that we could sit outside, right on the beach, next to where we got married.
I love everything about this restaurant.  Don't you wish you could decorate your house like this? I love the subtle Moroccan feel of it with the beautiful lanterns (darn, if only we could have brought some those back with us from Morocco).  The food was delicious and they even brought us a free chocolatey dessert for our anniversary - how did they know that was what I was going to order anyway?

It was great to get our first real date away from the boys (though I missed them terribly) and just really necessary  for our relationship to talk about things other than the office and the boys.  Thanks Mom & Dad for babysitting!  And, I really think it helped that I planned out the specific dates for the whole year, because sometimes life and those essential trips to Costco (I swear, going to Costco is usually like a big adventure for us and the highlight of our weekend!) get in the way.

Thanks also to Shannon at Find the joy in the journey for this awesome idea.  I think every couple should do this - when you have kids, you neglect your relationship a bit and it deserves every bit of work and attention that your children require to remain healthy!

In that vein, I've also made some relationship resolutions (not sure if Jeff is reading this).
1. I'm going to lose a fight with my husband - not in a Brad Pitt, Fight Club way, but I'm going to give in even when I really don't want to when we're arguing.  So, I guess I'm saying,  I'll try not to be so stubborn.

2.  As we undergo renovations in our office, I came across this article in Coastal Living magazine - "Love in the time of renovations" - how appropriate for us.  It discussed the stresses and strains of undergoing a renovation and there was a quote in there "Men need respect more than they need sex."...So, honey, I will try to remember that one.  No, seriously, as we deal with these headaches  daily of added expense of our reno project, I will try (that's the operative word here) not to bulldoze you with my strong opinions.

3.  I will let something go daily.  Something that typically drives me crazy.  Meaning, I won't mention if I see your socks on the floor - there's no need to start an argument over socks!

Oh, and here's a sneak peek at February.  Jeff opens each of his date envelopes on the first of the month.  So, this is what we're going to do this month (that's me in the picture!)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Office Blog

Sorry I have been a little behind on posting to this site.  With the holidays and our anniversary, things have become really hectic!  But, another big reason is because I have started a blog on our office website.  The office blog will focus more on ophthalmology, cosmetic services and will still include pics of the family, but more in the context of being a working mom (like so many of you out there).  I'll continue posting my home life, personal DIY projects and family pics here on this blog for our family and friends.  But, feel free to pop on over to to check it out.

Here's a snapshot of my latest post below:

Friday, January 20, 2012

Four Years?

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband. You are patient, kind and warm.  You're an amazing husband and father and I don't say it enough.  I can't believe it's been 4 years already.  We have accomplished so much in such a short period of time - we moved to Hawaii from Boston, bought a house, took over an ophthalmology clinic (and in the process, became bosses for the first time), and had 2 boys!  Yowser!

It makes me remember the write-up in the New York Times about our wedding.  I had submitted our wedding, more or less, as a lark.  I had some extra time between patients at Boston Children's one day and I figured - why not?  We have a cute story, met in NYC and I thought that might peak someone's interest. My college roommate had this amazing article about her wedding and I thought I'd give it a try.  So, I emailed off the one paragraph summary of our wedding and promptly forgot about it.  On the submission form, you have to list the names of your parents, priest and contact information.  Well, I completely forgot to tell anyone that I had submitted our wedding, mainly because I really didn't think we would make it in to the paper.  Then, a few weeks later, I was talking to my father and he mentions he got this strange phone call, from someone claiming to be from the New York Times, who was clearly trying to steal his identity - asking all of these personal questions.  Ooops!  So, I finally explained that he was a real reporter and here's the story below.

And, here are some pics from our multicultural wedding.  We had a Hindu ceremony in the morning (we had to fly a priest out from California since there are no Hindu priests in Hawaii), followed by an Indian vegetarian lunch.  Then we had a Presbyterian ceremony in the afternoon, followed by a dinner with a band, Chinese lion dance and interludes of Indian music! My colors were a deep red and pink (to echo the Royal Hawaiian hotel), with more gold in the morning to reflect the Indian ceremony.  Everything was DIY for the wedding - the programs, place cards, name cards, etc.  It was hard getting everything over to Hawaii from Boston, but I'm glad that we did.  Not only did it save money, but it added a personal touch.

If anyone wants help with ideas for creating an inter-faith, multi-cultural wedding, just let me know!  There are some things I would have done differently now in retrospect, but it was a beautiful day.