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Sunday Family Fun Day

6 Oct

This weekend continued my housewife in training as we had our nieces and nephew over for some fall fun. Fall activities were all around, but the weather is sticking on the summer setting. 

Despite the heat, we had a great time at Nall’s Produce Inc. farm pumpkin patch and carved some sweet pumpkins. Too bad our jerk of  a squirrel ate one of my skull’s eyebrows overnight. Such a jerk. I also went all Martha Stewart on a “Cinderella” Pumpkin – don’t you love?

Visiting the pumpkin patch and carved pumpkins

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Settling in To Home and Fall

29 Sep

It hasn’t yet been a week since we returned from paradise, but we’re pretty well settled in. The fall weather tempers the sting of not waking up to our own private beach, making a quick espresso on my Nespresso and knitting to the sunrise. Almost.


We went over to my in-laws the other night to catch up since we haven’t seen them since the wedding and share some photos and stories from our honeymoon. Mẹ made Ga Roti, or roasted sticky chicken, a fried fish with lemongrass and salt, and green beans with shrimp.

Roast chicken with cucumbers

Ga Roti, roast chicken, with cucumbers and soy sauce with peppers

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Love in Bloom

24 Aug

Last weekend I was treated to a beautiful bridal shower that was an amazing team effort. I am so fortunate to have such creative and organized friends and family! Even more, my super-fiancee was the ring-leader making it a super special day. The weather outside was overcast and rainy most of the day, but that just meant that we didn’t have to stare at bratty kids and hot dog legs outside at the pool.

The theme “Love in Bloom” was perfect. The decorations everyone put together were all of it. Now I just need to figure out where to hang the sign and photos in the house…

Love in Bloom banner sign

We had cupcakes, sangria and spa water below an adorable banner of some of our favorite photos and memories.

Drink and dessert bar with photos hung above

I’ll start with the food, as this blog primarily focuses on yummy treats. They brought the best of both worlds to satisfy my American and Vietnamese family and friends. You can’t go wrong with cheese, veggies and deviled eggs when planning a party menu. Hummus and croissant sandwiches don’t, hurt either!

They ordered some of my favorite Vietnamese dishes that were a hit with everyone at the party. From right to left below: Gỏi cuốn (popularly known as Summer Rolls), Banh Beo (Steamed Rice Cakes with Shrimp), Hen Xuc Banh Da (Baby Clams with Rice Crackers). I haven’t tried this as home yet, but maybe I’ll use this recipe and give it a shot on Redskins game day!

Summer rolls, steamed rice cake, clam appetizer food

We had a few fun games including a Price is Right style guess the price game for my wedding day emergency kit – I guessed closest to the actual cost and got to keep the kit for our big day! Not too bad.

Sister in law showing emergency wedding kit for price is right game

My sister in law makes an excellent Vanna White

My Mom outdid herself and potted Gerbera Daisies and even potted prayer plants from her own family stash. A very special gift, indeed.

Gerbera daisies and prayer plants as party gifts

Even more so, though, was her shower gift. I can always count on Mom and Dad bringing on the water works and this time she nailed it. Rather than buy something for traditional bride-to-be’s, she wanted to share a part of my family who I unfortunately was never able to meet. She plotted with one of my cousins to dig up Purple Iris bulbs from my Dad’s mother who passed before I was conceived and born. Now Hubs and I will be able to have flowers from my Grandmother’s garden of more than 35 years ago as we begin to grow our own lives together.

Holding gift of purple iris bulbs from my late grandmother's garden

I can’t think of a more meaningful and thoughtful gift. I can’t wait for them to bloom!

The lovely ladies, and little gentleman, at the shower (minus Cherri who had a full party schedule that day!)

Group photo with ladies at my bridal shower

And you know I can’t write a blog post about an event attended by my nephew without a photo. I picked up this handsome vest / trouser combo at Jack and Janie WAY before he was born to wear at our wedding, but why not get all gussied up for a bridal shower with the ladies?

Holding my nephew

Caption this: Get me outta here!!!

Bun Rieu Cua – Vietnamese Tomato Crab Noodle Soup

2 Jun

My last recipe post featured one of my favorite meals, Canh Kho Qua (Stuffed Bittermelon Soup), so this weekend for my future hub’s birthday BBQ I made a gigantor pot of Bun Rieu Cua (boon ree-ewe coo-uh), Crab and Tomato Noodle Soup. This is one dish that I got right my first try, and is his favorite Vietnamese soup that I’ve tackled.

Bun Rieu Cua Vietnamese crab noodle soup Continue reading

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