Hangzhou Ghost Story

When I hopped on a Hangzhou bound train with my dad and a friend one balmy May evening last year, I thought I would spend the next two days discovering the mist shrouded beauty of West Lake, where poets and scholars of centuries past gazed from its banks and murmured a few words of prose as they raised a cup of tea to their lips.  Little did I know that the city would extend to me a welcome of the most unearthly kind.

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The Best Laid Plans of Raccoons and Ben Go Happily Awry

Ring from Paper Sparrow, Flowers from Poppy Red Flowers

My good friends Ben and The Dr. got engaged a couple of weekends ago. He had it all planned out. The proposal was to be a private event with just the two of them and afterwards, a celebratory party with friends at their favorite restaurant with food and drink aplenty.

They both have an shared “history” with raccoons so in honor of it, everything was raccoon themed.  We got a cool Brat & Suzie raccoon shirt from ModCloth as a gift for her and commissioned a raccoon cake from our friend Joe of Demi-Pêche. The restaurant also fit the bill. Homeroom Racing Cafe is a Thai joint that serves up a side of whimsical kitsch to go with their kickass stir frys and curries. Walk in the door and you get hit with vivid reminders of a child’s wishlist from Christmases past. My Little Pony and Nemo hang from the ceiling and GI Joe scales down the wall over by the door. Here and there, randomly placed ceramic raccoons peer out from along the doors and windows. Perfect.

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Panda Enforcer — What every Mom Needs

Everytime I visit home, my mom never fails to ply me with plates and plates of food that she slavishly prepared just for me and me alone (dad gets last night’s leftovers). And whenever I politely decline as my eyeballs start to drown in soy sauce, mom always gets this look of surprise and hurt that I would say no to her cooking.  It’s as if I’ve committed a grave offense against her honor.  Ditto for when I visit my aunts, who are cut from the same cloth as my mom.

Until now, moms and aunties have only been able to cajole their children to eat by presenting us with giant ricebowls filled with guilt-trips but now, it seems that they can hire an enforcer.

By way of Cupcake— Never Say No to Panda…or else!!!!

Getting Crafty with Cozies

I had some time on my hands last week and decided to make a cozy carrying case for my Staub so I could transport a precious cargo of piping hot mac n’ cheese to my friend’s potluck without burning my hands.

I worked without a pattern and basically made the whole thing up myself. I didn’t intend for it to look like a mushroom but that’s how it ended up. Pretty cute don’t you think?