Tag Archives: celebration

Happy birthday to me!

23 Sep

This year I was lucky and got to celebrate my birthday early because my hubby will be out of town today, the day itself.  He organized a perfect afternoon as a birthday treat – and I didn’t have a clue!

We started by heading to Shook! restaurant on the Bund where they have a special lunch menu – with beautiful food.  Even though the day was misty – we got great views of Lujiazui and felt very pampered by the staff.

bday rest IMG_20140919_142822

IMG_20140919_132135 bday main IMG_20140919_143110

After a delightful lunch Li said we had extra time, so we headed across the street to the famous Peace Hotel which has been completely renovated in the last several years.  We wandered through the lobby looking at the photos of all of the famous guests, marveling at the beautiful stained glass ceilings and then eventually treated ourselves to a slice of fruit cake in the coffee shop looking out over East Nanjing Road.  I had never gone into the hotel – even after nearly 7 years in Shanghai, so it felt like we were exploring a new (yet very old) place.

bday tea

Finally we headed to another district and got educated on the colored gem stone industry and my hubby presented me with a very delicate birthday gift – my Chinese zodiac symbol (a monkey) on a necklace.  It is adorable – and something  I will wear a lot, I’m sure.

A lot has changed in the last year – I wonder what my next year will bring!

What is your preferred way to celebrate?  For me, friends, food and something new to see made it perfect.


Celebrating Thanksgiving in Shanghai

27 Nov

The happy crew

Last Thursday night I celebrated Thanksgiving with a wonderful group of friends that I have met over the last five years in Shanghai.  The twelve of us (some new friends and some old), celebrated with a traditional turkey dinner that had the best turkey most of the table had ever eaten.

I ordered it all – no food preparation in my kitchen at all except for deviled eggs and my friend Marcus who made stuffed tomatoes.  This was predicated by two things – 1) Thanksgiving is not a holiday here, so I had to work on Thursday and 2) my oven decided to break the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  The stress free way, then was delivery!

City Shop, the local supermarket chain has a delivery service and previous years I had had their turkeys as well.  They did not disappoint.

Beautiful bird

One of the joys was that two of my friends brought their kids and so we had four kids under the age of six who were there as well, full of energy and really cute!  It was the first time that three of the four of them had turkey, so I am now part of their cultural history!

Luckily one of my acquaintances had recommended that I print off some Thanksgiving coloring pages to keep them occupied while we ate.  They worked like a charm!  I need to keep that in mind for future events.

Showing off her turkey!

As we were finishing up the main course and before we had a chance to cut the pies that I ordered (my mother’s pie is still hands down better than the pie that was delivered) my parents called!  We were able to use my iPad to connect them to the gathering and share some of our enthusiasm with them.  Technology at its best.

Introducing the crew to mom & dad

Here are a few other photos from our evening.  What a wonderful night!

Monica carving the turkey! She did a great job.

The feast

Li and me

I am thankful for many things including the opportunity to celebrate this holiday here in Shanghai in my new apartment.  It was the first time I had people over and was a resounding success.

I am also thankful for my readers of the blog and your continued support and interest in my Shanghai adventures.  Thank you for your visits and comments.  May Thanksgiving morph from a holiday into a state of mind for us all.

This post is also my response to the Weekly Photo Challenge – Thankful.  If you’d like to see what others are thankful for, you can click here.

Christmas chrust

12 Jan

One of the universal traditions of holiday seasons is making lots and lots of different types of food.  This year for Christmas we continued a tradition of making polish chrust with three generations of chrust makers included.  All parties involved said that this year’s result was one of the best in recent memory – light and fluffy yet crisp.

In process - frying, twisting and supervising


The cooks with the finished product

The Christmas dessert line-up with chrusts in the middle

Sharing good food makes the holiday even sweeter.  What’s your favorite holiday specific dish?  Please share.  One special thing about chrust is that since you fry them instead of baking them it means that I could make them here in China where I don’t even have an oven.  Perhaps I’ll have to take a try for my next holiday season.

Enjoying now

Today is a present

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