Fascination For Cheong Sam Gowns

While web surfing for inspirations for shower ideas, which one of is Old Shanghai Tang theme, I came across Chinese celebrity Fan Bing Bing wearing not 1 but 2 drool-worthy beautiful gowns. They have the emperor dragon emblem, and both are beaded and embroidered (seen from here).
Be still my heart.
I'm reminded of Roberto Cavalli's Ming-vase gown, which until today I'm still searching for it.

Back to reality zone, there are many cheong sams or qipaos that can be found in Jakarta. Adrian Gan's last year Chinoserie Chic Collection was impressive, and a video on it can be found here. Biyan always produces pretty beaded cheong sam dresses in their stores. Etro FW10 has some cheong sam dresses and tops.

All the cheongsam dresses and gowns need a svelte figure to show off the cut of the silhouette and the intricacies of the embellishments on the dresses, which of course is not for me, for now that is, since I'm still carrying the extra 8kg due to nursing my baby and laziness to work out. However, the Etro Kimono inspired dress on the left is something I can picture myself wearing now, it seems easy on the tummy, cover the arms and easy access for nursing.

Ok back to sourcing inspirations on bridal shower...so easily distracted I am..

Bridal Shower Mood Board

Months before I planned for Cousin E's bridal shower, I had asked her what flower she like, and she told me she likes daisy. After looking around for inspiration, and a venue, I came up with these mood board - a simple, non-fussy, elegant luncheon with small games with the bride-to-be.
Just a few days before, while chatting with Cousin E, asking what requests she have, something I should have done before planning or deciding on the theme, because it seems that what she wants is completely different than what I had in mind. She like roses now! Deep red ones...Move over daisy, we changing the theme.

From left clockwise: Daisy necklace from Kate Spade (selling in KS store in Jakarta), Collete's Daisy Cake, Cupcake box from Meri Meri, Bunga Rampai restaurant, and gold-sprayed flowers centerpiece seen on Orange Beautiful.


November Plans

Time sure flies by. Its November already and Baby J finally settled in her new school and I'm so glad she's taking in her school routine well. My little girl is only 28 month old and she's going school daily from 8.30am to noon! And my little Baby I is so cute and big for a 4 month old. Its amazing how each month passes by and how quickly our children grows up...
This month I'm going to throwing my cousin a bridal shower, and the week after I'm baking a birthday cake for my dear friend's daughter, and the week following that, I'm baking a birthday cake for my husband!

Will post soon on my plans and inspiration boards for all these three events.

Baby I 1 Month Package - Man Yue

I started ordering and folding the cupcake and cookie boxes for baby I's Man Yue before his delivery, so I could focus on adjusting to his arrival.
Having budget in mind, I had to carefully plan out costs and also the timing so I could get 60 boxes ready by Baby I's 1 month celebration and sent out to 60 different addresses.
Finally found the pram box last minute and once finalized with the order, I filled with the box with goodies - Chocolate cupcakes with tiger toppers, chocolate chip cookies and Jolly Time popcorn.
2 days before Baby I turn 1 month old and delivering the Man Yue boxes, I started bakingthe cupcakes and cookies. What took most time and effort was the cookies. I only had one cookie sheet and my oven is very small and was only able to bake 1 batch of cookie for 15min.

Tiring but it got fun when cookies were done and I started to package the cookies in the foils and seal it with heat sealant.

The pram boxes were made by Cherchrys Gift.
Cupcake boxes and Cookie boxes from RM Boxes.
Sealer for the cookie wrappers can be bought from Ace Hardware.


Birthday Party Dessert Table Setting

Setting up the table and using whatever I have to display: cake stands, mixing bowls to elevate plates, pop corn machine (went kaput), music box, photo frame and cupcake cookie jar.
Inviting only family, the dessert menu is small- raspberry peach tart, strwaberry-chocolate cupcakesm chocolate ice cream cake, which was not pretty as it melted but its a great ice cream cake from Rose Levy's Rose Heavenly Cake book. Scroll down for basic Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe.

The top green and pink was just a practice dummy cake (styrofoam base). The rest are: White Peach and Raspberry Tart with Pistachio Frangipane, Mini Devil's Food Cupcakes with vanilla cream, and Strawberry combo Devil's Food Cupcakes were given away as favors.
The pink cupcake boxes are from RM Boxes which I had them shipped from Philippines. I have no problems with local made cupcake boxes but I wanted pretty colors which RM Boxes makes.

White Peach and Raspberry Tart with Pistachio Frangipane can be found here.

A fantastic Devil's Food Cupcake with Cream Filling, a favorite amongst friends who tried, can be found
Strawberry Cupcakes- I wanted to use fresh strawberries for both frosting and cakes and found this recipe here.

I wanted to surprise the little ones with the cupcake flavors, so instead of getting just chocolate, they get strawberry plus vanilla filling. Since the Strawberry cupcakes recipe calls for a longer baking time, it goes on the bottom layer then the Devil's Food recipe. I made the frosting out of scratch using fool proof recipe by own instinct.

Basic Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
Working with 1/2 C butter at room temperature, whipped it till a little fluffy, add about 1C sifted icing sugar (it will be easier if you sift big batch of icing sugar and work as you go) till the frosting looks firm, add about 1/4 C whipped cream to soften the frosting, another 1/2C icing sugar, strawberry sauce, about 1 tsp of pasteurized egg white powder, and more icing sugar to have a consistency for piping.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
We love ice cream and there's not an affordable ice cream maker to be found in Jakarta. I bought mine in Pantry magic and it is a big investment, which I have to make full use of. The recipe book provided in the Cuisineart Ice Cream maker was not satisfying so I searched one that I like and adopted the recipe with slight changes.
My Ice Cream Recipe:
2C whipping cream, 2C full cream milk, 3 egg yolks, 1/2C sugar, generous drizzle of honey (optional), about 1 tsp or more of vanilla paste

1. Simmer the cream, milk and half of the sugar.
2. In a large bowl, beat the yolks with the rest of the sugar till lighten in color. Slowly pour the hot cream into bowl and whisk it with vanilla. Pour back the cream and egg mix into the pan and warm it in medium heat, till it thickened or coat the back of the spoon. Add honey to taste. Be careful not to boil the custard.
3. Strain the custard into a big bowl and place the bowl in ice bath to cool down the custard. Occasionally whisk the custard about 5min.
4. Churn into ice cream machine accordingly.

For Yogurt Ice Cream, add Greek Yogurt into the custard after cool down from ice bath and before pouring into the ice cream machine.
For Chocolate Bits Ice Cream, drizzle in melted chocolate (melted from double boiler) when the ice cream is almost done.
For Strawberry Bits Ice Cream, chopped the strawberries into small bits, and toss the strawberries in sugar and lemon juice and leave in about 15min to marinate. When the ice cream is almost done, pour in the strawberries in.


Creepy Fun Halloween Party Details

The girls from last year's party on previous entry, made another smashing party. They tried to re-use their decor details but look at the details! I think its fantastic with all the standard Halloween spooks mix with novelties- grains and sequins.
The white washed tables and chairs are great combination. Lady E, the creative decorator, mentioned that she much preferred the tables and chairs to be uncovered by the unmatched table cloth and chair covers, and it definitely is nicer so the tabletop decor stands out.
Close-up on tabletop creeps
Really the eyeballs are distracting... I wouldn't pop in my mouth...witch's green fingers... Apparently they are edible.

All images via Eat Browse and Love. Read more