December 31, 2013

✿Christmas Eve

I know half of the world has started 2014... but I am here in Berkeley California and it's still 3 pm in the afternoon. Trying to post blogs before 2014 arrives.

I went to Lauren's Christmas Eve party !
Ton's of presents and gorgeous tree.

Beautiful Madame Lauren and Madame Pattie !
I was so glad to be there and had beautiful Christmas Eve.

On the Christmas day, I went to my friend, Mayu's place for dinner.
She makes the best food and we had little bit of Japanese influenced Christmas dinner.
I made a Mattcha cheese cake to bring for dinner but I couldn't go to sleep until 5 am that night because of the caffeine effect.  haha...

December 30, 2013

✿Chez Pannise

Some special people took me to Chez Panisse restaurant right before christmas !

I had such a great time with great people !
Our table were specially decollated with gardenia and our menu had our name ! (is that normal ?)

Pretty desert !

What a nice treat !!
Thank you Alice & Lauren !

✿Last Tea Ceremony 2013

This is my Tea Master, Yuko-san.
I have " Okeiko " (lessons) 2 ~ 3 times a month in this beautiful tea house in Yuko-san's Japanese garden.
Many tea tools changes by the season and also the way we serve tea changes according to that, for example, where the cup locates, the direction of bamboo ladle rest on pot are so precise and we learn to master every steps.   It's too complicated to explain but there are lots of rules we have to master.  
Tea ceremony is all about " Omotenashi " meaning treating the guest with gracious hospitality.  
Japanese culture pays attention to treating others with more respect and more and more I discover little things we do in tea ceremony, I am understanding that tea ceremony is the core of our culture. 

Yuko-san made these beautiful tea sweets.
That was my last lesson of this year.

I started learning tea ceremony in 2011 and I feel little more comfortable to serve tea to my tea mates now but I often forgets some steps.  I would like to serve more beautifully and I hope my tea master let us invite friends again to the tea house.
 * see when I invited my friends as my guests HERE

Now, I am so looking forward for " Ohatsugama "  (New year's first tea ceremony) . We will have Osechi and Ozoni (Japanese New year's traditional food) and of-corse Maccha tea and sweets.

December 25, 2013

✿Merry Christmas !

I went to Lauren's beautiful christmas eve party last night and I had such a great time. (I will post about it later...)

Now, I'm posing this blog from my bed. I can't get out of my bed this morning... well, it's already 1:3o in the afternoon.  I have very low energy... very tired... I hope I didn't caught a cold from my husband.  My husband has been sick and he stayed at home yesterday and watched 5 movies on Netflix.
I'm going to a dinner party at my friend's house in several hours so I want to rest little more on bed, I think...
I'm so glad I already made a Matccha cheese cake yesterday to bring tonight so I get to be lazy on the bed...

Also, I have many things I want to post on blog which I haven't been for almost a month.
I am planing to post little more often for next several days... ( I hope )

After the big storm, I picked up lots of blanches and made a wreath. 
I think it came out very pretty. I made this for Lauren who had a birthday and I enjoyed looking at it for a few days before I gave it to her.