Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Vacation: Cabo San Lucas

The Nguyens are on vacation! Follow me on IG @parkerproject to see updates from our trip to Cabo. I'm so excited to be able to take this 30th birthday celebration trip with my closest girlfriends. Tacos, beaches, and relaxation here we come!

[Cabo San Lucas travel poster by Andres Garcia Pena]

Friday, July 17, 2015

DIY: Birthday Party in a Box

My girlfriends and I have a tradition of shipping each other things for our birthdays since we usually only see each other 3 times a year. Flowers, cans of quail eggs, balloons; whatever the current inside joke is, it gets packed into a box and delivered.

It was my turn to put a box together for Susan and I basically went to Target and went ape shit in the party supply section to send her a birthday party in a box. This is not an original idea by any means but it sure was fun to put together and she loved it! Items included were: a mini pinata filled with "adult fun", noise makers, balloons, Funfetti cake mix, frosting, bubbles, candles, colorful straws and a birthday card.

Happy birthday, Susan! I love you BFF!!

I'm so excited about the 30th birthday trip we have planned in Cabo next week. It's going to be crazy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Holidays: 4th of July Wrap Up

I feel like I'm still recovering from the holiday weekend. We had so much fun spending time with family and friends! Here are a few of my favorite iPhone snaps from all the festivities. I posted a few other pictures and videos on my IG @parkerproject.

I ran the Crown City Run 5K Saturday morning with the lovely ladies pictured above. It was a fun, short race on a flat course and I averaged just under 10 minutes a mile thanks for my pacer (Anh) pushing me to not stop. It wasn't very well organized but I would consider running the 12K next year. 

Here's a sweet snap of the patriotic fruit skewers Parker helped me with. They were a big hit with adults and kids at the party we went to. Who doesn't like blueberries and watermelon?

We had a spring roll challenge at the 4th of July party we attended. It was the 4th food challenge we've come up with and things are getting serious! Above is a pic of my brother-in-law Minh's winning salmon spring roll with wasabi aoili. Check out the presentation. He really wanted to win.

Coming in at 2nd place was Casey's soft shell crab and poke spring roll. So good! I love soft shell crab.

Minh's carrot birthday cake from The Incredible Cheesecake Company. I know the picture doesn't look like much but this cake is D E L I C I O U S. I highly recommend it. 

We ended the night lighting up some sparklers with the kiddos while sitting around the fire pit with our bellies full and satisfied. I caught Parker a june bug that he was very excited about (RIP june bug) and we went to bed smelling like firewood. It was a perfect day. We're so blessed to have amazing friends and family.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to my wonderful hubby who is an amazing dad and also finds the energy to put up with my crazy. I love you! Thank you for your patience, strength and love. Parker truly appreciates it when you play pretend transformers, superheroes and let him use you as a jungle gym. You are the best and we hope you like your new Weber grill!

I also want to wish a Happy Father's Day to Papa Chu. Thank you for teaching me the value of hard work, teaching me to not be afraid of getting my hands dirty and instilling in me the importance of letting loose! Anyone who knows my dad knows he's always up for a party. The picture below is one of my absolute favorites of us together. I love you, Daddy.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

DIY: Bacon Jam Father's Day Gifts

As promised, I whipped up a BIG batch of bacon jam to give to all the special dads (and some non-dads *ahem Brandon*) that I know. So much bacon. So many onions. I walked around smelling like bacon and onions all day Saturday. Here is my spin on the original post from Fork Spoon Bacon. Happy gifting, Mamas!

Bacon Jam (I made this recipe x 3)
1 1/2 pounds of thick cut bacon, chopped
2 teaspoons of butter
4 large yellow onions, diced
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves, divided
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup of water
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook bacon in heavy-bottom pot over medium heat until bacon is crispy. Pour bacon and rendered fat into a strainer placed over bowl. When fat is drained and bacon is cool enough to handle, remove bacon and chop.
2. Return pot to medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of bacon fat and butter to the pot. Saute diced onions and 1 teaspoon of salt until soft and translucent.
3. Stir brown sugar, sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon of thyme leaves, black pepper, and cayenne into onion mix. Add bacon, mix. Add water, mix. Cook until jam is brick-brown bacon color and has a jam consistency (10-15 mins).
4. Remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme in jam.

Materials needed for packaging
1/2 pint jars from Walmart. Larger jars are available but I don't want to be blamed for any clogged arteries.
Twine, string or cording in desired color
Jam spread knives from Amazon
Labels from Fork Spoon Bacon
Packing tape for attaching labels to jars

Cut labels to size and secure them to the jars using packing tape.
Fill the jars and wait for them to completely cool before putting the lids on. 
Tie the jam spreaders to the jars using cording.
Refrigerate until ready for gifting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Father's Day: DIY Gift Ideas

Listen up ladies and gents! Father's Day is coming up and your days of securing the perfect gifts for the men in your life are numbered. Since I DIY'ed gifts for Mother's Day this year, I will also be DIYing gifts for Father's Day. The project? Homemade bacon jam. I first made bacon jam a few months ago for a friendly Grilled Cheese Sandwich cook off and have been craving it ever since. It tastes good on errrrthang. I'll be quadrupling this Boozy Bacon Jam recipe by Spoon Fork Bacon just in case, you know, I need a snack or something. Now I'm off to buy 4 pounds of bacon.

[Boozy Bacon Jam by Spoon Fork Bacon with free printables and instructions.]

Other Fun DIY Ideas for Dad

[DIY Father's Day Typography Glasses from Mr. Printables]

[Printable Father's Day Gift Wrap from Almost Makes Perfect]

[DIY Etched Glass Beer Growler from Apartment Therapy. SUCH a great idea considering how many micro brew places there are in San Diego.]

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