Family Chinese New Year Ideas

The Year of the Dragon

My son’s favorite holiday is Chinese New Year.  I’m not really sure how that happened or how he came to love all things Asian, but we’re always up to learning about anything and everything.  If we can involve food, all the better.

If your budget allows for more than a prepackaged bowl of ramen, here are some great recipes said to bring good luck.

Want to incorporate a little history into your celebration? Check out the History Channel’s page which includes traditions and symbols.

There are tons of fun crafts for you to do with your little ones. has links to activities including free printables.

How about some everlasting fortune cookies?  I adore felt crafts and fortune cookies and take-out boxes. These, from, are darling and can be done in a “pinch”.

The Year of the Dragon brings good luck and babies.  I don’t know about you, but I could use both this year!

Wishing your family a blessed Chinese New Year!



Etiquette for the 21st Century Bride

Etiquette. For many the word connotes formal dinners at Great Aunt Doris’s, but it need not be so stuffy or painful. For today’s bride etiquette considers both honoring traditions while incorporating modern social practices.

So, how do you mesh traditions with a modern mindset? Some guidelines seem obvious (i.e., announcing your engagement via Facebook before telling your Grandma is a no-no), while others are more difficult. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Read the whole article here.

JP Tinney is a freelance writer and blogger. A wedding enthusiast for over 25 years, she enjoys all aspects of wedding planning. JP can be reached at

Reversal (Revisited)

Originally posted May 2010

Ever since Keith was very small, Philip and I have tried to instill the importance of family.  Whether it was working together to tidy the house  or waiting until daddy came home to watch a video, I took every opportunity to explain what our family is about.  Our home belongs to “the family” so “the family” needs to care for it together.  Those cupcakes belong to “the family” so we’ll wait until daddy comes home to eat them.  I was very pleased when one day I overheard Keith explaining to his friend Andriy that our cat, Foofy Girl, was named that because “our family named her that.”  (Not true because she first belonged to my MIL, but still, he gets it!)

I absolutely love when Keith asks, “Does it belong to the whole family?”  I have to keep myself from strutting around while giving myself a big ole pat on the back.

But then came the maraschino cherries.  They simply appeared one day on my husband’s desk.  Not my favorite brand, but still, maraschino cherries.  (And if you think it’s a totally random thing to have in Philip’s office, then you haven’t seen Philip’s office.)

It had been a couple of days.  The cherries hadn’t been mentioned.  I was home alone.

“I’ll just have a couple.”

“I wish I had some 7up.”  (Back when kids could be in bars*, I walked up to the bartender and said, “Shirley Temple please!”  Hmm.  Why was I in a bar?)

“This brand isn’t that bad.  I’ll have a couple more.”

Surely you’ve figured out what’s coming.

I ate all the cherries.

Leaving the spoon in the nearly empty jar (hey, it was still 1/3 full of grenadine), I rushed off to pick up my son from school.

Upon seeing the cherry-free jar, Keith asked, “Who ate the cherries?”

I melted as I sheepishly replied, “I did.”

“Did you think they belonged to you?”

I didn’t know what to say.  If I say yes, I’m a liar.  If I say no, I’m a thief.  Either way, I’m a pig.

“Who did they belong to?”  Maybe he’ll tell me they were a surprise for me!  I’ll be off the hook!

Keith, looking much older than his 5-1/2 years, matter of factly said, “They belong to the family.”

The cherries in my belly turn to the pits.

He gets it.  I apparently do not.



* Apparently I was not in a bar, but a bar/grille.  Please don’t send hate mail to my mother.  😉