as soon as we got home from competition, i switched into party prep mode. we were hosting our first "friendsgiving" with the bean's BFFs and their families, and while i was super excited to have everyone over to hang out and celebrate the coming holidays i knew we had a ton of work to do. with the girls' help i'd managed to tackle 99% of the shopping, and so we all got started on picking up around the house and making it look pretty for the party.
just like we used to with our girl scout troop, we'd all decided to make this into a multicultural potluck. my plan was to make some pancit, lumpia and puto to represent for my own homeland, and the hub had originally asked me to do a turkey ("because i'm white, duh"). but knowing that i was going to be cooking another turkey just a few days later on thanksgiving, i got him to let me switch the entree to a prime rib roast instead. i mean...any excuse for prime rib, amirite? heh.
but i knew i needed to get a head start on that lumpia, because it required a lot more prep that i knew i wouldn't have time to do the next day. so i got to work on shredding carrots and mincing shrimp to mix up the filling, and then i sat down at the table with a package of lumpia wrappers and got started on rolling those bad boys up. it was super time consuming, but after what seemed like 16 hours i was finally done.
i made a couple of batches of the puto as well before we all headed out to grab some dinner at a local ramen spot. there was still plenty to do, but it had been a long day and everyone was pretty pooped, so we all hit the sack to rest up for the next day.
and because i'm a glutton for punishment, i'd booked our family photo shoot for the next morning. it actually wasn't bad because we were going to try a studio session this time around, and we were doing a mini session which meant we were only scheduled for 30 minutes. it's the perfect amount of time, and we only had maybe a 15 minute drive. we got ourselves cleaned up and out the door, and the studio was just as lovely as i'd seen in the picture our photographer posted on instagram. these aren't actual sneak peeks, but it's all i took in the little time we were there.
and yes...teddy and cocoa were there too. they were amazingly well-behaved for most of the shoot, which was pretty surprising. i cannot wait to see these pictures.
once we got home, it was time to get ready for our friends. we changed out of those pretty clothes and went right to work. i got the prime rib in the oven while i worked on assembling hors d'oeuvres, cooking the pancit and getting the table ready. the hub made a quick home depot/home goods run for more table decorations to complement the few pieces i'd found, and along with the fabulous custom-made place cards i'd ordered from my friend delovely details we had ourselves quite a festive friendsgiving setting.
he'd also made our new backyard couch extra festive with some fun pillows and a blanket:
and then just before everyone was scheduled to arrive i got started on frying up that lumpia. i'd asked him if there was a way i could cook it outside to avoid stinking up the house, and so he set me up on the barbecue like this:
it was perfect. while the first batch was cooking the old lady's BFF rock-ell arrived...and we finally got to meet junior, her baby boy.
there was tons of food, and these were just the appetizers we put out. our friends brought even more, plus their own entrees and desserts. we definitely didn't have a shortage of food, that's for sure.
as with pretty much every other party we host here, i was so busy trying to make sure everything was in place and socializing with everyone that i didn't take a lot of pictures. although i guess that's good anyway, right? it's always best to just spend time with everyone and live in the moment. and we definitely did that. we sat down together to share a prayer and give thanks for our friends, and then from there it was time to chow down.
while the adults hung out and drinking wine and laughing and sharing stories, the girls had a blast just being together. the pie face game did make an appearance, and it was hilarious to watch them get up from their seats one by one with whipped cream all over their faces.
i'm kind of bummed that i didn't gather everyone for at least one group photo, but that's okay. we had so much fun that we pulled out our phones to pick a date for another gathering to celebrate christmas...in less than a month. wowzers. but we're ready. bring on those holidays!