Last Friday marked the beginning of Chinese New Year (celebrations continue till Feb 18th) and since the Chinese part of my family is spread across the globe (from California to New York City and all the way down to Melbourne, Australia) I’m feeling a little nostalgic for red envelopes and lion dances. Naturally, the absence of family traditions means my household has taken on an Asian theme. Of course, I’m not the only one celebrating Chinese New Year. Below are Five Found Relics in the worlds of luxury, gourmet dining and feng shui to get you in the spirit of the Year of the Horse. Love, LH Featured image: Roberto Dutesco.
Five Found Relics: Celebrating Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse.1. It’s only natural that equestrian-based luxury brand, Hermès, would launch a limited edition Galop Collection of fine jewelry to celebrate the year of the brazen stallion. Available exclusively at Harrods in London, the three-piece diamond encrusted rose gold necklace, bracelet and ring make an elegant racing start to any outfit. And if you can’t pony up to London, Hermès offers a Galop collection necklace in silver available online, $1,325. 2. For reasons unknown, Mr. and I haven’t invested in our own chopsticks, yet. As a result, I’ve been on the hunt for some especially unique utensils. I can’t stop eyeing Shanghai Tang‘s wood and stainless steel horse edition. Along with equestrian-inspired women’s and men’s clothing lines, Shanghai Tang’s dedicated collection to the Year of the Horse includes a pair of stunning stainless steel book ends, wine bottle stoppers and an exclusive limited-edition collaboration with Moleskine. 3. I have fond memories of my mom making dumplings, watching her delicately fold little crescent-shaped pouches of meat in thin flour wrappers like origami. She always keeps a tray in her freezer for unexpected guests—namely her grown-up children and their friends. It’s easy to devour an entire plateful of my mom’s dumplings before realizing you accidentally finished what was meant to be for a crowd—just ask my Mr. Now that my mom is in Melbourne, Australia (making dumplings with my little sister, of course!) I’m carrying on the Phan family dumpling making tradition in my household. I’ve made the typical crescent shaped ones with packaged dumpling wrappers (found at any Asian supermarket). But, lately I’ve enjoyed making my own dough and in this case (since I’m married and not getting red envelopes anymore) I shape them like little money sacks and then flatten them into an Asian version of a Hot Pocket. I’ll warn, the fruit doesn’t fall far from mom’s tree—my dumplings are incredibly addictive. Thankfully, when you make these snacks from scratch you’re guaranteed that they’re not loaded with salt and preservatives like the store bought versions. Try my homemade dumpling recipe here.
Photo by Kimberly Genevieve for DailyCandy 4. If we’re not devouring dumplings we’re satisfying our craving for bao. Daily Candy called on chef Jet Tila to share his recipe for Duck Sliders; roast duck breast, cool cucumbers and Hoisin sauce sandwiched in a fluffy bun. Get it here. 5. Along with resolutions, a new year inspires change of the refreshing kind. Whether a complete redesign is in order or simply a little sprucing up, considering Feng Shui in your decorating process ensures a haven of good vibes. Huffington Post shared some Feng Shui tips based on the Year of the Horse for each room in your abode. Here’s a couple examples of how I implemented it in my home.
“Cheerful and warm colors and accessories reflecting the element of fire help attract good luck and good health in 2014. Consider accents of purple, orange and red to bring brightness to the room and kindle closeness and conversation.”
A tray offers endless opportunities to switch and add new accents in a room—on top of a pouf ottoman or coffee table, a tray neatly frames collectables. Following HP’s Feng Shui tip, I kept it fiery red with a luscious Aaron R. Thomas acrylic Hard Candy box, matching rouge-colored books, fresh-cut Birds of Paradise from my neighbor’s garden and a raw Amethyst stone add pops of orange and purple.
“The horse is a minimalist, so keep the kitchen clean and uncluttered…Simple framed art and live plants, such as orchids or bamboo introduce the wood element to this room.”
Orchids just thrive in our oceanside home. This white one has bloomed four times in the last two years. I try to keep my kitchen clutter-free and playing with the idea of “simple framed art,” I opted for an artist’s palette shaped cutting board.