maxwell turns one

Last Friday Maxwell turned one. To celebrate we threw him a small party with family. We kept things pretty simple. Platters of sushi and sashimi, some Korean and Filipino appetizers, and a homemade banana layer cake.
Mundoo, in honour of Maxwell's newborn nickname (Korean dumplings):
My mom made the Filipino lumpia (springrolls) and empanadas:
I baked the banana layer cake the night before. In the background are two go im towers (used to decorate the food table) that I made out of candy and beans. The one has Maxwell's Korean middle name written in Korean.
A platter of Korean rice cakes called tteok:
The highlight of a traditional Korean dol (first birthday celebration) is the future-predicting ceremony. Basically, a bunch of objects are placed in front of Maxwell and whatever one he reaches for first determines his future. A roll of string represents a long life, a pencil means he'll be a scholar, money equals wealth, a brush means he'll be an artist, and a bowl of food means he'll never go hungry. These days you can also add more objects, but we kept it simple. So what did he choose?
The food! 
I can't believe Maxwell is one already! He's crazy about food (surprise), walking up a storm, and turning into a pretty swell dude. I feel like I'm still learning the ropes at this parenting thing, but it's fun to watch him change and grow each month. 


holiday cheer

Christmas is just days away and I'm pretty excited to be spending our first real Christmas as a family (last year didn't really count as Maxwell was just days old). Even though we don't buy presents (we only do stockings), it'll be nice to have Christmas dinner with Maxwell and spend the day relaxing together. This year though, Joe and I decided that we wouldn't be able to have a real tree. With Maxwell being mobile and getting into literally everything, it just wouldn't be safe. I was seriously bummed. I love the smell and look of a real tree. So, instead we got a small, four-foot tall fake tree and displayed it on top of our desk. I couldn't hang most of our regular ornaments on it as Maxwell would pull those off, so I kept it simple with some lights, candy canes, a popcorn garland and baby-safe ornaments.
I made this ombré garland from pompoms I found at Dollarama. Sadly, it was too short to wrap around the entire length of the tree. Oh well.
Joe's sister even crafted Maxwell a few felt ornaments. My favourite is her rendition of his first (and most cherished) stuffed toy, Boris (originally named Albert).
And it wouldn't be the holidays without some sweets. I haven't been able to do much baking, but did manage to crank out some shortbread and these salted brown butter cookies.
Now, time to cozy-up on the couch and stare at my tree.