My name is Nicole, or Nikki to my friends. But, every day for the last 15 months, my name has been 外国人 (Wàiguórén) — “Foreigner.” In America, I was the oldest sister to three brothers. I was the chick at the bar all by her happy self, reading a book while drinking beer. I was the girl who went pale at the thought of starting a conversation with a complete stranger (and for a rather dark-skinned African-American, that’s a feat). But here in China, my identity has come down to one word. Wàiguórén. Foreigner. Outsider. One who does not belong. But I’m also the one who, every few weeks, hosts a family dinner. For me, and I think for many of us, those family dinners are a safe space.
I feel like my husband deserves to have a wonderful birthday, where he doesn’t have to give a damn about worrying about what’s in his food. I figured if anyone would know about throwing a party for a nerd with dietary constrictions on a budget, the Offbeat Homies would know. So how do you pull off an awesome low-budget, gluten-free, soy-free, worry-free birthday party?
Whether it’s foods, drinks, or decor, being on a stick makes it portable, fashionable and fabulous. Here’s our savory, sweet, and sometimes even swanky roundup of all things Offbeat Home & Life… on a STICK!
My first job in Portland was overnight stocking for a big box retailer. It wasn’t long before I started meeting more transplants like me, who couldn’t get the time off to fly home for the holidays, or just plain had nowhere to go. I wanted to invite everyone over, but there was also the nagging fact that while we did get Thanksgiving Day off, most of us would have to be at work before sunrise the day after Thanksgiving. Since we were all night owls anyhow, I offered to have everyone over on the Wednesday night before the holiday. And so the idea of Midnight Thanksgiving was born.
My fiance and I love to eat on the floor. We have a table that we like and we sometimes use it, but we’re just more comfortable on the floor.
We recently had a friend over for dinner and it was a little weird for him, so I want to come up with ways to make eating on the floor more comfortable for guests.
Other than cushions or mats, what can you do to make eating on the floor feel comfortable… and maybe even a bit posh?
Offbeat Bride has a great idea up right now: using chopstick sleeves to make place cards for dinner parties.
We wanted a place card that would be pretty, tie our various themes together (travel, Chinese food), and actually be useful, cheap, and simple to make. So, we decided to make dressy paper sleeves to hold chopsticks and to double as the place cards, which seemed appropriate for a Chinese-food wedding dinner.
Yes! Smart! Now I’m kind of thinking about a Chinese food dinner party…