Spring is officially here! I love spring because it means longer daylight hours, flowers blooming and beautiful bright colors everywhere I look.

To help welcome spring, I decided to throw a little party, which also gave me a chance to feature the Chinet® Cut Crystal® line of disposable tableware. If you aren’t familiar with Chinet® Cut Crystal® products, I’m excited to be the one to introduce it to you! I first discovered the line a few months ago when we were about to host our Lunar New Year party.

We always buy disposable tableware for our parties because it makes clean-up a lot easier, but I’m always trying to find nice looking disposable tableware because I want the tableware to look elegant. So I dragged Mr. K to about three different stores before I came across Chinet® Cut Crystal® cups. They were everything I was looking for. They were crystal clear and had a swirl pattern on them that made them look really fancy. 

Then I discovered there was also matching cutlery and plates. Tableware problem solved!

I absolutely loved how the Chinet® Cut Crystal® collection looked during my Lunar Party, so when I had an opportunity to work with the Chinet® brand and feature the Chinet® Cut Crystal® collection, I gladly signed up to do so. In addition, there is a giveaway at the end of this post for a $100 gift card plus a package of Chinet® product!

Earlier last month, I was presented with an amazing opportunity to visit the Southern Living Test Kitchen as a Delta Faucet correspondent, along with seven other wonderful bloggers.

Southern Living is a magazine I adore for its food photography and recipes, so I jumped at the chance to visit the campus located in Birmingham, Alabama. During our short stay, the representatives for Delta Faucets arranged a packed itinerary to give us a taste of the city, which only further strengthened my bond with the South and desire to have a home there one day.

It also seemed fitting that we visited during the month when Jennifer Garner graced the cover of Southern Living, as she is one of my favorite celebrities.

After a day of flying, our first stop was dinner at SAW’s Juke Joint. There, we started with platters of fried okra and smoked chicken wings. Both were so delicious, I couldn’t help but go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths.

I’ve never been much of a fan of okra but I realize now that the okra I’ve been eating in San Diego is complete crap. Here, they only fry okra when it’s in season and it makes such a difference. The wings were quite popular, with their smoky flavor and generous topping of white bbq sauce, a tangy, dressing-like sauce.

While we munched on our appetizers, we got to meet Robby Melvin, the director of Southern Living Test Kitchen and the mastermind behind the majority of the recipes created for the magazine. We were able to pick his brain, which we took full advantage of, asking whatever questions popped into our minds.

As the sun began to set, we went inside for dinner. Delta had a #HappiMess theme for this event, and to go along with that, each of the dishes we had that evening were served deconstructed, and it was our job to build our own creations.

Siam Nara

I recently met up with CC for lunch and we decided to check out Siam Nara. It just so happened I had recently purchased a groupon for the restaurant and was happy to have the chance to redeem it. I visited Siam Nara all the way back in 2011 and recalled a few decent meals there.

Inside, the place is adorned with gold colors, giving it a very fancy appearance. Despite it being early in the day, the restaurant does not have a lot of natural light, so it was actually quite dark in the dining area.

I ordered some tea which came in this pretty cup.

We decided to forego the more popular Thai staples and be a little more adventurous. We chose from their “ZAAP!!! E-San” section, which is explained on the menu as Thai dishes bursting with bold flavors.

Som Tum Thai with Salted Crab

Crunchy shredded green papaya salad with salted crab, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and crushed peanuts tossed with fresh garlic, lime juice, and palm sugar.

This was my first time have papaya salad with salted crab. It basically tasted the same as the regular som tum, except it was topped with little crab shells that contained some crab roe. It added a little more brininess to the dish, but honestly if I hadn’t seen the black shells I don’t think I would have been able to tell the difference.