Lovely Gifts and our Anniversary Staycation

Yesterday, Eric and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary and, I must say, we really spoiled ourselves. 

We received some amazing gifts, all made in East Africa, and spent an evening treating ourselves to a staycation in our favorite place - our home.

We unknowingly both bought each other gifts from one of my favorite stores selling high-quality, locally-made goods - Banana Boat.  I bought Eric a leather-bound journal, made in Karamoja, Uganda, to use for his poetry, and he gave me a stunning necklace made of sea glass from the coast of Kenya.

We stayed in and made a meal together on the night of our anniversary.  With some music, candlelight, and red lipstick, it was even better than going out somewhere fancy!

Here's what was on the menu for our 5-course meal:

Appetizer: Cantaloupe, prosciutto, and basil bites
Salad: Arugula, watermelon, feta, and sunflower seeds with balsamic vinaigrette
Soup: Tomato-basil, topped with fresh oregano
Main course: Beef brochettes from Quality cuts, mashed potatoes, and steamed vegetables
Desert: Chocolate mousse, cherry cake, and something else delicious from La Patisserie. (Yes. We bought a lot of dessert.  No shame.)
Cocktail: Pear, rosemary, lemongrass, fennel, nutmeg, and vanilla with brandy and soda water

We also received a special gift from my mother, who has a tradition of giving us anniversary gifts according to Hallmark's list of suggested gifts by anniversary year.  A few weeks ago, she asked me what we wanted for our second anniversary within the category of either cotton or china.

I immediately thought of the stunning collection of pottery I've had my eye on for quite some time, made in Masaka, Uganda by Mukisa Mpewo Clay Works, and wondered 1) if I could get away with calling clay pottery "china" and 2) how I might persuade Eric to want the same thing I wanted.

My scheming was rewarded on both fronts and I was given permission by both Mom and Eric to choose the pottery I wanted.  Eric and I went to the craft market, where the shop is located, and picked out some of our favorite pieces, which now adorn our kitchen cabinets and our dinner table.

Soup bowls

Stew and soup pot

I truly love everything about this collection of serve ware.  I love the color and the earthiness they bring to the table, I love their shape, and I love that they are handcrafted here in Uganda, giving women and the disabled a steady income while preserving traditional methods of craft making.

To learn more about Mukisa Mpewo, visit their website or, if you are in Uganda, stop by the National Theatre craft market and look at their unique collection.

Water pitcher and sauce bowls

Serving bowl

Collection of pottery by Mukisa Mpewo Clay Works

All in all, we were quite spoiled on our anniversary and it gave us a reason to reflect on our 2 years together and be grateful for each other, our friends and our family who have been there for us, and all we have in our lives.