Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday Morning

Hey readers, what are your plans for the three day weekend? I'm looking forward to watching the remake of Dirty Dancing even though all the reviews are pretty negative. I'll probably end up watching both the remake and the original because it's just the perfect way to start the season. My coworkers and I are recording our third bookish podcast, where we discuss books that our readers choose for us. This week we're reading and discussing Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman. And lastly, my brother and his wife are driving down from the bay area to hang out for the holiday weekend. It will be filled with barbecues and lots of relaxing by the pool. How are you? What have you been up too? Have an excellent weekend!!

this week's favorites...

When I think back on the summers of my childhood, the most vivid memories were the three months I'd spent in Maine. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to be able to live three thousand miles away from home and experience a real New England summer. Now that triple digits are upon us, all I can think about are those white sandy beaches and lighthouses for days. What was your favorite summer vacation? 


Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said

Now that summer is here, (it's already well into 100 degrees where I live and it's not even June) I'm so excited to bring back my seasonal series but this time, there's a little twist. Some ideas and activities will be inexpensive and easy to try but others maybe a bit more challenging. So I hope you'll participate. I spent the last year relaxing and enjoying that fact that I am no longer in school. But, I have to say I actually miss having homework, I'm weird, I know. Join me and maybe challenge yourself as I plan to find a little bit of balance this year.  

This first week is all about exercising my brain; when was the last time you memorized something?! In the third grade, every couple weeks we had to memorize and recite a passage from the bible. My third grade teacher was known to be strict (she was really awesome at the same time), homework included reading assignments in which we had read the same story three times, until we learned how to pronounce every word and learn proper annunciation. When was the last time you had something memorized that was longer than a paragraph. Pick a favorite poem from childhood or one you read recently and loved, even if it's long spend however long you need to memorize the whole thing. I at least narrowed my picks between Wynken, Blynken and Nod and The Walrus and The Carpenter.   Can you guess what famous children's book the following passage comes from? 
Summer Challenge #1 Memorize a Poem

The time has come,' the Walrus said,
      To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
      Of cabbages — and kings —
And why the sea is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.'

But wait a bit,' the Oysters cried,
      Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
      And all of us are fat!'
No hurry!' said the Carpenter.
      They thanked him much for that.

A loaf of bread,' the Walrus said,
      Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
      Are very good indeed —
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
      We can begin to feed.'

But not on us!' the Oysters cried,
      Turning a little blue.
After such kindness, that would be
      A dismal thing to do!'
The night is fine,' the Walrus said.
      Do you admire the view?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Summer Night Routine

My sister started opening the front door in the evenings a few months ago and now it's one thing I look forward to when I get off work and head home. We'll keep it open practically until we're ready for bed.

Actually make dinner and get in the habit of making sweets from scratch.

Take a relaxing bath, soak in some bubbles and wear my favorite masks.

I've gotten really into art journaling.

Settle in and maybe fall asleep to reading or watching a favorite film.

I'll do some variation of Vinyasa yoga right before I hit the sheets. 

How do you spend your summer evenings when you get off work? 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Travel Food Diary

Before I even got on the plane, I knew exactly what I wanted to eat while traveling abroad. The foodie in me wanted to make this trip a true dining experience, although I knew it wasn't going to be that way considering who I was traveling with. This is not to out my my sister but she is one of the pickiest people on the planet when it comes to food. I mean she doesn't like cheese and we were heading to the cheese capital of the world. When it comes to food, she's comfortable with her same five favorite meals while I live for trying new things (as long as I don't know what it is before I actually eat it). I had the trip of a lifetime but in my mind I'm already planning another trip abroad but with my boyfriend, because with him it will be all about the food and beer. 

Day 1-9: When we got to Paris, I was mostly concerned with crepes and baguettes. Unfortunately the beginning of the trip started with severe anxiety which turned into stomachaches and headaches. I was living on veggies and soups the first few days. Which reminds me, the Cream of Jerusalem artichoke with truffle oils and ceps I got from Bouillon Racine, was out of this world good.

(Day 1-4) For breakfast/lunch, we mostly hit up small cafes around our apartment and the Eiffel Tower, although the cafes in the 5th Arrondissements were my favorite. I mostly sipped on rosé and had some version of tomato mozzarella. A combination of baguettes with slices of tomato and cheese was everything I wanted and needed, my poor stomach wasn't having it so I had to be careful with what I was eating. If I wasn't eating steamed veggies at dinner I was ordering french onion soup or not eating at all. I ended up loosing weight on our trip instead of gaining weight. 

Since my sister lived on crepes while in Paris, we found the best at a kiosk between the Eiffel Tower and The Esplande due Trocadero, right next to the prettiest carousel. I never got my own, but I definitely indulged in a few bites of my sisters and it was beyond delicious!

One of the musts I had on my little checklist was a freshly made baguette. Our second day in Paris, we ate at a cafe that was luckily attached to boulangerie and patisserie. I stared into the glass display for about five minutes and then ordered an extra long baguette. Side Note: given that it was day two, I didn't even get my baguette. I was only able to take a couple bites, but it was so worth it!

Another must on my list was visiting Ladurée. There's a local french bakery and café in my hometown that makes the best macrons; as in they are better than macrons I've tried in L.A. and New York. So going to Paris, I made it my mission to taste the real thing and see if they compared to my  hometown ones. Obviously, you know the answer! Now, I just need to find the rosé that was sold in in the store.

My first real dinner in Paris was at Le Chat Noir. Our day spent visiting the Montmartre, it was the first time I actually felt hungry which was a relief because I didn't intend to starve in Europe. So I splurged, I had another round of rosé and ordered this four cheese pasta dish and it was splendid. Picasso's favorite hangout and perhaps the first cabaret, the 19th century bohemian hangout for American expats, it's still quite the scene. I also feasted on a seriously excellent ham and cheese melt, a chicken and broccoli crepe, and a pizza or two, which are more like tarts. (French pizza is seriously the best if you into ridiculously thin crust)

Day 10-12 I was really impressed by the food in Belgium. Belgium was not apart of the original itinerary but I'm so glad we went. The enclosed medieval vibe of the town made all of my history fantasies of walking through an old European town. The people were incredibly nice and the food was so choice. Number one item on the menu - Belgian waffles. 

Our first night in Belgium, we ate at an Italian cafe in the historic center of Brugge and I ordered lasagna that was smothered in like five difference cheeses, needless to say I was happy for the rest of the evening and even into the next day. The next morning I found this little hole in the wall patisserie, Panos.I went back every morning to get my strawberry waffles.  

If you were wondering, we ate gelato pretty much everywhere we went from Paris to Belgium. It was crazy how cheap a scoop was and let me be clear a scoop in Belgium is triple the size of a scoop in America. We were only in Brugge for three days but we instantly became friends with the gelato lady, there may have been a day we went back for a second time. We only ate out once for dinner, you know since tap water cost us $6 our first meal, we ended up making dinner for the rest of our stay.

Day 13- 16: And lastly London; in all seriousness I did not want to leave my favorite city. Our last few days abroad we spent in London. Our first night back, we gorged ourselves with tapas. I was just happy my sister was enjoying herself, all she ate in Paris was sweets! Tapas Brindisa in Soho was maybe one of the best meals of our trip. With excellent company and being reunited with a dear friend, we spent a few hours reminiscing and (me in particular) being envious of our friend's life in London.

The next day we went for high tea at The Wolseley near Piccadilly and it was exactly how I imagined afternoon tea to be. The epitome of high class and in the most gorgeous of all buildings, I had to refrain myself from being an annoying tourist taking pictures and just enjoy my scones, muffins and sweats galore.  I was on cloud nine for the rest our stay. Hanging out in the candy and tea department at Harrods was also a highlight, the building is just so impressive. You better believe I treated myself to a few boxes of tea!

We also went out for fish and chips, this was a must for me so I'm glad I got to check that off my list. And because our host was extra sweet, she took me to one of the best fish and chips spots at The Chipping Forecast. When in London and in the mood for battered fish, you must check out this place. The ambiance is charming and the food is excellent. My sister requested Nando's, which I had never heard of until she and Maggie started talking about it. Apparently, it's the place to go. All I have to say is I am all about that Peri, Peri sauce. And to end our fabulous trip, we went out with a bang and ordered Domino's pizza. My sister was really missing American food and needed a taste of home even though we'd be stateside in twenty four hours. In case you wondering what garlic bread was like in Europe, it's really just a small pizza. 

 (images via instagram)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend Wrap Up...

 rosé all day.
 new recipes and lots of sweets...
 pleats and scallops kind of girl.
 sunday game days with old and new friends...
this week's favorites.

(images via instagram)

Quote of the Day

"A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected."