Nom noms: MAGIC PASTA

Bonjour mes amis!

Yes, I know, it’s been way too long since I last blogged. Specifically since I last food-blogged. But I’m back! Back in action and planning to stay in action! Coming at you today with the most delicious food I’ve had in weeks. And I made it myself, which just makes it taste even better! So what is this magical food you ask? Well, it’s pasta. One-pot pasta. With chicken sausage, mushrooms, kale, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and just ALL of the deliciousness. BOOM. Are you excited yet? No? Well you better get excited BECAUSE WE’RE ABOUT TO GET COOKING WOO!!

Since I’ve just come back to college, I’ve been eating a few too many microwavable meals and I’m back to my dinky kitchen where a can opener is the most technologically-advanced cooking tool I have. But this morning I began craving the sweet, sweet flavor of fresh, home-cooked food and set my sights on an exciting one-pot pasta I discovered over summer but never got the chance to try. So I rallied myself to walk the half-mile to the grocery store, assembleeeee my ingredients, and cook my little heart out. So here we go – pasta. Thing. Epic pasta thing. That’s magical. Magic pasta.

STEP 1: Ingredients! Yes, as always, we begin with ingredients! There’s actually quite a few of them for this recipe but, as a college student, I cut out ones I couldn’t afford from the original recipe, so definitely play with what you choose to include. This amount of ingredients should easily serve 4-6 hungry college kids:

  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Chicken sausage (I used Chicken Apple but pick your favorite!) – 12 oz
  • Mushrooms – 8 oz
  • Yellow onion – 1 half
  • Chicken broth – 4 cups
  • Shaped pasta – 1 lb (aka 1 box)
  • Kale leaves, chopped – 2-4 cups
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved – 3 cups
  • Garlic – 5 cloves
  • Salt – a few pinches

The recipe I followed included other things like red chili pepper flakes, parsley, and some fancy buttery hermed bread crumbs, but I kept it simple!

ingredients

STEP 2: Prep time! Unfortunately, this receipt does require quite a bit more prep than some of my other recipes. As my roommate said as she watched me cook today, “I have never seen you more patient” as I spent 20 minutes meticulously chopping all of my ingredients like a crazy chef perfectionist. Chef-ectionist. Anyway, chop your sausage into little coin-medallion type things to brown them nicely. Next, chop your mushrooms (or be lazy like me and buy pre-chopped mushrooms) into slices, slice-and-dice your onion, halve your cherry tomatoes (or just use tomato puree), and thinly slice your garlic cloves. Finally, the worst part, chop your kale. If you’re an idiot like me, you’ll buy regular kale leaves and then spend 15 infuriating minutes trying to de-stem and de-spine itty-bitty baby kale leaves. (Hey, even though I live in LA, I am not well educated on the kale universe.) As someone who had never worked with kale before (and might not ever again after today), be smart please and buy pre-chopped kale!

prep

STEP 3: Start cooking! Grab a BIG pot or high-sided pan and stick in on a medium heat on the stove. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and toss in your sausage coin-thingys. Let them cook about 2-3 minutes each side to get a nice brown on them. Luckily, if you buy pre-cooked sausage then you don’t need to be too concerned if your sausage doesn’t brown too too much. Take these off and keep them to the side in a separate bowl once they’re done!

sausage cooking

STEP 4: Now comes the fun part – start your pan again on a medium heat, coating the bottom with 1 tablespoon of olive oil like before.  Toss in your onions and mushrooms and let those sit and stew for about 2 minutes before mixing and making sure they’re browning a bit. Then add basically everything else: chicken broth, pasta, kale, tomatoes, garlic, and a bit of salt. Turn up the heat juuuust a tad to help bring the pot to boil and mix everything together. Once at a boil, turn the heat back down to medium-low and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the chicken broth has mostly cooked off. Don’t forget to mix back in your sausage in the last few minutes of cooking!

mush onion

cook

STEP 5: VOILA! You now have MAGICAL PASTA. Okay, not magical, but delicious.

done

I realize this was more complex than some of my previous cooking adventures but it’s still simple, healthy, and easy to do, even on a budget! My food-baby and I are well stuffed and I have enough leftovers to last me at least a few more meals! I hope you enjoyed this cooking adventure and I promise, I’m back!!! Nom on!!

Note: Food baby not included.

7 Types of People You See in the Airport

Today I’m flying to Chicago. Flying is not an unusual thing for me – I’ve been flying since I was 6 months old (not by myself, but you get it). I’ve got the airport routine down: check in for your flight 24 hours early to get the best boarding group, wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind sitting in for 4-8 hours and don’t require dis- and re-assembly during security, show up to security with your laptop and tiny bag of liquids (if any) already out and ready to dump in the bin, board the plane ready to stow my overhead bag (if any) asap and get out of the aisle so others can go by, etc. But if you’ve ever travelled, you know that most people are not this prepared for flying (and you know that you might be one of them).

People watching in the airport (because security only took 10 minutes and you’re now 2 hours early for your flight – hi, that’s me today) can reveal all sorts of interesting characters. Where are these people going? What’s their purpose in flying? Why today not tomorrow? But no matter where these people are going or why, it’s easy to distinguish a few different types of people that you really will only come across in the airport.

airport

1. The College Kid

While all the flyers that fall into this category are probably in fact not in college, it is easy to assume that these trawling travelers might still spend their nights cramming for exams. Usually clad in yoga pants or chubbies and often sporting a college sweatshirt (or any sweatshirt), these flyers are the kings of comfort. They don’t give two shits what they might actually look like (some of them have literally rolled straight out of bed) but they are going to be the most comfortable people on the plane. No stiff jeans or fancy shirts to confine these travelers – they can practically do yoga while they’re squished into their tiny coach seats. And by yoga, I mean finding the most odd (but oddly comfortable) sleeping position to pass out in once the flight starts its ascent. With their no-shits attitude, these travelers tend to be nonchalant in their traveling, not rude but not always kind either (sometime they roll out on the wrong side of the bed) and ultimately easy to exist around during the uncomfortable situation that is airports. Maybe that’s cause they are built for comfort.

Special features: Neck pillows, expensive headphones (not uncommonly of the Dr. Dre variety), and exotic printed leggings/shorts.

2. The Business Man

We all know this one: the men and women clad in full business suits, complete with tie and bluetooth ear piece. Most often seen at night during the odd flying hour known as the redeye flights, these travelers live lives unbeknownst to the common man. How can they be comfortable in a suit and tie, we plebeians ask, and still not get their shirt creased after hours sitting still. They are a mystery amongst us. Depending on where you’re flying from or to, these flyers can range from obnoxiously loud as they complete business deals via their bluetooths to uncharacteristically stoic, entranced by the New York Times and the Economist. No matter who they are, you know they’ll be the one with infinite-battery laptop, working on Excel spreadsheets more complicated than quantum physics on the plane.

Special features: Amazingly tiny roller bags (how do they fit it all??), foreign newspapers, and waist-clip name badges (so you can identify what crazy company makes their employees travel in a four-piece suit).

3. The Over-Eager Vacationer

Usually composed of a family of four, including two small children and a father dressed in some sort of loud hawaiian shirt, this traveler is the vacationer on steroids. Equipped with god-knows how many suitcases, matching T-shirts, and travel guides up the wazoo, they are so excited to go to (insert beach-y vacation spot) that you’d think they had just found out they had won the lottery. Although not outwardly rude, they can lose track of their airport surrounding while fantasizing about fancy drinks with little umbrellas in them that they can become a slight roadblock to other travelers. Ultimately harmless, the over-eager vacationer has one goal in mind and any length of flight won’t stand in their way.

Special features: Leash children, hawaiian lais, and multiple pairs of sunglasses.

4. The Retired Vacationer

Unlike the Over-Eager Vacationer, the Retired Vacationer has a more casual approach to their traveling experience. Generally in the upper age range, this flyer doesn’t care about hawaiian shirts or fruity drinks on beaches, they’re just going someplace to go someplace. With nothing better to do, they board flights to wherever they can kick back and continue doing nothing. They are living the retired life the right way. And if they’re really doing it right, they’re also playing the wheelchair card to get a free ride all around the airport. I mean, what’s not to love?

Special features: Canes with ornate handles, old fashioned cloth baggage, and sunglasses that resemble the shades your optometrist gives you after you get your eyes dilated. 

5. The Average Joe

You could have literally picked this flyer straight off the street. They camouflage themselves easily into the heard of travelers wearing a mismatch of odd clothing, constantly looking a little lost, just like any other person in a city they don’t know – except they’re in an airport. Who knows where they’re going or why, these travelers seem to have no clear purpose and thus remain the average joe of the traveling tribe. Often with very little baggage and a slow rambling gait, the average joe fades into the background of air travel, acting as the filler persons between the Vacationers and Business Men of the airport.

Special features: Shirt, shoes, and cell service.

6. The Group

Like a herd of wild animals, the group travelers are possibly the most comical of all travelers. Between sports teams and school groups, the group travelers are easily identified by matching something, be it backpacks, lanyards, jerseys, or obnoxious baseball caps. Together they traverse the airport as a human amoeba, usually with at least one chaperone snapping at the stragglers and guiding the individuals to “stay with the group”. Due to their large size, the Group is impossible to ignore, not only because of their uniformity but because of their innate ability to constantly be in the way. But fret not, their matching attire is enough to make even the most frustrated traveler laugh a bit before shoving their way through.

Special features: Tour guide with portable microphone and literally matching everything.

7. Special Sighting Today: The Musician

This was a new one that I spotted today: the traveling musician. Lugging around a giant instrument in what looks like an industrial strength case, this traveler seemed to find issue with every possible thing that happened in the airport, especially when it concerned their instrument. To the everyday person, their instrument was an instrument, but to these musicians, their instrument was worth more than their first born and they made sure everyone in the airport knew it. Eclectically dressed as if they had just come a performance with the symphony but had slept in their clothes, these travelers expected people to bow in their wake as they complained of lugging their enormous instruments across the airport. But fret not, as a traveler, they won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Music to your ears.

Special features: Bowtie, conductor’s baton, and long locks like Rapunzel.

Now to hit the skies. Tell me about any airport characters you’ve encountered in the comments! Happy flying!

city

Nom noms: Bacon-Wrapped Hotdogs

Happy 4th of July, America!! Yep, it’s that time of year again – Americans gets to spend a whole 24 hours yelling “MURICA”, drowning themselves in beer, and setting off obnoxiously-loud fireworks. As silly as it sounds, it’s a celebration of independence and freedom, based upon this country of opportunity. And what better way to celebrate than with some good ol’ American food? Yep, I’m talking hotdogs!

Some of you may be thinking, whoever invented the hotdog should be burned at the stake. I mean, what type of meat is really in those Oscar Meyer weiners anyway? Well, the 4th of the July is the perfect time to give the hotdog another chance, making it just that little bit better by adding, yes you guessed it, BACON. A food group all its own, bacon may not be the nutritional holy land but it gets elevated to almost god-like flavor status when cooked properly and added to your favorite foods. This is honestly one of my favorite tailgating meals and is the perfect thing to get you in the zone for sports or any sort of American pastime. So, here we go America (and everyone else), bacon-wrapped MURICA dogs!

STEP 1: As always, start with ingredients! This one’s pretty simple in terms of types of ingredients. But to make your food even tastier, try different types of hotdog variations. For this round, I used German beef frankfurters, but you could try sausage, pork, or just your standard Oscar Meyer hotdogs!

  • Hotdogs (as many as you want!)
  • Bacon (1 bacon slice for every hotdog)
  • Toothpicks (1 toothpick for every hotdog; cut in half)

Toothpicks? What? You can’t eat those… Don’t worry! You won’t be eating toothpicks any time soon! Toothpicks are the secret trick to this meal and as long as you follow along you won’t get any weird woody surprises in your lunch!

ingredients

STEP 2: GET WRAPPING! Wiggidy-wiggidy-wrap. Okay, sorry, wrong rapping. (Man, I’m a dork.) The trick here is to use your toothpicks to hold the bacon in place on the hotdog so it doesn’t peel off as you’re cooking. Grab one toothpick-half and pin the end of a bacon strip to the top of your hotdog.

toothpick 1

Then, simply start winding the bacon around your hotdog until your hotdog is enveloped in bacon. Or, alternatively, if the winding is too difficult, lay your bacon out flat and roll your hotdog into your bacon. However you do it, you should end up with something that looks like this:

wrapped

Finally, once your hotdog is blanketed in bacon (if you’re ambitious, go for a second layer of bacon!), take your other toothpick-half and pin the opposite end of your bacon strip to the end of your hotdog. Not every rolled hot dog is perfect so don’t fret if your hotdogs look a little funky – it’s the thought that counts!

toothpick 2

STEP 3: Time to cook! We return to the stove for this cooking adventure (if you have a grill, even better! but I don’t know how to use one so you’re on your own)! Grab a pan and place it on the stove over a medium heat. Don’t worry about adding any oil since there’s enough bacon fat to keep your hotdogs nice and juicy. Add your bacon-wrapped hot dogs to the pan and get ready with your tongs. Your bacon might at first appear to stick to the pan or smoke (especially until some of that bacon fat drips into the pan) so make sure to keep rotating your hotdogs.Cook your hotdogs for about 6-8 minutes, rotating them until every side is nicely browned and cooked. For this dish, it’s okay to err on the side of over-cooking since it will allow your bacon to crisp up, adding a crunchy element to your meal!

pan

Don’t worry if one of your toothpicks doesn’t hold properly and starts to unravel from a hotdog – not every dog is perfect! And you can usually rewrap the bacon around the hotdog after you’ve finished cooking.

STEP 4: The IMPORTANT step. Remove your hot dogs from the heat and before you plate them for serving, remove your toothpicks! Now that your bacon has fully cooked around your hotdog, it shouldn’t want to unravel, so you’re safe to pull out each toothpick-half from each hotdog. Do not forget this! If you do, you will eat wood, possibly hurt yourself, and die. Okay maybe it won’t be that bad but it’ll definitely be uncomfortable. So, I repeat, remove your toothpicks!

final

Once you’ve done that, stick your bacon-wrapped hotdog in a bun, add your favorite condiments, sauces, and toppings, and ENJOY!! Paired with some chips and guacamole and your favorite cold beer, this simple dish is sure to take your July 4th celebrations to the next level!! Comment below on your favorite July 4th recipes or any variations you did to this recipe!

HAPPY MURICA DAY, AMERICA!! Nom on!!

Hiking the Hills

Today I took a break from working and spent the morning with an old friend, hiking through the hills of Berkeley, CA. No, this won’t be a post about the merits of hiking, or the picturesque nature of the Berkeley hills, or even the best foods for post-workout. This will just be a post about my enjoyable morning hike and good company. 🙂

Having lived in LA for a few years, something everyone seems to love doing is hiking. The Hollywood sign, Griffith park, Escondido Falls – all places that LA-ers love to adventure through on their weekend mornings. And I can’t lie, I’ve definitely caught the hiking bug too. There’s something wonderful about waking up and starting out your day with a hike through nature. The world is still waking up, it’s quiet, the air is crisp and clear, the sun is just starting to warm up – it’s absolutely one of the best times of day. Some people like to wake up and go running, but I’ve never been one of those people to enjoy running, so a hike is the perfect easy morning workout for me. Not only is it a great way to get in your 10,000 steps but it’s a workout that you can do at your own pace, pushing yourself to a tough pace and taking trails with inclines and rough terrain, or taking more of a relaxing stroll to just enjoy good company or nature.

5

Anyway, my friend and I ventured along a moderate 2-mile path up to this amazing lookout with 360° views of the distant San Francisco bay and our own rolling East Bay hills. We sat there and talked as the day started to heat up, enjoying the amazing view, until we walked back the 2 miles and got lunch. And ice cream. (Who said hiking couldn’t have its tasty rewards?) Aka the perfect morning! Enjoy the photos from the top of our lookout and tell me about your favorite hiking spot or your favorite way to start your day in the comments!

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4

3

7

Happy weekend and happy hiking!

 

Nom noms: Lettuce Wraps

Happy Hump Day!! So, it’s the middle of the week and cooking is becoming a drag. You’re about ready to just boil some water and eat some starchy pasta. Or worse, grab some grapes, eat Cheetos straight out of the bag, and call it a modern salad. STOP! NO! We can eat good food and it won’t be that hard! I promise! Because today -drumroll- we make lettuce wraps!

You groan. Lettuce wraps. It sounds disgustingly healthy and also difficult to make. But don’t judge a food by it’s name until you’ve tasted it! This is a perfectly simple, 10-minute recipe, perfect for the lazy cook, like myself, annnnnnd still healthy without gagging you with lettuce. Lettuce wraps can be a really easy healthy twist on some of your favorite foods and you can stuff them with almost anything. Plus, they can be a light snack or a full meal and are a great summer food, even on a hot day. Follow along for my favorite lettuce wrap recipe and, unlike motorcycle stunts, DO try this at home!

STEP 1: Ingredients ingredients ingredients! One of the biggest things I’ve learned as a lazy cook is get all your ingredients together before you start cooking. That way you can just sit around and watch your food cook without you having to scramble around the kitchen getting whatever is needed next in the recipe. If you’re going to mimic my every move in this recipe then make sure to get the following (tsp = teaspoons; tbsp = tablespoons):

  • Ground beef – 1 lb
  • Veggie oil – 2 tsps
  • Mushrooms – approx. 8
  • Green onions (aka “scallions” if you’re fancy) – approx. 3
  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • Ginger (or ginger paste) – 2 tsps
  • Red pepper flakes – 1 tsp
  • Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Hoisin sauce – ¼ cup
  • Lettuce – one head

For these lettuce wraps I used some pretty traditional ingredients but I definitely encourage you to experiment! Try chipotle sauce instead of red pepper flakes or add carrots and peppers! Be creative! Cooking can be an art, it can be a science, or it can just be a crazy fun time in the kitchen – just get loose and go with the flow.

prep

STEP 2: Cut allllll the things! Chop your mushrooms, your green onions, your garlic, and whatever other ingredients you may have chosen to include that require cutting. If it seems like you have a disproportionate amount of mushrooms to everything else, don’t fret – as they cook, the mushrooms tend to shrink until they are much less noticeable. If, however, you are not a huge mushroom fan, cut down on your mushrooms until you’re comfortable with your chopped pile.

cut veggies

STEP 3: Now don’t get scared… but turn on the stove. Yes, I know, we’re using fire, things are getting a little intense but just stay calm and keep the flame on a medium-high and all will be well. Take a pan and place it over the flame on the stove. Yes, easy there, you’re doing fine! Now, should you choose to, add in the veggie oil and let it heat. If you want to be uber-healthy then you can skip the veggie oil entirely. You’ll know the veggie oil is hot when you can move the pan and it runs around really quickly, rather than slowly like oil usually moves.

oil

STEP 4: Throw in your meat! Don’t worry about breaking it up beforehand, just dump it in and as you stir it, it will break up in tiny bits. Keep stirring it until every last little meaty morsel is a nice earthy brown color. No pink meat! I don’t care if pink is your favorite color, pink meat bad! Once your meat is fully cooked (aka all brown) turn down the stove to a low-medium/low. If you feel like your meat is kind of oily or greasy, you can drain it off using a simple pasta strainer.

meat cooking

STEP 5: Toss in all your other ingredients! Mix, mix, mix your mushrooms, green onions, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce all together. Let the whole yummy mixture cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until your mushrooms (or other add-in ingredients) taste cooked! Then turn the heat off and we’re almost ready to eat!

almost done

STEP 6: Now to tackle the lettuce. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a head of lettuce that is easy to peel and can pull off large leaves to act as your lettuce wrap. If you’re not so lucky, you can still pull off small chunks and make bite-size lettuce wraps. I actually prefer the smaller ones since they’re much easier to manage and a little less messy. Or more messy, depending on how you eat. One tip: if you cut off the stem on the bottom of the lettuce, it’s sometimes easier to peel off the individual leaves.

lettuce pic

STEP 7: Add as much of your lovely meat mixture to your lettuce leaves, wrap or fold them up as best you can, and NOM! These can get a bit messy if you’re not careful so don’t expect to impress any company with your eating skills with this dinner!

FIN

I dunno about you, but I ate about four of these for dinner and am now so pleasantly stuffed I don’t know if I’ll ever move again. Even better, I have leftovers for lunch or dinner tomorrow too! I hope you’re as stuffed as I am and let me know about any modifications or experimentations you did for your own lettuce wraps! Nom on!!

Liebster Award

EXCITEMENT! Today something super special has happened! My wonderful friend Erika from Bearika Rose has nominated me for the Liebster Award! At first I didn’t really know what this was, but after some internet trawling, I’ve discovered that the Liebster Award is an on-going award for bloggers who have less than 200 followers. Essentially, the award aims to give smaller, newer, younger blogs a bit more exposure and help readers (like you) discover such blogs (like me). I’m definitely still new to the blogosphere but I’m loving it so far and I’m so thankful to Erika for nominating me! Erika was one of my inspirations for starting this blog so I’m so glad that she’s enjoyed reading my posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Now to pass this award along!

Liebester Award

The Rules for the Liebster Award:

  1. Thank and link the person who nominated you. (Done!)
  2. Write the rules and display the award. (Done-zo!)
  3. Answer 11 questions and write 11 of your own.
  4. Nominate 11 other bloggers (with less than 200 followers) and don’t forget to let them know.
  5. Write 11 facts about yourself.

11 Questions from Erika:

1. How did you come upon the name of your blog?

I feel like this is the question every person comes across at some point in their life, whether it’s choosing a username, a title, or even naming your cat. Originally, when I was toying with the idea of starting this blog, I was just finishing up #100happydays on my Instagram and was getting a little nostalgic about soon not taking pictures every day so I first came up with the idea of a photo-oriented blog. Then, the more I thought about blogging and what blogging really is, I realized it’s sort of like writing letters and sending them to the entire world. As someone who originally aspired to be a creative writer, I definitely wanted to incorporate writing into my blog as well. So, ultimately, I combined the two concepts and creates Pixels (for photos) and Prints (for words). And alliteration because who doesn’t love some alliteration?

2. What’s your favorite number and why?

This is probably a really stupid reason, but my favorite number is 2 because I like things that come in pairs, it adds and multiples itself to the same number, it’s even, and it’s prime. I’m a nerd.

3. If you could pick a day to relive, what day would it be?

I’ve thought about this question for a while now and I think I’ve decided that I wouldn’t relive any day. I’ve enjoyed so many days in my life that it’s impossible to pick just one and it just makes me strive more to have even more exciting and wonderful days to come.

4. What do you think is your best piece of writing to date?

This is a toss-up between two completely different pieces. One is this short story I wrote a few years ago about a young kid growing up in a gang-controlled metropolitan jungle. It was a really fluid story that just seemed to flow out of me and fit. I haven’t been able to touch it since the new words don’t seem right. The other is an analytical essay about Freud’s Oedipus complex as seen in Murdoch’s A Severed Head. Yep, incest. My professor said it was the best paper he’d read since he started teaching. So apparently I’m good at writing about incest. Woo?

5. How do you wake up in the morning? Easily? With an alarm clock? In the afternoon?

Unfortunately, since I’ve entered the working world, I’ve become uncomfortably used to waking up at 6:45 every morning. Despite this, I am still not a morning person so don’t expect me to be civil before I’ve had a shower and brushed my teeth. During the school year, my sleep schedule tends to lean much closer to noon though. If only the workplace would let me work late and wake late, then I’d be living the dream.

6. What’s your favorite piece of clothing?

Oddly enough, it’s this patterned summer hi-lo dress (that I’m actually wearing in my picture up there on the right). It’s super comfy and easy to wear and looks cute no matter how ugly I’m feeling that day. Although I guess I should say my yoga pants are my favorite piece of clothing since I probably wear those more than anything else – whoops.

7. If your life had a theme song, what would it be?

Ke$ha. Yes, judge away, Ke$ha is my inspiration and sings the songs of my life. So to choose a theme song: “We R Who We R”.

8. Advice to your younger self?

Don’t be mean to your mum! She’s the most lovely human ever and she’s not out to make your life miserable, I promise. Trust me, she’s going to be your best friend in a few years, so might as well jump start the process and become friends now!

9. You can eat for free at one restaurant for the rest of your life, what restaurant?

Oooooo, this is hard. In’n’out? Noah’s bagels? Chipotle? No, no, I think I’d have to pick Urth Cafe. Foodie haven, complete with coffee foam art.

10. What film are you most looking forward to seeing this summer?

Hands down, The Fault in Our Stars. It is easily one of my all-time favorite books and I have heard amazing things about the film that I simply can’t wait to see it. Buuuuut, I’m planning to wait until it’s out of theaters to watch it so that I won’t publicly humiliate myself with the amount of tears I shed during the movie.

11. Who do you need to thank more in your life?

My friends. I love them all so much and I’ve recently realized exactly how much they’ve helped me and supported me through some of the toughest times in my life. If you’re reading this, friends, I love you all and can’t thank you enough for being so awesome and incredible!

11 Questions from me:

  1. What’s one thing on your bucket list?
  2. If you could go to any country where would you go and why?
  3. Who’s your favorite superhero?
  4. Would you ever hitchhike and if so, where?
  5. What’s your favorite ice cream flavour?
  6. If you could magically acquire any skill, what would it be?
  7. Nutella or peanut butter?
  8. What’s your weirdest expression or habit?
  9. Did you have any inspiration when you started your blog?
  10. What’s your guilty pleasure?
  11. You just won the lottery, what do you do?

11 Bloggers I Nominate:

Megan from Catty Fashion

Tricia from 50 Shades of Flavour (It’s my mum!)

…and unfortunately I haven’t been in the blogosphere long enough to know many more blogs that fit the category of this award. The ones I’ve listed are awesome though!

11 Facts about me:

  1. A few years ago, I taught myself ukulele. I’ve forgotten most of it now but I’m planning to pick it up again soon!
  2. I have two adorable, sassy cats who I’m casually obsessed with. (They’re both sleeping next to me as I blog this!)
  3. I watch an unhealthy amount of Foot Network TV and am obsessed with Chopped.
  4. As of recent, I’ve become very focused on fitness and I love working out but I can’t run more than 2 miles without sounding like I’m getting asphyxiated.
  5. Instead of collecting knick-knacks from different places, I tend to bring back postcards because they’re cheap and are still a good memory.
  6. I tend to spell and pronounce words the British way sometimes since I grew up thinking they were the normal, correct way due to my Irish mum.
  7. Unlike most 15-year-olds who cherish their luscious locks, I cut off all my hair and donated it to Locks of Love.
  8. I have never broken a bone or broken my phone.
  9. I have a permanently tilted knee cap due to a tight IT band in my left thigh, meaning I dislocate my knee on a regular basis.
  10. I am mildly lactose allergic, an unfortunate allergy I inherited from my mother that makes me either have a stomach ache or pass out after binging on ice cream.
  11. Annnnd I can’t whistle (yes, I’ve tried and every person and their mother has tried to teach me).

Wow that was long. Well, now that you know lots of random information about me, pass on this award to others! Or if you’re just a kind reader, then thanks for bearing with me through this mayhem of random facts. It’s like any award show where they don’t have timed speeches – the recipient just rambles on and on and on and… Anyway. Tell me about an interesting award you’ve won in the comments!

You’ve Got Mail

You know what needs to make a comeback? Postcards.

Remember that feeling when you were a kid and you got mail? Literally any mail at all and you instantly felt important. Someone had taken the time to write you a letter, stick it in an envelope, stick a stamp on it, and drop it in the mailbox. That was special. Blue’s Clues said it best when they invented the “Mail Time” song. And then you grew up and you were just excited to receive anything but mail, because mail usually meant bank statements or utility bills. But don’t lie – you still get excited whenever you get some non-adult-like items in the mail, whether it be a holiday card or even a coupon from BevMo.

So what about postcards? Yes, if you don’t have friends traveling abroad, or just friends in general, receiving postcards might not be something that happens to you very often. And then there’s the whole advent of technology and cell phones that you can just get a text or facebook from your traveling buddies, rather than have them take the time to buy, write, stamp, and send a dinky old postcard. Blah blah blah but postcards!!

Why am I ranting about postcards? Well, today I received a postcard from one of my dearest friends who is currently country-hopping across Europe and I was so excited by it. Not only was I receiving fun mail, but it was so nice to have a glimpse into my friend’s life! True, she probably wrote the post card two weeks ago and is probably no where near Seville anymore but I still loved receiving this little memento of her journey.

postcard from bijou

I’ve already tacked the postcard up in my sparse little cubicle at work (to remind me that there is a world outside of those tiny grey padded walls?) and I’ve probably read it about seven times now. It’s nice to have a departure from the usual facebook, text, email and know that my friend was thinking of me while she’s adventuring and took some times to share her adventures with me. I mean, it’s a picture and a personal message all in one – what’s not to love?

Maybe bills would be more appealing if they came in postcard form? Maybe not.

Receiving this postcard has rejuvenated me to write postcards to my friends who aren’t here with me this summer. Or, you know, even to those who are. Beware, friends, postcards are coming your way! Let me know about your last postcard or any thoughts you have on this old fashioned form of communication in the comments!