6

Beirut...

1.31.2012


Today was your typical grey, fogyish,  and drizzly London day... one that I have come to love and appreciate on days like today, where I had no reason what so ever to leave the flat! And to make matters even better, the billboard is up covering my windows again and this creates an even cozier cave of sorts, perfect for hiding under the duvet... which is probably why I wasn't so productive either. To set the tone even further, I have had Beirut on repeat floating through  the chilly air in a whimsical fashion. You see their music is majestic in a carnival kind of way. Not always appropriate, but sometimes all too appropriate if you know what I mean. They are classified as as unique blend of indie-rock (which we all know I love!) and world music... aka magical carnival music to me!

What started as a one man gig eventually flourished into the band it is today. The original band member and biggest reason for their distinctive sound, Zach Condon, was heavily influenced from a young age by a combination of sounds and worldly music. He enjoyed everything from jazz bands to the European folklore he encountered on his travels. The music consists of the usual instruments, along with some rarer ones including the flugelhorn, the accordion, the french horn, and the glockenspiel to name a few. And a little fun tid-bit, they gained a massive fan following and became culturally intertwined with Brazil in 2009. So now what do you all think of their sound? I know it's not for everyone, and only some will truly appreciate them, but I thought I'd share anyways.

image from here

my fave 10...
*Click through to the blog to view actual music player...

***Today I am thankful that January in fact has 31 days and not the 30 I originally thought it did... although if I'm being totally honest, I didn't really get much done on this extra day of mine***

2

January Wish List...

1.30.2012


Happy last day of January guys!!! Can you believe it's one month down, 11 more to go?!? Ugh it seems like the time just flies on by, faster and faster as we get older and one can only hope wiser... Anyways, I've been wanting to share with you all my wish list for some time now and have just not been very successful. Remember my first and only attempt last year in August? Well since hubs and I are still on a budget and I am back on the job seekers list, those items are still on there... along with these new ones... and probably some more I'll add each month... But you know what? Making these little lists, weird as it may sound, is kind of like scratching the shopping itch (how many of you add things to your online cart and feel instantly better?) I'll tell you what, if for whatever reason I fold and buy something... or hubs decides to treat me (hint hint)... or a lovely reader decides to send me a present, I'll let you guys know!

*oh I forgot, I got some money for xmas and bought this fur vest from an Urban Outfitters in the States... so much for saving!

***Today I am thankful for landing a place in the Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon... and what's more, I sneakily entered hubs and he got a place too!!!***

0

Link Love: 1.29.12

1.29.2012


image from here

Yes it's true... I am officially sick... And I'm hoping that by admitting this it means I'm half way to recovering right? Right! So far this little pest of a cold has thrown me off of my running schedule, changed my taste buds and appetite, and made me cough uncontrollably at the most inappropriate times (I'm talking both on the bus and train ride home). So aside from making our way back into London, hubs and I are planning on laying low tonight and catching up on our House marathon...

Some lucky people here in London are in for this delicious treat... yay for valentines!!!

Probably the tastiest 11 dips Ive ever come across... now I just need a reason to make them all...

As if I didn't already love books enough... this little stop motion video has me leaping for joy...

Speaking of lovely books... a little book art to put a smile on your lovely little faces...

Found this recipe for buttermilk roast chicken and it's got my mouth watering... yummy!!!

This week's favorite little thing of mine is...and this is especially true after running in the rain...

Isn't this just about the cutest rainy day outfit you ever did see... can't wait for the next showers!!!

A cute and simple way to add interest to any old sweater... and the best part is it's a diy...

Love the idea of mixing prints but not sure where to begin... this guide to mixing prints should help...

Another tricky fashion trend that's hard but worth conquering... layering 101...

***Today I am thankful for hub's infamous hot toddy... it almost makes being sick worth while... almost...

0

Ringwood Retreat...

1.26.2012


This week's love comes more from Ringwood than London really... I mean we started the week in London with some good runs, new graffiti art, and of course a lot of coffee... but then hubs and I retreated to his home town for a little getaway of sorts. I mean dear old Santa is off duty and so who else was going to deliver the xmas presents from Miami to England if not hubs and I? And so duty calls right?!? Right!!! Now excuse me but I've got some more elf like duties to cater too... including loads of baking!!!

1. the lucozade is mine... the desperado isn't 2. street graffiti 3. giraffe stirrer 4. so chaud... my new fave!!! 5. red cups & red nails 6. change is the way for 2012 7. hub's rolled up socks 8. bare branches in ringwood 9. coolest sisters ever 10. little red riding hood 11. all bundled up 12. English roast with the family 13. scones & coffee 14. charity shopping 15. early evening 16.  home made macaroons
17. vintage treasures 18. being cute 19. baby Rosie 20. hubs practicing 21. some hair cutting skills

Awesome- my bold orange pout... thanks to m.a.c. (who I'm obsessed with!) Sneakily entering hubs in a half marathon... his first... and then telling him about it (surprise!!!) Traveling to Ringwood for a whole week to hang out with hub's family... loads of home cooked meals, great chats, and movie nights!!! Seeing my nieces long enough for them to remember me again... and seeing how much they have grown!!! Evening runs with hubs... through the country, the town, and the pitch dark wilderness... hello Toto, we are not in London anymore! Charity shopping and finding some matching pieces to the set we started collecting in London... and for about a third of the price... Trying my baking hand at making some macaroons even though I had never actually tasted them before... and getting great reviews all around!!!



Awkward- Tweeting this in a moment of nuttiness (please no judging!): He placed his socks in an unmatched and jumbled mess in his underwear drawer and she could not sleep... She didn't have time to match them so she shoved them into the sock drawer and was satisfied that at least they were where they should be... She finally matched them, each with its pair and bundled them into little balls. All was restored and she could at last relax... Well all except the 4 individual socks that didn't have pairs due to his impulsive chaotic behavior. He thought she was crazy but loved her... and having people tweet back that they relate! Oh and did I mention that I later instgramed/tweeted a picture of said socks... yep that's them up there too... first picture, third row... The two hour bus ride home to Ringwood... because come on, bus rides are just always awkward right?!? Did I mention running in the complete darkness that is this small little town after dark...  I mean at some points I couldn't even see hubs in front of me! Being recognized at the local pubs because of 1. my glasses and 2. my American accent... so much for inconspicuously fitting in...

***Today I am thankful for a nice little get away that Ringwood provides... good meals, great adventures, and loving family***

4

Happy 1 Year!!!

1.25.2012

images from here

Happy 1 Year Birthday to this here little blog of mine!!! I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started this journey. A year ago today I had stumbled upon the fascinating world of blogs, fell in love, and decided I just needed to be a part of it all... and I haven't looked back since! I don't think I realized back then how significant and important blogging would become for me... I didn't even think I would stick with it this long... and I sure didn't think I would reach and touch random readers or make friends via this (I mean who really wants to read my thoughts?!?) What had originally started as a means to communicate with my family and friends state side and a personal hobby of mine has catapulted into an unexplainable force of its own! A place to really claim as mine and explore my creative side further without any boundaries or restrictions. I have so many ideas and projects I want to pursue this year and with your help and support (my loyal readers), I want to make sure that this year is an even better one!!!

***Today I am thankful for my blog... it may not be much, but it is a little piece of me in the best of times and in the worst of times***

0

Coldplay...


On a cold and rainy January day like today, there are really only two things you can do... go outside and face the brisk, wet winds head on, or you can hide in bed with a cup of hot cocoa and meditate to some Coldplay... I choose the latter =) I first discovered Coldplay way back in my freshman year of college, in 2003. I remember thinking back then how different they sounded, unlike anything else I had heard musically up until then. I used to listen them in my dorm room for hours on repeat (by now you may have noticed that not much has changed) for anything from background study music to wallowing in after a bad break up. With their romantic lyrics and at times depressing melodies, I have found their music to fit appropriately with many experiences throughout life's ups and downs. And so relax, indulge, and listen...

image from here

my fave 10...
*Click through to the blog to view actual music player...

***Today I am thankful for grey skies, comfy beds, and Coldplay... made for each other I think***

2

Link Love 1.22.12

1.23.2012



Sometimes I just like to pretend that it is Sunday... every day of the week... to be able to indulge in laziness and warm drinks... post up great links from around the web... and of course enjoy a good old English roast dinner... what's the harm in a little pretending???

SOPA and PIPA... understanding how they will affect bloggers and what you can do...

In love with these suede bright marigold peep-toes... the perfect pair to transition into spring with...

When typography meets Obama's infamous quotes... you get a match made in heaven...

This week's favorite little thing of mine is... and it's been happening a lot more recently too!!!

An amazing cover of Somebody That I Used To Know... can you imagine band practice?!?

Essential for the next girls night... rice krispies treats but the fancy adult version...

I know I'm a little late on the bandwagon but have you guys seen this... Sh*t Girls Say...

The most exciting way to spruce up fruit for any dinner party... glitter stamped and all...

A little guide of things I intend on doing around London... and the best part is they are free!!!

The sweetest way of getting mail... try this DIY message in a bottle for a friend or a loved one...

***Today I am thankful for Sunday English roasts... such a quirky and delicious tradition... think of it as Thanksgiving once a week!!!***

0

A New Tradition...

1.18.2012

Remember when I said here that I got a little over eager about baking this xmas season... well I wasn't kidding... and it didn't just end in England, oh no...

To up the challenge (as if baking for ten glass mason jars wasn't already enough) I insisted we had to try at least three of my new favorite recipes I had found online... I mean when else through out the year would I have such an excuse to bake like a mad women?!? And so we tried out this delicious nutmeg maple butter number, a minty crushed peppermint type, and of course the traditional gingerbread variety. A few little bumps along the road to master baking that we came across included:

1. Our store bought cookie cutters would make too big of cookies... and so hubs took it upon himself to remake smaller versions... and thus we ended up with a few lightening bolt, moon, and heart shaped cookies... I had specified I wanted xmas themed... oh and let's not forget the free handed self cookie portrait hubs did of himself, the resemblance is uncanny!!!

2. When mixing together the nutmeg variety, something went terribly wrong... something crucial most have been left out or doubled or something... we ended up with a bubbling syrupy mess that later hardened into a really disgusting candy sheet type thing... so we tried again and the second time it was a success!!!

3. Caramel aka the mini vacuum ate all and anything that landed on the floor by accident... this included a variety of raw ingredients... from candy pieces, to dough, to cookie bits... if it landed on the floor, it was gone in the blink of an eye! This would have been no problem at all if only Caramel hadn't gotten a sick from all the sugary goodness he found...

4. We, meaning I, underestimated the time needed for baking all three recipes, and allowing for dough chilling time, and oven time, and so we ended up baking until the wee hours... well actually until the wee morning... almost nine hours and that is why little k collapsed under xmas tree for a well deserved nap...

5. Even after all the chaos, the immense amounts of heat we were exposed to from the oven, and our own stomach aches from eating too many broken cookie pieces, I was still genuinely loving the whole ordeal. So I turned to hubs and in a very excited voice announced that this should be our new and very own family tradition each xmas!!! Trying out all kinds of new recipes and why stop at just cookies?!? The baking world would be our oyster and we could even get the kids involved in the future and... to which he interrupted with the saddest, most heartfelt "noooooo" plus groan combination sound ever. Apparently hubs did not feel the same way as I did about baking... who knew?








***Today I am thankful for new family traditions... even if hubs doesn't share my same enthusiasm for baking by the bajillions, he will just have to learn to love it***

4

Band Of Horses...


*Thought I had hit the post button last night but apparently not... fell asleep on keyboard again... all in a good nights run ;)

When I want to feel mellowed out and in the ultimate state of chilled, not to be confused with relaxed people, I opt to listen to Band of Horses. This indie- rock band (aren't they all?) has it all... from the scratchy mid range vocals...  the oozing guitar and base combo... and the poetry like lyrics... actually what are they singing about? That's how chilled out they get me, I'm not actually sure of the what it is I'm saying when I'm singing along... kind of like a musical state of zombie! Anyways, sometimes I just like to zone out and these guys are definitely my go-to friends... they can be your friends too!

image from here

my fave 10...
*Click through to the blog to view actual music player...

***Today I am thankful a wonderful first night back at RDC (last night)... I am feeling stronger, more confident, and could only have gotten through those last two miles sans music with your help so thanks!!!***

2

The Many Forms Of A Cookie...

1.16.2012

















Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

*1 cup chunky peanut butter
*1/4 cup vegetable oil
*3/4 cup packed brown sugar
*1/2 cup sugar
*2 eggs
*1 tbsp. vanilla extract
*1 cup all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup cocoa powder
*1 tsp. baking soda
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine peanut butter and oil in a large mixing bowl. Add brown sugar and sugar; mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture; mix until blended (dough will be sticky). Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoons 2" apart on un-greased baking sheets. Flatten slightly. Or as I did, use a rolling pin to roll dough into 1/4" thick and cut out shapes. Bake at 176ยบ for 8-10 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes before moving to wire racks. Recipe makes 4 dozen, total prep/cook time: 25 minutes
 
This past xmas something happened to me... something domestic... I got bitten by the baking bug again, and it had been awhile too! Using this recipe (with some minor adjustments) and endless inspiration from around the web, I decided that this year xmas would be creative, hand made (as much as possible) and from the heart. And so began what I like to call part one of Beale baking extravaganza... for the Brits. Later I'll show you guys three more recipes that hubs and I tackled state side for the Americans.

***Today I am thankful for delicious cookie recipes like this one... eating all the "broken" parts was hardly a sacrifice***

0

Baby I'm Back!!!

1.13.2012


So baby I am back and feeling better than ever!!! Just a few things that happened since the last time I blogged... And yes I know it is no longer Thursday but I had started this post yesterday... and then I just happened to have fallen asleep mid way through... so yea...

1. our flight back was a connecting one and lo and behold, American Airlines (who suck and are now on the boycott list!) forgot to book our second flight out of Philly and so the original mission was aborted... hence no amazing Philly cheese stakes.

2. After hours of complaining and speaking more people than I could have cared for at the time, they finally managed to put us on a direct flight out of Miami for the next day.

3. Now here is where I thank American Airlines for being total f*ckups, and admit to benefiting from their mistake. Hubs and I got to enjoy another day and a half in the glorious sunshine that is Miami with the parents and little k instead of subjecting ourselves to yet another slightly delayed, connecting flight with a 5 hour layover and no in flight entertainment, so thank you AA!

4. That extra day and a half was spent eating some more delicious Cuban food, having an amazing five hour long chat with little k over champagne (she had sweetly gotten for me in Paris for my b.day last year, its had since traveled to London, and then Miami, and only now just got drunk... 4 months before my next bday!) and blueberry muffins, and some last minute shooting down at the gun range... yep just before our flight... me- "won't they swab our hands for gun residue? this doesn't seem like a good idea...", hubs- "stop being such a goody-goody and let's go shoot some zombies!"

5. I wont bore you with details of the week back in London... as most of it has been spent sleeping loads due to jet lag and my instinctive nature of wanting to hibernate when it's cold out... so instead the highlights... I finally got my black, thick, plastic, square, and oh so hipster-ish glasses Ive been yearning for (xmas gift from hubs!)... umm I quit my day job, literally, and am now an unemployed free spirit again where the world is my oyster and it's never felt so good, started my training for the Berlin half marathon in April and am hurting, yet loving every minute of it, and got to meet up with an old friend from NYC before she headed back over the pond... freshly engaged to a Brit of course... now we really need to make some shirts!!!

Ok, so now that the rant session is over, my holiday below in instagram form... more in depth posts and pictures in the foreseeable future but don't hold your breath ;)


1. high above the clouds 2. nutcracker date night 3. gift wrapping fun 4. palm trees in south beach
5. the ocean 6. highschool chums 7. Santa's little bakers 8. nap under the xmas tree 9. please deliver me to the north pole 10. candy cane fun 11. xmas eve dinner 12. xmas day ice skating dates 13. little k's 22nd bday!!! 14. first time shooting a gun 15. beach strolls 16. flan with cousins 17. dinner with a soon to be mommy!!! 18. cutest and only nephew 19. happy new years!!! 20. sunset at the beach 21. champagne and blueberry muffins with little k

Awesome-  Flying home for three lovely weeks to be with my family and catch up with old friends... and by home I mean Miami so I get family time and a mini vacation in one, go on be jealous! The baking, brown paper, twine, and glass jar obsession that possessed me this xmas... can't say Ive had enough and this may just turn into my signature thing ya know? All the cute little dates hubs and I eagerly planned... the nutcracker, beach strolls, dining and wining, ice skating, salsa dancing, and oh yes, gun shooting... Getting to see some of my favorite highschool friends and seeing how much we've all changed, and yet not really at the same time... Soaking up some much needed vitamin d's as often as possible... congrats hubs, you are no longer vampire white and have been upgraded to humanly peachy!!! Bonding time in general with all the people I love and miss dearly since moving... my parents, little k, Caramel and Jamba... Trying to carry my little nephew and realizing he's not so little anymore... or light for that matter, but that huge grin still makes my heart skip a beat!!! The food and the cocktails my goodness!!! Miami knows how to do both and very well indeed... probably the reason I am now struggling with my running but well worth it! Meeting up with my old college roomie and seeing her pregnant belly just before she was due... and then it finally clicked that she was indeed very much pregnant and on her way to being a mommy!!! Another lovely niece for me to spoil rotten... Teaching hubs to dance salsa and realizing that if we stopped being procrastinators, he could probably be speaking Spanish fluently and dancing salsa like a native by next year... the boy is a natural!

Awkward- Arriving at the airport, still drunk from the previous night's work party, and getting severely questioned at the airport about our exact plans in Miami while being paranoid they could probably smell the alcohol on my breath... The feeling of complete delirium and exhaustion after traveling for nearly 24 hours straight... it hurt to be awake and it was nearly impossible to fall asleep... When our first attempt at a new cookie recipe resulted in a bubbling mess in the oven that later cooled into a really disgusting form of cookie candy... Trying to come up with a dinner menu for the family when you have a father who is extremely picky and a newly turned vegetarian sister... Getting really giggly nervous when touching the gun at first, and comparing it to the first time you saw any nudity as a kid... and getting laughed at by hubs and friends for this analysis... Shooting a gun for the first couple of times... and realizing I was closing my eyes as I pulled the trigger, not the smartest thing to do I know... Feeling so at home yet so out of place back in Miami... the city has changed quite a lot! Not being able to drink on a night out when I was being driver and having to remind myself of this... I definitely love public transport for this very reason!!! Coming back and immediately giving my two weeks notice at work... while they had been happy with my performance and wanted to offer me a more managerial/buying position... thanks but no thanks...

***Today I am thankful for all this excitement and energy I feel towards this year... it's going to be my year!!!***

0

The Mission...

1.02.2012

image found here

Today hubs and I are of on a mission of a trip back to London... leaving Miami via a connecting flight through Philly with a five hour lay over!!! Annoying under most circumstances I know, but of course we will be taking full advantage of said layover by using our time wisely and locating us some ridiculously delicious Philly cheese steak sandwiches. Those of you that have never tried one... and especially one from it's home state... just have no idea what you are missing!!! I suggest taking the next plane over just for the taste! I am so excited about this sandwich my mouth is salivating already... at ten in the morning... on a Monday...

Can't wait to be back in London, though because of time differences and special warp zones we will be passing through, we don't actually arrive until tomorrow... in a very much delirious state... but well worth it and all the effort involved! So see you guys on the other side of the pond and I'll be back in full swing with recaps from our holiday, the last of the wedding posts, and yes a wrap up of my 30 for 30 Remix (and you all thought I had forgotten/quit!). Ta-ta for now!!!

***Today I am thankful for the wonderful three weeks I was able to spend with my family,  friends, and hubs in the warm Florida sunshine... eating lots of really great food, celebrating the holidays, and dancing the nights away***

 

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