Friday, January 31, 2014

on getting to the islands.

last night brian gently reminded me that, and i quote, "we were all looking forward to thailand part 3. you know, we wanted to get to those islands, like you promised. alex hubbard and i are very disappointed." lol. so he reads here, and knows your names, and i am oh so sorry! these past few weeks a lot of what i've had to do for work has been centered on west coat events, making for very late hours. like the conference call i listened to at 10 PM last night. a real joy that was. so i'm going to post the pictures next week - but here's a taste!
oh man. was that the life.
but it's not all work! wednesday night my mom to came to town to celebrate her birthday, and we went to a keith urban concert - he was amazing! i've always been a fan of his music, the best to blast with the windows down on a long country road, but i wouldn't necessarily have gone to a concert of his. well, suffice to say, he was fabulous. you should definitely see him. one of my favorite moments was at the beginning, he scanned the crowd with a spotlight, looking for a good poster. one young lady was holding a poster that said "a stupid boy broke my heart".
sidenote: one of his songs
is titled "stupid boy".
so he brings her onstage - asks her about her ex-boyfriend, his name, where he goes to schoo, and so forth. so when she says his name - it is jason - the whole crowd starts booing. and when she says where he goes to school - rutgers university - the crowd boos again. can you imagine - with your broken heart in your hands - hearing thousands of people, all of madison square garden, boo your asshole ex-boyfriend?! i mean, is there a better way to get over a break-up?! i freaking loved it. if thousands of people had booed my college ex-boyfriend it really would have saved me a lot of grief. and then keith proceeded to give her a list of songs, she was allowed to pick one for him to play, and he serenaded her as she sang along. it was the best. everyone should be able to get over their ex that way - it would definitely result in a lot fewer broken hearts! so here's to keith urban, and to fixing broken hearts everywhere. have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

on thailand {part 2}.

some more shots of bangkok - mainly of food, sights, and smells. i guess not really smells, but you know what i mean. below is more of little things we saw, delicious food we ate, and the sights that dazzled us in bangkok, particularly snapshots from the saturday market. and tomorrow...we go down south to a tiny little island of paradise. can't wait to share it!
 
 this lunch cost about $2 and when we tried to leave a tip for them they freaked out, refused, and made us buy a pepsi instead. it was delicious.
 taking boats everywhere > taking subways everywhere
 bangkok at night from the top of the shy bar - incredibly touristy, incredibly worth the views.
 the best coozies but we found no place selling them! would have been the best souvenir.
 
 the bangkok version of a to-go cup.
 i think thai qualifies as the prettiest written language, don't you?
 
 an interesting part of bangkok vs. new york culture were the stray dogs everywhere. while obviously the hotter climate allows for it, they were literally everywhere, very calm, never bothered you, and taken care of by all the street vendors and shops and the like. it was so different from new york - if a stray dog is seen it is caught by animal control and most likely destroyed, in addition to the fact that they are much more aggressive, most likely due to hunger as no one takes care of random animals. i understand climate differences and cultural difference (new york has very little vendors and shops actually in the street) could make it impossible to establish an attitude like that here, but it was so different and so refreshing. there must be a better way.
a last morning view of bangkok - such an amazing city.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

on thailand {part 1}.

finally! a summary of our trip to thailand. though there isn't as much to say, since we went to relax and chill rather than see everything in sight, i hope this pictures give you some insight into a beautiful country that we promptly fell in love with. we only had a few days in bangkok and made the most of it - we loved the cultural sites we took in (grand palace, wat pho, wat arun are all highly recommended), we loved the street food we had (our favorite places are stalls around the grand palace, in chinatown on yaowarat road, and a road next to the shangri-la hotel called charoen krung 46, which included a place called jack's bar right on the river with dollar beers a tin-roof and the hidden away quality ever tourist hopes to find). we went to the saturday market, it was ok. you'll see some of that tomorrow. but we mainly enjoyed ourselves in the big mango. thailand is an amazing country, i hope to go back one day (and talk about it constantly). until then, i'll enjoy these photos - more to come on bangkok tomorrow...
this is what happens when you make all the reservations and your husband doesn't.
the view from our room...
i am only including this picture because - my skin! bangkok's humidity was amazing for my skin.
the beginning of our grand palace tour - the scope and breadth of detail is hard to capture. suffice to say we were impressed and awed at every turn.
you know you're a tourist when you're taking pictures of the trash can.
restoring all the beautiful columns, by hand.
and then the leaning buddha! this is at wat pho - no picture can capture the whole buddha and just how formidable it is. truly amazing.
***
more to come tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

on my weekend in pictures.

while i wouldn't call them resolutions, one of the things i (and by default brian as well) am trying to do this year is to take more little trips - enjoy our freedom and ability to pick up and see different parts of this big old country while we can. not every place has to be new to us, but in general just have a greater sense of adventure and getting out there and going to the places and doing the things we always say we want to do. if not now, then when, ya know? so we kicked off the year with a long weekend in miami and it was the best. as you can see from my lack of posts, last week was pretty rough one at work, as predicted, with most nights going pretty late. on top of that i got sick, so florida was just what the doctor ordered - within an hour of being there i was feeling ten times better. it was brian's first visit to miami so it was fun to show him why i loved the place so much, and by the end he did too. we went on morning runs, napped on the beach, enjoyed a beach bar with interesting locals - basically we got away from winter and enjoyed every second of it. and we're back just in time for a big winter storm! get out the hot chocolate and wool socks and reminisce about the bikini i wore this weekend haha. hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and is staying warm today if you're in the path of the snow!

Monday, January 13, 2014

on a homemade crumb cake.

i really don't have much to say about this weekend. i only wore workout clothes and leggings, never put on any makeup, never did my hair, and ate a lot of pizza. i decided to spare you pictures of the mundane and just jump into a recipe. while i'm hoping to also share some of thailand this week, i know i'm going to have a few late nights at work, so we'll see. without further ado - let's talk about this brown butter sour cream crumb cake.
our fridge doesn't usually have sour cream in it, since it's not a fave of brian and i, but i needed a tablespoon of sour cream for the yule log i made last month, and of course to get a tablespoon of one ingredient you need to buy a lot more than that. while looking around for ways to use it up, i stumbled upon this. and boy am i sure glad i did. the ingredients here are the usual suspects - flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda and so forth - plus the sour cream.
first, cube a stick of butter for your crumb topping. in a food processor, combine with flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. i pulsed for about a minute until it combined, then took out large chunks, rolled it into a ball to make it more cohesive, and broke off little pieces. when you're done, put the plate with crumb topping pieces into the refrigerator as you assemble the rest of the cake.
next, melt a stick and a half of butter in a saucepan. the recipe says that after the solids turn brown, about five minutes of cooking, pour the butter into a bowl and put into the freezer to become firm but not hard, about 15 minutes. my solids didn't really turn brown, just melted (and i put the heat a little higher to try to make them brown), and it actually needed around 25 minutes in the freezer to firm up. everything turned out a-ok, so don't let that worry you.
assemble your dry ingredients, andwhen the butter is ready, combine it with the sugar, beating until light and fluffy. next, add the dry ingredients and half a cup of sour cream in alternating intervals.
pour the batter into your greased springform pan, then top with your crumbs.
bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, let the cake cool, remove it from the springform pan, and enjoy! halfway into our first bite brian and i turned to each other with wide eyes like damn, this is good. guess sour cream isn't too bad after all.
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