Monthly Archives: July 2012

photography travel

adventures in beantown

I’ve been away from the internet for a few days, but i’ve been having some lovely adventures in Boston.

About 2 month ago two of our best friends, Jaclyn (of food plus words) and Ryan, moved here very suddenly when some great opportunities came up for them, which was exciting and heartbreaking at the same time. Right around that same time Albi found out that work was going to fly him to Boston during the summer for a couple days of training. I’ve never been here so I jumped at the opportunity to tag along and get to be with my friends, and I was able to book the same flights as him and get about a week off of work, so now here we are! Don’t you love it when the universe just kind of lines things up perfectly for you?

So, we’ve been here for a few days now and although Albi had been in his training the first two, I’ve been exploring and having the most wonderful time!

It is infinitely cool that our company pays Albi to not only fly out for training and stay in a nice hilton, but also that they sent him to this incredibly awesome city. I’ve only experienced the tiniest sliver of Boston but I already have fallen in love with it. I must note that I am notorious for being easily impressed, but I think anyone could agree that this place is incredibly charming.

Our first night was tame. Jaclyn met us at the airport, Albi checked into his hotel and dropped off his luggage, then we rode a few trains (during evening rush hour, uggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh) to her side of town where I am bunking up with her and Ryan. For now they are living in an adorably small studio (with a kitchen that is literally smaller than my walk-in closet) in an old brownstone literally right next to fenway park.

After dinner and drinks Albi and I followed Ryan into their buildings laundry room where he discovered that the washing machine had failed to run a spin cycle on his sopping wet comforter. But who needs a spin cycle when you’ve got two strong men that can just ring out their laundry themselves? Ahh, the joys of urban living.

The next morning, while Albi, Jaclyn, and Ryan all ran off to work, I took a stroll around the block and explored a cute park across the street. I only saw a small portion of the park, but there was a pretty rose garden where I spent some quality alone time with the flowers and my camera. I’m not usually crazy about roses, but some of these were amazing.

once jaclyn got home from work we grabbed lunch at an awesome bookstore/cafe on Newbury St. and proceeded to walk for blocks and shop our faces off. Walking around here is the greatest thing ever. I have easily walked anywhere from 3 to 7 miles everyday that i’ve been here. but it doesn’t feel like that much because of how many neat things there are to look at and distract yourself with.

For dinner we walked back towards “home”, Ryan picked up Albi from his hotel and we all ended up at a Mexican restaurant named “La Verdad” (translates to “the truth“) right next to Fenway park. Our shuttle driver from the airport had warned us not to eat mexican food in Boston because it was all terrible and you couldn’t get anything remotely close to authentic, so I was weary of what our dinner would taste like.

 

 Well, the truth is that the food was delicious and the drinks were good too. I suppose that, in a way, it was not “authentic” because the dishes and ingredients used were a little wilder than what you might typically find in a tex-mex style restaurant, which is really what most people in the States are referring to when they talk about Mexican food. Also, the tortillas absolutely did taste like authentic homemade tortillas, which is something I haven’t experience since I was 11 and actually visited Mexico.

I had a sampler type dish with 4 of their most popular tacos and it was so incredible I had to look up the menu so I can try to recreate them at home.

Okay! enough pictures for now! we are on our way out to Salem today, spooky! more to come soon! <3

 

 

throwback thursday

throwback thursday: parents

I love the idea of #throwbackthursday and I love it every week when friends post their own throwbacks on instagram or twitter. I live in a perpetual state of nostalgia. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been obsessed with looking through old family photos, wanting to bring back retro styles, and watching old movies and tv shows that most people have forgotten about. I love memories, whether they are good, bad, or hilarious. I figure this is an easy feature to incorporate into my blog as I am sure I will never run out of things to post about under this category. So for starters, here is this hilarious picture of my parents being goofy, taken on christmas
Eve, 1971 (and visibly damaged during hurricane andrew, long ago). I stole it from my mom’s house before I moved out years ago, and it’s been hanging on my wall ever since then.

They had only been married a few months at the time this was taken. My mom had just moved to the states, she was 19 and my dad was 21. He was also wearing his mom’s wig. My parents have always been pretty hilarious. While i was growing up they were pretty strict with me and never really put up with my crap, but in spite of that they have always been down to earth, relatable, and just… funny.

I definitely get my goofiness from them.

life

birthday dinner

So, my birthday came and went, and it was lovely! my parents came into town unexpectedly on Sunday, the day before my birthday. I was originally scheduled to work, but Albi covered my shift so that I could spend the day with them and my sister’s family. So charming! <3

we had a really nice time, completely laid-back and (for the most part) stress free. my sister, mother, niece, and I spent part of the day crafting (making cute decorations for dinner and learning about t-shirt yarn.) In the evening Albi and some more family joined us for some amazing salads, grilled chicken, and my mom’s amazing empanadas.

Oh, yeah, and my kick-ass homemade birthday cake.

My sister was (and always is) a great host. On Saturday I had actually spent my day off with her as well and I used her kitchen to bake my own crazy concoction of a birthday cake!

At one point we stepped out to shop for some supplies and got sidetracked at the craft store where we stumbled across some pretty wrapping paper and doilies in a similar color scheme to the cake I had dreamt up.

I fell in love with these 8-packs of colorful doilies, only about $1.50 each. We immediately began brainstorming possible crafts that would justify buying several packs of them.

Well, without a doubt, making garlands of paper doilies is the easiest, quickest, cheapest, cutest thing you can do with them (aside from using them as just… doilies.)

for ours, all it took was several feet of baker’s twine, an elmer’s glue stick, and alternating colored doilies folded in half and lightly glued onto the twine.

adorable!

Dinner was awesome too. For starters there was caeser salad and a greek-style pasta salad (black olives, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, artichoke hearts, green onion and italian dressing mixed up into a heaping bowl of fresh bowtie pasta. Incredible. (I have to admit right now: i have a problem when it comes to pasta salad. I can’t stop eating it. It could be the worst pasta salad in the world and I would still probably inhale an entire tub of it in one sitting.)

 

The rest of dinner equally as amazing: grilled chicken thigh skewers and a batch of my mom’s incredible empanadas. Then there was the cake! My cake started as an experiment, but I was more than happy with the result.

Now, I’m not a baker. I cannot emphasize too strongly how much of a baker I am not. I do love to try to bake, but my kitchen experiments usually end in tears. Thankfully though, this cake turned out pretty awesome. So awesome that I WILL  have to eventually share the recipe with you. the best part was that it was an incredibly simple white cake and buttercream frosting recipe, but with a few twists like strawberry filling and coconut flakes sprinkled on top, suddenly it became wonderful. Along with the cake we served up some elderflower peach bellinis from one of my favorite of food plus words recipes. These are one of my favorite cocktails in the world and I serve them every chance I get.

 So, all in all, it was a great day and it was wonderful to get a break from work to spend with my family. Albi and I spent the following day (my actual birthday) at disney world! But I can tell you more about that in another post.

so long for now! <3

top 5

My Top 5: birthday wishlist edition!

So, it’s getting frighteningly close to my most dreaded time of year: my birthday. *-___-

if you know me personally, and have known me for any reasonable amount of time, you probably already know that I become exceptionally stupid and moody every year a few days before my birthday. I am, however, not completely opposed to the entire concept of birthdays, or the promise of glorious gifts that they bring. Yet, every year when asked what I’d like, i kind of clam up and mutter a shriveled “meh….i dunno…” I mean, thats a lie, of course I know what I’d like! But I don’t always feel comfortable asking for things/when people put me on the spot I can’t always come up with an answer immediately. I mean, what do I want? seriously? like, a billion things! So, i’ve given it some thought, and I know i’m cutting it a bit close to my actual birthday in 2 days, but here, in no particular order, is my Top 5 most desired birthday wishes.

1) Canon 40mm pancake lens: I have been eyeballing this lens for a few weeks. I was unsure at first, but… yep… i’m convinced now. have to have it. The only thing that held me back was the 2.8, f stop. I love shooting in low light and I don’t even know the first thing about using a flash, so i usually prefer at least a 1.8, but considering how tiny and adorably discreet this little guy is, I can learn to live at 2.8. Plus it has fantastic reviews and is decently priced, you know, for a lens. little pancake lens, get in my life now please.

2) to see Moonrise Kingdom. Somehow, I still have yet to see this movie. HOW HAVE I NOT SEEN THESE MOVIE YET? So, enough said. I NEED to see it, before I implode.

 

3) Fudgie the Whale. I love ice cream. I love cake. I love ice cream cake. Almost every year when I was growing up, the one thing I would consistently ask for on my birthday was a Carvel ice cream cake. Luckily, there was a carvel shop just a few miles from where I grew up, but now the closest one is at least a 45 minute drive from me. Sad face! You can still pick up a standard carvel ice cream cakes from the freezer section of almost any grocery store, but not Fudgie the Whale. He’s only at available at the Carvel chain stores! ;_;

 

4) Lace-up Wedge Booties. Okay. So, I totally missed the boat on this one. I feel like maybe just a few months ago wedge booties were everywhere, and i just… didn’t get it. I thought they were terribly hideous. Then, randomly, about two weeks ago, I was looking at some dresses online and the model was wearing some  tall, chunky, platform wedge booties, and this lightbulb in my head exploded. they are adorable! how did I not see this before? Unfortunately, because I’m late to the game, I’ve been scouring the mall for a pair with little luck. I don’t know, apparently it’s summer or something and everyone is in sandals or whatever. Thank goodness for the internet, though, I was able to find this sweet pair of wedges on gojane.com. They come in a variety of flashy colors AND they are on sale! Holy meow!

5) A new tattoo! I don’t have a picture or a link for this, because, well, it hasn’t happened yet. It’s been a few years since my last one and i’m itching for some new ink, desperately. I have about 5 things on my mental tattoo waiting list, i’ve just been waiting for it to be the right time and to have the money to spare. I’m hoping I can convince one of my darling friends to get one with me (tattoos are always more fun with a friend!) or maybe even Albi! Hah! He’d never go for it. but it’s fun to imagine. ^_~

 okay! enough day-dreaming for now! until next time, lovelies. <3

life

painting + an update on life

i find it incredibly difficult to focus on one thing at a time. I have about 30 things I want to be doing at any given time and i get so easily distracted that I can’t even finish one. The problem I guess is that I try to fit everything I’d to like to accomplish into my two days off, which is impossible. So, instead of getting much done I get frustrated, take a nap, and then complain about all the things I didn’t do until my next day off.

Well, today I painted. Nothing fancy. in fact, I just wanted to paint a large enough canvas to cover and hide the breaker panel in our kitchen. At first I didn’t care and thought i’d paint something incredibly unoriginal, like a bowl of fruit, but I’ve been on this layer cake kick for weeks now and have been frustrated that I can not bake a pretty ombre cake of my own due to a lack of cake pans, so i decided to paint my own instead.

its a bit cheesy, if you ask me, but i think thats what i was going for. Then again, i’m not really sure what I was going for. I’ve never really painted a cake before, and I still need to touch it up and fill in the banners, but for now it’s growing on me.

Once I finish that, my next project is going to be this amazing necklace I got the idea for months ago from Making it Lovely. Its actually been on my mind for a while now and when I was at the store last week looking for cake pans, I actually found these amazing beads on sale 50% off so I went ahead and bought them, figuring that eventually i’ll get around to making it. I didn’t originally intend to make the exact necklace shown in the tutorial, but I didn’t even realize when I bought the beads that they are almost the exact ones used. I don’t mind, the jade color is amazing and I almost bought a similar necklace at h&m recently, but i’d rather make my own.

So, with that thought I leave you all. I’m attending a birthday party tonight and have to go back to work tomorrow :( The next 2 weeks will be insane. Albert and I are heading to Boston near the end of the month, and I know we will have the most amazing time, but thinking about planning and getting everything in order is giving me a near panic attack.

Also, I’ve been eating a lot more garbage than usual this last week and i feel just AWFUL. So, in my attempt to get ready to enjoy my trip and feel better about myself I am beginning a semi super strict diet tomorrow and – if i can get around to it – I have some awesome recipes i’d love to share.

so, until next time, friends. Obi and Starbuck send their love too!