Tag Archives: travel

Easy, Breezy…

8 Jun

Two weeks ago, I took a quick trip back to California. Despite the ridiculous flight delay that had me grounded at JFK for 6 hours (on the runway! 6 hours!), I am so glad I went. A little dose of sunshine and a whole lot of love welcomed me and I spent my 5-day vacation catching up with family + friends.

Being away from my loves for 5 months really took its toll on me. Once home, I started questioning my decision to live in New York.

California is so easy. No subway, no evil characters. All my loved ones here. People who I have known for decades live here. How can I be away from them?

It didn’t help that once I got back to the city, I had to deal with a possible bug problem that left me in a hotel, depleting my impending vacation savings for Australia. Suffice to say, I was NOT a happy camper.

But these past few days I made sure to catch up with my friends here who matter most. Just talking with them and hearing their own troubles makes me feel like what I am going through is normal.

Let me be frank: New York is hard. Crazy hard. It’s dirty, rude, gritty, and challenging. But it can also be magical, rewarding, astounding, and exciting.

You could say I am in a love/hate relationship with NYC. Like a typical girl, I keep coming back for me ;)

Anyways, while home, I made this simply Strawberry Cake. Can I tell you a secret? I cheated and used Trader Joes Vanilla Bean Cake Mix. I often hesitate to buy cake mix because the flavors are muted and it tastes like cardboard. However, this mix was steller. Moist and natural, I would gladly use it again. For the frosting, I used this one that I love so much. Since you are using real strawberry preserves, you can actually taste the real bits of strawberry in the frosting.  I can’t wait to buy this mix again and pair it with other frostings and flavors. Anybody up for a funfetti cake?!



Christmas in the City

14 Dec

Last Thursday, I ventured out with a friend to see the giant tree at Rockefeller Center. Seeing the sparkling lights and pretty snowflakes made me feel like a little kid. I’m such a sucker, I know but on this chilly night, I could feel the Christmas spirit. Actually, it would be nearly impossible to not feel festive in the city. New York is practically aglow with the holidays. Sure holiday shopping can be a pain and the subways are more packed than ever.

But I decided at the start of December to remember what Christmas is all about. Family, love, friends, health, and peace.

Lights in Chelsea Market

Some big things have happened n the past couple of weeks. I’ve (almost) completed my first semester of grad school, left my beloved job, found another one, and m gearing up for a trip home. Yes, I leave for California on Thursday and CAN. NOT.WAIT. I’m literally jumping for joy. I’ve got friends to catch up, cakes to bake, and christmas carols to sing. Ok, I’m kidding about that last one unless you count singing in the shower. I just need these next three days to pass FAST!

How are you all doing? Hanging in there? Scrambling to find your last minute gifts? Overdosing on eggnog?

Holiday Weekend in D.C.

7 Sep

This weekend, I jumped on a train to our nation’s gorgeous capitol. The sun was bright, the breeze was blowing, and people were out in full force. I managed to squeeze in all the major sights (White House, Capitol, Library Congress, Arlington National Cemetary, National Archives, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, FDR Memorial, the Smithsonian, and the Lincoln Memorial) in two days. Phew, I get tired just thinking about all the walking I did, but I was a determined girl. Being a big historical geek, I soaked up as much as possible and ton numerous photos.

Not only did I get to see all of Washington D.C.’s major landmarks, I got to walk around the downtown area and admire all the beautiful architecture. After spending two weeks in New York, you can imagine how a night without sirens or honking horns spoiled me. Plus, I had a huge king size bed all to myself! I definitely lived it up.

I hope those American readers had a lovely holiday weekend soaking up the last bits of summer. For the rest of you, I hope you relaxed a bit as well. Stay tuned because later this week I have a super summer recipe that will make you swoon. Seriously.

Happy Labor Day Weekend

2 Sep

A quick photo post before I sign off for the weekend. I’m heading out to Washington D.C. and am so excited. It’s strange that I’ve never been to our nation’s capitol so I’m glad I get the chance now.

I hope you all get a chance to soak up the sun, eat some of the leftover watermelon, and relax with friends.

See you Tuesday!

Bright lights, big city…

29 Aug

First off, I want to say thank you to each and everyone out there who left such sweet comments and sent me lovely emails. You have no idea how much I appreciated it. Sometimes I forget that people actually read this thing (hi mom!) so when I get feedback, it is like a splash of cold water on the face.

Now, on to the other stuff. I’ve unpacked my suitcases, set up my room, and bought groceries. After feeling like a tourist the first couple of days, I finally feel like I belong here. I know my way around my neighborhood and have gotten used to the subway systems. Once you get those items out of the way, you really start to feel like this is home. Well, not  home. My home will always be the wonderfully beautiful and bright California. The deep blue ocean, the lush green trees, the luminous sun. I love New York but California will always have my heart. However, New York comes in at a close second.

I have taken so many pictures in this past week and I’m pretty sure I will keep taking hundreds each day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see something that makes me smile or even pause. This city holds my attention and for now, it feels like a good fit.

Plus, I should mention that I’ve come across a great job opportunity. I start in a couple of weeks and to say I’m excited would be an understatement. I literally can’t believe my luck but this job is a perfect fit. Do you ever feel like some things were meant to happen? I feel like my trip to NYC was predestined, just meant to be. I can’t explain it but everything seems to be falling in to place and I am thanking my lucky stars.

I promise to be back soon later this week and fill you in on my first week of school. I can’t believe I am back in school! It seems unreal… But I’m ready to get work and really push myself again. What can I say, I love challenges!

Bon Voyage!

22 Aug

My bags are packed, and I’m off to NYC. Hopefully I can update the blog once I get there. I’ve got some important business on Monday but after that, I have a week to explore my new area.

Talk to you soon!

Road Tripping, Part II

20 Jun

Road Tripping, Part I

15 Jun

Too tired and suffering from post-vacation blues to write a proper post. Instead, I have planned a nice set of photo posts for you all. I promise to write a big summary for you all in due time… Till then…

Summer Break

7 Jun

You will have to forgive me but I am a little preoccupied. You see, a very fun Aussie is in town and we are hitting the road.

On Sunday, we met up for a little blogger meet up and guess who showed her pretty face? My favorite lady, Tracy from Shutterbean. We gabbed about all kinds of things while downing some yummy cocktails. I’ve got some major love for that lady.

Anyways, Linda and I plan on taking Los Angeles by storm. I plan on parking my butt on the beach everyday with a cocktail in hand. Be back sometime next week, hopefully thoroughly relaxed and a little sunburned.

Three months

13 May

from flickr user victoria alden

Three months until this is my view. I am unbelievably excited and scared at the same time.

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