Thursday, November 29, 2012

to be good

" i cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.
i think the purpose of life is to be useful,
to be responsible,
to be compassionate.

it is, above all to matter,
to count,
to stand for something,
to have made some difference that you have lived at all"

-leo rosten

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

i wonder

i wonder when i 'll get used to these early dark nights, these electric fence free neighborhoods, the intensity and complexity of ordering breakfast and just how expensive wine is here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


afternoon walks; yellow tulips, teal over-sized scarf, red berry lips. the perfect escape from going apartment stuck crazy. also, winter is here.

short road trip

as part of celebrating thanksgiving weekend in our own way/ going to a place where you can't hear christmas jingles we decided on a very short but satisfying road trip to Couer de lane. you know just to go see what's there. because we deeply love our roadtrips even the quickies.

Monday, November 26, 2012

a long weekend, thankfully

americans sure do like their traditions, i'm not there yet, but, it doesn't mean i'm not enjoying this whole 'american way'.

this past weekend was a glorious long weekend, with two days off for thanksgiving, now that already got me into the thankful spirit of things.
thanksgiving brings with it a whole set of traditions which mostly include things like, the turkey, and the marshmallows on sweet potato,  and more food served with a side dish of food than i've seen in weeks,

( i saw a lot of food at my wedding, so saying months instead of weeks would be a lie, and i won't lie to you)

other traditions as partly experienced by myself include the Macy's thanksgiving parade, something about pie, some more pie, football (meh), the camping out for the best deals come black friday (which according to Walmart started at 20:00 the Thursday before), a sure and sudden shopping madness that grips the very heart of a person.' muhahaha' says the festive cheery spirit in a low and creepy voice. it's true, we did... and only walked a way with discounted pj's from the ten dollar bin at Target, but still. where was i.. oh yes, and the somewhere between Santa appearing at the Thanksgiving parade, and the pie and the 'i never want to eat again' there's a silent but distinctive siren that marks the official start of the Christmas season... (too soon for me honestly, but it's inescapable).

with that, here's some  pieces from the African's first (sort of) thanksgiving in this new and strange land.
my atractive husband enjoying the parade

a thankful walk in my favourite park

amazing meal, sorry no picture of the whole turkey, i know this is what the south africans wanted to see. you should be thankful i even took a moment to take this picture and not shove all the food in my mouth with my bare hands as i had hoped to do. lots to be thankful for.

pie! and pumpkin swirl

a rather unimpressive walmart black friday, these people obviously haven't seen the 'oriental plaza' on a saterday morning end of the month. there was no fighting or people kicking down old ladies to get to the items???

this to me is hysterical. then again, who's laughing now? see picture above of what my tv looks like, i'm sure these guys are the one's shaking their heads at us in shame.

and then, there was finding, cutting, hauling and setting up of the tree at the in-laws.

sexy husband, doing the dirty work

watching this 'unfold' was about as entertaining as you'd imagine

and then we drink.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

adventures in dinner

"respect your dinner, idolize it, enjoy it properly. you will be by many hours in the week, many weeks in the year, and many years in your life the happier if you do." -William Makepeace Thackeray

people who know me,remember the sudden baker awakening, many even benefited from my creations. while i still love baking a ridiculously bad ass piece of cookie or cupcake i must say i love cooking more than i had anticipated.

(if only i could say the same thing about ironing #newwifeproblems)

i'm not sure what it is, the planning, the searching, the quest for value plus healthy plus awesomeness,  the grocery shopping with Ben, having and taking the time in my...MY kitchen, tasting a new recipe after all that, liking it, Ben liking it? the parts that make up the whole of something new i really have fallen head over heals for.

you'd wonder what i did all those years between married life and living outside my parents house... eggs, mostly eggs and salad. that was my thing.

here, some of my masterpieces:
that's right, home made pizza. not the plain jane store bought pizza base and a few cut up toppings, oh no, made from base to finish. found a fantastic recipe for this.

confession: ben made this. he's just adorable like that. it's on here cause i like the instagram okay.

totally bad ass.

goeie genade, this might be my favourite recipe i've tried yet. spicy chicken wraps (other than not preparing enough chicken because i seem to have forgotten i need to feed a real live man now). found on the same blog i found the home made pizza recipe, that girl is on to something. i'm a fan.

and just in case you thought i instagram all my dinners...

 woo hoo, thanksgiving tomorrow. i'll be off to 'do as the locals do' which apparently means eating yourself into a coma and then burning of the calories as you stampede into target/walmart/best buy for a flat screen tv.  #livingtheamericandream

Monday, November 19, 2012

america...and dealing with just that

at age 24 i decided to move to Hanoi, Vietnam. best decision, ever. i lived there for just under 2 years, and while i don't want to over-glorify living in Hanoi it was an amazing part of my life. talk about leaving a comfort zone, i doubt i could have picked a more different and colourful, rewarding and complex place to live out my 'itch for something different'.

not to go into too much detail about my life in vietnam here, but living there did give me the sense that no where can i possibly move to that's as challenging.

moving to Spokane WA here in the USA is by no means as 'intense' as moving to the Nam, reasons mostly being:

-traffic rules are a thing here
-prices are fixed (at much much higher)
-they speak english (more on this to come)
-no dog meat on menus or rhino horn powder for sale that i can see
-nobody staring, or pointing, or laughing at me (which i miss... i miss my kim kardashian days, sigh)
-i'm not here alone, i have this super hot husband now
(which really helps)


it's also not as easy as i thought it would be, and i definitely thought it would be easier.  there is this general idea that the USA just isn't as 'surprising' as most other countries. blame or thank Hollywood for this, i mean to say, that no other country in the world has given so much away about itself through media, and no other country even tries.  this isn't a bad thing really. there's a charm to coming to America for the first time and going 'oooh so that's what Target is all about', 'New York City, i get it', 'olive garden, pottery barn, radio shack', 'yellow school buses!!', 'pumpkins, everywhere'  (...just like in the movies)

basically, i thought i've got this whole 'party in the usa' figured out, without ever having been here.

and of course, i was wrong about that.

the USA is and wildly surprising in an undercover kind of way.

new revelations include:

-parts of it are insanely beautiful (in a' europe doesn't want you to know about' kind of way)
-you really can't just talk about politics here
(which i thought was kind of a joke at first, coming from South Africa, we talk about politics every time we need a good laugh, and it's not the same here guys, it's really not, nobody laughs, they just give you these crazy eyes that stop you mid sentence before you could get to your punch line)
-there's no point to buying anything if you're not camping out in front of the store for it, or standing in some kind of line that wraps around the building. they sure do like camping out for cool stuff these yanks (and i'm yet to 'experience' black friday)
-people have bigger 'personal space' bubbles here. walking within a meter of anybody warrants an apology. this is weird.
-it's big, i knew that the USA was bigger than South Africa but it really hit me when started having to say i live "close to Seattle" which is like saying "i lived close to Durban"... which i wouldn't have said, because Durban is like totally far, like you drive 5 hours.
-cream cheese is way cheaper here, hello cake.

that's what i'll share with you for now. it might not seem like a big 'a ha' these revelations but they've been so to me.  i'm sure there will be much more to discover as i continue to settle in here. which i really enjoy doing, honestly.  it's hard and glorious all at the same time.

you see? insanely beautiful