Weekend Pasta

'I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?'

A summer meal, homemade this weekend

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.”

Making pasta and walking through the woods, highlights from the weekend

This is not a food blog. I make videos on food, but the videos reflect what I found amazing about my week. Coincidentally, it's often about food.

It's been a while since I made fresh pasta so I had an appetite for pappardelle. The weather was hot and I substituted the creamy sauce for fresh tomatoes. The dish turned out too watery, but I enjoyed the tasty pasta and the lightness overall.

Did a little hiking in the woods this weekend, swam in a river and got a ton of bug bites.


Sauerkraut part 1

Just the beginning...

The first part of pickling

I'll have to wait a couple weeks before I get to taste the pickled cabbage. It was fun combining the salt with the lettuce and carrots.



There was more mystique behind the photo than the subject of the photo.

Well-lit, despite the rainy weather

My motive for visiting the Pantheon was to replicate a famous piece of art. I wanted something classy for my home and thought it’d be simple to recreate a Thomas Struth, the photo the artist took in 1990 which later sold for over a million dollars in 2007.

When I got to the Pantheon, I was very surprised how impressive the space was. It was unexpected for someone who wasn’t there for the attraction.

I stared at the dome for a long time, marveling how something physical can look computer generated. It’s a shame they didn’t preserve the usage of the building, as a place to celebrate all gods, rather than just the Christian one.

I wonder how you can get to the 2nd floor. Really neat windows.

My first attempt: got the floor, the width but not the height

Second attempt: got the height, a bit too much, but it's half the width of the Struth I was striving for. I really enjoyed the marble inside.

Quickly I realized I couldn’t recreate the million dollar photo. The dome and the floor are too far apart.

My perspective of the Thomas Struth has changed. He totally used a special lens. And I thought it would be so simple…


Weekend Coloring: a minimal kitchen

'Always start out with a larger pot than what you think you need.' - Julia Child

This week’s coloring page is a minimal kitchen that’s sparsely filled. I like how children’s coloring books sometimes allow space to draw in details to complete the picture. The bottom shelves have plenty of space for dry food or other dishes. Since the kitchen cabinets are minimal, there’s room to make your own alterations, adding a knob or some sort of decorative front.

A4 size coloring page PDF - download here
Letter size coloring page PDF - download here



Changing my style.

This time, my colors are inspired by storms, but maybe for my next design, I can find a way to transform the darkness of a dense forest online.

I get tired of how my blog looks so I change it a couple times a year. This time, I’ve used colors I found in a thunderstorm. Dark blue, stormy grays and a bit of warm gold-ish gray reflects the volatile clouds that unexpectedly part letting a stream of warm light run through.

It’s strange to see the same colors in my bedroom. I did not plan for that. It takes time for my own preferences to be revealed to me.

The text is not as crisp and clear but I feel like the voice behind the blog became softer. The 'medium is the message' and often online, I feel like there are pages yelling at me. Sometimes the font style or weight is too loud.

The dark blue background cocoons my shared thoughts. Compared to the white background and black text from my former designs, my blog has become a more protected and safe place to journal.


morning in miami

A place where everyone is invited to wear short shorts.

Gentle waves, warm water, perfect for swimming anytime

I didn’t expect much from Miami on my first trip many years ago. I thought it was a "cheesy" place known for bright clashing colors and butt implants.

After arriving, I found the colors and implants, as expected, but it wasn’t cheap nor was it cheesy. I remember staring at a woman with two butt cheeks the size of basketballs, spherically round to perfection. The level of craftsmanship is beyond.

For the first time, I felt confident about my thighs. Women were proudly exposing broad thighs, far broader than mine, and their confidence made me aspire for more curves.

Taken on the morning before my flight, I didn't want to leave without walking on the beach for the last time. The dark spots are from rain drops that landed on my lens.

Most of my life I dieted and exercised hoping to convert my thick legs into thin twigs. All I had to do was visit Miami. It felt good to be me.


Plastic Windows

Fantastic plastic.

makeshift windows glowing in the evening

I love this plastic material that's found all over Europe. It seems to be used as cheap window material, an alternative to glass. There's always a pattern or some sort of fuzz so anything on the other side is made less visable.

The material isn't as common in the states--perhaps that explains my fascination. There's nothing in the states that's functional and comes in a variety of patterns that each had some consideration for design. I'd be happy to cover my home with plastic, maybe make a greenhouse with different patterns, but I don't expect people in Europe to enjoy it the same way.


Food Retreats

Making a 'home' away from home.

A scene from Mimi Thorisson’s 'Workshops’ held in Médoc, a village in the French countryside far away from Paris. One of the most popular retreats, 2017 workshops are already planned. Photo via mimithorisson.com.

The most interesting vacation spots are not European cities or tropical destinations. Instagram has overexposed once desirable destinations to an extent that they all seem too familiar. I no longer want to visit.

There’s a relatively new category of travel that I’m drawn to. It’s the retreats food bloggers host. Maybe it has something to do with my love for food…

While 'exotic' travel offers vibrant experiences, the type of experience food and lifestyle retreats offer is less 'exhilarating'. On a past vacation to Panama, I found a flavor of excitment that just wasn’t something I’d ever look forward to again: ATV riding through tropical terrain.

Cooking and photography in a place made to feel like a ’home away from home' is more comparable to the enjoyment of having an afternoon coffee. Especially when compared to slugging drinks in between jello shots, the tempo that defines packaged travel experiences.

Perhaps I am an old lady at heart. Cooking, photo taking and making things is invigorating.

’Home away from home’ in Marrakech, Local Milk’s upcoming destination. Photos via Local Milk Retreats.

It’s possible that gourment luxury imagery will not be popular for long, as they’re becoming overexposed, but I like how these retreats create new 'destinations' for travel. Local Milk holds workshops in Tennessee and demonstrate how 'destinations' are not confined to tourist centers.

Many retreats offer fantasy travel experiences, like eating and cooking in a palazzo in Venice, a type of experience different than waiting for a tour of some important building. Also, it’s world’s away from the the experience of procuring a fake handbag. (Why are there fake handbags wherever there are tourists? Doesn’t a nice photo on Instagram with many likes command more respect than a designer logo these days?)

Why must we all enjoy the same destinations and stress each other out? Lifestyle retreats, along with other types of retreats, like yoga and meditation, expand the possibilities for travel, with more destinations to yearn for.


Field Mushrooms

They were just sitting there, waiting to be eaten.

So many mushrooms. Spot any? I couldn't. But I might have been too busy looking up at clouds.

I'm lucky that my husband has an eye for mushrooms. I didn't realize how many were in this open field. We ended with a large plateful after grilling. Surprisingly, the mushrooms had far more flavor than Portobello or any common mushroom from the grocery store.

There were plenty of mushrooms hiding under stems and hay. Yummmmy. One of the meatiest things a vegetarian can have.

There's actual food on the ground. Delicious food that's free. It's amazing that there might be a chance humans can flourish off what the Earth provides.

We tried our luck in the forest for mushrooms that grow on the forest floor. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough to make a meal out of even after an hour of searching.


The Fine Art of Not Giving a Fuck

Cultivating a practice.

Me not caring much, exploring this Brutalist building

This year I've started to understand how limited my energy is. The little things that provoke me, from someone cutting me off on the sidewalk to not having coffee made how I want it, take a lot of energy to care about. Not that they’re not valid things to care about, but rather there are other things I hope to accomplish. My energy and time gets taken away by the things that don’t matter to me as much. I came across 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck' by Mark Manson and the article perfectly describes my findings in colorful ways.

"most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving too many fucks in situations where fucks do not deserve to be given."

"What we don’t realize is that there is a fine art of non-fuck-giving. People aren’t just born not giving a fuck. In fact, we’re born giving way too many fucks."

"Developing the ability to control and manage the fucks you give is the essence of strength and integrity. We must craft and hone our lack of fucks."

"Not Giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different."

"They say “Fuck it,” not to everything in life, but rather they say “Fuck it” to everything unimportant in life. They reserve their fucks for what truly fucking matters. Friends. Family. Purpose. Burritos. And an occasional lawsuit or two."

"The problem with people who hand out fucks like ice cream at a goddamn summer camp is that they don’t have anything more fuckworthy to dedicate their fucks to."

"We all have a limited number of fucks to give; pay attention to where and who you give them to."

"In life, our fucks must be spent on something. There really is no such thing as not giving a fuck. The question is simply how we each choose to allot our fucks. You only get a limited number of fucks to give over your lifetime, so you must spend them with care."