Friday, October 30, 2009

1+1+1= Skimpy Scampi





Several weeks ago I attended a birthday party my girlfriend Meri was throwing for her daughter Amaya. It was all fun and games until dinner was served, because the spread she created was quite serious. We ate shrimp scampi served with rice and a delicious greek salad. As you know some scampi recipes are all bout the butta. Butter, butter, and more butter goes into this dish. Some recipes call for 1/2 cup of butter and 4-5 tablespoons of oil! So I thought how can I skimp on the butter and create a healthier version? In the end I decided to use chicken in place of shrimp and I served it with roasted green beans. It's definitely not the healthiest version out there but the best I could do without losing the rich taste...and I thought it was quite tasty!

Mel's Chicken Skimpy Scampi
2-3 chicken breasts flattened- 1/2 inch thick
2 tbsp of olive oil
3 tbsp butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
juice from 1 lemon
3/4 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
3/4 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of chicken broth
flour for dredging chicken
salt & pepper

Dredge the chicken breasts in a mixture of flour, 2 pinches of salt and 1 pinch of pepper. Heat saute pan over medium heat with 2 tbsp of oil. Cook chicken- each side 2 minutes. Take chicken out of pan and put aside. Using the same pan, on low-medium heat, add in the butter and garlic. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC! Saute for several minutes.

Add the lemon, herbs, white wine, and chicken stock. Simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens and reduces a bit. Add chicken back in and saute for 1-2 minutes per side, until fully cooked through.
Place chicken on your plate and spoon sauce on top. Viola!

Roasted Green Beans- Easy Breezy
1/2 pound of green beans
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 450. Toss green beans, oil, and s&p in a bowl. Place beans on a baking dish and spread them out so they aren't on top of each other. Cook for 7 minutes and flip beans. Cook for another 6 minutes and serve! Beans should be brown and shriveled.

Feeling Blue

I love the color blue. It has such a serene, soothing feeling to always makes me smile. Recently, Jason and I painted our hallway Benjamin Moore's Yarmouth Blue and now when I walk into our apartment it feels a bit more airy and welcoming. Hope these images help you feel blue this weekend.

Lulu Beauty will make you feel like a starlet when you roll on this perfume

Feel blue and beautiful in Sarah Seven's Tulip Dress

Nature inspires this Botanical Blue Bird blogger and jewlery maker (try saying that 5x!)

Blueberry yumminess

Urban Outfitters has the perfect solution for nap time

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Magical Garden of Make Believe

I love my shows. Jason and I DVR a lot of shows and they are distinguished by 'my shows' and 'his shows'. I love drama, reality, mystery, food and design. Jason loves documentaries, The Wire, man movies, and the animal planet shows. There are some cross-overs such as: Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Daily Show, Anthony Bourdain, and American Idol. Lucky for me, we spend most nights watching mine!

I realized today that I actually started using the term my shows back when I was a child in the 70s. I have such fond memories of waking up really early on a week-day morning, waiting for my brother to go off to school so I can watch my shows (but not before he would turn on the stove and make me a bowl of mini wheats with warm milk). As a child I loved The Great Space Coaster, The Electric Company, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and last but not least, The Magic Garden.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of watching Carole & Paula sing folk songs on their swing, I included a video clip below. I was obsessed with this show. I knew every song by heart and memorized just about every episode. From the chuckle patch and the story box to Sherlock and the magic tree. Every episode took place in their magical garden where anything could happen! And then, for some reason, I stopped watching. I can’t remember if it was because it went off the air or if I just grew too old for it. Either way, I still miss the show. As one of my Christmas presents last year Jason bought me their DVD and CD set. Now when I’m feeling a bit down and out, I make myself a bowl of cereal and pop the DVD in for some sweet nostalgia.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Horror

This is a story I just had to share. It’s a bit inappropriate but laugh out loud funny. At least once a month I end up turning to Jason and saying ‘only me, only me’.  That’s because strange, funny, and crazy things only happen to me. The story below is one of those times. Let me take you back to Halloween day 2008…..

Halloween landed on a Friday last year and I had the day off. I decided to swing by my bf Heather’s house to see what the triplets would be wearing this year.  Her and her husband dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz and the boys were each peas (3 peas in a pod). Sooo cute.

I spent a couple hours with them and headed back home in time to wait for Jason to get back from work and get ready for dinner. I was breaking out my outfit for the evening when the doorbell rang. Trick or Treat! My first, and only, trick or treaters of the day. I opened the door, candy in hand, and found 2 young boys and a mom standing at my door. The boys screamed trick or treat and the mother said happy holidays. My first reaction was- happy holidays- what?. But then I had a look at the boys- they weren’t dressed up in costumes, they were in street clothes, and they both were using drying bins as their Halloween bags. You know the bins you use to put clean dishes in?

So, from the start I knew this was going to be an ‘only me, only me’ moment. I had a variety of different chocolates and asked the boys which one they wanted. They each picked 2 and just as I was about to say goodbye, the boy turned to his mother and then back to me and asked ‘can I use your bathroom?’.  Hmmm. I was by myself at the time but I thought it’s still daytime and these boys look harmless. The boy was around 12 years old and looked like he was going to burst if he didn’t go to the bathroom soon. Since I live in a 1 bedroom on the first floor I could easily just keep the apartment door open and the front door open as I spoke to the mother while he went to the bathroom. I don’t know, I really don’t know what I was thinking, but I did know this poor boy ate too much chocolate and needed to use my bathroom stat!

Ok, sure. I led the boy to my bathroom as the mother and the other child waited outside my door.  First thing I thought was these kids need real Halloween bags so I reached into my eco/green bag pile and pulled out 2 red bags and gave them to the mother. She thanked me right away and as I started to chat with her about why the bags were more suitable for treating than the dishwasher bins it soon became clear to me that she really didn’t understand English and she hardly spoke it. For about 5 minutes we uncomfortably smiled at each other as I tried to ask her questions about the day…’A lot of kids out today?’ ‘Is it supposed to rain tonight?’, etc. She didn’t respond at all but kept saying ‘happy holiday’.

Five minutes go by, TEN minutes go by and the boy is still in the bathroom. Now, I’m thinking what if this is all a set up and he’s in my bathroom stealing things. Then again, what the heck could he be stealing from my bathroom ‘Look ma, got 2 shampoo bottles and a bottle of facial wash, Score!’. Then I thought what if he snuck out of the bathroom and is rifling through my pocketbook. So I quickly ran back into my apartment and found the young boy was still in the bathroom. Phew. I headed back to the front door and the mom smiled at me and said ‘sorry’. No worries I said, these things happen (I guess).

FINALLY the boy comes out of my apartment, says thank you, sees the red bag I gave him, and smiles. I closed the door and got back into my apartment. Immediately I went back into my bedroom and started to get my outfit ready when it hit me. Not a thought, or an action, or a person…I was getting punched in the face with a smell. A smell so bad I was choking. I would imagine this is what pepper spray feels like. I headed out into the living room where the smell got much worse. Did someone dump a pile of garbage outside my window? Just then my phone rang, it was my brother. I started to tell him about the stench and realized- The bathroom! Oh no. I was gagging on the phone to him, and of course, he’s laughing hysterically. It was a terrorist attack on my bathroom.  He urged me to go into the bathroom and see what happened.  I built up the courage and just as I was about to go in Jason called. I answered and quickly told him what happened and told him ‘I cannot clean this up, whatever it is. I can’t do it.’ You can imagine his answer ‘no wayyyyy Mel, I’m not getting stuck with this’. UGGGH. So, after much hemming and hawing I opened the door, bleach spray and Lysol bottle in hand, and just started spraying everything. I quickly opened the window and ran out. It was bad, really bad.

Jay got home 30 minutes later, which by that point the smell was nearly under control, and cleaned the bathroom. He didn’t see what the big deal was since by the time he got home the smell had died down. This year we will be visiting friends so we won’t be able to hand out candy but we will reminisce about that fateful day 1 year ago.  Only me, only me.

Good Things

Wow, what a birthday! I am so lucky to have such great friends and family. I received 16, that's right, 16 happy birthday messages on my phone and great bunch of smiles coming my way on fbook. Not only did I receive lovely messages but I also got a whole mess of birthday cards. My favorite card came from my nieces who drew pictures of me and rainbows.

My girlfriend Melisa over @ the lilbee just had a baby and she still made time to send me a lil gift. I am now the proud recipient of a six month polaroid subscription from Melanie over @
Apparently every month I will receive a bunch of polaroids pictures that reflect my interests. Melisa told her I was interested in travel, dogs, food, and wine. What a unique gift! So now it's not only my birthday month it's my birthday for 6 months!

And, finally, my husband came home with flowers and a small box of cupcakes from Magnolia bakery in hand.

I am one lucky gal. Thanks for the good wishes and love.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bitchin N' Moanin Mondays

Happpppyyyy bday to me, happy bday to me, happy bday to meeeeeee....happy bday to me! I cannot think of a thing to bitch about today (other than getting older).

Have a lovely day ladies and gents!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Weekend Fun

It's finally Friday. This week dragged on for me but I am so happy that the weekend fun gets to begin. Tonight Jason and I are taking good friends Chris & Steph out to dinner to celebrate the beginning of being Mr & Mrs. I was away during their wedding so here is a little song for them from us. Welcome to the club guys!
Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1+1+1= Marinade Central!





(photos courtesy of

One of my favorite healthy living cookbooks is Ellie Kreiger's The Food That You Crave. I've made just about every single recipe in her book and they all came out wonderful. She takes out the fat and packs the recipes with flavor. Here is one of her inspired recipes that I tweaked a bit.

Thai-Inspired Marinade for Flank/Skirt Steak
1 pound flank/Skirt steak
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 & 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 & 1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp of chili-garlic sauce

Rinse meat off and pat dry. Place in zip lock bag. In a small bowl combine all other ingredients. Pour mixture into the ziplock bag with the meat. Make sure you seal the bag tight! Marinade the meat for at least 6 hours+. I marinade mine overnight.

Grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. I use a grill thermometer which helps. Take off the grill and let sit for at least 5 minutes then slice against the grain. Delicious! Serve with your fave side.

A Changing Moment

You know those moments, the ones that change your life or simply change the way you view a certain subject. It could be a birth of a child, a series of events, or simply listening to a song. One of those moments for me came after I read Somaly Mam's The Road to Lost Innocence.

First, let me take you back to 2004. My first trip to Thailand was in August of 2004. The trip was life altering as I got to see and experience things I had only read about. However, there was one thing I wish I didn't have to see or witness- and that was child prostitutes or sex slaves. I'll never forget walking down a dark and quiet street in Bangkok and noticed a bunch of young teenagers hanging outside a house. As I got closer I realized they were in lingerie...children in lingerie. As I looked up to the second floor I caught several children peeking through the caged windows. These children were no older than six or seven years old. This memory is burned into my brain.

On the way back home I picked up the book Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia. It broke down, by chapter, the business of sex slaves. I started to understand how the brothels are run, who's involved, and where and how this happens. After reading it, I knew if I ever went back to Asia I would volunteer or help out in some way. So, several months before my husband and I took our 3 month trip to Asia this year, I started making phone calls and researching groups online. I only found a couple and they were either underground or never returned my email. At the time I did not know about Somali Mam's organization and although we got to do some volunteer work in Laos and Thailand we, unfortunately, did not get to volunteer at a woman's shelter. 

During our trip my husband had heard about Somali's book and bought it for me to read while we were traveling. Somali Mam is a Cambodian woman born without a family (Khmer Rouge), kidnapped and sold into slavery at a very young age. She does not know her real name or her actual age. Her story is traumatic...traumatic on your heart and traumatic on your soul. The things she has gone through are hard to imagine or simply understand. I do know that somehow she had the will to live and now devotes her life to helping other young girls escape the brothels and get acclimated back into society. She lets them know that there is love in the world and that there is someone fighting for their lives, their lively-hood, and their childhood. I think I cried throughout 90% of the book, it's that heartbreaking and that beautiful. I just remember thinking while I read it 'god, how does this happen to someone?', 'how can this person survive and then go on to help others like her?'.

Unfortunately her story is far too common, especially in Cambodia. According to the Somali Mam Foundation '2-4 million young women and children will be sold into prostitution in the next 12 months'. There are many factors that attribute to this- the voracious appetite from local men and foreigners, money, culture, police and government turning their heads the other way, etc. This needs to END. But it can't without your help. Awareness is HUGE- spreading the word, starting the conversation, and volunteering.

Somali Mam is one of my heroes. I am amazed and in awe of her courage. Hopefully one day I will get to meet her and thank her for being one of the strongest women alive and for being the voice of girls who feel they have no voice.

If you would like to learn how to help or donate please go to her website. I also urge you to read her book. You won't be the same when you are done. And takes just one person!

Below is a video from a recent Somali Mam Foundation Benefit.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hasta La Pasta Pie

Lately I've been on a culinary kick. Every Monday morning I pick out 4-5 recipes to take on for dinner and usually 1 dessert. My husband is lovin the fact that there is a home cooked meal waiting for him when he gets home and not to mention the fabo lunch I make him every day to take to work. Trying new recipes is always trial by error. I baked a blueberry cake last week and although it was edible it didn't look that great. I make a kick butt banana bread but other than that I'm not a great baker. My niche, for right now, is taking an existing recipe & tweaking it for my own taste or with whatever I have in the cupboard.

The five star standouts for this month have been scallops w/ creamed corn & bacon, chicken pot pie, thai inspired skirt steak, and an INSANE pasta pie I made last night. Wow. This monstrosity was soo good and very, very filling (picture unbuttoning your pants and laying comatose on the couch for a good hour). I took this wonderful recipe from a fellow blogger Noble Pig. I tweaked some of the ingredients, added some herbs to the sauce portion and followed her instructions on how to assemble the pie. It came out exactly the way it should have. Jason and I stared at this 'thing' last night for a good 5 minutes as it cooled off. It is definitely large enough to feed up to 6 people. See how it came out below!

Pasta Pie- Taken from the and tweaked a bit.
1 pound rigatoni- I used De Cecco Pasta
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef 
OR Turkey meat
3 garlic cloves crushed

1 shallot minced (make sure it's minced)
2 tablespoons of chopped basil
1 Bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 can (28 ounces) good quality crushed tomatoes- I use San Marzano
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 
Butter, for pan
8 ounces grated mozzarella

1/4 teaspoon of salt

Boil a large pot of water with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook pasta until slightly underdone- take off burner 2 to 3 before cooking time. Noble Pig took the pasta off around 12 minutes. The pot needs to be big enough and the water needs to be at least 6 quarts of water so the pasta doesn't stick together. When done, rinse in cold water and drain again. Toss pasta with 1 Tablespoon olive oil to coat.  Set aside. 
Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat remaining 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the ground beef and begin to break up the pieces so they are very small. When the beef is browned add garlic, shallot, salt and pepper.  Cook 4 minutes more. Add crushed tomatoes and bay leaf and simmer for 15 minutes. Add basil and simmer for another 4 minutes. 

Now this is important!
Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese and make sure each piece of pasta is covered.  Butter a 9-inch springform pan and begin to pack pasta into pan, standing each piece on end.  

Spread meat sauce on top of pasta and start to push the meat sauce into the pasta holes filling each one up.I did this with the end of my wooden spoon. Don't use all of the sauce, set 1-2 cups aside. 
It could have been that I have a faulty springform pan but the pan started leaking a little from the juice of the sauce so I took it out and placed it on a cooking sheet.

Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 10-15 minutes until cheese is golden.  Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge to loosen and then unmold. 

Cut into wedges and serve with any remaining meat sauce you might have. Serve with a little garlic bread and voila!  

Again, check out her site for step by step pictures! 

Here's how mine came out...hungry?

Monday, October 19, 2009


Lately I've been obsessed with finding a bookcase for our apartment. Living in a 1 bedroom in NY can get on your nerves after a while. You have to be smart about decorating and practical about the amount and sizes of furniture you place in the space. There is a small area in our bedroom, next to my husbands night table, that has been neglected. I was measuring it the other day and found 2 different pairs of dirty socks, a dusty bookmark, and old batteries. Apparently this is where my husband puts things he does not have use for or know what to do with. Right now his shelf under his night table is overflowing with books and they either end up on the floor and under the bed. He also has 3 boxes full of books in our storage facility because he refuses to give them away. Enough is enough! We need a bookcase. Plus it will give me a place to store my newly found Nancy Drew books.

I've always been in love with my friends Maggie and Alex's antique barrister bookcase. It's a beautiful 3 piece sectional with glass doors you can pull out. It looks much like this one.

As seen on

I also love the distressed look, the mod look, DIY style...I can't just pick one. One day I will live in a big enough apartment or house to have a room of bookcases!

As seen on

As seen on 

Bitchin n' Moanin Mondays

This week: Parents who put their children through hell just to be famous or as I call them 'Reality TV Show Freaks'. You know who I'm talking about...Jon & Kate and now the crazy UFO family. I get why Jon and Kate signed a contract so many years ago to let cameras invade their home to tape their daily lives- $$$, moola, money. They've got 8 children to support so it can't be easy. However, sure enough, the network starts making tons of money off of their show and so do the Gosselin's. Soon they realize they can't hack the fame or Jon can't take Kate berating him for the hundredth time in front of America, so they separate. Now, I could imagine, that getting separated is quite traumatic for children to experience. So they did what every sane, smart, and responsible parent does...they decide to sign on for a couple more seasons! Sure, why not put our children through even more scrutiny and shove them down the mouths of the voracious wolves disguised as the media. Yes, that's the smart thing to do...Seriously? It seems the only one parenting these kids is the TLC Network. And for that they get the 'Worst Parents of the Year Award' if there is one.

Then there was this UFO family who apparently created a scary TV stunt to get PR for their upcoming reality tv show. The husband, who seems bananas, keeps coming out of his house and speaking to the press while his wife tapes him with her hand-held camcorder. On top of that, it looks like they made their kids lie about the whole thing. and just plain creepy.

Here's the deal folks, my husband works in film and TV and he always says 'it's not what it seems to be'. Whether it's reality TV shows or those decorating shows where they say they have 8 hours to finish a project and in 'reality' it takes them 3 full days. I hate to bust your bubble about this but we see what the producers and editors want us to see.  And that my friends is the reality of it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009






(Some photos courtesy of

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Secret of the Old Clock

The Mystery at Lilac Inn 
The Clue of the Velvet Mask
The Secret in the Old Attic

Do these sound familiar to you? Growing up I loved Nancy Drew books. I think she began my love affair with mysteries. She had me at the title- The Whispering Statue or The Clue of the Leaning Chimney. I remember staying up past 'lights out' just to read her books. Recently I just started thinking about them again. I know when my nieces are old enough they would love to read them, so I hit up B& to see how much they were selling them for. $7 a piece! Since there are almost 200 of them, this was a bit out of my budget. Quick thinking led me to ebay where I bid and won 12 books to start my collection. I received the box of books 2 weeks ago and haven't put them down since.

Nancy with the help of her father and her best friends Bess and George (love that George is a girls name!) are solving a case, whatever the case may be. And without the use of cell phones or the internet they always catch the culprit. It's old school, in the best way. The writing is simple and lovely and I adore the way Nancy and her girlfriends talk to each other. Instead of 'no way' or 'OMG', they say hypers whenever they get excited. I've never heard of that before! I wonder if hypers was what my grandmother used to say when she was hangin with her girlfriends.

I'd like to start collecting the original books, which are collectors items, but for now it's just Nancy, me and the mystery.

(photos courtesy of

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Toothfairy Grants Wishes

My girl over @ Notes from the Toothfairy is giving away some fabo pieces of jewelry this month. Log on to her blog to read her witty posts and enter to win one of these beauties.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Bitchin n' Moanin Mondays

This new installment will be posted every Monday and will be dedicated to my dislike of not only Mondays, but other mundane occurrences in everyday life.

Today's post is on decorating shows. Lately I've been watching a ton of designer/decorating reality shows. I love the show Designer's Challenge on HGTV. For those of you who haven't seen it, the show highlights a homeowner's wish to redecorate a room in their house and get to choose a design from 3 talented decorators. At the beginning of the show each designer presents their vision for the room and the homeowner has one week to pick their fave.

Here's my issue- BAD TASTE. There needs to be a 'taste-o-meter' on these shows. For example: A couple has a $20k budget to redecorate their living room. They state their ideas for what they want and need in the room, including their style type. The decorator who wins the challenge gets to redecorate. Here's where the problem lies~ the designer and the homeowner both have the worst taste in design style. I've watched them redecorate a room for $40k and it turns out looking like something out of a JCPenney catalogue, circa 1982. You know you are in trouble when the homeowner 'loves purple' and wants it plastered all over the room. The couch, the drapes, the wall...all puke purple. Really? I am not a designer, but I know with that amount of money I can update your room and give a 5 minute intensive on why a leopard print bedspread won't bring the 'animal instinct' out in you. 

Wooo! Don't i feel much better now. Monday is going to be a good day :)

Friday, October 9, 2009





The adorable little girl is Natalina:)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Have Brain, Will Work.

Eeeek. The media biz has gone bonkers! With the recent closing of Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride, Elegant Bride and now the crazy layoff's at Bride's magazine, the magazine business is taking a big hit. I am a freelancer and am currently...unemployed :( It's hard to even say the word. I knew I was taking a risk by taking off on our trip for so long but I thought 'if not now, when?'. Luckily my husband, who is a film editor, found a gig soon after we arrived back or else we would be looking for a new place to live.

My bf melisa and I were speaking about the situation and how scary it is out there. We both agreed that we've got to find other outlets to showcase our abilities and talents. Companies have put the kibosh on hiring freelancers and there aren't any new jobs opening up because they keep closing magazines. The alternative is online magazines, which I don't think have caught on as much as they should have. I do read several online but there is nothing like getting that one magazine in your mailbox that you look forward to reading from cover to cover. I felt that way about Blueprint magazine which also folded. It was Martha Stewart's answer to style for 30-somethings. I kept every issue of the magazine and often refer to it for inspiration. What is your favorite magazine?

So, who knows....who knows how long I'll be out of a job and who knows how long this ugly habit of shutting down magazines will last. In the meantime, I'll just reminisce about my journey through Asia and get excited about my next trip (Napa, CA next month!).

Enjoy this hilarious video about the industry from John Stewart.
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Laugh a Little

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Phuket Restaurant Review: Mom Tri's Kitchen

Phuket offers many fine dining options, but some are hit-or-miss. For our second night in Phuket we decided to venture out to celebrate a belated birthday dinner for Jason. We chose Mom Tri's Kitchen. Our concierge made a reservation, guaranteeing us a table overlooking Kata Noi beach. There are 4 Mom Tri restaurants in and around Phuket, each one with a twist on Thai and European fare. And since we are such winos, it sparked our interest when we learned it won several Wine Spectator Awards.

(view from the table)

Mom Tri's Kitchen is located inside the Villa Royale. We got there early and had a glass of wine at the bar (and yummy complimentary spicy peanuts). As the waiter took us to our table we could hear the waves crashing onto the rocks below us. And although it is an open air restaurant the mosquito's and bugs didn't fly into our area, we think they had some sort of bug repellent placed outside. We ordered a bottle of Chilean wine, warning: the mark up is crazy*, then opened our menu to find that we wanted to order just about everything. We decided on the hot crab souffle to start and I ordered lobster risotto and Jason ordered tiger and river prawns with sweet and sour chili sauce as our entrees. All of that paired with a bottle of wine...we knew we would be stuffed. Before we were served our appetizer, the waiter dropped off an assortment of breads and two delicious dips. Now we were really in trouble!

The food was amazing and couldn't have asked for more. We skipped dessert so they offered us a complimentary glass of wine at the bar. Another glass of wine? Sure! As we sank into our seats, the waiter came over and offered me a single rose- how sweet. Jay and I were laughing because he was very embarrassed. With our bellies full and our eyes closing we decided to head back to our hotel to relax and get a good night's sleep.

*I was informed that there is a 300% markup on all bottles of wine imported into the country!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Travel Shows That Inspire

I love the travel channel on tv and online. They always have the roundups that are worth watching- Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts or Genuine Eco Vacations- they give you just enough information to get you in the mood to travel. My two fave's are Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Dhani Tackles the Globe.

Every time we watch a new episode of Bourdain's show we are always left salivating for more. We used his shows as a guide of 'where & what to eat' while we were traveling. In particular his Vietnam shows since he seems to know the place inside and out. Although his taste buds are far more adventurous than mine he instills an excitement of being able to find that hidden gem that serves the best Pho you've ever eaten (Pho= Vietnamese soup).

And Dhani Jones does the same throughout his show. The show follows Dhani Jones, an American football player, as he travels the world in search of each countries national sports pastime. From Muay Thai boxing in Thailand to dragon boat racing in Singapore, he brings to light a tradition from each country that is much different than the next. And, well I'll be honest, he's not too bad to look at too! He's always in a nice suit or tight bathing suit (cue husband rolling his eyes).

Next up is a new show called Man Shops Globe premiering tonight on the Sundance Channel. It follows Keith Johnson, buyer from Anthropology, as he travels the world in search of key finds for the store. Now tell me what better job is there than this?? Seriously. He gets to travel the world, meet different people, eat fantastic food, and shop...on THEIR DOLLAR! Tune in tonight.

God Spelled Backwards

As we traveled around Thailand we couldn't go 100 feet without seeing a dog. Dogs are everywhere in this country! They are well taken care of and there are many charity based animal clinics that take care of them. Donations and medical supplies are always needed and welcomed. I visited one in Koh Tao, the Koh Tao Animal Clinic.
Some Buddhists believe dogs are very close to God...after all dog is God spelled backwards :) Dogs can not only be your soul mates but also your dharma mates, they get involved in all aspects of your life. I got my dog Floppy from the animal shelter when I was 16 and she passed away when she was 17 years old. I was so lucky to have her in my life for so long and miss her every day. But I hope some day to get a Floppy jr when we move out of our 1 bedroom NY apartment! Below are some doggies we were lucky to meet in and around Thailand.

My girlfriend Melisa over @ The Lil Bee is a big supporter of Save A Sato Foundation which shelters dogs in Puerto Rico. Help support if you can!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Autumn Falls in New England

Just spending a lovely long weekend in Connecticut. The air is brisk but the sun is starting to warm everything up. Leaves are turning and our pear trees are in full bloom. Today we are headed up to Sturbridge, Mass to do a little shopping and have lunch. Enjoy your weekend!

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