Monday, December 19, 2011

Autumn leaves in Ithaca

These pictures are from a little family reunion to correspond with my Grandmother's 94th birthday. She's 94 and still got it goin' on, autumn is her favorite season and I agree, autumn leaves are quite enchanting, especially along the rolling hills of Upstate New York. The weather was a perfect mix of crisp, cool and sunshine. One day we even had a teeny tiny little snow drift, which was just enough for me after surviving the last three winters of snow-pocalypse in Holland. Naturally, I meant to share these autumn leaves pictures with you last month to go along with this video I made, but time escaped me. Oh well, here they are better late than never!

Previously, I mentioned in this post, that while in New York we visited the Corning Museum of Glass where we made our own ornaments. Did you ever stop to think that originally, lightbulbs were completely hand blown?! That really blew my mind. Making our ornaments was a really neat experience which sort of flew by so, maybe I should look into taking a glass blowing class sometime. It seems like such a fun hobby to try!

Aren't these glass jellyfish delightful? They were on my imaginary wish list along with a gorgeous art nouveau style Louis Comfort Tiffany lamp...

Smoked, Roasted and Grilled

Hearty whole wheat bread, smoked tempeh and roasted red peppers make excellent grilled cheese fillings.
With a big hand full of cherries on the side, yes please! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Amsterdam Loves Bicycles

I noticed these cute video making rounds twitter the other day and thought they would be nice to share...

Whenever I'm away something I miss so much about life in Amsterdam is cycling, it just makes me generally happy to ride my yellow bike around the city. Well, honestly it's a love/hate relationship at times like when your bike gets vandalized or your ride home is covered in freezing sleet or hail...but like they say, you can't win 'em all, right? Bikes are a huge part of what makes my daily life pleasant in Holland and for some reason it doesn't feel quite as charming to bike in other places. Where do you like to ride your bike? 

Friday, December 16, 2011

At the Powwow

While working on my degree in Anthropology one of my favorite courses included Native American cultural studies and I used to attend powwows in the area often. 

These cultural gatherings include song, dance, story telling, merchants, a variety of foods and my favorite activities, watching the dancers in their intricate regalia. 

A powwow also opens discourse for those who want to learn more about the Native American communities we have and I often found myself engaged in so many interesting conversations with my professor and her colleagues as the sun went down.

While in Florida this autumn I attended a local powwow with a long time university friend and of course ran into my professor too. Aside from the fun event, it was great to do something together we've enjoyed in the past but haven't been able to do in a few years.

 Days like that help to bridge the gap that can sometimes build up while living over seas and it felt so good to know our friendship popped right into place despite the distance. Who knows, it might be another year (or longer) until we get to attend another powwow together.

If you want to learn more about your local Native American community to visit a powwow in your area learn more here. Have any of you attended The Gathering of Nations? 
It's on my life long travel list, I'd love to go one day!

Have you ever visited a powwow before? 
Here are a few photographs from that fun day, aren't the Eagle feathers majestic?!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Good Eats in St. Augustine

As mentioned before, I had the delicious pleasure of an impromptu trip to St. Augustine with a couple gals. So when my good friend Emma raved about the yummy dishes served up at The Floridian Restaurant we quickly added this eatery to our evening menu. Stopping by this spot turned out to be the perfect end to a fantastic day. To start, we ordered a round of Fried Green Tomato Bruschetta to hold us over because their menu took us a while to dissect since everything was so tempting.

Fried Green Tomatoes + Chili-Garlic Aioli

Everything, seriously, everything sounded great. And better yet they offered a range of local and seasonal ingredients along with a variety of vegetarian options. It was a win for everyone. Plus, I got to stock up on a few Orange Blossom Pilsners, mmm honey beer!

Seasonal Salad: Bib lettuce, Tempeh, Sauteed onions, Goat Cheese, Apples

Despite being quite stuffed, the three of us shared a slice of supremely sweet, crunchy pecan pie, which happened to have a layer of chocolate and coconut on the bottom. YUM!

Pecan pie, need I say more?

A great thing road trips in America (and something I really missed while in Holland) is the ability to sing at the top of our lungs, this simply can not be done on a bike in Amsterdam without being a total annoyance to everyone. That night in particular commenced with some of our favorite tunes for the ride home, with great friends come great random moments!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Exciting things...

First off, I'm very excited to announce that this blog has a new domain! 

Yup, there it is my friends. So, if you have links to this blog would you please be so kind add the update? Thanks so much!  
As you can see, I've made a few small tweaks and at the moment, I'm still figuring out how to implement other changes (honestly, there is just so much to learn!). 
With a new year on the horizon it seemed fitting to get new things started around here. 
Now, on to a little winter update...

We've all been stating the obvious lately, how exactly is it December already?! 
In fact, there are only 10 days until Christmas, yikes!
So, I wanted to share a quick winter recap of what I've been up to lately. I promise, the South Africa stories and photos are on their way very soon! In the mean time, here's a sneak peak...

It took most of last week to fully unwind after 3 weeks in South Africa.
Which also happens to means catching a nice break from the awful Dutch wintertime drizzle.
I've been warming up chilly nights with almond milk tea lattes, and trying to squeeze in as much friends + family holiday time while in The States...

While traveling in South Africa I finished up The Happiness Project 
in perfect time to refresh begin a new year in 2012.

In the last a few months I've been back on a yoga kick and happily trying to keep up with my routine 4-5 times a week. Subscribing to Yoga Journal (along with various podcasts) has helped a lot, now I can't imagine skipping out on yoga for so long ever again! 
Sometimes it's so hard to with a routine while traveling...

More again soon!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Arancione bicicletta

Spotted in Sardinia. Check out that teeny-tiny chain. Makes me giggle since I've gotta haul around a giant five-pounder on my bike in Amsterdam.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sinterklaas kapoentje

It's that time of year again! Let's break out the chocolate letters and kruidnoten! This year I'll be celebrating in South Africa (surprise!) but you can click here to ready Sinterklaas memories from my last few years in Holland and yup, that unfortunately still includes the ridiculous tradition of wearing blackface. C'mon people, time to let that go. Dag Sinterklaasje!