Unexpected Visitor

I had an unexpected visitor tonight when I walked in the door… friends, this is Hubert. I had a long talk with my better-half and he said that Hubert can stay. Woohoo. He can eat any bugs he might come across. But for some reason… Hubert was very attached to my bike.

I like him.

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Today I am thankful for: my momma’s homemade bread. YUM.

Celebrity…

Y’all, I’m among the famous. Today we were walking along The Bund and all of a sudden a tourist comes up to my sister-in-law and grabs her to take a photo. It was bizarre. Julia didn’t understand why… but it’s because she’s white. Often Chinese people look at Americans as if they are celebrities. Just look how happy they both are!!

Now look how happy the woman is when my brother gets into the picture! Ha. I thought this was hilarious. My friend and I were cracking up. There are some strange things going on in China…

In other news… we went to the river town, Qibao, today. My roomie told me that he went to a river town before and the only thing there was a small town with a small “river” that runs through it — well that’s kinda what this was. They have made a tourist attraction out of something that isn’t really touristy. They have lined the courtyards and small alleys leading up to the area in shops… kinda like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence… but on a smaller scale, less classy, more street food venders, and the occasional haggler. If that’s your thing — go for it. I will say though, the food was pretty tasty — unless you order stinky tofu. GROSS. Which, my friend TR did… and Julia quickly found out after one quick bite that she has about as much appreciation for it as I do.

But y’all know me… I’ll always find something good to eat.

Ok, this is random… but whatever. What y’all may not know about me is that I love fashion. While I may not exude it — I have a true love for the fashion industry. I follow a ton of fashion blogs and find them so inspiring what some people can do. This lady right here, deserves to be on a fashion blog. She exudes confidence. I love it. I also love, that what you cannot see, is her Adidas tennis shoes. It cracked me up. Stylish, yet practical. My kind of woman.

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Today I am thankful for: having a week off of work. I won’t be back until next Wednesday. Why, you ask? Because I’m going to the big city — Beijing, here we come!

 

On top of the World

I ate on top of the world of the world tonight! Okay, maybe not for real — but it sure did feel like it. We had dinner in one of those super cool revolving restaurants. This one sat on the 38th floor of some building around People’s Square. That’s about all I know. I let my friend, TR, choose the restaurant and he chose oh-so-well. He was kind enough to take my bro and sis on a tour of the city AND they are going to a water town tomorrow. That sounds pretty freakin cool. He’s awesome. Here are some pics from the evening.

I love that TR is wearing  a Kappa Delta (KD) shirt because that just so happens to be the sorority that my sister-in-law was in. What are the chances, huh?

 

 

One of the dishes we had this evening. Somehow, Julia wasn’t too fond of these things looking at her… but they were really quite tasty. AND I’m super proud of her for trying. They are just little fried fishies. I think my father would have loved them. He’ll eat just about anything.

One of my favorite pictures from the evening. Très beau, Julia! — All in all we had a wonderful evening — as well we should. 13 course meals don’t come very often in Alabama… well, unless it’s BBQ time with all your fixin’s and whatnot — I digress. We were all full and had big ole food babies in our bellies. It was so delicious. We had braised pork ribs, and yummy beef in a peppery sauce, and a wonderful fruit salad with some kind of yogurt on top, the little fishies, some other stuff that I can’t remember the name of, taro rolls, noodles with beef, pork, some other things, some glutinous rice with duck, and this absolutely dE-vine wonton soup (but we were so stuffed we couldn’t possibly eat it all). Oh my goodness. It’s a good thing we don’t eat like this every day! Just for the next few days 🙂 OH, Food Baby!!!!!

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In other news… guess what’s growing in the backyard back home?

Did you guess Mator’s? Cause you’d be right! My mother has gone on a gardening rampage this year and she will soon have a house full of mators. Oh, I can’t wait for Momma’s Sauce!

She also planted some wild flowers. These have grown to be over 6 feet tall!!! When they sway in the wind, Mr. Porcini barks at them because he thinks they are trying to attack him! What a baby. I love that little guy. But doesn’t everything look so beautiful? Good job mom. You’re about to have a full house!

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Today I am thankful for: my big old food baby AND getting to see the best view in town… my family.

 

 

What a day!

Say what?! That’s right I had lunch today at the Shanghai Google cooropate office. My sweet, sweet friend Vicky is an Illustrator there. And you know what, It was the bomb-dot-com. Their office is so cool. I couldn’t take a ton of photo’s–because, you know, it’s Google… but I did sneek a few in.

This is their cafeteria and everything is provided for them. I thought the food was delicious… but apparently some of the workers complain. I thought it was awesome. I loved the super fresh watermelon — yummy. Google also helps promote healthy living. They had so many healthy items to choose from AND they also offer yoga and tai chi classes twice a week! Maybe they should start providing this in school — we wouldn’t be such fatties! And you know what else they have? A masseuse. They have their own private masseur. Gosh, that sounds so lovely. Apparently at the California office that have a manicurist that has a cart and goes desk to desk — Where do I sign up? Work should be play.

I love this shot. And look at that crazy transformer building right there. This is the view from the office. It must be nice.

My beautiful friend Vicky. She’s so awesome. You should see her work. This is a pic of Vicky, Eric (my roommate), and me just inside the bullet proof doors.

Eric and me on a Google high! We were being such nerds but it was so much fun.

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Guess what, y’all? THEY MADE IT! They are here. They are safe and sound. And I am so so happy to see them. Isn’t my sister-in-law b.e.a-U-tiful!? This is a picture of us post-Dim Sum dinner. That was super yummy. We all got milk/bubble tea. I love that stuff. I am officially addicted. Unfortunately, I spent too much time talking and not enough time taking pictures. But you know, life is for living — not stopping every 5 seconds to take a pic. And we had fun catching up.

In a pathetic attempt to keep them awake, I took them here. We walked around for a good bit and tonight they learned one of their most important phrases, “Woh boo yow” — I don’t want. They were getting haggled for everything… from getting photo’s taken to roller blade sneakers to purses and watches. Oh, this is gonna be fun. I love watching their reactions. Eeeeeek! They are here! They are IN China — With me!!!!

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Today I am thankful for: my wonderful family making it into town with zero complications. (Yes, Mother we will be safe… and No, we haven’t gotten into any trouble… YET.)

Oh yeah, have you been to my blog recently? She got a little facelift yesterday. I wanted to try out a little something new. I really like the change. I hope you guys do too. (This is for everyone who has an email subscription or an RSS feed). Have a great day everyone. Did I mention how excited I am that my family is in town?? Yippee!!!

 

Spring Break: NOLA

New Orleans. This was first time back since I was around 10 yrs old. I feel as though one cannot really claim a New Orleans experience unless they are over the age of 21 — it’s just a whole different city. And I loved it! One of my dearest friends, Miss Sara, is a local and she knew all the best spots to go to in order to get an authentic experience. We had less than 24 hours to explore the city … (not to mention the fact that she is still in school) and she took a little time off to be an over qualified tour guide.

We started the night off with frozen daiquiri’s from one of those awesome places where they have 50 different flavors spinning in one of those frosty/icee machines. I got one that mixed two different flavors. It was amazing! Watch out though, they make them with PGA (pure grain alcohol). We decided that it would be a good idea to eat some dinner and put some carbs in our system so we went to The Rum House and it was delicious!!! We started and ended with a fried fish tapa and it’s a glorified fish stick with a sweet glaze sauce on the side. It was soo good we had it for dessert, too. That’s just how we roll. We both got the Crab Melt sandwich. And after this meal we were both stuffed to the gills and though Bourbon Street would be a good idea… so off we went.

Yep, that’s right…. baby’s first hand granade 🙂 It was pretty bitter and once again, filled with PGA. We had such a good time.

So what better to cure a night of drinking than Cafe du Monde? That’s right, because we had to do all of the tourist-y things we possibly could, we filled up on delicious beignets. Really it was Powdered Sugar with a side of Beignets. They bring you a glass of water just so you have something to clean off with. Yum…. I love those things!

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Today I am thankful for: procrastination. It will be the death of me, but hey, I get to visit my boyfriend at work in the woods. It definitely beats writing a graduate manuscript — whatever that is.

My beautiful friend, Sara. Best quote of the day:

A: Your base is like my highlighter.

S: Your base is my bronzer!

Ladies Poker Night

Not too long ago all my ladies got together and we were all in the same city. So naturally — things got interesting. Our favorite pastime is card playing. We love to play a card game called Prediction. It takes hours to play when you only have two people so naturally that is usually what ends up happening. But this night, we decided that we would try our hands at POKER. Needless to say, we all got heated — called each others bluffs and then rent money was thrown in. Nothing like girls getting their ego’s rocked! I miss my ladies.

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Today I am thankful for: long conversations with my Bestie. Too bad she falls down so often. Beware of stairs 🙂

My Love for Bracelets

For those of you who don’t know me, I love bracelets.

All kinds.

Here are some that inspire me… and the one’s I wear everyday. They provide so much character. I LOVE IT.

Ms. Mimi Rose

One of my bestest buddies, Ms. Mimi Rose, is the person who first inspired my collection. Her bracelets jingle and jangle and they are full of amazing stories about where they come from, who made them, how she came to find them, and what they mean to her. I love them all and her so much!

Kate Lanphear

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I saw this image on my friends blog, SouthernFemme.com, and I love this amazing magazine editors collection of cool jewels. They are so fashionable and provide information about the woman herself. I know I love bracelets but look at those rings too!!! She’s so chic and yet has a hardcore rocker/biker look. Love, Love, Love.

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I saw these this morning on a new blog I came across, styleblueprint.com, super cool stuff. I love the layering. I love the message. Rock on.

Silly Bandz

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Kids have gotten into these things called silly bands. You collect them and trade them — its kinda like those silly WWJD bracelets when I was younger. But cool and silly.

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On a singular note, I love this bracelet. It’s on my wishlist. You can find them here.

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On a much less affordable note… I would love some of these. A girl can wish, right??

These are mine. I’ve gotten them all over the world and from people who love me most.

Here’s the story:

The Brown One : Prague, Czech Republic

The Blue One: My momma gave it to me. It’s from China when she went back in the ’70s.

The Awesomely Large Suunto Watch: My wonderful boyfriend. It tells you everything from Time, Compass, Weather, Hiking, Chrono — it can save times that you go running and it can record your heart rate and even graph stuff out. It’ll tell you changes in elevation and the temp outside and, and, and… and it’s just amazing! You can find some awesome watches here!

The Purple-y Threaded One: J. Jill years ago. I just thought it looked cool.

Black Hair Band: Nothing too special there… just got lost in the mix.

The Jade Colored One: Leather Bracelet that was picked up in a Florence, Italy marketplace.

The Red Leather One: I love this one. I got this one at a market in Budapest. My favorite part is not it’s lovely RED color but the clasp. This is what started my collection. The clasp is too difficult to get on and off by myself… so it just stays on. And the rest followed.

The Brown Beaded One: These aren’t actually beads but coral. I picked them up on my last trip to Hawaii celebrating my grandfather’s 90th Birthday. He’s awesome.

The Brassy Beaded One: My amazing second mother has owned and operated an amazing jewelry shop. I started working for her at age 13. Since then I’ve been collected her amazing pieces. This piece is one that she made by hand. The two brassy-copper ones next to it are also from her shop.

The Fabric One with Leather Connection: This one was given to me by one of the dearest people I know. And this bracelet in particular is very very dear to me. Although I have a little trouble with the leather connection I love it so so much. And it reminds me of her and my “sister” and all of our wonderful adventures together.

And finally The Green and Yellow One: Given to me by my boy. And I love it because it provides so much color! And it reminds me of him of course.

 

Remember: Spread the Message — Peace and Love Throughout the World.

I feel like such a hippie some times 🙂

Table Rock, SC

Last weekend I went on a hike. And let me tell you — I’m out of shape and super uncoordinated. These are things we should all probably already know. In any case. My friend and I went up to Table Rock. Located here.

Table Rock Satellite Map

It looks to me as though it’s pretty close to where South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina come together. Maybe I saw all of them at once! Who knows. I may have made that up.

Trail Heads

A Fork in the Road. We Followed the Red Trail Heads.

Doesn't this look like the Bust of a Greek statue? I love nature.

We still had another hour left in our hike. Not yet to the top.

There we go.

WE MADE IT! or we thought...

Apparently when you get up there, you think that you’re there –but you’re not. There is still probably a quarter of mile to go and then you’ve made it! So if you go, make sure you go all the way to the end and make sure you see the 3.5 mile marker. And yes, it’s wonderful — there are mile markers.

Time to Relax.

There was even cell reception. And this guy was a machine. He did a 9 mile hike before he did this one!

My hiking buddy!

This was a great trail–and a total of 7 miles and an excellent workout. Even if I tripped on everything on the way down. It was so beautiful and there were huge monolithic rocks along the trail where you can sit, rest, or picnic. I loved it. It’s super touristy and a little cliche but I guess you have to do at least once if you’re in the area.

Y’all have a great weekend. I’m on my home to the one’s I love. Rememeber, spread the good word: Peace and Love throughout the World