Boozy Cherry Coke Floats

Boozy Soda Float

Beginner ButtonIt’s Friday!! Finally. It seemed like it might never get here.

Have you ever had one of those days or weeks when nothing huge happens but by the end of it you’re completely and utterly sapped of energy and good humor. That’s been my week, and I’m exhausted. This week was the last week of summer holidays for kids and it rained a lot, which meant the museum was full of soggy, stressed, and tired adults and hyper children. I did have some great interactions where parents were appreciative and kids drew me pictures and wanted to play and talk about science. But, also there were many times when adults are rude, when kids were bored and acting out, and babies vomited on the floor. Thank goodness it’s finally Friday. But enough moaning, I bet a lot of us have had long weeks so now it’s time we look forward and treat ourselves for a job well done. (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: Brighton


Ryan is the weather reporter in our household. In the morning he shares the weather report so we know how to dress and also how busy the museum will be. This week it’s going to be rain, lots of rain, until Thursday. (Which also means a busy museum)

But last week we had one glorious beautiful day. Ryan did the weather report Friday morning and said it was going to be 30°C/86°F on Saturday. He then suggested, “let’s go to Brighton.” Yesss. It rarely gets into the 30’s in London, let alone gets that warm on a day when neither of us has to work, we don’t have any plans, and we have the ability to just pick up and go somewhere. Also, we have been aching to go the beach all summer. It’s a staple of summer and it was imperative we get out feet into some water before autumn rolls around.  (more…)

Fig and Strawberry Cake

Fig and Strawberry Cake

I was 28 years old the first time I ate a fig. I’d had Fig Newtons before but never a real fresh fig. I remember that first time pretty well. It was while I was working for Live It Learn It and I was taking students on a trip to visit the Washington Youth Garden (WYG) which is located inside the National Arboretum. During the trip fourth grade students tour the garden, learn about food groups, and pick fruits and vegetable that will be used in making a healthy snack.

Sometimes while they gather materials for the snack they also get to taste things along the way. On this particular visit, the figs were ripe and our WYG educator picked one and cut it in pieces for the kids. While in the garden the kids try a lot of foods they haven’t had before but that are familiar to me. This time I was in the same boat as the kids. I had never had a fig and was both nervous and excited to try. It looked a little funny but seemed harmless enough. I asked the educator if I could try some of the fig too, and I found (along with the kids) that I liked it! It tasted like a Fig Newton (duh) but also softer, brighter, and like warm sunshine. It is one of the freshest things I’ve ever eaten. Since then, I’ve tried to be more often to eating and cooking with figs.  (more…)

Brownies with Strawberries

Brownies with Strawberries

I think the first time I made brownies was in high school. My mom has a really good recipe that she got from a friend. The recipe is hand written on a tattered piece of paper and the instructions are pretty vague. When I was a teenager the only thing I had ever baked was sugar cookies at Christmas, so making brownies was a big leap for me. Suffice it to say, this leap didn’t go well. I remember the brownies did not hold their shape and it was easy to mold the under cooked chocolate concoction into balls. The misshaped brownies tasted good, but looked bad. And maybe unsafe as they were under baked. After that I only made brownies from a box.  (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: Globe Theatre

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

One of the first things I did when I moved to London was visit the Globe Theatre. My undergraduate degree is in English Literature, I love Shakespeare, and the first time I visited London in 2004 I didn’t get the chance to go. So in March of last year I took a tour of the theatre. The picture above is from that first visit. It was an amazing visit. Located along the Thames, the Globe is a beautiful place to see. It’s nestled between modern buildings but somehow when you’re right up against it, it’s easy to picture what it might have been like in Shakespeare’s time.

During that visit I walked around the museum exhibition first and saw historic objects and costumes from performances. I learned that the currently building is a reproduction that open in 1997 and was funded by an American called Sam Wanamaker. I toured inside the theater and learned that they had to get special permission to have a thatched roof because since the Fire of London in 1666 there’s a law against them. It was an incredible day where I just felt excited by all I’d be able to see and do in London. That day was a lovely sunny spring day, but on my most recent visit the weather was quite the opposite. This time it rained. And it rained a lot.  (more…)

Homemade Butter

Homemade Butter

I made butter. At home. In my apartment. Are you thinking I’m crazy? Are you thinking that I could easily buy butter from the store like a normal modern human being? You’re right, I could do that. And usually I do, but recently I made butter at home. It was awesome. I got the idea from Great British Food Magazine. It seemed fun to try and different. Lots of time cooking is functional. I make something for dinner. Or I make something for a party. Sometimes I want to cook just because I want to. Sometimes I like making something just because I’m curious and because I want to experiment with something new. So I made homemade butter.  (more…)

Spicy Cilantro Lime Corn on the Cob

Roasted Cilantro Lime Corn

Beginner ButtonIt’s wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I realized it was possible to season corn. I thought the only thing you could do with corn was put butter on it. Then, on Christmas my cousins were visiting and they wanted to watch the hilarious and ridiculous movie Nacho Libre. The movie is about a monk who secretly moonlights as a wrestler and sometimes when he and his sidekick are about town they eat a seasoned Mexican corn on the cob. That movie has stuck with me in many ways, and one of them is that corn doesn’t have to be plain.  (more…)

Tourist Tuesday: Hackney City Farm

Sheep at Hackney City FarmWhen it comes to animals, I behave a bit like a child. I have a nervous fascination with them. I haven’t had a lot of experience with animals. The only pets I’ve ever had were guinea pigs. Anyway I really like animals, I like looking at them, but I’m awkward and in awe of them. This also will explain why there are a ton of pictures in this post. I could not stop photographing the animals while I was visiting Hackney City Farm. (more…)

Caffeinated Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Coffee SmoothieThis weekend has been all about getting stuff done. Specifically chores. I don’t know what Ryan and I have been doing for the last couple of weeks, but it certainly wasn’t doing chores. Our laundry pile has turned into a mountain, the bathroom needs cleaning, and our fridge is practically bare. But how are we supposed to do all of these chores without a breakfast that will power us up? Most of the times on the weekend Ryan and I like to make a big breakfast, like pancakes or eggs. But since we already have a lot of cleaning up to do, there’s no way I’m making anything that is going to require us to do a lot of dishes.  (more…)

Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

Today is a day when practically everyone in London needs a slice of cake. Why? Because of the Tube strike. For most people, the commute today is longer and more crowded (which also means hotter and sweatier). This was my first strike experience. Last year I was unemployed and it didn’t bother me and last month I had the day off. I left super early to ensure I wasn’t late for work, and in fact, I was an hour early. However, it did take me an hour longer than usual to get here. See, it’s tough. We all need a slice of cake. (more…)

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