July July

We have been on and off our paleo/primal eating but recently, listening to Nom Nom Paleo’s podcast, I’ve been inspired all over again. I really enjoy listening to Michelle and her lovely family share their favorite recipes and tips about a real food lifestyle.

From one of their episodes, they recommend this prosciutto from La Quercia – good quality and tasty! Turns out, I can pick it up from a nearby QFC or even Beecher’s right by the market.

Last Christmas, I got my very own ukulele (thanks to S, S & A). I haven’t had a chance to do anything but there is a ukulele workshop this Sunday at the Redmond library that I might check out.

Another podcast that I have started listening to – The Beginning of The End. I enjoyed the first episode, it made me think about endings and how endings really could be the beginning of something else. The 2nd episode is out today.

It’s been a while since we took a vacation and I’ve been living vicariously through my Instagram feed. My friends have been exploring some really beautiful spots and now I have a new vacation destination on the list – Antibes. So many places to visit, so little time!

We recently bought a grill basket for grilling up veggies like mushrooms, green beans and brussels sprouts. We don’t have to worry about veggies falling through the grates anymore. Think it would be great for shrimp too!

Pie

I love pie. Remember that sweet potato pie declaration that I made in my last post? Well, I haven’t had the chance to make that pie yet. I did, however, make a lemon custard pie. The recipe I used is from America’s Test Kitchen book, Baking Illustrated. One of my favorites, none of the recipes I have tried from it have ever failed me.

We celebrated my brother’s and dad’s birthday early today. So, we also had a scrummy chocolate cake from Whole Foods. They make really good tasty cakes there. My favorite is their Chantilly cake. The vanilla girl in me cannot refuse that golden vanilla cake, mixed berries and Chantilly frosting. Yum…but this chocolate one is a close second!

I’m on the lookout for a good baby sling. I have read many good things about babywearing and even though we have a BabyBjorn, I want something easier to put on and that I can use around the house. I figured that he won’t be this size for long and I would love to hold him close as much as possible. Snuggly time with mummy means happy baby. And happy mummy too, of course! I’ve read great things about the Balboa Sling.

Look what I made Sagan – a mobile with an old embroidery hoop and some color dots sewn together. These are the colors of his nursery.

I recently updated to OS5 on my trusty iPhone 3GS. It seems to be working pretty well. I am sure there are some obvious lags but I guess I am used to it. I am thinking about getting the new 4S but I don’t really need Siri and I can always surf with my iPad.

Nursing a new baby also gives me a lot of time to check out YouTube videos. I have been watching Nigel Slater‘s Simple Suppers as well as the Delicious Miss Dahl – Sophie Dahl. I find myself attracted by the kitchen set-ups and English accent of both the cooks.

Monday after

My summer string lights over the patio

How was your weekend? I had a good one. We had our hands full on Saturday with Scarlett’s very first garage sale, we had quite a few customers and enjoyed hanging out in the sun. I have a farmer’s tan but the new color on my skin is healthy. I know it will return to its pale glory in a few months. Sunday was a minimal chore day, we only took the cars out for a bath and vacuum. We don’t do that very often but it really does feel good to have a clean vehicle.

July is coming to an end and soon it will be birthday month. I love August. When I was younger and growing up in Singapore, it meant that we could look forward to a day off from school – National Day, and in that same week, 3 of us cousins will celebrate our birthdays together (we were born in the same week of the same year). Now, August means the height of summer – grilling out, popsicles, a bountiful garden, orange sunsets and balmy evenings. Can you tell that I am so looking forward to August?

Today’s bits:

I have been wanting mojitos this summer – I think these Danish Modern muddlers will look stylin’ and work well. Of course in a pinch, we can always use one of these wooden rolling pins.

My other half will cringe at this but don’t you think this Hello Kitty wallet is absolutely adorable?

I haven’t had the chance to visit the Georgetown Farmers/Flea market that is held every Saturday. Maybe this week.

The noise of the fan blades from our columnar fan sent me on a quest for a less noisy fan. May I present the Dyson Air Multiplier. It looks sleek and are blade-less so they won’t be a cleaning nightmare. I am not sure about how much I am willing to fork out to be without the extra noise and to have better air flow. But I would be interested in checking these out at a store.

I am always on the lookout for letterpress prints – this Urban Gardening one by Starshaped Press is delightful. Very summer-y colors and a great use of type.

Simply summer

I have been enjoying these long days of late. I try not to fill my days with too many things but somehow it all goes so fast. I spend most of the day reading, checking blogs, keeping up with emails and thinking about new recipes but cooking familiar ones that I have neglected.

Around Scarlett, there has been a lot of cleaning and organizing going on. I think you have heard me mention this a couple of posts before. It has been a slow but really rewarding process. My new workspace is almost done. I just need a rug to tie the whole space together. I have also been living vicariously through the custom building process of my folks’ house. I am learning quite a bit in the process and look forward to seeing the house come together. So excited for my folks.

I made spaghetti tonight. Ripe tomatoes are just the epitome of summer. Marcella Hazan’s sauce is so easy and so delicious. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for?

Today’s bits:

We painted our bathroom a while ago with a dark blue-grey and added a lot of industrial accents. I think these vintage-style pool locker baskets will make a really good accessory. You can find vintage ones on Etsy too.

Summers remind me of deviled eggs but these olive eggs look really tempting.

In Asia, it’s common to find a spray hose right by the side of the toilet bowl. It’s a hand-held bidet. While I was home this time, I got used to using one after going to the potty. I could get one of these diaper sprayers or I could make my own like in this video.

This weekend, we’re having a garage sale but what I’m really looking forward to are BBQ chicken wings. I plan to marinate my chicken wings with coke, honey and soy sauce. Then we throw them on the grill. Perfect for this weather. Scrummy.

Oh and the tacos in the picture are my favorite quick meal – tacos al pastor (spicy pork), tacos de lengua (tongue) and tacos de tripa (crispy spicy bits of fried tripe). So damn good.

Good Morning

Good Morning

It’s another June Seattle day when the sun is playing hide and seek with us once more. I would like the sun to join us until about October, is that too much to ask? I am sure that I’m not the only Seattleite feeling this way. Still, we love our Emerald city because without all this rain, how can we be touted as emerald?

Yesterday, I went to the local garden store to get some annuals, herbs and a couple of veggie starts. I am not sure how they will do if the weather continues to behave this way. But a gardener is always hopeful that Mother Nature would be kind. As I am writing this, the rain has tapered off and the sky seems a little brighter.

Today’s bits:

I found some portulaca or Moss Rose and will be planting them in the front borders since the sun beats down quite hard there when it actually does.

I have a weakness for anything related to, named after and resembling Spain – this Sevilla Chair looks awfully comfortable to me. If only I had a porch…

This bamboo iPhone cover with a laser engraving of Leandro Castelao’s art is quite lovely.

Nigel Slater talks about growing his own vegetables in these videos. (Thanks, curiousmint, for telling me about his new book, Tender.)

Scintillate

Scarlett sparkles in the sun

She sparkles, this house of mine, especially in the sunshine.

Since I returned after spring, I have been missing out on some gardening time. The rainy cooler climes we have been experiencing however, does not make me feel so delayed. I was able to get out this past Saturday to weed my entire yard as well as the planting bed. This afternoon, I spent a little more time planting some seeds. I skipped the spring crops and went right into the summer crops – some zucchini, squash, basil, dill, cucumber and greens. I might get one or two tomato starts from the store and see how they fare this summer. Last year was a spectacular year for tomatoes here in the PNW.

I am also finding myself back to blogging since I have some time on my hands. I thought I would share any new things I encounter each day and perhaps some other “little bunnies” that I have chosen to follow down the hole. [wink]

Since my attention has now shifted outside with the longer days (notice I am not saying warmer days), I am coveting some of the pretties at this adorable home/garden/gift store: terrain

Spending time in a certain part of the world has got me thinking about learning to ride a scooter. Aren’t these the cutest helmets?

And probably not that new, but here’s a Tastespotting-esque site for typo-fanatics – we love typography

Beautiful Thoughtful Gift

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Thank you A & S, this was just the perfect ending to a slightly crappy day. It made me smile endlessly. It moves me when my loved ones see me and know exactly what I love.

I cannot wait to use this adorable set of measuring cups. I am afraid it might be relegated to be displayed because they are so cute.

Thanks a million!

Blackbird, Fly

I saw these at Urban Outfitters a few months ago and thought it would cool to own a reasonably priced twin lens reflex camera. Even better, it uses 35mm film instead of the usual 120mm for TLRs. That means easy developing of film.

Also, you can shoot in 3 formats – normal 35mm, square 24mm and large square 36mm.

blackbird fly camera

More information here.

No excuse

This week started out slow, mostly with me watching my seedlings grow and dreaming up a new garden layout. I will share that later when I scan my sketch.

Then Tuesday came and a huge box arrived at our doorstep. We ate dinner in a hurry and decided to form a band – lead guitar, drums and bass. My friend K is here visiting and she is an excellent drummer. We’ve been rockin’ out since that night. We weren’t so good that we could quit our day jobs but we have been practicing.¬†We are a little tired when we get to work. But that’s ok, the music runs through our veins and dreams die hard.

Tonight, we play at some tavern in a city near you.

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Stef-Powered

mower I finally made the switch away from a gas mower. I feel better that we didn’t own the gas mower – our neighbor next door had one from her previous home and generaously shared it with us since we both have small lawns. Mike will tell you how much I hated the idea of having to mow the lawn because he was going to be gone. But it didn’t take me long to learn. Still, the gas mower was heavy, full of fumes and made enough noise to prompt this switch.

Today, I am the proud owner of a quieter and lighter push reel mower – Brill Razorcut 38 Push Reel Mower. I had a tough time deciding on manual or electric (gas was definitely out) but I’m not one who likes being tethered.

I will try it out this weekend and I’m proud to be doing my bit for the environment, however small.

By the way, only 23 more days!