First Day In Bali, Part 1: Cooking Class

Day 1: Traditional Balinese Cooking Class

What I wore:

1. MATTER – Side Swept Dhoti in Chili 2. MUJI – Non wired Bra 3. MUJI – Linen button down 4. TOPSHOP – ‘Happy’ Two Part Slides 5. NINE WEST – Sunglasses (TJX) 6. MUJI – pants 7. LANZOM – Hat (amazon) 8. THE CLASSIC BRAND – Crop top (amazon)

After breakfast at the Villa Moon Compound, Rebecca and I headed to the gates to meet our driver. Pick up for the Traditional Balinese Cooking Class was included when staying within Ubud. We had one stop for 3 other German guests before going straight to the local food markets.

Vibrantly colored chilis in palm leaf baskets at market in Ubud, Bali Indonesia
Baskets of Chilis for sale in market

Upon arriving at the local outdoor food market, we were greeted with a strong scent of durian and laklak, tinted green from pandan leaf. Rebecca had planned out a list of ‘Must Try’ tropical fruits we were on the hunt for.

Everything was colourful and vibrant and we had our local guide from  the cooking class to guide us and negotiate prices on a few fruits we purchased.

Continue reading “First Day In Bali, Part 1: Cooking Class”

Nice Boston Walks for Dogs & Shopping

A bit late to post of my meanderings through Boston in the spring, and it’s amazing how the seasons have turned so quickly. Once the sweet, rushes of rain on daffodils that line the community gardens, dropped the magnolia petals onto the brick walkways of the Southwest Corridor Park, which runs over the orange line from Back Bay Station up to Massachusetts Avenue (and beyond).

Magnolia Blossoms and Azalea

It’s always a nice walk for those with dogs (as there is the Carleton Court Dog Park at it’s ‘center’) and those who enjoy gardens (there are small pocket gardens filled with flowers and edibles the length of this path). It’s also reasonably nice for runners and cyclists, although I’ve not tried either of these activities there as it’s a nice enough walk on it’s own.

Also, the  convenience of being situated across from a few exits/entrances for train lines, bus etc.  and positioned near the Prudential Center shops for ample food and shopping before, or after a leisurely stroll (heat in the winter and cool AC in the summer people!).


Ghosts & The Work Trip to Reading, UK

I recently returned to Dublin from a trip to the UK office for some training/1-1 time with a fellow coworker.

Reading may not be the glamour spot of ubiquitous English fantasy culture (I was leered at and followed my first and second nights and decided to not leave the hotel after dark unless accompanied by a ‘chaperone’), I did enjoy my stay. Enough at least to overlook the less attractive elements of any city going through a few growing pains while transitioning from one identity of smaller town, to the next.

My hotel, ‘The George‘, which was quite old, had winding corridors to, what seemed like, nowhere. The carpet was reminiscent of that in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘The Shinning’ and the last day I found the fan hidden behind the TV. It got hot and sticky after shutting the window for the night, and the UK humidity didn’t help with the feeling of suffocation.

I do love a good ghost story though, and I enjoyed speculating who that was that walked by at 3am and didn’t trigger the automatic lights. Another odd case was where I heard someone whispering (as if praying) and crying next door….the room was vacant.

The Bonus to Reading is their ample supply of amazing coffee and espresso drinks at Tamp Culture and Workhouse Coffee (among others)…although the difference between the terms ‘flat white’ and ‘latte’ still boggles my American brain.

Coffee And Cocoa

On Flying

….and why I like it

My usual routine at the airport: my glass of prosecco and a book

I’ve never minded the travel to getting from point a to b.

I may not be the fondest of airport security measures (removing my shoes, body scans, and touchdowns, or worse) I do find airports and the long flights are somewhat enjoyable.

That’s right, I actually have grown to have a certain affection for flying.

My regular trips to Ireland have familiarized me with survival tactics for 6 hr over night flights, anything less seems unreasonably short (like I’m not getting my moneys worth) to make the wait and inspections worth it.

Newsflash: I like to read. I also spend way too much time connected to the internet which prevents me from reading as much as I’d like.

The plane offers a respite from technology. And since I work in tech, it’s a luxury to take my eyes away from my screen.

Does anyone else have this appreciation for flying? And sort of resent the offer of onboard WiFi?

Sunny Day in Ireland

The sun came out yesterday. Despite the wind tossing gravel into my face, it was quite pleasant.

I took the long route through a park to get to the shops (to look at nothing in particular).

It never dulls seeing flowers in bloom this early in the year, where New England is still mostly buried in feet of snow.

Equally, thrilled at my discovery today, wild edibles!

Of course, I wouldn’t go picking anything from the park, but the comforting familiarity of these early spring gourmet ‘greens’ fills me with nostalgic longing for the woods of Vermont as a girl.

I’ll be in those woods again in the next month for certain to visit family, I feel somewhat guilty for wanting somewhere else when I’m traveling.

Soon I will he traveling to the UK to visit on if my company’s European offices. I look forward to exploring a new city.

Ring Shopping in Dublin

We finally settled on the engagement ring.

Comically, it was the first brand I saw and liked around the Christmas holiday.

Initially, I had seen a necklace, with two gold rings made to look like branches, interlocked. I asked the attendants at the jewelry shop in the Mall at Dundrum, but they hadn’t any rings in that style and they weren’t sure if such a thing existed, but they directed the fiancé and I to their larger shop in the the ‘city center’.

I’m not sure why they hadn’t also suggested that ‘Chupi‘ was a local brand with a fairly reasonable collection at the Powerscourt Townhouse.

A big selling point for me is knowing a company is smaller, more local and artisan. My inner hipster yearns for something unique, and my inner hippie cries out for a more ethical product.

In the end we chose a petite gold hawthorn branch ring with a little emerald stone.

It will take up to 3 weeks before I receive it however, since it needed to be sized to my child sized fingers.

Planning For Ireland: Stage 1

I’m heading back to Ireland in less than two weeks. 

I’d love to paint the romantic picture of a scenic countryside amidst thatched cottage communities full of old gentlemen with tweed caps and aran jumpers. But that’s not the Ireland I see and know.

While the postcards would have you imagine a picturesque fantasy, which might yet exist in areas I’ve not yet been, I’ll be steering you towards the familiar scene of Dublin City and suburb where I spend most of my time with my fiancé.

A different picture entirely.

Travel to and from is less glamorous for me when it’s not just to enjoy tourist gems. It’s my second home for the time being. And, although it’s still two weeks before I fly out, I like to start planning and packing for the trip at this stage, to avoid the last minute rush around of last minute ‘to dos’, instead, spending my night before leaving placing items neatly stacked on the side into my bag and cleaning up my apartment before abandoning it to the ‘watcher’ for 3 weeks.

This is also the time to pickup any necessary gifts or travel items.

I’ve a full weekend since my fiancé asked for new track suit bottoms from target, and my UK coworkers asked me to purchase a few cosmetics that are hard to find on their Island.

I Bought Sticks…

I bought sticks from whole foods market for 10$ the other day, the only batch without blossoms. Buds furled tightly still like little fists.

I’ve become one of ‘those’ girls.

“One of ‘those’ girls would have spent 1000 dollars and would have just bought sticks…not flowering sticks.” My friend Thom assured me.

I decided to agree for the sake of my own vanity.

….Besides; they’re now quite lovely.