Month: January 2015

Gearing Up for Valentine’s, and Last Year’s White Chocolate Risotto

These days, social media has grown keen on telling us one thing: what time of the year it is, and when we should be on to planning what to do for the next holiday — in this case, it’s almost the end of January and it’s reminding us that Valentine’s Day is coming. Being a marketer myself, I understand big data and big business, and Valentine’s Day presents one of the biggest opportunities for targeting and retargeting if you do it just right. As an end user, I am glad I do not have to go through the stressful ritual. My boyfriend and I during our first Valentine’s went to one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, but it didn’t go very well. Take me, a chronic migraine sufferer, out during a night when most everyone dons their fanciest perfumes for their dates, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. So we decided on a much mellower approach in the years to follow, which worked out perfectly for us. Last …

Wednesday Sightings: The Bodrum Castle Peacock

I realize it has been a little hectic and as a result I have not been blogging a lot lately, and certainly have not been keeping my self-imposed site schedule. To keep a semblance of it, I bring back Wednesday Sightings with the Bodrum Castle peacock — or at least one of the ones we ran across during our time in the Turkish region. We did not expect to see beautiful peacocks at the site so it was a nice, colorful surprise. They are free to roam the grounds so all visitors have fun admiring their beauty, photographing and interacting with them. This instance reminded us yet again to always be open to little surprises at every turn in all of our travels.

On Serenity

In the middle of crowds and chaos, I am learning to tune out noise and aspire for calm. There, in the in between, in the just-arrived and not-there-yet; the I can come in and choose to stay an observer; twinkling lights, fun and merry-go-rounds against a soft picturesque as-if-it-was-painted backdrop; the middle of the day and night, the light still but not quite dark — is serenity. Picture taken of Warwick’s 4th of July Carnival, 2014, Warwick, NY using my iPhone Weekly Photo Challenge: Serenity

Mapping Bourdain

As travel shows go, the many incarnations of Anthony Bourdain’s philosophical and very real take on food, yes, but more than that, culture, is definitely a must. Though Brasserie Le Halles, the now New York staple he used to helm (where my boyfriend was very sweet to have taken me), did not live up to expectations as far as steakhouses, we religiously watch old episodes of No Reservations shot in places we’re going so we can choose a few spots for our own map of places to check off our bucket list du jour. Turkey: Uphill and Soggy Buns Turkey, for example, was especially interesting. We decided our first night in Istanbul that we were going to walk to Durumzade, a small spot where Tony swears the Adana kebab was the best. It was quite an adventure as we did not know that we had to walk uphill to the restaurant. We walked until we finally gave up and hailed a cab a block from the place and got to our goal: Anthony Bourdain’s recommended kebab. …

When Life Hands You Polar Vortex

Our old friend winter is back, and it looks like we are getting the same sub-zero temperatures we experienced last year. Having originally come from a tropical country, I love winter. The first fall of a snow flake, everything covered in white — just beautiful. It is brutally cold, but it is an opportunity to find ways to keep warm. Hug and snuggle with a loved one. Gather friends and play in the snow. Put on lots of layers and take your dog out for a walk in a park you haven’t explored before, winter views are breathtaking. Make hot chocolate and write that book you have been meaning to write, or maybe read one from the best seller list, take that much needed time for yourself. Revel in the beauty of the winter, and in the promise of spring. Photos taken when my friends and I went snow tubing in Mountain Creek, NJ

Looking Ahead to 2015

When I was a little girl, I used to get a lot of skinned knees from falling. I was not the most coordinated kid in the playground. Having grown up an only child, and my cousin not being born for another six years, I would play a lot of my own games with my aunts and uncles or on my own. Sometimes, in the company of neighbors a little older than me. I had a sheltered childhood where skinned knees, scratches and bruises were a norm for a child when she tries to run, or climb, because a child would not know her limitations, but then everyone comes to her aid right away. A bandaid, candy and a hug and everything’s fixed. During my 18th birthday, (in the Philippines, a girl’s 18th birthday is the equivalent of the United State’s sweet 16th) my mom, in her speech, told my guests that when I was a child, I used to fall a lot. She said, now I am all grown up. It was an anecdote that …