Sunday, July 6, 2014

june adventures.

juicy pork dumplings.
(Juicy pork dumplings, aka: dumplings filled with the brothy nectar of the gods.)
May & June were exceptionally busy months! Apologies for my internet absence. My computer situation is squared away at last. It feels so good to have a working desktop and Photoshop back at my fingertips!

June saw me flying alone as an adult for the first time EVER to visit my boyfriend who is conveniently located at the opposite end of the country. Philadelphia to Seattle! 2,821mi commute, no big deal, right? I was utterly racked with anxiety, nerves, and an unrelenting fear that an otherwise reliable modern technology would fail and I'd drop out of the sky in a giant airborne tin can. My flight out was apparently an unusually bad one according to the seasoned travelers seated around me. The takeoff was jarring and the severe turbulence while dodging storms brought me close to being ill. I made it to Seattle in one piece, though!

rattlesnake ledge.
(I didn't believe him when he told me that was what we were hiking up to. I was absolutely wrong.)
The coolest thing about Seattle and the surrounding areas are the forests and MOUNTAINS. I could NOT get over Mt. Rainier in the distance. We have some Appalachian mountains a decent drive out from the Philadelphia area, but they absolutely pale in comparison to the Cascade Range. The weather during my visit was utterly beautiful (sunny and in the 70s, what more could I ask for?) and the first time I caught a glimpse of Mt. Rainier I was in a state of complete awe. It was the first time I had ever seen a snow-capped mountain. One of the things we did during my visit was drive into the mountains a bit and hike up Rattlesnake Ledge -- planting me in the middle of the gorgeous mountainous area just outside the city.

The hike was a motherfucker. I can't think of a more pleasant way to phrase it. It kicked my butt. I was wheezing, sweating, huffing and puffing the entire way up. I was told I sounded like I was in pain. I was. Sometimes it felt like I was just going to collapse and topple off of a ledge. When Dan mentioned we had hit the halfway point all I could think was, "I might actually die today, but at least I tried."

After a while and a few encouraging comments from people making the descent from the top ... we made it!!!

view from the top.
(Not our dog, just another hiker's cute companion enjoying the view with us!)
People had their kids up there, dogs, and so on. The clouds cleared enough for me to see far into the distance. It really was one of those gorgeous vistas that makes you appreciate being alive and well enough to see it all in person. The perilous hike up was absolutely worth the end result.

The descent also sucked, but not nearly as much. By that point the blisters I acquired on the way up had burst and were now just actively bleeding into my shoes. My socks were damp with blood and at some point the pain became so constant that I was able to ignore it. Glamorous, right? Still worth it!

(Cardamom rose cocktail & beef tenderloin w/egg yolk ravioli. Pinch me, I'm dreaming!)
The rest of my visit was far more leisurely. I was taken on a bit of a culinary tour and got to eat at some amazing restaurants. I've never had so much decadent food in my entire life! I think I flew back to Philadelphia a few pounds heavier. I was shown about Seattle proper but absolutely refused to go in the Space Needle because of my fear of heights. I did get to see Pike Place Market, though! We saw the fantasy, science fiction, and horror exhibits at the EMP Museum and went to the Spies exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. The week flew by, and before I knew it I was on a red-eye flight back to the East Coast. I can't wait for my next trip out!

Hope all has been well with you, dear readers! ❤

Sunday, June 1, 2014

a brief pause.

I'm sure you've noticed things have been quiet over here! Last month my computer died and took everything with it ... photos, videos, music, etc. I lost ALL of my data aside from a few important things I had the forethought to back up. I have tea photos on my camera memory card, tasting notes jotted down, and lots of things to share! At the moment, though, I am a bit technologically limited. I have a borrowed laptop I'm using until I can get a new PC, but I don't think Photoshop and Bridge will play nice with it (heck, they didn't even play nice with my old computer sometimes!)

I hope to be back in the swing of things soon!! :) I'm still posting photos on instagram and doing my best with my little iPhone camera in the meantime. Hope all is well with you, readers!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

boxes, boxes, boxes.


Dealing with tons of stress lately ... the other day I was packing and getting ready for my dad & friend to come over to help me move large furniture. I took trash downstairs and a girl was looking for me frantically -- she nailed my parked car while pulling in to the parking lot. At first the damage didn't look too severe. Then I looked at the hit in different lighting. HOLY DENT, BATMAN! I did my best to remain calm and pleasant because she was visibly upset. Meanwhile, I just recall saying, "Why me?" in my head over and over in that moment. Very glad I got her insurance information. Then, while packing, I managed to lose my grip on my camera and dropped it so hard that the lens shattered into a bunch of very irreparable pieces. The camera body was fine, but ... sigh. RIP little Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens. Your bokeh was always beautiful. :'(

When it rains, it pours, right?

In the meantime, I bought a beautiful Lomonosov teacup as a sort of "welcome home" present to myself. I had always loved their cobalt & gold teacups, and finally found a teacup in the "Tenderness" style on Etsy for an affordable price. After moving a few more things in today I treated myself to some of Verdant Tea's Mi Lan Xiang Phoenix Mountain Dancong in my lovely new cup! Chai and I need to relax & have tea time in the sun after all this chaos!

 tea time.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

new glasses!


When you're living out of boxes life can start to feel very unglamorous and dreary. Plus, after breakups you generally have to fight an urge to cut your hair, or change something drastic about your appearance to improve your mood.  I love my long hair and didn't want to chop anything off, but I felt that urge and opted to find a new pair of frames to liven up my face instead!

These frames are Ray-Ban RX5226 and I love them! They are perfectly cat eyed and work really well with a bright red pout to match the contrast of the black acetate. My mom even chipped in to get me really nice super thin coated glass lenses as my plastic ones were not as glare resistant as I liked. ❤

I'm wearing Bite Beauty Cashmere Lip Cream in "Port". It is one of my favorite beauty products. It is a super thick highly pigmented lip cream with a semi matte finish that stays all day. A little goes a long way and the color is just incredible. I have a hard time with a lot of red lipsticks because of bleeding color, dryness, and having it wear off on my teeth. The cashmere lip cream stays put and hardly fades. I don't like spending a lot of money on cosmetics, but this one is just too good not to own!

Also, Game of Thrones is back tomorrow! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!