Cabbage

I am a Dreamer.

If you asked, I’d say yes, I am a dreamer.

I am one of those that can get lost within my own head for hours. I dream of worlds different than this; of realities that don’t exist.

My imagination fueled my childhood and that of many cousins, as we gallivanted through our grandparents property… pretending to be the “Raiders”, or saviors of souls in need. Off we were to free towns from peril, swinging our sticks in an epic battle with imaginary forces.

My day dreams have filled many an international plane ride’s seemingly endless flight.

Day dreams are fewer and far between these days, though they  have not disappeared.

In fact this year I turned four of those dreams into goals.  Yes I became that person that actually writes down her personal goals. I’ve never done this before, outside of a corporate setting. I’m working on two of them. Progress, right?!

While I will selfishly keep them to myself for now, just working towards them helps relieve the feeling as if I’m a gated puppy, chained to my cube, which the corporate world often imparts upon me. It’s a feeling of being stifled, of turning off portions of your brain, creativity or as I’ve been calling them; dreams.

In the meantime new restaurants call my name. But  of course! What is this blog without food? I recently checked out Upton 43 and it lived up to the hype.

Upton 43 Rose

I mean Rose all day right? This glass was the perfect balance of sweet and dry. I like it right in the middle.

Cabbage

Get the charred cabbage… this dish had me at marrow butter. At home, I would have put my entire face into the plate. The boyfriend can attest… this has happened.

IMG_6495

The peas, grains and fermented strawberry dish was just as summer should be. All in a plate about to be inhaled.

Chicken and Cauliflower

My pressed chicken, cauliflower, ham hollandaise and truffle was absolute comfort. This is my new go to comfort food.

If you asked, I’d tell you to order all three dishes and more 🙂

I’ll be over here working on my dreams and gallivanting around the Twin Cities’ restaurant scene. Don’t worry, you won’t catch me with any sticks hoping to ward off imaginary enemies. I’ve traded sticks for Rose.

Have you been to Upton 43?

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Overheard…….

My days walking to work are over. (for now)

The crisp fall air in the morning has me seeking cover in my friendly city bus.

I now take the bus to work. Let me tell you, the first couple of times had me all up in arms. Who knew you actually had to pull the cord  hard enough, it has to make a sound…. Stop requested.

Ten blocks past my stop later, in the rain, I learned my lesson.

I’ve learned my afternoon bus is always late. By five or six minutes.

One time it never even showed up?

However, the stumbling blocks are over and I’m having a love affair with the bus.

Where else can I eavesdrop on my fellow commuter’s supper? Multiple days in a row I was privy to whether or not this guy is going to eat the squirrel in his freezer…. it has become a heated debate between himself and two female fellow riders….

I’ve yet to learn how the squirrel became a resident in his freezer ….. eagerly hoping this detail comes to light on the next ride.

I’m ready for any and all future overheard sessions… Bring on the morning, or afternoon, comedy.

All jokes aside, know where you should be taking the bus to? Kyatchi.  For Ramen Mondays. (no squirrel included)

$13 for ramen and a beer, I’m there!

FullSizeRender (142)

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Have you been?

If not, lets go! I’ll take the bus 😉

In a Blink

Blink and everything is different.

Things you’ve imagined, applied for, worked to achieve. A long drawn out path it seems…. and then you blink.

That which you dreamed, sweated over and stressed…. happened.

Do you ever feel that way? Something that seemed so far off, whatever it may have been… and all of a sudden it is here.

You’ve gone from shaking your fists at neurotic drivers, to walking 20 minutes to work every day.

It amazed me today, walking home, watching the river…. how fast things change.

And some changes call for celebratory dinners.

You could not find a better place than Borough to celebrate anything! It was the best meal I have had in a long time. I’ve heard rave reviews, but had yet to go.

I am ready to go back.

The potato leek soup was perfect and from now on I will need to top dishes with quail eggs…. (have I mentioned I normally hate eggs?)

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The Sweetbreads. My first time actually.

FullSizeRender (105)

AND that octopus was perfect. After so many disappointing octopus dishes lately, this one was a welcome treat.

FullSizeRender (108)

The duck with the Taleggio grits.

FullSizeRender (107)

Amazing. I further cleaned this plate.

FullSizeRender (106)

The dessert was beautiful. I’m not a sweets person…. but when celebrating… 🙂

How do you celebrate change?

Unplugged

Could you do it? Could you go unplugged for a day?

Unplugged, as in only using your phone for calls and texts. You could take pictures, but not upload them; to ANYTHING. No social media, no games. Unplug, to purely the “dumb” functions of your phone.

I found myself wondering this same question a few weeks ago. I feel the need to on the regular, tweet my random thoughts, visually get lost in Instagram and constantly scroll Facebook for updates.

My hand almost itches to grab my phone every five minutes. That cannot be normal.

So when Alyssa reached out about the Unplugged campaign, on behalf of Creative Expressions, I said yes! (Creative Expressions is a women owned Utah business, specializing in promotional products. Check them out here.)

The challenge: to unplug for one day. To live one day without accessing social media, email, games, etc. To experience that one day with family/friends and not be distracted by my phone.

I have friends who live one day a week with “no internet day.” I’ve wondered for quite some time if I could do it… and here was my chance 🙂

Heres how I spent my day, resisting the urge to grab my phone every 5 minutes. First Stop, IKEA! The roomie and I have been meaning to go for quite some time, say like since September?!

Shameless Selfie in my Unplugged T: my skeptical, will I make it face?

(Forgive me for the selfies, if you are familiar with these parts, I never take them. So I had to include a classic bathroom selfie :))

FullSizeRender (55)

And another one: this is my, get me out of IKEA face, with my sanity still in tact. Seriously, who goes to IKEA on a Saturday morning?! Bad decision. The line for daycare was out the door.

FullSizeRender (56)

I finally found new throw pillows….  Yes mom I gave in to my pillow problem again 🙂 Confused? See here.

FullSizeRender (57)

Next stop, the Weisman Art Museum at the U of M, with Jen. It was here I struggled the most with the challenge.  I arrived early and could not play around with my phone. I could not scroll through Insta, I could not upload the gorgeous pictures of the view behind me…

FullSizeRender (63)

And I most certianly could not tweet about the woman walking around in numerous, almost uncountable furry items. I mean, I know it was cold, but she was almost unrecognizable as a human. Yogi the bear would have been a better descriptor.

My fingers were just itching to tweet something sarcastic.  Instead I enjoyed the comedy in that moment and had a good laugh to myself 🙂 People were probably wondering who the strange lady was, laughing to herself in the museum….

FullSizeRender (60)

 

FullSizeRender (61)

I would like this lady in my apartment please 🙂

IMG_1392

(Photo cred Jen)

FullSizeRender (59)

How gorgeous is Minneapolis?! As I couldn’t upload these to anything, I spent more time standing and taking in the view, focusing on what was right in front of me, instead of finding the perfect filter….

FullSizeRender (62)

Overall I think the challenge was more difficult for me than expected. My phone/social media habits are quite apparent now, it was a very eye opening challenge 🙂

 Tell me in the comments how you would spend your day Unplugged and a randomly selected comment will win your own Unplugged T 🙂

Best Laid Plans

Sometimes the best laid ideas get sidetracked.

Inspiration that doesn’t come to fruition.

A blizzard of a storm and too much else going on.

(Side note: have I mentioned my ultimate dream is to live on a beach from December-March? Which could be why I purchased half the warm and fuzzy department of Target today….)

IMG_0978

Sometimes, an idea just needs to fester, grow and to develop into something more.

While that best laid plan gets put on hold, what could be better than popping into a new to me place?

FullSizeRender (9)

The Copper Hen.

FullSizeRender (8)

FullSizeRender (7)

What do you do when plans change? How do you foster inspiration?

The No Restaurant Challenge

Have I mentioned that I do not like losing?

That I have a competitive side?

If you challenge me, it is difficult for me not to accept.  Cliffdog knows this. Which is why I think she presented the challenge. Cliffdog challenged me to a entire month of not eating out at restaurants. She was willing to give me four “cheat” days within that month, and a carve out for alcohol.

The purpose: Shed more light on my monthly food costs.

A month of no restaurants?!

I would fail. I literally could not do it. I will not take on a challenge I know I will lose.

But I will agree to two weeks. Two weeks of no restaurants. This is still a challenge for me, as I eat lunch out at least twice a week, and multiple dinners out.

And again, Cliffdog graciously is giving me carve outs. 1) I am allowed to eat out with my aunt who will be in town 2) If it happens to be a date

The challenge starts today. Heres to the menu planning!  Wish me luck 🙂

Have you ever given up restaurants for a period of time?

FullSizeRender

 

Its a Small World After All

And now the Disney theme song is stuck in my head. I was actually afraid of that ride as a kid.

Those moving doll things and the boat ride, the dark lighting….. Something about it was OOO so uncomfortable for me. I’m quite sure even as an adult that ride may creep me out.

However, much of that saying, “Its a small world after all” is so so true for me. Having had the most amazing childhood, in multiple countries and states, I run into people from my past lives in the strangest places, and often times in places so close to my current home.

Last week I had the chance to have dinner with three other wonderful local bloggers. Turns out, one of them, Deepta, and I share a very similar moving background. She and I even lived in Singapore at the exact same time! My heart aches for Singapore in the best way possible, for some of my first and or deepest memories are there. If I find a fellow former Singapore expat, there is sure to be a common bond 🙂

Allison, Jen, Deepta and I met at Cafe Ena. Sister restaurant to Rincon 38 and La Fresca. (See my visit to Rincon 38 here) I had the Lechon, the prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin, with a trio pepper risotto, black garlic sauce, and a roasted artichoke-pepper relish.

O. My. Delicious. This was hands down the best pork tenderloin I have had in a long long time. It was melt in your mouth, cooked to perfection. And that black garlic sauce! If I could just have a bowl of that and call it a soup!

Now my pictures did not really show up… but that just means you should go and try Cafe Ena for yourself!

photo (323)

You could not pick a better place to meet, eat, connect and discover how small of a world it really is sometimes.

Would you eat a sauce as a soup? No, just me? 🙂

 

Home is Where the Heart is

I type this, sitting on the floor, drinking wine from a beer mug. My lamps are gone, the couch cushions cleaned and leaning against the wall, and Pho delivery by my side.

Moving day is upon us!

I think I never really knew until now, how powerful the sense of home is. Perhaps this stems from having grown up in hotels for months at a time, or in 12 or more “homes”. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with my multiple moves and I happen to love hotels. I just never really had that connection.

Until now.

A week of moving loads of stuff from the old to the new place, and it hits me. The sense of home is overwhelming. It is a sense of calm, of safety, of belonging.

This, compared to the insecure, hard to sleep, lack of compassion I have for my current apartment.

Even the dog can feel the difference. The door opens to the new place and in she bounds, prancing like the happy dog she is, exploring each room with her crooked smile. Even she has a new sense of calm compared to the old place.

To be true, the new place is not so new. It is the same unit I lived in three years ago. I feel I may have left my heart here, though I left for good reasons.

 I now want to put my stamp on this place, from the floors to the furniture I’ve rescued from an unknown dumpster fate. Home is where the heart is, and I plan to reclaim home here.

Where is home to you?

photo (9)

Moving Minneapolis

Its that time again for me… a time full of boxes, bubble wrap and one confused puppy.

We are not moving far, but into a place that does not come with its own peeping Tom…. long story. To a place where warm water is the norm and landlords are responsive. The last few days in this place cannot come soon enough.

 As excited as I am to move, moving also makes me reflective. O the many bottles of wine we’ve had, the serious discussions, the tears, the meals I’ve made, the puppy romance Olive had with little Napoleon across the hall, the many walks exploring the neighborhood.

This apartment was a step back. I went from a beautiful building, full of every upgrade, to not even a functioning communal washing machine. Sometimes steps back are needed. It reminds you to appreciate. To be thankful. I learned I am definitely not as grateful as I should be. I did my fair share of complaining when I should have been thankful.

My hope for this move is just that. Appreciate. Be thankful.

And once those boxes are all moved and unpacked, I plan to celebrate with this:

photo (315)

This pasta from Tilia…. heaven in my mouth.

Have you moved recently?

An Egg = Change

Change.

For some its a difficult word. A difficult process.

Admittedly, I thought I was immune to change. Immune or unaffected. Or perhaps I thought I was “good” at change.

When you move ten times before high school, through five different countries and five different states, change would be your norm. You just assume change comes naturally. What else do you know? You’re a third culture kid, floating in and out of one world to the next. One culture to the next, one friend group to the next, from house to condo, suburb to island to the metropolis of Tokyo.

Change is your uncountable blessing. It propels you forward with hastening speed. Perhaps there wasn’t even time to question whether or not I was comfortable with change.

Now, with change all around me, am I as “good” with it as I once was?

I have yet to answer.

However there are a few changes I am definitely good with!

Like this barn table friend gifted me. (Mom did a great job staining) But who knew my uber modern style would evolve? I swore it wouldn’t 🙂

photo (308)

And all of a sudden I make eggs? Like frittatas and actually eat them? For so long I had quite the aversion to any egg that wasn’t deviled or poached.Similar Recipe here.

photo (307)

Are you “good” with change?