Hi there. Remember me? I know, it’s been awhile.
The last few months have been a whirlwind. There have been some lame things and some really wonderful things and a huge range of new experiences. And in the midst of all of that, I haven’t been in quite the right frame of mind to work on this blog.
But, I’m back and I have so much to show you.
At the beginning of winter, I was laid off from my job of the last 5 years. It was a very strange experience. A good friend of mine who was also let go and I decided it was like being dumped. It was sad, but mostly weird that I was no longer expected to go to work and take care of the same people that I had for so long.
On the plus side, I’ve been able to take some time for myself and do some wonderful things. I spend a lot of time at my kitchen table drinking tea. As it gets sunnier, I spend more time painting in my yard. I have visited my family for weeks at a time and was able to help with my brother’s wedding. And probably most excitingly, I had the amazing opportunity to travel abroad for nearly a month.
Ah, the Philippines.
What an amazing experience. I went to the Philippines with a group of wonderful friends and my darling man for three weeks. We went to many different islands and saw a wide spectrum of life in that beautiful place.
It was the trip of a lifetime and I never would have been able to go for such a long time if I had still had my job, so here’s to small miracles. This picture above is the view from my hotel window on the first island.
The food was wonderful. Simple and delicious seasoning on amazingly fresh foods. This is a picture of one of the local markets. I tried new fruits and vegetables like calamansi fruit, which are like tiny key limes with a faint taste of cucumber, and kangkong, which is a spinach like vegetable. I could have eaten a mountain of pancit bihon and they made some of the best fried chicken in the world.
The fish markets blew my mind. So much seafood! All sitting in the open air! Buckets and trays of anything you could imagine. Vendors would hold up live, flopping fish and push them towards your face asking if “You want live fish?”. It was wonderful. For Christmas dinner, we went to the fish markets and bought fresh crabs and lobsters to cook. It was a feast of fresh caught deliciousness.
I even got to eat lechon for New Year’s. It is a whole roasted pig. Anthony Bourdain says it is the best pork in the world. Being from the South, I don’t know about all that, but it was an amazing thing.
And even got in and dug around for awhile.
Even after returning to the states, I had a hard time returning here to my blog. It isn’t that I haven’t been cooking and crafting and such, but I have been unable to write. Unable to put my feelings and thoughts down into words. But, I feel like in the last few weeks or so, I’ve finally started to find myself again. (And I was waiting on this fun redesign of my blog to finish.) Luckily, while I was out, I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the amazing Jessica Yager, a local photographer. Be sure to check out her website. She takes the most beautiful photographs. She and I have worked on three food photo shoots and you will be able to reap those benefits in the next few weeks.
I plan on posting twice a week for the next month (Mondays and Thursdays), so be sure to check in! I have so much to show you.
And in the meantime, when the lingering winter is getting you down, just imagine a sunny beach somewhere. Dig your toes in the sand and enjoy. I know that is what I’ll be thinking about as I sit here and sip my tea in my sweater. Spring is fast approaching here in Seattle, but there are still too many sweater days for my liking. The sun is here for a day and then it hails. But fingers crossed, soon, we’ll all be running around in sundresses and shorts again.
Oh! And notice how there are now buttons to “Share” on Facebook and “Pin” on Pinterest? Show your friends and check back often.