Friday, June 1, 2012

half-awake hilarity

So this morning, the alarm goes off at some ungodly hour and I LEAP out of bed (kung-foo style, as PB describes it) and here's how it went:
Me:Why are we up so early, it's still dark outside?!
PB: I had to get up early.
Me: But why are we up so early?
PB: I have to grade papers and shit.
Me: But why are we (inner thought; I) up so early?
PB: I'm leaving.
PB: (as he walks down the stairs to his man-cave): You can go back to bed. You don't need to be awake right now...
Me: Yeah, except for I'm already F***ing awake right now!!

 I then proceed to read in bed and get snatches of sleep for the next two hours. 

As PB and I are discussing this tonight over drinks and dinner, I bring up the EXCELLENT conversation that we had last weekend when I went into our bedroom to grab some clothes while PB was still sleeping.(or so I thought)

PB (while still laying in bed, seemingly asleep, in a mumbly voice): Are those yoga pants?
Me: Uhh... yeah....
PB: Why are you wearing yoga pants?
Me: Cause I was doing yoga.
PB: Really? Cool.
Me: I do lots of things in yoga pants. I slept in yoga pants last night.
PB: Wow.
Me: Go back to bed PB.
PB: okay....

Yep, these are the kind of awesome things that happen when you live with someone. PB validates these moments by saying, "Please don't expect any coherent conversation out of me until at least an hour after I wake up." I ignore this and continue to have some hilarious mornings. However, the next time I get woken up at 4:00am so he can grade, someone is going to suffer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


So last night I am sitting on the couch, being a lazy bum, (like ya do) when I hear "LIZARD!" It's spring here in Beijing, and sometimes that means we get visitors. In this case, it was a "lizard". Now, let's define, lizard, shall we? When my ever so strong and brave PB yelled "LIZARD!", he was looking at something more akin to a tiny gecko. And I mean TINY. Smaller than my pinkie finger in length and not even as wide for the most part. While I was scooping up said tiny, (and in my opinion adorable) visitor,  I was reminding PB that it's just a baby and he doesn't need to panic, after all he is a bajillion times bigger than the tiny lizard- really, I did the math- his brave, strong response was "Whatever, I don't like lizards." as he walked in his man cave and shut the door. So yeah, in this household, I do things like trap lizards and repair things. He opens jars and reaches things on the high shelves. It's a system. It works for us. 

Tonight's hilarity happened during dinner. Essential Background Knowledge:When we moved in there was a bit of water on our dining room floor that had leaked from an old cooler that was later removed. Over time, this spot has become very soft and the wood has started to rock a bit in as you walk on it. So PB was bargaining for desert (he wants more than is a responsible adult amount and tries to ask for more every night) While he was holding a cookie in his hand, he was attempting to open a container of brownies and not paying attention to where he was stepping. He stepped right in the soft part of the floor. Immediately he threw his arms out for balance and said "Woah- falling through the floor- probably should just stick to one cookie!"
I proceeded to laugh until I couldn't breath while he fell into the basement through the hole he made in the floor. Not really, but damn that would been even better; maybe next time!

I will put up the photo a day for April stuff up later. Really. Soonish, honest.I've been putting them up on instagram- you can check it out. I'm freckledynamo on instagram too.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Short but Sweet...

Wicked busy prepping for conferences, so only a quick photo update with blurbs for today. Thanks for understanding!

Day 3: Mail

These are some letters from my kiddos that I teach. They love to write letters and deliver them around the school, I must admit, I love receiving them.

Day 4: Someone Who Makes me Happy

PB does well with my random requests, such as standing by the awesome sign in front of our grocery store. He's does fairly well with my oddball requests and bursts of energy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Freshness

Spring break weather was wonderful, and I enjoyed every last relaxing minute. Unfortunately, it's back to the grind and parent teacher conferences. Wa-hoo! So my Da commented that my blog as been a bit food heavy as of late (to be honest, I've been just a bit heavy in general as of late, but that's a story for another day...) So I'm mixing it up with another photo challenge. Yay for fatmumslim for setting these things up so I don't have to. Love her!
So here's the challenge for April. Let's hope I stay more on the ball for this one.

Day 1: Your Reflection
Am I outside looking in or inside looking out? Hm...

Day 2: Colour
 This would be our lovely fruit that resides in my favorite bowl from Tunisia. Lots of bright happy colours. 
Yay for happy colours!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tasty Snacks

Recipes to come shortly. 
I do so love lazy day snacks that I eat so much of that they then turn into lunch.

Monday, March 26, 2012


When I was doing my normal morning routine of checking all my blogs on my google reader, I stumbled upon this recipe on one of my favs, 1cupawesome. I knew I had to make it. I made a few changes, simply because I didn't have a jalapeno and I selfishly wanted to save the avocado for some chickpea avocado smash. (but that's another story) I've not made migas before, so this was any body's guess as to how it was going to turn out.
Chop everything up, scramble the eggs and get to ready cook!
 First, put the chorizo in a med-high heated pan and let the fat render out. Throw in the tortilla strips.
 Toss the tortilla strips in the fat from the chorizo, cook for 3-4 minutes until they start to crisp up. (if there isn't much fat from the chorizo, add 1-2 tbs of olive oil.
Toss in the onions, let them cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add in the scrambled eggs. Cook until the eggs are almost done, then add the tomatoes and cheese. Stir until cooked to your liking. Season with salt and pepper.
 Put into a bowl and add cilantro. If you're PB and love spice, throw on some sriracha sauce first and enjoy.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Break Saturday

There is something about the first Saturday of Spring Break that is magical. I know that it seems to be the same as every other Saturday; but this one is full of potential. All because everything I normally try to squeeze into two weekend days can now be done in ONE WHOLE WEEK. Insert extreme relaxation here. So I began this particular Saturday with a cup of tea and a bagel, along with a fabulous amount of time reading. After my busy morning of reading and relaxing, I had a massive chocolate/sweet craving. I know, I could've taken the time to bake something, but when I opened my cupboard and saw this cast of characters, I knew all I would need is a spoon. Please don't judge, but I have to admit that Mallow Fluff and Nutella (or NuCreme if you're me) are an amazing combo add the classic peanut butter, and life is only good. Try it, I dare you not to love it.
The weather is lovely today, so I'm off to enjoy a little sunshine. Have a fabulous weekend!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Bliss of a Lazy Weekend

I had plans for this weekend, things jotted down with little boxes to be happily waiting to be checked off as I completed each task. Then the weekend came. This Saturday was Gloomy. With a capital G. It was foggy and messy and totally unmotivating. So I did what every normal person would do. I hooked my hard drive up to the TV, grabbed my knitting and a blanket and spent the day watching television and movies. I'd like to say I changed out of my pajamas, accomplished something and demolished that checklist. False. I stayed in my PJ's all day. I can't say that I am ashamed I did this, I am slightly guilty about the amount of this
that I ate. Did you ever have something that you weren't allowed to eat as a child? My no-nos were sugary cereal. No sugary cereals allowed for me. I am one of those people who genuinely like Total and Grape Nuts, as a result. However, every now and then I get a massive craving for sugary nonsense most kiddos got to scarf. So I indulge. Also, I only eat these delicious fake fruit rings plain- no milk please! After a day filled with utter nothing, eventually I got off the couch long enough to ask PB what we were going to do for dinner. (I was soo not in the mood to cook.) We ordered pizza and had some bevs to celebrate St. Pat's day. I skyped with my future sister-in-law and knitted some more. And then Sunday, we awoke to this: 

SNOW! IN MARCH! I had all kinds of Springy thoughts last week, and then this. EW. But luckily, the sun came out and did this. Score one for Mother Nature. The snow melted on my bubble and I scooted out to get groceries. At least I accomplished something this weekend! 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Not Your Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup

(Sorry about the pic, had to take it on my mobile, as I totally forgot to charge my camera battery, not one of my better moments, I'll admit.)
As the winter clings on, my habit of making soup at least once a week continues. 
So this week: Curried Chicken Noodle Soup. 
It's not too spicy (my tummy would not approve) but it's a great combination of flavors.

2 lb of Chicken Breast, cut into bite sized pieces
21 ounces of Coconut Milk (1 1/5 cans)
2 tbsp Red Curry Paste- I bought mine, I didn't make it (gasp)
1tsp Ground Turmeric
1 1/2 pints (generous 3 cups) Chicken Stock
2 tbsp Fish Sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
handful of Coriander Leaves, roughly chopped
14 ox Dried or Fresh Egg Noodles- not the super flat ones if you can manage there are thicker ones , I, living in Beijing, got to take what I can get.

Garnishes (which I totally forgot to photograph, cause I'm awesome)
1-2 Red Chillies, seeded and finely diced
4 Shallots, finely sliced
4 Spring Onions, sliced at an angle

1. Pour the contents of one can of coconut milk into a wok or large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until it comes to rolling boil, add curry paste and turmeric. Stir to make a rich sauce, then reduce heat and cook for 3 minutes.
2. Ad the chicken and stir in spicy mixture until well coated. Pour in the other 1/2 can coconut milk, fish sauce and soy sauce, then cook over medium heat until chicken is tender, about 8 minutes.
3. Cook noodles according to package.
4. Place noodles in bowls and pour on the soup. Top with coriander leaves and garnishes to your taste.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring is Almost Here...

It's getting warmer, not full on Spring all the time here, but warmer. The sun was shining and it was a splendid day. I even drove with my awesome bubble tuk tuk 1/3 open! I was thinking fresh, springy thoughts when I was making dinner. So on the menu tonight: grilled veggies and cous cous. 
Here are the veggies I chose, you can choose whatever looks good to you, just choose hearty veggies that will hold up to the grill or grill pan. Cut the veggies into thickish slices to prepare them for the grill. If you are doing this on an out door grill, brush the veggies with olive oil to stop them from sticking. We don't have a proper grill yet, so indoors on the grill pan it was for me.

Grill the veggies until they are done to your liking. Cooked, but still slightly crisp is mine. I cooked the peppers straight on the gas flame of my stove top, so that they could get nice and charred.  Look at all this grilled veggie glory.

After you char the peppers, you can put them in a bag so the steam will loosen the skin. After a few minutes the steam will do its work and you can take the peppers out of the bag and peel off the skin. They will look like this: To help you, you can rinse it under water while rubbing the skin of the pepper. It will slip off without a problem.
Boil water for your cous cous, when it's boiling, take it off the heat add salt and cous cous. Put a lid on the pot and let the cous cous absorb the water for at least five minutes. Fluff the cous cous with a fork. Mix in 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp. paprika and salt/pepper to taste.
 After grilling all the vegetables, cut them into tasty pieces and arrange atop the cous cous. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Last 2 Days!

Sorry about the lateness for on this post, but my internet was DANG slow at my house, so I couldn't upload all this fun stuff. But it's finally uploaded, wahoo! 
Day 28: Money
While technically this isn't money, it's worth a lot of money and I just got it, so when I look at it I think of money. That said, it's totally money in another way. You know, when people say "that's so money!" when something is awesome. Because my new bubble tuk tuk is awesome. It goes zoom zoom and has a cover to protect me from the cold. Bonus, it has room for passengers. 
Well, more like passenger, but it's still FABULOUS! 
Day 29: What I'm Listening To
 To go along with my recent purchase, I've been rockin' out to this Paul Simon classic. You know you love it. Everyone needs some Paul Simon in their day. Enjoy!
The February Photo Challenge is complete. PHEW! However much I complained about posting photos and such daily, I did really like the motivation to post almost every day. Let's hope I can keep it up!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Day 27! WOAH!

Day 27: Something You Ate

This was dinner. Chicken Peperonata with Couscous. 
Here's the recipe if you are so inclined.

Chicken Peperonata with Lime and Mint Dressing
(adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2009)
You will need: 

4 Chicken breasts (5 to 6 ounces each), seasoned with salt and pepper
For the Dressing
4 Tablespoons Olive oil
2 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice (fresh is best, but no judgments)
2 1/2 Tablespoons chopped mint- fresh is the only choice here
1/4 teaspoon + a pinch coriander leaves or 1/2 tsp ground
For the Peperonata
1 Red bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 Yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1 large, fresh poblano chile, cored, seeded, thinly sliced. 
***I had to substitute green chiles as we don't get poblano chiles here, but it was still tasty.***
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Couscous
Couscous needed for 4 people. A good rule of thumb is 75 grams of dry Couscous for each person. However, you can just read the package directions for your Couscous. If you got it in the bulk bin at the store, chances are you already know how to cook Couscous. 

To Prepare:
1. Season chicken with salt and ground black pepper.
Take out a large non-stick pan and pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, heat over medium high heat.
2. Saute chicken until brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes, turn chicken over and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.
3. Return skillet to medium high heat. Add bell peppers, poblano, and red onion to the same skillet chicken was cooked in. Toss while cooking until lightly colored, which will be about 5 minutes. Cover and cook for one minute. Pour 2 tablespoons of dressing on vegetables. 
4. Prepare as individual plates or on a platter, scoop cous cous onto plate, place chicken on top of Couscous, mound veggies on top of chicken, drizzle with remaining dressing. 


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Only a few days left...

I won't even apologize for having three days worth of photo challenge on one post. Let's be honest, you've come to expect it. 
Day 24: Inside Your Bathroom Cabinet
Truthfully, no one should be surprised that my things are in labeled boxes. I like a tidy cabinet. It makes me happy. It also makes my super quick getting ready even quicker. There are days when I only throw on my concealer and cheek tint- the other boxes are untouched.(really, that's most days)Sometimes I get fancy and put on some eye shadow, venturing out to use things in the other boxes. I'd use a bag, but things get all ajumbled in a bag and if anything ever broke, EVERYTHING would get all make-upy. 
The other cabinet holds all the body washes/soaps that smelled nice to me at the time. I am an impulse smelly things buyer. If I like it, I buy it. So I have a lot. Really, this looks like a normal amount, if you don't look at all on the bottom shelf of the other cabinet...
Day 25: Green
Double green for this one! Here in Beijing, we get charged for each plastic bag we need at the grocery store (a good idea for anywhere, I think, to make people bring reusable bags). The grocery store also sells "green bags" which are, actually green in color. Every Sunday we load up our two bikes with the green bags we have, do our grocery shopping and then bike home. This was this Sunday's take- pretty impressive for two people on bikes, no? I was impressed. I was also pleased that the weather was so lovely. Winter has not been my favorite season to be all earth friendly and bike to the store. 
Day 26: Night
A few night shots from my trip to Hong Kong. Serious love for that city. It's definitely on my radar as a place to live...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Correct photo uploaded on the correct day?! A minor miracle, if I do say so myself. 
Day 23: Shoes

I would live in these shoes. As it is, I wear them 3 out of the seven days of the week. We get jeans Fridays at my school and these are totally my go-to Friday shoe. I don't think there has ever been a time in my life that I didn't rock a fabulous pair of Chuck T's- thanks mum for having good taste when I was too young to make the awesome shoe choices I can today. On a bonus, my ayi decided that they were simply too dirty and she washed them. Then she put them on the heater to dry. This is how I found them when I came home the other day. Did I mention I love my ayi?

Unrelated to the February photo challenge, I've been playing around with the all kinds of apps for the iPad in class and in general and also using my Kodak flipcam lately (hence the video tour of the classroom). The culmination of all this awesome experimentation was what you see below. PB was singing for his supper- literally he was singing about the dinner we had ordered and he was EAGERLY awaiting. I leave you with this video glory.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So close...

So here's another catch up session. Only a few more entries and then this wonderful challenge will be complete. ABOUT DARN TIME! Perhaps this challenge is good for me. I'd say it makes me less of a procrastinator, but that's a dirty lie. You do need to know that If this project were work related, it would be done on time; early even. I need to get better about posting on this here bloggity blog blog. Back to the task at hand.
Day 18: Drink

Yes, I live in Beijing. And yes, I consume copious amounts of Starbucks. In some cases, I love capitalism. I started to take a car when the weather got cold. Guess what is made easier when you have a car? Morning trips to Starbys! There is a pretty standard text message that goes back and forth between my ride share friend and I:
Person 1: Feeling the need for starby speed?
Person 2: Hells yes
Person 1: Woo Hoo!

Thus, my daily drink lately. I know it's a Venti, but it's a tea, so it's not nearly as guilty. I get tea if we go more than once a week.I only get the mega guilty drinks once a week. (I'm not a saint and the caramel macchiato is delish!)

Day 19: Something I Hate to Do
Laundry- not specifically the washing and drying, but taking it from this stage: 

To this stage:

I LOATH folding clothes. When I was in Cairo, I would let my laundry sit on the drying rack until I wore it again. I wouldn't fold it until my flatmate had to use the drying rack. Luckily, PB and I have the worlds MOST WONDERFUL ayi (housekeeper) and she washes and folds all my clothes. I adore her. And the fact that she does all the folding. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Day 20: Handwriting
This is an example of my sloppy handwriting as I did a massive "things I need to do at home in no particular order write down brain dump thing". I have a weird mix of cursive and manuscript- pretty much I can't write in just cursive or just manuscript. 
I like to type things- a lot. Fonts are more fun.

Day 21: Fave Photo of Me
I am not a photogenic person.My lip does this funny lift up on one side thing when I smile, like I want to be Elvis or something. As a result, I usually act supremely goofy, make a ridiculous face or simply hide behind someone taller. This photo right here is a fabulous example of that whole ridiculous faces thing. I'm cool like that.

Day 22: Where I Work

This is my classroom. I pretty much live in this room, so I thought a video would be more appropriate instead of just one photo. Sorry for the shakiness- this seemed a whole lot less shaky on my flipcam. My apologies. 

And... I'm up to date! BOO YA! I will be posting another picture tomorrow. Really. Now that I'm all caught up it can only get better. Although, I wonder, is this as interesting when you only get to see one photo at a time? What do you think?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Why did I think I could do a daily photo project?

In my defense, I was in Hong Kong for a tech conference this weekend, so that is why the updates haven't been daily. Really, lets be honest, I've not really been daily on this anyway. So here goes:
Day 13: Blue
My teammate Ceci is wearing the hat and cowl I knit her. As previously mentioned, it gets cold here in Beijing. She, much like me, hates the cold. So she chose some yarn and I got to knit my little heart out. Win win. It also helped me get closer to my creating five things in February goal. Two down and only three to go!

Day 14: Heart
Today was Valentines' Day (duh). PB and I are not big Valentines Day celebrators, so neither of us really ever get one another something. However, as I was laying on the couch in all my lazy glory, PB got home from school and he had a surprise. 
BEHOLD: the way to my heart. 
Chocolate and Peanut Butter! Is there a better combination? I think not. Also, PB was pretty impressed that his nickname was on his present. It was a proud moment for him.

Day 15: Phone
This is the phone at our house. We don't use it, it's just for when the clubhouse calls to remind us when fixer men are going to come and fix things. I honestly don't know the number. 

Day 16: Something New
While I was in Hong Kong, I purchased these lovely necklaces. My jewelry collection has certainly grown since we've moved to Asia.

Day 17: Time
I was in Hong Kong for the weekend, at a tech conference and this schedule was on the back side of my name badge. Every minute of my day was mapped out, if I were to follow said schedule. 
(I was in Hong Kong people! There was shopping to be done!)

I know I'm still a few days behind, but I don't want this post to get too outrageously long, so you'll have to wait for the rest. Maybe I'll get them down tomorrow, maybe not. Commitment is scary. I like to be more spontaneous. 
Note to self: do not do a daily photo challenge again.