Happy New Year & 2012 Recap

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Did you stay up? I actually fell asleep watching 30 Rock around 11:30 but luckily I have the best husband ever and he woke me up in time to share the strike of midnight and a new year’s kiss ūüôā I’m trying to cut back on coffee thus I was very tired yesterday night.

2012 was a big year¬†for our house – here’s a recap.

  1. I taught my first (and probably last) yoga class at my old job Рturns out I like taking yoga much more than teaching yoga, at least for now. People seemed to like my classes but teaching is just not for me! (January)
    maggie-yoga
  2. I went back to my old job¬†(I had left it for ~5 months, but missed it almost as soon as I’d gone). (March)
  3. My hubby and I bought an apartment in NYC. And then we renovated it (still renovating it…). (Closed in May; began renovations in November)
    reno-framing-floor
  4. I joined a CSA¬†and¬†discovered a¬†farmers’ market¬†on the corner of my street. (June)
  5. I joined Pure Yoga back at the end of June (and Bobby just joined in late November so now we can go to yoga together). (June)
  6. I fixed my PCOS. (Basically by eating more carbs, and more in general, more food more regularly.) I also ate a lot of PCOS bread. (July)
    pcos-bread
  7. Bobby and I went on a yoga retreat with Raghunath (August), and I tried Mysore Ashtanga yoga (July).
  8. Bobby and I went to Japan for 2 weeks for fun (and so I could finally Рafter 7 years of being together Рmeet his family!). (October)
    maggie-japanese-grocery
  9. I went to India for 9 days for work. (December)
    ACTION
  10. NYC got hit by Hurricane Sandy Рour home was unaffected, but my work lost power for a week and many of my friends and family members, including my parents, were also without power. Sandy Workout & Sandy Link Love.

What were the important things in your life for 2012?

{WIAW} Konnichiwa! (What I Ate Wednesday From Japan)

I am in Japan! Bobby and I left NYC last Tuesday afternoon and arrived in Japan Wednesday night. We were on the plane for 16 hours and we crossed the dateline, hence the entire day+ difference. The flight is only ~13 hours, but there was a problem with the plane’s toilets and we ended up sitting on the plane while they fixed them.

I can’t remember exactly what I ate that Wednesday but it included this:

A surprisingly good airplane dinner of beef and veggie stir-fry, shrimp cocktail, a little salad, and bread. The meal came with “buttery spread” which is really margarine-like. I am not sure why people are still eating margarine. It should go the way of large sugary sodas in NYC. Dessert was a small cinnamon brownie.

There were a few other surprisingly OK airplane meals, and then we were in Japan. We found Bobby’s mom in the airport, and then hit up a Starbucks. Did you know that Starbucks has a “short” size? They do – but it’s not listed on US menus. If you ask for it though, apparently you can get it (I believe only for hot drinks; I haven’t tried yet because I didn’t know until this trip). The tall is so large – I don’t usually want to drink that much coffee/frappuccino/whatever.

After 1.5 hours on a train and subway we were at Bobby’s aunt’s house in a suburb of Tokyo/Yokohama. A veritable feast was laid out for us of amazing Japanese food. Most of the daily eats in Japan are macrobiotic. I wish I could remember each dish. Some where¬†– rice (they eat white here; brown is rare), a stew with konyakku/lotus/daikon, hijiki salad, and more. And kabocha is also ubiquitous here.

And finally – shower and bed. I find that the best showers come after long days of traveling. This was possibly the best shower of my life.

Here are some more pictures from the trip so far:

Me enjoying a Japanese grocery store.

A double yolk egg. Did I mention that egg yolks are this really intense shade of orange here?

Not from the trip… but I miss these guys. My friend is taking care of them.

¬†—

Signing off for now. Have you ever been to Japan? What about another Asian country? I have not – this is my first time. I have traveled to Europe and Canada and that is about it.

A Baby Shower

This weekend I got to visit one of my best¬†blog friends – Coco – for her baby shower. We got her this (apparently very popular with new moms)¬†California Baby Gift Basket¬†(the “Newborn Tote Bag”).

This baby gift basket contains calendula cream, which I recognize from my mom’s use on me and my siblings when we were young. Calendula is a plant (like a marigold flower); the cream is a natural moisturizer free of synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and other potentially harmful chemicals. It’s a great option if you are trying to be more green and natural. My mom would use it for our dry skin and I know you can also use it for diaper rash and minor cuts and scrapes. I’m tempted to try it for myself! Sounds like it would be useful for everyone, not just babies.

I always like visiting Coco. The party was very international (I think bobby and I were the only native English speakers / American-born people there). But I guess that is pretty typical of DC. While I love New York, DC is a much more international city. New York is a melange of cultures, but it’s a melange that has been in the making for hundreds of years. DC has many more people that were born outside the states and work for international organizations. DC’s vibe has more of an impermanence than NY’s (in my opinion).

The food was great. We had delicious homemade empanadas (I’m hoping for a recipe soon), bread and cheese and meat, desserts, probably other things I am forgetting… a great spread in all. Here is a picture of me and beautiful the mom-to-be:

This morning we woke up fairly early (for a Sunday) and ate a simple breakfast (of shower leftovers – yum) with Coco and her husband. He is so caring and attentive. Such a nice family.

Have you been to a baby shower? Have you visited Washington, DC?

Fresh Italian Salad Recipe | Italia – giorno uno | Day One in Italy


Bobby and I are in Italy for two weeks, so I’m going to post about some of our culinary adventures. We’re staying near Venice in a piccola citta’ called Spinea.

Lunch today was delicious. Bobby got a pizza: “Prosciutto e Funghi” (Ham and Mushrooms).

I got Insalata Fantasia, a salad of fresh lettuce, tomatoes, mozzarella, corn, and shredded carrots. In Italy you make your own dressing from the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper that they set at every table.

This evening we managed to cook dinner because our hosts have allowed us to use their kitchen ūüôā We had…

Leftover pizza, bread (both toasted), plus fresh salad with sauteed onions:

Fresh Italian Salad

Ingredients

  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped red pepper
  • Lettuce

Directions

  1. Saute onions in a spoonful of olive oil.
  2. Mix together raw veggies and top with onions and the following dressing…

Simple Italian Dressing

  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

We went to a very quaint “supermercato” to get the ingredients. We also picked up some ingredients for tomorrow’s breakfast.

I also plan on posting pictures and critiques of food from restaurants that we go to. Maria (our host) suggested not eating in the city of Venice because it’s ridiculously expensive. Very sound advice, and hopefully it will encourage some imagination and produce new recipes, since I have access to a kitchen.

Bobby and I are going to try to act European by eating large lunches and light dinners. So far so good…