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A New Team Member

14 Oct

A New Team Member

I wanted to take some time off to focus on one very important thing: MY BABY!!
After years of being solo travelers, my husband and I decided it was time for us to add another member to our team. A girl to be precise :)
I’m sure it’ll be quite an adventure since we are planning on having our baby girl here in China!
But, then again, life itself is an adventure, right?!
Have a great one, everyone!

Dance For Us

14 Jun

It’s been a pretty hectic week, but we’ve made it!

I was in Shanghai for a couple of days and came back just in time for our very first Chinese wedding in Yuhuan. Both my husband and I felt honored to be invited to such an intimate event. We had lots of fun and we ate like there was no tomorrow! Everything was going well until the MC called us to come to the stage to perform some kind of dance in honor of the new couple… how can you refuse when they are all expecting you to do it IN HONOR of the newly married couple! Long story short, we ended up dancing to Psy’s Oppa Gangnam Style. Epic Fail!

fail

Anyways, the wedding was beautiful and the bride and groom looked very happy.

alice and neyo

Have a great one!

Dumpling Obsession

31 May

There are several foods that I just can’t live without. One if them being Guacamole, which you probably know by now since I mention it in every other post!
But now I’m adding a new entry to my list: dumplings.

dumpling collage
I still haven’t figured out what makes them so irresistible to my taste buds. I guess it’s the combination of different flavors without ever being overwhelming.

This obsession of mine took me to a restaurant in Shanghai that everyone praised for having the best dumplings in the city: Din Tai Fung.

dumplings in shanghai
Din Tai Fung is a Chinese/Taiwanese restaurant chain with several restaurants around the world, including the US and Australia. According to their website “The New York Times selected Din Tai Fung as one of the top ten restaurants in the world

They have several locations in Shanghai, but I visited the one in Xintiandi.

spicy dumplings

Although I’m no expert, I can humbly say that these dumplings really live up to their hype. They are light and full of flavor, never overwhelming. It’s like a subtle explosion of flavors.

shrimp dumpling

Tapas on a Hot Shanghainese Night

28 May

Last Wednesday my husband and I were craving some serious Jamon Serrano (Spanish Ham) and Pinchos (a kind of tapas). We have some beautiful and fun memories from all our trips to Spain, but my favorite ones usually involve some kind of gastronomic action ;)

Jamon y queso

Well, since we were in Shanghai for a couple of days, we wanted to eat as much good food as our bodies could handle before coming back to Taizhou and resuming our rice and vegetables diet. It was a painful task but one that had to be done if we wanted to survive until our next visit to Shanghai ;) The result 4 lbs. of extra baggage (not in the right places, as usual!) and a very happy tummy.

tortilla

There are several Spanish restaurants in Shanghai, but I’ve only been to a couple of them: El Willy and La Finca.

El Willy is more of an upscale tapas restaurant, although their website’s “feel” suggests differently (it’s a pretty cool website). It’s located on the Bund, and has a spectacular view of the skyscrapers in Pudong and the Huangpu river. The food is good, especially all the seafood dishes and their amazing black rice paella. The only tapa I didn’t enjoy much was their Patatas Bravas, for they had too much cream/mayo (not sure what it was). I prefer my Patatas Bravas very bravas ;). Overall, El Willy delivers delicious traditional dishes with a twist.

La Finca one the other hand, is a more simple restaurant, nothing too opulent. I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from this restaurant in Xintiandi, but their simple Tortilla Española and shrimps with garlic and spicy sauce were delicious. We also ordered some Jamon, but it wasn’t quite what we were expecting, for the meat was a bit tasteless. Their terrace is small but quite welcoming, especially during these hot Shanghai nights!

Camarones

taizhou

Have a great one!

Some Blogs I Like

23 May

It’s been a while since my last entry. I finally managed to get the issue fixed, so I will be able to post more often now :)

Last time I wrote about the Liebster Award that the lovely Monique from A Reel Chick, so kindly nominated me for (Thanks Monique!). As part of this activity I had to answer Monique’s 11 questions, nominate another 11 blogs/bloggers with less than 200 followers, write 11 random facts about myself and create a list of 11 fresh questions for my nominees to answer.

Well, I answered Monique’s questions and shared 11 random facts about myself. You can see the first part of my award acceptance here!

Now, I will share with all of you my newly nominated bloggers/blogs and my list of 11 questions for them to answer.

Let’s start with the wonderful blogs!!

nominees

1) When Judit Bakes… Bread and Better… And When She Bakes Some More
2) Dushonok
3) OMG I DIY
4) The Posh Dish
5) WHATTHEFKH
6) Serendipity Musings
7) Salt&Paper
8) The Pippin Girl
9) More Fun With Ems
10) I Heart Sweet Peas
11) What Katya Does

Congrats!!!

Now, here are my 11 questions for you to answer

1. Why did you start your blog?
2. Where do you find inspiration?
3. What is your biggest pet peeve?
4. How would you best describe your style?
5. 3 places you would like to visit
6. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
7. What are your favorite dishes / food?
8. What kind of music are you listening to lately?
9. Which qualities do you believe every human being should possess?
10. Which has been the best advice you have ever received and which one do you like giving out the most?
11. If you were ever interviewed by a professional reporter, which question would you like to be asked? (it can be on any topic)

Now, this award is somewhat of a peer to peer award, which I think is actually cooler because it helps spread all the LOVE among all of us bloggers ;)

So, here’s what you need to do if you decide to accept this award.
Dedicate one blog entry with the following:
1) Nominate another 11 awesome blogs with less than 200 followers (this is to support and encourage each other)
2) Create a list of 11 questions for them to answer
3) Answer my 11 questions
4) And finally, share 11 random facts about yourself
5) Please don’t forget to give a shot out to the blogger who nominated you, me ;) (thanks in advanced)

You will need to notify your nominees about the award, and they should follow the same steps should they decide to accept the award.

You can also visit Monique’s blog to see how she did it.

This is just a nice way to pay it forward and support each other. If anyone says thanks, but no thanks, it’s totally fine. No pressure. This should be enjoyable and not a shore ;)

PS. Here’s a little reminder ;) Sometimes things can be a bit challenging, but in the end it is always worth it if it’s what you really love doing. Have a great one!

little reminder

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Liebster Award: Pay It Forward

20 Apr

Liebster Award: Pay It Forward

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my blog lately. As you may know, wordpress is one of the many sites that China has blocked in recent years. I’ve been able to continue posting thanks to a paid service that allows me access some of these censored sites, but lately it hasn’t been doing its job (I’m still waiting for their reply on this matter). So, this is why I need to split this post in 2. Last week I found I got nominated for the Liebster award by the lovely Monique from A Reel Chick. This award consists on answering some questions, sharing random facts about me, passing the good vibe on to other bloggers, and creating a new list of questions for the newly nominated bloggers to answer. The thing is, I can’t look at my list of favorite blogs nor find new ones at the moment due to my current technical situation. So, I will start with what I can do, which is answer the questions and let you know a bit about myself. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get this issue resolved soon and post the 2nd part soon (blogs I like plus the questions)

I’ve done a bit of research on this award and, although there isn’t much information on how the award originated, it seems that it is something started out by bloggers and passed on to other bloggers. I think this is actually better than an “official” award! It is more of a peer to peer support system, which I find it to be beautiful. In a time where we all strive to be better, stronger, lovelier, etc., it is nice to every now and then turn our eyes towards other people and let them know how cool they are :)

So, I think this is a great way to get to know each other and for you to discover other blogs.
So here we go.

This are the 11 questions that Monique from A Reel Chick asked us to answer:
1. Honey bees, Honey Boo Boo or Honey Badger?
Honey Badger!
2. Would you rather have the ability to be invisible or fly?
Fly. Free travel for life!
3. Which reality show would you most want to be on: Top Chef, The Bachelor/Bachelorette or Survivor?
Top Chef as a judge though, so I could enjoy all the dishes. And Survivor soon after, to get me back to my pre Top Chef weight.
4. Your favorite Romantic Comedy?
I have so many! The Notebook, The Five-Year Engagement, No Reservations. I like movies that have some traveling and cooking involved in the plot :)
5. For dessert: sweet & chocolatey or tangy & lemony?
I usually crave something hot chocolate with marshmallows during winter and lemony desserts in the summer.
6. Morning person or night owl?
Morning person
7. Favorite cheese?
I’m crazy about cheese. I love Grana Padano, Provolone, Mozarella di Buffala (Italian); Queso Panela, Asadero, Oaxaca (Mexican); and of course, string cheese :)
8. Dogs or Cats?
Dogs. I had a Great Dane called Banjo for more than 10 years. He was one of the most beautiful and elegant dogs I’ve ever seen.
9. London, Paris, Tokyo or New York?
Sadly, I’ve never been to any of these wonderful cities, but I will visit them someday. I would love to start off by visiting Paris: wine, bread, cheese, and then macaroons for desert!
10. Fashion item or style you would most like to see come back?
I like the boho chic style from the 70’s, but it has already made its comeback. I love wearing flowers in my hair in the summertime.
11. Elvis Presley or Elvis Costello?
Elvis Presley. I love “(I can’t help) falling in love with you”

And these are the 11 random facts about me
11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME
1. I’m quite an introvert person, but love being around positive people.
2. I grew up in San Diego (USA) and in Tijuana (Mexico), so I have friends on both sides of the border ;)
3. I went to a Catholic elementary school, and when I was in 4th grade, my teacher (a nun) considered me a good candidate to becoming a future nun.
4. I’m a visual person. I need visual stimulation in order for me to really grasp an idea.
5. I’m afraid of elevators, UFO’s, darkness, spirits. And this is the reason why I haven’t watched a scary movie in the last 5 years!
6. I love flowers. I think they bring a positive vibe to any room.
7. I got hit by a car, was hospitalized for 4 days, lost 12lbs. in one week due to a severe flu; all during my first year living in Italy.
8. I love coffee. As soon as I get up I must have come caffeine otherwise I get a headache. I know, it’s a bad habit, but I really enjoy drinking coffee.
9. One day I will do one of the “Camino de Santiago” routes.
10. I love going on road trips.
11. Things I dislike: disrespect, dishonesty, negativity, bullying and bashing, intolerance, discrimination and racism. I strongly believe the world be a better place if we were a little bit more respectful, tolerant and tried to see the glass half full :)

I will post my favorite blogs as soon as get the matter resolved.
Maybe you can suggest some new ones :)

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My Recent Craving

10 Apr

My Recent Craving

About a month ago we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Shanghai: Maya.

Maya is one of the three Mexican restaurants I usually go to whenever I crave guacamole and chips (which is ALWAYS!). The other 2 restaurants serve really good authentic Mexican food, but their guacamole isn’t as good as Maya’s.

I grew up in a house where fresh Mexican food was prepared every day (don’t hate me for this ;) ) so I know what Mexican food tastes like. Maya’s dishes are very delicious, but I consider them more like “fusion” food/cuisine. They alter the core dishes in Mexican cuisine and add their own personal touch.

Since I haven’t been to Shanghai in a while, I’ve been deprived of my favorite food for almost a month now. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any avocados in town, so I can’t prepare any guacamole :(. But one of the wonderful things about Mexican cuisine is that you can create so many dishes starting from the same basic ingredients: tomatoes, chile serrano, onions, garlic, pepper, coriander, etc.

Another good thing is that I can find all the above in most local markets here in Taizhou. I think I’ll try to do my own homemade Mexican food and see if I can finally satisfy my cravings :)

PS.: in case you’re interested in learning more about the restaurants I was talking about, here are the links to:
MAYA

http://www.maya-shanghai.com/

MI TIERRA

http://www.mitierrarestaurant.com.cn/

TEOTIHUACAN apparently doesn’t have an active website :(

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