While thinking of a blog title, I came across the note that my youngest sister once wrote to me that said: "U stink in bold. Tomorrow you will feel like a bloated giraffe. U r so safari dazzling." I went with it. Plus "safari dazzling" sounds better than "bloated giraffe."

The rest are musings on food; wanderlust & occasional trips that satisfy it; my journey as a Zumba instructor; working in public health; life, generally. Thanks for reading!
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Vince and I are having an excellent Labor Day weekend visiting his dad and family in Ohio. We’ve done some hiking since his dad is renting a house from someone with a lot of land. We had a relatively relaxing hike on Saturday with his dad, spending most of our time by the river. But his uncle, who’s a 70-something hiking expert, led us on a pretty tough hike this morning. We didn’t have appropriate shoes and struggled a bit going up steep hills, while he moseyed up no problem. He lives pretty much next door, and we had a lot of fun with his six dogs (and horses and chickens) when we were over for dinner last night.

But mostly we’ve been playing with his dad’s new pug puppy, Shufu! His dad is learning Chinese and the name means “comfortable” or “pleasant”. She can be crazy hyper but is SO DAMN CUTE that it doesn’t even matter. I mean, look at that face!! We’re definitely gonna miss this nutball.

Hope you’re all having a great holiday weekend!

cutest little pup! #shufuthepug (at Waite Hill, Ohio)


while filling up the tank, the gas attendant decides to make conversation…

Idiot: Are you from China?
Me: *gives Idiot a weird, off handed look* No…
Me: *looks away and down at phone*
Idiot: Then why do you look like you’re from China?
Me: *atomic bomb in my head* …because that’s how my face looks?
Me: *very slowly* I…was born…here.
Idiot: Then where’s your family from?
Me: They’re from the Philippines.
Idiot: Oh okay—are you alone?
Me: What—what do you mean “am I”—

At which point, I made a totally incredulous WTF face, scowled, and completely stopped talking to him and went back to my phone. Awkward wait for him to give me back my card, angry and wondering if he’ll attack me.

Part of me was proud of not dying and ending the conversation without a problem, but I also wish I had said, “That’s really rude and offensive” and “You don’t just meet people and ask them about their ethnicity” after he questioned why I looked like I was from China.

Sometimes I’m torn between educating people, protecting myself, and killing them.

so this happened to my sister today. ugh. sick and tired of this shit. I need a break from the news and the world. perhaps go to outer space. ugh. 

Basically. That goes for tv shows as well.

Basically. That goes for tv shows as well.

Well it’s official…in 2 months I’ll be kicking off my birthday by running a 5K. 37% of me regrets this decision. Now I’ve gotta work on my costume, and hopefully get a few practice runs in beforehand this time so I can do better than last year. 

Well it’s official…in 2 months I’ll be kicking off my birthday by running a 5K. 37% of me regrets this decision. Now I’ve gotta work on my costume, and hopefully get a few practice runs in beforehand this time so I can do better than last year

Being in Rothenburg ob der Tauber feels like stepping back in time to medieval Germany. Except with way more tourists. And for good reason because this place is just too. stinkin. cute.  Though even this fairy-tale town has some grimm* history involving wars and plague. Thankfully it was rebuilt in all its beautiful glory after WWII.

Having spent a large portion of the day in Heidelberg, we unfortunately missed the English Night Watchman’s Tour by the time we got to Rothenburg. But it was still lovely walking around the city at night, since there’s far less people and can feel just a little bit like you actually live there. 


Just because we missed the main tour, doesn’t mean we didn’t stalk the night watchman during the German tour. 


Our hotel was a block from the famed city wall, and we entered at GalgenTor, or Gallows Gate, aptly named for where public executions took place. It was also the point at which the city was most likely to be attacked (probably because of the larger entryway – today that’s where cars can pass through). Now there’s a playground nearby, so you know, progress. 

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Click through for Christmas shopping, high tower adventures, fried dough balls, and spontaneous dancing.

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While we were dating, Vince insisted that he had never seen the movie In Bruges. I claimed that he had definitely watched it with me around senior year of college or some time shortly after. This debate went on for a while (like years) until finally we both got around to watching it (for the second time!! I vehemently insisted). Unfortunately, his reaction convinced me that that was, in fact, his first time seeing the movie (throughout, I looked at him like, remember this scene? remember what’s coming? but he’s not good at lying and I knew from his blank expression that it was all new). Who did I watch it with then, or did I just watch it by myself?! I mean, it’s a great movie, but just seemed like a bit of an odd choice for a solo endeavor. But then again, I did watch Equilibrium by myself (and admittedly liked it, save for the over the top shooting down the computers scene, because he could have done it more quickly if he didn’t switch up his arms the way he did…but I was fine with all the other absurd fight scenes ha…but I digress).

Though the main character in the movie (played by Colin Farrell, whom I normally don’t like but was funny in this movie) hated being in Bruges, or Brugge (Dutch), I found myself wanting to someday visit the picturesque town. As luck would have it, my cousin William suggested stopping by Bruges first on our “Belgium” day (our original plan was to only visit Brussels), so of course I happily agreed. 

I enjoyed walking around the bigger metropolitan cities like Frankfurt (where we flew in) and Munich, but Bruges was my second favorite stop in terms of beauty because of its old European architecture and quaint cobblestone streets (my favorite was Rothenburg - more on that to come). We walked around the city center, enjoyed some lunch at Cambrinus (who was known as the King of Beer, and is depicted in the restaurant as a king with a huge beer belly, passed out on a keg with a foaming beer in hand), and took a canal boat tour. 




They had a ton of pretty lace shops around town, in case you happen to be there and are into that haha. Also, isn’t my sister’s backpack awesome? Love that color. 

Anyway, click through for more pics from Bruges and our night in Brussels :)

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Scenes from moving my sister into college yesterday. On the drive there we talked about who would cry first. I joked that it’d either be my mom or our other sister, knowing that it would most likely be me (I had already gotten teary eyed on the train ride to my parent’s house), and it indeed was. It’s just hard to believe that time has gone by that quickly. Bittersweet, but I know she’s going to have a grand adventure over these next four years.


(via Nick Offerman Reads the Best Posts From Reddit’s ‘Shower Thoughts’)

Because it’s Fridayyyy, and we really are half centaur you guys.

(via andreakisasi)

Oh my god it’d be so sick if she has a pillow pet too!! ….but she probably won’t.

My youngest sister Rachel, regarding her future roommate.

We’re moving her into college today. WHAT IS LIFE.

Our “it’s only Wednesday” haul at the corner store. My usual checkout lady pointed to the assortment of chocolate bars as I was paying, cause she knows I usually throw one in at the last minute. But I was good and told her next time ;).

Reading about Michael Brown and the debacle in Ferguson has been nothing short of depressing. The news saddens and angers me, and judging by my feed, many here on Tumblr share these sentiments. It’s easy to feel helpless, but you can still do something to help. I donated to Feed Ferguson, a fundraiser to help feed the children in and around Ferguson. School was canceled because of the unrest and many of these children would normally have gotten their meals there. Here are 10 other ways to help, including donating to the Michael Brown Memorial Fund.

More importantly, let’s not be fickle. Read up and stay informed (I had no idea about the 1033 program), take to social media, find out what your state and federal representatives are doing, or not doing, about systematic racism, and let your voice be heard at the polls come midterm elections. This 24 hour news cycle is trying on the soul, so let’s also remember to be kind to ourselves and each other (via merfology). 

Oh tomato season, you are the best.

Mood boosters for going back to work after a 2 week vacation: peanut butter cup smoothie in this awesome Gryffindor mug that my cousin got me from London’s Harry Potter Tour!

[smoothie recipe adapted from Candice Kumai’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Monster: (said it serves 3 but it’s a good amount for 2): blend together 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, a handful of baby spinach, 1 frozen banana, 2 tbsp natural peanut butter, 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I do a rounded tbsp for extra chocolate-y goodness), ice and enjoy! optional to add green superfood/flaxseed meal/maca powder/protein powder/whatever you like for an extra boost]

  • threw intentions of returning to work out the window
  • had a productive morning but turned into a slug after penny came home 
  • "unpacked" by placing everything on the kitchen table and throwing our clothes in the laundry
  • attempted yoga to ease my achy muscles, managed only 15 minutes of restorative poses
  • couldn’t muster up the energy to worry about the tingling sensations in my legs
  • spent time with the siblings yesterday because Rachel is off to college in 5 days (eep!!)
  • continued waking up super early and barely being able to stay awake past 9:30
  • woke up today feeling a cold coming on :/
  • wondered how I’d be able to teach Zumba tomorrow without passing out
  • finally made it to the farmer’s market to stock up on delicious tomatoes
  • turned the place upside down to make sure we didn’t have a mice problem again and reinforcing our prevention methods
  • wishfully thought about sleeping for the rest of August
  • wondered how in the heck September is just around the corner

It’s a little sad how hard it’s been for me to adjust, but fingers crossed that I’ll be good money (as my sister says) in a few more days. I’d hoped to post about our trip by now but my brain is just not having it.