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!
Posts I Like

My friend Amanda and I went to a BYO painting class last night at Painting Lounge’s Manhattan location. I was a little nervous because the original painting looked pretty complicated, but thankfully you start with basic tracing of the picture, and the instructor guides you step by step. It was really fun, though kind of hard to simultaneously paint and keep up conversation. And I found painting to be pretty relaxing. Though I guess that could have been the beer. Either way, I can’t wait to go back!

Garlic knots snack break

*cue happy dance*

Really enjoyed these, particularly:

"Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.” - Madeline L’Engle

"…People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s much easier to craft a resume than to craft a spirit." - Anna Quindlen

"To follow your life’s guidance, you may have to reassign some seemingly important things to ‘unimportant.’…" - Martha Beck 

Via A Cup of Joe

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to co-teach on a Zumba Cruise around downtown NYC and it was so much fun!! I was a little nervous because I’d never done a big event outside of my classes before, but the other instructors were fabulous (one is a fellow teacher at BellaVita) and the crowd had so much energy that my nerves were quickly replaced by a big adrenaline high. Everyone rocked it. And boat rocked us too. Occasionally we’d sort of tumble in one direction and I had to toss my planned moves out the window and just sway from side to side with the boat. Teaching sometimes felt like I was drunk at a rave haha. Not for the faint of heart but everyone just laughed and continued to dance their hearts out. Huge shout out to my family and friends who came – thanks again for your support!

I’m in an all female fantasy football league with some friends (I know, I couldn’t believe it either). The draft went something like: “what even is this website I don’t even know what I’m looking at” and “well I named my team Not My Forte so I have to get Matt Forte” (I did) and “oh look I can make a queue how nice” then later on “oh my god it’s my turn again, [Vince] what should I do??!” and “darn I probably should have picked a QB sooner?” and also my strategy was to pick people from liberal places which went well until I panicked at the end and picked up someone from Indianapolis. So far, I have completely forgotten to set my starting line up for the past two weekends. Or done anything, really, since the draft. But, it looks like I’ll end up 1-1 after this wknd which isn’t the the worst thing so I may just continue with this strategy and hope for the best.

Because it’s adorable, and I can’t sleep.

It’s never, never, never the woman’s fault. No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman. No means no. […] The one regret I have is we call it domestic violence as if it’s a domesticated cat. It is the most vicious form of violence there is, because not only the physical scars are left, the psychological scars that are left. This whole culture for so long has put the onus on the woman. What were you wearing? What did you say? What did you do to provoke? That is never the appropriate question.

He thought it’d be funny to tell me that he got me a chocolate bar but then ate it instead. Two can play that game.

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. 

image image

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

Read More

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 :)

Read More