Brand your celebrations with your family name, it add's a sentimental touch
White wine and champagne are best served chilled, hence the need for a wine bucket. However, think about all the times you'll drink Champagne at home—usually, it's a celebration that calls for some bubbly, correct?
Whether you purchase this for yourself, gifting it to a bride and groom, or giving it as a host/hostess gift at a housewarming, the idea of a wine bucket brings about the idea of good things to come. If that means a promotion, a new baby, an engagement or many of the other joys that life brings, champagne won't be far away.
Made from a detailed, hand-carved mold, this bucket from Red Envelope features include grape-cluster handles. The bucket is made of nickel-plated stainless steel with a vintage finish, making it perfect for the sommelier or the champagne lover in your life.
Monogram it for a new family or even your own—and whenever there’s a happy occasion, your recipient will be reminded of your well wishes and your kind thought.
Ramen Setagaya (らーめん せたが屋) 1st Ave (btw 8 & 9)
Ramen Setagaya has got it all- young scowling, diligent chef, tested taste success in the home market, and a unique recipe. Chef Tsukasa Maejima’s home shop is in the posh Setagaya Ward of Tokyo, where he has set up a mini chain and gained nation-wide notoriety for his televised cooking battles on the acclaimed (by me at least) Japanese television show “Dotchi no Ryouri”. “Dotchi” pits two items and thus two chefs, against one another in a contest that meticulously follows the origin of nearly every ingredient and every technique. You can in fact follow Maejima’s exploits on the flat screen tv in the shop, which loops his appearance on a program where he took on a rival shop. Setagaya’s specialty is shio-ramen, which means “salt” broth- i.e. using actual salt instead of shoyu to season. You can read about all the ingredients in the broth on the back of the menu, but in a nutshell it’s a typical mix of pork, chicken, and dried seafood, besides some different seaweeds. Of particular interest to me was the dried scallop, which is not so common in ramen broths.(The dish is also “finished” with a powered medley of dried scallop, fried onion, and grapeseed oil, which mostly affects the aroma more than the actual taste.). According to the video, Mongolian rock salt was used for the actual “shio” on his television appearance, but I’m not sure if that’s the case with this particular shop’s technique. Nevertheless, as it’s a key ingredient in the soup, I’m sure whatever salt they used is of some particular interesting background.
Setagaya’s broth is classified as “assari-kei” which means it tastes lighter in oil content (generally the case with shio-ramen). It certainly has a light consistency and a reasonably complex taste, with the scallop and other sea elements playing stronger than the meat elements. There’s a fairly delicate flavor there and a nice balance without being too salty. You’re not going to be blown away by anything bold, rich, or too savory with this ramen. But it’s a pretty impressive ramen and um, complex in it’s simplicity. Actually, shio-ramen, which is a rather newer invention in the history of ramen, has been enjoying a sort of boom in Japan. There are three broad reasons that I can surmise: first, the perceived health benefits of less oil, less rich, soup is appealing for those watching their weight. This dovetails into the second reason- rising popularity among women in Japan. There’s just an obvious economic upside to making shio-ramen for the hordes…no that’s not nice…flocks(?) of office women in Japan. The third reason, and I’ll stop babbling after this, is that the “complex simplicity” of shio-ramen is a call to arms of sort to the macho-virtuoso world of ramen chefs in Japan. If you can catch the video playing in the shop when you’re there, you’ll see what I mean.
The chashu (pork) was thickly cut, only lightly marinated, and deliciously fatty. It was homemade, cared for, and tasted every bit so. This wasn’t a roll of pork dumped in a vat of soy sauce overnight. I’ll take one slice of this guy’s chashu over three slices of Momofuku’s any day. Other toppings include bamboo “shootings” (their word, not mine) otherwise known as “menma”. The menu explanation points out that their menma has been marinated in broth overnight so as to better harmonize with the ramen. Whatever. But if anything, it shows they aren’t simply serving canned bamboo “shootings”, something many ramen shops can’t say. You’ll also find some shaved Japanese long onion (naga-negi), which I could have used more of, and some seaweed (not my forte vocabulary-wise), and a nice glassy egg. Ah yes, the noodles. They’re rather thin- somewhere between the angel hair-like Hakata noodles, and spaghetti. There’s something on the menu about how the noodles are served with three different gauges of thickness, by I couldn’t tell. Anyhow, thin noodles are the way to go with shio-ramen, so these were fine.
The menu is simple. Shio-ramen straight or dipping style, with extra chashu or extra noodles or extra both as options. There’s also a few tempting rice side dishes including a min-chicken teriyaki-don (pretty rare since teriyaki chicken isn’t big in Japan) and a mini “oyako-don”, which is chicken and onion topped with an “organic” egg. These mini-don were both $3. The base ramen was about $9 and with extra chashu, a few dollars more.
With Ramen Setagaya, we’ve broken some interesting ground. It’s the first time, other than a few select occasions, that I know of at least, when a solid and respectable ramen chef has set up shop, literally, here in NYC. I’m sure Maejima-san won’t actually be manning the wok and ladle here in the States. But this foray I hope, will be a gauntlet being thrown down to the ramen chefs of Japan, ideally the starting of a furious battle of global ramen one-upsmanship as other chefs join in to capture our steamy, pathetic ramen loving, red, white, and blue hearts. The importing of Japanese chain shops or ramen stars is really our best hope of surviving the next century and saving the world from the effects of global warning, rising gas prices, and virus infected killer zombies that run fast.
. Oh, forgot to mention. I met the master himself, Maejima-san, and received a free Ramen Setagaya t-shirt. Hurry while supplies last!
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What We're Loving: Red Envelope's Personalized Wine Bucket - Recipes
It's been a busy summer here! I've had my Parents here for about a month and we've made such wonderful memories and spent great days together, the weather has been dreamy for sure! Thank goodness!. They will be leaving on Wednesday this week and so it's two more days of packing in some more time together and then off they go , back to Georgia. I will miss them dearly. I've missed all of you too and I'll be back in my routine in a week and finally be able to catch up in the blogging world and I look forward to it! I hope you are all enjoying a great summer!
My Mom and I have been doing some antiquing and the other day we came upon this hutch and you know how it is :) . you see something and just have to have it! I already had a kitchen hutch that I loved, but I fell in love again :) As soon as I saw the doors on it and the details I squealed with delight , and my Mom agreed, It just had to come live in my kitchen. So now I have 2 great hutches and wanted to share the new "find" with you. Antiquing is a favorite past time of mine, but when you come upon that special something, it makes all the days of rummaging worth it. Sometimes you don't even think you need anything and then it's like it see's you and says "take me home", well that's what happened here. Now every day when I look at it, I will think of my Mom .
The hutch also gave me a chance to display all my favorite things, and another new find too, I just adore my new pie sign! Farmhouse Country Style has such wonderful country signs and her blog is adorable too! Thanks Dee!
The other hutch I have is an open shelf one, and while I adore it, it seems setting things behind leaded glass doors just adds such vintage charm!
Aren't the doors just stunning?
After I brought home my new find, I had to get on over to Home Goods :) I found this great tray there on clearance for $7.99, again, lol , I squealed with delight :)
Of course, the cherries did it for me right away and the blue too! :)
I gave it a home under my favorite rooster on the kitchen table, I plan on using it to serve things outside so I put it right where I can always grab it.
At first, The new hutch seemed silly, I already had one. But then a bit of rearranging and I knew it would work. I have to admit, lol , I wanted it so badly that even if it didn't work it here, I was determined to find somewhere it did. But I think somethings are just meant to be :)
My old one still has a nice place of honor in the kitchen and the added storage is so needed here! , and thanks to Elyse over at Cottage , the shutters made this hutch a favorite of mine too!
Like I said, I think the doors are what sold me first, but it also has the sweetest crystal knobs also!
Sometimes, it's just one new thing that a kitchen needs, big or small, and you can fall in love all over again. or a Mom who says: " You just have to have it Cynthia" . I think that's what really did it for me :)
I want to thank everyone for all your sweet comments! I know I said this in my last post, and yet haven't found time to get to visit yet, but I am getting around to it this week. Coffee in hand or wine if the evening fits it, I look soooo forward to reading and seeing what you've all been up to!!
Here's a recipe I want to share with all of you because it's sooo easy and I bet you already have the ingredients in your pantry.
It's called a lot of different things such as Cowboy Crack, Redneck Crack, Soda Cracker Candy, Saltine Cookies. We call it chocolate crack because after eating one little piece you are hooked and left wanting more and more!
40 Saltine crackers (my pan only holds 35)
2 sticks unsalted butter (do not use margarine)
1 cup brown sugar (I've used both light & dark)
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips (I've used all kinds of chips, but semi's are our favorite for this)
Preheat oven at 425 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil then your crackers.
In a medium pan, melt butter and brown sugar together and bring to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour over crackers, covering them evenly. Put cookie sheet into oven and watch closely. Bake for about 4-5 minutes, or until just bubbly.
Remove from oven and pour chocolate chips over crackers. When chips begin to melt, spread out over crackers with a knife to form a solid sheet. Transfer pan to freezer for about 20 minutes, or until completely cooled. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
This recipe is great using graham crackers as well. Regular grahams, honey grahams and I've even used cinnamon grahams. Try throwing some crushed nuts on top of the crackers before pouring on toffee mix. I made it once with crushed peanuts for the base instead of any crackers.
There are so many different ways to use what you have on hand. Let me know how you like them and made yours!
#1) Color Contrast Flower Pot Idea
First, let’s start with this beautiful flower pot arrangement from Susan at Momcrieff!
She photographed 20 of the most beautiful flower pot arrangements in her neighbor hood, and this is one of them!
I love the brightly colored green coleus with the wine colored grass and flowers.
Did you notice the height, fill, spill arrangement here?
Taller grass in the back, full flowers in the middle, and the coleus leaves spilling over the front edge.
Wine-Themed Gifts for Mother’s Day
This year, Mother’s Day is all about splurging a little. Why? Because 2020-21 has reminded us to live the moments we’re given and to live them large when we can. Ready to indulge the mom in your life with a gift that is truly over-the-top? Here’s a list of gift ideas to help you go all out for the woman who has gone all-in for you.
Sangria Vacation Day Gift Set
Okay, maybe mom didn’t get the dream vacation she had hoped for last year (or this year). But you can bring the vacation to her. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Tropical-themed glasses: Try not to go wild for these palm tree tumblers from Crate and Barrel.
- Two bottles of our ready-made VayCay Authentic Spanish Sangria
- Chips and salsa: Try picking up fresh salsa and chips from her favorite local restaurant!
- Tiny drink umbrellas (a must!)
- A medium-sized drink bucket (or this ultra-fun inflatable option)
- An amazing playlist, like “Soak up the Sun” from Spotify
- Beach towel
- Sunscreen (must smell like coconuts and the ocean)
Arrange everything in the drink bucket, and present to mom on her special day! The most important part? Let her choose the day for her “getaway” and help her clear her schedule.
Tanglerose Front Porch Red offers the perfect blend to enjoy with food or to turn into an easy wine cocktail for warm weather sipping.
Wine Picnic in the Park
Invite mom on a picnic in the park, complete with all her favorites. Choose a location that mom has fond memories of, like the park she loves to take the grandkids to play. Shady trees and soft grass recommended. Shop for a great picnic basket and blanket, and then gift them to her at the end of the day, like the promise of more perfect picnics ahead together. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Picnic basket (with room for wine)
- Picnic blanket/folding chairs/lounging pillows
- Reusable plates, napkins, and glasses
- Two bottles of wine: We recommend Lazy Lab Riesling, Tanglerose Front Porch Red, or Pearls & Kicks Rosé
- Fresh fruit
- Bite-sized charcuterie meats
- Cheese: Choose an array of snack-able cheeses that pack well.
- Croissants: Search for the best croissants in town and pick them up fresh the day of the picnic. Or, ask your bakery to provide you frozen croissants that you can bake at home.
- Chicken salad: Only the best for mom, and that means this recipe by Martha Stewart
- Lemon bars: We love this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Be sure and pack bug spray, sunscreen, and water to keep the day comfortable for mom. While you’re enjoying the afternoon, ask her to share stories with you about her favorite memories when you were growing up. Don’t forget—keep her glass full.
Books and Wine on Repeat
Rewined by Traveling Vineyard is a gift that gives mom wine all year long.
Surprise mom with a whole year of the two things she loves most (besides you, of course!): wine and books. Our Rewined wine subscription can be gifted, so you can order now and select the wines mom loves [Choose from: red pairs, red/white pairs, or sweet wine pairs]—and we’ll deliver her favorites all year long, every other month. Wine on repeat is truly any mom’s dream come true.
But, don’t stop there—sign her up for the Book of the Month Club. Give her one year of selecting a new book every month to enjoy while she sips her wine. The best part of giving mom never-ending books and wine is that she will think of you every time her new shipments arrive—brownie points for the next time you need to ask her to babysit, right?
So, how will you gift mom this year? Reach out to your Wine Guide or connect with one now to get personalized guidance on the perfect creative wine gift for the mom in your life this year. Six bottles always ship free! Or, you can opt to gift mom with a virtual tasting, self-guided Sip Kit, or in-person wine tasting! When you shop with someone who knows wine, you will be sure to get a gift that will make mom smile.
90 Short and Sweet Love Quotes That Will Speak Volumes at Your Wedding
Looking for the right words to express your feelings on the big day? Turn to these famous romantic quotes for your vows, toast, décor, or more.
Finding the words to describe the love you feel for your future husband or wife doesn&apost always come easily. But the followinig quotes, by world-renowned poets, authors, philosophers, and even beloved movie characters, prove the simplest, most earnest words are often the most honest-and the most poignant. Here, a comprehensive list of short and sweet love and marriage quotes to inspire your own wedding day. Use them as a starting point for your vows, calligraph them on signs hung throughout your reception venue, or work them into the toast you dedicate to your future spouse. Whichever sentiment you choose, it&aposs bound to hit home.
"I love your feet because they have wandered over the earth and through the wind and water until they brought you to me." -Pablo Neruda, Your Feet
"Some people are worth melting for." -Olaf,character from Frozen
"It is a treasure that is outshined by what it means𠉮ternal romance." -Theresa Ann Moore, "Engagement Ring"
"yours is the light by which my spirit&aposs born:
yours is the darkness of my soul&aposs return
-you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars" -E.E. Cummings, #38
"The best thing to hold onto in life is each other." -Audrey Hepburn, actress
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." -The Beatles, "The End"
"Love is a lot like a backache. It doesn&apost show up on X-Rays but you know it&aposs there." -George Burns, comedian, actor, and writer
"Happiness is to hold flowers in both hands." -Chinese proverb
"Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the sense." -Lap Tzu, Chinese philosopher
"At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet." -Plato, Symposium
"You look good wearing my future." -Keith, character from Some Kind of Wonderful
"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream not only plan, but also believe." -Anatole France, French writer
"…true love is never blind, but rather brings an added light." -Phoebe Cary, American poet
"Hold my hand and we are halfway there, hold my hand and I&aposll take you there." -Maria, character from West Side Story
"True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new." -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer and poet
"If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you. When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me." -Led Zeppelin, "Thank You"
"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." -Aristotle, philosopher
"Laughter is the jam on the toast of life. It adds flavor, keeps it from being too dry, and makes it easier to swallow." -Diane Johnson, Le Divorce
"I love you right up to the moon-and back." -Sam McBratney, Guess How Much I Love You
"The ring of fire still burns around you and I, keeping our love hotter than a pepper sprout." -Johnny Cash, country music legend
"Great love affairs start with Champagne. " -Honoré de Balzac, French novelist and playwright
"Where words fail, music speaks." -Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author
"I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal." -E.M. Forster, A Room With a View
"Love must be as much a light as it is a flame." -Henry David Thoreau, author and poet
"And think not that you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course." -Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
"Sweet wonderful you / You make me happy with the things you do. Oh can it be so / This feeling follows me where I go." -Fleetwood Mac, "You Make Loving Fun"
"I would find you in any lifetime." -Kanye West, musician
"You know you&aposre in love when you can&apost fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." -Dr. Seuss, author
"I wish I&aposd done everything on Earth with you." -F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
"Love is keeping the promise anyway." -John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
"More than kisses, letters mingle souls." -John Donne, English poet
"It&aposs delightful when your imaginations come true, isn&apost it?" -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gable
"In real life, shouldn&apost a wedding be an awesome party you throw with your great pal, in the presence of a bunch of your other friends? A great day, for sure, but not the beginning and certainly not the end of your friendship with a person you can&apost wait to talk about gardening with for the next forty years."
-Mindy Kaling, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
"To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love." -Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more, that plants a fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds." -Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
"Where your treasure is, there will be your heart also." -Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (from Matthew 6:21)
"The sight of lovers feedeth those in love." -William Shakespeare, As You Like It (Act 3, Scene 4)
"Once upon a time, there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering." -Nicole Krauss, The History of Love
"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get, only with what you are expecting to give-which is everything." -Katharine Hepburn, actress
"Deep in my soul I know that I&aposm your destiny." -Raven-Symoné, "True To Your Heart" from Mulan
"I came here tonight because when you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." -Harry Burns, character from When Harry Met Sally
"Two hearts can enlighten the whole world." -Sir Kristian Goldmund Aumann, Austrian author and filmmaker
"Have a short memory and a lot of forgiveness." -Gabrielle Reece, professional volleyball player
"I&aposm afraid once your heart is involved, it all comes out in moron." -Lorelai, character from Gilmore Girls
"Hear my soul speak. Of the very instant that I saw you, did my heart fly at your service." -William Shakespeare, The Tempest (Act 3, Scene 1)
"I like to believe that love is a reciprocal thing, that it can&apost really be felt, truly, by one." -Sean Penn, actor
"But love doesn&apost make sense. You can&apost logic your way into or out of it. Love is totally nonsensical. But we have to keep doing it or else we&aposre lost and love is dead and humanity should just pack it in. Because love is the best thing we do." -Ted, How I Met Your Mother
"The course of true love…gathers no moss." -Margaret Lord to Macaulay Connor, The Philadelphia Story
"You meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you. And then you meet one person, and your life is changed. Forever." -Jamie, Love and Other Drugs
"Have you never met a woman who inspires you to love? Until your every sense is filled with her? You inhale her. You taste her. You see your unborn children in her eyes and know that your heart has at last found a home. Your life begins with her, and without her it must surely end." -Don Juan, Don Juan DeMarco
"I love how she makes me feel, like anything is possible, or like life is worth it." -Tom, (500) Days of Summer
"When someone else&aposs happiness is your happiness, that is love." -Lana Del Ray, singer
"I think I&aposd miss you even if we&aposd never met." -Nick, character from The Wedding Date
&aposTwo hearts in love need no words.&apos -Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, French poet
"We should love, not fall in love, because everything that falls gets broken." -Taylor Swift, singer and songwriter
"Love love and cherish life. Also, just eat the cake." -Aaron Paul, actor
"If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." -Katherine Hepburn, actress
"True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. It is, in the contrary, an element calm and deep. It looks beyond mere externals, and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding." -Ellen G. White, Christian pioneer
"I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say &aposI love you.&apos" -William Shakespeare, Henry V (Act 5, Scene 2)
"No matter what challenges might carry us apart, we will always find a way back to each other." -Leo, The Vow
"To be brave is to love unconditionally without expecting anything in return." -Madonna, musician
"Be generous in the bedroom. Share your sandwich." -Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
"She is the only evidence of God I have seen with the exception of the mysterious force that removes one sock from the dryer every time I do my laundry." -Kirby, St. Elmo&aposs Fire
"I believe in pink…I believe in kissing, kissing a lot𠉪nd I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls." -Audrey Hepburn, actress
"When all my dreams come true, the one I want next to me, it&aposs you." -Lucas, One Tree Hil
"True love is singing karaoke &aposUnder Pressure&apos and letting the other person sing the Freddie Mercury part." -Mindy Kaling, author and actress
"Before you marry a person you should first make them use a computer with slow Internet to see who they really are." -Will Ferrell, actor
"Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away." -Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli&aposs Mandolin
"Three words. Eight letters. Say it, and I&aposm yours." -Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl
"Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it&aposs the moments that take your breath away." -Hitch, Hitch
"True love is like ghosts, which everyone talks about and few have seen." -François de la Rochefoucauld, French writer
"When I look at you, I can feel it. I look at you and I&aposm home." -Dory, Finding Nemo
"Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, but loyalty never fades. You can depend so much on certain people you can set your watch by them. And that&aposs love, even if it doesn&apost seem very exciting." -Sylvester Stallone, actor
"Life is the flower for which love is the honey." -Victor Hugo, French poet
"There are dreamers and there are realists in this world. You&aposd think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but more often than not the opposite is true. You see, the dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists, well, without dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground." -Cameron, Modern Family
"True love cannot be found where it does not exist, nor can be denied where it does." -Torquato Tasso, Italian poet
Letters To The Old Folks
This day last year, I bought this “flash” camera (har har) with my birthday cash, aspiring to amply document all of the food, friends, flora and fauna that New Zealand would have to offer. However, in the last few months, mud-covered rugby games and lazy moments by the river, ashy orange sunsets and even my beloved Avocado plant, “Arnie” have gone [pause for emphasis] un-photographed. In a sub-par attempt to record now what neglected then- I bring you a literary compilation of memories entitled [National Geographic voice] “The Pictures Untaken”.
The decision was made for me at the fried food finale of our Easter camping trip at Lake Tekapo that the experience was worthy of its own paragraph in my next letter home- so here goes.
We voyaged the rough waters in a ski boat so “chocka” with “necessities” that Monty (the Labrador) would have had a seat on my lap even if he wasn’t afraid of the bumps! It was worth the ride for a lush long weekend of lakefront nothingness complements of good man planning: Not every campfire has a sea wall, every toilet a view, every morning bacon with chocolate eggs. We conquered an island, debated the cultural nuances of the ‘mallow, confirmed the vitality of the seaweed population with my keen fishing skills, took advantage of glacial waters for winter water skiing incentive and even managed to take care of some beers that needed drinking.
Seeing as that my birthday inconveniently (or, perhaps, oh-so-conveniently) coincided with “duck weekend”, my “kiwi-brother”-gone-kiwi-boyfriend (yikes!) decided that my shotgun performance and “birthday girl” status warranted a welcome to the (once men only) Maimai. As per usual, I had no clue what was going on but was pretty darn excited…more unusually, I was not nearly as excited as the men around me! Andy said he knew when I had shot a duck because he would hear one shot, a duck fall and then an enormous fit of giggles from across the irrigation pond. What he didn’t know was that I was most likely laughing at Thomas, who, when I had shot a duck, would smother me in a big farmy hug before I could get off a second and express his excitement in the same voice he uses to talk to his pups. Andy, James, Tom and I came home with 40 birds to breast and the happiest Labrador you’ve ever seen. We perfectly wasted the rest of the day on the farm and, as if I really was the luckiest girl in the world, I found my first five (yup, 5) leaf clover.
I have finished fall classes, am working on my thesis and write this “letter to the olds” from 63C en route to the “isnie” conference at Stanford University to present my research. Despite the success, I have decided to embark upon an agri-food tour of the world in lieu of my PhD- I’m simply not happy with this position anymore and so it is time to move on. That said, I have only six months left “down under” and a very small proportion of the pictures I had originally intended to take! With time rolling on and a massive list of things to do, places to go and people to play with I am armed with full battery and empty memory stick in hopes of doing this amazing experience justice. Hold me to it!