• Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
    Books

    Top 5 Favorite Reads of October 2018

    I’ve been reading a ton of good books lately, and it’s gotten to the point where it feels too good to be true. I feel like any minute now, my luck will end and I will hit a reading slump. But for now, I’m having a hard time narrowing my top favorite reads of the month, and I am okay with that. I’m still making great progress on my GoodReads Reading Challenge! I’m currently 12 books ahead, with 116 read out of 125 total books. (For the sake of rounding things out, I increased my goal from 121 to 125. My goal is usually 1 more book than the previous…

  • Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett / Photo by Cialina
    Books

    Top 5 Favorite Reads of September 2018

    Since my trip to the Philippines earlier this month was more family business than pleasure, I spent a lot of my trip reading while waiting for appointments or lounging at the hotel. I’m still making great progress on my GoodReads Reading Challenge! I’m currently 7 books ahead, with 99 read out of 121 total books.   The Roaring Twenties series by Jenn Bennett Yes, three of the five best books I read this month were all from the same series. It’s saying something when I read through the whole series in a short span of time. I’m usually the type to take completed series nice and slow, just so I could…

  • 5 Things I Brought to France from America
    Real Life

    5 Things I Brought to France from America

    I’d like to say that, in general, I’m a pretty light packer. In the past, I’ve had to stuff towels in my checked bag (and more recently, air cushion packaging that usually comes with your Amazon deliveries…) to add extra cushion for my fragile items. But every time I have weighed my suitcase at the airport, my luggage is right at the weight limit. Why? Because I am always stocking up on my American “essentials” of items that are more expensive, hard to find, or just not quite the same in France. Here’s some of what I brought back from my 3-month summer in the USA. 1. Cole Haan sneakers…

  • Travel

    Greetings from Mexico

    Another belated post of vacation photos. Rodrigo and I traveled to Mexico this past May to celebrate his birthday. We visited 4 cities in 8 days. It was a jam-packed schedule but we still managed to find time to relax at the beach. I have a ton of pictures from Frida Kahlo’s home in Mexico City. I couldn’t resist taking pictures of the beautiful blue walls and the lush gardens. Oaxaca was also a super fun city to photograph. I loved the bustling marketplace. My biggest goal was to use two rolls of film in a short amount of time. I was just shy of that, but I’m very happy…

  • Machu Picchu / Photo by Cialina T-H
    Travel

    Llamas and Snow

    Two weekends ago, I left my Leica point-and-shoot film camera on the IKEA Ferry on the way to Red Hook. It took me four hours (basically on the way back to Manhattan) to realize it was even missing. Rodrigo said I had acted like it was “the end of the world”. I was more upset over the lost film than the actual camera itself (even though the camera also had sentimental value). I don’t care if I have to spend $100 for another camera exactly like it, but I didn’t know if I was ever going to get a chance to go to Machu Picchu again! Needless to say, I…