legit italian: acqua al 2

last night we tried acqua al 2 near eastern market.
petite blossoms at eastern market
i went to acqua with my brother in january but ben and friend danny who we met up with, had not been.
i love being experienced among first timers.

here's why i think it's legit: their pastas and risottos aren't served with any meat; their meats are sold as a separate course. their menu is set up in the correct course order. this was what i was used to when i lived in italy--- so that made me happy.

i like being around people who know what they are doing with their italian cuisine :)

i also like being around good friends and good food. there are few things better to brighten up a rainy day!
well that and the cheery cherry blossoms.


pinit. pinterest. interested?

have you experienced the pinning fun of pinterest?at first... I asked my sister, shayna... what is it? I just didn't get it. I felt like an old lady who doesn't know how to type an email. not a good feeling.

but then shayna explained it to me a couple times... it's a place to bookmark all your favorite things.

super. so now I love it. it allows me to keep track of all the beautiful things I see on blogs and other internets nooks.

yet another fun thing to distract myself with.


matching jackets

brother-in-law eric was here for a couple days, doing cool things for his master's program.

which meant that he and ben got to watch the byu basketball game last night. they were just so sad when it was over (and byu lost in overtime)

but it's ok, because we drowned our sorrows in milkshakes at good stuff and split a burger three ways.
all while eric and ben were wearing matching jackets. i love their matching jackets.


in my mind, i'm really good at sewing


it was my thing all last summer to say, in my mind, i'm really good at tennis.

now, in my mind, i'm really good at sewing.
the above dress was lovely to begin with, but it was always a hassle to make the neck area work for me.
i have finally convinced myself that i need to wear clothing that fits well and doesn't give me grief. period.

so i thought
i'd turn the dress into a skirt.

let's say it didn't go as swimmingly as it did in my mind, but let's also say, the new skirt has character. it still needs some very minor changes, but i like it. i wore it to church on sunday--- which was a good test run because i know it's easy to wear and walk in. both good things.

anyway. here's to more sewing adventures. i'll get better, i know it.
next sewing project: turning a skirt into a shirt. hmm. we'll see.

i used this skirt tutorial as a guide. it helped.


the birthday food tour of dc

lunch in the park (yes, the weather was really quite nice)
pitango gelato and brasserie beck.

my birth-day in chronological order:
(ben took the day off from work, which was really what i wanted for my birthday. thanks for giving me that, ben.)

woke up to the sound of rain. love the sound, but i was bummed it was raining.
slept in.
it wasn't raining anymore! the rest of the day was SO nice!
waffles for breakfast.
grocery shopping (also a favorite thing of mine. is that strange?)

went to get a lobster roll to share from red hook lobster pound. ben told them it was my birthday, they gave me one for free!!!
lunch in dupont circle.

back home to chillax again
ate the rest of the leftover lemon bars i made.

movie at 5:15. the adjustment bureau. i thought it was great. it's good to think through things, use one's agency, figure out things for oneself. i'm a big advocate of this.
we went crazy and got kid's size popcorn. also brought some other snacks for the movie

pitango gelato (dessert first, one of my favorite things). being the gelato snob i am, i continually feel impressed with their product.
quick stop at zara and h&m

late dinner at brasserie beck. it's a belgian restaurant we've been to before. they are famous for their mussels and fries, which are so super good. we just took our time, ate, laughed and enjoyed looking at the eclectic clientele b.b. brings in.

back home again.
when we were about to go to sleep, ben said,
"and tomorrow i am just going to eat cookies and milk for breakfast"
i said,
"that makes me feel sick just thinking about it"
ben said,
"it makes me feel sick too"
and then we just belly-laughed about it.

so basically, we ate the entire day. to me, it was perfect.


hey. i'm turning 25 today.

well. it's my birthday today. and i'm turning 25. i realize, relatively, 25 is not all that old...

but i also realize that just a few years ago i never envisioned being 25. it seemed so old.

now i am at a stage where i am almost finished with graduate school and i am faced with adult decisions and big changes and faced with the pressure of finding a job that can help support ben and i but also be something i can stand doing every. single. day.

i get freaked out by this reality. i just don't want to turn into that person who lives to work
we mostly work to live, until we live to work**
i think i get more and more retrospective and adultish with every coming birthday.

... but not to get all philosophical. borrrring.

i'm just glad i get to spend the whole day with ben in our lovely city of washington, d.c.
this is the first birthday o' mine that will be spent alone with ben in dc

last year we were in the dominican republic, year before family visited.

*photos of me on my first birthday. you can see my love of sugar and sugar hyperness came early
**quote by vampire weekend


a little "spring" break with sister shayna

the most amazing lunch at pepe rosso in soho. the penne vodka with pancetta is SO GOOD.
shayna and our lovely host-friend, mala
we caught a glimpse of the new swanky donut plant in chelsea- but we decided we're more comfortable with the one in the lower east sideone of many subway stops. we spent a small fortune on subway fare.

since sister shayna lives in vermont. and i live in washington, dc---
we decided to meet in the nyc because it's pretty much half way and it's pretty cool.
not to mention, mala lives there, a long time close friend of shayna's and one of the funner people we know.

so we just walked and walked, talked, dance partied, ate sugar cereal and pao de queijo (brazilian cheesy bread) at midnight, ate, sugar sugar donuts cookies, broadway, tacos on 10th avenue, took the wrong train- over the williamsburg bridge (slowest train ever), i slid down and slammed my body hard on the slipperyest stairs at levain bakery (the things i do for cookies), made friends with the donut man, serious talks about life and not getting caught up in the illusion of it all... et cetera

i feel like there were so many incredible/unforgettable things that we did and participated in.

shayna and i saw chicago on broadway- now, seven years later. my very first time to nyc was exactly seven years ago, with some of my family (shayna included) and we -shayna and i- made a pact then we'd see chicago on broadway together, someday.
and so we did and it was just so fun. roxy (the main character) was especially good.

it was just go go go... and then it ended with cookies in hand and a few tears when we split at the subway on 72nd and broadway. i always cry or feel like crying when my sister time is ending.


things that keep me sane

right now until the middleofmay i am a full-time-graduate-student-stay-at-home-style.
technically i have a job but things have been a little quiet on that front. so that's that.

i do love being at home. i do. but lately i've noticed i need to keep track of the things keeping me sane so i don't end up hating being a homebody.

taking a mental break and watching what some refer to as mindless entertainment aka shows like the oc, satc, and gossip girl. (when i was younger and watched shows like that, my dad used to grudgingly refer to them in that way)
household maintenance
little walks (especially when the sun is out)
getting dressed at the beginning of the day like a regular adult
blogs and social crap like the facebook, twitter and pinterest
lunch dates with friends /// evening dates with friends
phone calls. especially from ben, my sugar daddy.
video chats.
running errands
little bike rides on the capital bikeshare bikes (i usually just call it my bike)
projects like something on the sewing machine or developing film
listening to really good music. --- lately i've been listening to anything from katie perry (glee style) to muse to rihanna to nick drake. it's all good.
and most importantly... making dinner with ben and having cuddle dates every evening. perfect.

also. i put together this video of spain. music is "holiday in spain" by counting crows. have a look-see.

photo taken in the canary islands in feb 2011


highlights of lovely saturday.

saturday is a wonderful day... isn't it?

it was quite nice when the sun was out. so the husband and i took "our" bikes out for a spin. first stop: sweetgreen on the hill to get our group-on.
but really because i wanted some boylan's soda. so delicious.

while we were there, listening to the tunes, sharing a salad and sipping our soda... ben realized he has the same music taste as urban-organicloving-composting hipsters (the people of sweetgreen). i don't think ben was ready for that.

then since the blessed season of blood oranges are upon us, i made ben and i some blood orange sorbet with our gelato maker.
so. good.
i look forward to warmer days, more gelato and sorbet and bike riding outings.

and i guess it makes sense that my saturday highlights are ben and food.


layovers in madrid... not such a bad thing

the travel planner /// the magnum lover (magnum gold is the best ice cream bar ever)
churros con chocolate for breakfast... i would live in spain if only for this breakfast
the many faces of deliriousness and jet lag
love the morning rituals of the cute madridians
on our way to portugal and our way back from the canary islands, we had layovers in madrid, spain.
we visited madrid in 2009... so what i'm saying is, it was nice to be lay'dover in a place we had already been.

when we landed in madrid and got off the metro at sol, i felt an overwhelming feeling of happiness-giddyness-excitement because i knew it meant i was back in europe!
and up until our last night in europe - in madrid (save for an unfortunate experience with a disappointing tapas bar) i kept telling ben we should live in spain someday. i mean, ben speaks fluent spanish and i speak ok spanish, we both like bull fights and soccer and tapas--- so it could happen right?

really i just love roaming a truly beautiful city with my truly amazing husband and partner-in-adventure,

here's to more and more and more adventures!

see more madrid photos here.


and then there was that time we laid in the sun in the canary islands

staying hydrated
sunglasses... swimsuits and my favorite european breakfast: corn flakes with european milk.
first time for both ben and emily on a black sand beach
tenerife, canary islands: beautiful desert isle.
very happy people.

when we got back from the canary islands... we really just wanted to keep our beach shirts in a plastic bag and smell them every once in a while (you know that sunscreen/beach smell?)

we wished we could have stayed longer. it was 75 degrees and very perfect. we stayed at the santa barbara golf resort, which was a very good price and was a full apartment. i kind of really loved it and would go back in a second. we got to cook all our meals and keep ice cream in the freezer!

perfect right?

i was fascinated by the canary islands because...
well for one... sometimes i get super excited to be in a place that i've only seen on a map... that isn't near anywhere i've been before. and then i'm there and it kind of blows my mind (that's my dazed and confused moment for the post)
the spanish people spoke was much more latin american than spain spanish (even though it's spain...)
there are tons of brits and germans that visit the canary islands but not a lot of spanish people. another weird thing.

did i mention the weather was perfect and there wasn't a cloud in the sky?
mr ben and i usually travel, we don't vacation... so when we do take a little time to vacation,

it's blissful.

it is international women's day 2011

march is women's history month- but by favorite day of this month (except for my birthday) is international women's day. today. march 8.

the above photo relates to my thesis and my passion for women farmers. and food.
essentially, i am writing that although they come from various cultures and backgrounds, women farmers in brazil, india and the united states, share a similar farming feminism. that is of course because most of these women farmers choose to farm organically (they boycott using pesticides and genetically modified seeds) and also try to keep their farming for subsistence use and/or small local profit.
the thesis will be long is obviously very multifaceted (i do plan to share it when it is finished and beautiful) but...
do think about where your food comes from and also consider the harm pesticides not only have on you when you eat produce that has been sprayed, but also the harm (and sometimes death) it brings to the farmers who must spray the crops (these tasks are usually left up to women and children).

if anything, be smart about your food choices and be a little better and spend a little more if you can to support local farmers who farm naturally and safely.
i am trying my best with the resources and options i have.

baby steps.

photo found here. great article too.


the big chair

the big chair in anacostia (a dc neighborhood) is really big. ha. it once was the biggest chair in the world (until another chair had to show it up in geneva).
someone actually lived on the big chair in dc for a period of time.

to tell the truth, i think ben and i were so caught up in finding the chair --- that we drove right passed it. does that ever happen to anyone else? you are so concerned about finding something that you go right by? kind of embarrassing.

regardless, i love outdoor art and i love dc and i loved the harlem-esque charm i felt while we were in anacostia. anacostia is considered to be a more dangerous neighborhood in dc but i kind of liked it (because i like to live dangerously?).

so i can check the big chair off my list now.
i finally sat down and made a list of dc things that i haven't done still that i need to do. it's been three years and there are still so many neighborhoods i want to see, restaurants i want to try, treats i want to eat.

dc is a really great city. it changes so drastically from block to block, neighborhood to neighborhood, quadrant to quadrant.
it's a wonderful place to discover.


that's just a typical day for emily

wake up
make bowls of cereals for ben and i
ben leaves, i kiss him goodbye and lock the door behind him
do the dishes (am i always doing the dishes?)
blog and/or read blogs
get annoyed by all the gw/women's studies emails i get
delete, delete, delete
on days sistershayna works from home, i get to chat with her like all day long
open up my thesis word document
scroll through it
back to thesis
is it lunch time yet?
no, but it's snack time
snack time. usually something crunchy.
read more blogs
call ben "oh just wanted to say hi, we haven't talked in while" (in like 2 hours)
look at the thesis a little more
maybe type some notes or semi-comprehensible sentences
lunch time
pasta and a clementine
some water too
and a little "oc" on dvd to get my mind off my thesis.
but i always have to be doing something else while i watch tv
i need to get out. just throw a coat on over my pjs.
walk outside. stand in the alley and think for little while
come back inside after being gawked at by the neighbors.
oh no, it's panic time, have to get a few paragraphs in before ben gets home
ben gets home, i set the computer down and sigh, what a day, i think
hug ben
we talk. sit on the couch. cuddle on the couch. or just sit at the table like two adults
what do you want for dinner? i dunno whatdoyouwant?
dinner, something easy and healthy of course
a tv show. depends on what day it is.
monday: chuck (and maybe the bachelor), tuesday: glee, the good wife, wednesday: modern family, thursday: 30 rock
work a little more on my thesis or my personal development while ben watches something about sports or plays call of duty
i usually go to bed earlier than ben... and i will yell,
ben when are you coming to bed a few times while i am in bed before him.
how annoying is that?
i used to be a night person... but wow i get really tired... that is if i am at home, in my pajamas, all comfy cozy

let's be honest, i'm usually slightly more productive with my paper (thesis) but this week has been rough coming back from traveling. i always have a longer-than-i-expect recovery period.
is that normal?


a homemade video of portugal that makes me feel sentimental

portugal 2011 from emily blythe on Vimeo.

music: "portuguese love theme" from the film love actually.

it's amazing how putting a little romantic music to your windy videos makes it sooo sentimental. i feel nostalgic... i want to go back...


porto, portugal (part 2 of 2)

i am very proud of our inexpensive little travel breakfasts... we put our juice and chocolate milk out on the window sill to keep it cold.
and we got to eat spanish oranges the whole trip. mmmm.
the famous lello bookstore. it's supposed to be the most beautiful bookstore ever.
well at least lello is the most beautiful bookstore i've ever been to.
i love the palms with the "blue willow" type tiles. so picturesque.
we took a boat tour on the river
this fine place is for sale if you're interested.
there are at least six bridges in porto :)
it was quite nice in porto.

we took it easy, sat in the park and played 20 questions (which ben got tired of quickly because i kept choosing really difficult things to guess like escargot).
but at least the sun came out and blinded us a little.

and i learned a lot.

i know... blah, blah. i am always learning so much... but when i travel i feel like i learn more about myself and about living in general.
travel helps me learn and grow. like live on less. don't carry around things you don't need. make every step count. don't waste your taste buds on mediocre food. things like this.

so these things i've learned should probably be implemented into my everyday. yep.
working on it.