Happy 65th Birthday Dennis – all books, no cake!

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I went to one of my favorite German professor’s 65th birthday party over the weekend at another professor’s house. It was adorable in the most literary way: there was no birthday cake, but he got surprised with a published book of his greatest works. That’s pretty cool, no? It’s a European tradition.

*Although, I did at one point wonder why there was no cake at the party. I might not have my Ph.D. but I can bring it when it comes to baked goods…next year, Dennis!

**Doesn’t Dennis looks spiffy and all dressed up for his birthday party? That’s his normal ensemble! He wears a suit like that every single day. Love.

***A tiny glimpse at the many bookshelves at Wolfgang’s house. There must be 1,000 books (and clocks) altogether in that place.

****I got stuck in that driveway.

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iPhone Outtakes

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After taking too many photos and videos ROLLER SKATING last night – toofuntoofuntoofuntoofun – my iPhone ran out of storage. I backed up my phone this morning and laughed at some of the random things I took photos of the past year (ummm, toilets) and got a little nostalgic (seeing how much Amelia’s grown up, Karma, holidays…). Also, I had some good meals and travels this past year!

Baby A – love her.
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I appreciate a good bathroom, I do. Coolest bathrooms of the year: Burlington’s El Cortijo (toilet is literally a work of art) and London’s Churchill Arms (it’s a fantasy garden).

El Cortijo, toilet by artist Sarah Ryan.

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Churchill Arms, outside.
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Churchill Arms, bathroom.
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Speaking of London, I had taken photos of my meals and never blogged them. A few months late, but delicious nonetheless!

Ben’s Cookies, the best in London.
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Borough Market’s El Brindiso chorizo roll, again the best in London (ha, I can say this about all my meals).
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Borough Market’s Rich & Gooey brownies, better than anything I could ever make.
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Pimm’s cup and Time Out London magazine reading:)
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Thai, how I LOVE London’s Thai food!
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A very British lunch at Hampton Court Palace.
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Quick aside: the biggest potted plant I’d seen at Hampton Court Palace and the coolest vine tunnel.

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Reading & red wine @ the Tate Modern.
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Wait, MY FAVORITE BREAKFAST OF ALL TIME @ Columbia Road Flower Market. Fried egg, crusty roll, HP sauce.

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When I’m in Europe, I eat croissants whenever possible.
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Turkish food at Tas Restaurant Waterloo, this was the entire group’s favorite place to eat.
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A healthy green drink every once in a while.
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Falafel wraps.
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British Hunter chicken.
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My favorite jerk chicken wrap and cold brew iced tea at Camden Market. I could eat this every single day! (One summer, we lived near the market and I did eat it every lunch.)
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OR for lunch, I’d eat Pret-A-Manger’s hot pressed mozzarella/pesto/tomato sandwich.
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One night, Professor B and I went out for sushi in London’s Soho district: ranked right up there with Japan.
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Postcard writing @ a pub.
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Oh, this was cute: my first breakfast at Eric’s in Ireland. I’ve never seen such a crazy tea cozy! I thought it was a hat at first. He made me porridge and pancakes.
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And what a cannoli looks like in Sicily.
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I snuck pics of a bunch of the theatres we went to in London as well.

My favorite play of the summer, The Curious Incident of the Dog & the Night-time blew me away.
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Inside the Globe, we got to see Julius Caesar.
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Outside the Apollo Theatre, where we saw Let The Right One In which was a creepy/cool Swedish vampire play.
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Outside the Harold Pinter Theatre, where we saw The Importance of Being Earnest.
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They did an awesome set job making it look like day-time inside a house.
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Walking into Regent’s Park Open Air theatre, it’s so beautiful.

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I’m not sure that our course is going to run this year (the upside, I could go on a long road-trip out west), but man, these pictures got me wistful for summer in London! Or just summer….it’s snowing and high of 3 degrees F here right now.

P.S. My favorite phone video! Allison and I have nearly the same voice.

Sarah/Allison Accent Video from Sarah on Vimeo.

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Jimmy Fallon <3

I love a good date recap: when Jimmy Fallon didn’t know he was on a date with Nicole Kidman….wait, what? It gets better, involving his lack of knowledge about cheese, lack of talking, and playing video games in his dirty apartment. He gets so red and flustered and adorable, and I thought, “Even famous people find dating hard!”

After listening to my morning song mantra – today’s was Cat Steven’s “Morning Has Broken”…thanks for the rec, Joseph! – I watched this and cracked up. I grew up with SBTB, and damn, those kids look pretty much the same 25 years later.

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Salted Caramel Brownies (for Snowshoeing + Super Bowling)

Salted Caramel Brownies

Sometimes I Google the weirdest things in bed in the morning on my iPad. I set my alarm to swim before work, but I was sore from hiking and tired from Super Bowl partying (cray cray catch at the end of that game, whoa) and there was a blizzard outside, so I put on some music and stayed under the covers half-awake/half-asleep in bed with my cat and my iPad (cute, no).

It’s been my goal FOREVER to meditate in the morning – just five minutes, even, but goshdarnit I can’t commit – but then I thought this morning, “Why not just wake up to a feel goooooood song instead?” A morning song mantra: just lie here and listen to some lovely words at the start of the day. It’s a win-win situation since I always listen to (my same old) music in the morning anyway; I can literally kill two birds with one stone, totally streamlining my morning routine.

After a predictable Google search -banned from my house is Pharrell’s “Happy” – I discovered Spotify had some interesting “Good Morning” playlists songs:

“Les Nuits” by Nightmare on Wax

“Morning Theft” by Jeff Buckley

“Good Fortune” by PJ Harvey

“Sunny” by Georgie Fame (a dear old friend used to call me his sunshine, I like this one)

“The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel (that one makes me CRY, no no no)

“Ivy & Gold” by Bombay Bicycle Club

“Beautiful Day” by U2

“I Follow Rivers” by Lykke Li

“Start Me Up” by The Rolling Stones

“Perfect Day” by Lou Reed

“Isn’t She Lovely?” by Stevie Wonder

“I’ll Be Around” by Yo La Tengo

“Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M.

What song would you want to wake up to? I went with this Fleetwood Mac cover of “Gypsy” by Gardens & Villa. The flute hooked me. My little sis Allison listened to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack this morning, HA!

P.S. Oh, I gave a new brownie recipe a whirl! (No offense grandpa.)

Salted Caramel Brownies

In terms of baking couples, I figure marrying a King Arthur Flour fudge brownie recipe with a Smitten Kitchen homemade buttery caramel sauce would be a dazzling match. I read about Olivia making these salted caramel brownies years ago, and have been wanting to give them a go ever since. I had a few things happening this weekend, and they were a total hit all-around. In fact, I dare say my friends were impressed.

Salted Caramel Brownies
Salted Caramel Brownies
Salted Caramel Brownies
Salted Caramel Brownies
Salted Caramel Brownies
Salted Caramel Brownies
Salted Caramel Brownies

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Flashbulb Eyes

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Beautiful Karma

Dog days of summer.🐶💐🌼🌺🌷🌸🌻My family lost our beautiful Karma today, quite suddenly:( This is one of my favorite photos of her that I took last summer, with flowers in her hair and a big smile. Hug your loved ones, mmm kay?

P.S. I’m not a fervent fan of poetry, but my favorite artist Lily posted this for her dog Mac. It’s beautiful, and fitting, and well, I’ve read it many times today.

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
(or, Daffodils)

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

–William Wordsworth, 1807
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Sunrise breakfast @ Myer’s Bagels

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Sometimes I like to stop by Myer’s Bagels after sunrise yoga, especially in the winter. Myer’s Bagels is tucked behind this almost alleyway, and for the longest time I didn’t know where their store was actually located (they sell the bagels at our local grocery). Their bagels are wood-fired, and it’s such a warm and cozy environment inside. I have to sneak a picture of them making the bagels because they tease me too much in there. One time they made me climb over the counter and stand near the fire and be in the photo. After waking up and rolling out of bed at 5 a.m. – ha, no thanks! My favorite order: egg, cheese, turkey sausage on a Montreal Spice bagel.

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