Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy 2016!

Hey again -

I've been looking for a fresh start to this blog and thought 2016 would be it. Turns out I'm eight days late to that party. It seems pretty fitting though, considering I am a procrastinator by nature and running a little bit behind most of the time.

This blog came to a fairly abrupt stop over five months ago. I kept trying to think of ways to start it up again, but I couldn't come up with anything interesting to write about. Ok, maybe that's a stretch, but I just wasn't feeling inspired. I still don't think I have much to write about, but I'm going to take a stab at it.

Here's what I've been up to the past few months:

September - I came home from Australia (sniffle), adjusted to Seattle life for a couple weeks, and then took off again. I went to Florida to visit family for a week, came home for less than 24 hours, and then went to Las Vegas with one of my best friends. It was a whirlwind of a month, but good to be back in the states with family and friends.

October - I had foot surgery the beginning of the month and that basically sums it up. The first few weeks post surgery are always the worst (read: drugged up and laid up). I did manage to get out some, but those memories are pretty blurry due to the pain killers. Oops. And I turned 25. Happy quarter of a century to me! Supposedly, I'm a full-fledged adult now and officially in my mid-twenties. Not feeling any different yet so I get back to you on that one.

November - Still recovering from surgery, but getting around more. This also meant that I was going CRAZY. So tired of sitting around and so, so ready to get on with my life. Our 2nd annual Friendsgiving happened and was a hit, if I don't say so myself. And Thanksgiving weekend was lots of fun with family in town. I was able to ditch the crutches the end of the month, too, which was almost worth throwing a party over. Good riddance!

December - Life was finally starting to get back to normal, whatever that means. I worked a lot more, learned to walk again, and finally could wear normal shoes. Christmas was spent in Seattle with family and I was in the wedding of one of my best friends a couple days following. I also had to say goodbye to another best friend who was moving to California that same day. Let's talk about an emotional day!

January - Off to a good start! I spent nearly a week (thanks to a cancelled flight!) in Bend, Oregon for a family reunion of sorts. I went snowboarding, twice, for the first time in eight years AND only 12 weeks post surgery. HOORAY. I think this means I'm officially recovered. I'm home now, back to school, and back to work. 2016 has been good to me so far!

I'm not sure what this blog will be this coming year. I'm hoping to travel some, but school is taking the front seat right now. So for now, the blog is going to just be about what life is like where ever I am. Probably mostly in Seattle, but you know me, I definitely can't go a year without hopping on a plan at least once. I'm excited for all this year is going to be and already feeling like time is flying, even though we're only eight days in.

So here is to a great year! See you around.

xo, Krista

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Cold Drink On a Cold Day

It's the middle of winter in Sydney right now and while it's not as cold as it can get at home, it's still really cold in my opinion. Because I came over here in March and am heading home the end of August, I'll get three winters in a row this year. You read that right: three. Aside from the small stint of summer when I arrived here in March, my two weeks in roasting hot Vietnam in June, and the last bit of summer in Seattle in September (I'm hoping it says warm!), this year will be a cold one for me! 

Because I can't seem to escape the cold, I pretty much just throw all the rules out the window. As in: Who says cold drinks aren't for cold weather? This morning I made Cold Pressed Caramel Frappuccinos. YUM. I found the recipe on Pinterest through one of my favorite blogs, Minimalist Baker. Since I can't have dairy and I'm off of sugar right now, this recipe was sort of a dream come true. And it looked so simple!

The recipe calls for frozen almond milk and luckily, we had some that was homemade and already in the freezer. Ash makes her own almond milk quite often by blending almonds and water and then draining the chopped up mixture through a cheesecloth. It tastes so good and I love that there are no additives: it's literally just almonds and water. I know people have been making their own almond milk for years and while I've thought about making my own before, it's always seemed like too much trouble. Thanks to Ash, I've learned that there's a good chance I'll be able to handle making my own someday!

The recipe also calls for date caramel. While I'm still trying to decide if I like dates plain, they are delicious as caramel. And like the almond milk, the caramel is super easy to make and there are literally just dates in it. 

Here is the recipe from Minimalist Baker:

  • 2 cups (480 ml) Almond Milk
  • 2 cups (160 g) coarsely ground dark coffee
  • 4 cups (960 ml) filtered water
  • 15 pitted dates (200 g)
  • 3-6 Tbsp hot water
  • 16 almond milk ice cubes
  • 2 cups (480 ml) cold brew coffee
  • 3-5 Tbsp date caramel

Step-by-step instructions are here: Cold Brew Caramel Frappiccino

Note: There's more prep time the day before then when you actually go to make it. You have to freeze the almond milk, make the caramel (which doesn't take more than 5 minutes), and refrigerate the coffee until it's cold. It's well worth the wait though. Just plan ahead accordingly! 

Call me crazy, but this was one of the best drinks I've had in a while. If you try it, let me know what you think! Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How To Speak Aussie

This video has been making the rounds on Facebook and it's hilariously accurate. Aussies literally shorten every word, or so it seems. It takes some adjusting at first, but after awhile, you start to see that they're on to something. I'm pretty guilty of using quite a few of these at the moment! We'll see if they stick when I move back to Seattle. ;) 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July

Photo credit

Happy 4th of July, my friends!

This holiday has been a little weird for me this year for a few reasons: 1. I've never been out of the States over the 4th before. Other than once when I was younger, I think. Either way, not since I can remember. 2. It's cold in Sydney right now. Like really cold. I'm pretty sure I've never worn a sweater with a scarf on the 4th before. Or in July, for that matter. 3. I didn't see any fireworks, which is one of the best parts of the 4th of July. 

That being said, it was a really good day for a couple reasons: 1. I got to spend it with two of my favorite Americans, Ash & Anderson, and our honorary American, Pete.

The Americans! 

 2. We celebrated Christmas in July with some good friends and had a lot of super delicious food. 

Group photos are hard so the photo quality is rubbish. ;)

The idea behind Christmas in July this year was to make your favorite Christmas foods from your country. Representing America, Ash made a turkey roast, sweet potatoes (the ones with the marshmallows on top - the best), and a peach crumble for dessert. And representing Germany, Julia made pretzels, and potatoes where you cook your toppings (anything really: we had tomatoes, pineapple, onions, ham, salami, mushrooms, corn, and cheese) on a hot plate at the table. I'm not sure where the Aussie themed food was...I guess it was because they weren't doing the cooking! ;)

Hot plate for the German potato toppings

Beautifully set table by Julia

Red napkins with stars shaped like a Christmas tree = Christmas in July on the 4th of July all in one! 

All in all, it was a great day! Lots of time with family and friends and good food. At the end of the day, that's all that matters! And to all the Americans reading this right now: enjoy the fireworks, BBQ, and everything American that you possibly can. I'd love to hear how you celebrated so I can live vicariously through you! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Blue Mountains

My Aunt Zoe and Uncle Bruce were visiting Australia the past couple of weeks. Uncle Bruce was here for work so Aunt Zoe came along. We're so glad we got to spend time with them! I don't even get to see them much as it is as they live on the East Coast of the United States, let alone living across the world right now.

Last weekend we rented a bigger car that could hold us all and took a day trip to the Blue Mountains. I've always wanted to go, but hadn't had the chance to check it out yet. It was a gorgeous day, though a little chilly, and the views were stunning.

The Three Sisters

We stopped at one of the viewing areas straight away, took some photos, and then decided to go find a cafe for lunch. 

After lunch, we headed to Scenic World for the afternoon. Scenic world is an awesome way to see the Blue Mountains. There are four different rides/activities: The Scenic Railway, The Scenic Skyway, The Scenic Cableway, and the Scenic Walkway.  

Of the four rides/activities, my favorite was the Railway. While the others has amazing views, the Railway was the closest to a rollercoaster ride as you can get on the side of a mountain. So much fun!

Much steeper than it looks in the picture.

Heading down the mountain

We took the skyway across the mountain and back. Then we rode the railway down the mountain, took the walkway to the cableway and took it up back the mountain. 

Very glad this wasn't our actual railway car!

Taking the Cableway up the mountain

It was a really fun day! So great to spend quality time with family and check another place off my list of things to see in Australia.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I'm so overdue writing about Vietnam and I'm not going to even post very much right now. Basically, SO much happened on the trip that it is a bit overwhelming to think about posting about it. Overall, it was an amazing trip. If I didn't have the travel bug before, I definitely have it now! Here's a quick overview of the trip for now:

Favorite city: Hoi An. It was this cute little shopping town on the coast. We stayed two nights in a hotel there, which was the longest we stayed in one place the whole trip. Plus, this hotel was the only one of the trip that had a pool. That is a win-win, my friends. It was the cleanest, calmest, safest feeling town of all the ones we visited, in my opinion. 
Favorite activity: The motorbike tour in Hue. It's hard to pick just one favorite activity because we literally did something new every day. The motorbike tour was so much fun though. Some of the highlights were stopping for lunch at a monks house (amazing vegetarian food!) and riding through the rice fields.

Favorite food: BBQ in Nha Trang. Again, it's hard to choose just one meal or food that was the best, but the bbq meat was amazing. It wasn't the most relaxing or comfortable meal of the trip though because it was crazy hot (as in sweating like crazy while just sitting still) and extremely smoky. Plus, we had to cook our own meat at our table. I've decided I'm more of the type that like my food to be cooked before it comes to the table. If I wanted to cook my own meal, I would have stayed at home! But it was an once in a lifetime (maybe?) experience and the flavors of the food were delicious.
Those are just a few of the many, many amazing parts of the trip. Much, much more to come in the next few weeks! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Hong Kong

At this moment, I'm sitting on the floor of the Hong Kong Airport waiting for my flight to Hanoi. So far the trip has gone smoothly (aside from two security searches, an explosive check, and wandering the Hong Kong Airport for way too long because my flight didn't have a gate). The flight from Hong Kong to Hanoi is only two hours...a piece of cake compared to the 10-hour flight from Sydney. 

I'm not complaining about the flight from Sydney though. It was one of the best super long flights I've been on. At first, I was dreading it because when I checked in, I was assigned a middle seat "because the flight was really full and all the window and aisle seats were taken." Turns out that wasn't true at all! The two seats next to me ended up being empty so I had ample room. Extra space + two blankets + three pillows + good movies + back row (nobody disturbed me while I was sleeping!) = a very successful flight. 

I still don't totally believe I am heading to Vietnam! I'm really excited though and ready for the adventure. Wish me luck!