I’m currently on an adventure I’m convinced must become my real life as soon as possible. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live here?

I’m volunteering at SECMOL, possibly the radest, baddest 🙂 alternative school. This picture was taken a few weeks ago when there was still ice on the ice hockey field. The SECMOL campus is right next to that big white rectangle. I teach English at SECMOL and at the monastery school in Phey and do generally volunteery things like eat, laugh and hangout excessively.

Average days look like this.

must find a way to blog about Ladakh- which I will do in the coming days. But for now, know that you are really missing something by not coming to visit me.

Here’s some monk(ey) love to keep the coming week warm and fuzzy.

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this is the beginning

Did you have a good New Year’s Eve?

Do you make resolutions? Our resolution is to make this year everything we want.

We hope yours is the same.

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Do you follow the kissing under the mistletoe tradition? Except for the one mishap, this video is absolutely adorable.

I then found this hilarious and awkward high school equivalent.

“I’m supposed to run away now?” Best.

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hand drawn NYC

Jenni Sparks, an illustrator and designer, was commissioned to make these hand drawn maps of NYC for Evermade, which you can buy here!

Look at how beautifully detailed they are.


We love NY!

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things found

We were taking down our Christmas decorations the other day and I saw this faded red box that my friend Ruby gave me in middle school. In it were all these lovely things I had tucked so carefully away that I had forgotten about them.

I’m not sure why we wrote our names on a piece of wood, but it’s apparently one of those things you do when you’re young- write your name on everything. Also- old Altoid boxes make the best storage for jewelry.

I thought I lost this ring! I might have bought it on a field trip somewhere in south India. So glad it’s back in my life.

This funny cat box was either mine or my sister’s. We bought it at a neighbour’s garage sale in Dubai.

No idea where this crystal came from but it’s so beautiful in this pretty box lined with blue velvet.

A random pill bottle with beads and stones.

Pill boxes now used for jewels.

I bought this necklace on a trip to Pune many many years ago. I’m not sure I’d buy it again. 😉

I went to boarding school when I was in 4th grade and have been trying to master the art of saying goodbye ever since. Georgie, my best friend in elementary school, moved back to Australia at the end of 5th grade and it’s safe to say I was rather heartbroken. I think it was the first time I ever had to say goodbye to someone with the knowledge that I might never see them again.  Among other things, she gave me this beautiful silver box. It reminds me of all the odd things we did as kids, languages we made up, sleepovers we had and things we crafted. Saying goodbye means having boxes of memories.

To things forgotten and found.


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friendsgiving 2012

The Saturday before Thanksgiving, we hosted our second annual Friendsgiving!  Just like last year we hosted a big crowd to eat, drink, and celebrate the holiday together before we headed home to our families.

A big meal?  Friends?  Wine?  I ask you, what’s better than that?


Menu planning with champagne, of course.



Lots and lots of kale.


Now let’s talk about the menu.

We started off with homemade hummus, roasted and pressed peppers soaked in oil, and some cheese and crackers.  The main event: barley and rye loaves, corn muffins with feta and leeks, coq au vin, creamed brussel sprouts, swiss chard and sweet potato gratin, caramelized shallots, stuffing, kale salad, orange cranberry relish, and pumpkin mac and cheese.  And for dessert: pumpkin, pecan, key lime, pear and raspberry pies, a fruit tarte, and a Russian apple sheet cake.

A huge thank you to all the chefs, and everyone who helped!

living room

We reused the same banner from last year’s Friendsgiving, and again asked our friends to write what they were thankful for on some pre-cut and pre-stamped cards.  It’s always fun to see everyone’s answers.  A lot of us were thankful for cheese.


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the makers

The first time I chanced upon this site, I had a sudden and desperate urge to be a florist. It is now my retirement plan.

The Makers is a photography project by Jennifer Causey. She visits artist’s studios, photographs their work and spaces and does a little interview. Her photos are incredible, due partly to the beautiful work she chooses to feature, and I guarantee that you will have this same urge I had to be a florist, jeweler, ceramicist, distiller, even axe maker.

Is that washi tape I see at an axe store?!

Guess what?


Remember the Mast Brothers?


Explore the other makers here.

All photo credit to Jennifer Causey

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Interviewer: What is the craziest thing you ever did to get a guy to notice you?

Amy Poehler: I had no idea how to get guys to notice me. I still don’t. Who cares?

(More here)

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welcome back!

That welcome back was for myself.  I’m welcoming myself back to blogging.  Please indulge me.

If Utts has to apologize for being gone for a little while, I should be writing a sonnet about it.  I’ve been a bad blogger.  I’ve been remiss.  I would ask for your forgiveness, but I know you all understand.  Sometimes life just gets really busy, and you have a hard time carving out any of that extra free time that you somehow had a lot of before.  But I am going to find the time, especially because I love this blog so much.

I love Utts, I love this blog, and I love anyone who’s reading this.  That’s right, I love you!

So I’m coming back to blogging.

and i will

So what’s new with you guys?

A few things I’ve learned:

1. Did you know a Republican hasn’t won a presidential election without Bush or Reagan on the ticket since 1928?!
2. That being said, OBAMA!
3. Say, “raise up lights” out loud.  Keep saying it.  Now say, “razor blades” in an Australian accent.  Yea!
4. You can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to every cup of milk!  Thanks to my roommate Cat and Smitten Kitchen for that tip.

What have you learned lately?


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Matilda,  by Roald Dahl is my absolute favourite book in the entire world. The opening lines make me laugh every time I read them.

“It’s a funny thing about mothers and fathers. Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful.” 

I still have my very first copy of this book

From when my handwriting looked like this

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of reading this most wonderful book, it’s about a young, brilliant girl who reads Oliver Twist and Jane Eyre when she’s four and half and has halfwits for parents. At school Matilda has on the one hand, Miss Trunchbull, the meanest principal in the world of fiction and on the other, Miss Honey, the loveliest teacher there ever was. Miss Honey has always reminded me of my real life middle school math teacher, Ms. Shepherd. 🙂 (For anyone who has read this book and was taught by Rachel, I think you know what I mean.)

This book is full of adventure and magic and wisdom. You already know I’m a big fan of all three of those. Like all children’s books it is sometimes dark and scary, but mostly wonderful in the end. Read it when you’re having an awful day, when you’re having a perfect day, either way, it will make your day.

This is what I imagine when I think of the best time.


PS- For anyone who has already read this book can I just take a moment to say, BRUCE BOGTROTTER’S CHOCOLATE CAKE. Anyone? 

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