the view from Sunday: already?!

completely lost track of time this weekend. Had a lovely, adventure-filled Saturday with the auntie and bébé, followed by movie night with the boy, while Sunday was full of family goodness… all with a side of de-cluttering. I’m on a roll, people. It’s finally coming together (or coming apart, I should say). I finally found the courage to part with stuff that belonged to my cat (I just couldn’t bear to sort it after he died and ended up stuffing it in the back of the closet), as well as some handmade scarves that my mom knit (too many, she was in a knitting frenzy). I kept what I like and what really matters, but the rest will be donated and handed down.

Sad to say, I still have the mites. Not the terrible infestation it was at first, but I do see a few from time to time. Just have to keep at it, I guess.

On a brighter note, I met my Camp goal on Saturday (!) and celebrated by purchasing a couple of crystals at the craft bazaar we visited later that day. Malachite plays a rather significant part my current (never ending) WIP, and citrine is a personal favorite.

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I’ll be better about pictures next week…

the view from Sunday: a fine day to go to the Fair

The Fair is back! Though I no longer feel blissfully ignorant enough to ride any of the rides (when you’ve seen them being constructed, it kind of turns you off for life), it’s become a tradition between me and the boy (plus, there’s so much county drama surrounding where it will resettle in years to come, that I might as well enjoy it while it still looks like the place I remember).

There were lots of lovely fluffy creatures to pet and feed in the petting zoo. Nibbly baby alpacas are the sweetest, while little American bison have the most expressive eyes.

more food than I care to admit.

Some fine feathered friends strutting their stuff.


And unicorns.


books, books everywhere and not a one worth buying

a highly biased opinion

Or that’s what it felt like this weekend at the Miami International Book Fair. After a couple of mediocre fairs during the late 2000s, the 2013 Fair redeemed itself with awesomeness and a wide array of events and vendors. This year it failed to meet any of my expectations. Missing were the used book sellers (I went around 3 times and only found used Spanish or mystery book vendors, and the one Bookleggers tent, which had a very limited selection), the Friends of the Library tent, and the cultural pavilions. In their place, a proliferation of Books and Books tents, a whole lane of self-pubbed pseudo-science and new age quackery, and what I like to call Hipster Central (otherwise known as the Swamp). We had lunch and snow cones, wandered around for two hours, and left after buying a pack of strawberry-scented pencils and an eraser at the Scholastic tent. That is all. Never have I entered a book sale and not purchased a book. I was that disappointed by the lack of variety. Unless you were looking for the latest bestseller, the selection left a lot to be desired. Can’t wait for the annual Library Friends sale. I can usually count on them for a rare find or two, and a nice bag full of paperbacks.


shaking it out

I’m too tired for a proper post, but last night’s Florence + the Machine show was amazing and totally reawakened my love for live music. It’s been too long since someone worth seeing was in town and this more than made up for it. The boy got me floor tickets for my birthday so it was a much anticipated birthday present.

Some pretty pictures to share until I upload the videos.





Last night…

My Miami Spice outing was wonderful! I think Miami Spice is one of the best ideas the Chamber of Commerce has come up with to promote top restaurants, as there is no way I could afford to eat in such splendor on a regular date night (poor, lowly student and all).

We chose The Capital Grille for our outing after debating the merits of the menus on offer. It was a great choice, and the place was delightfully jazzy and made me feel like I was in Chicago in the ’40s. I had the spring onion soup, lamb chops, and shared a creme brulee and a chocolate bread pudding with chocolate ice cream (we got one of each dessert on offer). Of course, there was the requisite glass of wine.

My b-chan claims that we were celebrating our almost-two-year anniversary, and I’ll have to take his word for it. I conveniently settled on January 1st as our official anniversary, though we really started dating around Christmas and didn’t make it official until the 2nd. Odd though it may seem, I’m not the kind of girl who generally remembers things like these, so choosing a major holiday as our anniversary seemed like the easiest option. It was a nice gesture, even if I am hopelessly absentminded about such things.

a lovely day for a garden party

IMG_8341 I finally visited the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens today. I’ve been meaning to visit for years and was sorely disappointed when I didn’t get to go during the Chihuly exhibit a couple of years ago. It was definitely worth the wait. The August heat was dreadful, but the bright day was wonderful for a picnic and photographic excursion. My b-chan learned that the steep entry fee was being waived during Sundays in August, so today was our last chance to visit for free. I hate to admit it, but the $20 entry fee per person has deterred me in the past.

IMG_8322We were able to have a lovely picnic under the shade of a banana tree on the edge of a bubbling rock fall. I prepared all sorts of little finger sandwiches (cucumber cream cheese, avocado and chicken with swiss, and savory meatball with mozarrella) with a side of Sun Chips, fuji apple slices, and strawberry tea with a splash of ginger ale. It was a surprise for the b-chan who expected plain old ham sandwiches and water 🙂 . There was a threat of rain for a few moments, but other than a bit of distant thunder we were able to stay dry… and hot. Oh, was it ever so hot. And steamy.

Some of the plants were not in bloom because of the late season, but we still managed to see some gorgeous flowers and I got a chance to snap some shots. I even chased some butterflies, though I still think they are creepy little bugs that lure you in with their colors.



And I finally got to see some of the Chihuly sculptures! I love colored glass and Chihuly’s has such a wonderfully organic feel to it.




It’s been a lovely weekend, back to the old drudgery tomorrow… or at least back to studying.

Strawberry fields

Celebrated the first day of Spring Break with a lovely spring harvest 🙂 .

Em invited me to join her and Enrique on a strawberry picking adventure at the Knaus Berry Farm in Homestead. The berries were gorgeous, all bright red and dewy, and the air smelled like the inside of a jar of fresh strawberry jam. I was sorely tempted to eat strawberries while picking them.

The farm is owned by the Knaus family, who are part of a German Baptist sect called Dunkers (they look a bit like the Amish). Aside from the U-Pick strawberry and tomatoe field, the farm also sells fresh baked breads, pies, and cinnamon buns, jellies, and fresh produce. Before we left, I also bought myself a giant bib lettuce for $1.50, guava jelly, and some cinnamon buns to share with the others.

The strawberries are delicious. So juicy and sweet, definitely some of the best berries I have ever eaten.