March 30, 2013

Bun & Cheese

During the Easter season, Jamaicans are known to eat two things in excess: fresh fish and bun and cheese. My favorite of the two, although both are equally delicious, is the bun an cheese. 

The "bun" is a spiced bread laced with fruits (cherries and raisins) and spices (nutmeg and cinnamon). It makes for a really sweet loaf that can be eaten by itself, or paired with butter or cheese. Our custom, however, is to eat it with cheese. Of course there is a traditional cheese that goes with the bun, known as "Jamaican cheese", and to be honest, I have no clue what kind of cheese it is...  and that's completely okay with me. I will say though, that it kind of tastes like cheddar cheese, but I'm pretty sure that it's not.   

Beau and I bought the biggest bun we could find in stores this year! 
I hope we are able to finish it.

March 27, 2013

Home Sweet Homebody

//photo via

I keep telling myself "You have got to get out of the house and do something!" 
Alas, it doesn't happen. 
I am a homebody through and through. I do have desires to go out and take a walk sometimes. Find a creek  (in our new county just outside of Philly), or even go for a stroll and take in the brisk air. But I always opt to stay at home. 

I've always been like this. Since I was a child, I opted to stay in. Maybe it was the shyness in me. Maybe it was slight self-diagnosis of agoraphobia. Maybe it was the sheltered lifestyle I lived.  Whatever it was, it was there. I never went outside to play with the kids on my block. I avoided speaking with them and making eye-contact at all costs -- this may attribute to my lack of double dutch skills. (ha!) I remember one time I went outside to ride my new bike. I excitedly rode to the bottom the street, a couple of guys looked at me strangely, and that was enough for me to turn around and ride my bike back home, never to have that bike see the light of day again. 

The conflict in all of this however, is actually wanting to go out sometimes. There are days when I do want to go out, explore, and be adventurous, but I feel so much more comfortable staying at home. 

What's a girl to do? 

March 25, 2013


Listening to...
Darlene Zschech’s new worship album -- on repeat. I haven’t listened to much outside of Christian contemporary music in the past few months, so this is just a great addition to what I have been listening to .

The Amazing Race. This show has been my favorite for many years, but even more so now. I love getting involved with everyone’s personal story and choosing a team to root for. I also enjoy getting a glimpse of different nations around the world, and how the natives always find a way to laugh at the “silly Americans”.

Thinking about...
My one year wedding anniversary -- which is 8 months away, btw. But I honestly can’t wait to make it to that beautiful milestone. While laying in bed Saturday morning, beau asked me if I had any desires for our first year anniversary. My answer was ‘no’, but secretly, I thought about it the day before, and I pretty much have my answer down-pact. We’ll hold off on giving an answer, though.

Looking forward to... 
Starting work (and you know, actually finding a job). I feel a little helpless sometimes with all the financial burdens that beau has to carry on his own. I would love to help and am sure that I will be able to in the near future. I am also looking forward to the 50-degree weather predicted to hit just in time for Easter!

Home inspirations like crazy. I hope to write a post -- or several -- on our house decor once we get the ball rolling. Because right now, it's looking pretty sad. The walls and everything in between are kind of bare. 

Making me happy... 
Being happy. I shared about my sadness in previous posts. How things I faced in life brought me down and how many of those things were carried over into my marriage. Prayer changed all of that. I feel so much lighter now. Words can’t even describe it.

Reading blogs again. Between finishing school and all the craziness life threw at me, I fell off the blog-reading wagon for a while. I have since cleaned up my reader -- got rid of those blogs that no longer interests me, and bloggers that don’t seem to post anymore, found some new bloggers that relate to where I am now and where I want to be in the future, and now I’m on the ball again. I seriously love it.

An activity outside of the house. I am thinking (always thinking and not doing ---> slacker) of building my way up to  some sort of long-distance starting from one lap around a park per day and working my way up. I would also like to take swimming lessons and maybe even try one of those crazy painting parties? Have any of you ever gone to one?

March 20, 2013

On Spring and Other Things

 It’s Spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.
//Rainer Maria Rilke

Winter lasted for what felt like an eternity. Maybe because of the seemingly endless bouts of cold, rainy days. Or, because this has been my first winter spent outside of school in 6 years. Whatever it was, I’m glad it has ended and will be followed by a shifting in the air... budding flowers, warm sun, cool breeze and refreshing rain.

On another note: I was reading a post on blog evolution yesterday and this question was asked:  What do you do when you feel the direction of your blog and your voice changing? Do you just go with the flow or start all over? I personally believe that an evolution in our blogging voice should be embraced.  I’ll use myself as an example-- When I started this blog, my writings were a hodgepodge of different things that came to mind at the time. I was in my final weeks of undergrad and desired an outlet to voice opinions and share things not related to school. I wrote about anything from celebrity crushes to random things found in my childhood room at home. Since then, I've experienced moving to a new state, graduate school, engagement, hardships, graduating with a Master’s degree, marriage, and unemployment. Why would I want to give up on all of that because I have a ‘new voice’? It is more than likely that my new voice stemmed from all the wisdom I have gained through those experiences. So I believe it’s important to hold on to previous posts.

Now to be completely honest, when I look back on the complete and utter randomness of my blog posts throughout 2010, I wince a little and consider taking them down but keeping them there is all part of the fun. It’s nice seeing where I came from. How my thoughts and concerns changed and how much I have grown in just 3 years time. I enjoy reading those kinds of posts from other bloggers as well.

What do you think? If you feel your blog evolving or your voice changing, will you go with the flow or start fresh? 

photo via

March 18, 2013

This weekend

Our weekends have been so low-key and uneventful. Lately, there hasn't been much leeway to do many of the things we like. That, and beau is overworked and super tired by the end of the week, so we just settle for the low-key weekends at home. There's nothing wrong with that sometimes, you know? But I long to venture out a little more like browsing through thrift shops, having dinner date in another town, or even going for a walk in a park somewhere.  Hopefully when it get's warmer we will at least be able to go for walks by Kelly Drive and Penn's Landing. -- Seriously, what's with this dreary weather, Philly? Saturday, it rained, snowed, hailed and thundered!  -- For now, I just dream, plan and enjoy what comes our way.

Thursday evening, Beau surprised me with roses and cupcakes. I love when he does this because it shows that his courtship has not gone out the door after marriage. We spent that evening enjoying chicken fajitas and each others company.

My Fridays are usually spent cleaning. I find that it's more convenient  to clean our home that day in the event that something comes up for the weekend (mainly Saturday). It also makes for that feeling of pride and satisfaction when everything is spotless. Later Friday evening, we ventured off to church for a tarrying service and I witnessed something I have never seen in my life. I won't go into detail here, but I will just say that spiritual warfare is real.

//4 photos taken over the weekend superimposed on each other using Picasa's collage option. //

Saturday morning I woke up before sunrise to attend a prayer breakfast. Beau stayed home to rest and later met up with a friend (our groomsman) for some guy-time. That's something he's been wanting since we were dating and even  now that he's married -- a guy friend of a same mindset  to converse with and relate to. I admit that we all need that. Married or not, we all desire camaraderie between ourselves and other individuals. I am glad he  got that opportunity. Later next month, we'll be hanging out with that same guy, his wife and a few other young married couples for more fellowship. Although I'm scared half to death of being social, I'm actually looking forward to it as I'm sure that I will find that time refreshing and fulfilling.

We finished off the weekend with lots of naps and church services on Sunday.
Not really as uneventful as I made it seem.

** Oh, and of course, I was plagued with the onset of a cold from Mr. Brawny exhaler (or maybe the hundred or so other people I crossed paths with last week . See, I have reason to be a germaphobe! **

March 14, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

I have been awarded the Liebster blog award by Eimile at Reflect. I discovered Eimile's blog through another blog a few months back. She is Christian, newlywed,  and studies molecular biology, like myself. I felt a connection with her right away and enjoy the tidbits she shares about grad school life and her faith. Thank you for nominating me for this award, Eimile!

Rules to the Liebster award:

  1. Each person tagged must share eleven things about themselves.
  2. They must answer the eleven questions the tagger has made for them
  3. They must then choose eleven fellow blogs to nominate.  The nominees must have under 200 GFC (Google Friend Connect) followers and be told in a comment on their blog.  Choose as many or as little as you want.
  4. Lastly they must then think of eleven questions to ask the bloggers they have decided to nominate.
** I too will be eliminating the last 2 rules as I have not discovered any newer blogs with a small audience in quite a while. **

1. I emigrated to the U.S. from Jamaica almost 18 years ago. And this was the first and last time I've been there since. The only known family there is my father, aunt, half-brothers and sisters and cousins. I would love to visit again with beau. 
2. I am highly observant and perceptive. I notice the small things. 
3. I am really starting to enjoy cooking dinners. Like I previously stated, I am extremely observant, so I learned how the basis of meal prep when I was younger just by watching my mom and sister in the kitchen. My favorite cuisine is Jamaican, of course, but lately I've been dabbling into pasta dishes and just different ways of preparing standard meals. Beau loves it!
4. I am a germaphobe/mysophobe. Not sure if this stemmed from all the things I learned about bacteria and viruses as a science major or the sheer fear of feeling miserable during the course of an illness -- just know that I have an unhealthy fear of getting sick from others. Like when a random person sits next to and lets out a brawny exhale? I think I'm all of a sudden exposed to tuberculosis. 
5. Every weekday, I enter to win Ellen DeGeneres' giveaway. 
6. ... And every Tuesday and Friday, I try for DSW's giveaways (on Facebook on Tuesdays and Twitter on Fridays). So far, I've won 4 times. 
7. Violent films before bedtime produces nightmares. Sorry beau, but the X-Men Origins: Wolverine did not agree with me at all. 
8. I would love to take on a hobby (aside from blogging). I have yet to discover my hidden talent. I desire the ingenuity for nesting and building things for our new home like these beautiful honeycomb shelves
9. Like many other blog "features" I've started and never completed, I failed on the Project 365 photo a day challenge. 
10. I admit that I have gotten a bit of baby fever after this post, especially with all the "mama blogs" (i.e. The Daybook, Love Taza, Kelle Hampton, etc) and vlogs (i.e. DearNaptural85, itsJudysLife, LefloofTV) I follow. However, beau and I are still waiting.  
11. It's amazing how much I have grown since starting this blog. I don't know if blogging has made me aware of this, or just the stage of life that I am in, but I love where I am now. The journey was hard at times, but that's what makes me who I am right now -- in this moment. 

1. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 
-- Somewhere close to water -- either a shore or a lake. 

2. Do you match your socks? 
-- Yes. Always. But I wonder what it would be like to live on the wild side sometimes.

3. What is your favorite flower? 
-- I love yellow roses and hydrangeas that bloom during the summer months in Philly. 

4. What is a hobby you want to start? 
   -- Rollerblading

5. What is/was your favorite subject in school. 
   -- Math was my favorite in high school. I always aced exams and even got all the extra credit questions right. In college, my favorite subject was Immunology. I loved how hands on the laboratory course was and I enjoyed in-vivo experiments.

7. What made you decide to start a blog? 
   -- I wanted an outlet to share the random things I encountered and thoughts that I had. 

8. Sweet or Savory? 
   -- Sweet! but I love a good savory meal! 

9. You just realized you have an extra hour, what do you do with it? 
   -- spend time with my beau. I feel like I rarely see him during the week. 

10. Who is your favorite Old Testament character, and why? 
   -- Oooh! I like this question... I have loved Zipporah (Moses' wife) since I was a child. Initially, it was only her name that I admired, but later on, I admired devotion to her husband during the Exodus and the Hebrew custom of circumcising their sons even though she was of a different origin than he was. 

11. What is the most exciting thing you've ever done? 
   -- White water rafting, for sure.

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March 7, 2013

Nikon Small World Exhibit

Nerd alert. This post is science related. But, if you like beautiful images, you may enjoy it. 

After an interview in University City (an area of Philadelphia that houses University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and University of the Sciences) a couple of  weeks ago, I visited the Wistar Institute to take a look at the winning images in the Nikon Small World Exhibit. This exhibit is a photomicrography competition where individuals can submit beautiful microscopic images of just about anything they view during their research studies.

As a person who loves all types of photography, this seems like it's something up my alley in terms of interest. The images that won the competition were all stunning. They ranged from images of the minutest things like DNA to ant larvae. I sure wish I had an electron microscope and camera (and you know, a scientific research lab) just lying around my house to take images like these.
Btw, my photos of the exhibit doesn't do the images much justice, as they truly are beautiful. You can visit the official website to get a better view of the photos in the exhibit I went to and winners of the previous exhibits here.

This was my favorite image: bat embryos at different stages of development!! (Pity it got last place).  This was my second favorite: ant carrying its larva.

NOTE: The Nikon Small World Exhibit ran through March 3 at the Wistar Institute in Philly. I know. I know. This post is way overdue. I meant to post it earlier, but kept putting it off until it was obviously too late.

March 5, 2013

A New Appreciation for Weekends

Around this time last year, I expressed my sincerest appreciation for weekends as a relief from the stressfulness of grad school. This year, I have a new appreciation for weekends, and it comes in the form of a husband who loves food and enjoys being in the kitchen. Yes! Beau is a 'foodie' and has taken on the wonderful responsibility of preparing Sunday (and general weekend) dinners for us. 

This is all such a relief. I usually prepare meals throughout the week, so to have Beau volunteer to accept the baton for meal preparation on the weekends, gives me a well appreciated break from the kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy cooking for us, but being in the kitchen does not give me as much joy as it would a person who genuinely loves to cook. I have to admit though, I think beau is trying to fatten me up (what with his cheesy baked mac & cheese and melt in your mouth crock pot chicken), but I can't complain... especially when he also volunteers to do the dishes. 

**swoon. faint**

This is love.

March 1, 2013

Hello, March


I can't believe it's March already! No complaints here, though, as I am looking forward to the end of this rainy, dreary winter and the start of Spring. The transition between Winter and Spring and the between Summer and Autumn are my two favorite "seasons" of the year.

My 3 goals for the month are :

1. Post at least one Army of Women study
2. Capture more of life's moments through photographs
3. Exercise more

Do you have any goals for this month/season?

photo via
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