Friday, 31 December 2010

Breakfast at Coco's

You've got to love a place where cake is an acceptable form of breakfast. We went for breakfast (it was almost lunchtime) at Coco's in Norwalk. D's breakfast combo cane with this coffee cake, which contrary to my expectations, didn't contain any coffee. It was a spiced pumpkin cake so I have to assume that the word coffee cake makes reference to the fact that you have this with coffee. Is that right? It was moist and rich, and came with whipped butter on the side. Seriously, American breakfast places put butter on everything! French toast, pancakes, crepes... I'm sure my eggs were cooked in butter.

I have my coffee black but was interested to know what these little cups of creamer taste like. I don't know what half and half or French vanilla is so I opened one of each to try. Half n half is sooooo creamy. I can't believe it goes into coffee. I expect a layer of fat to be floating on top of your cup of Joe if one of these go in. The French vanilla. Hmmm...where do I start. First of all I didn't expect this to be sweet but boy was it SWEET. it was pure corn syrup with artificial vanilla flavoring. Like the half n half, it was also very creamy. I think I'll pass on these but I'm glad I know what they taste like now.

If the helmet was white

I could be a Stig lookalike. I persuaded D to let me ride on his Kawasaki Ninja as opposed to taking the car. We kept bumping helmets at starts and breaks. Is that normal? What can a pillion rider do to avoid this?

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A visit to IHOP

I think it stands for International House of Pancakes. Two eggs, sausage, bacon, ham and hash brown potatoes with a side of pancakes and 5 types of syrup. This is why I'm fat! A quick note about the bacon in America: it's always cooked to a crisp, compared to the more chewy, meaty bacon in the UK. I can't decide which one I like better. All I can say is I'm glad to be going home soon to my treadmill.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Wide open spaces, snow capped mountains in the horizon, sunny skies and four lane roads. I will miss you. California you are wonderfully made by our Creator.

A Salvadorean Christmas dinner

Not a turkey or brussel sprout in sight! The cylindrical thing is a chicken tamale which is really hard work to make but so delicious! D's mom wrapped masa around flavourful chicken shreds and cassava. This is done in a leaf and foil to form the cylindrical shape, stacked one on top of the other in a giant pot and boiled. D's Tia (aunt) made the rice and potato salad, both bursting with flavour and his mom also made the beef stew. I've never had any of these before but they were so good sprinkled with lots of cilantro and hot sauce.

Santa trap

Little M walked up to me with an enlightened, excited grin on his face today. 'Hey do you know how to get Santa to come to our house?'. I said no I didn't know. 'You put cookies and milk out!' he replied. Apparently, someone in elementary school told him. So his mum bought some colourful Christmas cookies and let him pour out some soy milk (silk) because the Santa that visits his home is lactose intolerant. Personally, I found the green and purple colours quite off-putting. But sugar cookies are sugar cookies and they are yummy once you get over the unnatural hues.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Wienerschnitzel review

Just a quick stop by a nearby Wienerschnitzel, a fast food hut which will douse chilli and cheese over anything on their menu - fries, burgers and hot dogs. We got two chilli cheese fries and three chilli cheese dogs and settled ourselves on the open air seating. The fries were beautifully crisp and made to order, and the hot dog was grilled (not boiled - hooray!). A sloppy meal but I loved mopping up the chilli with the soft bun. This was the perfect salty, flavourful meal washed down with my favourite soda, root beer. I just wish diet root beer existed; I'll be its biggest fan. This was my first WS experience and I'll definitely be back.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Good news, bad news

Good news: I found the perfect puffer Coat - matte, machine washable, faux fur detachable hood, down-filled, tie belt - it ticked all my boxes. The Gap ones are super shiny.

Bad news: It's from Hollister and retails at $140

Good news: It's 30% off

Bad news: it's still $98, and there's a Calvin Klein equivalent (online only) reduced to $78 albeit without belt. And since the CK one is online only I can't try it. So am I paying $20 for the belt, the right to try it on, and the HCO logo which I actually don't want to be associated with as I'm not a teenage Betty surfer girl but instead a lawyer working in a chic and tailored English city?

Good news: I like the Hollister coat and unlike the CK, I dont have to pay shipping. After converting to GBP, it's cheaper than the closest M&S equivalent I could find (which isn't great).

Bad news: it's Hollister. And what if there is a further reduction in the next few days?

Good news: it looks and feels perfect on. I don't have time to track the prices of puffer coats. I spend enough time tracking securities and financial trends.

Bad news: side distraction, Betty size M?? Yes I chose M for some room for thick jumpers but I used to be a Betty S!

Good news: I'm not a teenager any more and I love the present and look forward to my certain future.

Bad news: aiihhh seriously, Hollister?

Good news: I bought the coat!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Manchester-London Heathrow-LAX

I'm now in LA! My previous experiences flying from Manchester to the US with Delta and American Airlines weren't too good. The three major issues were:

1. The airlines had layovers in a city on the East Coast, such as Philadelphia and Chicago. Connection times are often pretty tight and it's mandatory to pick up your luggage at your first US stop and then re-check in for the onward flight. Praise God I have never missed a flight but I've cut it seriously fine sometimes.

2. After 7 hours of flying, it's awful to know that you have another 5 hours to go. The flight from Manchester to London was under an hour long and then it was 11 hours straight to Los Angeles.

3. In flight service on the British Airways flight was SO much better!

Will post photos very soon once D gets off the computer. I'm blogging from his iPad. I love LA so far, and seem to have brought the rain with me from England. It's been raining a lot, which is totally out of character for the sunshine state.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

That H&M Du Juan red Christmas dress

Remember that dress?

Well obviously supermodel Du Juan looks perfectly svelte in it. Woowwweeet! As for me, I needed to get a UK size 12. The size 10 was unforgiving, and any form of unforgiveness is out as far as I'm concerned.

I wore the dress to my office Christmas party and we were accidentally-on-purpose arranged to result in an alternating red and black pattern. You can never go wrong with red in this time of year. No-ho.

Photo borrowed taken shamelessly from L's facebook page. I hope she doesn't mind! I didn't bring a camera that night. I had a lot of fun but sadly fell ill the following few days. The venue (the town hall) was extremely cold. Incidentally, this was the night when my colleagues imparted some pearls of wisdom to me regarding "control underwear". Seriously, how did I not know they exist seeing as I could definitely use some? A google search the next day revealed that control underwear are in fact quite expensive so I didn't look into the subject matter any further. 

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Catch up - the past 2 weeks in photos

My birthday outfit

All saints button detail off-shoulder top, uniqlo striped culottes, uniqlo heattech grey stirrup leggings, and Marks and Spencer's round toe faux fur cuff boots.

Heavy snowfall outside my office window. After 5 years here, snow is still such a novelty for me!

Student protests against the proposed tuition fees hike. Funny placard quotes included "First Dobby dies, now THIS??" and "Dumbledore is rolling in his grave!". Um, students, we want to be taken seriously yes?

Celebratory dinner at Giraffe with WP. We were celebrating God's goodness and faithfulness as she received good news that her contract as a travel copywriter is being extended. WP is a very good writer.

Farewell party, a send-off to good friends who are returning to South Korea after a stint in Manchester. In the photo I'm squashed between darlings Ju-He (leaving us! boohoo) and Charis, the brilliant owner and chief designer / buyer behind GRAFEA, a boutique of luxury leather goods. Link to her online store on the side bar --> This woman has Vogue magazines dating to before I was born!

Glistening Beijing roast duck for my birthday dinner. Mmmmm... What a blessing! This was seriously yummy.

A birthday gift basket put together by good friends J and WP :) Supersized mugs and marmite. They know me too well.

Thank you Jesus.