Saturday, June 12, 2010

Signing off: Places to go and people to meet!

It's been a hectic week preparing, but I'm finally off to catch my flight.
I will be back in a couple of weeks with fun stories of far off lands- the culture, the food, the fashion, and everything in between!  'Til then my loves!

Friday, June 11, 2010


I grew up in a soccer family.  Playing soccer, watching soccer, and still loving it as an adult.  The World Cup starts today in South Africa so naturally I'm excited for the games to begin, but Vanity Fair has me singing "Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!" for more reasons than one.  Soccer boys in patriotic boxer briefs anyone?

Cheers to Friday loves!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Packing is a pain in the...

How do you really go about packing?  Well, the process thus far has turned my bedroom into a disaster zone of shoes, purses, dresses, skirts, blouses, etc., etc,. etc., and has caused me to empty the last of my Bailey's and Vanilla Vodka into my stainless steel martini shaker while frantically phoning my mother.

Mom: I was waiting for your phone call.  I knew this was going to happen.  (chuckles) 
Me:  Help.  Everything I've touched has made it to the "yes" pile.  Half! Half! Of my closet is on the floor.  This is INsaane.  I need deats.  ASAP.  Where are we going?  Who are we seeing? What kind of parties will we be attending/throwing?  Obviously we will be going to the island, I know that, but what about-
Mom:  Okay, okay. (insert calming motherly tone) Here is what you'll need: two pairs of jeans, several pretty blouses to coordinate, one cocktail dress, a -
Me:  1ONE cocktail dress?!  You ask the IMPOSSIBLE!! How am I supposed to choose one of 50, and what if I don't feel like wearing it when it's time to-

Mom: And please limit your bag to one.
Me:  OH, pshhh, piece. of. cake.
Mom: (Silent shock) 
Me: (Silent sigh of relief. Phew! A reasonable request.) Of course.  Wait.  Do you mean A (pronounced as a short sounding vowel) PURSE?! What?! I was agreeing to one suitcase!  Not 1 purse for God's sake! And what about clutches, and-

Mom:  Oh, and it would be nice of you to bring your Chi.
Me: Excuuuse me?  That thing will probably explode if I plug it into an Asian wall.  And. That. Thiing. Was  nearly 200 hundred dollars.  You break it, you buy it.
Mom:  Never mind.  Can I call you back?

So there you have it.  My marbles are scattered to all ends of the apartment, and instead of packing, I am writing you to discuss the pain of packing.

And waiting for my amused mother to call me back.

Music Festival Muse

I wish I could, but I can't.  But if I did, I would...

... wear all of the

How's that for the ultimate music festival muse?

Bonnaroo!  Yes, it starts today, and if I could only pay such a stylish visit to my fave Regina.  Who would be on your main stage list?  And would you join me in my Bohemian chic glory?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Pizza and Ice Cream

 Sometimes all you need in LIFE is cheesy stolen stromboli, meatballs with NO spaghetti, coconut AND banana ice cream (sometimes a girl needs 2 scoops), and sweet, sweet friends. 

You see, I'm leaving for a big globe trottin' adventure in just 3 days in which time I will miss 1) a very important birthday and 2) a very important "ripper."

AND...although I will ONLY be gone for 3 weeks and a handful of days, I have the type of friends who will treat such a night, a night that should just be pizza and ice cream, like a GRAND farewell. :)

p.s. Internet access will be sparse on the island, but thanks to one of the above, I will be keeping tabs via hand-written journal.  In this digital age, and in the spirit of grace and civility, I have to say some things in life are best written by hand.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Asian Freckles?

So I'm no Lucy Liu, but in the summer time my nose starts to look like this...


I've always wanted a freckle or two, that is ever since I fell in love with spunky Ann with an -e from Green Gables, and I would've killed to have as many as this...

or scattered so perfectly like this...
or to have some as smokin' as this...
{image 1 via, images 2-4 via}

I'm not so sure why many people think badly of freckles (Do you after the above pics?) or even try to cover them up. I think they're so stinkin' cute and scream I'm fresh faced and lovin' the summer sun!

So... when my mother called me to come a little closer, as she reached out her hand to brush "something" off my nose (always cleaning up after her children!), I was extra delighted to announce that my summer freckles have arrived...however few they are!

HA! Who knew? Cheers to Asian freckles! ;)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Food Adventures: Lemon Mint Cake and a quick DIY!

Having spent the whole day with the mom, I thought I'd share a recipe I braved just for her!

So there's not many people for which I would brave baking, so I decided since my mother makes that list, Mother's Day was the chosen day. She love loves lemon desserts, and I love Giada so Lemon Mint Cake it was. 2 hours and a disaster of a kitchen later...

Lemon Mint Cake, fresh pink peonies from the Farmer's Market and a homemade card just for Mother dearest...

...drizzle with lemon zest syrup, bust out the Kate Spade china (yes, the china mother strongly insisted (aka forced) me to get), and enjoy.

*The cake was fresh and not too sweet, and although I followed the recipe to a T, it was also a little dry. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I guess opening a bakery is not in my future*

I had one left over peony bloom after I got carried away and did this,

but no vase. Not a pretty one at least. SO...

...I tore off a piece from the paper that the flower stand used to wrap up my blooms and wrapped up the only hideous (well, actually just Christmas themed) vase that was left.

Fresh flowers, homemade cake, and a happy momma- it was a pretty good day.
Cheers loves,

It's Showtime!

Today I'm so excited because I'm headed off to High Point's Semi-Annual Fabric market-ITMA Showtime. My mission? To find fabulous fabrics for everything from...

to chairs...
to pillows...
and plates?
{images 1, 2, 3, 4}
Okay, well maybe not plates, but you get the picture! This is going to be fun!

Happy Monday loves,

p.s. I'll keep a keen eye out for anything extra fabulous a.k.a. anything you must absolutely know about!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dear Weekend's Past and others,

Dear Sister friends,
Thanks for always being on the same page as I am. 1 bottle of prosecco, a vodka cocktail, a bottle of red, and one of white later, and we still managed to keep the same pace of not only drinks, but also of laughter and good cheer.

Dear Bikini cover up,
Thank you beyond words for being within arm's length reach when I unknowingly pulled the string of my string bikini bottoms. With one hand frantically covering up "the goods," well at least the front side (hey, it's better than nothing!), you were within reach of the other, therefore helping me avert total (key word, total) humiliation at a crowded pool.

Dear Daily diet,
I'm sorry I strayed, but not really. Actually. Not. At. All. Extra servings, bigger portions, and tiramisu x 2 never tasted so's not like my bikini was working with me anyways, and frankly I was getting tired of the never-ending stream of protein shakes, veggie burgers, eggs, and spinach.

Dear Julie and Julia,
Thanks for inspiring me to bring my sketchbook along on my upcoming international adventures. I will get back to my roots, learn how to whip up my native dishes, and hopefully share my food forays with all my lovely Cup of Te readers!

Dear Mom,
Thanks for your Filipino BBQ recipe, Sunday supper al fresco didn't turn out too bad, and I loved sharing a dish that brings me back to the islands.

Dear Weekend,
Thank you for always coming despite how the week goes. You are always welcome and missed when you go.

Hope your weekend was as refreshing as mine!
Cheers to another week loves,

In My Happy Place: Sunday Supper

Today I awoke to clear blue skies, a deliciously cool breeze, and a morning walk with an extremely happy canine friend. As Mr.Coops was doing his business, I couldn't help but to daydream about the possibilities of today! Cooking is a hobby of mine, and after watching Julie and Julia this weekend, here is how my imaginary day took shape...
First, I would assemble a group of my most favorite people. We would walk to the Farmer's market and fill our baskets with the freshest, most colorful produce and the happiest flowers to be found. Another stop would be made at a wine shop on the way home, and we would settle on several bottles of sparkling Prosecco and rich, full-bodied reds. Back at my place, we would gather around a long, rustic table (which I have made room for by clearing out all the living room furniture), laugh (alot), chop, and prepare away. Of course the balcony door would be slid all the way open, because like I said it's a gorgeous day and it would be necessary to invite in the breeze, and while the food cooks, our prep table would be transformed into...
{images via}
...something just like this, but also peppered with our fresh flowers and bottles of wine! We would gather round the table over our fresh, local fare and toast to an impeccable Sunday filled with gorgeous weather, delicious food, and fantastic friends.
Now, if I could just make this a reality! Would you join me??

Have a wonderful Sunday loves,

Friday, June 4, 2010

That certain je ne sais quoi...

It's Friday and in a few short hours, it will be time to...
Kick back, let your hair down, soak up the sun, pour a fat glass of a bev of your choice, and of course, as comes with that certain je ne sais quoi, to savor every moment.

Side note: Do you think savoring would be easier with perfectly tousled hair, a glass of vin du pays, and a table on the French Riviera? I'm happy just about anywhere, but I have a sneaky feeling if I were homegirl, I would be oooozing that certain je ne sais quoi too.

Bisous bisous.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Food Adventures: Shrimp and Fish Tacos

Shouldn't every night be Mexican night? Well last night it certainly was, and believe it or not (since I'm trying not to jiggle in my bikini) it was just as delicious sans queso. I turned on some jazz, slid open the balcony door because I love listening to rainstorms, poured a generous glass of red, lit a few candles, and got to it..

1. Prepare fresh salsa- chop up tomatoes, onions, garlic, a jalapeno pepper, fresh cilantro, and let sit in lots of lime juice
2. Season tilapia and shrimp with s&p and pan-fry (grease is not a fave of mine so I used non-stick spray and just a bit of olive oil)
3. While fish and shrimp are cooking, prepare fillings, shred red and green lettuce and slice avocados
4. And since everything can't be homemade when you're trying to whip up a quick dinner, I popped in Green Giant's Valley Fresh steamer, southwestern style corn, for a side.
5. Stuff your tortilla with all the above- I did!

Quick, fresh, and muy bueno.

Not too keen on corn? I made Bobby Flay's black beans and rice with cilantro pesto a couple of weeks ago to go with Tyler Florence's pork adobo roast, and it's a tasty side for tacos too!

It's Thursday- Make your own Martini!

I know it's a little early to be talkin' cocktails, but let's be serious, is it really ever too early?

Especially when the martini bar looks like this?
1. Depending on your boss, the side of the bed on which you woke, the subway, traffic jams, and sometimes people in general, add appropriate amount of vodka
2. Also depending on the aforementioned, add anywhere from a generous pour to a splash of vermouth, soda water, or "dirty water"
3. Garnish with cucumbers, olives, or lemons
4. Bottoms up and repeat.

A martini à la My Cup of Te?
Extra dirty. Extra olives. Extra strong.
And you loves?

Cheers to Thirsty Thursday.

Rustic Italian Martini Bar via
Love this blog- The best dinner parties and to die for recipes.

Unfortunately I look like my brother...

I've always wanted to rock a head scarf,

BUT unfortunately with my long hair hidden from sight,

I feel as if I bear a striking resemblance to my brother.

Yeahhhhh, NO thanks.

In my head, and only so, I would look as fabulous as miss sexy thang above,

and like this...

and this...
{All images via}

AND, although he IS handsome, not like my brother.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Food Adventures: Homemade Black Bean Burgers

Veggie burgers have a bad rap, I know, but bikini season is upon us, and do you want to look like a beached whale?
I didn't think so, check it out.

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated and thought this was going to be much harder than it actually was. Thanks to my trusty bullet, dinner was ready in a flash, and good thing because we were sunburnt (okay, not really. I'm Asian. I don't really burn. I tan, don't hate me) and exhausted from a long weekend at the beach.

1. Throw onions, garlic, green peppers, black beans in the bullet and just like the infomercial- pulse once, twice, three times and voila!
2. Beat egg (I recommend two) with cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes and mix into black bean mixture
3. Mix in bread crumbs (double the amount the recipe says if you don't want to end up with mush)
4. Form patties and either grill or bake

Substitute regular crinkle fries with sweet potato crinkle fries, a white starch bun with whole wheat, top with fresh tomatoes and lettuce, and you can give yourself a pat on the back for takin' care of your body and keepin' those muffin tops under control. And while you're at it, don't forget to wash down with a glass (or 3) of delicious red wine- they say it's good for your heart, but who needs an excuse for vino anyways?

For the exact recipe- see here.