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girl

China celebrated its 60th anniversary a few weekends ago.  So I took a long weekend and celebrated by journeying into mainland China…to CHENGDU, in the heart of Sichuan Province (about 3 hours from HK by plane).

Sichuan/Szechuan is famous for its SPICY FOOD. The kind of intense in your nostrils, teary eyed HOT that numbs your whole mouth. They also still practice some of the most elaborate rituals surrounding tea drinking customs in all of China … and are you ready?? Most importantly, Sichuan is home to China’s PANDAS.

panda1

Eight year old Stephanie has been waiting for this moment all her life.  They are so CUDDLY and HUGGABLE and LOVEABLE! I laughed, I cried, I took over 400 pictures, I could have stayed for days, I fell in love. I had to be torn away. I bought a panda costume from the gift shop, and now am going to be cuddly and huggable and loveable for Halloween. hahaha. Its True.
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On my recent trip to Amsterdam I was very inspired by the picturesque city.

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Wooden shoes: the precursor to the steel-toed boot.

grafitti 2

One of the many political charged slogans near the University.

view from room 2

The beautiful terra-cotta rooftops.

cheese copy

The Dutch love their cheese …

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but not as much as their bikes!

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knife
Don’t let a dull knife get in the way of good cooking. Today Kevin Noon will be sharpening knives at the Tremont Farmers’ Market. Bring your knives, scissors, sheers, and even food processor blades. He will make them like new again using old world techniques. Don’t worry, if kevin is not there, he and Garth Proctor alternate weeks at the market. Also, each freshly sharpened knife comes with a complimentary BAND-AID.

Lincoln Park, on W.14th Street between Starkweather & Kenilworth Ave.
Tuesdays from 4:30 – 7:30 pm
June 16 – October 20
www.tremontfarmersmarket.com

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outdoor inspiration

center piece

Make a seasonal center piece with fruit, greenery and flowers from your yard. (or your neighbor’s.) Simply place your findings in a bowl of water and arrange the way you like. When styling the center piece remember to group things in threes or odd numbers. Symmetry is not always pleasing to eye! Floral foam & picks are ideal but not necessary, as the life expectancy of your clippings may be short. 

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city living

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Finally some dinning hall relief! This makes me so happy. I wish they had this when I was attending school, especially since most of the CSU dorms have a kitchen in each suite. I am glad Cleveland State is making it easy for both students who live on campus and busy commuter students to eat healthfully. Thursdays is great day because the West Side Market is closed that day. If you are need of fresh veggies or will be busy over the weekend you can just stop here. If you work downtown this is also a great thing for you too! ($1 parking?!) Thank you CSU!

city living

HK rooftop

Living in small city apartments has always inspried creative uses for conserving and creating more space. The best method I believe is converting rooftops into patios and outdoor living areas. In Hong Kong, an apartment with roof access is usually considered the crown jewel of real estate. With warmer temperatures all year long, a great rooftop is a wonderful place to entertain friends and familys, hold bbqs and just step away from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city streets. Out of my bedroom window I can view my neighbors rooftop (see below) which is absolutely breathtaking.


HK rooftop 2

(For the record, I have never ONCE seen them use said rooftop which is just a shame). Note the built in stone bench, the Large Potted plants. The enclosed space to shield from rain (as Hong Kong is also known for its overcast skys during typhoon season), is made out of bamboo a favorite building material in this country. If I were the owner of this rooftop not only would I be throwing a lot more rooftop parties and all out shindigs, I would also spice up the plants with more color. On my own rooftop I have a beautiful bougainvillea bush which is easy to maintain and blooms with these spectacular pink blossoms all summer long. Sunflowers, daisies, or a lilac bush are also great ideas for some cheerful color. For the green thumb, a small garden is also an idea, even if it is just herbs. Or for the un-green thumb, maybe a rock garden. Most importantly these ideas don’t require a rooftop and can easily be translated to a more suburban tradition of a patio. No matter what you choose … Happy Roofing!

—Stephanie Hauk

Ms. Hauk is a native Clevelander, but is guest bloging from Hong Honk. She is obsessed with all things beautiful. See her blog here http://vicioushawk.blogspot.com/


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once wed
Alright, even if you’re not getting married anytime soon there is no reason not to be obbessed with the blog Once Wed. Countless inspiration pages, DIY projects, and photos of real weddings are just a few of the categories that are a part of this gorgeous site. The color palettes found in the photos of reception decor should be reason enough for you to visit. Pass this blog address on to any bride to be you know and thank me later.

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Leaving work, you know what you have to do, grocery shop, and what you want to do, enjoy the last of the sumer weather. Well, Tuesday evenings in Tremont you can do both! If you haven’t been to the Tremont Farmers’ Market yet, you are missing out. Each week I look forward to seeing what locally grown produce will be there. They have fresh fruit and vegetables, many specialty items and music. Tonight I will be making a spicy thai stir fry with my purchases.

My Shopping List

parsley
rainbow chard
green beans
lettuce
sweet corn
hot peppers
sweet onion
eggplant
basil
carrots

Lincoln Park, on W.14th Street between Starkweather & Kenilworth Ave.
Tuesdays from 4:30 – 7:30 pm
June 16 – October 20
www.tremontfarmersmarket.com

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grassround

As most you know, its the Sunday of summer. Thats right, August. Yes, Sunday can be relaxing, but you know what’s looming in the near future. Monday. So before winter is upon us we must make the most of our time outdoors. On a recent bike with the purpose of errands I noticed the tall grass by the side of the road. It reminds me of the earthy decorations that were all the rage in suburban homes in the early 1980s. Particularly, the large vase of prickly ornamental grass that I inaccurately dubbed “cat’s tails” my mother kept in our living room. There was nothing I could do except bring some home and put them in a vase.

 
photo credit: Jeff Sierputowski

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