it was all yellow: september 2017 favourites

I really like September. It's not hot anymore but it's also not quite cold yet, and so you get to enjoy the last few days of summer while feeling the charms of autumn in crisp yellow leaves. It's also back to school time! These are some things that made my month better:

I had an urge to read something emotional and sad, so I picked up Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close after looking through one of my many TO READ lists. It follows nine-year-old Oskar, who finds a key he believes was left behind by his father who was killed in 9/11. The search takes him across New York City, meeting character after character. It made me cry a lot and want to kiss everyone I loved.

If you've seen me at all in the last few weeks, there's a hell of a good chance I was wearing my yellow sweater. I saw it on a rack at Zara, fell in love with it, went straight to the cash register, and now it's been attached to me ever since.

nong to the bu!

I'm kind of obsessed with David Chang.

For those of you who don't know, Chang is the founder of the Momofuku restaurants that are now all over the world, and launched the beloved (but now deceased) food literary magazine, Lucky Peach.

I heard about Chang after the release of the Momofuku cookbook, and after that discovery, discovered Lucky Peach. It wasn't until his appearances on Worth Itthough, that got me really fascinated in Chang. I spent an afternoon watching whatever I could find on Chang when I probably should have been working on anything else, but instead that afternoon led me to an intense craving for something, anything delicious.

Well, what is delicious? These days all I've been eating is fries and grilled cheese and beer. It's good, sure, but I don't know if it's delicious enoughparticularly delicious enough that will satisfy a craving from watching David Chang cook. My problem was, though, that I had promised one of my best friends AKA Jon AKA badboyjonjon AKA THE JON that we'd have pho for our "quick lunch" date. I love pho, and it is certainly delicious, but IT WASN'T THE CRAVING I NEEDED SATISFIED!

So sat I in my hunger, making it all the worse by watching David Chang eat Korean BBQ with Steven and Andrew for probably the twenty-seventh time, and it clicked in my head that Nongbu was a 5 minute drive away.

The Jon has agreed, because he's a good friend and is always down for anything, and we plan on ordering bibimbap or some kimbap or remotely something small, since this was supposed to be a "quick lunch before work," but no. In the words of my mom, our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, and we ordered ssam - meat that we would wrap in lettuce and other veggies.

We opted for a spicy pork (belly?) (maybe?) (pork for sure, though) of some sort, I can't remember the name to be honest (I'm a bad foodie), but it was SO YUMMY.

Then we got kimbap.

Jon kept saying over and over, "I want kimbap. I think we should get Kimbap, Cathy. We'll be able to finish it, I promise." Then we ate about 5 ssams, and the kimbap came out and it looked so gooddamn delicious I forgot my stomach was already mostly full.

I'm usually not a sauce or condiment person, but oh my god whatever this sesame sauce had in there was killer (I suspect a hint of wine, or something alcoholic, I don't know, I already said I'm a bad foodie).

Just when I thought I was getting full, Amanda graced us with her presence, and our "small lunch" turned into a full out hang out and she ordered some ddeokbeokki. She says that they make their own rice cakes from scratch and I believe it, because it's the best ddeokbeokki I've had. We had a full feast on a Wednesday afternoon being the only people in the restaurant laughing about the fact that Amanda was still going for wings afterward this meal and dog videos. 

(I don't have a picture. Sorry.) 

I like Nongbu. It's cute there and it's yummy -- two things to get me hooked to a place. It was so hyped a few years ago, and for some reason I wasn't frequenting it as much as everyone else was on Instagram, but I think it's still as good as when it first popped up on the scene. 

But I think what made it all the more better was the fact that it was fully delicious and fully satisfying: I wasn't sitting in my hunger anymore, I got to taste something interestingly delicious and different, and I think most of all, I had satisfied something in me that I hadn't had for a little while - carefree laughter with my friends (cue the: oh my god, that-was-so-grossly-cheesy sound), and honestly, I have David Chang to thank for that. 


seattle photo diary

I recently revisited one of the most colourful cities I've ever had the pleasure of visiting -- Seattle. My family and I used to road trip to Seattle and Vancouver for no particular reason other than enjoying the fourteen hour drive there and food, but took a break in the recent years after travelling to the east coast for the first time and then California (our other favourite family holiday destination). But this year, we came back! 

We made the very long drive (or maybe it was just long because of how many bathroom breaks we needed to take..) over and hit some of our favourite American Seattle spots, including, of course, Pike Place Market, which is quite honestly one of my favourite places to be ever. There's this special kind of hustle and bustle of people, the strangely comforting smell of the sea, and wide array of treasured junk and lovely homemade goods that makes it so special. Of course we went to other places while in Seattle, but let's be real: this stop, along with its surrounding area, were the most picturesque.

I'm missing Seattle quite dearly as I write this, and so in an attempt to relive the short time we were there and to also, of course, share the joy that is only one part of the city, here is my Seattle photo diary.

There are so many things to see and take pictures of at Pike Place, but yet I kept on getting drawn to this entrance way. Perhaps it was a too-pretty mint colour covered in flowers and ENTRANCE being written in one of my favourite fonts...

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