Wednesday, December 22, 2010

as seen in...

alright, i have to admit
to feeling a tad conceited
writing a
'as seen in'
but i just wanted to share,
since this has been a year and a half in limbo,
inspired by real events aboutttttt 6 1/2 years ago.

plus i thought it appropriate for a life list wednesday post,
since a couple of items on my list
revolve around being published.

i wrote a story that appears in the aopa 
(aircraft owners and pilots association)
pilot magazine, in the january 2011 edition.
it's part of the series
'never again',
a compilation of scary situations and close calls,
written by pilots.
the point is, let's learn from each other's mistakes, 
so we don't have to make them ourselves.

so if you follow this link, 
you can read a harrowing tale 
and a plea to pilots, to know
WHERE and HOW to adjust your GPS settings,
and how we should focus on surroundings and not electronics,
during a night flight. while traversing an ominous mountain range. in jarring turbulence.
hanging off the edge of your seat yet?


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

hazelnut maple goodness.

this is what it looks like outside.
apparently i have super powers.
because whenever i think about snow,
it appears
in the masses.

we have about 12-14 inches in the backyard,
but down in the valley it's a wet slushy mess,
with a lot less snow and a lot more rain.

so this is what i spent my morning doing!
with this recipe.
hopefully it's good! 
i figure i should get some maple syrup desserts 
under my belt,
living in canada and all.

what yummy desserts are you making for the holidays?



Monday, December 20, 2010

le weekend.

snow. sleet. powder.
number 9 express.
lift rides with general custer.
christmas shopping and wrapping.
this is what my weekend was full of.

it snowed,
and then it melted,
and then it snowed again.

i'm back home in salt lake for the holidays.
this year's new christmas traditions,
(besides the fact that we are nearly guest-less)
include putting LED lights on the christmas tree.
these suckers are BRIGHT.
looks like we decorated the tree with
glowing Trix cereal.

when we sit in the kitchen eating dinner,
the blue lights make the wall look purple.
we've set out complimentary sunglasses to wear,
so not to look directly at it. 

sneak attack.

tomorrow's itinerary:
more of the same.
we're playing musical cars at the happ household this week.
and i'm getting a haircut that is WAY past due.

what did you do this weekend?
almost ready for christmas?



Tuesday, December 14, 2010

wintery mix.

well, finals week is over for me.
mainly because i didn't have any...
but before you think i'm all lazy over here,
the last four weeks i've been slaving over four papers.
i was pretty happy to turn my last one in, yesterday morning.

now i'm going to slush through the rainy snow 
when i'll hop on a plane (well two planes)
and go home for the holidays.
praying atlanta isn't as bad as it usually is for my flight connection...

monday it rained and melted all the snow
and today the snow is back with a vengeance,
making up for lost time I guess.

I had a dream last night,
that my family didn't wait 
one more day for me to come home,
and went and bought the christmas tree without me
guess i'll find out tomorrow!

anyone as behind as I am 
with christmas shopping???



Friday, December 10, 2010

friday top ten.

thank you gen, 
for requesting
'the top ten crazy things that happen at the happ house'
xmas style.

1. can we just start with the fact that 
on average
we housed 15-21 people for a week. 

2. uncle george's crazy morning wakeup calls/departure countdowns.
on speaker phone.
once every 27 seconds.

3. walmart tag.
manager didn't like that so much.

4. mac party at the kitchen table.
i think we had at least 10 laptops?

5. ten years and only one broken arm. 
that deserves an applause.

6. the plan to steal the presents,
hide them in the bed of uncle's truck,
and convince isaac that santa forgot our house.

7. action sports movie. 
versions one. two. three. four?

8. the number of daily trips to the grocery store.

9. the bloody decapitated snowman
that colin made in the front yard.

10. oh yea.
that time the christmas tree fell over.

who wants to add something?



Thursday, December 9, 2010

meet sammy.

friends, i just want to make a few important announcements.

it was 14 degrees today.
and felt like 6.
i definitely felt like it was 6.

there are 8 pages and 4 days 
between me and the end of the semester.
which will be celebrated,
by reading for pleasure (Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks is on the list)
playing in the snow,
and a dire wish for some vin chaud.
anyone in europe want to fed ex me some?

i am kinda disappointed in our christmas tree.
it does not smell like christmas in the apartment,
what up with that. 

maybe it's because the tree is not (cough) decorated yet.
oooh well. i'll get there. 

somebody make a recommendation for 
friday top ten tomorrow.
....or else i'll be forced to list 
major ideas 
from each of the ten+ pages in my paper.

waaa haa haaa.



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

life list: brave the winter in a big city.

this is the view 
(can i call that a view?)
from my bedroom window, 
taken last night.

monday afternoon at 3pm it started snowing,
and the 2-4 cm of snow (1-1.5 inches) 
they forecasted....
turned into 35 centimeters.
that's 13.77777 inches of unforecasted snow folks. 

since everyone was obviously WAY unprepared,
the plows didn't come into the city until last night.
but man, did they come in full force.

the trucks, plows, and tractors
towed more than 5,000 cars 
in order to plow the streets.
overall, the afternoon/evening of snow
cost 17 million dollars.

17. million. dollars.
just so you know what we're dealing with here.
they mean business.

and while it took a little longer 
than i would have liked
to (semi) find the sidewalks again,
they've been pretty efficient.
at least for as much warning they were given
i.e. zero.

the top weather man in montreal was apparently 
'unavailable for comment' 
for an article in the metro newspaper this morning.

so not only does
'brave montreal's winter'
make my list, but also
'brave the winter in a big city'.

it's a little different when you don't have 
your car to drive around in everywhere.
and even then, 
a ford focus does not = suv.

although most times i love living in a city,
where i can access a lot by foot, bus or metro,
winter is the only time i find that
completely contradicted.

i must say,
i love my winter coat,
my handy new winter boots,
and my furry warm fantastic mittens.

this is the most prepared for winter i've been in years!



Monday, December 6, 2010

le weekend.

might as well 
skip le weekend,
as it was spent

with a nice break to go buy a christmas tree!
just need some tinsel and lights to liven it up a bit :)

the backyard (ok, the 2 sq ft balcony) is now a snowglobe,
and i am glad i'm on this side of the glass.
seems the snow has arrived folks!
glad my snow tires are installed and ready to tear up the roads.

ps. i heard this song months ago,
wrote down the artist's name,
and promptly lost it.
i found it today when i started working on my last paper,
and have had it on repeat this afternoon.

i feel like karma is poking me in the side,
 saying i should have started the paper earlier...

are you having a snowy monday?


Saturday, December 4, 2010

a belated friday top ten.

random style, because i can't think of a theme.
start sending me recommendations, people.

1. yesterday (friday) was the first time i cooked dinner this week.  end of semester? yes.
2. i love candles, but i always feel guilty using them up. 
3. i indulged in a 5 episode seinfeld marathon tonight.
4. i want this scarf for christmas.  in all colors.
5. today at work i listened to some strange npr podcasts: car talk, this american life about chicken grooming, and wait wait don't tell me about offensive itchy wool sweaters.
6. we bought a christmas tree tonight.  
he's either going to be named sammy (for sapin de noel)
or chris (christmas tree). 
7. sammy/chris looks like a fat kid with no neck. 
i'll wait for the branches to relax a little before i post a picture.
8. i was in the U.S. for about 2 hours this week.
9. sometimes i miss india. do you ever have strong vacation nostalgia?
10. it's currently -28 degrees in alert, canada. -40 with the windchill.
don't worry, it's pretty far away from where i am now.

what made your week random?


Thursday, December 2, 2010

shaggy houses.

dear readers,

i have disappeared for a bit.
i seem to be trapped 
between working saturdays scanning and cleaning documents,
referencing 27 class readings in papers,
and giving too many presentations.

my brain has been filled with
learning happening in nonformal settings,
aesthetic music experiences and their role in culture and education,
the disappearing humanities,
paradigm shifts,
political graffiti in morocco

just to name a few.

it seems it's snowing in EVERY city worldwide 
except Montreal
(universe, I am NOT taunting you, 
let's be clear on this).
i just think it's comical that things seem to be reversed at the moment!

home in 2 weeks.
christmas trees and chocolate advent calendars,
ornaments and present wrapping,
SKIING and snowman making,
are plenty of lights at the end of the tunnel.

as is this house, 
completely overgrown with vines.
i feel like i'm looking at a picture of a dog, 
with tons of hair in his face, all you can see is his tongue hanging out 

what is your light at the end of the tunnel?
let's stick together here!


picture via architectureblog.  

Friday, November 19, 2010

friday top ten.

ten reasons that make this weekend awesome.

1. the week is over!
2. 3 presentations out of the way.
3. beaujolais nouveau soirée tonight!
4. toasting to new jobs!
5. my warm puffy winter coat FINALLY arrived.
6. a nice long (freezing) run.
8. earning some money tomorrow (this is the upside of working 9-5 on saturday).
9. snow flurries, furry gloves and wool socks.
10. christmas music that's made it's way on to my ipod.

happy weekend friends! 
i know i wasn't around much this week, 
the next two weeks are gonna be BUSY ones too.

how are you going to enjoy your weekend?
what are your top ten reasons it's going to be a great one?


Monday, November 15, 2010

le weekend.


this is a monday evening weekend recap
instead of monday morning.
i have a 4 hour break between classes on mondays,
which i usually use to blog,
but today my blog lost the battle to my literacy paper due next week.
c'est la vie!

my weekend was much like my monday,
filled with work!
i worked 9-5 on saturday
and spent most of my sunday afternoon in the library.
smells like the end of the semester, eh?

i have three presentations this week,
but there are a couple lights at the end of the tunnel.
beaujolais party on friday!
harry potter on saturday!

i was going to go on and on today about
how riding the bus has changed my life...
but that'll have to wait for later :)

for now,
here's a little nightcap.
a hilarious (and true?) excerpt from the simpsons,
where they talk about grad students.

here's the youtube link to the video,
this is the first time i'm importing a video into the blog
so i'm not sure how it'll work.
plus, for some reason the video is showing up SUPER tiny.
oh well.



photo via: a beautiful mess

Thursday, November 11, 2010

live like a local: la distillerie.

this weekend i felt like a local,
when i walked into a great little bar with some friends,

it's a cocktail bar
with wooden tables, and chairs,
and barstools gathered around old wine barrels.

there's a set of rules written in french
on a great chalkboard wall.

par exemple,

'invitez vos amis à la fête. par contre, n'invitez pas les gens
que vous n'inviteriez pas chez vous'

invite your friends to party at the bar! but, don't invite people here 
whom you wouldn't invite to your house. 

pretty sound advice.

but my favorite feature of all?

most of the drinks are served in mason jars!
i just love that idea. 

i think it's definitely a bar i'll be heading back to.
come visit, so i can take you there.
so many mason jars to try! 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

life list: start a fashion blog.

i'd say about 3/4 of the blogs i read 
are fashion blogs.
not haute couture or anything, 
rarely vogue or schmancy stuff,

just personal blogs of women 
who take pictures of what they wear.

i think reading them
has made me more creative with my outfits.
now i look in the closet and see more choices.

it's fun to see what other people wear,
although sometimes i think 
i'd be nervous to put all those pictures of myself
on the internet for everyone to see.

i've made a skirt from directions on a blog,
started thrifting,
and i have a whole pile of bookmarks for DIY projects.
top on the list: embellished tank tops and chunky knit hunter green leg warmers :)

are you interested in fashion?
do you read fashion blogs?
would you read mistinguett if it were a fashion blog?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010


how is it 
that sometimes 
those of us who have gone through
the worst of times,
are the ones who are the most positive?

here's a video for an inspirational tuesday evening.
this lady is soon celebrating her 107th birthday.
she's the oldest living Holocaust survivor.

she just has a certain light about her.
she plays the piano every day,
and the way her eyes smile is contagious.

we all have something to complain about,
something to lose hope over.
this woman survived concentration camps,
escaping not only with her life, but her unharmed optimism.

listen to her story if you'd like,

Monday, November 8, 2010

le weekend.

it's debatable whether or not this was influenced
by my friday top ten...
but i ended up eating indian, quebecois, and mexican 
over the weekend.

i've officially found and declared my 
favorite indian restaurant in montreal
(only had to try two!)
so indian food & seinfeld was on the schedule for friday date night :)

saturday, we were invited 
to a family friend's house.
a french woman that's lived in canada for 40 years,
and her husband, quebecois born and bred.

we drove an hour out to their little country home.
it was nice to have a little change of scenery.
the last time we left montreal was at least a month ago,
when all the leaves were orange and red and still on the trees. 

we enjoyed an apertif
(need to find out the quebecois word for cocktails)
and shared stories.
i have to say, it was funny speaking with a french woman
who didn't necessarily identify herself as french,
having lived 40 years in canada.
i don't think i've ever met a french woman
who wasn't french to the very core.
does that make sense?
it was less intimidating in a way.

the man's accent was hard to decipher sometimes,
but actually light in comparison to some i've heard.
we sat around the cutest tiny wooden table and ate lunch-
the woman served us
'quebecois style'.
apparently it's the custom for the cook 
to serve your guests' plates (in the kitchen)
-as opposed to buffet style-
a funny little quirk.

on the menu:
red pepper soup 
homemade croutons and rolls
tomato breaded chicken, broccoli & homestyle potatoes
and of course
maple syrup sugar squares for dessert.
which made me smile.

i was wondering out loud last week,
what constituted canadian cooking...
i think i've found my answer.
while the recipes might not be all that different
there is one common and necessary ingredient:

maple syrup.

i think it's the only food item that's cheaper in canada than the states...

sunday night was 69 cent taco night at 
3 amigos
in the latin quarter in montreal.
we went with a group of 7 other french people 
who are working and studying here.
69 cent tacos are alright,
but it was far from cafe rio or Anahuacalli.

all in all, a cuisinar-ily diverse weekend.

how was your weekend?


Friday, November 5, 2010

friday top ten.

today's top ten:
types of restaurants that i love
and want to try!

1. indian 
which i ate tonight, yum!
butter chicken & garlic nan deliciousness

2. sushi!
there's a place on the street next to mine

3. vietnamese
also not far from the apartment

4. afghan restaurant 
we tried to go there a few weeks ago with friends
but it was full

5.georgian/russian restaurant
probably the one i'm most curious about 
i have no idea what they eat in georgia

6. mexican
gotta find a good mexican place around here!
i'm going through withdrawal

7. vegan 
there's a vegan restaurant on campus
that is by donation only
sounds yummy

8. french
i miss crepes!  and tartiflette! and raclette! and chevre chaud!

9. italian
we ate a great little italian place,
and i know there must be tons of others around here

10. canadian?
i need to figure out what exactly canadian food is,
and then find a good resto for it.
bacon? maple syrup?
they have this specialty up here called poutine
fries, gravy, and cheese curds.
not quite on that bandwagon yet...

what's a restaurant you've been wanting to try?


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

le weekend.

how was your weekend?
mine was slow and relaxing.
it rained all day saturday,
which eventually turned to snow

i took the opportunity to order 
my new (down, fur-lined, -20 rated)
winter coat :)

we saw 
the social network
and visited a gallery
where the guide gave us a
very thorough tour

monday was chaotic, as they usually are!

here's a little treat for you,
the new covet garden
online magazine for november
i haven't even looked at it yet.
i like savoring magazines,
reading them bit by bit.  

ps. re: reading material-
my new metro book,
has turned a bit heavy.
a little change from
confessions of a shopaholic, etc. 
if you're around montreal
and you see a girl crying in the corner 
on the metro,
chances are it's me !
going to need another fluffy story after this one.

how was your weekend?


Friday, October 29, 2010

friday top ten.

1. a red crayon
earliest halloween costume
which i only remember from pictures.

2. a pumpkin
a big puffy orange pillow type costume,
with matching stem/hat

3. a witch
first grade. i still remember the awful apple bobbing contest.
 i did have a pretty cute little bob though.

4. a black cat
original, i know. complete with gymnastics leotard
and a tail made from tights and stuffed with socks.

5. a hippie
the year everyone else decide to be a hippy too.
not many other uses for the long blonde wig afterwards...

6. a cowboy
plaid shirt, pigtails, HUGE prairie girl skirt.
i think i may have even taken a stuffed horse with me to trick or treat.
regrettably, no cowboy boots.

7. the coca cola polar bear
i thought it was quite the original idea-
i wore a white sweatsuit, my mom made me a hat with ears,
and i carried an old fashioned bottle of coke.
but i was pretty annoyed
when everyone kept asking, oh are you a bunny? >:0

8. 'miss georgia' 
the year my three friends and I
dressed up as state beauty queens
in godawful gaudy prom dresses.
couldn't tell ya why i picked georgia though.

9. a french maid
this one was a buy-n-wear costume.
i added the black stilettos though :)

10. teenage mutant ninja turtles
probably one of proudest halloween moments.
that was the year i was studying abroad in france.
we made our costumes with yellow place mats,
fabric face masks
and green paint.
we even had splinter.

a brief history of alli's halloween costumes.

what have you dressed up as?
are you celebrating this year?

xo & happy halloween

Thursday, October 28, 2010

on windy days and organizing.



all things yellow.

it is blowing like crazy outside.
the yellow leaves outside twirl high up in the air
and then fall all the way back down to the ground.

the wind is whistling through my barely open window,
kind of eerie.
the sky behind the bare trees is dark,
i think we're in the middle of an autumn storm.

on a morning where paper topics
and assignments are floating around like mad in my head
just like the leaves outside,
i find a particular pleasure 
in all things organized.

like this tumblr page i found on delicious.
i had a hard time picking only a few images. 
go and explore!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

life list: develop my own photos.

this is a life list item 
that goes waaay back.
i just know i should have
taken Photo in high school.
but i joined the choir instead,
which is ok.

i want to learn how to navigate my way around a dark room.
to take my pictures
and see them come to life afterwards.
to clip them up with little clothespins,
and impatiently patiently let them dry.

my sister has binders upon binders 
full of photos she developed herself.
our hallways are lined with shots she's taken too.
we talked about putting a dark room in the basement for awhile.
i think that would be so much fun.

what's on your life list?


photo via stuffilike.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

what's cooking.

tuesday night dinner.

gruyere (except i cheated and made emmental) crostinis

Yep, i've turned into a foodie.
a soup foodie it turns out.
this is perhaps one of my favorite things i've cooked so far.
the recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of cracked red pepper.
well, i live on the edge,
so naturally i doubled that.
spicy coconut deliciousness.

ps. go to her blog, this lady has AHmazing looking recipes.
already decided granola is next on my list.
if i don't do those maple oatmeal scones first.
seems as if procrastination takes a new form in grad school...


Monday, October 25, 2010

le weekend.

hello friends!
how was your weekend?
mine was wonderfully lazy.

drinks with some new friends on friday-
a wonderful mix of french and english,
stories shared in both languages,
over a couple pints downtown.

saturday i slept in for the first time in ages, 
and went for a nice long run in the (chilly) 
leave-speckled streets.

saturday evening was
creamy tomato artichoke soup
and a seinfeld marathon
with some strawberry ice cream
thrown in for fun.

and sunday i got to chat with some dear friends 
a skype date spanning three countries!
the rest of the day my nose was buried in my books.
my mind was swirling by the end of the day

how was your weekend?
getting through monday alright?


ps. i know i'm on a soup high lately...
just found this recipe, which sounds
unique and delicious.

photo via lonny's shop.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

friday top ten.

autumny things to do list.

1. make soup:
butternut squash, tomato, lentil. and some chili too.

2. carve a pumpkin.

3. roast seeds from squash and pumpkin.

4. go for walks in the park.

5. break out the tights
and scarves

6. jump in/crunch through piles of colorful leaves.

7. find perfect puffy winter coat.

8. tailgate. cheer on your favorite team.

9. wear nice woolly mittens

10. sip some cinnamonny apply cider.


what are you adding to your list of autumn things to do?



Thursday, October 21, 2010


nothing like emily dickinson
to get you through a rainy day.

some sigur ros on your ipod may help too, 
i found out.

this week has FLOWN by,
as all of them seem to be doing recently...

i started a very exciting community project this week,
and have been reading all about
measuring beauty,
non formal learning in labor unions
and violence in education.

i'm just going to stop and 
appreciate for a moment,
that i can talk about all those subjects
in one masters program!
sometimes i think i'd like to be in school 

how has your week been?


ps. thoughts about the new blog layout?
still working out some kinks with the title and picture...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

weekend reading.

ok i'm becoming a serious fan
of online deco mags.
and my lucky readers,
i'm passing on my love to you.

colorful bedsides

lovely summery picnic, upper left.

love those yellow chairs!

a roomy living area 
and tulipy wall paper.

take a look!
happy weekend!


Friday, October 15, 2010

friday top ten: blog roll.

this week's friday top ten:
(which was hard to narrow down)
ten of the top blogs i read.
in no particular order.

always has the cutest stuff from around the web.
sharing secrets.
grad school style from a self professed nerd. 
self esteem, fashion, KILLER shoe collection.
proves you can have a great closet from thrifting.
a french take on canada.
all sorts of creative.
great outfit posts.
for the photography lovers.
for the travelers, writers, life lovers.

this is by NO means an exhaustive list!
there are many others 
that i just couldn't choose between.
and i'm always finding new ones.

your turn!
what are your top ten?
and what should i be reading?



life list: see mount everest.

image courtesy Kappa Wayfarer.

there is definitely a sizable (sizeable?) chunk of my life list
that is made up of 
traveling to places
and seeing natural monuments.

although some days i think it would be amazing
to climb to the tippity top of everest,
others (like après reading Into Thin Air)
i'd be happily content 
with a postcard from a distance...
not to mention, keeping my toes and fingers.

what's one of the 
natural monuments 
from anywhere in the world
that's on your life list?



ps. friday top ten is coming later today!

food for thought.

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