Saturday, December 1, 2012

Canaima, Venezuela

Canaima lagoon

Guacamaya Bandera, Venezuela's national bird

Tucan


Churun River

Behind El Sapo Falls

Carrao River with our guide who goes by Muerte, among many names

Angel Falls


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Boquete, Panama



Visiting the Kotawa Coffee plantation in Rio Cristal
Raw coffee beans taste very sweet!

Coffee tasting

The waterfall in the Rio Cochea canyon


Packing for the next leg of our trip!


Isla Coiba, Panama

View from the ranger's post (lookout)
Yum
Out at sea
What M wore to protect himself from mosquitoes

 We went to Island Coiba national park for a scuba diving weekend. The islands were beautiful and the sea life sensational! We saw monkeys, reef sharks and turtles and even one ginourmous WHALE SHARK!

Between 6 and 7 every night the mosquitoes would swarm and I came home with about a trillion bug bites. What can I say? I'm just so tasty...

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Travels

Tamarama Beach, New South Wales

Dear all,

I am sorry for not doing a better job of blogging. Anybody that has a blog out there knows what a challenge it is to maintain certain frequency and coming up with well presented and original content. Thank you for continuing to read, but overall, lets all take it a bit less seriously OK? <3

What has happened since May:

- M took some Spanish lessons
- I quit my job
- M applied for long leave at work and it was approved
- We moved out of our house and in with our friend down the street
- We saved lots of dough
- We bought Round-the-World tickets to explore South America for approximately 3 months

Why?

Because M has always talked about doing a big long trip and it's time we get it over with
and of course,
because we can. Yes, we are very lucky indeed.

I'll try to post about our trip on this blog as often as we can, but will likely keep it short on the text and details. Thanks for sticking around nonetheless!!! We love you,

L + M

PS. If you use instragram, you can look me up I'm missbongaloo

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Upholstering a chair: part 1

This post, and subsequent parts, tells the story of my numerous attempts at upholstering an old chair.

I will start by stating that a much better and more detailed step-by-step was hosted by Little Green Notebook in NYC. So read that too!

I found this chair dumped on the curb in our street:


As you may or may not know, I am a big of old things and old furniture. And an even bigger fan of free things! So I took it upon my self to give this bad boy a brand new look.

The first step was to unscrew the seat, and remove the 2,677,831 staples that were holding the vinyl to the wood (of both the seat and the back).

Friends allow me to warn you: this is BACK BREAKING work. Yes, you will endure a lot of back pain, and your knuckles and arms will be sore, and you'll step on staples and scream sometimes. Professionals have a garage or studio where they can work with the chair at chest height, which I suppose would be nice... but at home we just worked on the floor.

By we, I mean my mom and I. She was visiting at the time and helped me enormously, in fact I dare say she removed 80% of those annoying little staples all by herself. Bless her little hands.

Next! I had to sand down the current finish on the chair, by hand. M helped with this as well, and this time we worked outside.



I don't know what kind of lacquer exactly was applied on the chair, but as it turned out it was a really thick layer of it.

This took many hours of brute work which could have been saved had I had a power sander...

Wipe with a wet cloth and time to apply the new stain!


In this picture I was working at my neighbor Lisa's backyard, because she was also sanding and staining her old chairs at the time (one of hers is on the left).

Here comes the fun part!


Or so I thought.... turns out the old varnish was still on the chair! It was just deeply, deeply engrained in the wood. So the chair did not take well to the new stain, at all. I tried all different spots of the chair, I tried different brushes and sponges and different stains. I tried 3 coats to see if it would even out eventually, or end up with some weird cool look. But no,  nothing worked and it looked like crap.

So back to the drawing board.

Coming up on part 2: spray paint! :-)


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The last warm rays of summer

Camping trip to Mt. Kosciuzko National Park.

 We drove from Sydney to Thredbo after work on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago with some new friends... 6 hours later (around midnight) arrived at our first campsite on Thredbo Diggings.

It was so late and we were so tired that we quickly setup camp and simply went to bed.

The next morning everything was covered in dew (I LOVE dew everywhere!).


And then there were the spider webs everywhere too.






And this is my dashing mountain man:


After breakfast on Saturday we moved to Geehi Flats to camp over night, where we found hundreds of wild kangaroos. They were chilling on the grass until M scared them off and they started jumping in every direction.


Kangaroos are magical....


So you get an idea of the size of these:



This is my trusty and gorgeous tent, the MSR fling:


Our typical setup:


And you can't go to Kosciuzko National Park or Thredbo without climbing to the top! Most tourists (ahem if you are short on time) take the ski lift almost to the top and then it is a relatively easy walk (about 60-80 minutes) to the highest peak in all of Australia! A glorious 2228 metres :)

The trail looks mostly like this.

I'm sorry there aren't more photos of our vegetarian Russian friends or of all the yummy food we had. It was such a lovely weekend, we laughed, ate, drank and made new friends. I want to go camping again!!



Sunday, March 4, 2012

Olive and Rosemary Biscuits

I have a new-found obsession with the Gilt Taste website. Have you been there? It is an online retailer of all things delicious, nutritious and luscious.  I am religious about checking their recipe section several times a week, which explains techniques for many classic and simple yet comforting, tasty dishes.

My latest adventure involved buttery biscuits with olives and rosemary:



Tip: check if your baking powder has an expiration date!



You shape this crumbly mess into a sort of dough and get out the cookie cutters, or glass...



And voila! They are buttery and crumby, which I love, but I expected them to rise even more in the oven. Boooo.... Also if you are going to add olives, make sure you cut down the salt as the olive brine is quite salty as is. 

What kind of biscuit are you?