Korean Food, Baking, DIY's & So Much More!

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, it took us nearly 3 days of traveling, 12 flights with one canceled at the last minute, 4 city’s and 90 miles on foot to get to and around you but you were worth it.

Where to start?  The food!  I highlight all the meals we enjoyed in the video as well as the cuisine unique to northern Thailand in my Chiang Mai post but here are a few more.

The incredible spread for a “simple” stir-fry.  

Speaking of, this one from a nondescript stand was probably one of my favorites.  Flash stir-fried shrimp with veggies and holy basil {one of my current obsessions} in a mélange of spices.  I love how even a humble rice dish like this can be spicy, subtly sweet, sour/tart, salty, bold and vibrant all at once.  That’s what Thai food is all about.  Even the contrast of the fluffy jasmine rice sang against the still crisp vegetables and succulent shrimp.

This was another one of those dishes that spoke of simplicity at its best.  It’s a plate of garlicky spiced morning glory yet something about it gave me life after hours of roaming the streets of Bangkok.  It reminded me of a spicier version of my mother’s Korean spinach side dish which was nice to find all the way across the world.

This was a place that came highly recommended but as I’ve found in my travels, it’s often hype.  Don’t get me wrong.  It was delicious but not worth the long wait as there was a line that extended past 5 neighboring businesses when we arrived.  If you have your heart set on trying this place that’s known for having some of the best pad thai around, don’t fret since the line goes fairly quickly to its relative size.

This is another plate I happily devoured, also from a nondescript stand.  It wasn’t trying too hard and that’s what I liked about it.  I actually walked passed it the first time, completely enamored by all the flurry of activity in front of me as I often do and turned right back around when my nose caught a whiff.  Each tender strand, soaked in gorgeous tamarind, laced with yolky goodness and fresh veggies with a serve-yourself topping bar made my tummy very happy.  Did it pale in comparison to Thip Samai?  No.  I’ll learn my lesson one day.

We accidentally stumbled upon this place but J was so pleased with our seafood spread that we came back again the next night.  You pick from 3 different “sets” of seafood that they then toss into a wok, saucing it into fiery oblivion {you can adjust the heat but we go big or go home}!  They recommend you use plastic gloves for the affair but with all the kimchi I make, I think my fingers are immune to peppers.  What they didn’t have was any sort of rice so we just popped over to the next stand and purchased a bundle of sticky rice for 10 baht.

Thailand is the land of coconut dreams.  I figured I’d be so spoiled from all the fresh coconuts in St. Croix but my love for all things coconut trumped any such notion.  I began most days with fresh, icy cold coconut that I watched each vendor so expertly hack, then happily nosh on the coconut jelly before hunting down more coconut-y edibles.  Pictured here is fresh coconut ice cream in a coconut bowl with its young meat scooped out topped with lychee jellies.

Fresh passionfruit juice was another daily stop for me but when I see this Gac fruit, it immediately held my attention as I’d read all about its innumerable health benefits and its intriguing likeness to sweet tomato juice when researching my trip {and yes, there were 6 out of the 8 pages of my itinerary dedicated to food}.  I have to say I was disappointed.  It literally tasted like nothing.  I guess I’m glad it’s so healthy because it really tasted like a bunch of nothing.

The view from our Bangkok condo.

Towards the end of our Bangkok stay, we decided to make a day trip out to Ayutthaya.

There’s lot more from Ayutthaya in my video with a upcoming post on Chiang Mai.  I hope you enjoy!


My Natural, Minimalist Skin Care Routine

I like to keep my skin care routine pretty simple and minimal.  I’ve noticed that over the years, my skin has actually improved using less products and looks better now in my 30’s than it did in my 20’s.  I attribute this to my daily green smoothies, lots of sunshine and generally being happier.  Skin care is still very important.  I haven’t purchased any conventional skin care products in over a decade.  DIY is my go-to.  This ensures that I know exactly what gets absorbed into my skin.  Before we begin, I just want to say that this is just what works for me.  Different skin types may react differently.  I’ve just learned what’s best for mine.

Cleaning my face:

If it’s been a particularly strenuous day and there’s more buildup, I’ll swipe my face down with organic textured cotton pads soaked in raw apple cider vinegar, with the mother.  I’m also a fan of the oil cleansing method.  Every few days or so, I’ll do a deep clean with a lemon/sugar scrub.  I’ll use the leftover lemon from my morning lemon water and combine it with either organic sugar or pink himalayan salt.  For a daily cleanse, I’ll typically reach for my oats.  Using warm water will release its milky lather and I’ll use about 2 tablespoons to scrub the wet oats in circular motions all across my skin.

Nourishing my face:

For maintenance, I love a turmeric tea steam.  I’ll simply take fresh organic turmeric {not the powder} and boil it into a simple tea.  I’ll capture the steam by pulling a towel over my head and the bowl of turmeric tea to allow it to open my pores and steam clean my face.  Alternatively, I like fresh lavender flowers and green tea.  Yogurt masks are also very nice.  I’ll slather homemade full-fat yogurt all over my face and leave it on for 20-30 minutes.  Sometimes, I’ll add in manuka honey or cacao but often it’s just plain.  It leaves my skin feeling plush and plump.  For something a bit stronger, I like to utilize the enzymes in pumpkin or papaya for a natural peel.  The fruit enzymes will “eat” the dead skin cells to reveal the “new” skin beneath.  You just pat on mashed papaya or pumpkin onto your skin and leave it on for 15-20 minutes.  If you’re extra sensitive, this will leave a pinkish blush behind.  For this, I definitely like to blend it with the manuka honey.  For a more creamier, workable consistency, you can combine it with yogurt.

Moisturizing my face:

You guys already know I’m obsessed with essential oils.  They play a key role in my skin care routine.  I pretty much use frankincense every single day.  If I’m not diffusing them {which is also beneficial for the skin} I’m adding them directly to my DIY lotions and serums.  They’re so effective that I also like to add a few drops straight into a facial oil and use it that way too.  A tip to make sure you’ll fully getting the maximum benefits from each essential oil is to apply them with a facial massage.  It’s also particularly helpful after a facial steam.  If essential oils aren’t your thing, try my noni salve for inspiration.

My DIY serum is great for unlocking numerous anti-aging benefits.  It goes on lightweight and encapsulates the power of several essential oils into a delicious, skin loving serum.

My easy face lotion is simplicity at its best.  It has the most buttery, creamy texture that your skin just soaks up.  This is probably my daily go-to for moisture and it never disappoints.

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