Sunday, March 28, 2010

Motoring through Motown snapping photographs.

As mentioned my big brother G and I went on a mini road trip to Michigan this weekend. We came to visit our lil Sweet Pea sister and her host family. (She's on a year long high-school exchange). May I just say Sweet Pea sis has one of the most loveliest host families on earth? In fact, her host dad Greg took us on a little tour of Detroit.

Here a few photos from our 3-hour journey through "Motown." Turns out the "post-apocalyptic" American city still has some hidden gems and glitters of new inspiration...

Guardian Building Atrium

At the Detriot Conservatory

Heidelberg Street

Clean + Sober Orange Head

The Fire Hydrant and His Friend

From Bloomfield Township, driving south on Woodward Avenue (the first mile of paved road in the world!) catching a glimpse of a Frank Lloyd Wright original, popping our heads in to the magnificent interiors of Fisher Theatre and the Guardian Building, walking through The Conservatory on Belle Isle, to walking around the whimsical open-air art world of found objects (including abandoned homes) known as The Hidelberg Project by artist Tyree Guyton... It was an absolutely delightful afternoon! Thanks again Greg :)

More photos to be posted soon. Tomorrow all about my first Seder!


Friday, March 26, 2010

Eye spy with my little eye... Das Rollende Hotel.

Originally posted here.

Tomorrow I'm going on a mini road trip with my big brother G to Michigan. I heart road trips big and small. We're renting a car. By the way, if you ever want to drive across to the US (and likely vice versa) and need a rental, I highly recommend Budget Rent A Car. Not only was Budget the most affordable, compared to Dollar and Thrifty their unlimited mileage feature was actually unlimited. The other rentals were only unlimited within your province (boo!) But as usual I digress...

It just so happens I came across this nifty new way to travel called Rotel. As DVICE puts it, "What else would you call a rolling hotel?" Germany-based Rotel Tours lets tourist travel to fabulous locations by combining tour bus and hotel into one rolling vacation.

The bright red custom-modified Mercedes hotel-on-wheels has 24 seats and 26 capsule-sized sleeping areas for trip participants (the two extra beds are for driver and tour guide of course!) Also equipped with a small kitchen and toilet, however Rotels lack a shower. Ewww, that could get a bit stinky! Thankfully the tour company says they try to stay at campgrounds with shower facilities as often as possible.

Interestingly, while I call this form of travel new, Rotel has been doing this for years. They have 3,400 beds rolling all over the world from the Serengeti to the heights of Patagonia!

Perhaps if I learn German or they add an English or French function to their website, I'll try 'em out sometime. I like think they'd be more affordable than a cruise and way more comfortable than Greyhound!

Bon weekend!


PS - Re: "hiring a car..." Oops, also forgot Alamo Rent A Car also an excellent choice for cross-border unlimited affordable rentals.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A delectably brilliant Earth Hour idea.

Earth Hour is but a day away! What to do?

Well while I will actually be out of town visiting family and friends, (rest assured we will be sitting in the dark enjoying each other's company on Saturday, March 27th at 8:30pm doing something)... What I'd like be doing is as It All Starts With Butter suggests: Earth Hour Fondue Dinner by Candlelight.

According to the fabulous foodie advice of It All Starts With Butter, fondue is broken into 3 courses: cheese, traditional and chocolate.

For cheese, I love his suggestion of rubbing the pot with a clove of garlic before melting the cheese for a little added flavour. I told you it was delectably brilliant! Not to mention easy and affordable, according to It All Starts With Butter, if I'd prefer not to grate the cheese myself, I can pick up packaged fondue cheese for about $8 for a pack that serves 4!

For full details on how to do it right click here. The best part of this Earth Hour suggestion? It can be done at any hour!

Bon app, mes amis !


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Cuppa Tee V.

Originally posted by Likes.

I am a bit of self-proclaimed tv junkie, and I don't even own a television! That's right, I watch tv online on my schedule! Which of course is usually the day it's posted =/ Current fave since Glee took a hiatus: The Good Wife -akin to Law & Order but much much juicier ;)

Come to think of it none of the shows mentioned above were featured in the video below. Yet it doesn't change the fact that while impressed, I was more relieved not to recognize all 22 television theme songs! Yay, maybe I'm not a tv junkie after all...

It's sunny out. Time for me to grab a book and sit in the park!


PS - I've noticed blogger has been cropping the YouTube videos I've been embedding... My apologies. Simply double click on any of the videos and it will open directly to the original video post.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ginger the Great.

Originally posted by Compartilhamento de fotos!

Been blogging as a cuppa tee now for nearly three weeks, so I suppose it's about time I actually blog about tea!

It all started last night... Not sure if I just devoured my dinner too quickly, or 'twas jittery nerves as I await important emails from job prospects and cute boys, but I had a tummy ache :(

The solution: Homemade Ginger Tea. Conveniently I had a whole bunch of ginger root just sitting around from my poule au pot au feu...

Here's what I did...
  1. I brought about 4 cups (1L) of water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Took about a 2-inch chunk of ginger root, peeled it and cut into thin slices . By the way do you know the trick to peeling ginger? Gently rubbing the skin off with a teaspoon. Works like a charm!
  3. Add ginger slices to boiling water, cover and let simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. (I also added a tablespoon of turbinado sugar a.k.a. raw sugar at this step, since I didn't have honey to sweeten at completion.)
  4. You can strain the tea, or if you're impatient like me ladle the the tea into your favourite mug and squeeze in fresh lemon to taste.
  5. Enjoy ;)
Spicy and invigorating, a cuppa homemade ginger tea did just the trick!

Ginger by FotoosVanRobin

Not just a tummy ache remedy, did you know "in ancient China, ginger was regarded as a healing gift from God. Ginger has an ornate, long history of both culinary and medicinal use in Chinese, Japanese and Indian medicines?"

Check out these facts I discovered when looking for cool photos of ginger...
1. Good for the respiratory system: ginger treats coughs, asthma, bronchitis, and helps to clear sore throats.

2. Strengthens the immune system's ability to fight infections and lowers fevers.

3. Relieves headaches, toothaches and backaches

4. It is believed that ginger root juice is able to dissolve kidney stones.

5. Offers substantial protection from stroke and heart attack because of its ability to prevent blood clotting. It reduces serum cholesterol, which can slow down circulation.

6. Effective in geting rid of motion/ morning sickness, gas, swelling, and diarrhea, upset stomach and indigestion. It stimulates appetite.

7. Stimulates circulation so it is good for cold hands and feet.
The list goes and on, and can be found here.

Happy Tummy Ache-Free Tuesday!


PS - Candied ginger is even better than that those adorable spicy little red cinnamon hearts from Valentine's Day ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Cuppa Green Tee: Barcelona Street Lamps.

As I'm so accustomed to writing about all things eco from my ecojotting days, I can't help but be delighted to begin with this week's cuppa green tee from beautiful Barcelona...

Churros originally posted by swastruck.

Other photos by me.

I'll never forget the first time I visited the second largest city in Spain along the Mediterranean coast... Probably because it's the only time I've ever visited. For now that is ;) The warm welcoming air (even in mid-October); the decadent Churros y Chocolate (yum, perfect with a cuppa tee); then of course there's the design: the fashion, the streets (graffiti and all), the architecture: new and old, and even the fresh markets screamed vibrant colourful art!

So what goes better with design, other than innovation? Reminiscent of my ecojotter post "sensored, times and on call... lights!" this brilliant idea makes one think of all the electricity that's wasted by city lights that stay on when no one needs them.

"The solution: one Barcelona neighborhood is using a system of LED lights, controlled wirelessly, to provide light exactly when, and where, it's needed. It keeps the streets safe while saving the city money." For full story, take a "GOOD LOOK" of the video below:

Plus unlike the Dial4Light idea from Germany, it doesn't require you to use up precious cellphone airtime minutes. However, both are definitely worthy of a green tee mention! Hopefully more cities are inspired to be eco-innovative leaders...


Friday, March 19, 2010

"You know that line from that movie?"

So right up there with food, is a love for movies... Even better is watching a great flick with some freshly popped popcorn, but I digress 0;)

I've seen so many films in my lifetime, that sometimes they begin do blur. Happen to you? I recall countless times my Uncle M and I trying to remember the name of a film, that actor, that scene, that line... And while the Internet Movie Database a.k.a. IMDB has come in handy, what if you had access to an exhaustive video library of the most memorable movie moments?

Introducing... ! You can search by actor, director, even object!

I just tested it out myself, and I'm not sure if it's because tons of people are testing it out this very moment, but my only complaint is response times seem to on the slow side. The website also appears to include the following disclaimer:

My final film critic thoughts? ★ ★ ★ out of 5 : Awesome idea, however, I'll be even more impressed when the kinks are ironed out and more video clips are added! What do you think?

It's sunny out here in Toronto... Time for me to get some Vitamin D ;)

Happy Friday!


PS - 10 followers... Yipee! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

love love LOVE food.

As originally posted by staree.

In case you haven't noticed I am particularly fond of food. I adore seeing food in vibrant photographs, reading reviews, watching films featuring it, envying it, cooking it, I could go on and on... But most of all, I of course desire nothing more than to taste flavourful food!

Therefore this little cuppa foodie tee is thrilled she has so many friends who love love LOVE food as much as she does. In fact, turns out another one of her friends has just started a new blog titled Lean&Luxe.

Lean&Luxe is a journey as a foodie to lose weight without sacrificing flavor. Daily posts will be Good-for-You-Gourmet menus with recipes as well as keep you up-to-date on nutritional information and tips & tricks.

YAY, delicious and guilt-free cuisine, such as the "Grill Glazed Pork, Baked Sweet Potato and Asparagus" pictured above.

Was so happy to see It All Starts With Butter among Lean&Luxe's blogroll, since I personally can't go without butter! Not after my year in France 0;)

Crave by Whisk Kid.

Now to go dream of food... Bon App !


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Cuppa Green Tee on Greenest Day of the Year.

Since it quite literally is the greenest day of the year (Happy St. Patrick's Day!) it only seemed appropriate to post this week's cuppa green tee today... A bright bamboo idea...

Via Inhabitat. "Expansive, dazzling and bustling during the day, the Colombian seaside quickly becomes a desolate and dangerous destination at night. The inability to channel electricity to the shore has created serious problems keeping beaches well-lit and safe past sun down."

Enter: Ingendesign's Flow light, a bamboo-made, self-sustaining public lighting solution which operates on the principle of vertical wind turbines. Thanks to its sexy spiral form, the lamp can capture wind from any direction.

"Each of the blades’ tips have been incised angularly in order to project light downwards to passerbys and so that the motion can be seen at a distance. With light sources positioned at the ends of each of the wind blades, depending on the force of the wind, the play of light is abundant, ranging from continuous lighting to more deliberate waving movements."

Simple in it's design and construction, the Flow light is made from eco-cheap (locally accessible) bamboo and recyclable electronics: LEDs, wires and dynamo.

Nifty, right?

Once again, Happy Greenest Day of the Year!

One Lucky Day, originally uploaded by {Ziggy}.

Monday, March 15, 2010

(Belated) Happy Pi Day!

My dear sweet pea sister, who herself is awaiting college admission results, told me yesterday that MIT has a tradition of making admissions results available on 3. 1 4 1 5 9...

Recognize the number? It's π (Pi), as in MIT reveals who's in on March 14th at 1:59pm, also known as Pi Day. By the way, it turns out Albert Einsten's birthday also falls on March 14th. Go figure! Leave it to the world re-known institute of technology to be that geeky!

Remember π? A mathematical constant whose value is the ratio of any circle's circumference to its diameter in Euclidean space?

I must admit, I don't recall the last time I used π... I do however recall the last time I ate pie! It was moving day, when I thanked my friends for helping me move (yet again) with pizza, beer and blueberry praline pie from none other than my fav Madeleine's Cherry Pie and Ice Cream... Mmm, yum!

And so in honour of π and the yummy variety... An awesome one minute apple pie video, also courtesy of my sweet pea sis.

Warning, it will make you want to bake pie:

one minute Apple pie from Sergey Yazvinsky on Vimeo.


PS - Coincidentally foodie friend It All Starts with Butter, posts "Baking is for Mathematicians." Check out his post if you prefer cheesecake :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Inside Out Bubbly

Just a quick post, since there is no other bubbly drink I love more, nor makes the best aperitif, than champagne! Mmm Veuve! How about drinking it inside out?

Introducing quite literally the InsideOut Champagne Flute...

Simply put, it's an inverted champagne flute. Bonus is, not only do they look classy but since your hands aren't in close contact to the champagne like a regular flute, the precious bubbly stakes cooler longer! What's more, they're on sale right now: $30 for a set of 4, compared to a regular priced $60.

Turns out Charles & Marie carry InsideOut almost everything: shot glasses, liquor glasses and mmm martini glasses! While the other glasses look sharp, I must admit I still prefer the champagne flutes, but that's just me ;)

Cheers or as the French say Tchin-tchin ! Oh and Bon Weekend!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Since iPhones aren't yet impermeable, enter... Waterpebble!

Is it just me or are there devices for everything?

I recently found out there's an iPhone app that "analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you when you are in the lightest sleep phase" thereby making "you feel rested and relaxed." My geeky big brother insists it works. Sorry G, that's what you get for not reading my blog ; p

Apps such as "Sleep Cycle" are what have me convinced that if iPhones were waterproof (like the the digital camera pictured to the right) then there two would be an app tracking your water usage when you showered. However, since iPhones aren't yet impermeable, enter... Waterpebble, this week's cuppa green tee...

Discovered via DVice... "The clever [little] device by designer Paul Priestman, monitors water going down the plug hole when you shower. Memorising your first shower and using it as a benchmark, Waterpebble then indicates, via a series of 'traffic lights' flashing green through to red, when to finish showering." The best part, their site claims, "each time you shower Waterpebble automatically fractionally reduces your shower time, helping you save water without needing to think about it."

At £3.19 each, the jury is still out on how usefully green Waterpebble is. In fact, I couldn't help notice this cheeky comment...

Then again, depending on the type of shower (aren't the ones that feel like waterfalls annoyingly the best?) a five-minute shower could be too long! Therefore until I get to test it out myself, all I will say, is kudos on design dedicated to saving our precious water! At the very least I think this invention deserves a cuppa green tee nod :)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The power of poulet.

Pot-au-feu, originally uploaded by toshi[G2panda].

Montreal was amazing. Coming back with a terrible bout of the cold/flu not so much.

That's right, that's why I've been MIA. Rarely am I so sick that I don't even manage to turn the laptop on =/

Thankfully lots of sleep (18 hours alone on Monday!) plus home-cooked chicken soup did the trick in telling those pesky cold/flu germs they weren't welcome!

Many times had I heard that chicken soup was not only good for the soul, but the ultimate cold/flu-buster! Craving something comforting, I managed to go pick up the necessary ingredients to make chicken soup French-style poule au pot au feu which I'd learned to cook during my au-pair days. Here is cooking tee-syle:

1 - 6L pressure cooker filled with:

  • a whole fresh chicken
  • a large onion chopped in quarters
  • a couple large carrots chopped in chunks
  • a couple stalks of celery
  • some small red potatoes chopped in quarters
  • some cabbage (what i could fit in the pot)
  • some English leeks (again what i could fit in the pot)
  • a good chunk of ginger thinly sliced
  • half a head of garlic (i peeled the cloves and crushed them slightly ever so gently)
  • a couple bay leaves
  • a small bunch of fresh thyme
  • some black pepper corn
  • a cuppa chicken broth
water filled to just over 2/3.

Seasoned to taste after cooking with Fleur de Sel (de La Boutique de Pont-Aven)... A treasured little bottle from my time in France)!

Since I don't use my pressure cooker that frequently, I googled cook time, which thankfully is a mere 12 minutes once pressurized.

While I dream of one day owning a bright coloured enameled cast-iron casserole a.k.a Le Creuset, I gotta admit I absolutely heart my pressure cooker from my Auntie A and Uncle M. It makes waiting when you're sick and hungry unnecessary, and so much better than opening a can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup!

Note: Recipe will work sans pressure cooker, and a bit more patience ;)

As the French say... Bon App !

PS- Found scientific proof of the power of (soupe) poulet here: "Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Colour me Friday!

I am willing to be the first to admit, I am a bit of a geek. Maybe even a full-fledged one ;) In fact, I love technology as much as I love bright beautiful colourful things. Needless to say that when a friend posted Multicolr Search Lab of Idée Inc. on Facebook I got super excited! (Thanks Andrew!)

What's this misspelled Multicolr Search Lab, you ask? Simple it's a web-based app that has "extracted the colours from 10 million of the most 'interesting' Creative Commons images on Flickr" paired it with "visual similarity technology" to allow us to navigate the collection by colour!

Speaking Greek to you? I highly recommend just checking it out for yourself... If you're like me, you'll easily find yourself clicking to your heart's content before you realize you've skipped lunch! Speaking of lunch...

Am off to brisk Montreal this afternoon for the weekend... This shall only be my second time to the beautiful French-Canadian city... Can't wait! Poutine, profitéroles, practicing mon français, and partying up my Auntie M's big 4-0, here I come!

Bon weekend, mes chers !


Thursday, March 4, 2010

A fleeting moment between two strangers...

Conversation, originally uploaded by Austin Tolin.

What does a fleeting moment between two strangers look like?

Watch the following absolutely gorgeous black and white film by Arev Manoukian to find out. Recommended by my Uncle M, this spectacular short film won top honours at the LG Film Festival.

Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo.

Certainly makes me think twice of simply smiling and looking away when catching a cute boy's eyes in the streetcar ;)

Random green is sexy tip: the energy-less date.
(For when cute boy giving me googlie eyes asks me for my number, of course!)
Show how sexy you are when you put less energy into your date – and get more out, if uknowhaddaimean.

1) Cook a meal without cooking: forget that ol’ stove and oven and, heck, even your unplugged microwave. Go light, go raw, go fresh salad! Get your bean taco on! Show sandwiches who is stylin’.

2) Candlelight dinner: It’s romantic, it’s sincere, it’s…been a long time since you had one last, hey?

3) Play a game: Yes, RockBand is super fun to play on a date – but what about that power and creativity that lies in charades? Or Apples-to-Apples? Or even just some good ol’ fashioned competitive WAR? You’ll be skipping those extra watts to power your projector and getting back to the basics: getting to know someone.

Happy Thursday! And thanks for stopping by :)


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

hello !

First and foremost, a special welcome to my dearest eco-lovelies of my former ecojotter thoughts blog! And of course HELLO and welcome new readers :) Thank you for checking out my new blog... Much like my ecojotting ways, yet hopefully so much more, I shall share my personal thoughts and delightful stumble-upons here at a cuppa tee.

Some will continue to be green, like this too-cool-not-post eco-concept "light tree" by industrial designer Omar Huerta that "mixes hydroponic techniques with the best and the latest in solar technology to provide a unique lighting system that also grows plants and is powered entirely by renewable energy." As shown below and found on ecofriend:

And others will just be random splendid finds or recommendations such as the following video my sweet pea sister sent me:

I heart stop-motion! That's it for now folks...