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A city girl's journey towards healthy living!

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Singapore: Part 3

For our last full day in Singapore, we headed to the aquarium!  We first stopped by a Maritime exhibition, about the Asia trading practices around the 1500s/1600s…

IMG_4337 IMG_4339 IMG_4340Ezra and Diego were really interested in this exhibition IMG_4345Then: the Aquarium!IMG_4346 IMG_4347 IMG_4352 IMG_4358Those are sharks in those little pods!  They said 3 can fit into one little pod.  Talk about invasion of personal space… IMG_4365 IMG_4370 IMG_4372 IMG_4373 IMG_4375 IMG_4382 IMG_4400 IMG_4401 IMG_4402 IMG_4403 IMG_4405 IMG_4407 IMG_4411 IMG_4414 IMG_4417 IMG_4419 IMG_4423 IMG_4425Then, we walked over to do the Luge!  You can read more about it HERE.  Basically, you start at the top of the mountain, hop on a little cart, and coast down a 1.2 kilometer track to the bottom.  You can go pretty fast though, as Ezra almost tipped his over on a turn 🙂

Photos from the chairlift to the top…IMG_4432 IMG_4434 IMG_4443By the time we finished it was around 4:30, so we had a light lunch.  We shared a bowl of Taiwanese beef noodles, and Ezra and I each got a Thomas the Tank Engine bowls because they didn’t have any clean bowls that were large enough.  Although I suspect the waiter just thought it would be entertaining to make us eat out of those 🙂IMG_4444 IMG_4445Wednesday morning we headed back to Dongguan, and enjoyed the rest of the holiday week watching movies, and relaxing!

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Singapore: Part 2

Monday morning we got up and walked to a nearby place called Wild Honey for brunch.  We saw this along the way…

photo-2An apartment complex with spaces on the same floor for your car!  We heard the cars, when parked, actually sit in your living room…

Wild Honey had a really great atmosphere for brunch, but the service was a little slow….

IMG_4213 IMG_4212Luckily the food was amazing, so all was forgiven 🙂

A short stack of super fluffy pancakes with canadian baconIMG_4206Toasted brioche with scrambled eggs, sausage, mushrooms, bacon and hash browns
IMG_4207 Ham and cheese quiche with an arugula saladIMG_4209Olivia, just waking up from her morning nap!
IMG_4208We decided to take taxis to the Zoo, since trying to take the bus for all 7 of us would have taken 1.5 hours and been the same price.  20 minute taxi ride instead?  Yes please. IMG_4215 First thing to do: hold a snake!IMG_4223 I couldn’t bring myself to hold one, or even touch it!

Zoo photo dump…IMG_4231I saw these two tigers and took a picture of them because they were so graceful.IMG_4234 and then Ezra saw them doing THIS:photo-3Gross!IMG_4246 IMG_4249 IMG_4250 IMG_4259 IMG_4260 IMG_4266These brown monkeys were the weirdest looking monkeys I’ve ever seen.
Check out that NOSE!
Flying foxesIMG_4282 LemursIMG_4286 One decided he wanted to get super close to the action…IMG_4290 IMG_4291 IMG_4294 IMG_4297 My favorite animals!!IMG_4305 IMG_4312 IMG_4313 IMG_4317 After the Zoo, everyone was pretty tired so we went back to the hotel to rest for a bit.  Ezra and I went out later for a “hawker” meal IMG_4325 beef satayIMG_4328 lots of vegetablesIMG_4329 and more Indian food!  Singapore has the best Indian food…IMG_4331 IMG_4332 IMG_4333 IMG_4334We made it a fairly early night, so we could get up early and head over to the Aquarium the next morning…

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Singapore: Part 1

For the Chinese holiday, we went to Singapore with our friends Debora, Diego and their 3 children, to celebrate their son Arthur’s 13th birthday! The first day we arrived, it was already in the afternoon, and we had arrived a few hours earlier than the Silvas, so we met up with Ezra’s friend Stefan and his girlfriend Samantha.  They took us to National Geographic exhibition that was happening at the Art Science Museum. They were displaying NG’s 50 greatest photos…

Then we walked over to a hawker center to grab some food to eat.  Photos along the way…

IMG_4146The famous Marina Bay Sands!IMG_4147 IMG_4148 IMG_4150 IMG_4152The food was amazing…we started with some beef/chicken satay (which we ate too fast for me to photo)

Then we sampled some Indian foodIMG_4153 IMG_4154 IMG_4155 IMG_4156 IMG_4159We made it a fairly early night (back to the hotel around 11pm), so we could have an early start at Universal the next morning.  We also lucked out with the weather in Singapore, it would rain every morning until about 9:15, then the sun would come out!

On our way to the park entrance…IMG_4160 IMG_4163 IMG_4167It wasn’t as busy as we thought the park would be, which was a relief.  We didn’t need to stand in ride lines for hours, just 2 minutes, tops!  Of course it also helped that we purchased express line passes…IMG_4170 IMG_4174Kung Fu Panda!IMG_4175Our first ride was Madagascar (like It’s a Small World at Disney), which was basically a smooth boat ride. IMG_4177 Initially Alex was a little scared.  He had seen some advertisements for the Halloween Fright Night, so he thought everything in the park would already have scary stuff.  I think he finally relaxed after the last ride of the day 🙂IMG_4179Debora and I alternated babysitting Olivia so she could enjoy some rides tooIMG_4182We also saw a show based on the movie Waterworld!  Loved that film….

IMG_4183 IMG_4184IMG_4187 IMG_4197 IMG_4198 and the day finished with little Alex driving a car.  You can see the whole family was thrilled about that 🙂IMG_4201

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Surprise Seattle

After the wedding in Maine, the four of us drove back to New Jersey. Ezra and I had a flight the next morning to head to SEATTLE!  We had been planning to surprise my family since May.  It was my dad’s birthday on September 20th, so we figured since we were in the U.S. for the wedding, we could swing by Seattle on our way back home 🙂

My sister picked us up from the airport (she knew we were coming), and took us to my dad’s law firm to surprise him. Steff just walked into his office and said, “I have an early birthday present for you!” Dad was definitely surprised to see us…because we came to the office at 12pm, dad still had a full day of work, so Steff took us up to the top of her building to see a 360 view of Seattle!

IMG_4069 IMG_4073 IMG_4074 IMG_4076 IMG_4082After dad finished work, the four of us carpooled to my parents’ house to surprise my mom.  My sister and dad walked from the garage, through the mudroom and into the kitchen.  We hadn’t exactly talked about how we wanted to surprise mom, so Ezra and I just stayed hidden in the mudroom.  Well, Steff and dad didn’t say anything for a few seconds, they just stood there!  I didn’t know what to do, so I slowly stuck my head into the kitchen when my mom saw me.  She screamed, dropped the baking dish she was washing, and just started to cry.  Then she threw a dish towel at Ezra and said, “Oh, you two!”

It. Was. Hilarious.

We had a yummy salmon meal at home, and a good’s night rest for the next day!

For our wedding gift, our friends Ryan and Kate (who’s wedding we just went to) treated us to an amazing lunch at Elliott’s Oyster House.  We asked my mom to come, which turned into my sister coming on her lunch break, and my dad too! It worked out great, especially since everyone was already downtown and free to join us.

We started by sharing some fried calamari…
IMG_4084crabcakesIMG_4085 Ezra and I also shared a dozen oystersIMG_4088Steff had the shrimp sandwich with white chowder
IMG_4089 Dad had the fish and chipsIMG_4090 Mom had the noodle stir fryIMG_4091 Ezra had the wild salmonIMG_4092 and I had the salmon sliders with white chowder!IMG_4093 Then the waiter gave us THIS (it was hilarious, he kept saying Eura instead of Ezra!)IMG_4094Ryan and Kate also got us VIP tickets for the GREAT WHEEL!  Before we got this, I was literally telling Ezra that we have to go there because it’s next door!  We walked down the pier and got our tickets.IMG_4095The little cabin we got was amazing, it had a see-through floor!  We had super comfy leather chairs to relax in, AND it had speakers in it, so we could hook up my iPad to play some music!IMG_4104IMG_4099

IMG_4101 BEAUTIFUL views of Seattle.  We lucked out with the weather, it was sunny and clear the whole time we were there!
IMG_4103IMG_4112 IMG_4114 IMG_4117 IMG_4128While in the U.S., I realized how MUCH candy America has in it’s stores….photo-1Scary.

Then, later that week we celebrated my dad’s birthday!photo


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Maine Wedding: Part 2

The morning of the wedding, Ezra and Ryan wanted to jump into the lake.  Mind you, the water was about 65 degrees.  That’s FREEZING.

IMG_3655Doris and I walked over to the bridal suite where Kate and her party were getting ready.  We arrived just in time to see them heading out into the forest to meet Ryan for a first look!
IMG_3675I snuck between some trees to snap a few photos of my own 🙂IMG_3686 IMG_3702Then it was back to our cabin, which doubled as the groom’s cabin for the afternoon.  A few last minute drinks before the big ceremony! IMG_3709The ceremony was beautiful, here’s the groom walking down the aisle with his mom!IMG_3737Then came the bride with her father IMG_3739It was a fantastic place for a wedding. The view was amazing, and the ceremony itself was really wonderful.  IMG_3752Here’s a shot of Ryan and Kate, when Ryan’s best friend Tigner was playing guitar and singing.  IMG_3775I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I have to say, weddings are the place where you really feel the love from everyone!  Ryan and Kate had about as many people as we did for the wedding (around 100), and it was the perfect amount.   IMG_3792The best man, maid of honor, bride, groom, and their dog Liberty! IMG_3803The Goldmans IMG_3830 IMG_3832Time to dance 🙂 IMG_3927I love this photo.  I snapped this just as Ryan and Kate told Ryan’s parents that they were giving them a slice from the top of their cake.  IMG_3943Eric and me dancing.  Apparently I thought I was a better dancer than I really am… IMG_3966Noah, busting a move… IMG_4010Doris and Ezra IMG_4036and the bride and groom.  I think this may have been Ryan trying to “twerk”?  IMG_4045Really great weekend.  The weather ended up being perfect for the wedding day (after raining all the previous days)! Congratulations to Ryan and Kate.  We wish them all the best!!!

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Maine wedding: Part 1

Thursday, September 12th, Noah, Danielle, Ezra and I drove up to Sidney, Maine for our friends’ wedding!  Ryan and Kate both went to Oberlin College with Noah, Ezra and me.

Ryan, Ezra and Noah, upon our arrival 🙂

IMG_3497That evening there was a small get together at Kate’s parents’ house.  They live just a short drive away from the music camp that we were staying at (NEMC: New England Music Camp).

Kate’s dad making a speech…
IMG_3511They live right on a lake, so the four of us went down to take some photos before dinner
IMG_3503 IMG_3500 IMG_3504Friday afternoon was the rehearsal dinner.  Ezra was the best man, so I tagged along to take some pictures of the bride and groom.  Kate’s mom officiated the wedding!IMG_3541 IMG_3549The rehearsal dinner was held at the camp, and included lobster!!!  We ate SO much lobster on the trip, it was ridiculous…IMG_3571Kate and Ryan!IMG_3574The four of us and the bride and groom!IMG_3634Then we had to get one photo of all the Obies that came to the wedding.  Including Ezra’s dad!!IMG_3642

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A US visit: Part 2


We met up with some other friends in NYC, one of whom is a food historian, author and AMAZING chef!  She made a beautiful pasta with seafood for lunch, using black spaghetti that she received through an Italian company called Felicetti.   IMG_3459 IMG_3461Francine is also coming out with a new cookbook…if you’d like contemporary, authentic Italian pasta, this book is the way to go.  You can purchase this book and many more of her books HERE!
IMG_3462In the evening, we met up with Noah and Danielle (after they finished work) for the Book of Morman!  It was both obscene and hilarious, and I highly recommend seeing it if you ever stop in NYC.


For Ezra’s birthday, he wanted to keep things low-key.  Since his birthday was on a Wednesday and Noah and Danielle were working, he decided brunch would be great, so I took him to Sarabeth’s.  We both enjoyed fantastic omelettes and shared a short stack of pancakes.  IMG_3475 IMG_3476 IMG_3477 IMG_3478For dinner we kept it close to home and went for Mexican food in Hoboken.  We started with drinks at the W, then slowly made our way to the restaurant…
IMG_3485 IMG_3487

Fresh guacamole, table-side!IMG_3491 IMG_3493 IMG_3494

Needless to say we left stuffed, but satisfied!IMG_3495Up next: a Maine wedding!


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A US visit: Part 1

At the beginning of September, we visited Ezra’s brother and sister-in-law in New York/New Jersey, went to a friends’ wedding in Sidney, Maine at a beautiful music camp called: New England Music Camp, AND surprised my parents in Seattle for my dad’s 63rd birthday!

Let’s start with the New York/New Jersey visit…

We stayed with Ezra’s brother and sister-in-law in New Jersey, and almost every morning I was able to go out for a run and see this…IMG_3214

This is during one of the long walks we took on the weekend!IMG_3217

One evening, the four of us met up with Diane and Bart for dinner at the Strip House.  Best. Steak. Ever…IMG_3223Oysters to start!IMG_3224IMG_3227After dinner, we went to the Canal Room (owned by one of our friends), and got to hear a live 80s band!  They were amazing…  IMG_3230 IMG_3234 IMG_3235 IMG_3236 IMG_3253 IMG_3247

We also did a “touristy” walk across the Brooklyn Bridge 🙂IMG_3286 IMG_3281

Randomly saw some street performers along the wayIMG_3278 IMG_3260 IMG_3287

And had a walk through Central Park!IMG_3305 IMG_3307IMG_3310

On Monday, September 9th, I surprised Ezra with his early birthday gift: tickets to the final match of the U.S. Open!

IMG_3339 IMG_3343 IMG_3353 IMG_3356

He was super excited 🙂 We sat pretty high up, but luckily even those seats were great!  We were able to see every point clearly, and we didn’t feel so far away from the action.IMG_3359 IMG_3365

Nadal (in grey)IMG_3367

and Djokovic (in red)IMG_3371

By the end of warm-up, the stadium was completely filled!IMG_3400

It was a PHENOMENAL match, and Nadal (ranked 2nd after Djokovic) won!  IMG_3456


The pressure’s on…

SO…I’m back to blogging!  Again 🙂

We recently became godparents to our good friend’s daughter: Olivia!  She was born on the morning of July 9th.

Here’s one of Olivia’s first moments: when Debora (mommy) got to hold her for the first time!IMG_2217Debora and her parents, Flavia and MarioIMG_2258Proud godparents 🙂IMG_2307Mom and baby looking very fit, 5 short hours after Olivia’s birthIMG_2340Godfather!  In Portuguese, the godfather is called Dindo…IMG_2342And yours truly, the Dinda 🙂IMG_2370IMG_2372Dad, Mom and Olivia!IMG_2361Debora only needed to stay just 3 short days in the hospital (C-section recovery time).  About a week after everyone was settled back home, Debora and I took an afternoon to take some more “professional” photos of Olivia…IMG_2517IMG_2540IMG_2566A couple photos in the couple weeks following…IMG_2670IMG_2690Then earlier this month, we did a 1-month photoshoot for Olivia…IMG_2870This book one didn’t turn out exactly as we had hoped, because Olivia kept waking up and crying because she didn’t like the position we’d put her hands.  We finally resorted to putting them at her sides…IMG_2937IMG_2967IMG_2921IMG_3013IMG_3023IMG_3078IMG_3133IMG_3085After being born at just 2.2 kgs (roughly 4.8 lbs!), Olivia’s finally at a healthy weight: around 4 kgs (8.8 lbs). Can’t wait to see what she’ll look like next month!


First time at Karaoke

Friday night we went out to dinner with some friends, at my favorite lamb place!  Then we stopped by our favorite bar: One for the Road.

















Ezra and Dozier having a laugh 🙂

Saturday night was my first time ever doing karaoke!  I have to say, I was a little nervous…until Cher’s Believe came on.  Then it was all over.  FYI, karaoke is much easier when you have a beer beforehand.

Or two.

TOTALLY rocked it.

















Hair whipping was involved.




Also, the music videos that the karaoke played while you were singing, were NOT the actual music videos…Instead, they were 90s-style hippie videos!


An awesome time had by all.