book club



Happy Halloween! | My Annual List of Scary Movies IV

Boo. . . . #happyhalloween #halloween #killercritter #mask #halloweencostume

Our Halloween was pretty low key this year. I’m still not feeling 100%, but you better believe I felt well enough to dress my kitties up in Halloween costumes! Don’t worry, they love the “treat” part of “Trick or Treat”. It was also the first time in nearly two months that I really cooked anything beyond a bean and cheese burrito. Instead of gorging on bags of candy, I baked a “Halloween loaf” aka banana pecan nut bread — no pumpkin spice insight — which I think may have to become a new Halloween tradition. It felt good to be back doing something as simple as baking banana bread, and even better eating said bread while watching scary movies.

I know this post is waaaay late as it’s technically not Halloween here in Korea, but as I’m writing this it’s still Halloween back in the States so it still counts! Plus, if you’re like me and love Halloween (my favorite day of the year), then you’ll be celebrating Halloweek instead of just one day!

So without further ado, here’s my annual list of scary Halloween movies:

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Seven Years


One of my favorite things about our anniversary is looking through our wedding photos and remembering all of the special moments from that night. They never fail to put a smile on my face.

I don’t think these photos made it to any wedding books or blog posts but I love that these two photos really capture the fun we had that night, and are so representative of the fun we’ve had together ever since. It’s been an amazing seven years.

Happy Anniversary, Sly!

(more wedding photos here)
(past anniversaries here)


11 years

dad in germany (ed)

My parents were very frugal people. We rarely ever ate out (“We can make that better at home!”) and we never took exotic trips to Disneyworld or The Grand Canyon. Our one BIG trip of the year was a road trip, taken over the course of three days, in a tiny car packed with five people and two coolers, from Texas to Indiana and then later, Michigan, where our relatives lived.

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Khao Lak | Thai Street Food

khao lak thailand | street food

While Khao Lak had more of a quiet beach town vibe over the busy resort vibe of Phuket, we had a hard time finding street food. Our trip to one of the markets turned out to be a bust and our dinner at “must eat” “local” restaurant was just okay. After we realized this, we stuck to eating at our hotel’s restaurant where the food was fresh, decently priced, and tasty.

Oddly enough, Khao Lak seemed to be travel hotspot for Europeans, in particular, German tourists. We found many Italian restaurants and even a really nice European grocery store, but where were all the real Thai food street vendors hiding?
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This Past Month

my cousin's traditional vietnamese wedding and harry potter reception

We should be lying on the beach in Hawaii right now, but we’re not. Our trip was canceled last minute. Of course, this was right after I bought tickets, which, of course, were only partially refundable.

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Khao Lak | MaMa’s Greeting Bar & Restaurant

Khao Lak | Ma Ma's Greeting Restaurant

Even though we loved the food at our little beach bungalow resort, we also wanted to try, and eat, as much Thai food as humanly possible given that we were in Thailand. We consulted several online restaurant review sites, but at the time, there were very few restaurants listed, reviewed, and that appealed to us. I don’t know what it is about some travel review sites, but we often find that the “top rated” restaurants are Western/Italian/Steakhouses, even in a country like Thailand.

Instead, we turned to our Lonely Planet guidebook, which I checked out from the library, and was, therefore, more than likely somewhat outdated. Or I should say even more outdated than usual for an LP guide. There weren’t many restaurants listed under Khao Lak, but one stood out to us. Mama’s Greeting, also known simply as Mama’s Restaurant, was described by the LP guide as an “authentic,” “hole-in-the-wall,” “beachfront,” “local gem” that we’d be “foolish to miss.”

I might be paraphrasing a little bit, but that was the gist of the review. Everything about the description appealed to us, so we jumped into our car and, using terrible directions, made our way to Mama’s Restaurant…

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Khao Lak | Bang Niang, Outdoor Market, & Tropical Fruit

Khao Lak | Bang Niang, Outdoor Market, & Tropical Fruit

After an afternoon hiking in the jungle and swimming in waterfalls, we drove back into town in search of something tasty to eat. It may sound dubious to most, but street food is always our first choice. Especially in Thailand where they do street food so well.

We stopped at a big outdoor market along Bang Niang Road, the main street that ran through town. My heart (and stomach) leapt at the sight of row after row of stalls. Surely we would find something amazing to eat!

However, when we arrived, the market was absolutely dead.

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Khao Lak | Hiking Trail to Ton Chong Fa Waterfall

Khao Lak | Hiking to Ton Chong Fa Waterfall

Just off Bang Niang Road, Khao Lak’s main street, a small road across from a nightclub leads to one of the area’s many waterfalls. Located just 7km from town, we contemplated renting bikes and riding to the entrance of the Ton Chong Fa Waterfall hiking trail, but ultimately decided to drive. For one, the weather was unpredictable. It had rained the entire morning and it was highly likely that it would rain in the afternoon. But most importantly, it was just so damn hot and humid.

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Khao Lak | Ao Thong Beach Bungalows

Khao Lok | Ao Thong Beach Bungalows

A Slice of Paradise

After a few days in Phuket, we traded in our luxurious pool suite resort for a simple two-person bungalow located on White Sand Beach in Khao Lak. On our mini road trip up North, we stopped at a gas station to purchase interesting Thai flavored Lays chips and a couple bags of our latest addiction, pineapple jam cookies. Even though Khao Lak was only a two-hour drive from Phuket, it felt as if we had escaped to a deserted island. Khao Lak was beachy and laid back, and because it was low season, almost entirely empty.

We didn’t plan on staying for longer than a day or two. Ao Thong Beach Bungalows were to be a quick stop before we headed off to another set of bungalows on Khao Lak Lake. However, once we arrived, we both knew we weren’t going to make it to the lake. Surrounded by palm trees and with access to a pristine white sand beach, we had found our little slice of paradise. All previous plans were canceled. We spent the remainder of our trip in these simple bungalows, doing as close to nothing as possible.

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