Okay, January, you can just chill the f*** out now. This month felt like it well never end. It started out beautifully then sucked me into a vortex of mild misfortune that I’m still trying to escape. It’s hard to believe that the first six days of this month were spent chillin’ on the couch watching TV. Since I’ve been back to work, I had one good week followed by nonstop illness and injury. I’m completely over it. End of pity party.
We did still manage to do some cool stuff this month, including our first date to the symphony to see the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Sci-Fi Spectacular concert. Fingers crossed for a staff discount to the Harry Potter concert in March. We also treated ourselves to lunch at Eusebi Deli, and the pasta was spectacular. Can’t wait to pop in one day for one of their gorgeous sweet treats as well.
I watched so many great movies and TV shows this month I can hardly remember them all. What immediately comes to mind is Sharp Objects, Can You Ever Forgive Me, and If Beale Street Could Talk. I have lots of thoughts. What have been your favorite Oscar and Golden Globe contenders this year?
The internet is usually full of healthy food in January, which is no fun, but I’ve still managed to find some delicious-looking favorites.
Molly Yeh went to Maui and then came home and made Manapua, and I’m not sure which one I’m more jealous of. If you know where to get great char siu bao in Glasgow, please tell me immediately.
January also brings out Super Bowl food, which is the sport’s only redeeming quality, in my opinion. I hope to dive into this Frito Chili Cheese Dip one day soon.
Finally, citrus season brings us beautiful things like these Old-Fashioned Blood Orange Donuts. They’re almost too gorgeous to eat, but I think I could manage five before regret really sunk in.
Wow, December was ridiculously stressful! I feel like I barely had time to catch my breath, never mind doing anything fun. I was also pretty lazy with my budgeting this month. It’s a good thing the new year is right around the corner, so I can get a fresh start in trying to harness some sense of control in my life.
Awesomest Evil Conniving TV Politician
Have you binge watched House of Cards on Netflix yet? I know it’s been out for a while, but the great thing about on demand TV is that you can watch things when you’re ready. I watched House of Cards this month and very much enjoyed the deviousness of Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright Penn. I also very much enjoyed Robin Wright Penn’s hair, and I’m considering getting my own hair styled that way. This show is well written and engaging, with plenty of scheming. There are no good guys, and power is the only true currency. It’s a great way to spend 13 hours.
Awesomest Live Band in Honolulu
This month, while attending a work function, I got to see the band Streetlight Cadence perform on a live radio show. They were incredible and so much fun. This band consists of four guys who play a cello, a guitar, a fiddle, and an accordion. I’ve also seen them performing on a street corner in Waikiki. They were completely engaging in both venues. They have a kickstarter going on right now to fund a recording, and I hear they’re doing a West Coast tour for you mainlanders in January. Check out their Facebook and try to catch a show if they’re coming to your town. You’ll have a ton of fun.
Awesomest Gooey Dessert
In December, the internet is usually awash with cookies. Perhaps that’s why this Salted Caramel Filled Molten Chocolate Cake from the beautiful blog Top With Cinnamon caught my eye. This thing is so sexy. Rich chocolate cake oozing salted caramel is probably the most fun you can have with a spoon in your hand. I’d love to try this recipe. I bet it tastes phenomenal.
Awesomest Christmas Present Ever
My birthday is a week before Christmas, so I got a few presents this month including a brand new proper camera which I’m so excited to learn how to use. But by far the best thing about Christmas in odd years is getting to spend it with my rad offspring. We always laugh more when she’s around, and we have another week of adventures in store. What could be better?
Parmesan Fried Gnocchi is number 2 on the list again. Nigella is a genius. There’s no denying it. Faux roasted potatoes in five minutes can’t be beat.
I cannot believe how many people viewed my mom’s Peanut Butter Fudge, a recipe that I learned has been in my family for four generations. This stuff is seriously addictive. You must try it.
I’m not sad to see the end of 2013. It was a difficult year that thankfully ended with quite a few blessings. We’re hoping to continue this upward trend with even more exciting possibilities in the year of the horse. I’m always ready for a new beginning. Let’s go!
April has come and gone and we’ve reached the end of our first full month of Awesome on $20. No idea how that happened. I’m so thrilled that a few people have found their way here. Isn’t the internet crazy? Indeed.
Here’s the awesomest stuff April offered up. Let’s do this every month! And let’s invent new words.
Awesomest Way to Get Funny Looks at Work
My new obsession is the Joy the Baker Podcast. I’m honestly a little sad that this has been happening for two years without me. Luckily, when you subscribe on iTunes, you can get every episode, and then listen to two a day at work. There’s a strong chance you’ll burst out laughing while everyone is quietly clicking away in their cubicle, then everybody will look at you like you’re a freak. It’s okay. They don’t even know how awesome you are.
Joy and her sidekick Tracy of Shutterbean chat endlessly about “totally important unimportant things.” Sometimes they even talk about food and blogging. It’s reassuring, as a new blogger, to know that people as successful as these two once felt a bit insecure as well. I’m totally normal. Yeah, I’m totally not normal. Joy the Baker podcast. Get it. Laugh much too loudly. You won’t regret it.
Awesomest Band You Never Skip When Your iPod Is on Shuffle
Do people even have iPods anymore? I’ve been using the same one since 2008, and I don’t think I’ve ever skipped over a Steeldrivers song. I’m always in the mood for their perfect brand of contemporary bluegrass. Alas, they lost their lead singer and songwriter, Chris Stapleton, a few years ago. I haven’t heard any of their recent stuff with the new singer, but that doesn’t stop me from singing bad harmony while driving my moped down busy streets. Their first two albums, plus “Live from The Station Inn” will always be worth listening to.
If you have Adele’s 21, and who doesn’t, then you already know one of my favorite Steeldrivers songs, “If It Hadn’t Been for Love.” I adore everything Adele does, but you really have to check out the original version. This song has a fiddle solo that just rips my heart out. Even if you think bluegrass isn’t your thing, I urge you to check out this band and have your mind thoroughly blown.
Awesomest Thing I’m Super Excited to Make
Whilst obsessively listening to the Joy the Baker podcast, I heard Tracy of Shutterbean talking about making her own amaretto. I immediately gasped (cue weird glances) and dropped everything to pin the recipe from her site. A few weeks ago I wanted to make a cocktail that called for amaretto, and the cheapest bottle at my grocery store was $25. What? I’m not paying that. When I looked at her recipe, I realized I already had everything except the vodka. How are we out of vodka? That needs to stop. I’m so psyched to try this out. I promise to let you know how it goes.
Awesomest Opportunity to Stuff Your Face in Honolulu
Since before I moved here, I’ve been saying I wanted to check out Eat the Street. That was a year and a half ago, and I finally went for the first time last week. Eat the Street is a monthly gathering of food trucks in Kaka’ako. They have around forty vendors, including beer and wine. There’s music and entertainment, and it’s all outside under the stars (depending on what time you get there, I suppose). Every month there’s a theme, and each truck creates a special dish for the event. April’s theme was bacon. How could I stay at home?
Next month is garlic Eat the Street. It happens the 4th Friday of every month. You don’t want to miss it. I don’t think I’ll miss out ever again. If you live in town, or you’re visiting my island, look for me. I’ll be near the cupcakes eventually.
What was the awesomest thing in your life in April?