Saturday, June 30, 2012

Summer in Shanghai

Not cool Shanghai.

Family and friends (and facebook) have informed me that it has been rather hot back in the states this week as well. In China, we are just now entering the oppressive hotness that makes up summers in Shanghai. Shockingly, the humidity is rather low today at only 62 percent. Yesterday, it was around 85.

So I apologize now if my blogging is a little boring for the next few weeks. I have a feeling I will be spending a lot of time indoors. With the air conditioning. Hanging out with my cat.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Shanghai Calling

Last week marked the start of the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival. There was one movie that I was dying to check out, but sadly, so were a lot of other people and I was unable to score tickets. The movie, Shanghai Calling, is about an American expat in China. The movie looks cute enough but more than anything, I think it gives you an idea of what life is like here for Matthew and me. The noodle scene in the preview below? Totally happened to us. So take a little look at life here in Shanghai, and if nothing, enjoy the beautiful shots of our city.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday Happenings

Only in China can you spend the afternoon celebrating Midsommer with a group of Swedes at an American BBQ joint

 Or ride home on the back of a stranger's electric bike in the rain because all the cabs were taken.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One Day

I read a blog post recently that purposed a challenge. What would your day look like in photos? Over the weekend, I decided to take on this challenge. Here were the results.

 My morning peanut butter and banana smoothie

 A snuggle with a furball

An ego-bruising yoga class

 A walk through Xujiahui

 An afternoon metro ride

Spinach and Feta Crepe

A stop by the Shanghai Marriage Market

A stroll back home

 Facebooking with an impatient kitty

Monday, June 18, 2012

Marriage Market

For anyone who has ever felt pressure from their families for not being married or having a significant other, be glad you don't live in China. Every Saturday and Sunday, parents of unwed children head to People's Square in hopes of finding their child the perfect mate. Hundreds of papers are clipped to the walls, advertising the age, height, education, job, and salary of these eligible bachelors and bachelorettes, also making sure to note whether they own their own apartment or not.



 Apparently hasn't caught on yet in Shanghai.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Fabric Market

Shanghai is a shopping paradise. There are markets for everything from pearls to crickets, antiques to fake designer bags. For clothing hoarders such as myself, one can find American brands such as GAP, high end international labels, vintage boutiques sporting looks from Japan, and the ever popular local designers such as Annabel Lee (which has the most divine silk scarves) and Shanghai Tang. And I would be remiss not to mention the ever frequent cabbage shops, known as such because their merchandise “fell off a truck”. At these boutiques, I've gotten bargains on factory rejects and overruns of Marc Jacobs and Phillip Lim dresses for a mere fraction of their US retail price.

But for someone looking for something a little more unique (or those with hips wider than the average Chinese woman), a visit to the South Bund Fabric Market is a requirement. Here, you can literally have anything made.

Three floors of nearly identical stalls fill the large building, selling a dizzying array of men's suits and women's wrap dresses. From there, your task to is simply pick which tailor you want to make your attire. Once you have settled on who will make your apparel, you can either provide a drawing or photo of what you would like or choose from one of their samples. Fabric choice is next, followed by thread color, buttons, lining, and fit. Your measurements are taken, you haggle over the price, and once you have given the tailor a deposit, you have an agonizing week wait until you can pick up your garments.  
For my first purchase, I went to a stall which had been recommended by a friend. I had this cute linen number made for a mere $35.

Since then, we have commissioned crisp cotton button downs and a beautifully tailored sports coat for Matthew while I walked out with a killer blue blazer, which is a dead ringer for the one I was coveting at JCrew. Of course, mine cost about a third of the price and fits me perfectly.

The only bad thing about the fabric market? The way my bank account is starting to look after a few too many trips there.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Anniversary Activities

I already highlighted where we stayed for our anniversary trip to Moganshan, but thought I should also mention how we spent our time. Despite staying at a resort  with stables in the name, neither of us had any interest in riding. However, there was still a ton to do (besides eating, relaxing, and spending time by the pool). We started off Tuesday morning with a hike through tea fields to the top of a mountain.

Then we ventured into the bamboo forest
And finished the day with a little mountain biking through rural China
While perhaps not typical anniversary activities, we greatly enjoyed getting the chance to explore the area surrounding the resort. And besides, I could totally justify the large amounts of wine and cake I consumed with all that physical activity.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our Naked Anniversary

Before you worry that this post should be rated NC-17, I assure you that the only naked thing I am going to talk about is the name of the resort we stayed at for our third wedding anniversary, the naked stables private reserve in Moganshan, China. The stables is an eco-friendly travel destination, which is soon to be Asia's first LEED platinum–certified resort. Despite the name, there is nothing nude about the resort. Except for the horses I suppose, but at least they have hair. 

We opted to stay in one of the earth huts, which are made of compressed soil and have an insane view of the surrounding valley and bamboo forest.

 The layers of soil making up the walls
Kikaboni, one of the restaurants at the resort
More Earth Huts

We spent three days in the woods yet  I wasn't exactly reminded of the camping trips my family took growing up. I'd call this resort camping, if such a thing even exists.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

How you got here

Matt and I are off celebrating our third wedding anniversary in Moganshan for the next few days. While we are away, I thought I would share with you some of the search keywords which lead people to our blog. While the majority of our readers are family and friends (Hi Mom!), we also get a fair amount of traffic from all over the globe. Without further ado, here is just a sampling of what brought you here.

-Things I should bring to China
-Slit Diaper Method
-Qingming Foods
-House Hunters Shanghai
-How well does ikea bed hold up newlywed

While our blog can help with some of these questions, I fear the the poor soul looking for advice on Ikea beds was probably disappointed. Unless they wanted to know if it was okay to try out the bed by napping in it. Then perhaps I did address that question.

Somehow, I don't think that is what they meant though.

Tokyo tastes

Here is a quick recap of some of the foods we enjoyed in Tokyo. While there was one dinner of $100 chicken hearts, we otherwise found lots of tasty treats to fill our cravings.



 Udon noodles in miso broth

 Conveyor belt sushi

 The sushi was so good, I only got a photo of the empty plates

 We found this adorable cafe called Bridge, which was connected to a design firm. Everything was really open and industrial

 And they served up this phenomenal ice cream. Toasted butter with salted caramel.
 Fresh sesame crackers, dipped in soy sauce
 No idea what to call this, but it was a doughnut like pastry filled with pumpkin. 

There were also soba noodles, dumplings, and more sushi throughout the weekend, but I generally ate it before I thought to snap a photo. Oops.
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