Liebster Awards!

Hello, hello!

I would apologize for my long absence away from these bumblings. But the truth is that I have been spending so much time working on my graduate studies, exploring and settling into a new city and trying to figure out what I want to do with this site that I have neglected it.

But hello, anyway! And with this hello to break the radio/blogosphere/whatever silence, I am happy to say that I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by not one but two different lovely ladies!


The fantastic Angelica over at Brooklyn Chick Travels (and a co-worker for Go! Girl Guides) nominated me, and before I got my shiz together to write up a post for it, my phenomenal friend Tarreyn at Tarreynland did, too! Thanks so much to both of these women, whose blogs are very fun!

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers with a certain number of followers (depending on when this happens and who you ask, it ranges from 200-3,000 but it’s not a science; I chose bloggers who had fewer than 1,000 Facebook likes) in order to promote new or up-and-coming blogs.

As a nominee, I answer a series of questions from those who nominated me, and then elect a few other bloggers I admire to keep the blog lovin’ going around. They answer the questions I pose for them. Pretty great, huh?

Since I’ve been a lazy blogger, I have not one but two sets of questions to answer!

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2013: In Retrospect

I know, I know. I’m behind the times. Shouldn’t this have been written and posted on January 1st? Or even December 31st, to truly finish 2013?

Probably. Oh, well.

Snapped from my window seat (best in the house!) flying into Pennsylvania early January 2014. Beautiful sunset over freshly fallen snow. Not a bad way to start the year.

Snapped from my window seat (best in the house!) flying into Pennsylvania early January 2014. Beautiful sunset over freshly fallen snow. Not a bad way to start the year.

Originally I was going to do some sort of “This is where I was last year and oh, how time flies” post at the end of December. Because, really, a lot has happened: I started 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey, had the best hot chocolate in Croatia, went to Carnival in Slovenia, trekked through a snowy, picturesque Dresden, attended an opera in Prague, and explored Berlin, one of my new favorite cities. I was going to link to all those things, then I realized–I still haven’t written about a bunch of them (although I definitely did a LOT of Instagramming)!

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Miss Button’s Packing List: Costa Rica


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I apologize for the sparse updates. Balancing graduate school, 2 jobs and settling in to a brand new city has been thrilling but exhausting, and my focus has been on those things. I have not forgotten about you, though, dear readers!

As you know, I went to Costa Rica! I rocked out on a surfboard, climbed some volcanoes, got myself some sloth besties, swung like Tarzan, and a whole lot more that I haven’t told you about yet.

A beautiful day to inhale noxious fumes! Just kidding. Mostly.

A beautiful day to inhale noxious fumes! Just kidding. Mostly.

The end product of this–other than the frickin’ awesome time I had–will be a guidebook for solo female travelers to Costa Rica with Go! Girl Guides! If you’re as excited about this as I am, let us know!

Anyway, as a packing aficionado, I was puzzled as to how to start packing for a 7-week trip to the tropics.

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My First Interview


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Gooooood morning!

I just wanted to share with you all a fun interview that I was asked to do for Sparkles & Crumbs–a delightful blog run by charming fellow Italophile, Caroline!

As someone who usually writes the interview questions, it was an interesting and pleasant experience being on the other side of the inquiries. One lesson I learned, though, is that it’s really hard, too! Especially doing written interviews, because you have the time to craft a response but then second guess everything you’ve written, leading to a lot of doubt and agonizing over word placement and tone. Such is the writing life, I suppose.

Anyway, a big thank you to Caroline for featuring me on her wonderful Champagne Tea series–my first interview representing Bumblings of Miss Button as an interviewee on the interwebs!


Photo of my Day: Cathedral of Learning


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My new institution of higher learning is way neato. Most of my classes for the duration of my time here will be held in the Cathedral of Learning, which is a zillion floors high and looks like Hogwarts in the inside.*

One of the cool features is the nationality rooms, which celebrate individual countries. Unfortunately I won’t be taking any classes in them, but I enjoyed exploring! Here are some visual highlights. (Excuse the photo quality for now; still working sans internet and am posting this from my phone.)



Photo 1: clockwise from top left: main hall, Armenian alphabet in the Armenian room, Austrian room.
Photo 2: clockwise from top left: Turkish room (those lighter colored wood panels double ask fold-down desks!), African heritage and Indian rooms.

In the ‘Burgh


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Hello,  Dear Readers!

Some of you know that I’ve recently made a big move!

Tucson will always be my home, but on Sunday I hopped on a flight to my new one: PITTSBURGH, PA!

What’s that, you say? Pittsburgh? Isn’t it, like…really cold there?

Ah, reader, how astute you are.

Yes. It does get really cold here. BUT it is also home to a marvelous university (a number of them, actually) called the University of Pittsburgh.

My new school! Which is actually one of the nation's oldest.

My new school! Which is actually one of the nation’s oldest.

Oversized felines must be the name of my game, because I’m going from Wildcat territory to Panther country!


So far, I’ve found Pittsburghians (?? Burghers, better yet) to be very friendly and helpful. Especially cashiers.

  • Example: Had a whole conversation the other day with a Target employee about his son’s cell phone plan. It was also during this interaction that I began hypothesizing that Burghers tell Sara Button stories.* Perhaps I’m secretly a Yinzer after all.

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Michel’s Summer Slaw


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I’m not a picky eater.

Except for most shellfish, calamari and escargot (I’m working on it), there’s not a ton I won’t eat. And even less I won’t try once. But cole slaw has always been a nemesis of mine.

Until a few years ago.

The first slaw that turned me was my aunt’s. She’s a marvelous cook and she was the first to open my eyes to the world of non-gooey cole slaw.

Since then, I”ve been tasting different slaws left and right, so I was pumped when our friends visiting from France decided to make their own version for dinner one night. It’s the perfect, light summer fare–and super easy, too!


For the slaw:

whole carrot, grated
about 1/3 head of cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped

Look how fast he's chopping that cabbage! Allez, Michel!

Look how fast he’s chopping that cabbage! Allez, Michel!

For the dressing:
1 egg yolk
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
splash of apple cider vinegar (about 2 tsp)
non-sweet mustard (same ratio of mustard to egg)
crushed ginger (to taste)
crushed garlic (to taste)
vegetable oil

*serves 6


Mix the egg yolk, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt & pepper. Then, as you whisk, slowly add the oil until it reaches a creamy consistency. Add the crushed ginger & garlic & mix again until just blended.

In a large bowl, mix the cabbage, onion and carrot. Add the dressing, and mix well. 


Yum! Not overdressed, nice and cool for a hot day!

Yum! Not overdressed, nice and cool for a hot day!