Old Ellicott City

Over the weekend, I went back to my parents’ home to prepare them to move away from the Ellicott City house we’ve called home for the past decade. We were hit with an unexpectedly strong storm, watching our windows and doors struggle to shield us from the torrential downpour and trees losing their grip on their branches that littered our yard.

But we got off easy.

When I woke up Sunday morning to birds chirping and sun shining, I learned that the historic district of our town, just a five minute drive from my house, had been devastated by historic flooding.

That is footage from the window of a restaurant I’ve eaten at with my family, of a road that I’ve walked down and driven down hundreds of times. Saturday evening, when 6 inches of rain fell in less than 2 hours, cars were swept along Main Street like leaves on a river. The historic and iconic clock was also washed away.

Lives were lost. Homes were destroyed. Businesses were wrecked.


If you are able, please help rebuild this community however you can. Community members are looking for others who can provide meals, provide housing for displaced residents, volunteer to clean up, donate goods/supplies for the clean up efforts, and donate funds, but are of course welcoming any other forms of help as well.

Yes, Ellicott City has a history of flooding. It’s well-documented, both on Wikipedia and physically in the historic district itself. But it doesn’t make this latest, which meteorologists have called a once-in-a-millenia-scale flood, any less devastating.


Governor Hogan has declared a state of emergency while Ellicott City and the surrounding area try to rebuild. Any help would be appreciated.


Currently 040415

When my life isn’t too eventful, the Internet steps in to be exciting for me. When my life does get busy, well the Internet doesn’t sleep. Here’s a few things I wanted to share!

Dancing along to this incredible lip sync video through the ages

Reflecting on the the implications of the crazy ride that is the now-viral Brother Orange story. (Not going to lie, I cried a little by the end.)

Trailer for the upcoming documentary based on the whole ordeal

On a similar note, learning about how technology is changing China, as with this story of how people use the “Shake” feature on WeChat to find love

Chuckling at how passionate this redditor is about keeping grilled cheeses and melts as separate entities on /r/grilledcheese

Excited that Cards Against Humanity is releasing a science-themed card pack to benefit women in STEM

Disappointed in how cruel people can be, as attested by a TED editor after Monica Lewinsky’s excellent talk about public shaming

 Giggling a bit that the new AP Stylebook changes include that BLT is acceptable on first reference

I’m going to be changing up how these little posts look, but do you like them? Do you want to see more/less of a certain kind of thing I share? Please let me know and happy Saturday!

January Book Club – BOSS

In trying to keep with my annual resolution to read more books, I’ve decided to do a little virtual book club with Christine and Karen.

It seems that, by a happy accident, the theme of the month is BOSS. We will be reading 2 books:

#GIRLBOSS – Sophia Amoruso

Long recommended to me by fans of Lean In and my friends who are more tuned in to the fashion world is Nasty Gal founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso’s manifesto, #GIRLBOSS.

“It’s easy to get the sense, reading Lean In, that Sandberg is writing for women who’ve already made it. #GIRLBOSS is for those who haven’t, which means it is aimed at people who have nothing to lose, which makes it a much riskier and more enjoyable manifesto.”
New York Magazine / The Cut

In an age where more and more women are demanding what they are owed and what they deserve, I’m so happy to see books like Lean In and #GIRLBOSS get popular and women’s success becomes less of an anomaly and more what should be.

Bossypants – Tina Fey

I would argue that Tina Fey’s hugely successful memoir launched a wave of memoirs and other publications from our current era of TV comedians. (See: Mindy Kaling, Amy Poehler, BJ Novak for just a few.) We all know that Tina Fey is a fantastical human being, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about Bossypants. The only reason I haven’t read it yet is that I’ve always been #57 or higher on the waitlist at my library for this book BUT they have it on hold for me right now so I cannot wait to delve into this!

“Tina Fey’s new book Bossypants is short, messy, and impossibly funny (an apt description of the comedian herself). From her humble roots growing up in Pennsylvania to her days doing amateur improv in Chicago to her early sketches on Saturday Night Live, Fey gives us a fascinating glimpse behind the curtain of modern comedy with equal doses of wit, candor, and self-deprecation.”
Amazon Best Books of the Month April 2011 (Kevin Nguyen)


I’m really excited to read these two books. Not only are they by two great women, but it’s been nice for me to start reading non-fiction! I used to be a strictly YA fiction kind of girl, so branching out like this without it being terrible is not unpleasant!

Let us know if you decide to read along with us!
If you’ve read these books already, tell us what you thought!

New Favorite: London Fog

I recently did a local event that was essentially like a local business/restaurant crawl? Several local area businesses (not my locality, but a friend’s) had special tasting menus, gave you a stamp for purchasing something off that menu, and you could turn in your stamped “visa” for a grand prize raffle!

One of the places I newly discovered was Kaldi’s Coffee Bar, which is a really cool coffee shop that definitely gives chain spots a run for their money. The ambiance is great and the offerings are yummy! I had some delicious macarons, they have the most decadent looking desserts…

But guys.
I have a new favorite coffeeshop beverage.

Christine at justbella.com knows what I’m talking about

I have never been much of a coffee drinker. It’s so bitter to me, and I have not really acquired that taste. This may be because I was over-eager for “grown-up drink” as a child and so my dad gave me black coffee when I was age 7. X_X

I do, however, love love love tea. Tea is my favorite. Tea soothes the soul. It calms my mind. It makes me feel like I can be a better version of myself.
… getting a bit carried away, but I love tea!

I started drinking Earl Grey tea with my trip to London this past summer. (That post is coming, I promise you guys it will be out before I die.) Before that, I mostly drank green teas, oolong teas, or whatever generic Lipton/Nestle tea was available. I really love Earl Grey because I think that the bergamot gives it just… the most delicious fragrant notes. Mmmm… one of my souvenirs for myself was a little tin of Earl Grey that is one of my favorite little gifts for myself after a long day.

Back to Kaldi’s. So I spotted “London Fog” on their tea menu. I had heard of this drink before and I just vaguely knew it as an  Earl Grey latte. I think lattes are all right, considering I don’t really like coffee, and I haven’t had some good Earl Grey in a while, so I ordered a small cup for myself. I actually didn’t know that they made lattes (“lattes”) with tea, so I figured swapping out bitter coffee for yummy tea would be a great upgrade.

Sean of locallovesnanaimo.com knows, too!

OOOOOOOH YUMMMMM it was so delicious. Sweetened Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and some vanilla. Such a simple combination but so delicious. I will now ask for this wherever it is offered. It is up there with bubble tea as far as favorite beverages go, that’s how much I loved this. I would probably love it even more with steamed soy, since I don’t really like milk that much.

I am eager to try to recreate this ASAP at home so that I can enjoy more of this goodness, especially when winter inevitably rolls around again. Here’s a great recipe I found on Gimme Some Oven, who also is mindful of people who aren’t fancy enough to have milk steaming apparatus in their kitchens AND makes hers with lavender, which makes it somewhat more of a Lady Grey beverage but I love Lady Grey anyway! Lavender is an ingredient I’d really like to be tasting more of in my foods and beverages.

London Fog Tea Latte (Earl Grey Latte) | gimmesomeoven.com
Also, I need to get me one of these nifty glass mugs, they just make hot drinks look so great.

I imagine that other Earl Grey varieties would also make delicious London Fogs, like French Earl Grey with hints of rose…. mmm.

I’ve never really frequented chain coffee places, but I may have to see how Starbucks’s “Earl Grey latte” holds up.

I am so obsessed with this right now. The taste of this London Fog is still lingering on my lips…

Have you ever had London Fog? If so, do you like it?
What’s your go-to drink to order at a coffee shop?