Thursday, February 28, 2013

30 random facts (Nikki edition)

{This is as daring as I will get}

There has been this topic going around in the blog world for a bit and I have enjoyed reading others so much that I decided to take the plunge and do one myself. But unlike 50 random facts, I'll stick with 30 or so. So here goes...

1. Social media is weird to me. I think twitter is hilarious and don't understand why people feel the need to broadcast to strangers what they are doing every moment of the day...even this blog is pushing it for me. Instagram is growing on me but I still have a long way to go. But to each his own.

2. I owned a horse growing up...and a goat. And many dogs and cats. And some fish. All the while living in the city.

3. I am an only child, and some say I live up to it.

4. I played every sport under the sun available to me until I was 13 (baseball, volleyball, soccer, softball, karate and tennis). Then soccer took over.

5. I played on boys soccer teams until I was 13. That is when the size difference really became apparent..especially since I was a peanut.

6. I have always had more guy friend than girls friends.

7. I love spicy foods, the hotter the better.

8. Learned how to drive stick in France, most likely ruined the transmission on that car too. Sorry.

9. I am right-handed but can only throw a Frisbee with my left.

10. I have never skied, ever. Only snow boarded...and I'm goofy footed.

11. I would prefer to spend $ on travel/vacation over items any day.

12. I drink between 3-4 liters of water a day.

13. Wanted to be a skate-boarder when I was little but parents didn't want me hurting myself so I had to hide in our garage and practice my jumps in there.

14. My first music memory was stealing a Run DMC cassette from my uncle when he was visiting.

15. Large crowds in stadiums used to give me the heebie-jeebies, especially when they all turned at one time. All good now.

16. I love the idea of snow but hate being cold.

17. I re-enact the basketball scene in Along Came Polly as often as possible to Shaun's dismay...and I have no shame in front of who ..."raindrops, white chocolate" and last but not least, "let it rain".

18. I don't like soda. Ok, maybe Root Beer but that is it.

19. I am a PG rated daredevil. Will not go skydiving or swimming with the sharks but will occasionally cross the line at the bowling alley and enter the greased area and see where it takes me.

20. I was, and still am, a tomboy. I used to bamboozle my grandparents into every new Jordan that came out.

21. During summer school while my parents were away and their friend's brand new Infiniti was parked at our house, I did make a copy of the key and drove it to school. The tires were slashed, as were many others that day, forcing me to get new ones and promptly returned the car to the garage with out anyone knowing. I did tell my parents...10 years later.

22. Ferris wheels terrify me.

23. I have tried yoga class, once. My mother and I were scolded a few times since we were laughing at the 70 year old man in front of us with dolphin shorts on and no drawers. And WE were the ones scolded..

24. I love cheese, all cheese except Blue cheese, smells likes Shaun's dirty socks. And while I love him to death, I would in no way, ever eat his socks.

25. I may be a tomboy but I have way too many shoes, not according to me, but definitely to Shaun.

26. Black is my favorite color.

27. I am 5'4" but my Santa Clara and US soccer bios said I was 5'7" or 5'8" (and I didn't correct them).

28. I can not in any way have coffee after 3pm and expect to get any sleep that night.

29.  Dude, is a major player in my vocabulary.

30. I love to cook, and some say I'm good at it, but on the other hand, that some needs me to cook on a daily basis so what else is he going to say.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Valentine's Challenge revisited

{Valentine's flowers}
     After a little break in our Valentine's challenge with the trip to Milan, we are finally finished. Yes, we are a few days late but sprinkle in a trip to Milan and I dare anyone to complain. I decided to go first for what I thought was to set the bar high, but little did I know Shaun was pulling his inner 'Bobby Flay' out of his arse. I went with one of our favorite meals back in Atlanta, a goat cheese ravioli with apples and walnuts in a brown butter/sage sauce. For an appetizer, I did the trusty cheese platter with assorted meats and bread then finished the meal off with chocolate covered strawberries (where half of the chocolate went straight into my mouth, on my finger, my shirt, the counter etc...). I was feeling good about my chances and Shaun seemed to be a happy customer. Fast forward a few days and it was his turn. Now, our only requirements were that we could not make something that is already in heavy rotation. I hadn't noticed him doing much research so I assumed he had searched through our recipe box and found an oldie but goody that we hadn't used in a while but boy was I wrong. For the appetizer, Shaun served greens topped with fried goat cheese (we love our goat cheese around here) and for the main....this is where it gets interesting. Shaun chose honey roasted duck, potato slices and buttered green beans. And he made it all. from. scratch. Well, he didn't raise the duck himself but he sure as hell roasted it nicely. He sliced up the potatoes, seasoned them and baked them along with par boiling the green beans then sautéed them in butter. Get this though, he apologized because he was going to roast the potatoes in the duck fat but decided against it because there wasn't that much fat rendered from the duck. Many a times during the dinner I touched him just to make sure this wasn't a mirage I was seeing. Then I thought, who am I married to??? And why has he been sand bagging it these last 12 years? Now this girl can accept defeat when needed (not very well I might add) and I admit, this was a big L in the loss column but I can't help but think that I might have had a little bit of a victory in that I now know Shaun is a capable cook. And for that, I will take this defeat gracefully.

Monday, February 18, 2013


{Duomo di Milano}
     So with half of our Valentine's Day challenge done (my half that is), we decided to up and take a last minute trip to Milan for the weekend. The team had the weekend off allowing us a little more freedom to explore further than usual. And after throwing around a few places, Milan was the one that stuck. Not knowing much about Milan, except that is was more industrial and a bit lackluster in the charm category, we figured at the least we could eat some good ol' Italian food and drink some good ol' wine, which we definitely did. We packed up the car, grabbed our friend/teammate Trevor and made the 3 hour drive to Milano for a weekend of fun and exploration. And while Milan was not picturesque like a Paris or a Florence, the food, conversation and company more than made up for it. We learned a few Italian words like panna means whipped cream and pene means penis. (Imagine my anticipation every time Trevor ordered an espresso with whipped cream in hopes he would mix it up a bit, sadly for me, this was the only time he got the word right, every. single. time.) There were cappuccinos, artichokes and 'thoodles' galore. What is a 'thoodle' you ask? Well, it is what Shaun coined the thick noodle pasta we ate the first night. (Somewhere Brangelina and Bennifer are smiling.) Mind you, this term was coined after 3 or 4 rum and cokes and a few bottles of wine. Seemed totally reasonable at the time and I'm not gonna lie, still does. We found Obika, a mozzarella bar, where we spent about 4 hours tasting different kinds of mozzarella, meats and wines all the while having an intellectual conversation about the NCAA...again, seemed totally reasonable at the time and I obviously use the word 'intellectual' loosely. After all is said and done, we scratched Milan off the list and to be honest, I don't know if we would ever go back, but at the least, it has given me the inspiration to try my hand at some homemade mozzarella, more specifically stracciatella di burrata, the creamy center of fresh mozzarella. If you don't know what that is, get familiar, because it is life changing. And hell, if that proves too tough, there are always homemade THOODLES (in order to get the full effect of the word, you must pronounce it with a lisp).

{Gothic detailing}

{Italy's answer to France's velo bleu}

{Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II..Italy's oldest shopping mall located next to the Duomo}

{Tasting platter of 3 types of mozzarella; Paestum, Pontina and Affumicata}

Sunday, February 10, 2013


     Since we use Instagram fairly often to catch those 'on-the-go' moments, I decided to do a little post sharing some of the fun we have had for the past week. If you are already a follower on Instagram, sorry, but for those others that aren't, like some family members, here is a snapshot of our lives this past week. Enjoy...

{Some footprint fun at the end of my run}

{I have begun to add an extra half mile onto my run so that I can finish earlier and enjoy the beach on the way home}

{Finally found Grey Goose L'Orange...}

{Had to take a pic of these banana nut muffins with streusel topping before they were all gone. All 12 were gone in less than a day}

{Dusk in Juan les Pins}

{Drinks in Cannes..fireplace, lounge music and all}

{Shaun and Trevor drinking the "strongest beer in the world" called La Biere du Demon. FYI, I am giving Trevor the benefit of the doubt in that he must have been so hot from the fireplace that he had to strip down in that under-shirt}

{Some fun on the way back to the car. Trevor thinks Shaun resembles Hugh Jackman so he was thrilled to see a Les Miserables poster. Shaun makes the furrowed brow face all the time but when put on the spot, this is the best he came up with}

Friday, February 8, 2013

Valentine's Challenge

     The gauntlet has been thrown here at the Fein household. Well, thrown might not be the correct description since it is not starting out as a competition but as usual, in true Nikki/Shaun fashion, it will end up that way. We (I am sure if you ask the other half of the Fein duo he would raise an eyebrow to the 'we' reference) have decided to do a 3 day Valentine's Day celebration. Of course, we will celebrate on the 14th but we have added 2 more nights where we will cook a dinner from start to finish for each other. I'm talking decor, menu, appetizers, main course and dessert...the works. About 5 years ago, we did the same thing and for some reason, we never re-visited the idea. We both took it pretty seriously with me 'frenching' a rack of lamb and Shaun making me the most unbelievable steak and potatoes (turns out he had enlisted a personal chef to help him with the planning, that cheeky bugger). On that day, I found out that Shaun can cook and is not as helpless in the kitchen as he leads on and... lamb is not our favorite, too game-y. In order to keep the element of surprise, we have enlisted a friend to make sure we are not making any of the same things. So bring your 'A-game' Shaun. Wait, this isn't a supposed to be a competition. Oh, who am I kidding? You are going down...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Amazon's (Awesome) Reviews

     Since living abroad, Amazon has been our 'go-to' for when we want to order something on-line and whether it be or, we have never been let down. Why do I bring this up, you ask? Well, I have been on Amazon lately in search for a lens for my camera (turns out our photog friend Romain was in agreeance with me that I needed a different one to do the specific things I wanted to do...much to Shaun's chagrin) and after hours of reading reviews and a few suggestions, I am happy to say that my lens is being shipped as I type. But that is not why I am writing this. Over the years I had noticed a few funny reviews and more recently saw a few for the lens so I googled Amazon funny reviews just to see what came up. Hours later, I am still entertained. So instead, I am writing this to highlight the hilariousness of some reviews, most notable the Bic Cristal for Her Pen. I sat for what seemed like forever reading them and laughing at the sarcastic humor (right up my alley) of some of these reviews from what I will assume are women. Here are a few of my favorites.... and if you want to read them all for yourself, click here.

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a pen that lets me finish first!January 24, 2013
dontpanik (Space Coast) - See all my reviews
This review is from: BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, 1.0mm, Black, 16ct (MSLP16-Blk) (Office Product)
I tried using a man's pen (as soon as my husband showed me how to work one) but I found that when I tried to write out my recipes or my diary, the pens just didn't have staying power. I even tried using a mechanical pencil once, but I was so confused I just sat in the kitchen and cried, and cried until my husband finally bought me something pretty. Now, finally, with Bic for her I can complete writing out my menstrual calendar without it 'running out of ink'. Thanks Bic!

2.0 out of 5 stars NOT for the mature woman!January 26, 2013
This review is from: BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, 1.0mm, Black, 16ct (MSLP16-Blk) (Office Product)
Being female I was naturally attracted to "BIC for her" (who can resist those pastels?!). Yet, these pens were somewhat of a disappointment. As a more mature woman, I am currently experiencing the symptoms of menopause. I can be in a perfectly good mood while writing a letter and without warning, in mid sentence, I will become so angry that I find myself using such excessive pressure on my pen that it shatters! Then there are the hot flashes, my hands became so sweaty that I could not keep a hold of that slim design, plus the ink smeared! Perhaps in your next endeavors, a "Female BIC for the mature" with a non-slip, steel reinforced grip, waterproof ink and a built in fan could find it's way onto the market!

5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You BIC for Her Pens!January 30, 2013
Katelyn (SAINT GEORGE, UT, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, 1.0mm, Black, 16ct (MSLP16-Blk) (Office Product)
I was once like you: a hippie, liberal and feminist woman who was going to college, but handling man pens was exhausting. Since I ordered BIC Pens for Her I have gotten married, dropped out of the college, and birthed twins. I could use these pens to draw hearts all day long but then who would cook dinner? Recipes are a cinch to write down with these pens, and they even smell like strawberries and rainbows. My husband tells me how happy I am every day and who am I to argue with that?

5.0 out of 5 stars These pens showed me my true pathJanuary 30, 2013
This review is from: BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, 1.0mm, Black, 16ct (MSLP16-Blk) (Office Product)
Thank you Bic! I thought I was a career oriented lady that was ready to take on the world and climb ladders! Now thanks to these pens (and their fantastic colors!) I learned my place was with a man, and in the kitchen!
Every time I used the pen to write at work, all that came out were recipes and sentences about how cute kittens are. (KITTENS!)
Now I have found a man, and can't wait to cook him dinner and have babies! I think I can do it with my "for her"pens at my side!

2.0 out of 5 stars Size Does Matter :/February 4, 2013
This review is from: BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, 1.0mm, Black, 16ct (MSLP16-Blk) (Office Product)
I'm sorry but I like my pens big and thick with some girth to them. Small pens are just not satisfying for me.

1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously DissapointedFebruary 1, 2013
This review is from: BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, 1.0mm, Black, 16ct (MSLP16-Blk) (Office Product)
Why BIC? Why do you come up with such an amazing idea in such horrible colors? Seriously? None of the colors in the set matches my nail polish. I am returning the product today and I expect a full refund.

1.0 out of 5 stars Thes pens maik speling prablemsFebruary 3, 2013
This review is from: BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen, 1.0mm, Black, 16ct (MSLP16-Blk) (Office Product)
I thot these pens woud make me smart but now wen i rite i cant spel wurth sheet. not evun E-Z wurds lik CRISTAL. i usta spel gud even for a gurl but not no more sense thes peans. Now evey time i pik up thise pins i feal dum dum dum.