Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Favorites! (Guess Who's Back...Back Again...)

Wow. Can you believe it's been over THREE months since I last updated 6 Bittersweets?! No? Me neither. But somehow...despite my best efforts to keep the posts trickling in, the speed of life simply overtook my commitment and capacity to blog in the past few months. How do those of you with kids and/or more than one job do it? How and with what black magics? Seriously though, you guys are amazing and I have more respect for you all now than even before. 

It's incredible how easily a week without posting can turn into months, and the passage of time barely registers until suddenly a new season is approaching. Well that's not really all that's changed since my last post... During my break from blogging, I've managed to (1) get accepted into graduate school; (2) leave my government contracting job; (3) pack up/toss more belongings than any apartment-dweller should ever have (no really...we filled up a U-Haul moving truck intended to move a small house/family!!); (4) relocate from the metropolitan DC area to a very different part of the great state of Virginia (that is, rural Blacksburg); and (5) start (today!) taking courses toward a master's degree in nutrition as well as becoming a Registered Dietitian (RD). Sorta major changes, no? =D

I was so tied up between wrapping up my old life and laying the groundwork for the new one that blogging never even made it on to my To-do List this summer! Even with that off my plate, I'd be lying if I said I never felt overwhelmed by the huge life changes ahead of me. After calling Northern Virginia home for SIX years where I was lucky enough to be surrounded by my friends and my mom, moving (even just across the state) was no easy task. I will miss those people the most, of course, but the foodie within is also lamenting the loss of easy access to so many international food markets, amazing and varied restaurants, Trader Joe's, and the list goes on! (If anyone knows where to get haloumi or affordable mascarpone near Virginia Tech, please let me know!)

But the other, wonderful side of this coin is finally setting foot on my chosen career path and so much more. For those who've never been here, the VT university campus and surrounding region is bursting with natural beauty. After living near the city, it's glorious to see so much green (the campus, the mountains, our yards!). While we no longer have large malls at our fingertips, I'm already excitedly planning excursions that bring us closer to nature such as hiking, tubing, and picking fruit. As I ease myself back into regular blogging (this post is the 1st small step), I hope to share images from these parts of my life in addition to what comes out of my kitchen. Speaking of the kitchen, the one in our new apartment is more than twice as large as our previous. Anyway, before I get too carried away, my point is that I was gone for a while but NOT gone for good. I'm starting a new chapter of my life in a big way, and I'm bringing my readers with me if you'll still have me!

Citrus Fruits for Glazed Cream Cheese Pound Cake from Herriott Grace
1 Michael Graydon-Blood Orange Kumquat Citrus Ingred Wood Board Ingred Idea
Spring Chicken Soup from Gourmet Traveller
2 GourmetTraveller-Spring Chicken Noodle Soup Cilantro in Pot
Rainbow Beet and Goat Cheese Jewels from Frances Janisch
3 Frances Janisch-Rainbow Beets Goat Ch Strata Sliced Appetizer Idea FAVE
Table Spread Photograph by Matt Armendariz
4 Matt Armendariz-Apricots Macadamia Nuts Wood Board Table Scene
Photographs Styled by Dietlind Wolf with/withOUT the Food (all photos from this post are very educational/inspirational)
5 Dietlind Wolf-Roasted Baked Potatoes Sauce Dip Salad Styling Tutorial
Steaming Teapot and Tea Moving Photograph by Anna Williams
6 Anna Williams-Steaming Teapot GIF Idea
Lily Flowers and Pads Wedding Cake by Sweet Disposition Cakes
7 SweetDisposition-Asian Lily Pads Flower Ombre Fondant Wedding Cake Fave
Deep Dish Greens with Millet Amaranth Crust from Clean Start Cookbook by Terry Walters
8 ArtofEatingCleanBook-Kale Mustard Greens Casserole Millet Amaranth Crust
Passionfruit for Homemade Cordial from Drizzle and Drip
9 DrizzleandDip-Passionfruit Ingred Syrup
Breathtaking Wedding Dress Wedding Cake by Sweet Heather Anne
10 SweetHeatherAnne-Ruched Wedding Dress Fondant Cake Painted Flowers Idea
Shrimp Curry Photograph by Con Poulos
12 Con Poulos-Shrimp Indian Curry Rice
Cherry Lime Gooey Butter Bars from Bakers Royale
11 BakersRoyale-Cherry Lime Gooey Butter Bars Sifter Idea
Pea Soup Photograph by Myles New
14 Myles New-Green Pureed Soup, Pea in Mugs Cups Box Tray Candles Incense Idea
Preserved Cherries and Baklava Photographs Styled by Aya Nishimura
13 Aya Nishimura-Preserved Cherries and Baklava
Raspberry Pistachio Ice Cream Meringue Cake from Call Me Cupcake
15 Callmecupcake-Raspberry Pistachio Ice Cream Dome Bday Cake Mering Kisses Idea
Spaghetti with Arugula Pesto from Williams-Sonoma
17 Blender-Spaghetti Pasta with Arugula Pesto Wood Background


  1. Lovely links and pictures.

    Welcome back! Indeed, I don't know how people with kids and a full-time activity do it...



  2. So happy for you!! Keep on the path of your life dream...All the best for your future. Your blog is beautiful.

    Take Care,

  3. missed your posts! congrats on grad school :). just spoke to a colleague about stores in Blacksburg:
    'Gucci' Kroger on S Main St, World Oasis Market, famer markers on weekends, tiny stores called 'eats' and 'annie kays'

  4. Thanks very much, Rosa, Cathy, and Sruti! Sruti, LOL at "Gucci" Kroger! That's the one closest to us, and it is pretty awesome. I'll definitely check out all the other recommendations. Thanks so much to you and your coworker! -Xiaolu


I love hearing from you all! Please leave me a message if you have questions, advice, or just to let me know you stopped by. Your feedback is always very much appreciated. Thanks! <3 Xiaolu