10 Things I Can’t Live Without: In(side) the Loop


In(side) the Loop

This week, one of my first blog friends, Courtney of the super stylish, Inside the Loop and Shrimp & Petroleum shares her “10 Things” list with us all the way from Malaysia. While I miss her great stories and contagious laughter, I’m glad that she continues to blog about her adventures while she and her husband live abroad. I love that her list is so personal and sentimental. Enjoy!

1. Grits. I’m Southern and to not like grits would be blasphemous. Now that I live overseas, I miss these miniature morsels of mystery even more.


Shrimp and Grits, natch.

 2. 5 Year Diary. Each page in this pint-sized diary is devoted to one day of the year, subdivided into five sections so it can hold five years worth of memories. JJ and I each have our own, and neither of us knew we’d be living in another country when we first started journaling back in Jan ’08. I can’t help but think they will serve as special heirlooms one day.


  border=3. Happy Menocal. I adore Happy’s whimsy illustrations and quirky humor. Her work elicits a smile, and she always seems to have something new and exciting up her sleeve.

matador paintings and drawings are for sale in Jonathan Adler stores, and the first batch are featured in Madison Avenue’s front window display!

4. Travel Drugs. I love to travel, but flying makes me want to crawl out of my skin. Thank goodness for meds to calm my anxiety, and this all natural herbal blend that pulls me out of the dreaded jet lag slump. I’m not one to pop pills, but I can’t bear the thought of letting my fear keep me from seeing the world at large.

 border=Picture 4[1]

5. Makers Mark and Chambord. A kismet combination as perfect as peanut butter and jelly or Captain and Tennille.

Merry and Bright Letterpress Holiday Card - Set of 6

6. Christmas Cards. I don’t know which I enjoy more—the sending or receiving. This year is especially exciting as my ever empty mailbox has been flooded with photos and handwriting from loved ones back home. They splurged on the additional postage and our house now feels Christmas-ready with festive cards hung from the rafters.


7. Home Cooking. It’s actually more expensive to purchase groceries and cook at home in Malaysia then it is to eat out. But nothing is as satisfying or wonderful after a long day. There’s something about food served from your own pots and made with extra love.

  border=8. Stroop Waffles.Our Dutch friend introduced us to this heavenly treat, and now we place orders each time he returns to Holland. Paper thin waffles sandwiched between gooey caramel-cinnamon goodness. Eating just one at a time tests every bit of willpower I possess.


9. Textiles. I have a fascination for textiles in all shapes and colors: hand-woven sarongs, block printed Indian summer blankets,antique embroidered Afghan hats. I recently carted back nearly 15 pounds of fabric from Bangkok. But Andrew Martin’s textured silk [at a deep, deep discount] was so worth it!


10. Family Photos. I have a constant battle when traveling. Do I let my senses run wild and experience the moment in all its glory or do I capture it forever through a lens, with my eye looking through a camera’s microscopic view point? Looking at my family’s vintage photos, I’m amazed to see the world through their eyes. A true inspiration to tote my camera at all times.


Thanks for participating in the series, Courtney!

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  1. The journals are a legacy few families will ever have. Keep them safe. I lost my house renovation journal, all my measurements, all my drawings, all my comments, all my options, many of the prices, and personal notes. I had scanned a couple of pages, that’s all I have of it.

  2. I love this idea! I have thought about having my blog printed out just for ME. I’ve sometimes used posts for journaling when I scrap (which I can’t find time for right now) so your 5 year journal sounds FABULOUS!

  3. Love your list of ten! Guess what we have those waffles here and OMG to die for. Being close to Holland they are a staple. Have a wonderful Holiday!

  4. she makes the best gift guides, i shouldnt be surprised that her top 10 is just as lovely! interesting that eating out in more expensive than eating in!

  5. I had to stop and back up when I saw the stroop waffles!! I am Dutch and grew up in a Dutch community and I have had my fair share of those! My sister-in-law makes them from scratch… yum! You can actually find them at World Imports. 🙂

  6. Ohmigosh, I love stroop waffles too and do the same thing! Any time my cousins or family friends come for a visit, I always put in my order! I’ve seen them in some stores on occasion in Toronto, but somehow, it’s not nearly as special.

  7. What? Why have I never seen those jet-lag pills? I could use them at this very moment. Also, I’ve never had Maker’s Mark and Chambord together. What are the proportions?

  8. Like you I also have a diary that I truly love and love to read again and again and I also treasure family photos. I’m a bit sentimental, eh. Thanks for sharing, reminds me to list down also what things I can’t live without. 🙂