Baby, it’s cold outside.


When I woke up this morning, I slipped into a silk blouse and debated between satin shorts or leather paneled leggings. I’m glad I went with the leggings because it’s a bone chilling 73 degrees Fahrenheit today with batches of what feels like sleet- but is only rain. I shivered on the back of the moto today on my way to work as pellets of rain splashed against my Ray Bans.

Yes, Washington friends, feel free to mentally face slap me with a gingerbread man.

I remember spreading a towel out onto the lush green grass of our back yard, lush and green because it was constantly raining, when it hit 70 degrees and throw on a bikini- hoping to soak up any rays of sun that would peek through the large Evergreen my cat would climb up in a frenzy.

As Thanksgiving has passed and Christmas comes quickly upon us, it’s been yet another strange and difficult year in Cambodia settling into the realization that it is the holidays. Yesterday it was about 90 degrees, which was a stark contrast between the carols playing at the supermarket like “Let it Snow” and “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”.

Another thing I am still getting used to is the loss of old family traditions and even more recent ones between friends and I. I haven’t been able to listen to “The Christmas Song” by The Raveonettes with Brooke yet, a yearly tradition we do together as we eat our first candy canes of the season. The 15 hour time difference makes it difficult to arrange a Facetime or Skype session. I didn’t partner up with Nina to create a magical Gingerbread house for the Miller gingerbread architecture competition or participate in their annual Thanksgiving Scrabble Tournament. I won’t hang my mouse stocking above our fireplace and share a bed with my sister Christmas Eve or grumpily wake up rubbing my eyes and descend down the stairs to a pile of gifts under a tree, welcomed by my waiting mom and dad with coffees in hand.

But maybe this year the temperature on the 25th will once again drop to a teeth chattering 73 degrees, we’ll start a few new traditions of our own, and for my second Christmas in Cambodia- I’ll be surrounded by some family. And of course, wheels on wheels…of brie.

Which leads me to my gift to you…one that keeps on giving.

Recipe from my big sissy Hilary.



“Because it smells a bit like sex…and is just as good.”

Sorry, a bit unappetizing- but trust me, it’s a plate of magic.


Slice a wheel of brie in half

Make a mixture of stoneground mustard and honey and spread on each half of brie

Put brie slices together, like a sandwich

Sprinkle almonds, pecans, or walnuts (add cranberries for extra tang) on top

Heat on low

Serve with French bread, dried aprictors, figs, and/or water crackers

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