Things I’m Loving 12.31

I’m a little late with these, but its been a crazy week!

Final 2016 edition of reflections.

To Watch: Breaking Bad & Better Call Saul

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Phew. We binge-watched Breaking Bad in about a week and a half; I honestly didn’t think that my heart or nerves could handle it. One of the best shows of all time and the writers truly showed the evolution of Walter White from passive high school teacher to a murdering meth-making sociopath. Phew. My life will never be the same.

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Bonus points to the severely underrated Better Call Saul. Saul and Mike were my favorite characters from Breaking Bad, so I was stoked to have a whole couple of seasons telling the story of the characters. SOOO GOOD. I can’t wait for season 3 (and happy its on Netflix so we can watch it in Europe!)

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MIKKKKKEEEEEEEEEE

To Play: T-Pain Performing on NPR’s Tiny Desk Series

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Our friend and overall amazing person Meagen Olah visited Charleston right before we moved. In between binge-watching OJ Simpson: Made in America she introduced us to the T-Pain performance on Tiny Desk. I wasn’t really a fan of T-Pain before, but honestly I now have the biggest crush on him. That voice. Those glasses. SWOON. I can’t even pick a favorite song.

Watch it! And while you’re there, watch more of the Tiny Desk episodes. They’re amazing.

To Do: Christmas Markets

One of the best reasons to live in Europe is visiting the Christmas markets during the holidays. Set up in small villages and big cities, each market is unique to that location, with different crafts and food representing that culture. Plus, all the mulled wine you can drink. We visited Bratislava and Budapest this year but hoping to hit up a couple more spots next year.

Our lovely friend Haley visited from London and we had a blast roaming around the big Budapest market in Vörösmarty Square. We tried the kürtös kalács (chimney cake) but not the Rooster-testicle stew (kakastöke pörkölt).

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Bratislava

To Eat: Slovakian Dumplings (Bryndzové halušky)

Slovakian dumplings are my new favorite food. They are usually made from potatoes that resemble gnocchi and served in a soft cream or milk sauce (bryndza).  There are a couple of variations across the region (Hungarian and Czech), so I’ll need to do a couple of tastings. For science.

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With Mushrooms

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Not my picture because I forgot to take one, but these are from the Slovak Beer House, Bratislava.

To Read: Abuse Allegations in UK Soccer

Last post I wrote about the sexual abuse allegations in USA Gymnastics and how many former employees including National Team Doctor Larry Nassar have been arrested for abusing underage girls. The New York Times published a similar story of abuse in the UK; the article outlines the systematic abuse of children playing soccer. Chelsea, one of the largest clubs in the UK, paid a former athlete to not come forward with allegations of abuse against his coach. Now, another professional player, Andrew Woodward, has gone public with his story of abuse as a child, prompting at least 20 other athletes to now tell their stories. According to the article:

At least 20 police forces across Britain have opened investigations into 83 suspects in cases involving about 350 possible victims and 98 soccer clubs from the amateur level to the Premier League.

Woodward’s former coach Barry Bennell served prison time for raping a 13 year old boy at a soccer camp in the United States, then was arrested again on 23 charges of sexual abuse. Heartbreakingly, Bennell married Woodward’s sister after years of abusing the young player. Following a conviction in 2015, Bennell then lived under an assumed name. The article further explains how the abuse was covered up by various organizations, allowing coaches to continually hurt children.

To Look Forward To: Visiting Charleston

This month Chris and I visited Charleston for the first time since moving in August. Its been great getting to see everyone again (including out of town friends visiting over the holiday) and it makes my heart happy to be surrounded by such lovely people.  Oh and watching Draft Day as many times as possible.

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Me listening to Lemonade while driving around Charleston after getting my license reinstated (lololol)

I’m so thankful to be able to share Jen and the Duke’s special day; I can’t believe my work wife is all grown up! (sobbing)

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We’ll be back on the other side of the world tomorrow so we’re spending as much time with friends and this crazy girl as we can 🙂

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Cheers to a happy 2017!

-Ashlyn

Listening to: Solange | A Place at the Table 

Celebrating: Placing #1, #3, #3 in my fantasy football leagues (yaaaassss)

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