Dining dinos

Planting my 1st vegetable garden, thinking of Dad

betty ming liu Food, Holistic health, Money 9 Comments

Once upon a time, gorgeous yellow lillies bloomed in my front yard. Then, I ripped them out to grow veggies instead. The urge to try farming in some small way brought a surprising bonus. Of all things, I’m making peace with my control freak dad. More on that in a minute. First there’s the tale of the kale… I kept …

Giverny flowers

The price of freedom: My $9k dream vacation

betty ming liu Art, Food, Inspiration, Relationships, Travel 12 Comments

Running away from home for a 10-day painting vacation in France came with a price — $9,079.80, to be exact. But it’s what I wanted to do. I had a great time. Plus, I learned the value of letting go. “Me first” is my new mantra! Everything was new. I’d never gone on a vacation by myself before. Never went …

Honfleur waterfront

Honfleur offers 12th century charm & more

betty ming liu Art, Travel 6 Comments

Just arrived in Honfleur! It’s easy to see why the Impressionist painters loved it here. Between the ancient architecture and gorgeous light, I’m inspired too. This seaside town is located along the Seine at the point where it meets the ocean. Honfleur is tiny; the tourism board says the population is only 8,500. But 3.5 million people visit annually to …

5 reasons to love the Hastings-on-Hudson farmers market

betty ming liu Food 5 Comments

It’s that time again here in my hometown! The farmers market is setting up for the summer at its outdoor location overlooking the Hudson River. There’s something special about buying stuff grown and made only a few hours away. It makes me feel connected to the earth. Good for the soul. And, the stomach too. Through the winter, a scaled-down, …

Chuang Yen Monastery — a giant Buddha in the Hudson Valley

betty ming liu Travel 6 Comments

With the older folks in my family dying off, I’m going to a lot of funerals. They’ve become affectionate occasions to catch up with relatives. The latest gathering surprised me because I found diversity in the most unexpected location. When people from Chinatown and Queens choose cremation, their survivors make the 90-minute drive north to¬†Chuang Yen Monastery in the town …

Green Festival Expo — photos of new food & home products

betty ming liu Food, Holistic health, Money, Travel 4 Comments

For three intoxicating hours at Green Festival Expo, I stuffed my face on organic food samples and marveled at hundreds of new products. This was heaven for impulse shoppers, which meant I went home with a bunch of excitingly odd items to try out. This annual weekend event continues through today at New York City’s Javits Convention Center (April 24-26). …