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Friday, 30 March 2012


This popular little hang-out for locals and tourists alike is just up Jalan Suweta off the Main Street corner near the market in Ubud. Wifi. Sweet music ( Blues, rock, chillin, etc. ) The interior can really only be described as "adorable" with its signature trio of pastel colors brown, pink and blue. It is small, seating 15 people, but so cute and cosy, that I may just call it my new blogging home for the next while.

The espresso is perfect, served with a thick layer of golden foam at the top. The short bread cookie that accompanies it is by far the best short bread cookie I have EVER tasted! No joke.

The cupcakes are....... drool...... not for everyday, but when that day comes....... it is a great day. The cupcakes are as follows: Vanilla with Ginger Butter Cream, Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese, Lime Butter Cream, Chocolate and Espresso, Vanilla Butter Cream and there is even a Gluten-free cupcake for all those wheat-free cupcake lovers.

Along with the fine selection of coffee, tea and cupcakes, there is a healthy and creative menu featuring veggie-loaded quiches, panini's and pizzas. I am definitely hungry writing this right now.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

5 Stars for Bridges and An Evening with Jacqueline Fuentes

I arrived at Bridges shortly after 7pm and was immediately offered a glass of sparkling wine. The room was full, the music was at a perfect level and the light and ambience of the room was neither too dark nor too light. Staff were very attentive and absolutely charming. We were seated downstairs at a quiet table in the corner, and although we had no view of the concert which was to take place, the 3 course meal and dinner service made up for it.

Bridges is regarded as the #1 restaurant in Ubud and after my experience last night, there's no secret why this beautiful restaurant has every right to withhold this prestigeoius title. The menu last night consisted of an appetizer, a main and a dessert. There were 3 choices for each. For my appetizer I chose the Scallop and Barramundi with consisted of sauteed barramundi and sea scallops seasoned with mustard and white wine served in a open scallop shell with a thyme and lime crumble finish. On the side was a spicy paprika aioli and fresh lime. It was fresh, extremely flavorful and simply glorious. 

For my main course, I chose the Atlantic Salmon which was seared and placed on a bed of dill infused baked salmon mousse and surrounded by a lime beurre blanc sauce. On the side was a broccoli puree with a layer of sauteed mixed vegetables. The salmon was seared to perfection, with almost a sashimi like texture in the middle, and a flavorful crisp char on the outside. For dessert, I chose the chocolate fondant, which was served warm with a slice of candied orange in the middle. On the side, a vanilla gelato and a light Cointreau cream mousse which complimented the rich warm chocolate and soft chocolate sponge cake surrounding it perfectly.

The concert started shortly after 10pm with a warm introduction to Jacqueline Fuentes. As she started to play, my dinner date described her sound as what he was tasting with the flavors of his own chocolate fondant. Absolutely beautiful. The music was so calm, yet so gentle and powerful. A truly unique and uplifting sound. Jacqueline has a simply beautiful voice, and with her singing in her native tongue, Spanish, it was the ultimate accompaniment to such an extraordinary dining experience. All in all, a luxurious and decadent evening at Bridges. 

Photos by: Alfie

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Bali Spirit Festival - Day 1

Scooter with Candice on back. Very lost. Follow flags. Palm trees. We're here! Parking lot. So many bikes! Not many cars. This makes me happy. Even though they are motor bikes. Arrive at festival. We are shown Media Centre and given a brief tour. The grounds are BEAUTIFUL!! Yoga people. Yoga kids. Yoga women. Yoga men. Oneness. Happy smiling people. Dance workshop. People are getting DOWN!!!! I shake my booty. I must do a class. How can I watch on the sidelines when these people moving look so happy and free and fulfilled? Hoop yogini. I don't hula hoop. I must do this. I must conquer!! I do it. A combination of yoga and hula hoop. Easy warm up. Stretches and bends and circle with hoop. Business time. Master hooping. There is a key. Back and forth keeps the circle moving. 100 calories burned every 10 minutes??!! I am SOLD. I am obsessed. This is my sexy, fun, new, awesome, playful exercise pastime. I become one with the hoop. The hoop understands me and I understand it. I surrender to the flow. The flow of the energy circling around me, massaging my body. Hip-thrusting. Sweating. With hoop. I love this exercise. Off to Bridges for wine and food. Yes please. I worked for this today, I did. Day 1 satisfaction. Happy, complete, open in oneness. Living NOW. Out.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Interview with The GAWDS

The Bali Chick is very passionate about animals and their well-being. I grew up with 2 cats and a dog. All of who I was lucky enough to see into their sweet animal oldie days. Animals are the epitome of unconditional love. They sense earthquakes, happiness and sadness and a plethora of other unseen emotions. Many are true heros and have saved lives, of both other animals and their human friends. Many do things more "human" and loving / thoughtful than more than half of us real humans know how to do. Did you know that if you give an orangutan a candy, it will often break it in half and give you back half of it?

Introducing GAWDS - The Global Animal Welfare Society and below an interview with CEO and my friend, Brad Anthony.

GAWDS is literally taking the world by storm with a GPS tracking system to help save animals in danger. You can text from your mobile device to report poachers, illegal hunters, or dangerous animals in community areas. Witnesses from Bosnia, Japan and Greece among others have already taken advantage of this simple animal-life-saving action. This WILL change the world and the future of so many of our four-legged friends.

Shopping GAWDS: With over 300 retail brands to shop from through the website, you are not only getting a sweet product, but supporting our furry friends. Everything from pet products and garden tools to fitness equipment and electronic toys. How cool is that?

GAWDS: "Inspiring change through collaboration, creativity and compassion. We're putting our own spin on social and digital activism for the new millennium. Community and capacity building with an awesome edge: we're committed to helping animal welfare, ecological and conservation groups, providing our supporters and the public with new solutions and tools to help animals worldwide."

Interview with Brad Anthony, CEO and Founder of GAWDS:

1.) Hi Brad, thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Before we get to the serious questions, let's warm up with some fun information about you. What can you tell me about animals and your childhood?

I was raised by my father's breeding pair of German Shepherds: Sabre and Sheena. I was their cub; and could walk around the yard or street and have them on either side of me at all times. No one could get near me - except my parents - not even my grandparents. I've always had real animals around me - on the contrary, I had make-believe human friends. However I did always want to hang out with the Snuffleupagus.

2.) Which animal are you most passionate about saving? 

It's a toss up. Tigers are on the top of my list for sure for many reasons; their primal symbolism and predatory simplicity. But Gorillas, Orangutans and Chimpanzees are certainly up there as well. For me it's easier to relate - for obvious reasons - to primate protection and feel that it has more potential for faster results as society grows to realize they're not just 99% genetically similar but that they feel pain and love, and form complex families and deep relationships directly comparable to those of naked apes like us.

3.) There are so many evil things happening to innocent animals around the world.  I.e. Sharkfin soup, seal situation, chinchilla fur, etc. What makes you the most angry? 

I'm a passionate person; my Scottish blood also comes with a fair share of rage and protectionism. Shark-fin soup makes me absolutely fucking furious; the viral demand in South-East Asia is so blatantly stupid and criminally short-sighted it's difficult not to lose hope for humanity. It's all about human greed and organized crime; and probably one of the best examples of such things. In comparison to war crimes aka crimes against humanity - shark-fin soup is a crime against nature and I hope one day to see people who blatantly destroy the world's ecosystems swinging from the gallows until they're dead.

4.) What do you expect to spend on marketing and PR campaigns similar to what other international organizations do?

Chi, sweat, blood, tears...but I promise you this; we will NEVER spend noteworthy amounts of our funds on marketing and PR as it goes entirely against my principles of authenticity. Marketing and PR are better left for people who don't believe in the shite they're selling. I will consistently spend my last dollars on helping an animal before wasting money on ad-space in a temporal publication or the side of a bus. 

5.) You seem to have the GAWDS business structure, goals, vision, focus and FUN in line. You're obviously a kickass leader. How often do you incorporate the TAO into your day-to-day business practice? 

My team is awesome and subject to their own form of natural selection - we truly are based in ecology. LOL I explained to everyone involved from the beginning that I run a results-based organization and people remained on the team only as long as they are producing results; anything else is dead weight and needs to be heaved overboard (hmm not unlike by-catch). I have very high standards - which I try not to ruthlessly impose on everyone else - but the ROWE management model was pretty much tailored for my style of standard operating procedures. Anyway, that's enough of the serious side.

Fun is very important - why do something if it's not fun and rewarding? The people on our team are treated as friends; not lowly employees or volunteers. We've thrown out the stale, unimaginative, uninspiring models of corporate governance and bureaucracy and implemented mandatory happy dances, eight hour work weeks and global net-commuting - subsequently we have team members everywhere on the planet except Antarctica, yet! Screw business as usual; happy team members who love what they do invariably provide better results in a fraction of the time than your average depressed employees in soul-sucking positions who work four to six times as many hours. The secret is simply - if you're not enjoying your life, change something, anything to increase your fun and satisfaction in THIS moment. You never know how many moments you have left to enjoy so get started.

Tao is, for the most part, about acceptance and "going with the flow" to use an appropriate water metaphor. That is it to say, taking the path of least resistance, which can be applied to everything we do. For myself, it manifests in not fighting against things that aren't working; being fast and flexible enough to change gears or speeds when part of one project stalls or goes sideways and another route becomes a more obvious or optimal path. It's also come up in team growth issues; 
I prefer to let people manage themselves as I didn't start on this path to be "in charge" of people, to be "a manager" per se.

I don't fret about the past and don't stress about the future; my role is simplified and made more effective by just being mindful of my personal and organizational goals; focusing on where we are in the moment and what we can do now to successfully cultivate more of our strategic objectives. My background in Taoist philosophy helps me immensely when acting in context of strategy or searching for much needed solutions to deeper obstacles like human greed, ego and rampant materialism.

6.) What are the deep, core issues that need addressing to create lasting change and provide immunity, safety and LOVE to animals around the world?

Our focus is primarily on the fundamental issues causing the problems, not the many secondary symptoms or manifestations of those issues. The later is what most groups preoccupy themselves with because they need million dollar budgets to sustain their bureaucracies and shiny ad campaigns. However, as a whole we're more concerned with affecting change and improvements, and finding authentic solutions for the underlying problems; as such:
  • Increasing compassion for non-human animals and the clearly observable values in ecological protection and integrity;
  • Increasing cooperation and coordination between thousands of concerned groups worldwide;
  • Contributing to a new secular belief system; grounded in ecological, philosophical, technological design and use practices;
  • Increasing government transparency and accountability;
  • Challenging the stale and slothful status quo with new ideas;
  • Inspiring an expressed zero-tolerance public policy for corruption;
  • Increasing public engagement through convenient, cutting edge technology;
  • Increasing global promotion of vegetarian values, information and resources. Anyone who is genuinely concerned with sustainability will realize sooner or later that meat consumption is entirely unsustainable, as well as unethical.
  • Empowering the public to easily participate in and contribute to local and international improvements as new global citizens with international influence;
  • Redefining “value” of nature, biodiversity and animals far beyond the current primitive monetary definition.
  • Increasing the fun factor, rewards of, and obvious benefits to all in a non-profit culture;
  • Increasing (dramatically) the penalties for crimes against nature; committed daily by immoral corporations worldwide.
  • Increasing the world-wide celebrity of green power rangers, ninjas, nerds and animals committed to doing good and saving the world which so desperately needs more authentic heroes; fuck these overpaid socially-useless athletes, Hollywood stars and wannabee socialites – they don't accomplish anything except collect material wealth and get arrested for being idiots.
Driving all of this is the single most important principle that these changes MUST come from the bottom. Our governments and “leaders”, I use that term loosely; have failed to protect our populations and environments as they bicker in pointless political theater while the people and environment suffer the consequences; they've let corporations buy control of our policy to improve their own profits without improving our society - it's time for this to end permanently. We can't wait for simple-minded politicians and their corporate slave-masters to do what is needed. If we wait for a top-down solution; we'll all die unsatisfied with the results we yearned for and had the potential to create ourselves.
Change must come from the people - and much to government and corporate chagrin the movement has begun with the warm embrace of present day activism like Occupy Wall Street in the early 21st century; the public is ready for change and it's an exciting time to give a shit about life, love, nature and to witness this much needed social apocalypse (which in its proper use means .We're on the precipice of unbelievable global change – it's coming. If you're not ready and prepared for it you might as well start learning to enjoy zombie stew.

Thanks for your time, Brad. Rock on. #tigerhug!!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Right Now - Watch, Listen, Read........

Then go use your time wisely!!

2012 Bali Spirit Festival Pre-Fest Concert in Sanur

Hello Friends, Followers and Stalkers,

Latest News: I'm working with the Bali Spirit Festival as one of the bloggers for the nighttime concert series. VERY stoked on this. Music + Writing. I'm on the right track, baby. I was born this way.

I might also have the flashy title of "Stage Manager". Think Chris Farley in the first Wayne's World. Firm stance. Arms crossed. Occasional nods. Watch-glancing. Kicking ass.

Nothing in stone, yet. But if you know me, you know I'm persistent.

Below is my blog entry from the Bali Spirit Festival blog I posted this morning. I am SO excited for the festival. My bestie will be here with me and taking photos at the festival too. It's going to be a magic week of yoga, music and LOVE.

Put out the love. Receive the love. It's an easy concept and god, it works.

Well the 2012 Bali Spirit Festival kicked off last night in Sanur at Antida’s beautiful outdoor venue. The line-up: The Silver Pesos, Nakho & Medicine for the People, Supa Kalulu, Nuzan Tara Project, Cambodian Space Project, Vieux Cissokho & Hamanah, Puch Collective. First impressions upon arrival? So many dreadlocks. Yeah, yeah, I’m new to Ubud. This is all new and exciting for me.

The night started off tame with people chatting and enjoying the beautiful spread of food. The middle portion of the concert was grounding. Whole. Centered. Loving. Open. At one point, I saw Ganesh in a plant. The last portion of the evening ended with full-blown feather-twirling foot-stomping arms-pumping hippy goodness. I can say with a huge smile on my face, I danced my ass off last night. Nakho & Medicine for the People and Silver Pesos were by far my favorite. What talent!

Is there anything better than closing your eyes, moving your body and surrendering everything to the rhythm of a beat? I think not. If this is anything like what the actual festival concert series will be like, we’re in for a ride kids! I am so excited, honored and proud to be a part of the 2012 Bali Spirit Festival. Welcome to the 2012 festival. This is going to be amazing. Over and out!

Thursday, 15 March 2012


Left Boy - I Want To........

Hi. Love Music? Love Rhymes? Wow....... Left Boy..... How did you and this song slip under my radar?

Sooooo good.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ubud - Rumah Rhoda on Jalan Kajeng

Rumah Roda. The homestay / restaurant owned by the family who are featured in the book "A Little Bit One o'Clock". I am totally a regular here. Darta is high-energy and remembers everything. The girls are adorable. The guy I spoke of in my last blog post, the one I ate KFC with in the parking lot after getting a flat tire.... that's Biyu, Darta's nephew. Such a lovely family.

My favorite thing off the menu is the Gado Gado. It is soooo good and only 20,000 rupiah! $2. Huge portion of steamed greens, the most delicious tempe, sauteed tofu covered in some peanut sauce love. I eat it 3 times a week, at least. They know me here. And the owner just invited me to a Balinese "tooth-filing" on April 7th. Sweet!!

Other than the absolutely incredible gado gado, is the banana pancake. My god, it is so good. Caramelized banana wrapped in a soft and thin rice-flour pancake. Really more of a crepe. It's rolled and then sprinkled with grated coconut and drizzled with palm sugar syrup. Not an everyday indulgence, but definitely a treat for my Saturday mornings.

Rumah Rhoda has the cheapest menu I have seen. The portions are generous. The food is delicious and always consistent. Sunday evenings they do a buffet for 35,000 rupiah. So about $4. Comfortable cushion seating and tables too. Wifi. I love this place!

Open daily. Up Jalan Kajeng, next to Threads of Life.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

10,000 Hits. Cheers to me.

Images, Words, Thoughts, Feelings, Dreams ❤

So I like collecting images that make you think. Images that inspire. Images that make you smile. Images that are beautiful. Images that are meant to share. Enjoy ❤

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Roam if you want to. Roam around the world.

You have to admit, the B-52'S have the most interesting, cool, WEIRD music videos. I woke with this song stuck in my head the other morning. I haven't heard it for years! It's a great song. Listen. And roam. If you want to. Roam around the world.

Roam if you want to! The trip begins with you!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sanur, Abian Boga and Gateway to India

I came to blog and now I'm drinking a Bintang and surfing blogs. Funny how that happens. Who ya gonna call?

I've spent the last week with my parents. They came to visit me in Bali for 3 weeks end of January, then headed to Thailand for 3 weeks, then back to see me. We had a lovely week and most recently, a lovely weekend away in Sanur. Sanur is on the southern coast of Bali, and very non-Kuta, which I was a huge fan of.

It was quiet, cloudy and full of tanned oldies. We arrived Saturday morning and checked into Abian Boga Guest House. I got my own room, thanks Mum. After unpacking, we headed to the beach. A wonderful lunch feast right on the beach. Fresh Mahi Mahi off the grill with squeezed lime and refreshing coconuts to drink, and later, scoop out and eat.

I swear, if I learned how climb a palm, gather coconuts, machete them open and build a bamboo hut.... I could live quite happily off the land for some time. Kate, the castaway. Except it would be a choice, not a dealt hand in some universal deck of cards. Really, I would be happy. Throw in a dog and a solar-powered ipod charger..... what else do you need?

Mum, Dad and I beach-combed after our delicious lunch. Lots of coral washed up. My dad sat on the sand and did a drawing ( he's an artist ) and wrote "Kate" on a piece of coral and gave it to me. I will cherish it.

The highlight of the weekend was when it rained. It was an absolute monsoon. Buckets and buckets of warm tropical rain. Don't worry, we were equipped with our trusty blue ponchos. My mother called us "sperm heads". Well done, Mum.

On the night before we left, we went to an Indian restaurant, "Gateway of India". On the menu, they proclaimed "The Best Indian in Bali". My standards are high, as are my mothers, who works as a food critic, and I can say with complete satisfaction, we were SO pleased with the meal.

I had an Indian Coffee, which was coffee infused with cinnamon, cloves, sugar and warm milk. Delicious. My mum had a Potato Dosa. I had the Vegetable Biryani. Dad had the Chicken Masala. All beautifully presented, absolutely huge portions, killer flavours and very affordable. They have a 6 restaurants in Bali, and also deliver. I will definitely call them for delivery one night here from their Ubud location when we are next hit with a monsoon.

Mum and Dad left last night. On the way to the airport, we got a flat tire. Ah, such is life. I stayed behind with the driver to solve the problem, and also I was going back to Ubud, so we needed to get a tire on the car. My parents and I said goodbye in front of the awkward bad advertising off the highway where the car had stalled. I don't know when I will see them again. They live in France. Hopefully I can make it over there in the summer. Maybe sooner if I can afford it. They headed off in a taxi and I stayed with my new friend Biyu.

Biyu is a young kid from Ubud. Super cool. He asked me if I was hungry. "Sure", I said. He made a phonecall and 20 minutes later a man on a bike arrived. KFC delivery. Ya, ya I know it's soooooo bad for you. But hey, 2 deep friend chicken wings taste pretty good when you're sitting in a parking lot at 10pm and waiting for a tire to arrive. All in all.... I was there for 5 hours. Got back to my place just before midnight. Ahhh, Bali time. I'm so all about it, though.

So I'm sitting here alone, just had my big Bintang and a Gado Gado ( veggies with tofu, tempe and peanut sauce ). Just before 9pm on Wednesday. Don't fret, I've got plans the next 3 nights. Wooooo, social life. Here we go! I've got my cool friend Edy cooking dinner for me tomorrow night, then girl dates Friday and Saturday. Yaaay!

In other exciting news, I will be one of the photographers for the 5th annual Bali Spirit Fest at the end of March. So very excited. It's 5 days of yoga, workshops and concerts. I am going to get some unreal shots and meet some incredible people. So excited.

Also at the end of March, one of my absolute best girl friends arrives in Bali. Candice, we are going to have the BEST time ever. Can't wait to watch the sunrise on the volcano with you!! My soul sister. Yoga, photoshoots, rice field motor-biking, Bintangs. My partner in crime. My soul sister in life!!

Alright, that's all for now. This should make up for the last week of me not blogging. More to come, friends. Much, much more ;)

Stay tuned..... XO Kate