Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Getting drenched for Bon Me

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Most Bostonians are familiar with SOWA Sundays in the South End, where local artists, artisans and farmers come out to sell their goods. I've been to this a few times, and pretentiously picked at some $8 organic tomatoes and sampled crusty bread. Somehow, I had no idea that a sizeable community of food trucks were situated in the back area. Last Sunday we had a torrential downpour, but Nick and I braved the weather for food. I was dying to wear my new trench, but per usual, sensible Nick said "too warm." : /
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Nick has pointed out the Bon Me truck to me a few times in the past, so my mouth fell open when the owner, chef Ali, mentioned she was a fan of Extra Petite! She descended from the high truck to reveal her 5 ft tall frame, and we chatted like old friends. "I feel like I already know you!" she greeted me, and I have to say I've felt that way with every reader and fellow blogger I've hung out with. My non-blogging friends do not understand the concept of an online community, and get concerned when I mention I'm going to hang out with strangers I met over the internet.
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Bon Me is a "gourmet food truck serving Vietnamese-inspired food with local sourcing." So fusion fare made with local ingredients. We had deviled tea eggs (with housemade spicy mayo, scallions, and aleppo pepper), a chicken rice bowl, BBQ pork banh mi sammy, and a chocolate rice pudding with a hint of star anise. Nick was a happy camper. I don't think I got to sample the pudding before it vanished!
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Readers - Is there a large food truck community by where you live? Which ones are your faves?

64 comments:

  1. This chance meeting is so adorable! In the 1st pic, it's evident how petite you really are. :)

    (You definitely have blessed proportions, so you don't look as diminutive in your other posts.)

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  2. aww so cute...jean you have fans everywhere!! yes, we have lots of food trucks here, it's all over the place.

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  3. Looks absolutely delicious! The (gourmet) food truck experience is only beginning to hit Toronto (red tape, regulations ,etc...) so there aren't too many around yet...

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  4. Adorable pictures, Jean! No food trucks where I live (that I'm aware of) :( Yummy!! my mouth is watering seeing all this delicious-looking food.

    BTW I bought at HM a similar t-shirt to yours but more boatneck style and the colors is more golden mustard and this cute set of belts:
    http://www.hm.com/us/product/93073?article=93073-A

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  5. Yum! Love Bon Me... tried it at SOWA a month ago and I've been wanting to go back for more ever since!

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  6. DC has a TON of food trucks. On Fridays they gather at what is called (or what I call) the Food Truck Mecca around McPherson Square. You can easily be overwhelmed by all the choices!

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  7. Mmm, I love food :p LA is notorious for food trucks but I don't live there anymore so I brave the streets in SF for it whenever I have the chance. The idea of Vietnamese food made like that is a dream :) I want to eat Bon Me now :) And how cool is it that the chef is a fan of your blog? Double yay!!

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  8. @Rainy Days and Lattes @Ping @Cher I figured LA, SF, and NYC had tons of food truck options. Didn't know about DC!

    @Claud I knew what belts you were referring to before I even opened the link! I was checking out last week and the girl next to me had them. I was eyeing them and was about to run and grab them when I realized it was a 3-pack.

    @Anna SOWA is such a fun time on a sunny day! Darn unpredictable Boston weather. I'd like to go back as well and try their noodle dish.

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  9. oy! I'm quite the picky eater when it comes to Banh mi. The joints in chinatown aren't up to standard so i'm dying to try Bon Me when i get a free weekend. sigh.

    From the looks of it, the ratio of bread to filling looks about right.

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  10. @Gracie Bon Me is Viet-inspired so I would say it's more on fresh ingredients and less authentic flavored ... are you looking for completely authentic? Eating this on Sunday actually started an insane Banh Mi kick for me and I tried sandwiches from THREE different places since Sunday - 163 and new saigon in Chinatown, and then Pho Viets in 88. All different, all yummy to me because I dont know what authentic really tastes like. Which places have you tried and what were your disappointments?

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  11. FOOD TRUCKS!! :)

    There are so.many in NYC as you know... I try to check out a new one at least once a week. I'm kind of obsessed! The Bon Me in Boston looks fantastic.

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  12. Funny that you mention food trucks because I just learned about Bon Me recently, along with some other trucks around the city (via http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/gallery/foodtrucks/). I have got to try Bon Me--it looks so good! How fun that the owner is a fan of yours too. :)

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  13. Austin has a huge food truck community all over the city! A lot of them travel around and will use Twitter to update everybody on their whereabouts. I loooove trying all of them out, except I gotta watch my weight as well. :)

    That looks so delicious! I'm putting it on my list for places to scope out if I visit Boston somday!

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  14. food looks so yummy. i'm jealous!

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  15. There are a ton of food trucks in Los Angeles, but I have yet to venture out and try any :(

    Love the pics as always! and that's so cool that you have fans everywhere! I think meeting people online COULD be creepy, but it would depend on the people lol...

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  16. @PAG, I tried a number of places in chinatown, mainly the ones on that main road (beach street, thanks to Google Earth).

    There was a Mike's Banh Mi from several months back that I had tried and was by far the best banh mi I've ever tasted in Boston/CT. The bread was airy french baquette, the Pate had a very slight tang of sweetness, the additions of raw onions gave it some freshness. They had this amazing marinated steaks which were to die for!! Sadly, when I returned they had closed down and the new one, Sub city or something like that, didn't live up to my high hopes. I asked for an original as they called it, and got a mixture of mustard sauce with cold cuts, which is fine, just not what I expected. I don't recall Vietnamese ever cooking with mustard.

    My major disappointment have always been this new trend of replacing "asian ham" with american ham. The flavor profiles are completely different! American ham really don't jive well with the rest of the ingredients.

    The one's I remember thanks to google earth:
    Lu's Banh Mi
    Sub City
    Sadly, both 163 and New Saigon.

    I did only try the original cold cuts for all of them as my testing sub. If I like them after that initial test, I try the other ones.

    I sound like a complete BM snob. =/

    I need to scope out the joints in NYC. I hear there are lots of places in NYC but I've yet to find one!

    Speaking of NYC, I'd thought I'd let you know that the cart food across the famous Chicken and Rice stand on SE side near the MOMA is also owned by the same guy. So if you're in NYC next time and looking to cut the line, go for that one.

    phew... i'm glad to finally get that rant off of my chest. It's been boiling in the last few months since Mike's Banh Mi closed.

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  17. Jean, you are so tiny! I already knew that but you're so adorable I just wanna put you in my pocket! LOL. I kept on looking at the first picture again to try and figure out where you were!

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  18. Jean, I just had to "lol" when I read your comment about the blogging community and the non-bloggers (everybody else). I didn't see you in the first picture when I quickly skimmed the page (while at work) 'til I read the first comment!! How were the deviled eggs?? The food truck movement is huge over here in the Bay Area, CA & LA. I'm not the biggest fan though.

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  19. http://www.cityofboston.gov/business/mobile/schedule-tabs.asp

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  20. Hi Jean, it is amazing that people nnow recognize you in the streets:-)

    I posted a comment with a request, but maybe the post was too old: how would you wear the shift dress, of the polka dot HM skirt for work? i love how cute they are, but hesitant as i am afraid the polka dots are a bit too childish.. do you have any styling tips? DO you intend to wear them for work?

    thanks, A

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  21. omg it was raining like crazy here the other day. POURING. Even an umbrella couldn't shield you from the rain. Luckily, I was about to enter the movie theatre and it was bright & sunny after the movie was done. :P You look adorable in casual wear.

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  22. Aww that's so cute, you're like petite soul sisters =) great pics too

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  23. I always love non fashion post because it makes me feel like i'm getting to know the blogger better! Great piece!

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  24. Damn... its been awhile since I've been out there. But I don't recall food trucks on the Sundays o.O

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  25. omg! sounds so delicious! i'm super duper jealous! there is a truck called "fusion on the run" here in seattle. it was pretty darn good. but banh mi's?! i sure want to try!

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  26. Oh that looks so delish! I hope to find food truck in my area, I don't think I've ever seen one! Making me hungry now!

    What a coincidental meet up! ^^ I hope to meet you someday too! : )

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  27. ... I saw the first photo, and everyone else around you looks so tall with their umbrellas.

    "Is that her?" I wondered. "That can't be her. So short!" And then I scrolled down.

    "OH MY GOD, IT'S HER!O__O"

    Sorry; it's just a little shocking to see height differences sometimes. I'm 4ft11 and I'm always surprised by it, even amongst my roommates.

    How cool that she's a fan though! Some of my non-gamer friends also don't understand the online community thing - I've hung out with lots of friends from Maple Story. :)

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  28. LA has so many food trucks I don't even know where to begin! A couple of my fav are Kogi (korean tacos) and lobsta truck (lobster rolls). If you like bank mi, OC would be banh mi heaven for you and Nick! Maybe one of these days I'll have a chance to take you to sample some :P

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  29. Bon Me is so creative! I like how it sounds out "Banh Mi," but the spelling looks more fancy because of the word "Bon." lol

    I could live off just eating Viet subs!

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  30. We recently got food trucks here in Vancouver after some by-law changes and I love that they are basically everywhere now. A lot of them serve fusion food (usually Asian-style)... my faves are these Korean tacos which are the same as regular tacos but with bulgogi. SO GOOD!

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  31. How funny it must be to randomly meet another member of the petite blogging community in a big city! And yes...sometimes we forget how tiny we are until we see ourselves in photos next to others. I'm so used to having to look up while talking to people that I usually don't think twice about my height (unless I'm shopping, of course!).

    P.S.- I'd love any and all posts about Boston, I'm moving there in a year! I'll be sure to check out this SOWA festival next time I'm there for a weekend.

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  32. You are all so lucky! Wish we had this concept in England! Vietnamese food, fusion or otherwise is always super expensive here (like everything!).

    Looks beyond delicious. Does she do Vietnamese spring rolls too - what I wouldn't do for those!!!

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  33. I read this post last night so I thought I would be immune to the deliciousness this morning...but no, now I am craving lunch (sucky part is no good vietnamese food in the area).

    And you are sooo tiny compared to the other girls waiting in line for lunch...irl you are actually pretty tall. Maybe they are just really tall. or maybe it's the strategic placement of their umbrellas...

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  34. I live in NYC, so there are PLENTY of food trucks! My all time fave is kimchi taco...mmm...so gooddddd =) it's korean bbq served on soft taco shells.

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  35. The good all look so delish and delightful. Good question, I don't know there are food trucks community here or not. It is a big city, I have to look into it. You are like a celebrity :)

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  36. Atlanta's food truck scene is growing slowly but surely. I've only been to a few, due to working north of the city, but my favorite is actually a cart, King of Pops. They make delicious popsicles in flavors like coconut lemongrass and blackberry mojito.

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  37. I love how the first post highlights how petite you are. Your food pics have me drooling. Unfortunately the only food trucks in my area are Mexican food, but they make for great late night snacks lol. That moss tee has proven to be really versatile. I can't wait to see pics of you in your new trench!

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  38. It's so fun to meet an unexpected fan, isn't it? Fall is coming, I am sure you will be able to wear your new trench soon (especially with Boston weather).

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  39. omg you look so tiny in that first photo! it's funny because most of your photos are of you by yourself, or with other petite bloggers, so there's no frame of reference.

    the food looks delish! i love food trucks but doesn't it always seem like it takes a bit more effort to eat at them? (rain, LONG lines, crowded parking lots, etc.)

    people think i'm WEIRD when i tell them my friends and i have a blog! and they think i'm even weirder when i tell them that i post pictures of things i buy and wear. i can see why, but it just doesn't seem as strange when there are so many people out there doing the same! it's nice to have a "community" to share the things you love with. =)

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  40. All the food looks so good. It's great that you meet your readers randomly. I've yet to meet any readers, perhaps I don't have enough yet. haha. But I agree that my non-blogging friends don't understand the concept of an online community. It's so great you get to meet other bloggers.

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  41. I've been so shy to comment for over a year, but I have to say, Austin has so many incredibly delicious food trucks. If you're ever in Austin let me know! :)

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  42. What a cute story! In where I live food trucks only available in the down town and only from M-F, so sadly I haven't had a chance to enjoy them as much as I would like to. The food looks delish. I love Vietnamese food, especially their pho! Yum!

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  43. awh yumm! looks so good, and that was awesome that you got to meet another blog follower in person :]

    luckily for me i live in portland, oregon so we're now known for having food carts galore all around town - i believe now, about 400-ish little different food carts.

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  44. Soooo coooool!

    Are you wearing the gap jeggings? Just curious. I am contemplating getting a pair

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  45. Kelly (Stiletto Hardware)Thursday, August 11, 2011

    oh so cute! i love the first pic too. I didn't know it was you, as well. I did a double take! haha must be really cool to meet fans and those in the community. we just started having food trucks in Vancouver as well and the japadogs are really popular!

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  46. there are "some" food trucks in SD, but i dont know why they're never around downtown after a night of good ol partying at the clubz. I just danced the night away; i need nourishments! Also, they're not THAT great. (incld the 1 my friend owns. eeh.)

    So when I talk about my blogger friends, my real life friends always ask, "wait...is this a real friend or another blogger friend and have you ever met this person?" i say, "no, but i speak to her everyday." (convo abt Ms. Ping) hahaha.

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  47. Yup! We have the food truck travelling throughout Downtown Chicago all the time! I've seen everything, mac n' cheese, Haute Dogs, Cupcakes, Ice cream, but I've never tried the food. Looks like you two had a fabulous time and food looked delicious!

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  48. We don't have a big area of food trucks around here, or if we do, I don't venture to that part of Detroit. I normally can't eat from food trucks, even gourmet ones, because I'm a vegetarian and my husband is a vegan. :(

    I hear ya on the whole online community thing. I was on IRC and AOL in high school chatting with other Asians from my city, and then later on, bonding with people over animé! I've been in online communities for over 15 years and blogging for 10... I actually don't get people who don't get the whole blogging thing. Anyone who doesn't get it usually wouldn't understand the way my brain works, socially and emotionally.

    :)

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  49. That looks so good, I LOVE food trucks! By the way, I love your Life with PAG posts, they're my favorite :)

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  50. That looks so delicious! I wish we had the wide variety of food trucks that you guys do. We only have Mexican food trucks & a lot of them are pretty questionable. :P To have a Vietnamese food truck would be heaven!

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  51. Jean - you look so uber cute in that first pic - it really puts your size in perspective because you're such a pro at elongating the frame that I always think of you as tall. I would get drenched for good food too ;)

    And yay for meeting a fan unexpectedly - you're a celebrity!

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  52. If you are in the Providence, RI area...
    There is a local food truck here that sells awesome food [Hewtin's Dog Mobile]. I usually grab lunch from them once a week. I'd recommend the pork belly sandwich. Uber yummy. They also have a delicious array of homemade relishes [for free].

    Check you their website: http://chez-pascal.com/HewtinsDogsMobile.htm

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  53. Thank you everyone SO much for the informative websites and for sharing a lil about your hometowns! Now when I travel I'll be sure to keep an eye out for some of your favorite food truck recommendations.

    Also, I see many of you are amused by my (or shall I say, "our," because I know many readers are the same size as me or smaller) size against the two taller ladies and the truck : ) It's amazing how being juxtaposed against normal things can put our size into perspective. I think that 1st pic really reinforces why it is a challenge for extra petite women to find a good (esp professional) wardrobe in the US!

    @J The deviled "tea" eggs were actually amazing and it made me realize I can make deviled eggs at home without actually scooping out the yolk and whipping it up. Just dollop the toppings atop an egg half and the flavors will mix in your mouth anyways!

    @Jennifer Thank you for coming out and saying hello for the first time in over a year! : )

    @Anonymous I'm sorry I missed your question! I don't think I'll wear the shift dress to work because it's short and more "fun," but you can try various things with ti like a jacket or blazer over and closed toe neutral pumps, or tuck it into a skirt and see how it looks like as a top. For the skirt, pairing is easy. Don't keep yourself confined to black or cream (although either a black or cream silk or cotton blouse will look lovely). Try tucking in a colored top and then using shoes or belt to tie the color further into the outfit. I wore it to work twice already over various colored blouses plus a khaki blazer.

    @SME These are not the gap legging jeans, but if you search for gap in my google search bar on the right hand side, you'll find lots of posts. I wear them a ton! Every wash is kinda made of a different material though, and the petite length is preeety short (not for anyone taller than 5'1").

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  54. This all looks delicious! I wish I had known about this when I was in Boston! :)

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  55. "...get concerned when I mention I'm going to hang out with strangers I met over the internet."

    Hahaha! Well, the concern understandable from your non-blogging friends' perspective when you put it that way. I would totally greet you like an old friend if I met you, too!

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  56. Hi Jean,

    I like your outfit in this photo. Very smart casual! I have query regarding the LV speedy 25 bag. The bag has been featured in quite a few photo and I it matches all your outfits! I'm considering to purchase one in the coming month and was wondering if you can shed some light on any problems you've had with the bag? Like colour from clothes rubbing onto the bag, how many yrs have you had the bag for? Thanks

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  57. @lynnie11 Hi lynnie, I don't give that bag as much attention on the blog as the Chanels but I honestly LOVE it because it's sturdy and versatile. The coated canvas can withstand a lot and it also folds down nicely for travel. I use it so much! I've had it for about 3 years. Which color were you thinking of getting? The damier azur that I have starts out with very light colored leather trim, and as it oxidizes it turns darker. One problem is the leather trim may oxidize at different rates and the trim will be uneven colored, and it'll be affected when it gets caught in the rain. The darker (damier ebene) I also love. I got a wallet in that color because it pretty much shows no wear. The leather trim on there is a dark brown and it doesn't change color and it doesn't show any "dirty" areas. For both colors you can just wipe it clean. I haven't had any issues with color transfer, but that depends more on your clothes (ie don't wear new blue jeans in the rain against a light colored back). Hope this helps!

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  58. I've been dying to try the Bon Mi truck! I work near Dewey Sq/South Station so I eat at both of the trucks that are there: Momogoose (so much yum for $5!) and Clover which is a vegetarian truck. I'm not vegetarian but I eat there a lot to get my veggies in and they have the best version of falafel around: chickpea fritter! Both trucks' most expensive items are usually 5 bucks.

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  59. P.S. I didn't even notice you in that 1st pic! This is how I feel ALL the time being 4'10" and weighing nothing. Now I want a picture like this because it's so crazy to "compare" :)

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  60. YUM! I would be so excited to try out all of the awesome food trucks I hear about. We don't really have many...if any at all...in the Tampa area.

    I know exactly how you feel regarding meeting Internet buddies! I have a huge network of fellow bloggers that I have connected with though writing for Weddingbee.com, and I know that my "real life" friends don't really understand why I get extremely excited about meeting up with them. It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't get it: "yeah, a bunch of the Bees are all going to meet up for brunch in Boston." "Oh, are they people you went to college with?" "Um, no...we are all bloggers." "So, you've never met them?" "Well, not in person...but we're friends..." Arghhh, and what is sad is that I feel extremely close to some of my Internet friends - and I probably communicate with them more! This is the world we live in now!

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  61. This is banh mi - vietnamese fastfood. In Vietnam, we bye a banh mi for breakfast. Hope you enjoy it.

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  62. i must say nick looks so yummy!lol jk
    i'm a fan from the east side of the globe jean!
    i've learned about your site through jen of frmheadtotoe.com :)

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  63. My first thought when I saw the opening picture was, "wow, that little girl has a Louis Vuitton bag!" Then I put two and two together... LOL :) #moded

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