Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

As I mentioned in my last post, I have a BIG trip on the horizon…Israel!

Credit: Pnina E. Flickr account – click photo to link

As a member of the tribe, my first visit to the holy land is an occasion to celebrate. I mean, I would celebrate any vacation right about now…but this is special.

(BTW – If anyone is arriving to this here blog by searching “Israel” – this is not a forum to talk foreign policy, so don’t waste your time. Thanks!)

BUT…this is a forum on what to pack!

So, let’s see…long plane ride? (check), city sight-seeing? (check), hiking? (check), desert hot and cold weather? (check)…and of course I want to do this comfortably, stylishly and efficiently…so, what’s on my list?

My go to summer dress:

2. A comfortable and secure bag to carry my DSLR, water bottle and the rest of my gear:

3. Sunblock!

4. A fun read:

5. And of course, comfortable shoes…but more on that to come.

Now it’s your turn, what would be on your list?

P.S. If you’re wondering about the subject line, it is from a Jon Stewart bit:

“They’re not the ‘Oh, let me help you with your taxes’ Jews. They’re the ‘Can you hold my machine gun while I take a leak’ Jews. It’s a different culture.”


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Have you been watching the new series Portlandia on IFC?

I have and I definitely have mixed opinions on the show. There is some really funny stuff there, but you have to get through a lot of not funny to find it. One of the clips that has been making the rounds on design blogs is Put A Bird On It. If you haven’t seen it, here it is:

All I have to say is…guilty as charged. From the bird-themed shower curtains to my owl related decor, despite GK’s insistence that owls are creepy, to my latest arts and crafts project…

Back in January, I had a sisters weekend in NYC (shout out to AHK and BCK – love you!). In addition to eating the best soup dumplings I’ve had since my last trip to China – thank you Joe’s Shanghai – we also did one of my favorite A&C yuppie activities…pottery painting (with wine of course)! And here is the picture of the pen holder I made for my new office (more on that to come!):

You got it…I put a few birds on it!

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I hope you had a great long weekend and getting into the post-holiday groove isn’t too painful. This time is all about countdowns, so I thought I’d do a one of my own (while reading this, please use your best Carson Daley/Casey Kasem voice)…

Highlights of 2010:

1. Marrying the love of my life!

*Photo taken by the fabulous Sarah Hodzic of Blink Photography.

2. Buying our first home!

3. Benefit Benetint

4. A fantastic family vacation to Costa Rica!

5. My super fun bachelorette trip to Austin, TX!

Mmm..green chile queso.

6. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

7. Catching up with one of my college roommates, who now lives in London, and I haven’t seen in 5 years.

8. Swackets…is it a jacket? is it a sweater? No, it’s a swacket!

9. Starting this blog!

10. My incredible family, friends and readers!


Things to look forward to in 2011:

1. My new job!

2. Adopting a dog!

3. Reading the rest of the Millennium Trilogy.

4. Getting back on the diet bandwagon.

5. Hitting a birthday milestone…

6. Traveling to the midwest twice for friends’ weddings.

7. My incredible family, friends and readers!


What were your favorite moments/things of 2010 and what you are looking forward to in 2011?

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As many of you get ready to do fun things for Labor Day weekend, like going to the beach and traveling, I will be helping the husband and the Father-in-Law install base moulding in our Master Bedroom and other fun projects around the house. Cross your fingers for me…just kidding! It should be an adventure at least and I’m excited for some lovely results. Look forward to an update and pictures on that next week.

Have a great long weekend and I will leave you with this beauty…

You can thank A CUP OF JO again for this one. She recently featured The Poet’s Loft on her blog as a vacation fantasy. She says, “vacation fantasy,” I say, “forget vacation, can I just move in forever?” I mean who wouldn’t want this for the rest of their life?!

Maybe someday…

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So, I had a wonderful vacation and it was so hard to leave! Most of it was spent on the beach, hanging out in the sun, reading and swimming. It looked a lot like this:

But as I talked about in my previous post, we also went for Friday night fish fry. As you may have figured out, Buffalo is famous for their food. So in addition to the fish fry yummy deliciousness, I also partook in some Labatt Blue, chicken wings and Anderson’s frozen custard.

We decided to try the garlic wings, which were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, since we never had them before. Now I have a slight obsession with garlic (can you say Lebanese Taverna‘s garlic paste – yum!), but we all agreed the traditional hot wing is the way to go!

In my opinion, the best place for wings in Buffalo is Duff’s, which is where President Obama stopped to chow on the city’s specialty. Then there’s the Chicken Finger Sub from Jim’s Steak Out. And last, but not least,  Beef on Weck. Anderson’s does does the sandwhich justice and Charlie the Butcher is also quite tasty. Maybe I will get to post on all that next time I go for a visit.

Any Buffalonian’s reading this have local specialties they’d like to add?

Another city famous for their food is Austin, TX. I took a trip there back in April with some friends for my bachelorette. It was amazing! Great weather, fun sites, nightlife and music, shopping and AMAZING food! It had it all and I can’t wait to visit again.

Some of the food highlights included BBQ from The Salt Lick:

I loved that the sauce was more vinegary than sticky sweet – much more my taste.

We also had an amazing brunch at South Congress Cafe. The highlight was definitely the carrot cake french toast:

And of course Torchy’s for breakfast tacos, fried chocolate chip cookies with cherries and my favorite…green chile queso!

Have any food highlights from your city or a vacation spot you’d like to share?

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The Dead Texan

In my last post I mentioned Grover’s, which just so happens to have once been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network. To see the clip, click here. I talked about my love of their fish fry, but wait to you get a look-see at their burgers.

Anyway, this brings me to an episode I watched recently, while unpacking at home.  Now I have never been to Kansas City, MO and I never really thought of any reason to go, but I might need to now and it’s all because of…The Dead Texan.

It hails from Swagger Fine Spirits & Food and the description for the burger is this: Two Texas toast grilled cheese sandwiches with a 1/3 lb. burger, 1 egg, 3 slices of bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapenos, and peppercorn mayo in between.

Can you all say, “Yum!?” I can feel myself gaining weight just thinking about it…

Do you have a favorite dive restaurant in your area or one you’ve found while on vacation? I might have to post at some point about my bachelorette trip to Austin…it was filled with delicious food.

What about the Food Network? I am a huge Tyler Florence fan. You?

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Summer Vacation

In 8 days (but who’s counting?!) I will be heading to my parent’s lake house in Canada and I am so excited! Clearly… I mean who wouldn’t want to be here?

I am planning to spend some time in the sun, swim a bit, have evening fires, lots of reading and of course participate in a little Grover’s Friday night fish fry! 

Fish fry you ask? Well you can read the Wikipedia article here. But to sum it up, 

“Battered or breaded haddock and cod fish fry is one of the trademarks of Upstate New York cuisine, especially Buffalo, as well as Rochester, Syracuse, New York and Newport, New York. The majority of restaurants in these cities serve a fish fry on Friday, even outside of Lent, and it’s often available throughout the week.”


It’s so delish! And don’t forget the sides of salads and washing it down with an ice-cold Molson Canadian or Labatt Blue. 

I also mentioned reading. Right now my book club is reading Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. It’s a classic and one of my Mom’s favorite books. I am enjoying it so far, but it’s a bit wordy. I am hoping to finish it and dig into another, possibly Little Bee, Eat, Pray, Love or Inventing Niagara

Have you read any of these? Feel free to leave a thought (but no spoilers please!). What is on your list of summer reads? Have any past year favorites? 

A couple of my past year favorites are the Tales of the City series and Memoirs of a Geisha.

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