Category — RECOMMENDATIONS

{travelogue} 12 Things I Love On Hawaii’s Big Island

I just got back from a week on the Big Island of Hawaii and wanted to share some of my favorite places and things. I am not going to say that these are the twelve BEST things to do, because I am by no means an expert on the place. But here are some things that I thought were spectacular! I’d love to hear any recommendations for next time, too.

Big Island of Hawaii

BEACHES & ACTIVITIES

Place of Refuge (Pu’uhonua o Honaunau) – Honaunau
A super special place by the sea, this national historic park is worth a visit. Learn about Hawaiian history with cool wooden carvings and replica houses on a palm-shaded seaside. It has a 500-year-old, 17-foot-thick lava rock wall and some neat tidepools, too. [Read more →]

April 7, 2016   1 Comment

{disco christmas} Saturday Night Fever, in Gingerbread

Every year a group of friends comes over and we make a crazy gingerbread “house” – usually more of a scene – to go along with the theme of our Christmas party. Last year I was too lazy to share photos and a description, so this year you get a twofer! We are making this year’s house tonight, so I thought I’d better share last year’s ASAP.

disco gingerbread

[Read more →]

December 17, 2015   No Comments

{favorites list} Things I’m Loving Right Now

These are some of the things I’m currently enamored with. 

santorini

Reminiscing about my summer trip to London, Bruges, Greece, and Turkey

Bacon waffles at the Naked Pig in Santa Rosa

Buying these magnetic closure onesies and sending them to my friends’ new babies – it’s become my go-to baby gift (tip: check the clearance page first so you can afford to send two!)

Bookmarking crazy, over-the-top swimming pools on Pinterest as I make plans to re-do my own pool and backyard

Traveling with my new(ish) Sony RX100 III camera – the photos are about 95% of the quality of my DSLR, but it weighs soooo much less and fits in my pocket

Figuring out a trick to get a walk-in table at State Bird Provisions (the bottom line: go on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday around 8 and you should only have to wait 30 minutes or so)

This Mondrian-inspired water tower in New York

Getting my calcium from these tasty dark chocolates every day

Finding ways to use the best of the summer produce we’re getting in California right now – like blueberries and heirloom tomatoes

These photos of El Seed’s “caligraffiti” street art

The popovers you get when you sit down for dinner at Wayfare Tavern – and the coconut cream cake they serve for dessert

These super-safe swim vests for little kids – they work wonders

L’oreal’s Voluminous Million Lashes mascara – cheap, waterproof, and looks so terrific all day long

Anticipating my upcoming visit to Peter Luger – my favorite restaurant in the whole world!

What are you loving lately? 

August 25, 2015   No Comments

{itineraries} 3 Days in London – Off the Beaten Path (With or Without Kids!)

Having been to London quite a few times, on a recent trip I decided to try some activities and itineraries that are decidedly off the beaten path. It was so much fun to avoid the crowds of Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace and get into some spaces and places that were less clogged by tourists yet even more enjoyable.

london off the beaten path cutty

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August 14, 2015   No Comments

{10 Second Vacation} Quito, Ecuador (Plus a Few Side Trips)

We hit up Quito, the charming capital of Ecuador, last summer before heading to Machu Picchu. It totally exceeded expectations. Everywhere you look, there’s a beautiful view. It’s a lively small city with a lovely colonial center. The people are friendly and there is lots to do. Not only that, it’s a really cheap town – we rented a lovely 2 bedroom apartment for around 70 bucks. A far cry from paying $200 a night for a decent hotel room as you do in many places. Plus, Quito can be a jumping-off point for so many other adventures, like a visit to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, or the beach.

quito ecuador

[Read more →]

June 25, 2015   No Comments

{hacks} 10 MORE of the Most Amazing Food and Life Hacks You Need to Know Right Now

I know what you’re thinking: after my last 13 Amazing Food and Life Hacks, how could I POSSIBLY have any more incredibly useful and fabulous life hacks for you? Well it has taken me awhile but here are some more. Read on for TEN MORE of the most life-changing, wonderful, great food and life hacks.

1. Does your room have an unpleasant smell? Tape a dryer sheet directly over your face.

life hacks

2. If you have been saving old Pringles cans so you can clean them out and store spaghetti in them, just throw them away instead. 

[Read more →]

June 16, 2015   4 Comments

{idea} Questionable Practice: Pass Off TJ’s Hummus As Homemade

You probably already know that the hummus at Trader Joe’s is pretty tasty. I used to make hummus from scratch but now I often just make the TJ’s hummus all fancy looking and homemade which is way easier and still super delicious. So, buy the hummus, put it in a different bowl, drizzle some high quality olive oil over it, sprinkle with fleur de sel or black flake salt, and then sprinkle over a good amount of garam masala or ground cumin. I’m eating some right now.

hummus

I love the multigrain pita chips at TJ’s too! Or, even better, you can also make your own hot delicious pita chips by cutting up pita bread, drizzling with olive oil and salt, and baking them in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes until crispy.

No one will know your dirty little secret!

May 27, 2015   No Comments

{advice} Ten of the Best Travel Tips, From a Super Frequent Traveler

You probably know by now that I am a very frequent traveler, and I thought it was about time I put together my top ten travel tips. What did I miss?

travel tips

Ten of the Best Travel Tips, From a Super Frequent Traveler 

  • If there are 2 of you traveling together, and the plane has a 3-seat configuration, book the aisle and the window seat. If no one has the middle seat, you can easily trade with that person so you can sit together. The middle seats are (obviously) the least popular choice so they are last to book and most likely to be left empty in case of a flight that’s not totally full.

[Read more →]

May 22, 2015   8 Comments

{recipe} Easy Caramelized Strawberry Jam

Recently I made a pretty life-changing discovery, which is that I can make incredibly delicious strawberry jam with only 3 ingredients, and it’s super easy to do. Jam consumption in the household has skyrocketed, but since it’s so easy to make, it’s no big deal to turn out another batch.

strawberry jam coconut sugar

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April 17, 2015   4 Comments

{happy birthday} How To Make a Super Cool Thomas the Train Birthday Cake

Let me give you a quick piece of parenting advice that I learned the hard way: do not let an almost-2-year-old browse train birthday cakes on Pinterest. If you do, be aware that he may come to his birthday party with some seriously lofty expectations! This is how we got to this point. Luckily my sister–who, FUN FACT, earned a trophy for cake decorating in the 7th grade–was there with her super steady hands, clear design eye, and patience to help me work this out.

thomas the train birthday cake

[Read more →]

March 21, 2015   3 Comments