tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-69843536628834664002017-02-15T00:50:26.640-08:00Whatever is LovelierTRAVELING THE PATH MOST LOVELYKristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.comBlogger131125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-47981916127969361922014-10-07T05:00:00.000-07:002014-10-07T05:00:01.645-07:00Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qq1ky_9f6FQ/VDGpSTw8pkI/AAAAAAAAB24/PeMRPNTz3x0/s1600/Image-1(3).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Qq1ky_9f6FQ/VDGpSTw8pkI/AAAAAAAAB24/PeMRPNTz3x0/s1600/Image-1(3).jpg" height="400" title="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">This has been a summer of road trips, of playing tourist in my own state.&nbsp; Being a weekend explorer has been such fun!&nbsp; I hope that I can continue the adventure right on through Autumn.&nbsp; My latest weekend road trip found me in the small town of Pine, Arizona with a few of my favorite ladies.&nbsp; Pine is about ninety miles northeast of Phoenix, and covers less than 32 square miles of land.&nbsp; It's a lovely place to spend a day, even if you find yourself there on a rainy day like we experienced.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uDTlzJNrt8g/VDGpUCha10I/AAAAAAAAB3Q/KKBDIYIuvxo/s1600/Image-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uDTlzJNrt8g/VDGpUCha10I/AAAAAAAAB3Q/KKBDIYIuvxo/s1600/Image-1.jpg" height="400" title="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-piIbpJfYoig/VDGpUf6AuiI/AAAAAAAAB3U/vIh6nSvkfog/s1600/Image-1(4).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-piIbpJfYoig/VDGpUf6AuiI/AAAAAAAAB3U/vIh6nSvkfog/s1600/Image-1(4).jpg" height="400" title="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The highlight of our time in Pine was lunch at the quaint <a href="http://therandallhouse.com/">Randall House</a> cafe.&nbsp; Serving breakfast and lunch, the historic home is filled with shelves of homemade jams, crafts, tables covered with doilies and mason jars full of wild flowers.&nbsp; Known for their quiche baked on-site, the menu also&nbsp; includes soups, salads and sandwiches made from scratch.&nbsp; I enjoyed the best grilled cheese sandwich ever.&nbsp; Really- <i>the</i> best grilled cheese <i>ever</i>! &nbsp; (I mean, it's made from <i>dill Havarti</i>!!) I also picked up a jar of bourbon pumpkin butter and a bag of Amaretto flavored tea that I am excited to use once it gets a little cooler.&nbsp; The butter will be the perfect pancake or muffin topping and that tea smells so amazing in the bag that I know it will make my favorite tea latte of the season.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Fcted4s3Vho/VDGpYy_xeNI/AAAAAAAAB3g/PB0hJMXaYeI/s1600/PineShop.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Fcted4s3Vho/VDGpYy_xeNI/AAAAAAAAB3g/PB0hJMXaYeI/s1600/PineShop.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" width="425" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-enT3Vs1Nqf4/VDGpS1kIBXI/AAAAAAAAB3A/7r2lfG6S3mQ/s1600/Image-1(2).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-enT3Vs1Nqf4/VDGpS1kIBXI/AAAAAAAAB3A/7r2lfG6S3mQ/s1600/Image-1(2).jpg" height="400" title="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">We also enjoyed browsing through the many antique and gift shops in Pine.&nbsp; At Visions Speaking Rock Shop, we enjoyed looking at the geodes, desert roses (a local rock that forms into a rose shape) and other curiosities.&nbsp; We also got some tips from the owner for <a href="http://www.whateverislovelier.com/2014/09/chasing-crystals-in-payson.html">hunting crystals</a> at Diamond Point.&nbsp; I was excited to find more pieces of my Arizona Cactus tea set in a few of the antique stores we browsed.&nbsp; I will share photos of my collection soon!&nbsp; Another treat was stumbling upon the Pine Public Library, housed in the tiniest little building.&nbsp; Everything in Pine was quaint and picturesque, perfect for an afternoon's exploration.&nbsp; As we left the last antique store, a torrential rain began and we packed up our treasures for the ride home.&nbsp; A day well spent!!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-04DpdF7EfR4/VDGpSmGCaPI/AAAAAAAAB28/TlRjcu9pzc8/s1600/Image-1(1).jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-04DpdF7EfR4/VDGpSmGCaPI/AAAAAAAAB28/TlRjcu9pzc8/s1600/Image-1(1).jpg" height="400" title="Travel Tuesday: Pine, Arizona" width="400" /></a></div><br /><br /><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-36110154395717994942014-09-15T05:00:00.000-07:002014-09-15T05:00:11.530-07:00Arrivederci Tea Party and a Recipe for Peach Basil Sangria<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AMHON4-8-zU/VBYkewY_wwI/AAAAAAAAB2Y/wSzoL0IHyIg/s1600/photo.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Arrivederci Tea Party and a Recipe for Peach Basil Sangria" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AMHON4-8-zU/VBYkewY_wwI/AAAAAAAAB2Y/wSzoL0IHyIg/s1600/photo.JPG" title="Arrivederci Tea Party and a Recipe for Peach Basil Sangria" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Four years ago, I met some pretty special ladies during my <a href="http://www.whateverislovelier.com/2013/09/travel-tuesday-nottingham-england-study.html">study abroad</a> summer in Nottingham, England.&nbsp; I'm happy to say we have kept in touch, getting together every few months for a girl's day or afternoon tea party.&nbsp; A few weeks ago, we had one last tea party together as we sent our friend Sara off to Italy with an Arrivederci Tea Party.&nbsp; Sara has been working towards an overseas teaching position since I first met her, and I am so proud that her determination has finally paid off with this dream job in Rome.&nbsp; She is settling in with her kindergarteners, and making the rest of us jealous with her posts of her lovely apartment and beautiful new home town.&nbsp; Our last tea party together was bittersweet, but we had fun hearing about Sara's adventures ahead and stuffing our faces with Italian themed food and drink.&nbsp; I made a delicious Peach Basil Sangria, perfect for an afternoon girl's get together.&nbsp; Join me in raising a glass and wishing the best of luck to my friend.&nbsp; Arrivederci, Sara!&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4bVlpNWjOrc/VBYknVlS8oI/AAAAAAAAB2o/xSnZ0549eDE/s1600/IMG_2486.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Arrivederci Tea Party and a Recipe for Peach Basil Sangria" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4bVlpNWjOrc/VBYknVlS8oI/AAAAAAAAB2o/xSnZ0549eDE/s1600/IMG_2486.jpg" height="640" title="Arrivederci Tea Party and a Recipe for Peach Basil Sangria" width="426" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;<u>Peach Basil Sangria:</u></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">- 1/2 cup sugar</div><div style="text-align: justify;">- 1 bottle Pinot Grigio</div><div style="text-align: justify;">- 1 cup fresh basil leaves</div><div style="text-align: justify;">- 4 cups peach nectar</div><div style="text-align: justify;">- juice of one lemon </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u>Instructions:</u></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">- Combine the sugar, basil leaves, 2 cups peach nectar and lemon juice in a saucepan and simmer just long enough until the sugar is dissolved.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">- Remove from heat and allow to cool.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">- Strain out the basil.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">- Pour the liquid into a pitcher, then stir in the rest of the nectar and the bottle of wine.</div><div style="text-align: justify;">- Add ice and serve.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FQLliJYJFps/VBYkjCCe9qI/AAAAAAAAB2g/DEKE0g9WOdA/s1600/IMG_2485.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Arrivederci Tea Party and a Recipe for Peach Basil Sangria" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-FQLliJYJFps/VBYkjCCe9qI/AAAAAAAAB2g/DEKE0g9WOdA/s1600/IMG_2485.jpg" height="640" title="Arrivederci Tea Party and a Recipe for Peach Basil Sangria" width="426" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div>Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-54405484575323627912014-09-08T05:00:00.000-07:002014-09-08T05:00:05.575-07:00Chasing Crystals in Payson<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_X1DtgoP91E/VAzuNJWNISI/AAAAAAAAB1w/p13mHOBusgs/s1600/image(1).jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_X1DtgoP91E/VAzuNJWNISI/AAAAAAAAB1w/p13mHOBusgs/s1600/image(1).jpeg" height="320" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;">I have spent a few weekends in Payson this summer, and I have found myself on the hunt for crystals each time.&nbsp; I recently learned there is a place in my mom's neighborhood where you can search for crystals right along the side of the road.&nbsp; The <a href="http://paysonrimcountry.com/Mountain-Recreation/Other-Points-of-Interest/Diamond-Point">Diamond Point</a> site is located about 15 miles northeast of Payson on Highway 260.&nbsp; You simply park your vehicle and start your treasure hunt!&nbsp; Diamond Point is known for its double termination crystals, which means they have points on both ends.&nbsp; The search can be tedious, but if you spend some time with your eyes on the ground, you may just see a sparkle that points you to one of these lovely crystals!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ubNeO3KVV6c/VAzuJR8OZWI/AAAAAAAAB1M/aSwC_OT8W6k/s1600/afterlight.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ubNeO3KVV6c/VAzuJR8OZWI/AAAAAAAAB1M/aSwC_OT8W6k/s1600/afterlight.jpeg" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TytBlXT93Fk/VAzuPuAf3sI/AAAAAAAAB2E/VBnRGwMVC4A/s1600/image.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TytBlXT93Fk/VAzuPuAf3sI/AAAAAAAAB2E/VBnRGwMVC4A/s1600/image.jpeg" height="320" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">We spent a few hours looking for crystals, and found a handful.&nbsp; Most of them were small pieces that had broken off of larger crystals.&nbsp;&nbsp; In the top photo above, you can see a handful of rocks and quarts crystals that I unearthed.&nbsp; On the left side of the plate, you can see some of the clear crystals, and on the right are some that have a milky white color.&nbsp; In the photo above, you can see one of the better crystals we found.&nbsp; It is only a single termination stone, but the point is well defined and it sure sparkles!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MC9rmVlPMlU/VAzuJdxuHqI/AAAAAAAAB1U/V-EQjAVZm2w/s1600/afterlight(2).jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MC9rmVlPMlU/VAzuJdxuHqI/AAAAAAAAB1U/V-EQjAVZm2w/s1600/afterlight(2).jpeg" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KuZ5nUu6YDc/VAzuJGotElI/AAAAAAAAB1I/g9hd-0l3T5I/s1600/afterlight(1).jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KuZ5nUu6YDc/VAzuJGotElI/AAAAAAAAB1I/g9hd-0l3T5I/s1600/afterlight(1).jpeg" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n0unZFs4SP8/VAzuJ5pDqzI/AAAAAAAAB1Q/D-txvxVwxNA/s1600/crystal.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n0unZFs4SP8/VAzuJ5pDqzI/AAAAAAAAB1Q/D-txvxVwxNA/s1600/crystal.jpg" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">On another weekend trip to Payson, we visited the <a href="http://westernvillageofpayson.com/hoa.html">House of Amethyst Rock Shop</a> in the Western Village shopping plaza.&nbsp; The shop has a wonderful collection of gemstones, minerals, fossils and other fun finds.&nbsp; Many of the semi-precious and precious gemstones are harvested locally, making them wonderful souvenirs.&nbsp; I fell in love with the enormous crystal quartz in the store window.&nbsp; It was so big and all the different edges gave off such lovely sparkles!&nbsp;&nbsp; Though I couldn't afford that particular gemstone, I did pick up some rose quarts and some sliced geodes.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bHlAfWyzNKo/VAzuO6TkZoI/AAAAAAAAB2A/zVei9YcK-Bg/s1600/image(3).jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bHlAfWyzNKo/VAzuO6TkZoI/AAAAAAAAB2A/zVei9YcK-Bg/s1600/image(3).jpeg" height="320" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" width="320" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8dfGnqTzvBk/VAzuNpZE7mI/AAAAAAAAB10/MEYytSUbZR8/s1600/image(2).jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8dfGnqTzvBk/VAzuNpZE7mI/AAAAAAAAB10/MEYytSUbZR8/s1600/image(2).jpeg" height="320" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" width="320" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The geodes made for a fun and easy DIY when I came home.&nbsp; I picked up some magnets at Michaels, and hot glued them to the geode slices.&nbsp; Now I have a pretty reminder of my adventures in Payson where I can see them everyday!&nbsp; If you are a rock collector, or simply a fan of anything that sparkles, I recommend a trip to Payson and Diamond Point.&nbsp; Happy hunting!!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3stObe3YQQ/VAzuLl_h_EI/AAAAAAAAB1o/0IHqMVKhrg8/s1600/image%2B2.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Chasing Crystals in Payson" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Z3stObe3YQQ/VAzuLl_h_EI/AAAAAAAAB1o/0IHqMVKhrg8/s1600/image%2B2.jpeg" height="320" title="Chasing Crystals in Payson" width="320" /></a></div>Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-16343793372855242972014-08-04T05:00:00.000-07:002014-08-04T05:00:01.701-07:00Local Love: The Henry<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nnzwPEpzUD0/U91ymqsJebI/AAAAAAAAB0g/MAvNef2Ege4/s1600/TheHenry2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: The Henry" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-nnzwPEpzUD0/U91ymqsJebI/AAAAAAAAB0g/MAvNef2Ege4/s1600/TheHenry2.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: The Henry" width="502" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">If you live in the Phoenix area and haven't been to <a href="http://www.foxrc.com/restaurants/the-henry/">The Henry </a>yet, go.&nbsp; Go now!&nbsp; One of the newest additions to the Fox Restaurant Concepts team, The Henry has been open since Fall 2013 and has been packed both times I've visited.&nbsp; The food is good, but the main draws for me are the fun decor and separate coffee bar area.&nbsp; This is an equally great place to go on a dinner date, lunch with the girls, or just to work on your laptop with a good cup of coffee.&nbsp; The Henry is located at 44th Street and Camelback Road.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BNbyp16KMTY/U91ymHyEGzI/AAAAAAAAB0Y/PtkE7mkK92Y/s1600/TheHenry1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: The Henry" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-BNbyp16KMTY/U91ymHyEGzI/AAAAAAAAB0Y/PtkE7mkK92Y/s1600/TheHenry1.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: The Henry" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yt5HaG2e5oA/U91ymwEoY5I/AAAAAAAAB0c/5ehvTGdylLo/s1600/TheHenry3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: The Henry" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Yt5HaG2e5oA/U91ymwEoY5I/AAAAAAAAB0c/5ehvTGdylLo/s1600/TheHenry3.jpg" height="320" title="Local Love: The Henry" width="240" /></a><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-apb6twjFCZ4/U91ynw3vLzI/AAAAAAAAB0w/UdwiHUG3Z7I/s1600/TheHenry4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: The Henry" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-apb6twjFCZ4/U91ynw3vLzI/AAAAAAAAB0w/UdwiHUG3Z7I/s1600/TheHenry4.jpg" height="320" title="Local Love: The Henry" width="240" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The Henry has serious curb appeal.&nbsp; From the grey-blue building, to the black awnings, this place exudes cool.&nbsp; And don't even get my started on that marquee arrow or the lettering Fox used for the sign.&nbsp; You can't pass walk past without wanting to stop and take a photo, and most people do stop!&nbsp; Inside, the place is divided into several areas: the restaurant, the bar and a grab-and-go coffee bar counter area with plenty of tables for work or play.&nbsp; If you are into design, this place is a feast for the eyes.&nbsp; I particularly love the blue Eames bar stools at the bar, toile wallpaper in the coffee bar, foxed mercury lanterns and the French style cafe chairs on the patio.&nbsp; Are you sold yet?&nbsp; Do I even need to mention the food?&nbsp; Well, I enjoyed that, too.&nbsp; I tried the signature starter cheddar popovers with smoked ham butter.&nbsp; Very tasty.&nbsp; I enjoyed my buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, topped with delicious Havarti.&nbsp; And the fig and ginger mule is the best cocktail I've had in awhile!&nbsp; If you are in the area, pop in for a coffee.&nbsp; You may then find yourself staying for the popovers!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-X5LRmNVv6NU/U91yofsqf6I/AAAAAAAAB00/0pOY9-VDrKU/s1600/TheHenry5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: The Henry" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-X5LRmNVv6NU/U91yofsqf6I/AAAAAAAAB00/0pOY9-VDrKU/s1600/TheHenry5.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: The Henry" width="448" /></a></div>Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-66892549299559292522014-07-28T05:00:00.000-07:002014-07-28T05:00:08.287-07:00Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--clEVx7MtYs/U9Q6ExXpzlI/AAAAAAAABzo/y_XyZ8j_x2w/s1600/Jam4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--clEVx7MtYs/U9Q6ExXpzlI/AAAAAAAABzo/y_XyZ8j_x2w/s1600/Jam4.jpg" height="640" title="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" width="560" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Nothing says summer like fresh strawberries!&nbsp; When my mom suggested we make jam together while I was visiting her a few weeks ago, it was no surprise we both wanted to make a sweet strawberry jam.&nbsp; When she mentioned she had basil growing in her garden, we decided to try a strawberry and basil combination that turned out to be amazing.&nbsp; The addition of lime zest made this the perfect summer jam- sweet, fresh and with a surprising earthy note from the basil.&nbsp; I'm eating this jam on everything.&nbsp; It's great on bread with crumbles of feta on top, or even stirred into Greek yogurt.&nbsp; I even spooned some over warm sponge cake and topped it with ice cream for a new spin on the classic strawberry shortcake!&nbsp; Use your imagination.&nbsp; This is a really versatile jam.</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wSqZlvt4uP4/U9Q6FqKmWnI/AAAAAAAABz8/pOQWvySpzBE/s1600/Jam7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wSqZlvt4uP4/U9Q6FqKmWnI/AAAAAAAABz8/pOQWvySpzBE/s1600/Jam7.jpg" height="425" title="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">This was my first time making jam or doing canning of any kind.&nbsp; Since I am obviously not an experienced canner, I am not going to go into details of the water bath method that we used to make this jam.&nbsp; If you already can, you know the specifics.&nbsp; If not, you can check out the <a href="http://www.freshpreserving.com/tools/waterbath-canning">Ball website</a> or something similar and get the run down from the experts.&nbsp; I was happy to have my mom walk me through the process.&nbsp; It wasn't as complicated as I imagined!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wgdNUsrdrtk/U9QvICSE_ZI/AAAAAAAABzQ/7b_SDbtFPLE/s1600/Jam1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wgdNUsrdrtk/U9QvICSE_ZI/AAAAAAAABzQ/7b_SDbtFPLE/s1600/Jam1.jpg" height="640" title="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" width="425" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><u>Strawberry Basil Jam:</u><br />Makes 9 Half Pint Jars of Jam <br />- 3 Quarts of Strawberries (about 12 cups) washed, sliced and with the stems removed<br />- 6 cups of sugar<br />- Juice and zest from 2 limes<br />- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-M3NEv2Lzfr8/U9QvJYQYjII/AAAAAAAABzc/lF0ophcvmsE/s1600/Jam2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-M3NEv2Lzfr8/U9QvJYQYjII/AAAAAAAABzc/lF0ophcvmsE/s1600/Jam2.jpg" height="320" title="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" width="213" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-U7HK4SDIEfg%2FU9QvI-lwbRI%2FAAAAAAAABzY%2F1iYiraNJOrk%2Fs1600%2FJam3.jpg&amp;container=blogger&amp;gadget=a&amp;rewriteMime=image%2F*" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U7HK4SDIEfg/U9QvI-lwbRI/AAAAAAAABzY/1iYiraNJOrk/s1600/Jam3.jpg" height="196" title="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" width="320" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img alt="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ezADFCwRLjc/U9Q6G_Fg6zI/AAAAAAAAB0E/JbWfxvCj8GY/s1600/Jam8.jpg" height="199" title="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" width="320" /></div><br /><u>Directions:</u><br />** Use the water bath canning method for jar sterilization and preserving the jam**<br />- Add strawberries, sugar, lime juice and zest into a large pot.<br />- Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.<br />- Cook, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F.<br />- Add the basil to the mixture and let cook for an additional 5 minutes.<br />- Once the jam has reached the desired consistency, remove from heat and skim off foam.<br />- Fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headroom.<br />- Clean rims and close the lids on the jars.<br />- Place in boiling water bath for 10 minutes to seal.<br />- Remove from water and allow to cool for 12 hours without moving.<br />- Tighten lids and store for up to a year.<br /><br />Enjoy!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BWsZSjnH3ls/U9Q6FX7Q_EI/AAAAAAAABz0/--XDsds55ak/s1600/Jam5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-BWsZSjnH3ls/U9Q6FX7Q_EI/AAAAAAAABz0/--XDsds55ak/s1600/Jam5.jpg" height="640" title="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" width="384" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-13uMOCDJzqw/U9Q6HlQqBuI/AAAAAAAAB0M/p2ijn8rrjaA/s1600/Jam9.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-13uMOCDJzqw/U9Q6HlQqBuI/AAAAAAAAB0M/p2ijn8rrjaA/s1600/Jam9.jpg" height="640" title="Recipe: Strawberry Basil Jam" width="426" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-33622237550472351362014-07-22T05:00:00.000-07:002014-07-23T20:18:30.220-07:00Local Love: Exploring Payson, Arizona<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YqxPcFU9Af4/U8r8HmZ7CsI/AAAAAAAAByA/JwVyWFFB9Jc/s1600/Payson2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YqxPcFU9Af4/U8r8HmZ7CsI/AAAAAAAAByA/JwVyWFFB9Jc/s1600/Payson2.jpg" height="400" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="400" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Do you remember going back to school each year and eagerly asking your friends about their summer break?&nbsp; Some teachers even asked you to write about your holiday and share it with the class.&nbsp; Well, consider this my "how I spent my summer vacation" post.&nbsp; Payson is about two hours northeast of Phoenix, making it a great destination for locals looking for a quick escape from the summer heat while exploring Arizona's Rim Country.&nbsp; Payson also happens to be where my mom lives, so it was an easy decision to spend a weekend with her and check out the sites.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bO-su6bsNO0/U8r8HG5oylI/AAAAAAAAByE/cs3toPvOyuI/s1600/Payson3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bO-su6bsNO0/U8r8HG5oylI/AAAAAAAAByE/cs3toPvOyuI/s1600/Payson3.jpg" height="400" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OpmBZUhYK_k/U8r8HWUseFI/AAAAAAAAByI/9spQGUbw-c0/s1600/Payson1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OpmBZUhYK_k/U8r8HWUseFI/AAAAAAAAByI/9spQGUbw-c0/s1600/Payson1.jpg" height="640" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="426" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OQffeYAVBwM/U8r8J852FiI/AAAAAAAAByU/rsfkzlOb6bM/s1600/Payson4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-OQffeYAVBwM/U8r8J852FiI/AAAAAAAAByU/rsfkzlOb6bM/s1600/Payson4.jpg" height="640" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="426" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">We started our adventure with a stop at Kohl's Ranch, an area made famous by Zane Grey, the writer of dozens of Western novels.&nbsp; I popped into <a href="https://www.diamondresorts.com/Rentals/kohls-ranch-lodge">Kohl's Ranch Lodge </a>to see a collection of these books and the lovely Zane Grey Saloon.&nbsp; This was a quick but nostalgic stop, reminding me of my grandfather.&nbsp; He was an avid Grey reader and also loved to explore the areas in Arizona referred to as "Zane Grey Country".&nbsp;&nbsp; Mom and I then continued our drive up to the Mogollon Rim, an escrapment lying 4,000 to 5,000 feet above sea level.&nbsp; From here, we enjoyed beautiful views out over the ponderosa pine trees.&nbsp; The Rim features in many of Grey's novels, as well as one by the other great Western writer Louis L'Amour.&nbsp; It goes without saying that Emmie loved her trip to the Rim!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YLGJz2j064w/U8r8MN_jouI/AAAAAAAABys/2r1VC_9zzow/s1600/TontoBridge1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-YLGJz2j064w/U8r8MN_jouI/AAAAAAAABys/2r1VC_9zzow/s1600/TontoBridge1.jpg" height="400" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="400" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fl66wEFeh_8/U8r8NUo1QSI/AAAAAAAABy4/KGnZ4fo9b1o/s1600/TontoBridge2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fl66wEFeh_8/U8r8NUo1QSI/AAAAAAAABy4/KGnZ4fo9b1o/s1600/TontoBridge2.jpg" height="426" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FCIJsjB8NA8/U8r8OO6k9XI/AAAAAAAABy8/bXZn5NEbWYs/s1600/TontoBridge3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FCIJsjB8NA8/U8r8OO6k9XI/AAAAAAAABy8/bXZn5NEbWYs/s1600/TontoBridge3.jpg" height="640" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="426" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The next day, we headed to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park to see the world's largest known natural travertine bridge formation.&nbsp; In a valley between Payson and Pine, the bridge stands at over 180 feet high, is 150 feet wide, and the tunnel measures in at 400 feet long.&nbsp; The valley was discovered by a prospector being chased by Apaches.&nbsp; He hid in a cave inside the bride for three days, then claimed squatter's rights and settled the area.&nbsp; He even convinced his family from Scotland to make the long journey out to join him here!&nbsp; Mom and I packed a picnic and set out to see the bridge from the four viewpoints above the formation.&nbsp; As often happens when you set out on an adventure, things didn't go quite as planned.&nbsp; With the intention of walking out to Viewpoint 3 to take some photos, I went down the Gowan Trail and ended up at the bottom of the valley!&nbsp; I won't name names, but <i>someone</i> had accidentally sent me down the wrong path.&nbsp; But, in the spirit of adventuring, it turned out to be the right path, because I was able to see the bridge up close in all it's natural beauty.&nbsp;&nbsp; I spent some time alone, thinking about life and God's creation, when it dawned on me.&nbsp; Now I had to hike out of the valley.&nbsp; In jeans.&nbsp; And Converse.&nbsp; With no water.&nbsp; That's when it started to pour.&nbsp; Well, I must have made it out alive if I am sitting here writing this account, right?&nbsp; I did huff and puff my way up that trail, desperately trying to keep my camera dry under a scarf while not tumbling off that so-called trail.&nbsp; SO there you have it: my weekend adventure, my summer vacation.&nbsp; There were also fun times with my mom, lots of squirrels, elk, javelinas and a bat, as well as some of the prettiest sunsets you can imagine.&nbsp; Did I mention that it was over 30 degrees cooler there than in Phoenix?&nbsp; I can't wait to visit again!&nbsp; Road trip, anyone?</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-teD62vI87tY/U8r8LngLDuI/AAAAAAAAByo/Hr0ktThC1zk/s1600/Payson6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-teD62vI87tY/U8r8LngLDuI/AAAAAAAAByo/Hr0ktThC1zk/s1600/Payson6.jpg" height="640" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="426" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RZ2gpcS5eJM/U8r8Ky1lNYI/AAAAAAAAByc/y_zI8QMyjsw/s1600/Payson5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Exploring Payson, Arizona" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-RZ2gpcS5eJM/U8r8Ky1lNYI/AAAAAAAAByc/y_zI8QMyjsw/s1600/Payson5.jpg" height="426" title="Exploring Payson, Arizona" width="640" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-14143161654217579872014-06-26T05:00:00.000-07:002014-06-26T05:00:04.266-07:00Perfect 4th of July Appetizer Recipe: Potato Salad Bites<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-l_O8Q1wR-Do/U6dmKTWsWjI/AAAAAAAABvg/56XC8d5GoXk/s1600/summertea7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Perfect 4th of July Appetizer Recipe: Potato Salad Bites" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-l_O8Q1wR-Do/U6dmKTWsWjI/AAAAAAAABvg/56XC8d5GoXk/s1600/summertea7.jpg" height="640" title="Perfect 4th of July Appetizer Recipe: Potato Salad Bites" width="480" /></a></div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2191" style="text-align: justify;"><br />Looking for the perfect 4th of July party pleaser?&nbsp; Last year I hosted a <a href="http://www.whateverislovelier.com/2013/07/guide-to-hosting-summer-tea-party.html" target="_blank">Summer Tea Party</a> and served these darling <i>and</i> delicious Potato Salad Bites.&nbsp; The recipe is my most popular pin on Pinterest and I thought it worth resharing.&nbsp; These savory bites are bursting with the flavors of cheese, bacon and potato.&nbsp; Yummy, right?!&nbsp; Whether you are hosting the holiday party or just need something wow-worthy to take to the picnic, these potato bites will be a winner with everyone!&nbsp; </div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2191"><br /></div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2191"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><u>Potato Salad Appetizer Bites:</u></div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2248" style="text-align: justify;"></div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2249" style="text-align: justify;">2 dozen red potatoes</div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2250" style="text-align: justify;">1 tbsp olive oil</div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2254" style="text-align: justify;">1 ½ cups sour cream</div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2258" style="text-align: justify;">1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese</div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify;">1 cup bacon, cooked and crumbled with some reserved for garnish</div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2259" style="text-align: justify;">Diced green onions for garnish</div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2190" style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2260" style="text-align: justify;">Preheat oven to 400 degrees.&nbsp; Cut potatoes lengthwise and brush each side with olive oil.&nbsp; Place face down on a baking sheet and cook 20-25 minutes until the skins are crisp.&nbsp; Let cool.</div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2261" style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2189" style="text-align: justify;">Once your potato halves are cool, scoop out most of the center and place in a bowl.&nbsp; Add your sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon to the potato and mix.&nbsp; Add salt and pepper to taste.&nbsp; Top each potato skin with some of the mixture.&nbsp; Garnish with the extra bacon and green onions.&nbsp; </div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2188" style="text-align: justify;"></div><div class="yiv5659898882MsoNormal" id="yui_3_7_2_1_1377055140749_2072" style="text-align: justify;"><br />These potato bites are great made in advance and served chilled.&nbsp; Get creative and swap out the cheddar cheese with your favorite kind.&nbsp; Just like a baked potato, you can garnish these little cuties any way you please.&nbsp; Now, you just need to hang the flag, buy some sparklers and enjoy!&nbsp; </div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z8geYrDjuDc/U6dmJHGHTPI/AAAAAAAABvY/kyeUCb6cU-Q/s1600/PotatoBites.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Perfect 4th of July Appetizer Recipe: Potato Salad Bites" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z8geYrDjuDc/U6dmJHGHTPI/AAAAAAAABvY/kyeUCb6cU-Q/s1600/PotatoBites.jpg" height="640" title="Perfect 4th of July Appetizer Recipe: Potato Salad Bites" width="430" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com8tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-57475542395671726722014-06-24T05:00:00.000-07:002014-06-24T05:00:02.441-07:00Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XF1cYq8pfhY/U6jZ-_fbymI/AAAAAAAABw4/-c7KIApA_GI/s1600/ParisOpera1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XF1cYq8pfhY/U6jZ-_fbymI/AAAAAAAABw4/-c7KIApA_GI/s1600/ParisOpera1.jpg" height="334" title="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">A few weeks ago, I <a href="http://www.whateverislovelier.com/2014/05/book-review-house-i-loved-by-tatiana-de.html">reviewed</a> Tatiana de Rosnay's book <i>The House I Loved</i>, <span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]">the story of a woman devastated by the threat of relocation for the modernization of Paris by Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann. Since then, I have thought of the story often.&nbsp; Paris is a beautiful city, and one that I love, but it is the 'new' city we now know.&nbsp; Looking back through photographs, I realized that we owe Haussmann for the lovely </span></span></span><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]"><span class="srTitle">Opéra</span> de Paris, which was built under his direction and completed in 1875.&nbsp; I thought I'd share some more photos of this breathtaking building while Rosnay's story is still lingering in my mind.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]"><br /></span></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7h3k1-WwAh8/U6jZ_lcktFI/AAAAAAAABxk/Lt7hP57MP0M/s1600/ParisOpera4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7h3k1-WwAh8/U6jZ_lcktFI/AAAAAAAABxk/Lt7hP57MP0M/s1600/ParisOpera4.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]">The </span></span></span><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]"><span class="srTitle">Opéra</span> de Paris, also commonly known as the Palais Garnier, is home to the Pairs Opera.&nbsp; Today, opera performances are actually held in the newer </span></span></span><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]"><span class="srTitle">Opéra</span> Bastille while ballet performances are held in the Palais Garnier.&nbsp; The building also houses the Paris Opera Library Museum.&nbsp; It is built in the Beaux-Arts style, which can be seen in the symmetry of the floor plan and its exterior ornamentation.&nbsp; Its main features are the Grand Staircase, Grand Foyer which opens into the Salon de la Lune and the Salon du Soleil, and the horseshoe shaped Auditorium famous for its ceiling painted by Chagall.&nbsp; The interior is very ornate and gilded.&nbsp; It is also very dark so that the the beautiful sconces and chandeliers can be seen in their full glory.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-We3ko5QoRV4/U6jZ-33UqGI/AAAAAAAABxs/8yihm6W6rho/s1600/ParisOpera2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-We3ko5QoRV4/U6jZ-33UqGI/AAAAAAAABxs/8yihm6W6rho/s1600/ParisOpera2.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EH9iJWwDU6Q/U6jZ-22kF8I/AAAAAAAABxU/l7iQgBjmIuI/s1600/ParisOpera3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-EH9iJWwDU6Q/U6jZ-22kF8I/AAAAAAAABxU/l7iQgBjmIuI/s1600/ParisOpera3.jpg" height="509" title="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GTG5XKHVRNU/U6jaAj9_LqI/AAAAAAAABxo/xY14gEZa1ns/s1600/ParisOpera7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GTG5XKHVRNU/U6jaAj9_LqI/AAAAAAAABxo/xY14gEZa1ns/s1600/ParisOpera7.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]"><br /></span></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]">If you are familiar with the extravagant decor of Versailles, then you have an idea of how overwhelmingly beautiful and gaudy the Palais Garnier can be.&nbsp; Photos just don't do the space justice!&nbsp; Every inch is covered in gilded carvings, fine statues, elegant drapes and such exquisite chandeliers.&nbsp; I love the one above of the woman with lights on her head.&nbsp; Isn't she almost Steampunk,with her robotic looking arms?!</span></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]"><br /></span></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nsTgPaIPlAY/U6jZ_067IJI/AAAAAAAABxc/ePcfVrFakVQ/s1600/ParisOpera5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nsTgPaIPlAY/U6jZ_067IJI/AAAAAAAABxc/ePcfVrFakVQ/s1600/ParisOpera5.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" width="480" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]">The building may be most famously known for having inspired Gaston Leroux's 1910 novel <i>The Phantom of the Opera</i>.&nbsp; Today, we think of the musical production by Andrew Lloyd Webber, but this was truly the story of the Palais Garnier and it's spectacular 7-ton bronze chandelier which hangs in the Auditorium.&nbsp; On May 20, 1896, a counterbalance on the chandelier broke free and burst through the ceiling and into the theater and killed a member of the audience.&nbsp; Leroux was so captivated by the true-life events, that he wrote his interpretation of the scene into his dramatic love story.&nbsp; When I visited the Palais Garnier, the Auditorium was closed to the public for a rehearsal.&nbsp; I was sad to miss seeing Chagall's ceiling and the celebrated chandelier, but loved seeing the rest of this over-the-top building that is so steeped in the history and culture of Paris.&nbsp; I can't help but think of the fictional Madame Rose and the other real-life people that had to watch their homes be demolished to make room for Haussmann's vision for a new Paris.&nbsp; But, oh, what a lovely city their sacrifice left for us all to enjoy!</span></span></span></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VTU8yMQPzBc/U6jaALbmhTI/AAAAAAAABxg/D8-1_J2el9E/s1600/ParisOpera6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VTU8yMQPzBc/U6jaALbmhTI/AAAAAAAABxg/D8-1_J2el9E/s1600/ParisOpera6.jpg" height="552" title="Travel Tuesday: Palais Garnier, Paris" width="640" /></a></div>Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-44012916715452077402014-06-12T05:00:00.000-07:002014-06-12T05:00:07.305-07:00Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">&nbsp;<a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y13UJyd927k/U5OeVdRMzBI/AAAAAAAABrc/rJv3S6i9uYI/s1600/OllieVaughns1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Y13UJyd927k/U5OeVdRMzBI/AAAAAAAABrc/rJv3S6i9uYI/s1600/OllieVaughns1.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Looking for a good place for lunch in the Phoenix area?&nbsp; Check out <a href="http://ollievaughns.com/">Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery</a> on 16th Street and McDowell!&nbsp; This sandwich shop and bakery opened in November 2013 and is the perfect place to meet a friend in downtown Phoenix.&nbsp; The restaurant may be small, but it is big on yummy food options and the cool factor is through the roof.&nbsp; When I was there, the whole restaurant was lit with the most lovely afternoon light.&nbsp; I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to eat inside or on the gorgeous patio.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qi9XrXwYRdg/U5OeV9AS1gI/AAAAAAAABrs/3uejCqZzc_s/s1600/OllieVaughns3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qi9XrXwYRdg/U5OeV9AS1gI/AAAAAAAABrs/3uejCqZzc_s/s1600/OllieVaughns3.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-B0VHll9wLfE/U5OeVuDdGEI/AAAAAAAABr0/Zaybf0Sk_A4/s1600/OllieVaughns2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-B0VHll9wLfE/U5OeVuDdGEI/AAAAAAAABr0/Zaybf0Sk_A4/s1600/OllieVaughns2.jpg" height="540" title="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;">I have always been a sucker for a slice of quiche, so I was in heaven to hear that Ollie Vaughn's serves homemade slices.&nbsp; The special of the day was ham and Gruyere, and it was amazing.&nbsp; The crust was savory and the quiche really hit the spot.&nbsp; I finished off my lunch with the best key lime pie I have ever tasted.&nbsp; Sweet and slightly tart, it was topped with a dollop of cream and on a graham cracker crust.&nbsp; It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pUnDcnBq7XY/U5OeXJo47zI/AAAAAAAABr8/1AcE9ySPXiU/s1600/OllieVaughns4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pUnDcnBq7XY/U5OeXJo47zI/AAAAAAAABr8/1AcE9ySPXiU/s1600/OllieVaughns4.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" width="480" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bxtW8vZUDP8/U5OeXjbBu6I/AAAAAAAABsA/eQv620sO1gU/s1600/OllieVaughns5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bxtW8vZUDP8/U5OeXjbBu6I/AAAAAAAABsA/eQv620sO1gU/s1600/OllieVaughns5.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" width="426" /></a></div><br /><br /><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;Even if you visit on an especially hot Arizona afternoon, don't forget to check out the patio area.&nbsp; The space is the epitome of an urban garden.&nbsp; The wooden planters make a lovely vertical garden, complete with fragrant herbs and flowers.&nbsp; The patio tables are each topped with gorgeous succulent displays.&nbsp; And there is a lovely mural in the parking lot, too!&nbsp; I really enjoyed Ollie Vaughn's and I will be back next time I'm in the area!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pF0SQjARy2c/U5OeYl-Dr0I/AAAAAAAABsI/l_1uANi1kmo/s1600/OllieVaughns6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-pF0SQjARy2c/U5OeYl-Dr0I/AAAAAAAABsI/l_1uANi1kmo/s1600/OllieVaughns6.jpg" height="426" title="Local Love: Ollie Vaughn's Kitchen and Bakery" width="640" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-36544937279672966982014-06-10T05:00:00.000-07:002014-06-10T05:00:10.696-07:00Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v2QGigMpyrM/U5OutV-xpTI/AAAAAAAABsc/Bt_dJgD8hKg/s1600/Trafalgar1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-v2QGigMpyrM/U5OutV-xpTI/AAAAAAAABsc/Bt_dJgD8hKg/s1600/Trafalgar1.jpg" height="480" title="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">London, with its fascinating mix of old and new, is my favorite city in the world.&nbsp; Inevitably, I start almost every trip to the city with a visit to Trafalgar Square.&nbsp; This central London square, in the area formerly known as Charring Cross, is home to the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery (two of my favorite museums), St. Martin-in-the-Fields (with a wonderful cafe in the crypt), Nelson's Column and the curiosity known as the Fourth Plinth.&nbsp; Trafalgar is one of my favorite places to sit, people watching and soaking in the sights.&nbsp;&nbsp; You can even see all the way to Big Ben from the square!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gPU-SM3NvJ4/U5OuvAShldI/AAAAAAAABtM/T0ccXTNbQ-8/s1600/Trafalgar7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-gPU-SM3NvJ4/U5OuvAShldI/AAAAAAAABtM/T0ccXTNbQ-8/s1600/Trafalgar7.jpg" height="480" title="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wZpVKTXpdiU/U5OuwTXujBI/AAAAAAAABtQ/pdcz1fd5A24/s1600/Trafalgar8.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wZpVKTXpdiU/U5OuwTXujBI/AAAAAAAABtQ/pdcz1fd5A24/s1600/Trafalgar8.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">So what is the Fourth Plinth?&nbsp; Each corner of Trafalgar Square has a plinth, with three of them topped by a commemorative sculpture.&nbsp; The fourth of these plinths, in the northwest corner of the square, was meant to showcase an equestrian statue of William IV, but the funds never materialized and the plinth stood empty for 150 years.&nbsp; Finally, in 1999, plans were announced to showcase a series of temporary art exhibits on the plinth.&nbsp; The project was a success and there is now a commission to keep the plinth an active space for changing art displays.&nbsp; The plinth has even showcased a Madame Tussauds wax figure of David Beckham during the 2002 World Cup.&nbsp; I would have loved to have seen that!!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-km1pItFPuQo/U5OuuYtQ2UI/AAAAAAAABsw/Uo8HONeT9ig/s1600/Trafalgar4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-km1pItFPuQo/U5OuuYtQ2UI/AAAAAAAABsw/Uo8HONeT9ig/s1600/Trafalgar4.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" width="484" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JPX3vSSaVGE/U5OutWbLRII/AAAAAAAABsk/DP-X_vmQncU/s1600/Trafalgar2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JPX3vSSaVGE/U5OutWbLRII/AAAAAAAABsk/DP-X_vmQncU/s1600/Trafalgar2.jpg" height="480" title="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">While in England for my Study Abroad program in 2010, I was fortunate to see <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2010/may/24/nelsons-ship-fourth-plinth-yinka-shonibare">Yinka Shonibare's Ship in a Bottle</a> installation.&nbsp; The ship, a giant replica of Horatio Nelson's flagship, is right at home in the Square, as it is the ship that Nelson rode to victory in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.&nbsp; The faithfully replicated ship has 37 sails, 80 cannon and the bottle is large enough that the artist and his assistants could climb in to do their work.&nbsp; The display was revealed on May 24th and was quite a success.&nbsp; Even Nelson himself, peering down on the display from his Column, seemed to approve!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XD-QZovl08s/U5OutINmdKI/AAAAAAAABsg/FX3azeACBec/s1600/Trafalgar3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XD-QZovl08s/U5OutINmdKI/AAAAAAAABsg/FX3azeACBec/s1600/Trafalgar3.jpg" height="480" title="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-smI6-JfAiNM/U5Ouu8K87RI/AAAAAAAABtA/dVf1skXPfUQ/s1600/Trafalgar5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-smI6-JfAiNM/U5Ouu8K87RI/AAAAAAAABtA/dVf1skXPfUQ/s1600/Trafalgar5.jpg" height="480" title="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">I really loved the ship in the bottle!&nbsp; I am a fan of anything nautical, and this display was truly inspiring due to it's enormous size.&nbsp; The attention to detail is amazing, and the colorful sails were beautiful against the backdrop of the National Gallery.&nbsp; Over the years, I have often thought how sad it is that this was just a temporary display, so I was delighted to learn that the ship was moved to the <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/apr/23/yinka-shonibare-ship-bottle-greenwich">National Maritime Museum</a> in Greenwich for permanent display.&nbsp; Shonibare's ship is so beautiful that I am happy to know it is on display and I will have another chance to visit it someday!&nbsp; After a visit to Trafalgar Square to see the newest installation on the Fourth Plinth, of course!!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-scUB1F2d1f0/U5OuvOE1QHI/AAAAAAAABtI/c382g_FCjAw/s1600/Trafalgar6.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-scUB1F2d1f0/U5OuvOE1QHI/AAAAAAAABtI/c382g_FCjAw/s1600/Trafalgar6.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Trafalgar Square and The Ship in the Bottle" width="480" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-89090430362983017192014-06-04T05:00:00.000-07:002014-06-04T05:00:09.758-07:00Fancy a Cup of Tea?<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Iy232OeBKf8/U46TKSI_Y-I/AAAAAAAABoo/BEPhlfu_U-o/s1600/TeaAndMacarons.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Fancy a Cup of Tea?" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Iy232OeBKf8/U46TKSI_Y-I/AAAAAAAABoo/BEPhlfu_U-o/s1600/TeaAndMacarons.jpg" height="426" title="Fancy a Cup of Tea?" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><br />“While her lips talked culture, her heart was planning to invite him to tea” <br /></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"> E.M. Forster<a href="https://www.blogger.com/null">, </a><i> Howards End </i></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote><blockquote class="tr_bq"><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MY4e-A1sY54/U46T7TJ9_YI/AAAAAAAABo0/L3KHx99BdkU/s1600/IMG_0548.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="clear: left; float: left; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Fancy a Cup of Tea?" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MY4e-A1sY54/U46T7TJ9_YI/AAAAAAAABo0/L3KHx99BdkU/s1600/IMG_0548.JPG" height="426" title="Fancy a Cup of Tea?" width="640" /></a></div></blockquote><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq">&nbsp;Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage</blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><blockquote class="tr_bq"><em>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Catherine Douzel</em>&nbsp; </blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote></blockquote><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ziNeYnH5f0o/U46XGlJqnuI/AAAAAAAABpA/Y3bbu1Aqmg4/s1600/TeaTruffles.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Fancy a Cup of Tea?" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ziNeYnH5f0o/U46XGlJqnuI/AAAAAAAABpA/Y3bbu1Aqmg4/s1600/TeaTruffles.jpg" height="426" title="Fancy a Cup of Tea?" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div>Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-64128217333992119102014-05-27T05:00:00.000-07:002014-05-27T05:00:06.553-07:00Looking for Love in Arizona<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yivHg3iY3Oc/U4KNNidvDyI/AAAAAAAABm4/KiZgrsrsqJQ/s1600/Love1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yivHg3iY3Oc/U4KNNidvDyI/AAAAAAAABm4/KiZgrsrsqJQ/s1600/Love1.jpg" height="640" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">Lately, I have been on a mission to find love.&nbsp; Local love, that is.&nbsp; I've said it before, I haven't always been thrilled to live in the Arizona desert.&nbsp; As a girl, I fancied a life in the English countryside, with green fields and lots of rainy days.&nbsp; The reality is that Arizona is home, and the more I open my eyes to the beauty around me, the more love I have for the Grand Canyon State.&nbsp; So, I present to you my quest to find love in Arizona.&nbsp; What better place to start the journey then in Old Town Scottsdale, where one of Robert Indiana's famous <a href="http://scottsdalepublicart.org/permanent-art/love/">LOVE structures</a> is on permanent display.&nbsp; This twelve foot high sculpture is made of red and blue aluminum and weighs 3,800 pounds.&nbsp; Visit LOVE and you are just as likely to find kids climbing the letters as you are to find couples posing for informal or even their engagement photos.&nbsp; As I hunted down the iconic sign, I found a few more things to love in Scottsdale.&nbsp; First, I love this copper cactus statue juxtaposed against the similarly colored blue and purple paddle cactus.&nbsp; Then I stumbled across these beautiful blooming globe artichokes.&nbsp; I love that both of these photos are in shades of green and blue with a pop of purple. </div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pUlMSZ3IZhU/U4Kkh3-ulpI/AAAAAAAABoQ/vdMd0kCSkA4/s1600/Scottsdale2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pUlMSZ3IZhU/U4Kkh3-ulpI/AAAAAAAABoQ/vdMd0kCSkA4/s1600/Scottsdale2.jpg" height="640" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="390" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yGY38P6wCQo/U4KNNIqFoAI/AAAAAAAABnA/9mcL8QuOLnU/s1600/GlobeArtichoke_edited-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-yGY38P6wCQo/U4KNNIqFoAI/AAAAAAAABnA/9mcL8QuOLnU/s1600/GlobeArtichoke_edited-1.jpg" height="426" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">My search for love moved from Scottsdale to the Melrose District in Phoenix.&nbsp; While exploring the area with my sister, we found ourselves in <a href="http://www.cleoandclementine.com/">Cleo and Clementine</a>, a dressmaker's studio and boutique.&nbsp; The studio space is gorgeous, from the industrial fittings of the building, to the curated displays and LOVE marquee sign.&nbsp; And did I mention the handmade dresses??&nbsp; Jenna and I were awed by the simple yet elegant designs of the dresses, each made from the most exquisite materials.&nbsp; I fell in love with the gold sequin and tulle dress below, while Jenna had her eye on a black leather and tulle design.&nbsp; If I ever have a need for a fancy dress, I know where I'll be going!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XKA8Al-R9GQ/U4Kkgw__rbI/AAAAAAAABoI/H_s-j2DYjIA/s1600/LoveSign.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XKA8Al-R9GQ/U4Kkgw__rbI/AAAAAAAABoI/H_s-j2DYjIA/s1600/LoveSign.jpg" height="640" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="446" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I8PmfcyJNq4/U4KkgNvFnrI/AAAAAAAABn8/Bv95U1tsCsI/s1600/Cleo1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I8PmfcyJNq4/U4KkgNvFnrI/AAAAAAAABn8/Bv95U1tsCsI/s1600/Cleo1.jpg" height="640" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="480" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">My last stop on my search for love found me very near home in downtown Chandler, where the newest location of <a href="http://www.chopshopco.com/">Original Chopshop Co.</a> just opened. &nbsp; I am so excited to have a restaurant so close to home that serves healthy meals and fresh pressed juice in a unique and stylish setting.&nbsp; The restaurant is located in one of Chandler's old bank buildings, and some of the original fittings have been incorporated into the design.&nbsp; I love the hexagon tiled original floor, which serves as a backdrop to the wood paneled bar and counter tops.&nbsp; And how about the typography of this mural?&nbsp; All you need is LOVE, with a pitaya bowl and fresh squeezed blood orange lemonade, or course!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fKxV897wI5k/U4Kkelq9nKI/AAAAAAAABng/WgG9z0zVZ9k/s1600/ChopShop1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fKxV897wI5k/U4Kkelq9nKI/AAAAAAAABng/WgG9z0zVZ9k/s1600/ChopShop1.jpg" height="640" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="536" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3ZtguY7Mf2w/U4Kke4WBPpI/AAAAAAAABnk/iaSz7-cn0_E/s1600/ChopShop2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-3ZtguY7Mf2w/U4Kke4WBPpI/AAAAAAAABnk/iaSz7-cn0_E/s1600/ChopShop2.jpg" height="320" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="234" /></a><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NzSZfNvwGmA/U4KkexhSEqI/AAAAAAAABno/ckrgk3dT6AY/s1600/ChopShop3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-NzSZfNvwGmA/U4KkexhSEqI/AAAAAAAABno/ckrgk3dT6AY/s1600/ChopShop3.jpg" height="320" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="243" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pMEvrTzRtKA/U4Kkf35vwVI/AAAAAAAABn4/0LmBHBkK2O4/s1600/ChopShop4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pMEvrTzRtKA/U4Kkf35vwVI/AAAAAAAABn4/0LmBHBkK2O4/s1600/ChopShop4.jpg" height="640" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="506" /></a></div><br />The more I look, the more I find to love about Arizona.&nbsp; And this love affair is just beginning, so come back soon!<br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-59VFtrHioeQ/U4Kkgei9bdI/AAAAAAAABoE/c1En3hIP6eY/s1600/Love2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Looking for Love in Arizona" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-59VFtrHioeQ/U4Kkgei9bdI/AAAAAAAABoE/c1En3hIP6eY/s1600/Love2.jpg" height="640" title="Looking for Love in Arizona" width="426" /></a></div>Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-18893740851511799382014-05-25T17:27:00.001-07:002014-05-25T17:27:24.135-07:00Book Review: The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-42eJn_MtrQ4/U4JehxiVM5I/AAAAAAAABmI/orry2N2YLPQ/s1600/HouseILoved2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Book Review: The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-42eJn_MtrQ4/U4JehxiVM5I/AAAAAAAABmI/orry2N2YLPQ/s1600/HouseILoved2.jpg" height="640" title="Book Review: The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay" width="402" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[0]">Good books are made for long weekends like this lovely Memorial Day weekend! One of my favorite recent reads is <i>The House I Loved</i> by&nbsp;</span><a href="http://www.tatianaderosnay.com/">Tatiana de Rosnay</a>, the author of <i>Sarah's Key.</i>&nbsp; <span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]">Set in 1860s Paris, this is the story of a woman devastated by the modernization of her beloved city by Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann. We can appreciate the grand boulevards of 'modern' Paris today, but for Madame Rose Bazelet the razing of her neighborhood was a battle she'd fight till her last breath.&nbsp; Rose refuses to accept that her husband's family home is scheduled to be demolished to make room for a newer, wider roadway.&nbsp; This building on the rue Childebert means everything to Rose.&nbsp; It is where her husband was born, where they lived as husband and wife, where she gave birth to and raised her children, and where her dear husband died.&nbsp; It is her only home and leaving is not an option, even at the command of the Emperor.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></span></span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_Q9UWGgflwo/U4KHxITiF8I/AAAAAAAABmc/R61IGsvgDWg/s1600/ParisOpera.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Book Review: The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_Q9UWGgflwo/U4KHxITiF8I/AAAAAAAABmc/R61IGsvgDWg/s1600/ParisOpera.jpg" height="452" title="Book Review: The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]"><br /></span></span></span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1]"><span data-reactid=".r[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[1].[0].[0].[0].[0].[1].[2][1].[2]">I was drawn to this novel from a historical perspective.&nbsp; Paris is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen, and it is easy to forgot that the city we see is really quite new.&nbsp; The renovations made by Haussmann at the request of Napoleon III changed Paris from medieval to the beautiful, modern city we know and love today.&nbsp; Grand boulevards were created to improve the flow of traffic, parks and squares were added to beautify the city, and eleven suburbs were annexed.&nbsp; The modernization also saw the construction of sewers and fountains, improving the health and hygiene of Paris. In theory, all of these changes sound like great improvements, but they were made at the cost of neighborhoods like the one Rose so dearly loved.&nbsp; Rose is the heart of this story, and the tale she tells is as beautiful as it is heart-breaking.&nbsp; As her neighborhood is being demolished around her, she sits at her kitchen table and writes her life's story in her diary.&nbsp; By the final pages of the story, we understand why this home means so much to Rose, and why she will not be persuaded to see it torn down.&nbsp; <i>The House I Loved</i> is the kind of novel that lingers in your head and heart long after you've finished the last page.&nbsp; It will also have you looking at Paris in a new light.&nbsp; </span></span></span></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mgvJW02so0w/U4KIUdjO4SI/AAAAAAAABmk/r6sULpMnBzQ/s1600/ParisSeine.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Book Review: The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-mgvJW02so0w/U4KIUdjO4SI/AAAAAAAABmk/r6sULpMnBzQ/s1600/ParisSeine.jpg" height="480" title="Book Review: The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div>Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-15114569802394742452014-05-20T05:00:00.000-07:002014-05-20T05:00:02.403-07:00Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IS4gircdwq8/U3fIdM3aRzI/AAAAAAAABks/oe8v_0-lm90/s1600/)wlBrew1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IS4gircdwq8/U3fIdM3aRzI/AAAAAAAABks/oe8v_0-lm90/s1600/)wlBrew1.jpg" height="640" title="Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;">Last weekend was my birthday, and one of the fun things I did to celebrate was try <a href="http://www.theowlsbrew.com/">Owl's Brew</a>.&nbsp; Owl's Brew hand-crafted cocktail mixers are made of fresh brewed tea and are the first blends to be specifically designed to create tea-infused cocktails.&nbsp; As a tea lover, this sounded right up my alley and I had to give it a try.&nbsp; I picked up a bottle and set out to make a few different cocktails from the mixer.&nbsp; The results were <i>tea-licious</i>!</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cTUf3eDPylM/U3fIdwzZCQI/AAAAAAAABk8/fs4A9QY78_0/s1600/OwlsBrew3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cTUf3eDPylM/U3fIdwzZCQI/AAAAAAAABk8/fs4A9QY78_0/s1600/OwlsBrew3.jpg" height="640" title="Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Owl's Brew mixers come in three flavors: Classic (English Breakfast tea with lemon and lime flavors), Coco-Lada (black tea infused with coconut, chai and pineapple) and Pink &amp; Black (Darjeeling tea with strawberry, hibiscus and lemon flavors).&nbsp; I picked up a bottle of the Pink &amp; Black blend and started my taste taste.&nbsp; The basic formula for any Owl's Brew cocktail is two parts mixer to one part liquor.&nbsp; I started my experiment with a 'tini Owl, two parts Pink &amp; Black and one part vodka.&nbsp; The martini was strong, and the Darjeeling and hibiscus flavors were pronounced.&nbsp; This would be a great cocktail to serve at a Girls' Night happy hour.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j008pkTtSmU/U3kxtos7QMI/AAAAAAAABlc/Ro6w_-Jg4SE/s1600/OwlsBrew4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j008pkTtSmU/U3kxtos7QMI/AAAAAAAABlc/Ro6w_-Jg4SE/s1600/OwlsBrew4.jpg" height="640" title="Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails" width="426" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Since I was celebrating my birthday, I popped open a bottle of extra dry champagne and topped it off with Pink &amp; Black.&nbsp; The result was amazing, a fizzy tea treat perfect for celebrating.&nbsp; Not too sweet, the drink had a mild tea and fruity flavor.&nbsp; This would be a great cocktail to serve instead of mimosas at an Easter or Mother's Day brunch.&nbsp; The final drink I tried was my favorite.&nbsp; Sticking to the 2 parts mixer to 1 part liquor recipe, I blended Pink &amp; Black with a shot of vodka then filled the rest of the cup with seltzer water.&nbsp; This was definitely the most drinkable of the three, tasting like a wonderfully spiked glass of my favorite black tea.&nbsp; Refreshing and subtly fruity, this is a drink you could enjoy at any occasion.&nbsp; I would definitely recommend Owl's Brew to any tea lover.&nbsp; My only regret?&nbsp; Not drinking it out of a tea cup!&nbsp; There's always next time...</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UuJwQyOoSM8/U3fIdlB6tkI/AAAAAAAABlA/ZZpoQNmNA2o/s1600/OwlsBrew2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-UuJwQyOoSM8/U3fIdlB6tkI/AAAAAAAABlA/ZZpoQNmNA2o/s1600/OwlsBrew2.jpg" height="640" title="Celebrating with Owl's Brew Tea Cocktails" width="426" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-39793058129809914472014-05-18T18:05:00.000-07:002014-05-18T18:05:03.658-07:00Happy Birthday, Me! Happy Birthday, Whatever is Lovelier!<br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QVPl73fQWSQ/U3lPnngH3CI/AAAAAAAABls/eXVDLjq15AM/s1600/WILBDAY1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Happy Birthday, Whatever is Lovelier!" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QVPl73fQWSQ/U3lPnngH3CI/AAAAAAAABls/eXVDLjq15AM/s1600/WILBDAY1.jpg" height="640" title="Happy Birthday, Whatever is Lovelier!" width="426" /></a></div><br /><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">One year ago, <a href="http://www.whateverislovelier.com/2013/05/testing.html">I started this blog</a>.&nbsp; It happened to be my birthday, and I was feeling a little sentimental and reflective.&nbsp; I've just celebrated another birthday, reminding me that I have been blogging for a year now.&nbsp; I thought I'd take a moment and look back on the past year.&nbsp; Let's face it, celebrating my one year blog anniversary is way more fun than thinking about how old I am now!!&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">When I started <i>Whatever is Lovelier,</i> I had no idea what to expect.&nbsp; I knew I wanted a more creative life.&nbsp; I also wanted to make a few positive personal changes. And, of course, it would be wonderful if people enjoyed reading my blog and it became so wildly popular that I could quit my day job and do nothing but blog everyday!&nbsp; The reality is that blogging is very hard work, and the small, personal victories I've had this past year are more dear to me than any blog success story could be.&nbsp; I appreciate each and every person who's stopped by these pages and encouraged me this past year.&nbsp; I am also proud of myself, and what I've learned about technology, photography, writing, and, most importantly, about my place in this world.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">I love that blogging has challenged me to be creative and observant every day.&nbsp; I have always loved to write and take photos, but in the past year I have expanded on both hobbies.&nbsp; I am writing more and now sharing that work, which takes some courage to do.&nbsp; I have upgraded from a point and shoot camera to my first DSLR, and I am learning something every time I play with my new camera.&nbsp; I have so much to learn about both, but blogging has given me a reason to put off the process and actively work on my writing and photography skills.&nbsp; Blogging has also exposed me to a new community of creative, supportive people that have positively contributed to my growth this past year.&nbsp; Whether here on this blog, on Instagram or on Pinterest, the encouragement of my my friends, family and creative community has made a huge impact of my work and self-esteem!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">More than anything, blogging has helped me open my eyes to the world around me.&nbsp; The single hardest thing about having a blog is thinking of story ideas.&nbsp;&nbsp; This is also the part I've enjoyed the most!&nbsp; <i>Whatever is Lovelier</i> has become my place to share treasured memories about my travels, to document recipes and craft projects I've enjoyed doing, and to record my daily ups and downs.&nbsp; I am more aware of everything around me, the beauty in nature, in my friends and family, and in my surroundings.&nbsp; I didn't always appreciate living in the Arizona desert.&nbsp; Having spent the last year actively seeking out beauty, I have a new found love for my home state.&nbsp; I am having fun exploring my city with the fresh eyes of a tourist.&nbsp; I am finding myself looking at the details of life in a new way, looking for the beauty and the story to share here with you.&nbsp; And this, combined with the daily&nbsp; creative engagement, has made me a happier girl.&nbsp; Mission accomplished, right?!&nbsp; Happy Birthday to me!&nbsp; Happy Birthday, dear blog!&nbsp; </div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;">"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, <b><i>whatever is lovely</i></b>, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things."</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">Philippians 4:8</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-t_oYBjoFlC4/U3lPr4DmuTI/AAAAAAAABl0/d7650BKXy4Q/s1600/WILBDAY2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Happy Birthday, Whatever is Lovelier!" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-t_oYBjoFlC4/U3lPr4DmuTI/AAAAAAAABl0/d7650BKXy4Q/s1600/WILBDAY2.jpg" height="640" title="Happy Birthday, Whatever is Lovelier!" width="490" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both;">&nbsp;</div>Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-85449159029062698432014-05-06T05:00:00.000-07:002014-05-06T05:00:07.336-07:00Local Love: Desert Flowers<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dQ7FDel5OEc/U2a_rLfFnWI/AAAAAAAABkY/FFm8ej0_YMs/s1600/MySpring.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-dQ7FDel5OEc/U2a_rLfFnWI/AAAAAAAABkY/FFm8ej0_YMs/s1600/MySpring.jpg" height="426" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="640" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;Here in Arizona, spring can pass you by in the blink of an eye.&nbsp; One minute it's winter, the next it's 100+ degrees and summer, whether the calendar makes it official or not.&nbsp; This year, I have made a point of savoring every beautiful moment of spring.&nbsp; As I continue to play with and learn about my new camera, I have been looking for spring flowers through the lens.&nbsp; Here are some of my favorite photos.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5nvH2kESVEY/U2a6QFAhqXI/AAAAAAAABi4/nxvqqxoLsOo/s1600/FuzzyFlower.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5nvH2kESVEY/U2a6QFAhqXI/AAAAAAAABi4/nxvqqxoLsOo/s1600/FuzzyFlower.jpg" height="480" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_oEB8mYJiyc/U2a8JflEoHI/AAAAAAAABjk/nKH89L6QWT0/s1600/PurpleFlowers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_oEB8mYJiyc/U2a8JflEoHI/AAAAAAAABjk/nKH89L6QWT0/s1600/PurpleFlowers.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="480" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;">I usually think of the desert as a dusty, brown landscape dotted by nothing but cactus.&nbsp; This spring, I particularly searched for bursts of color and I found more than I expected.&nbsp; I found so many vibrant and beautiful colors when I stopped to look for them.&nbsp; From the bright fuchsia of the bougainvillea to the golden yellow of the palo verde flowers, the desert is awash in colors!&nbsp;&nbsp; </div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8gAIsBLPxtY/U2a8JdOiOfI/AAAAAAAABjo/cSLls3bAzp4/s1600/yellowflower.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8gAIsBLPxtY/U2a8JdOiOfI/AAAAAAAABjo/cSLls3bAzp4/s1600/yellowflower.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="480" /></a></div><br /><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Mk6w1163sZw/U2a6RrVUf5I/AAAAAAAABjQ/tTufERXVLHE/s1600/desertflower.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Mk6w1163sZw/U2a6RrVUf5I/AAAAAAAABjQ/tTufERXVLHE/s1600/desertflower.jpg" height="426" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="640" /></a>&nbsp;</div><div style="text-align: justify;">I saw many of these flowers during my recent visit to the <a href="http://www.dbg.org/">Desert Botanical Gardens</a> in Phoenix.&nbsp;&nbsp; The DBG is always such a treat to visit.&nbsp; I usually gravitate to the succulent garden, but this visit I paid special attention to the flowers.&nbsp; Just when I thought I'd seen most desert flowers, something new and unusual amazes me, like the flower in the photo above.&nbsp; I have no idea what sort of flower this pink and purple beauty is, but it sure caught my attention.&nbsp; It almost looks like a sea anemone, with their long and colorful tentacles!&nbsp; </div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0AJFEWyhmKc/U2a8jgu6D0I/AAAAAAAABkM/xZsJ9S7z6MY/s1600/PaloVerde.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0AJFEWyhmKc/U2a8jgu6D0I/AAAAAAAABkM/xZsJ9S7z6MY/s1600/PaloVerde.jpg" height="426" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9aCG3EtVTjs/U2a6RwVle5I/AAAAAAAABjM/20taK8OMKps/s1600/orangeflower.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9aCG3EtVTjs/U2a6RwVle5I/AAAAAAAABjM/20taK8OMKps/s1600/orangeflower.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="426" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Even Emmie is enjoying our beautiful desert spring!&nbsp; She is fascinated by the gorgeous bougainvillea in my backyard.&nbsp; If she's not sniffing the flowers, she is chasing after the blossoms that have fallen off and are blowing around the yard. &nbsp; She also appreciates that our walks are a little longer when the weather is this nice!</div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ynoQku8wgEY/U2a_vrdAcjI/AAAAAAAABkg/IVgwzGF39Mw/s1600/LouFlowers.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ynoQku8wgEY/U2a_vrdAcjI/AAAAAAAABkg/IVgwzGF39Mw/s1600/LouFlowers.jpg" height="640" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="426" /></a></div><br />I hope you enjoyed these photos of my desert spring!&nbsp; If you are looking for me, I'll probably be behind the lens hunting down more photo-worthy flowers to share with you!<br /><br /><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7e9las1sk3I/U2a8JjKIzAI/AAAAAAAABjs/HRy7g_CinDo/s1600/TakingPics.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Local Love: Desert Flowers" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7e9las1sk3I/U2a8JjKIzAI/AAAAAAAABjs/HRy7g_CinDo/s1600/TakingPics.jpg" height="480" title="Local Love: Desert Flowers" width="640" /></a><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com4tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-65091235523816113912014-04-29T05:00:00.000-07:002014-04-29T05:00:00.108-07:00Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OQu7t8qdWL0/U1weGXFAxBI/AAAAAAAABiA/Q62cTuOKy_M/s1600/SanDiego14.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OQu7t8qdWL0/U1weGXFAxBI/AAAAAAAABiA/Q62cTuOKy_M/s1600/SanDiego14.jpg" height="424" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">When most people think of San Diego's Coronado Island, they picture the iconic <a href="http://hoteldel.com/">Hotel Del Coronado</a>.&nbsp; Built in 1888, this beautiful resort has been designated both a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Landmark.&nbsp; Built in the late Victorian style, The Del is unique in that it is completely constructed of wood and has never suffered any fire damage.&nbsp; Though we didn't stay at the hotel, we spent plenty of time enjoying the property and its amenities.</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xS0ySD6y_vo/U1weD4EE83I/AAAAAAAABhw/6jne1JZ-iYE/s1600/SAnDiego11.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xS0ySD6y_vo/U1weD4EE83I/AAAAAAAABhw/6jne1JZ-iYE/s1600/SAnDiego11.jpg" height="398" title="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q4Jb8fZx_Ts/U1weFWTC-9I/AAAAAAAABh8/HgcMo-P8RQY/s1600/SanDiego12.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Q4Jb8fZx_Ts/U1weFWTC-9I/AAAAAAAABh8/HgcMo-P8RQY/s1600/SanDiego12.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" width="460" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">One of the highlights of our stay was a <a href="http://coronadohistory.org/historic-coronado/walking-tours/">guided tour</a> of The Del led by the <a href="http://coronadohistory.org/">Coronado Historical Association</a>.&nbsp; This was the perfect opportunity to see the inside of the hotel and hear about its history.&nbsp; We got a peek at the famous Crown Room, where many celebrities and heads-of-state have attended important functions over the years.&nbsp; I loved the crown chandeliers, which are thought to have been designed by <i>The Wizard of Oz </i>writer L. Frank Baum.&nbsp; We also got to see the original elevator and chandeliers in the lobby, as well as some beautiful period furniture.&nbsp; One of the most interesting features of the guestrooms were their unusual looking balconies.&nbsp; Made of wood and offering privacy between the rooms, they were elegant and different than anything I've seen before.&nbsp; They reminded my of boxes at the theater or opera!&nbsp; </div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--XQf4jbutvM/U1weIrv8PnI/AAAAAAAABig/wPQsGBh68KQ/s1600/SanDiego9.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/--XQf4jbutvM/U1weIrv8PnI/AAAAAAAABig/wPQsGBh68KQ/s1600/SanDiego9.jpg" height="426" title="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ltWlahrIaoQ/U1weINRU6zI/AAAAAAAABiY/2cFxRmg2GZM/s1600/SanDiego8.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ltWlahrIaoQ/U1weINRU6zI/AAAAAAAABiY/2cFxRmg2GZM/s1600/SanDiego8.jpg" height="400" title="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" width="266" /></a><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5pAnp2qwmWI/U1weHRzmV2I/AAAAAAAABiU/ulMXvZ3DyN8/s1600/SanDiego7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5pAnp2qwmWI/U1weHRzmV2I/AAAAAAAABiU/ulMXvZ3DyN8/s1600/SanDiego7.jpg" height="400" title="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" width="266" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AdWkc9QvjUg/U1weEDLMUaI/AAAAAAAABhs/5IUYqtjWzYY/s1600/SanDiego10.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AdWkc9QvjUg/U1weEDLMUaI/AAAAAAAABhs/5IUYqtjWzYY/s1600/SanDiego10.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7yBwTKLq2pY/U1weGH28icI/AAAAAAAABiE/rxSCnN3tVgs/s1600/SanDiego13.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-7yBwTKLq2pY/U1weGH28icI/AAAAAAAABiE/rxSCnN3tVgs/s1600/SanDiego13.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">If you are a history or architecture buff, I would recommend taking the tour.&nbsp; I really enjoyed seeing parts of the hotel most visitors don't get to see, and our docent was a wealth of information about the building and it's history.&nbsp; We heard stories about Kate Morgan, the infamous Del ghost.&nbsp; She also told us about the nearby <a href="http://coronadocommonsense.typepad.com/coronado_common_sense/2009/07/vintage-beach-photos-tent-city-19001939.html">Tent City</a>, where travelers could rent a tent if they were unable to afford a room at The Del.&nbsp; There are so many other interesting stories about the property, but you will just have to take the tour for yourself if you want to know more.&nbsp; Between visits to the beach, the ice cream parlor and this walking tour, I loved every minute we spent at the beautiful Del resort!&nbsp;&nbsp;</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Uz5DJPThJLo/U1weDiYlz2I/AAAAAAAABho/1MwxtGntqL4/s1600/SanDiego1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Uz5DJPThJLo/U1weDiYlz2I/AAAAAAAABho/1MwxtGntqL4/s1600/SanDiego1.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego" width="426" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-20029664792666786472014-04-22T05:00:00.000-07:002014-04-22T05:00:11.409-07:00Travel Tuesday: Best Gift for a Travel Lover<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aTHZrCzXuzM/U1RmjZazHHI/AAAAAAAABhM/E_XqHmt3mic/s1600/MapPrint_edited-1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Best Gift Idea for a Travel Lover, Custom Map Print by Evelyn Henson" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aTHZrCzXuzM/U1RmjZazHHI/AAAAAAAABhM/E_XqHmt3mic/s1600/MapPrint_edited-1.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Best Gift Idea for a Travel Lover, Custom Map Print by Evelyn Henson" width="466" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Do you love to travel?&nbsp; Or just need an amazing gift for a travel loving friend?&nbsp; The incredibly talented <a href="http://www.evelynhenson.com/">Evelyn Henson</a> now sells map prints custom designed for you or your wanderlusting friends.&nbsp; I ordered myself a map recently, and I can't rave enough about how wonderful it turned out!&nbsp; Evelyn has painted and labeled by hand dozens of top travel destinations around the world, and she will work with you to compile your choice of cities and place them into your very own custom print.&nbsp; I selected about twenty cities, including a few that I will be <a href="http://www.whateverislovelier.com/2014/03/let-adventure-begin.html">visiting for the first time </a>later this year, and she graciously shuffled them around until I was happy.&nbsp; I am so excited to have this beautiful travel souvenir, and it will sit proudly on my desk and inspire my future Travel Tuesday posts!&nbsp; If you are interested in your own print, check out Evelyn's <a href="http://www.evelynhenson.com/blogs/blog/12071341-new-arrivals">blog post </a>for a list of available cities.&nbsp; She is also able to add a city that is special to you, so you know I had her add Nottingham, England to my print so I could remember my <a href="http://www.whateverislovelier.com/2013/09/travel-tuesday-nottingham-england-study.html">study abroad </a>experience!&nbsp; Evelyn was so sweet and easy to work with, she made the creative process fun and I just love her drawings of each city.&nbsp;&nbsp; Get your map print <a href="http://www.evelynhenson.com/collections/map-prints/products/custom-map-print">here</a>.&nbsp; </div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IJUxqz_ZzkI/U1Rlfit9AUI/AAAAAAAABhA/yfXe9z0qjVw/s1600/Mapprint2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Best Gift Idea for a Travel Lover, Custom Map Print by Evelyn Henson" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IJUxqz_ZzkI/U1Rlfit9AUI/AAAAAAAABhA/yfXe9z0qjVw/s1600/Mapprint2.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Best Gift Idea for a Travel Lover, Custom Map Print by Evelyn Henson" width="636" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-81343940312890213652014-04-20T17:09:00.000-07:002014-04-20T17:09:09.468-07:00Happy Easter!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cW8Hb6OyuUY/U1Rfcr9fvZI/AAAAAAAABgY/xa4E6Jfyeio/s1600/Easter1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Happy Easter!" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cW8Hb6OyuUY/U1Rfcr9fvZI/AAAAAAAABgY/xa4E6Jfyeio/s1600/Easter1.jpg" height="426" title="Happy Easter!" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">Happy Easter!&nbsp; I am enjoying a quiet holiday, with lots of puppy snuggles, pretty pastel candies and a cup of the good tea.&nbsp; With all of these colorful little treats on hand, the highlight of my day has been playing with my new camera and taking some photos.&nbsp; And afterward, I got to eat the props!&nbsp; I wish you and your family a happy and relaxing day!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img alt="Happy Easter!" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-RdmVMofaIYw/U1Rfc3H7kwI/AAAAAAAABgc/uBMhqyBJr4s/s1600/Easter2.jpg" height="640" title="Happy Easter!" width="426" /></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-8030115443501844452014-04-10T05:00:00.000-07:002014-04-10T05:00:11.829-07:00DIY: Yarn Bomb Art Display<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WehzA1ZuX6o/U0DUHh278kI/AAAAAAAABfA/k83TLvOnQrc/s1600/YarnArt2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="DIY: Yarn Bomb Art Display" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-WehzA1ZuX6o/U0DUHh278kI/AAAAAAAABfA/k83TLvOnQrc/s1600/YarnArt2.jpg" height="640" title="DIY: Yarn Bomb Art Display" width="426" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">I have to confess, I am one of those girls that goes is a stationery store and ohhs and ahhs over everything.&nbsp; I love pretty note cards, notebooks and scrap booking sheets.&nbsp; I have been looking for something to hang over my bed that I can use as a display for some of these lovely cards I've collected and I came up with this yarn bombed piece of driftwood.&nbsp; Since I already have a gallery wall of framed art on the opposite wall, I wanted the piece above the bed to be an irregular and organic shape.&nbsp; I also like that I can easily swap out the art I hang on the piece with the season or any other fancy I have!</div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n2ln1K3OupE/U0DUIf3ENWI/AAAAAAAABfM/vazHaujb_go/s1600/YarnArt1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="DIY: Yarn Bomb Art Display" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-n2ln1K3OupE/U0DUIf3ENWI/AAAAAAAABfM/vazHaujb_go/s1600/YarnArt1.jpg" height="426" title="DIY: Yarn Bomb Art Display" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">I started this easy project by looking for a piece of white washed driftwood.&nbsp; My mom found this one for me in the creek outside her cabin in Northern Arizona. &nbsp; Next, I wrapped the middle section of the branch in yarn.&nbsp; I chose a marbled yarn in neutral shades to make it look like I used more than one color of yarn.&nbsp; I carefully wrapped the yarn in neat rows around the branch while I watched tv.&nbsp; It was very easy, but did take some time to get the whole thing wrapped.&nbsp; After hanging the branch, I glued yarn to a few of my favorite <a href="http://riflepaperco.com/">Rifle Paper Co.</a> botanical note cards and then tied them to the wood.&nbsp; This was such a simple and inexpensive project.&nbsp; Now I have the perfect display for any small pieces of art that inspire me, or even some of my own photos that I want to print and hang!&nbsp; </div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TNA2dCgx_Ek/U0DUH1PX55I/AAAAAAAABfI/3Nh8PGxG7wU/s1600/YarnArt3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="DIY: Yarn Bomb Art Display" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TNA2dCgx_Ek/U0DUH1PX55I/AAAAAAAABfI/3Nh8PGxG7wU/s1600/YarnArt3.jpg" height="426" title="DIY: Yarn Bomb Art Display" width="640" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-55294132332758719452014-04-08T05:00:00.000-07:002014-04-08T05:00:10.853-07:00Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PXq5-38sOns/U0HsD4xQGhI/AAAAAAAABgI/et6Eay8G9Qk/s1600/SDTea.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PXq5-38sOns/U0HsD4xQGhI/AAAAAAAABgI/et6Eay8G9Qk/s1600/SDTea.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">While in San Diego last week, I enjoyed Afternoon Tea at the <a href="https://www.thegranddelmar.com/">The Grand Del Mar</a> as a part of our girls weekend celebrating my mom's birthday.&nbsp; This is a lovely resort and serves an elegant tea.&nbsp; The property, built in the style of a Mediterranean estate, is about half an hour northeast of where we were staying on Coronado, so a bit off the regular San Diego tourist path.&nbsp; Afternoon Tea is served in the hotel lobby, as well as in the Library, a dark little alcove with bookcases, velvet loveseats and herringbone wooden floors.&nbsp; While we enjoyed the ambiance, food and service, I must note that I had made a particular point of reserving a space in the Library and we were bumped into the lobby to accommodate a party.&nbsp; While our server went out of her way to take care of us, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed that my request for this special occasion was overlooked. </div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pIjZTfwEJPY/U0HsAApqX0I/AAAAAAAABfo/nb3g2Uzm7e8/s1600/GrandDelMar2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pIjZTfwEJPY/U0HsAApqX0I/AAAAAAAABfo/nb3g2Uzm7e8/s1600/GrandDelMar2.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_CgdPwkqfvU/U0HsANtWNxI/AAAAAAAABfk/fCeURRkCRAY/s1600/GrandDelMar3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_CgdPwkqfvU/U0HsANtWNxI/AAAAAAAABfk/fCeURRkCRAY/s1600/GrandDelMar3.jpg" height="426" title="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-MStIZnaYRN4/U0HsBY9t32I/AAAAAAAABf4/NYPlWbI6gek/s1600/GrandDelMar4.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" width="382" /></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vRfcsXashpM/U0HsByyfRVI/AAAAAAAABf8/fku-hxFyfVM/s1600/GrandDelMar5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vRfcsXashpM/U0HsByyfRVI/AAAAAAAABf8/fku-hxFyfVM/s1600/GrandDelMar5.jpg" height="406" title="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;">The Grand Del Mar serves <a href="http://www.teaforte.com/">Tea Forte</a>, and we each enjoyed a delicious selection in our own lovely china teapot.&nbsp; The finger sandwiches were all wonderful, and my sister was pleased they had the option of a gluten free selection specially made for her.&nbsp; We enjoyed our cranberry and vanilla scones, after which followed a beautiful selection of sweets.&nbsp; All of the food was delightful, and we enjoyed it even more as we sipped on our tea and champagne.&nbsp; So how does this experience compare my favorite local tea spot, <a href="http://www.whateverislovelier.com/2013/11/travel-tuesday-afternoon-tea-at-ritz.html">The Ritz-Carlton</a>?&nbsp; The Grand Del Mar wins for ambiance.&nbsp; The hotel is just as lovely and well-appointed as the Ritz, but the grounds are simply stunning.&nbsp; There is a little patio off the lobby and you can sip your cocktail or tea while looking onto a waterfall and grounds of lush greenery and flowers.&nbsp; The setting was perfect for taking photos to commemorate our special occasion, and we took full advantage!&nbsp; Otherwise, the Ritz wins for it's impeccable tea experience and the service of its staff.&nbsp; I do wish the Grand Del Mar brewed the tea for you, it's hard to visit with your ladies while you are trying to time the steep of the tea.&nbsp; I also missed the three-tiered tea tray that&nbsp; other tearooms use, it just is so fun to see on your table.&nbsp;&nbsp; Those few critiques, minor as they are but added to the botched reservation, force me to rate the experience 3.5 out of 5 stars.&nbsp; We really did enjoy ourselves, but after being spoiled by Jeffrey at our hometown Ritz, I can't help but see a few shortcomings.&nbsp; That said, if you are in the Del Mar area, I certainly would recommend the Grand Del Mar for it's beautiful property and delicious tea and snacks.&nbsp; </div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wle0UAsH_Hk/U0Hr_C6eonI/AAAAAAAABfs/4MIwYyCRmwk/s1600/GrandDelMar1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-wle0UAsH_Hk/U0Hr_C6eonI/AAAAAAAABfs/4MIwYyCRmwk/s1600/GrandDelMar1.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" width="420" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TuTdl2WKSNQ/U0HsCqbAJPI/AAAAAAAABgE/rwMqGcAkLaY/s1600/MeAtTea.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TuTdl2WKSNQ/U0HsCqbAJPI/AAAAAAAABgE/rwMqGcAkLaY/s1600/MeAtTea.jpg" height="426" title="Travel Tuesday: Afternoon Tea at the Grand Del Mar, CA" width="640" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-39734254764536217922014-04-01T05:00:00.000-07:002014-04-01T05:00:31.927-07:00Travel Tuesday: Being Mermaids in California<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EebSsr6lGiw/UzoB8f0tK0I/AAAAAAAABeQ/LGbYcfB4i_8/s1600/MeBeach.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Being Mermaids in San Diego" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EebSsr6lGiw/UzoB8f0tK0I/AAAAAAAABeQ/LGbYcfB4i_8/s1600/MeBeach.jpg" height="368" title="Travel Tuesday: Being Mermaids in San Diego" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">I just got back from my girls getaway in San Diego and am feeling so happy after a weekend away.&nbsp; Three days spent looking out at the ocean, feeling the fresh air on my skin and catching up with my mom and sister did a world of good.&nbsp; I will share all the details of our trip soon, but for now here are a few impressions before real life sets back in.&nbsp; It's been years since I was in San Diego, and it was never prettier!&nbsp; My favorite colors are pink and blue, and I swear the whole city donned those colors just for us.&nbsp; I saw everything through pastel colored glasses, and it felt like we were living some mermaid fantasy on the seashore!&nbsp; Just look at the photo above.&nbsp; Could there be a prettier sunset over the water?&nbsp; I sure felt the call of the ocean!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mxft7xNm72k/UzoB-KjB74I/AAAAAAAABeY/DetzLs9tarA/s1600/SanDiego3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Being Mermaids in San Diego" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mxft7xNm72k/UzoB-KjB74I/AAAAAAAABeY/DetzLs9tarA/s1600/SanDiego3.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Being Mermaids in San Diego" width="426" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OsmA1GkT8qU/UzoB88Ts-mI/AAAAAAAABeI/vMRk8wNTGLM/s1600/MermaidDrinks.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Being Mermaids in San Diego" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OsmA1GkT8qU/UzoB88Ts-mI/AAAAAAAABeI/vMRk8wNTGLM/s1600/MermaidDrinks.jpg" height="640" title="Travel Tuesday: Being Mermaids in San Diego" width="426" /></a></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">We enjoyed dinner the first night at <a href="http://1887onthebay.com/">1887 on the Bay</a>, a restaurant in a historic boathouse on Glorietta Bay.&nbsp; We sat for a few hours, sipping on vodka and St. Germain cocktails aptly named the Mermaid.&nbsp; The design of the famous Hotel Del Coronado was inspired by the boathouse, so it was only fitting the hotel was our next destination.</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ouk6zQP5NU0/UzoB-dKhprI/AAAAAAAABec/tPs8CVRxLX4/s1600/SanDiego2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Dream Life in San Diego" border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ouk6zQP5NU0/UzoB-dKhprI/AAAAAAAABec/tPs8CVRxLX4/s1600/SanDiego2.jpg" height="426" title="Travel Tuesday: Dream Life in San Diego" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;">We walked around the beautifully manicured grounds of the <a href="http://hoteldel.com/">Hotel Del Coronado</a> as the sun started to set, and had made our way to the water in time to see the sky turn from blue, to pink to black.&nbsp; Nothing can make you feel your place in the world like standing next to the ocean at sunset.&nbsp; After enjoying this magical sunset together, we flipped our fins back to our hotel room and dreamed of underwater grottoes and handsome mermen.&nbsp; What can I say, the sea was calling to us!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8kJEwrmoau0/UzoB_DHV0vI/AAAAAAAABeo/kKEmoVWTbrk/s1600/SanDiego7.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Dream Life in San Diego" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8kJEwrmoau0/UzoB_DHV0vI/AAAAAAAABeo/kKEmoVWTbrk/s1600/SanDiego7.jpg" height="426" title="Travel Tuesday: Dream Life in San Diego" width="640" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com5tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-76283814024774159312014-03-27T21:37:00.000-07:002014-03-27T21:37:17.735-07:00Road Trip!<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fEmqW6sLdbc/UzT7rFjxD1I/AAAAAAAABdw/ohcVkBcN9T8/s1600/IMG_0293.JPG" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img border="0" src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fEmqW6sLdbc/UzT7rFjxD1I/AAAAAAAABdw/ohcVkBcN9T8/s1600/IMG_0293.JPG" height="640" width="640" /></a></div><br /><br />I'm off to San Diego for a Girl's Getaway!&nbsp; We are celebrating a big birthday for mom and whisking her off to Coronado Island.&nbsp; Stay tuned for all the details...Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-3535400068631947532014-03-25T04:00:00.000-07:002014-03-25T04:00:00.595-07:00Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yrep0JfDxh0/UzEMXMtpnXI/AAAAAAAABc4/s3PsqtPNN7I/s1600/DCBlossoms5.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yrep0JfDxh0/UzEMXMtpnXI/AAAAAAAABc4/s3PsqtPNN7I/s1600/DCBlossoms5.jpg" height="434" title="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">It's officially spring, and what is more seasonal than the famous Washington DC cherry blossoms?&nbsp; About ten years ago I took a trip to our capital city in search of these delicate pink flowers only to find out that the cold winter had delayed the peak of the blooms a few weeks past my visit.&nbsp; Not to be discouraged, I walked the city until I found a few trees in bloom.&nbsp; Despite my best efforts, I only ended up with a few so-so photos of the cherry blossoms.&nbsp; </div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Bazvz3J5ZaA/UzEMXGJyvJI/AAAAAAAABdA/4W-gH_ls9Po/s1600/DCBlossoms1.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Bazvz3J5ZaA/UzEMXGJyvJI/AAAAAAAABdA/4W-gH_ls9Po/s1600/DCBlossoms1.jpg" height="456" title="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CBGSjl0WNvQ/UzEMXK3qyLI/AAAAAAAABdM/ygwfOqrYrzE/s1600/DCBlossoms3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-CBGSjl0WNvQ/UzEMXK3qyLI/AAAAAAAABdM/ygwfOqrYrzE/s1600/DCBlossoms3.jpg" height="480" title="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">I was on a mission to get that iconic shot of the White House framed by beautiful pink blossoms.&nbsp; I did find one tree in bloom in front of the White House, but with a whole bunch of other dead trees in the background.&nbsp; Giving up that dream, I tried to find just one great tree spilling over in pink, and the photo above sure fit the bill.&nbsp; Funny how that adorable little girl ended up being the best part of the photo!</div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VfwWet_ylXI/UzENHpuT38I/AAAAAAAABdU/O5g_dDrbbX4/s1600/DC4.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VfwWet_ylXI/UzENHpuT38I/AAAAAAAABdU/O5g_dDrbbX4/s1600/DC4.jpg" height="476" title="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" width="640" /></a></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bOm6WrkwV88/UzENHbkV2BI/AAAAAAAABdQ/5QVyEo3lbuQ/s1600/DC2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-bOm6WrkwV88/UzENHbkV2BI/AAAAAAAABdQ/5QVyEo3lbuQ/s1600/DC2.jpg" height="456" title="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" width="640" /></a></div><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">I admit it, my timing was off.&nbsp; I gave it my best effort, but you just can't force nature.&nbsp;&nbsp; When I got home and looked over all my photos, I discovered that my best shot wasn't of the cherry blossoms or even of one of the many outdoor historic sites I visited.&nbsp; My favorite photo was taken in a Metro station, the place I started each morning and ended each evening.&nbsp; When I think back on this trip, it reminds me that sometimes you can't plan that perfect shot.&nbsp; You have to keep your eyes open for beauty in even the most unexpected places.&nbsp; </div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hEBWoxGwSJE/UzENHX6kTsI/AAAAAAAABdk/Cd9idf_hXQM/s1600/DC.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" border="0" src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hEBWoxGwSJE/UzENHX6kTsI/AAAAAAAABdk/Cd9idf_hXQM/s1600/DC.jpg" height="480" title="Travel Tuesday: Chasing Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC" width="640" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com6tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-6984353662883466400.post-45247961367762708492014-03-23T10:00:00.000-07:002014-03-23T10:00:04.369-07:00Book Review: Snobs by Julian Fellowes<div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"></div><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1oRTtmrpNtA/Uy4aT9mhFdI/AAAAAAAABcg/ZwU0CubBt5k/s1600/Snobs3.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Book Review: Snobs by Julian Fellowes" border="0" src="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1oRTtmrpNtA/Uy4aT9mhFdI/AAAAAAAABcg/ZwU0CubBt5k/s1600/Snobs3.jpg" height="640" title="Book Review: Snobs by Julian Fellowes" width="500" /></a></div><br /><div style="text-align: justify;"><br /></div><div style="text-align: justify;">Are you like me and suffering from <i>Downton Abbey</i> withdrawal?&nbsp; It's been a few weeks since the latest season of the hit series ended, and I am missing the Grantham family something fierce.&nbsp; I found salvation at the bookstore when I stumbled upon <i>Snobs</i> by Julian Fellowes, the creator of the hit series.&nbsp; <i>Snobs</i> proclaims itself 'a novel of modern manners', and boasts the same beauty and bite we all love in <i>Downton</i>.&nbsp; Set in the 90s, this is the story of Edith Lavery, an English rose who has her sights set on the manor house, or rather, on the Earl Broughton.&nbsp; Charles proves an easy target for Edith, and she soon finds herself part of the upper crust world of 'the name game' dinner parties, hunting weekends, and charity work.&nbsp; When a film crew overruns Broughton Hall to shoot a period drama, Edith meets a dashing actor and begins to question if she really wants a life in the aristocracy. Fellowes brings his wit and perception to the novel, and the dialogue is just as entertaining as on Downton.&nbsp; Echos of Lady Mary can be found in Edith, and that sharp tongue we all love on Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, is peppered throughout the text.&nbsp; While the book had little of the upstairs downstairs dynamic I love in the show, it paints a vivid picture of the charming traditions, confusing idiosyncrasies and unabashed hypocrisy of the modern English upper class.&nbsp; I recommend the book to any anglophile, lover of <i>Downton Abbey</i>, or someone just looking for a good beach read full of gossip and scandal.&nbsp; Make yourself a cup of tea and curl up for a good read!</div><br /><br /><div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;"><a href="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3mawcOvrY_M/Uy4aT7iJQuI/AAAAAAAABcs/k410goKQwec/s1600/Snobs2.jpg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;"><img alt="Book Review: Snobs by Julian Fellowes" border="0" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-3mawcOvrY_M/Uy4aT7iJQuI/AAAAAAAABcs/k410goKQwec/s1600/Snobs2.jpg" height="640" title="Book Review: Snobs by Julian Fellowes" width="426" /></a></div><br />Kristenhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/00320954717724692430noreply@blogger.com2