While it is short in length...any suggestions? Please feel free to email us with anything you might want to see travel related!
I was preparing to write another travel post, but instead, I thought I would share a couple of my most recent successes I have had with recipes.
My mom is always my recipe go to for when I have friends over, I can’t remember how long to microwave a potato (Mom, it’s been a long time, I figured that out), or just what to use to substitute when I am not sure. If you have someone that has beautiful cursive (doesn't have to be calligraphy) and they love to cook ask them for their recipes. You can never go wrong asking someone who loves to cook for some favorites and who doesn't love a handwritten gift that's come from the heart?
Loving some ‘Nana’s and Bourbon right now!
If you try these let me know what you think!
Magnolia Bakery’s (yes, the one in NYC) Banana Pudding. It. Is. Amazing. I did use the new Jell-O Simply Good Vanilla Bean pudding and I used the lower fat version of sweetened condensed milk. I also used mini Nilla wafers so I could put them into mini trifle bowls for individual desserts. It was still delicious and addictive. I highly recommend if you are like me and just like to cook for the sake of cooking, save some for yourself and give the rest to coworkers or friends. Definitely pay attention to the times. Let the water, Jell-O and milk sit in the fridge for 4 hours and once it is ready, be patient after you prepare the rest of the recipe. FOLD the pudding mix into your whipped cream. Once the whole she-bang is assembled LET IT sit in the fridge for the time in the recipe. It comes out just like Magnolia. Thanks to the Girl Who Ate Everything. This is the closest recipe I have tried that is exactly like Magnolia's without the expensive dry ice shipping of pudding! http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2016/05/magnolia-bakerys-famous-banana-pudding.html
I will say it’s the south in a cake. I think this was invented by Southern Gods and Jamaica. Pineapple. 'Nanas. Cream. Sweet. Fruity. It was Southern Living’s most requested recipe in the magazine's history. The cake typically has two or three layers with pecans (or walnuts), mashed bananas, crushed pineapple and cream cheese frosting.
Make the best of your bananas part two and try the hummingbird cake. If you haven’t had the orginial do that first and go with the variations. You can’t go wrong.
A make ahead potent cocktail. Make sure you supply your guests with some appetizers or you will have some guests spending the night at your house. See the recipe at the top of the blog. Brought to you from the Corpus Christi E2C Hawkeye Squadron. Yes, this is from when I lived in Texas, and back when the military spouses typed all the recipes on a typewriter.
Tips for the slush:
Use 1 1/2 c. of bourbon. Any kind will do. Also use the entire 6 oz. can of lemonade concentrate. I used Earl Grey tea bags from Harney and Sons. You really want a strong black tea for this one. Prepare the recipe and pour it into a gallon size ziploc for easier freezing. You can lay it flat in the freezer. Be wary when serving these in double old fashioned glasses, as my husband did. Also, if you like a bourbon floater on the top, now is the time to add it just prior to serving. You can always adjust accordingly to make it stronger or lighter.
So we did our FIRST POP UP! @westelmprovidence (West Elm Providence) was amazing. We cannot thank the team there enough! Having a little Etsy shop by the sea and coming up to their lovely store on Wayland Avenue was a great experience!
A special shoutout to Lizz and Nicole! Thank you so much for all of the assistance and all of the great advice!
If you happen to come down to Newport, please check out Styled by Jenna in Washington Square who currently carries our pillows (13 Touro Street, Newport, RI 02840). Also check out her classes in Newport!
So I found out our family dog…is dying. Of a large tumor on her spleen. The vet has given her a week to a month to live. There are moments when I’m listening to the wind, the cars going by, staring at the clouds, liking the fact it has rained almost every day since I found out. I feel like someone above is crying with me too.
I adopted Peaches when she was 3. The day before Independence day. She was a happy but sad looking pup, she was heartworm positive, had a bit of kennel cough, and an ear infection. I saw how she was with my friend’s baby that day…and I was hooked. Despite everything else she was happy. She also bore the same tattoo as my number for one piece of my government issued equipment. All six digits. In the same order. It was fate.
I had never had a dog before--1) because we moved all the time 2) I was always gone as an adult. She was a whim. I went home on July 2…couldn’t get her sad puppy dog eyes out of my mind. I went back the next day and adopted her. Was I mad? Probably. Work was really tough since I was always gone and I had no family nearby. I needed her more than she probably needed me. I ended up being wrong. We all needed her.
I entered into a pact with my sister. Peaches was with her the day of the shooting at VT. Peaches was there on my wedding day. Peaches…she’s been the quiet constant that showed me the quiet side of love. She shows the side that no matter what there is something to be happy about. She’s the reason I volunteered at the Humane Society. Part of the reason we made leashes. She and Ida share a terrible likeness—cancer. It’s horrible to think, she doesn’t know. Everyday she’s going on walks, eating her food, getting belly rubs, and all the meanwhile this cruel disease is inside, destroying something I love. I know it happens to people. I sometimes wonder, if I didn’t know would that make it easier? Harder? What about with people? I also wonder, how is it I knew. I knew with both Ida and Peaches. I just knew. Something in their eyes. I seriously think when it is time, they want you to know. Almost a "Hey, just want to let you know, I hurt, but I'm still here."
Someone asked me if I now see what the purpose of a dog’s life is. I don’t think I can fit it into one heart or sentence or word…she’s loved by my neighbors who she runs across to greet, the other dogs she plays with, my family, my husband. She gets scared of thunder and tries to hide. She places her paw on your luggage when she doesn’t want you to go. I see her purpose—it’s really unconditional love, loyalty, and friendship. By your side, ride or die. So Peaches, I’m never going to be ready, and the selfish part of me wants you to live forever. In my heart, you will always be the best mistake I ever made on a whim. Something I did so right when everyone thought I was so wrong. Thank you for showing me you got through the heartworm treatment, kennel cough, ear infection…meanwhile I had laryngitis at the time. We were quite the pair in 2006. You’re a tough dog, who went through Katrina, who’s family left her, only to be adopted in my humble mind by a better family with so much love to give you.
Thank you for showing me your purpose. Thank you for showing me how to love and forgive. Thank you for keeping me company. I love you.
**UPDATE** On 6/5/2017 with heavy hearts Peaches had to be put down to rest. She almost made it to her 14th birthday which was 7/3 (I adopted her on 7/3/2006 at 3 years). Peaches, it's been a rough week, but I am so happy I got to see you one last time girl.
So we have been in the north now for some time. I traveled extensively working for probably some of the most recognizable folks in the USA. While traveling I often worked 12-16 hour days or nights…and depending what region of the world I was in I was expected to be ready to go pretty much within less than 24 hours. So needless to say, now I can share my advice, tips, and well, mistakes I have made (overpacking) and things I would do differently. Same with the better half...who has just led me to the roll and not fold stage...and trying to bring less makeup...and shoes...
So in terms of foreign countries: Argentina, Brazil (5x), Chile, the Caribbean (I’m lumping it together…Bahamas…), France, Italy, England, Iceland, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bali, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and the United Arab Emirates. The other (better half) well he’s done all the other spots in Europe where I’d like to see and Guam. Been to almost all 50 states.
So I’ll start with some unsolicited advice (the other half might have comments):
1) Always great to enroll in STEP when you travel overseas. Here’s what it does for you… you can receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans. The U.S. Embassy can contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or a family emergency. As a matter of fact, make sure you have the consulate/embassy number written down and also programmed into your phone.
If you only travel domestic--enroll in TSA Precheck. You’ll have to set up an appointment (same with Global), runs about $80. Global Entry is $100. Here’s the deal though. You don’t have to do both (at the time of this blog). Global Entry gives you a precheck number. You enter this Known Traveler Number in your airline reservation screen (I make sure mine is in there before a trip) and bam, prints on your tickets and you go to the Pre-check screening line. When you go through U.S. Customs overseas, you scan the Global Entry card or your U.S. passport and you are cleared to go through.
TSA Precheck: https://www.tsa.gov
2) Check your cell service BEFORE you go overseas. Now you can make calls over wifi. Also if you want to use Google maps while you are out and about download the area over wifi…then it will save it and you won’t have to burn data to get you from point A to B. Also be aware of the ever changing laptop and camera policy. It's gotten a little crazy out there, so pay attention and make sure you aren't traveling with your company trade secrets on a laptop. Might be worth asking for a separate laptop while you are away on business (if you frequently travel). Remember, no one will treat your valuables like you. At this point of writing this, no airline will ensure the safety of your laptop or camera. Yikes.
3) Invest in good luggage. I had cruddy luggage when I started my old job. I’ll tell you one trip from Miami to Chicago killed that bag. One. Trip. So visit the folks at Briggs and Riley. They back their product. No, it’s not cheap but I will tell you won’t be buying a bag from anywhere else! Briggs backs their products. The people are super friendly, they are in NJ, and I think an elephant should be used in their ads, because if you saw my bag one time I thought for sure it was the end. Nope. The geniuses at Briggs fixed it (and no, I’m not paid to endorse). If you are looking for a gift for someone, a good bag is a great one to give. Who doesn't love the gift of travel? If the airline damages it they will fix it FREE of charge! Then I envision they have a think tank of people and engineers to assess all the crazy stuff people do to your bag in transit and see how they can make their bags better. I know I need to upgrade, but my bags have been around the world with me. Also, for trips where we were doing planes, trains, and Uber…well, we (mainly because of my husband) recommend the North Face duffels or Helly Hansen or Patagonia Black Hole duffels. The old 90L Helly Hansen was legit because you can still lock your bag (remember TSA friendly lock). My new travel tote (when I don't have the need for the Briggs & Riley duffel) I can also use as a purse is the R.Riveter Grant bag. It's DEEP pockets let me store (if I wanted a laptop), Kindle, phone, water, cosmetics...the list goes on. It's made by military spouses and so made in AMERICA! I LOVE the pouches on the outside of this bag which make it easy to whip out my phone, a ticket, you name it. I'm currently debating the Otto Crossbody, since I really like a cross body bag when traveling.
Here are links to the two:
Briggs and Riley: These bags don't die. You will love them and then us for telling you!
Hello Hansen: (This is the OLD design, and while I wrote Helly they swear the new one is awesome, mine broke in two weeks. The OLD design also allows for lugguage locks) It also depends on the vendor you buy these from. I bought locally and they took it back and then I searched high and low for the old model.
R. Riveter: Check this company out (for the ladies, hoping there will be some men's products too! because why not?) for products made by military spouses! The bags are durable made from military grade materials. Best part? MADE IN AMERICA! So check out the Otto and Grant for travel. **Note**limited editions pop up so if you see it and like it, get it or it will be gone !
4) Check the CIA World Factbook. it’s an incredible wealth of information and Lonely Planet can only hook you up so much. Which leads me to my next statement…Also look at the CDC website. Make sure you are up to snuff on vaccinations. Malaria is no joke. Nor is rabies. Remember, if you can’t peel it don’t eat it. Be wary of ice, lettuce (that’s what got me—I was dying for green food after a month), fruit juices that aren’t pasteurized. Also pay attention to soft cheeses and dairy. I’m not saying don’t eat it, but know before you go. Listen to the medical experts on some things (no fish pedis in Bali! You know who you are!) beware certain mosquito borne viruses and check the CDC for vaccinations. Brazil for instance required yellow fever for entry into the country. I had the fortunate fact to travel with a doctor if things got bad in some spots, so I was really really lucky. In Bali I almost cracked my sterum surfing, luckily the doc traveling with us was amazing. I was lucky…it just stayed bruised.
CIA World Factbook:
CDC: https://www.cdc.gov (go to Traveler’s Health)
5) Get a travel book before you go. Know what your “Can’t miss” things are. For example in Bali I didn’t have a lot of down time since I was there for work and couldn’t venture too far (still had to work). I surfed the Indian Ocean (and almost broke my sterum), went looking for incredible wicker bags, lace…and most definitely Kopi Luwak coffee. I’m going to let you google that one. Review TripAdvisor, look at Expedia. Take some reviews with a grain of salt. They might have incentive so heed caution. People sometimes from our lovely country have some super HIGH expectations of other countries amentities. Keep your expectations reasonable.
6) Get a refillable water bottle. You’ll avoid paying crazy amounts for water at the airport. I am a fan of the S’well bottle because it can handle hot and cold. Also a fan of the Contigo mugs. They don’t spill if you tilt them upside down. Know before you go of safe water. If I can't drink the water I purposely put my bottle in the sink, pull the stopper and then I proceed with caution knowing mentally that "Oh yea, don't drink the water at 1am"
S'well: https://www.swellbottle.com (I prefer the larger for water and the smaller for coffee)
7) Pack a pair of underwear in your carryon, a t-shirt, and socks. If your bag is lost…you will thank me later that at least you can change into something clean. A light pair of pants is an added bonus if they fit in your carryon. Wear natural fabrics on the plane as much as you can and yes, closed toe shoes. If you have friends that were or are military pilots I guarantee they will tell you the same. If there is an emergency on the plane how far will you get in flip flops? Yes, it’s convenient for security if you don't have pre-check but if you have pre-check then you don’t need to even worry about that do you?
8) For the ladies, bring feminine products. I know it should be common sense but you would be surprised. In certain countries you just can’t get your hands on them. Also I travel with duct tape and quick clot. There are a lot of things you can do with these two. For other issues like a major gash, fall, or anything involving bleeding to resolve in the interim. You never know with travel these days. Isn't it better to be prepared?
9) Use those plastic bags from the dry cleaners for keeping your suit from wrinkling. Always roll! Don’t fold. And bring some dryer sheets for your dirty laundry. It will keep that bag from really being stinky. Eagle Creek makes some nice pouches you can sort your toiletries and wet stuff should you have to pack it. Also check out Sea to Summit for lightweight travel towels and gear. Also REI for miscellaneous gear.
Sea to Summit: http://www.seatosummitusa.com
Eagle Creek: shop.eaglecreek.com/packing-organizers-view-all/l/330
If you have any suggestions for any further suggestions let us know @allofyawl on instagram, here on the blog, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Heaven's sake why is the Porch ceiling Aqua, robin's egg blue, or teal? To keep the Haint's away!
Turquoise. Aqua. Sea Green. Teal. Robin's Egg. Ultramarine. Blue-green. Aquamarine. Haint Blue. Any variation I am obsessed with. The color of the ocean. Porch roofs in the south. Jewelry. The exciting places on a world globe. You name it, I love it. I like it in accents and combined with color to compliment as too much of a good thing can be overwhelming for my husband and myself (just look at @allofyawl on instagram and you can see what I mean...I see it everywhere!).
So I was on color psychology (who knew there is a psychology of color), to explain the reason why I might like it so much. Check it out...and maybe your favorite color is on here?
Turquoise a symbol of friendship and brings peace to the home and good fortune to the owner. The turquoise stone is believed to carry with it great truth and wisdom inside it. The turquoise gemstone is a stone that represents self-realization and is an aid in analytical thinking as well as creative energy. So I'm hoping with the creation of this store, and my love for this color--it proves to have some sort of success!
So why are the porch ceilings in the South (now some parts of the North are adopting this) painted blue?
According to this: "But many Southerners suggest that blue porch ceilings originated out of the fear of haints. Southerners, especially in the area of South Carolina, have a name for the ceiling paint used on porches – the soft blue-green is referred to as "Haint Blue."
'Haints are restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved on from their physical world,' says Sawaya.
Haint blue, which can also be found on door and window frames as well as porch ceilings, is intended to protect the homeowner from being "taken" or influenced by haints. It is said to protect the house and the occupants of the house from evil."
So next time anyone is wondering why you are painting those bits above the porch in this color, you can tell them to keep the Haint's away.
Now, I don't know if any of this applied to my wedding shoes being robin's egg blue http://heylady.co/product/at-tiffanys/ or my faux fireplace painted in Santa Fe Cece Caldwell chalk paint http://cececaldwells.com/product/santa-fe-turquoise/ (future post on how I did it, supplies you need, and how easy it really is to get something not back to black but to a cool, fun accent piece!), but hopefully I am keeping creative energy flowing and the evil haints away!
The Rambouillet Sheep...ah the French! The breed originates from the Spanish Merino sheep that were known for producing the finest wool in the world. At that time, the Spanish government banned the export of the breed, but the King of Spain finally granted 359 Rambouillet sheep to be given to France in 1786. The sheep landed in Rambouillet, France and quickly became a favorite.. The sheep were slowly introduced into Germany after the 18th century. Sheep from Germany and France, now known as Rambouillet Sheep, then found there way to America in 1840. Since then the Rambouillet have become the backbone of the American sheep industry, particularly in the Western US.
Rambler's Way: www.ramblersway.com
Tom of Maine, is now the Tom of Awesome Made in the USA clothes! From Kennebunk, Maine...and you know the name, "Tom's Of Maine" the toothpaste? Yes? No? Well if you don't he sold it and this is what he is up to. If you want the same type of yarn that makes up your knot pillows. Rambouillet is it!
"He researched various fibers: cotton absorbs moisture and feels heavy; silk too is absorbent and feels chilly when wet; Propylene and Capilene stink after their first use. Wool, however, wicks away moisture, kills the germs that cause body odor, and insulates your body from both hot and cold. Maybe those sheep in Wales were onto something after all… but wool is heavy and itchy, right? Could wool be made skin soft and lightweight?"
119 Main St
Kennebunk, Maine 04043
+1 (888) rwf-wool
It feels like luxury cotton but has all the wonderful qualities of wool. So when choosing my fabric to make my pillows that is why I chose wool. I don't want to spend all that time knotting, sewing, cutting, and not know that my fabric isn't coming from a good place for you or your family. I put a lot of work into it and fabric is one thing if you dedicate your time to a project, especially something you value, you have to value the fabric!
"...The fruit of gumball trees are spiky round balls that are 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. They resemble the top of a medieval mace weapon and are painful when stepped on with bare feet. The fruit starts off as green and turns brown by the time it falls to the ground. Frequent raking may be necessary to keep lawns clear of fruit from large trees. Gardeners who do not want to the spiny fruit of the tree can purchase a fruitless round-lobed cultivar, Liquidambar styraciflua “Rotundiloba,” from nurseries." Courtesy of http://homeguides.sfgate.com/gumball-tree-39532.html
Sweet Gum Trees Aren't So Sweet:
Or this article:
"The Most Dangerous tree in the Suburbs"
So you can imagine these pack real nice into a snowball. Combining the best of the south, and the snow from the north :) Who doesn't love a name that sounds sweet but really is a medieval mace weapon designed to sprain your ankle walking out the door?
So I set out with the intention of a run today since it was an unusually nice New England afternoon. Then I got to thinking with the long shadows of winter fading and with the first days of spring it was a great day to take some photos, enjoy a cup of joe, and just bask in a little sun. It was also a great day to reminisce.
Farewell Street is part of the main thoroughfare you encounter coming into Newport, Rhode Island. I try to walk or bike everywhere here in the summer...and when I can in the "off season" (aka minimal tourists and decent weather). It's the home to the Jewish Cemetery...the Island Cemetery...and the Common Burying Ground. I have listed some links below to check out and read about all the history we have packed in here.
The "Common Ground," is the oldest public cemetery in Newport. It was laid out about 1665. You have Ida Lewis, the famous Newport lighthouse heroine and William Ellery the signer of the Declaration of Independence, the graves of our early merchants, old sea captains, and war heroes. Within this cemetery is "God's Little Acre", which is the Colonial African Burial Ground. It is one of the oldest and largest colonial African burial grounds in the United States. Dating from the late 1600s, “God’s Little Acre” offers insight into the lives of enslaved and free Africans in the early colonial times.
The Island Cemetery (for those not familiar with Newport, it is located on Aquidneck Island), was established by the city in 1836, and transferred to the private Island Cemetery Corporation in 1848. Notable people buried there include Medal of Honor recipient Hazard Stevens, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, Commodore Matthew C. Perry and financier August Belmont. Last year in 2016 they opened up the Belmont Chapel and we got a sneak peek into the interior and the work being done to restore it.
This is definitely worth a visit while you visit Newport, not only to appreciate the past but just for a stroll to see all the people who fought for our independence in the colonial times, slaves who bought their freedom, and folks that were artists, architects, and founders of this great country of ours.
Newport Historical Society:
Common Ground and Island Cemetery in Newport:
"God's Little Acre"
So I love Palm Springs. There I said it. It's in a time warp of that mid century modern with bright turquoise. Orange. Yellow. Pinks. Peach. It's not afraid of being kitschy and cool. It's the place to wear a bright orange swimsuit Esther Williams style and a nice floppy hat. It's everything a girl could want in the freezing north to take a break to the left coast west coast. March seems as good of time as any. Now that there is an excuse to have friends on that coast, it might be in the makings for another trip. There's a couple of shops I have to hit when I am there. It is in no particular order. There are definitely more, but this is a start...
1) Just Modern: the mod is out of control here. I mean it's like two women sat down and said "let's revisit the 60s and make this as bright as possible with a funky vibe." As a matter of fact they have a picture I would love to hang a wall big enough to hang of exactly that. Two women chillin' by the desert oasis, cocktails I'm sure at the ready. I highly recommend the postcard set for $19.99 of 100 repro old postcards that you can change out into small frames in your house for that bit of Palm Springs when there is 12" of snow outside. I mean you can even trick your dog out here with his or her own Airstream!
Location: 901 N Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
2) Ernest Coffee: This place is no joke on the coffee. You want an am coffee booze drink? This is YOUR place. They are right on their website--look for the Tiki torches and you will find Ernest Coffee. Also home to Bootlegger Tiki, stiff and fruity drinks.
Location: 1101 North Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
(Street parking available with additional parking in the rear off Camino Del Corte)
3) Great Shakes: I think I am becoming lactose intolerant, but this place makes HOMEMADE salted caramel...puts a mini doughnut on your milkshake...and makes flavors you will say, yum! I had the lemon, lavender, and blueberry. You will die in milkshake heaven.
Location: 160 South Palm Canyon Drive, Suite A, Palm Springs, CA 92262
4) The Thursday night Palm Springs Village Fest: I found a set of earrings and necklace made from coffee beans. Really cool. A lot of handmade finds by local artisans.
Location: Downtown Palm Springs Thursday nights, 6pm-10pm
5) Who's Next?: A bit of France's St. Tropez in downtown. I love the thebodyb.com bottle covers and the $18 acrylic scarves great for a "warm" Northeast night or a "cool" Southern one.
Location: 184 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
6) Shields Date Farm: I am a known date-a-holic. I have converted my husband as well. I brought them back from Palm Springs and I brought them back from Abu Dhabi. Have you ever really thought to how dates are produced? Trust me once you find out those little gooey nuggets will have you thinking, "wow, that is some serious dedication!" Nerd out and read about it. It is truly an agricultural marvel and you won't look at those little caramel nuggets the same! http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/06/10/320346869/forbidding-fruit-how-america-got-turned-on-to-the-date
Rumor is the cafe is great, I just never had time to go.
Location: 80-225 U.S. Highway 111, Indio, CA 92201-6599
Mail Order: (800) 414-2555 or (760) 347-0996 Café: (760) 775-0902
7) The Shops at El Paseo: People gawking, people walking...stores, stores, and stores.
Location: Located on El Paseo in Palm Desert, CA on El Paseo, Between Hwy. 74/Monterey and Sage
8) Sightsee! Going for a drive, picking lemons, picking grapefruit...you won't regret it. So I will say I don't know what is about the lemons and the grapefruit in Palm Springs, but they have a sweet zest and no bite. Perfect for a great glass of homemade iced tea. I never did the aerial tramway, since it was $25, but I'm sure the views are quite wonderful and worth it. The houses are amazing, the landscaping, artwork, furniture, you name it!
L'Atelier Cafe: France in CA. The quiche is flaky, eggy, and filling. For $6.95, your hips might lie to you after.
Townie Bagels: How can you not love a place that values it's townies?
10: The Airport: I will very rarely if EVER say an airport is awesome. This one might not be great in bad rain or heavy wind, but touche to Palm Springs for designing it with the automatic vacation mode even if you are headed there for work or pleasure.