Archives for posts with tag: Travel

I’m sharing this post for the next time I head to London!

roam & home

Where in the world do you begin with a list for London, so many places, so little time. It has been a few years since I last visited and I am eager to return. I am headed there for two reasons: 1] I will be attending the Chowzter 2014 ‘Tastiest Fast Feasts in the World Awards’ & they have a fantastic 3 day line-up of events [see post below]; 2] I have added on a few days to spend with a good friend eating & drinking our way past & sometimes visiting London icons. Here is my list so far, lots of good stuff by Passport Delicious who lived in & truly loves London. Check out all the places that I have mapped on Bon Voyaging.

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  • Gymkhana – spied this in a magazine, sounds amazing, indian food, room looks lovely
  • Benares – I am sensing a theme – Indian – Michelin…

View original post 623 more words

Post image for 8 Things To Do Alone… For A ChangeThe idea of solitude has a somber ring to it; the thought of being alone can bring about memories touched with lonely sadness, while thoughts of being surrounded by others can bring memories of joy. But solitude, like all things, truly depends on the way you look at it. 

I, for one, absolutely love being alone. Some of the best times I’ve had are ones where I’ve been in no one else’s company but my own. I always enjoy hanging out with myself at home, and I equally love going shopping alone. I find that I’m productive and relaxed… and I always make sure to remain just as silly as when I’m with others.

There are certain activities, though, that I would never dream of doing alone. Sure, some things are just more fun with others by my side, but maybe sometimes I want those people to be there partly because the idea of them not being there… scares me. I fear I won’t know what to do when I’m there by myself (wherever that “there” may be). I fear I’ll have a question and I’ll be forced to ask an unfamiliar face. I fear that others will see me and think, “What’s wrong with that girl? Why is she here by herself?”

But you know what? Please pardon my language, but those fears are complete and total bullshit. Truly. I won’t know what to do when I’m there by myself? I’m a pretty smart girl. I’m sure I can figure it out. I’ll have a question and I have to ask an unfamiliar face? Great! Where’s the problem there? Meeting new people is healthy thing to do. People are just people, just as you and I are. People will think there’s something wrong with me? They’ll question why I’m alone? Well, I mean, maybe one or two will wonder why I’m alone, but I have a feeling the conclusion they come to will have nothing to do with there being something wrong with me. And if it does… why should I care? I’ll never even know! Am I really worried about a thought that a person I don’t knowMIGHT have? Silliness. Pure silliness. Madness, even.

Yet I’m sure I’m not alone in these worries. If you’re with me, let’s do something about it. Together… yet separately. I challenge you to go somewhere alone. Somewhere you’ve never before dreamt of going alone. Go. Just go. Even if it’s for four and a half minutes. Do it. You might just find out you like it better that way.

Drive

Go for a drive. Grab your film camera and take yourself for a scenic drive, with no destination in sight. Roll down the windows, blast that song again and again, and truly experience the freedom you’ve been given. Stop often, or not at all. If something you see sparks your interest, pull over. Maybe it’s a retro-looking diner up ahead, or a field of flowers you spot in the distance. Go there, be there, and take it all in.

Cafe

Hang out at a cafe. You know that cafe, the one with an atmosphere so cozy you could just live in it. Go there, sans computer. Bring a book or some watercolors , bring your headphones… or not. Sip slowly, taking in not just the beautiful flavor and aroma, but also the warm, calming energy around you. Allow yourself to sink into that perfectly worn-in cushion, and stay all afternoon.

Book on ladder

Relax at the library. Choose the oldest looking fiction book you can find, and open it midway. Sit on the floor, crossed-legged, between two bookcases. Maybe even take your shoes off. Start reading and don’t stop. Make up the first half of the book in your mind. Pretend you’re one of the characters. Feel her emotions. Experience her experiences. Cry if you need to. Allow yourself to get lost in the world that exists on those pages before your eyes

Garlic painting

Wander through a museum. It could be an old favorite, or one you’ve never before experienced. In either case, go with a fresh perspective. Seek to learn something new and to be inspired to think, make, or do in a brand new way. Don’t feel the need to visit every room or stay for a certain amount of time. Go to experience it as it comes, and when you come to a point where you feel fulfilled, head on home.

Jeffery Campbell heels on towel

Treat yourself to a fancy meal. Get dressed up for a date with no one but yourself. Feel confident, and go. Order something you can’t pronounce. Save room for dessert. Take every bite as if it were your first. Learn your waiter’s name. When you say “thank you,” mean it. Feel gratitude for all of those who partook in making this meal possible, from the person who planted that tomato seed that became part of your salad, all the way to the one who delivered the chair on which you sit. Marvel at the incredible skills possessed by each of those people, and then marvel at all of your own.

Blood Orange Purple

Go to a show. Music is a powerful thing. Choose a band that you know will make you feel something. Go alone and ready to dance. Close your eyes, let the beautiful vibrations move you, internally and externally. Make a new friend, just for the night. Leave feeling refreshed and full of positivity.

Painting, crochet

Take an art class. Be it painting, pottery, improv, or anything else, put yourself in a situation that teaches you to harness your creativity in new ways. Use your hands, your eyes, your brain, and your soul. Let creative energy flow through you, and express it in ways you never thought possible. Let it in, let it out, and never think twice about it.

Popcorn on black

See a movie. Get a huge bucket of popcorn (or sneak in your own). Get there early. Find the best seat. Watch every preview. Look around from time to time, at this room filled with strangers who are all sharing a similar experience at once. Feel comfort in this sense of community, as you all laugh and cry together. Realize that, while you may be by yourself, you’re certainly not alone.

What will you venture off to do on your own?

Source: Inspiration: 8 Things To Do Alone… For A Change | Free People Blog http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/02/change-2/#ixzz2uiEMACcF

From PureWow….

 

PUMP-UP GUIDE

 

30 Reasons to get excited for 2014

 

  • January
  • 1/1 | The Affordable Care Act goes into effect. Guaranteed maternity coverage for all!
  • 1/5 | Downton Abbey Season 4 premieres on PBS. Lady Edith, we really think 1922 is going to be your year.
  • 1/13 | The buzz of the 2014 North American International Auto Show will be driverless vehicles, or cars that take over steering in tricky, congested situations.

  • February
  • 2/7 | The Winter Olympics kicks off in Sochi, Russia. Did you know that a 150-pound male figure skater can land a jump with the force of a 1,000-pound baby elephant?
  • 2/14 | The return of House of Cards on Netflix. Women everywhere wonder if they can pull off the Robin Wright pixie cut.
  • Nicolas Ghesquière for Louis Vuitton. Marc Jacobs is out, and the former Balenciaga designer is in. We’ve got our eye on him for Paris Fashion Week.
  • March
  • 3/2 | Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Oscars. Seth MacFarlane watches
    at home…alone.
  • The sleek, low ponytail: Your 2014
    go-to hairstyle.
  • April
  • Kate Moss’s Topshop collaboration hits stores. Fingers crossed it channels the ’90s blasé-grunge aesthetic (not the ’90s butterfly-clip aesthetic).
  • 4/22 | Neil Patrick Harris returns to Broadway to star in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. We always knew he was born to wear glitter eyeliner and a wig.
  • May
  • 5/6 | Food writer Ruth Reichl’s first novel, Delicious!, hits shelves. We’re hungry just thinking about it.
  • Four words: herb-infused ice cubes. (Think strawberry-basil and hibiscus-mint.)
  • All hail the boxy shift blouse. From Cynthia Rowley to Calvin Klein, this style was all over the spring ’14 runway. Pair with high-waisted pants to avoid showing the world your belly button.
  • June
  • 6/6 | Best-selling YA book The Fault in Our Stars gets the cinematic treatment. See it with your teenaged niece and sob the entire time.
  • 6/12 | Brazil hosts the World Cup. Americans claim to like soccer for 3.6 days.
  • July
  • The dessert of summer is the high-end ice cream sandwich. Coconut macaron with mango sorbet filling? Yes, please.
  • Our sources tell us that Adele’s new album–a.k.a. the sound track to everybody’s next breakup–is coming in July.
  • Get ready for Coin, a razor-thin, swipe-able piece of plastic that stores all of your credit cards in one place.
  • August
  • Gochujang (Korean fermented dipping sauce) is the new summer grill marinade.
  • High-Intensity Interval Training is the new CrossFit (which was the new Zumba).
  • Everyone who’s anyone will be vacationing in Macedonia.
  • SEPTEMBER
  • The USDA’s “Smart Snacks in School” law goes into effect, banning energy drinks and candy from public-school vending machines.
  • 9/25 | Girls fans line up to snag Lena Dunham’s essay collection, Not That Kind of Girl. Will it be worth the $3.7 million advance?
  • Hooray for bucket bags!

    More swingy in nature, this trendy purse is smaller than your average tote and offers the strap of a cross-body.

  • OCTOBER
  • 10/3 | OMG, Gone Girl is a movie. And OMG, it stars Ben Affleck.
  • Tina Fey returns to television–well, writing for television at least–with a new comedy about a woman who escapes from a doomsday cult. We’re already working on our night cheese.
  • NOVEMBER
  • We’re betting that Apple’s mysterious iWatch will be released before the holidays. Think Google Glass meets Fitbit meets your old-school Casio.
  • 11/4 | The midterm elections are here! Is a House/Senate changeover indicative of 2016? And which Fox News anchor will have an on-camera meltdown?

  • DECEMBER
  • Fewer men will suffer from cold heads this winter. Why? The FDA’s pending approval of a new cure for baldness.

  • 12/25 | It’s a hard-knock life once again, thanks to the long-awaited Annie remake starring Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and the unpronounceably named child actress, Quvenzhané Wallis.

 

From the wonderful Hip Paris blog…

The Other Side of Montmartre: Coffee, Food and Shopping Off the Beaten Path

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi

Paris’ 18th arrondissement, to the north of the city, is a vast and varied area, encompassing some of the most affluent enclaves (right up at the top of the hill) and some of the shadiest (La Goutte d’Or), as well as one of the city’s most frequented tourist spots — Le Sacre Coeur and the surrounding streets and squares in Montmartre.

HiP Paris Blog, www.larallonge.fr, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

But slightly off the beaten track is the more unassuming part of this neighborhood: the residential area in the foothills of Montmartre, extending from the arrondissement’s town hall – where I happen to have lived for the best part of a decade – which is well worth the detour to discover the lesser known shops, restaurants and more that the guide-book clutching hoards are yet to discover.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up 8

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round UpManufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Here is a selection of my favorite new and newish places that look set to make this part of the 18th a destination on any discerning visitor or local’s itinerary. Food in the area ranges from a quick bite and coffee right up to fine French dining.

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, photo by Keith Isaacs of Forms+Colors, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi (Keith Isaacs)

The recent arrival of Café Lomi (3 ter Rue Marcadet, 75018 Paris), a serious coffee joint that roasts its own beans and hosts tasting sessions, brought much joy to local laptop-wielding freelancers who now regularly set up shop at one of the wooden tables in the cosy yet spacious café to enjoy superlative coffee, delicious scones and a selection of light lunch and brunch options (such as quiche and salad) whilst taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi access and laidback welcome.

HiP Paris Blog, Café Lomi, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Bululu, Montmartre Round Up

Café Lomi (above)/ Bululu

Another relaxed – and cheap – place to grab a bite in the area is Bululu (20 Rue de la Fontaine du But, 75018), serving freshly made arepas, a Venezuelan sandwich made from gluten-free flatbread and filled with yummy delights such as avocado, beans and cheese, served with ice cold beer and banana chips.

HiP Paris Blog, Table d Eugene, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Table d Eugene, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up 2

Table d Eugene (Kim Laidlaw)

On the other end of the scale is Table d’Eugène (18 Rue Eugène Sue, 75018), the freshly revamped gastronomic restaurant where you can eat a three-course fixed-price menu of French haute cuisine for the incredibly reasonable price of just €52.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Chef Geoffroy Maillard, formerly of Le Bristol, creates inspired seasonal dishes such as lobster with vanilla, chestnuts and mushrooms, matched with carefully sourced, independently-produced wines, all savored in this intimate restaurant tastefully decorated in soothing tones of chocolate and white.

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

From the same team comes the recently opened wine and tapas bar La Rallonge (16 Rue Eugène Sue, 75018), just a few doors up from Table d’Eugène, serving the same excellent wines as well as a selection of small plates to share, all anchored around the high quality of individual ingredients, including Serrano ham croquettes with onions and béchamel, or truffle risotto, as well as cheese and charcuterie platters showcasing delicacies such as bellota, coppa and manchego.

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up 2

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

This part of town is also a real gold mine for independent boutiques, including the charming Manufacture Parisienne (93 rue Marcadet, 75018) that seems to have jumped out of the pages of a fairy tale.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

The almost entirely white space sells an array of artisan-made wares and gifts for children, adults and the home, sourced from family-run businesses and companies clinging to their savoir-faire, and often produced in limited editions especially for the shop. Every six weeks there is a new theme (Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween…) and the stock and the décor change, and a new little box of goodies (including, for example, stationary, a book, sweets) in keeping with the theme goes on sale.

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Manufacture Parisienne (Kim Laidlaw)

Another new boutique is Maison Nordik (159 Rue Marcadet, 75018), set up by a young French-Danish couple, selling vintage mid-century modern Scandinavian furniture in excellent condition sourced directly from Denmark in a spacious 100m2 two-level shop. Just up the hill, eccentric French brand Atypyk (17 rue Lambert, 75018) sells quirky and humorous knick knacks ranging from a cheese-shaped dish sponge to an “R.Mutt” sticker to turn your loo into a Duchamp-inspired work of art.

HiP Paris Blog, Maison Nordik, Manufacture Parisienne, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Maison Nordik, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up 4

Maison Nordik & Manufacture Parisienne (above) / Maison Nordik (Kim Laidlaw)

Les Mauvaises Graines (25 Rue Custine, 75018) is an incredibly stylish plant shop – or indeed “urban gardening concept store”, as it calls itself – selling framed butterflies, vases and candles alongside ready made potted gardens to take away, and beautiful plants grown in the Paris region without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

HiP Paris Blog, Les Mauvaises Graines, Montmartre Round Up

HiP Paris Blog, Les Mauvaises Graines, Montmartre Round Up

Les Mauvaises Graines

 

Another recent addition to this side of Montmartre is the completely renovated 1920s building that is the Louxor cinema (170 Boulevard de Magenta, 75010), complete with its impressive mosaicked neo-Egyptian architecture, which reopened in April 2013 after 20 years of closure. The vast movie theatre houses three screens, one of which has a ceiling painted with a night-sky mural in the style of an Egyptian tomb, and specializes in art house films.

HiP Paris Blog, La Rallonge, Montmartre Round Up

La Rallonge

These new and/or revamped delights, together with an authentic, neighborhood charm and so many other wonderful fixtures that I don’t have the space to mention, make this part of the 18th arrondissement a worthwhile, up-and-coming (and yet to be overrun) destination in Paris for shoppers, foodies, coffee addicts and culture lovers alike. I look forward to bumping in to you there, sometime.

HiP Paris Blog, Maison Nordik, Kim Laidlaw, Montmartre Round Up

Maison Nordik (Kim Laidlaw)

Related links:

  • Ylenia takes us on a stroll around Montmartre, which just happens to be one of her favorite neighborhoods
  • Want to see more of the cozy Café Lomi? Paris Select has also payed a visit to the coffee gem
  • Don’t miss Thomas article for the HiP Paris blog about Centre Commercial, another great shopping spot in Paris

Volkswagen Microbus 2014 Price and Release Date | LATESCAR.

I am reblogging this post since I’m off to the National Pop Culture conference in April 2014…can’t wait to visit Chicago again! If anyone has other suggestions, send them my way…

roam & home

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Here is our take on our favorite haunts in the Lincoln Park & Lakeview neighborhoods. It is just our 2 cents on what we think you should put on the EAT | SEE | STAY list. Have fun exploring our handsome city.
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We love these hilarious banners. Check them all out over here.

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  • Alinea – It will send you home broke – but the guy is a genius. Fine-dining, so wear something fancy and be prepared to be blown away. It’s art on a plate. [R&H review]
  • Balena – Great italian food from wood fire oven thin crust pizza to pasta to , a great bar, and the interior is spot on [R&H review].
  • Bar Pastorl  – When a cheese shop that sold wine turns into a bar – perfection.
  • Browntrout – BYOB sustainable dining. The cheese plate rocks it for me : )
  • Chez Moi

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eclairsparis

I found these lovely articles about eclairs in Paris from the blogs “Lost in Cheeseland”  and “the hip Paris blog”, which I will share momentarily, but what got to me was the fact that even the Parisians, who are known for doing things a particular way, have taken off down the American path of derivatives…you can’t just have a donut, it has to be a cronut, or a Monut, or some fancy jacked up flavor, like chocolate chai.  Now the Parisians are doing the same thing with eclairs, and I’m really not sure I’m ready for such a seismic shift in culture, nor a yuzu flavored sweet…

We Americans have been practicing the craft of derivatives for a very long time (Baskin Robbins 31 flavors anyone?) but the French…mais non!! How do you feel about this overabundance of choice?

The New Wave of Eclairs in Paris

 

eclair de genie

 

French pastry remains a fierce object of fascination but these days, more for the ways in which it breaks with convention than its storied past.  The most iconic in this vast spectrum is unequivocally the éclair, firmly anchored in the national consciousness and a consummate favorite among children and adults alike.

Despite its status as the most preferred pastry among French gourmands, the éclair has rarely inspired the imaginations of pastry chefs who have long perceived its simple form too limiting. But that’s beginning to change with the arrival of two shops entirely devoted to the cream-puff pastry, prepared to usher it into the canons of contemporary French pâtisserie.

L’Eclair de Génie plays up the éclair as an epoch-defining work of art in a concept-store environment (and has since its founder Christophe Adam was revolutionizing the pastry for Fauchon) while L’Atelier de l’Eclair introduces a savory form of the classic treat in addition to their many sweet iterations.

wrote about both for En Route Magazine (Air Canada) but what I didn’t mention was my personal favorite. By dint of crafting each éclair by hand, irregularities in the shells are noticeable at L’Atelier de l’Eclair and they’re fiercely proud of their artisanal approach, which I love. But Christophe Adam’s prowess in aesthetic, flavor and form trumps all of pastry chef Loïc Bret‘s creations. Flavors change with the seasons, like a fashion collection, but a two regulars get my vote: Madagascar Vanilla topped with toasted pecans and Yuzu Lemon.

Read more about the two and decide for yourself on your next visit to Paris! Click HERE to read my article on En Route.

And from the Hip Paris blog, read about a smackdown between the two revered eclair shops mentioned above…

HiP-Paris-Blog-Carin-Olsson-Éclairs-1

 

What do you think on the topic? Like it, hate it, can’t decide?