Tag Archive: food

Trip. Trip.

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In the middle of the health saga, I got an email from my youngest brother, Matt, that simply said,

“I think you need a trip”

I knew instantly he was right. Traveling has always been a great source of inspiration, reflection, and plain old happiness for me. I hadn’t had much of that lately and it was time to schedule something to forward to. I clicked on the accompanying travel deal link he’d sent and turned to my friend/co-worker, Sullivan, sitting next to me. All it took was, “Want to go to Ireland?” and before long, we were off.

I don’t delude myself into thinking anyone wants a play-by-play of our vacation. Instead, I’ll give you short highlights from our three cities.

Dublin

Overall Impression: I found Dublin friendly and spirited. It was exactly how I pictured it in the best way- rolling green hills, live music, and cobblestone streets.

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My Favorite Thing: The pubs! If only the bars here were half as fun as the ones in Ireland….

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Amsterdam

Overall Impression: It’s a large, busy city with tall beautiful buildings and adorable house-lined canals everywhere you turn.

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My Favorite Thing: I loved the vibe in the city. It feels modern and open-minded. I was thankful for the escape and chance to ask myself why I think a certain way or do certain things.

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Copenhagen

Overall Impression: Charming and upscale. They spare no expense in Copenhagen! They burn candles at the table, set out fresh flowers, and wear real furs. The food is made with the same touch and tastes incredible.

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My Favorite Thing: This meal. Smorrebrod: An open face sandwich paired with homemade schnapps.

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Also, biking through the city.

 

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Overall, if I had to pick one favorite spot from the trip it would be the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Standing on the edge gave me exactly the feeling I flew thousands of miles to experience.

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Since it was winter we had the cliffs all to ourselves. Sure. We were covered in rain, but it was totally worth it.  I highly recommend traveling in December over July.

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Aside from skipping the crowds, you get to see all kinds of Christmas Spirit! It’s unreal.

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 Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

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 Amsterdam

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Dublin

I had such a blast with Sullivan. We turned to each other on several occasions and said, “Is this real life?!”

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I wouldn’t change a thing.

 

 


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They Draw & Cook

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Trying new recipes has been an unexpected benefit of my new health kick. While looking for yesterday’s dinner, I came across this adorable site and wanted to share. They Draw & Cook is the largest collection of illustrated recipes from all over the world. Have a look and let me know if you try any (especially that lemon cake I can’t have at the moment).


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My Birthday Thanks List

10
22
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I celebrated another year this weekend, and while you might be expecting to read a bitter lament, my feelings about the whole deal are quite the opposite. I came to the conclusion that birthdays are funny because right when you are in the midst of celebrating your own life, you are forced to think about the things you want but don’t have. What do you want for a gift? What do you spend your check from grandpa on? What do you wish when you blow out the candles? Did last year’s wish come true? Apparently I’ve had a good birthday list in proper order for a while:

I ain’t saying she’s a gold digger

But this year I didn’t a have wish list.  Heading into the festivities I felt an overwhelming sense that my life is really great simply because I am loved by an incredible family and group of amazing friends. They really are all I need or could ask for.

This birthday post came at an ideal time because I’ve been struggling to find a way to integrate joy into my blog without coming across as braggy or boring. There are tons of bright spots that I keep to myself figuring you’d all prefer to read about my funny mishaps or struggles. But my ultimate goal isn’t to make you laugh. It’s to be honest with you. And if I am to paint an accurate picture, I must include the parts that show I’m one of the luckiest girls in the world and I have a lot to be grateful for. Love comes from all kinds of sources and I have far more than I deserve. So this year, instead of a wish list, I decided to do a “Thanks List”. Here are a few things that made the list just from the weekend:

1. Lexie brought me balloons to our small group. I had no idea helium balloons could make the adult me so happy but they did!

2. I Skyped my little brother Matt in South Africa. I miss him dearly! He’s working with an orginazation called Aleph. Give them a look.

3. My grandma made me a special birthday breakfast complete with a game of cards:)

4. I can’t tell you the last time I had a birthday party as I tend to opt for a quiet evening with a few friends at a restaurant. But this year I got it in my head that I wanted an outdoor fall dinner party. You should know that when I get something in my head I tend to make it happen. This has been the source of some of my worst days- convincing my friend’s mom to perm just my bangs in 5th grade. The result was faux-pubic hair on my forehead, and my best days- this past Saturday.

It was the perfect evening thanks to the help of many. My friend Christine worked tirelessly all day helping arrange and clean. My older brother Tim spent his entire Saturday stringing lights and getting his backyard ready (plus he made those benches b/c he’s cool like that). My mom shopped and ran errands the whole day before and lent me all her pretty entertaining supplies (remember, I have not had the coveted pleasure of registering for real cookware yet and own next to nothing). People brought food and my friend Morgan did all the table decorating and planning! She has a great sense of space (that also happens to be the name of her business) and a true eye for beauty. The end result was a magical night with good friends over delicious wine and food. It was everything I had dreamed in my head and more!

5. And if I weren’t already blessed enough, I still got my quiet dinner. My parents took my siblings and me out for a special meal to wrap up the weekend. We had a wonderful time and there were happy tears and laughter. The tears were my brother Mark‘s. He is a big time crier. We also ate more delicious food which has now caused me to start P90X for the first time. Consider yourselves my world-wide web of accountability. Maybe if I tell you I’ll actually do it.

6. On my actual birthday I gave a talk to our Young Adult’s group at church about how much I love Jesus and what He has been up to in my life. It was the perfect reminder that He loves me and I’m never alone. I felt like it was His way of celebrating the day with me.

7. I had a good hair day at my party. So did Morgan. Here we are, sans bangs disaster, looking very posey in front of her pretty pumpkin and floral creation.

8. T. Swift’s album Red released! Seriously, I think we live parallel lives (minus her success, famous boyfriends, and millions of dollars. Did you know she is dating a Kennedy? That’s like our version of royalty, making her the new Kate Middleton (whom I love).  Taylor says exactly what is in my head… Which could indicate a problem because she might be 22…


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