Haven in Paris

Have any of your heard of Have in Paris? HIP provides short-term vacation rentals in France, England and Tuscany. I discovered this website a couple of months ago and like to visit it occasionally to plan my dream vacation when the weather is particularly dreary out here in NJ.  The villas (le sigh) and apartments are so beautiful, and the locations are stellar. I love the idea of being able to wake up in the morning in a little Parisian apartment to a view of Montmartre and Sacre Coeur.

Summer, could you please hurry up and get here?



Come Away With Me: New York

As I mentioned last week my best friend Stephanie is coming to town at the end of next month, and we are planning on going to New York… So here are some of the things that I’m looking forward to.

The Fashion! I love going too elle.com to look at the Street Chic: New York






There is a kind of quirky chicness about all of these women, that I find absolutely disarming. I’m sure that I will try on everything in my closet and hate it all when we go, but perhaps I’ll get some style inspiration after going.

I know it’s completely cliched, but I am looking forward to seeing The Empire State Building, is that completely lame? I’m not sure.. But I’ll blame An Affair to Remember.

Tres romantique, non? I don’t think I actually want to go up, but I do want to see it.

I really want to find The Dessert Truck, any sort of sweet with bacon creme anglaise is good in my book.

And that is all I have for now. Tune in next Thursday for my New York trip plans.



Come Away With Me

At the end of next month my good friend Stephanie is coming out to Jersey to SEE ME (pause for happy dance)!!! We are planning on going to Philly, since I live so close, and also to New York. I haven’t been before (this kills me because we live SO CLOSE), so I don’t know what is good to see aside from the obvious things.  For those of you who have been there, or live there, what should we do? Where is the good shopping? What about good restaurants?


I hope to hear from you soon..



D.C. Loving

There is something so delicious about seeing a new place for the first time.  The elation of stepping off the metro (my first metro ride!), riding up the escalator and walking onto the crowded D.C. streets, was breath-taking.  Energy and purpose pulsated in the air, as joggers  blew past me, and men and women in power suits  walked briskly by, brief cases in hand.  I loved the FASHION! Everywhere I looked there were a number of stylish ladies and dapper men. It’s really too bad that there’s no non-creepy way to take pictures of people that you encounter on the street. For example: I saw this gorgeous woman wearing an equestrian style hat like the one pictures below, minus the strap that blew my mind! Tres Chic!

But I digress, For the first many twenty minutes I was deaf to my husband, sister-and-brother-in-law’s (they came with us to D.C. in celebration of my birthday) comments and questions about the city, as I unashamedly, and in true tourist style grinned like a fool and snapped iPhone pictures like a mad-woman every time I saw something that I thought was beautiful, or interesting (which was, let’s face it- everything).  Everywhere I looked, there were interesting eateries, and shops. I didn’t see any chain restaurants!  You might as well know now that I cannot stand chain restaurants.  I know know, I’m a food snob, but it can’t be helped. I like to support small and local businesses that use fresh local ingredients, and have revolving (and delicious) menus according to the season…. You get it.

And the buildings! Oh my god, the buildings were to die for.  Something you should know about me: I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, a beautiful dessert place, with a population probably around 500,000 people.  There are not a lot in the way of tall buildings, or classic architecture, and so to see gorgeous examples of it all around and above me blew my mind.

Here are a few pictures of what I saw (I apologize in advance for the crapiness of my iPhone photos):

Here I am with my husby Brendan, on my first-ever Metro ride

We’re a bit goofy…

Here are some of my first views of D.C.

Does anyone else want meatballs? I know I do…

Above is the National Archives

The White House, and The Mall- under construction due to the reflective pool sinking… I guess that’s what happens when you build something on top of a swamp!

And below here is Brendan, and my brother and sister-in-laws, Sam and Garret walking to The National Museum of American History!

I have to say that going to The National Museum of American History was one of my favorite things.  There were so many things to see there, Dorothy’s ruby slippers, the American flag that inspired Francis Scott Key’s song, our national anthem- which I found very moving.  They also had some of the original Muppets!

Sorry.. I know the picture quality stinks..But it’s Kermy!!!! BTdubs, has everyone seen “The Muppet Movie?” It was so so good.

We also got to see the gowns of the first ladies of The United States- which was a favorite  of mine.  Since all my pictures were poor quality, I have found a few pictures of my favorite from online..

Here is Dolly Madison’s inaugural gown… It is SO Jane Austen, don’t you think?

Grace Coolidge’s gown- tres chic, non?

I love Rosalynn Carter’s dress- it’s so 70’s!

After we did the Smithsonian, we went to Jaleo’s, an absolutely marvelous tapas restaurant, normally it would have been a bit pricey, but because they were participating in Restaurant Week, we were able to go for lunch without have to dread the check.

Everything was so wonderful, and if I weren’t jobless, I would go there ALL THE TIME!!  To anyone planning on visiting the D.C. area- go there. Just do it. It is so so very good.  Another word of praise for Jaleo’s they are extremely careful about serving people with food allergies.  Our friend Meagan, who has an extreme egg allergy came with us for lunch, and after informing the server of her allergy, our server consulted with the chef, and they made sure that all of Meagan’s dishes were specifically egg-free, no cross contamination- no slip ups, just perfect and safe service.  They were absolutely amazing, a perfect example of what a restaurant should be, especially in light of how common extreme food allergies are today.

Okay, that pretty much concludes our first day in D.C. After lunch we did some more sight-seeing, in spite of the weather being so nasty (at least nasty for a girl who is used to winter’s never being colder than 50 degrees- it was in the low 30’s).  Then we hopped on the metro again and then headed back to Maryland, where Sam and Garret live.  We had a great night, we made some delicious fried food, and had good wine. It was an excellent birthday.

Tune in next time for my D.C. trip part deux.



p.s. Look what I’m making tonight for dinner: YUMMY!