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Spring Is Here

I know Spring is officially here when we start seeing Bluebonnets sprouting up all over DFW. From early March to mid April, you will see families pulling off to the side of the highway and plopping their babies, kids, or even pets into a nice patch of bluebonnets to get that quintessential Texan profile pic. Skip the long drive to Ennis, I heard it’s not worth the effort. Instead, head over to Las Colinas over the weekend. There is very light traffic and fields of bluebonnets for you to find your perfect shot!

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May 15, 2016 - 12:27 pm

Angela Trommer - Beautiful! Ginger amongst the bluebonnets! And I agree about Ennis. We drove all the way out there a few years ago and were disappointed with the lack of flowers.

Why Berlin Rocks!

Berlin is an amazing city full of history. If you love museums, this is a city for you. There is literally a museum for everything, and why not? This city has been through so much! Here are pictures from the DDR Museum, Check Point Charlie, Museum of Technology, Spy Museum, and the Mauerpark Flea Market. I also recommend riding bikes to the East Side Gallery in the evenings.

Why Sayulita Rocks!

I loved Sayulita the moment we arrived and I fell more and more in love with it with every step we took. This tiny little town is full of heart (figuratively and literally) and boasts the most vibrant colors and adorable signs I’ve seen per square inch. The town is small, but there is no shortage of restaurant, bars, and shops.  I understand now why it’s called Mexico’s best kept secret.  I felt so happy I never wanted to leave. This town definitely stole my heart! Here are some of our favorite spots:

Restaurants/Bars

Tacos el Ivan – Best tacos and super cheap!
El Itacate – Great selection and delicious toppings. Well worth the wait
El Costeno – Grab a table right in front of the beach and enjoy a bowl of ceviche
Sayulita Fish Taco & Tequila Bar – Huge selection of Tequila. The bar next door has adorable suspended seats!

 

Shopping

Revolution – Adorable prints and colorful merchandise to choose from!
Los Muertos – Beautiful hand-made and hand-painted crafts you just can’t live without! Cash Only!

 

Lodging

Casa Dos Chicos – The One and Only place to stay while visiting Sayulita
Le Petit Hotel – Charming little hotel with hearts everywhere

Beach 

Playa Los Muertos – Secluded beach next to a cemetery. Great street snacks for dirt cheap!

 

 

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Must Stay at Casa Dos Chicos

I found Casa Dos Chicos through Pinterest. The moment I laid eyes on this rental I knew this was going to be our next vacation destination. The owner is an interior decorator who fell in love with Sayulita and bought this property on a whim. The original property was two single story buildings and they transformed it into what you see today. A lush garden surrounds the property and provides the perfect shade for the ground level pool. There are four separate bedroom suites that can sleep up to 10 people. Check out the pictures of the bedrooms on their website. The kitchen and living area is located on the rooftop along with the hot tub. Yes, there is a hot tub on the rooftop. Since the house sit at the top of a hill, visitors get to enjoy the fabulous view of the ocean and surrounding scenery . Seriously, we didn’t feel there was a need to ever leave the property. The house feels like a retreat on its own, but the beach and charming town of Sayulita is just a short 10 minute walk down the hill should you feel the need to get out. Our property manager Ernesto went above and beyond to ensure we were spoiled rotten. He organized our rooftop massages by Nirvanna Spa and checked in on us often to make sure we had everything we needed. This is hands down, my favorite vacation rental I’ve been fortunate enough to stay at. I could go on and on about how much I loved Casa Dos Chicos, but I’m sure the pictures speak for itself. I look forward to going back! Hit me up if you ever want to go!

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December 19, 2014 - 11:16 pm

Angela - Absolutely amazing. I love all the colors!

Why Madrid Rocks!

Madrid is the perfect city to kick back and relax. After spending the last few days hitting all the major attractions in Barcelona, we wanted to end our trip in Madrid with no real plans. We rented a beautiful apartment from Spain Select with a fantastic view. We ate when we got hungry and we walked around when we got bored. Madrid is beautiful and full of friendly locals. Everyone takes a long lunch so they work later and eat even later. Most people don’t eat until 10PM. That is considered pretty late for us Americans. Luckily, we were able to pop into the Mercado de San Miguel for some delicious snacks. This market is full of delicious food, but their seafood was remarkable! I highly recommend a trip to this market, although try to go during off-hours to avoid the crowds. It would be a good idea to try some Paella as well. It’s a traditional rice dish with seafood. Very delicious. The parks in Madrid are quite nice as well. My favorite memory from Madrid was our trip to Retiro Park. We rented a rowboat and Adam rowed us around the pond so I could take some pretty pictures. There are plenty more to do, but these stood out to me most. Here are some pics from our trip. Enjoy!

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Thanksgiving, Easy as Pie

Thanksgiving has always felt foreign to me. Hosting looks so stressful that the thought of roasting a turkey makes me want to stick my own head in the oven. However, I learned that with enough research and planning, anyone can pull off a successful Thanksgiving feast. It also helps when you have wonderful friends to help guide you through the process. Thank you Sara, Daniel, and Joy! So here is my simple guide to pull off a great Thanksgiving meal.

 

Plan Your Meal

Set aside some time to plan out your menu.   Proper planning will help you manage your time and will help reduce stress.  Make a list of all your supplies and ingredients to reduce the number of trips to the store.

Gather Your Supplies/Ingredients

Cooking Supplies
Roasting pan with Roasting Rack
Preprogrammed Cooking Thermometer
Brining Bag
Carving Tray

Brine
1 Gallon Water
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup  Sugar
Handful Leeks
3 Garlic Heads
2 Tablespoon Peppercorn
1 Tablespoon Cloves
1 Tablespoon Allspice
Rosemary
Thyme
Bay Leaves

Turkey
1 Fresh Young Turkey
Carrots
1 White Onion
Celery
Garlic
Butter, lots of Butter

Cranberry Sauce
1 bag Cranberries
1 Orange
1 Shot Triple Sec
Sugar

Brining

You will want to brine the turkey to ensure it will be nice and juicy. I recommend a fresh young turkey about 12-14 lbs.  Try to avoid a frozen turkey so you don’t have to thaw it out.

  1. Boil 1 Gallon of water with a cup of Salt and 1/2 cup of Sugar
  2. Add Leeks, Garlic, Peppercorn, Cloves, AllSpice, Rosemary, Thyme, and Bay Leaves to the brine
  3. Let Brine Cool Off
  4. Remove the giblets and neck
  5. Rinse the turkey under cold water
  6. Submerge Turkey in Brine and let it brine for 2 days

Roasting

  1. Remove Turkey from Brine and rinse
  2. Towel dry and let it get to room temperature
  3. Cover the Turkey in butter. Lots and lots of butter!!
  4. Stuff turkey with garlic, onion, celery, carrots and thyme and rosemary. Do not over stuff
  5. Roast the turkey face down first
  6. Halfway through, flip the turkey breastside up and spread more butter onto turkey
  7. Stick thermometer into the breast and set timer
  8. Remove turkey from oven and let it fall to room temperature before carving
  9. Decorate Turkey and eat!

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I Love Goofballs

I gravitate around people who make me laugh so needless to say all my friends are hilariously funny in their own silly way. Nothing beats a silly weekend getaway with good friends! Here are some pics from our weekend at Log Country Cove on Lake LBJ.

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October 25, 2014 - 4:45 pm

Angela - You got some beautiful pictures! I know I can always count on you to take photos! (because we totally forgot) ^-^

Why Barcelona Rocks!

Barcelona feels like the perfect blend of all the things you look for in a city. It’s an exciting city, but manages to feel relaxed and laid back. No need to escape, there is a beach nearby complemented with beautiful weather. If you must get away for a more exotic beach trip, Mallorca and Menorca is a short plane ride away. You can also indulge in great tasting food/beer everywhere. Most importantly, I love the beautiful buildings. There is so much beauty and art to be inspired by in this city. We really loved our trip to Barcelona. It had the perfect mix to satisfy both Adam and I. Here are some pics I took around the city.

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October 25, 2014 - 5:01 pm

Angela - We loved Barcelona. It was great getting to relive the city through your pictures. Makes me want to go back and explore some more!!

The View from Montjuic

Montjuic was an unexpected surprise. It wasn’t on our radar, but we got lazy and decided to take a cab up the hill. I’m so glad we did because check out some of the beautiful scenery we would’ve missed.

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Bargain Hunting at El Encants

I love to bargain, but I’ve never tried my bargaining skills in a different language. I wanted to see if A) I can dig up anything cute to take home as a souvenir and B) if I could get it cheap with the power of my awesome Spanish wielding tongue.

We explored around El Encants, the largest open air flea market in Barcelona. You will find vendors selling just about anything. Don’t be shy with the vendors, most are friendly and willing to bargain with you. With my crappy Spanish, I managed to take home two adorable alarm clocks and a set of keys I couldn’t refuse. He kept lowering the price and finally just stuck them in my hand. I was so tickled by his determination that I ended up buying them. Most people don’t speak English, but you can manage with the basic Spanish phrases below.

Hola or Perdon (Hi or Pardon)
Cuanto cuesta? (How much does this cost?)
Gracias or No Gracias (Thank you or No Thank You)
* It would be helpful if you know how to say one to a hundred in Spanish as well.

El Encants is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 9AM to 5PM.

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December 19, 2014 - 10:32 pm

Briana - ¡Buenas cosas, Jenny!

Get in My Belly! Tapas and La Boqueria

Food is definitely a challenge for us when we travel.  I love to discover new flavors while Adam prefers the same five familiar dishes.  This difference makes it literally impossible for us to agree where and what to eat.  Spain is the ideal place for us since you can find tapas in virtually every corner of the city.  Tapas are small dishes that you snack on while you drink as well as the answer to my prayers.  I love to eat, but was cursed with a 5′ 0 ft. frame and a stomach the size of a peanut.  I can’t consume a whole lot in one sitting and Adam clams up whenever I suggest we share something.  With tapas I can grab a small snack to tie me over while Adam enjoys a cool beer (or eating at Subway :P).  Some places will keep bringing you tapas as long as you’re drinking.  I love how you can order a large assortment of tapas to make a complete meal.  You can try everything without the guilt of overindulging.  We found a restaurant where each tapas cost 1.75€ and you just pay for what you eat.  You just need to keep those sticks so they can total up your meal.

Another food source we turned to was the Boqueria market for fruit and snacks.  Had we wanted to cook in our apartment this is where we would source our meat and produce.  Everything looked so fresh and delicious it made me wish I enjoyed cooking more. Next trip, I need to arm myself with some foodie friends!

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July 13, 2014 - 7:33 pm

Angela - I love tapas too, for that very reason! You get to try more variety without getting too full on any one thing! The photos are beautiful and is making me very hungry indeed!

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