Enjoy the Shire Like a Local

shireWhether you wish to enjoy a good pipe-weed with friendly company or simply admire the natural delights of this unique region, the Shire is 2014’s travel must. Keep reading for tips and recommendations on how to make the most of your visit:

Where to eat: Even those with the most generous of appetites will be hard-pressed to leave Hobbiton the least bit hungry. Start your day with a cheerful first breakfast of honey-cake and jam with extra butter and tea. Once dressed, prepare yourself for a second breakfast of coffee, seed-cakes, sausages, fried eggs, buttered scones, mince-pies, cheese, cold chicken (if available) and a modest side of bacon. When luncheon comes around, don’t be afraid to knock on the door of a hobbit-hole. Regardless of what the hobbit says, make yourself at home. The pantry is bound to be well-stocked.

What to do: Sip a pint or two of ale overlooking the Brandywine River, explore the nearby village of Buckland or kick up your heels at one of the many annual celebrations. While the anniversary of Frodo’s departure is always a somber occasion, the merriment returns in the time for Midsummer’s Eve.

What to know: Hobbits prefer to keep to themselves, but underneath their hairy demeanor, are pleasant folk who love nothing more than a good meal. Shoes are optional here and credit cards obsolete; travelers should come prepared to barter with a quarter-peck of ale and a fair amount of cold meat.

April Fools!



Mexico Pictures, Pt. One

What I love most about vacations is how drastically different time becomes. This week has gone so fast in the usual blur of work/eat/sleep and what I loved most about Mexico is that everyday I had the whole day to simply relax. My sister-in-law captured some really fun moments of the trip I thought I’d share with you. Next I’ll be posting some photos of charming San Jose.


Relaxing in the “warm pool” with my adorable niece (6) and nephew (3)

On day three a herd of horses suddenly appeared

On day three a herd of horses suddenly appeared

My darling baby nephew!

My darling baby nephew!

Dance party at the pool

Dance party at the pool


These yellow plants which resembled bananas were everywhere.

Swimming in the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula isn't advised, but the water was so warm!

Swimming in the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula isn’t advised, but the water was so warm!

Baby Hunt just loved the water!

Baby Hunt just loved the water!

Everyday before lunch Coop would lay on my lap for storytime. Anything to do with ninjas, sharks and tigers were a hit.

Everyday before lunch Coop would lay on my lap for storytime. Anything to do with ninjas, sharks and tigers were a hit.

We had a lot of fun celebrating Olivia's 6th birthday

We had a lot of fun celebrating Olivia’s 6th birthday

I'd travel anywhere with this guy.

I’d travel anywhere with this guy.

I’m ready to go back! Have any of you ever been to Mexico? It was my first trip. I would have liked to do a bit more exploring, but it was so great to spend lots of time with niece and nephews. And, of course, get a little tan. X

Back from Mexico

Always so sweet coming home to Audrey

Always so sweet coming home to Audrey

Good morning, everyone! So sorry for not posting yesterday. Our flight didn’t get in until after midnight on Sunday and it was all I could do to get through the day yesterday. All of my photos are still on my camera, but I will be posting them this week. We had a wonderful week in San Jose (my first ever time in Mexico!) and I even turned a little golden. The last time B and I went anywhere for a full week was our honeymoon, so it was such a treat to have seven days of ocean-side views, warmth and good food.

It also struck me how healthy it is to truly get away. I didn’t even turn my phone on until we were home and a technology-free week in and of itself was a vacation. Exploring artsy San Jose also got me and B talking about our next trip…travel is wholly addictive. We’ve decided to really start saving and make a fall 2015 trip to Europe happen (!!). Take two weeks off from work to see as much as we can (so far Scotland and Switzerland are at the top of our itinerary).

I absolutely indulged in a few good novels while away (Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Z by Theresa Anne Fowler and an Agatha Christie (!)), so I’m also looking forward to sharing reviews this week and next.

It’s good  to be home, though, and I’m thankful for that. X

Travel Mondays: 10 Gorgeous Islands That’ll Destroy Your Winter Blues

waterAlright, so it’s March 3rd (just two weeks from spring!) and it is -3 below today with more snow than we had in January. The cure? An island getaway. Whether you’re looking for travel inspiration or just a mental health getaway, dream about these 10 gorgeous islands sure to take away your winter blues–my latest article for DreamPlanGo.

Which island would you choose? I think I’d choose Mnemba Island, Tanzania!

Image source unknown


What to Pack For a Sunny Weekend Getaway

True to form, I saved packing for California to the last minute, but the process was actually a lot less stressful than I expected. The weather’s supposed to be in the 60s and 70s, so I skipped packing shorts and too many thin tops, opting instead for outfits that could take me from warm day to cool nights.

suitcaseHere’s what’s in my suitcase:

-A brown leather jacket

-A long scarf perfect for layering

-One pair of Paige denim skinnies

-Two pairs of colored denim capris (yellow and hot pink)

-A fun leopard print sweatshirt to wear for brunch (similar here)

-Nude and black sandals

-A cocktail dress for V-Day (a color-block dress I’m obsessed with!)

-A grey calf-length dress (somewhat similar to this)

-A blue tee

-A hot pink sweater

-A dressy black tee

I also packed my swim suit (naturally) and a just-in-case hiking ensemble. I’m so excited! Considering we’ll be there for four full days, I think I’ll have just enough variety in my outfits to feel good. Over the years, I’ve learned that bringing clothes which all mostly match is key as is bringing along a few fun accessories. What are your packing tricks? I’d love to know!

Until Monday!

Image found here