Wanderlust

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After coming back from studying abroad I  realized I wanted to go everywhere and see everything. I promised myself that I would travel somewhere new once a year and I am lucky enough to have been able to keep that oath since graduating, hopefully I can keep it going.

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My first year out of college (and with my first tax return – all that cash was burning a hole in my pocket) I went to Edinburgh with my sister. It is a magical little Harry Potter town that made me feel regal.

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{Nooks and crannies}

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{Ordering multiple rounds of cider and fish and chips, multiple times a day, because we could}

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{Cafe where Harry Potter was written}

Last year we went to Cabo (couples retreat – literally) and it was a blast. Cabo is a crazy place where bars hang you upside down and pour alcohol in your mouth (no we definitely didn’t visit said bar three times, absolutely not).

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{Balcony view}

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{Boat cruise}

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And this year Nate and I are going to… ready…. drumroll please – THAILAND! We leave in a month and after moving and all the summer trips I haven’t even had time to think about it or plan really. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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{We are going to Chiang Mai}

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{Then overnight training to Bangkok}

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{Then spending a week on the beaches near Phuket}

I cannot contain my excitement, more packing and planning posts to come – all suggestions and recommendations are welcome!

Macaroon Making Class

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Two things you should know about me –  1.) I’m addicted to sweet things, 2.) I love to bake – they go hand in hand. I like to cook too, but baking is really where it’s at. I like to consider myself as a pretty adventurous and advanced baker but when it came to macaroons I was a little afraid to try it. All of the recipes have such specific temperature and timing rules, and add in  the fact that I don’t have a convection oven (which apparently is where most people go wrong) I just stayed away from them all together.

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So while looking for patisserie school classes (always in the back of my mind) I found this great workshop. Baking Arts is a single class workshop that teaches you how to bake various things. You can choose from so many classes like cake decorating, or pie making or fondant rolling – I chose macaroons, to get over my fear.

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The class was amazing! Richard, the instructor, took us through all the meticulous steps before we went to do it on our own. The process is very temperature and time sensitive so it requires a lot of attention to detail.

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The class size is small, there were only six of us so he could walk around and help us with each step and with recognizing when the folding was done or when the temperature and texture were just right.

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You could fill these things with anything and make so many different colors and flavors. In Paris they literally have every shade of every color in every size and crazy flavor. We filled ours with chocolate, or caramel or coconut or a combination of the three.

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I forgot to mention that they were DELICIOUS too! If you are looking for a fun baking class try one of these, it was so great, I want to go back again! Cheers to a sweet weekend!

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Wall Art

I have recently been buying more and more art to cover the walls. All the walls in my room have something on them so I started buying art for the rest of the apartment. Artwork is a true representation of your personality and it makes your apartment feel lived-in and homier.

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This drawing if of the Scott Monument in Edinburgh. A couple years ago I went to visit my sister (who was staying there for a month) and this is where we first met up. It was the first thing I saw in this magical town and it has stuck with me. It is so fitting that J.K Rowling wrote Harry Potter in the Elephant House Cafe in Edinburgh because this city literally feels like Hogsmeade.

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Do you guys remember VHS? I know my kids will have no idea what these are and I think that is part of why I bought this print. There used to be stacks and stacks of these in the cabinet next to the TV when I was little. Remember how you had to rewind all the way to the beginning and how you could hear the little wheels with the film turning? Nostalgia, my friends, I think I am getting old.

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I studied abroad in Paris and it is so much a part of me. I know my house (when I grow up) will have little touches of it here and there, and I love this print because it reminds me of the little things I would pass everyday. From far away you can tell its about Paris (the Eiffel Tower is hard to miss) but when you get closer you can see street names and famous French people and things that you would only recognize from living there.

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I’m not sure if it’s kosher to have SF prints/stuff in your SF apartment but I couldn’t say no to these. The neighborhoods in SF, like many other cities, are so unique and these prints capture all of their different identities perfectly.

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I got these four because obviously I live in, blog about and love the Haight and that mural is actually where the background for my blog title letters comes from (copycats).

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The Panhandle print is so colorful and I have never lived that far away from it. It’s near and dear to me, as I run/picnic/walk through it a lot.

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Alamo Square is an SF icon, the Pink Ladies with the view of the skyline in the back screams SF, and everyone loves a cute picture of a dog.

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The Hayes Valley print feels like summer in SF to me. It is the cutest little neighborhood – with its Beirgarten, cute shops and amazing brunch places. I bought these SF prints and I hang them in my SF apartment because they are meaningful in my SF life and no matter where I go I can always take these little pieces of San Francisco with me.

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These two are from Etsy, (ISeeNoise) and there are so many to choose from. I got these because 1. I love gold and white (I’m a neutrals kind of girl), 2. they are super girly and 3. because I had nothing like them. They live on the wall next to where I keep all my jewelry and they add the perfect touch of sparkle.

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This print is also from Etsy (yellowlion) and my initial reaction to it was that it reminded me of the circle of life song from The Lion King (yellow lion = Simba = song stuck in my head, see my progression). It has tiny trees on it and hand prints and as you back away it all becomes a soft white circle of life.  I had it framed with a weighted bottom to accentuate the circular feel and it is one of my favorites.

What are your favorite pieces of art? Where and how do you find them? I’m always looking for new stuff!