Links, Lately

Another week in the books!

| A good floral arrangement = an instant mood-booster. |

The days feel shorter and the weeks are feeling longer but we made it to the weekend, friends! I’m looking forward to getting a head start on Christmas shopping – something I say every year and never do – and celebrating Friendsgiving on Sunday. What are your plans?   

Here’s a few links to kick of your days of rest…

I live for the theories that Taylor Swift fans come up with surrounding her new album.

Did you catch all the ‘easter eggs’ in Grey’s 300th episode?

11 inspiring women who are changing the beauty game.

Feel Good Story of the Week: A widowed judge installs a pool so the neighborhood kids could have a place to play…and so he wouldn’t be so lonely. (I’m not crying, you’re crying.)

Raise your hand if you feel that Hopper (from Stranger Things) got gypped for People’s Sexiest Man Alive. (Though I do love Mr. Shelton.)  

Fascinating read – what it’s like to be the social media manger to Hollywood’s top celebs.

Have a great weekend!

Update II: 101 in 1001

It’s been a while since I revisited my 101 in 1001 list – 547 days to be exact. Seeing Jessica of Bows & Sequins post about starting her own list, I was motivated to check up on mine. I quickly realized I have a lot to accomplish between now and April 28th – a deadline extension appears to be in my near future.

Since my last progress report, I’ve only marked 13 things off. To name a few…

I went wine tasting in Sonoma (Napa was on the list, but it’s wine country either way). Instead of Helen, I Oktoberfest’d in Berlin (even better, right!?). I visited 4 new cities – San Francisco, Asheville, Berlin and Copenhagen. I earned a promotion at work and started a retirement fund (future me is happy, current me would rather have the extra spending money). I got a new (to-me) car and I don’t know how I ever drove without a backup camera. I voted in an election and even wrote a letter to my future daughter the same night (which I need to finish…). I managed to exceed my goal of 40 new restaurants (no surprise here) and made a dent in “concerts-with-dad”. I even learned how to sew – er, more like embroider.

I still have a lot left to do in the next 165 days.

I’m hoping to check off a few more things over Thanksgiving (ie: recipe compiling, learning to drive a stick, etc.). Who knows, maybe I’ll hit the lottery between now and April so I can squeeze in a trip to Italy and South Africa!

I’ll share another update first of the year. In the meantime, what have you marked off your list?

 

Pimento Cheese Cookies

Anyone else guilty of circling the food table at wedding showers?   pimento cheese cookies

*raises hand*

Why are finger foods so good? For as long as I can remember, the food served at wedding showers, baby showers, hell even Mary Kay parties (circa ’98) were little bites of pure bliss. They always felt guilt-free until you realized you just consumed 15 little weenies that had been cooking in grape jelly and bbq sauce for last 3 hours – albeit, everything felt guilt-free when you were 10.

pimento cheese cookies

All that to say, at a recent wedding shower I tasted a new-to-me nibble that was so delicious I immediately found the hostess to ask her for the recipe. Shout-out to Melissa (hostess with the literal mostess) because Anna’s fall shower was pure perfection and the menu was nothing but crowd-pleasers!

pimento cheese cookies

If you’re in need of a little appetizer inspo for Friendsgiving or just want to try something new for your next dinner party, these pimento cheese cookies* are the best combination of savory and sweet … and they pair perfectly with a glass of wine. Scroll down for the recipe! 

*Editor’s Note: I went a tad over board with the pepper jelly, which you will notice in the photos below. So I recommend sticking to the ½ teaspoon measurement – the jelly will melt and spread while baking. A little goes a long way here. 😉

pimento cheese cookies

pimento cheese cookies

pimento cheese cookies

pimento cheese cookies

Pimento Cheese Cookies
Yields 24
a southern staple in cookie form
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Print
Prep Time
2 hr 15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Prep Time
2 hr 15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
2 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup refrigerated pimento cheese
  3. ½ cup pecans, finely chopped
  4. ¼ cup butter, softened
  5. ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  6. 4 Tbsp. red pepper jelly
Instructions
  1. Beat together flour and pimento cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute, until well combined.
  2. Add chopped pecans, cayenne pepper and softened butter; beat until blended. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  4. Place dough on a well-floured surface and roll to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into rounds with a 2-inch round cutter.
  5. Reroll the scraps and repeat.
  6. Arrange half of the rounds 2 inches apart on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  7. Spoon ½ teaspoon of pepper jelly onto center of each round and top with the remaining rounds. Press the edges to seal.
  8. Bake at 400° F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to let them cool completely (about 30 minutes).
Notes
  1. Dough will need to be chilled for at least 2 hours before baking.
Gin & Jewels http://www.ginandjewels.com/

Month In Review: October

I say this every year, but how is it already November?

We only have 7 more Fridays between now and Christmas! Let the panic set in, people.

While October flew by, I’ve been wanting to mix things up a bit from my regular Friday posts (which admittingly have been lacking recently, apologies!) So in lieu of this week’s Links, Lately, I’m sharing a month in review – a look back at some fun times, good finds and exciting happenings from the past 31 days.

10.1 // Kicked off the October in Copenhagen & Berlin with my best friend and favorite travel buddy, Morgan.

10.8 // Showered our favorite couple – Anna & Brandon (a pre-celebration to Anna’s upcoming bachelorette weekend!) These wine glasses are my go-to wedding gift and they’re on sale right now.

10.10 // Got to see one of my closest friends launch her brand and new website – her art is ridiculously beautiful.

10.12 // Met Gray Malin at his book signing at Waiting on Martha Home (a must visit!).

10.17 // Started (& finished) a new podcast – Dirty John – it was so good.

10.20 // Took an unforgettable trip to New York with my dad to see Bruce on Broadway – which was incredible.

10.25 // Celebrated the launch of Frida Kahlo Beauty and the limited-edition collection of beautiful brushes (available exclusively on Amazon)!

10.26 // Rang in 28 with my best friends with dinner & drinks at Bar Mercadococktail reco: Tomato King.

10. 31 // Participated in our annual work Halloween costume contest. While I was dressed as a bottle of champagne, Abbye’s Dwight costume was the office favorite.

/ / / 

Here’s to November and all the holiday madness that’s soon to ensue! Have a wonderful weekend, friends.

My Philosophy on Souvenirs

I may not have the healthiest of spending habits but I’m a damn good at shopping.

Anywhere, anytime – I will find always find something to buy.   

It’s not surprising that this habit has caused me to suffer from buyer’s remorse more times than I care to admit. I always let dumb purchases haunt me for days – ridiculous, I know. So in the spirit of self-improvement, I’ve been making a conscious effort to be less of an impulse buyer and more of a thoughtful shopper. But for whatever reason all logic goes out the window when I’m on vacation. I over spend, over purchase and usually come home with things I don’t need.  

Most of my frivolous purchases fall within one of three camps – food & beverage, beauty products and home décor. When prepping for my trip to Copenhagen and Berlin, I made a mental note of items that I knew I would want to bring back (based on the aforementioned categories) and promised myself I would have more self-control in hopes of avoiding that guilty feeling. 

I thought I would share my philosophy when it comes to souvenirs – what I look for, what I avoid and what I purchased during my recent travels…

It’s no secret I’m a self-proclaimed cocktail connoisseur – so shopping for bitters, liqueurs, tinctures are easy buys I never regret. Along with stocking up on my bar inventory, I love picking up local provisions (i.e.: meat, cheese and candy). Sure, they don’t last forever but when you have a memory tied to a bottle of wine (or even a block of cheese;) ) it feels that much more special when you enjoy it back home.

One of my favorite parts about traveling is trying beauty brands that aren’t accessible in the states. During our stay in Berlin, I stumbled across the perfumery – Frau Tonis Parfum. Their store was an absolute dream and I loved everything from the branding and bottle shape to the stories behind each fragrance. I’ve always loved how certain scents can instantly take you back to a specific memory. For me, this makes fragrances excellent souvenirs. My tiny bottle of parfüm is the sweetest addition to my vanity and takes me back to Berlin with just one spritz.   

Lastly is home décor – my biggest weakness. Plates, trays, candles, coffee table books are all items I love to collect and display throughout my space. I love the Danish aesthetic but wasn’t able to purchase any home pieces (my indecisiveness got the best of me). I did manage to find a few candles that I plan on burning well into fall. The vessels are pretty enough to upcycle, allowing them to always serve as a reminder of my time spent in Denmark.         

Things I don’t buy? The destination-themed knickknacks that you find in those cluttered souvenir shops. Your souvies don’t have to read the town’s name you visited to be sentimental. Just knowing the story behind each purchase is good enough for me. I also think you should never pressure yourself into buying something just because you’re on a trip. Sometimes the best souvenirs are the free matches from a lunch spot, a postcard from your bill at dinner or all of those photos on your camera roll (print and frame them, people!).

                                                                                                                               

I would love to know – do you have a strategy when it comes to purchasing souvenirs? What are items that you stay away from? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

Pomegranate Morgue-rita

Cocktail crime scene ahead…

pomegranate margarita

I’ve unintentionally yet majorly slacked on Halloween content this year. Which is a shame, because it’s my favorite holiday. But I couldn’t let Tuesday come and go without sharing an on-theme libation. Scroll down for the recipe to this bloody-hued pomegranate margarita morgue-rita. 😉

pomegranate margarita

| recipe|

pomegranate margarita

pomegranate margarita

| cocktail shaker | black lava salt | coupes | strainer |

pomegranate margarita

pomegranate margarita

For more boos-y inspiration check out … this candy + beer pairing, a spiked pumpkin beer cocktail and this fun drinking game to pass the time between trick ‘r treaters.

Travel Diary: Berlin

Berlin, schönes Berlin!

Berlin

Berlin was incredible. It’s a huge city with a dark history and a rich culture.  Truthfully, it would take us more than 4 days to squeeze in all the sights. But we did our very best with the time we had. Here are our most memorable moments from our days spent in Germany’s capitol…warning: this post is long but things get pretty exciting on day 9. 😉

Scroll to the bottom for a full list of the restaurants, museums and sights we visited.

Berlin

Berlin


Berlin
Berlin

Day 5 // Arrives in Berlin…

12:01pm: Touches down in Berlin, bags made it too. Oh yay, they have Uber Taxi here!

12:15pm: Really excited to witness Morgan practice her German, her accent is so good. I have no idea what she’s saying but it sounds like perfect German to me.

12:16pm: Our driver doesn’t speak English, so Morgan whips out her German so perfectly that I’m just sitting back with the biggest smile on my face like, “That’s my best friend!”

12:17pm: Driver doesn’t understand her. But it’s okay. We think maybe she just mixed up her prepositions?

1:15pm: After a slight mix up with the key pick up, we make it to our Airbnb. So spacious and uniquely decorated.

Makes mental note to make more of an effort to pack lighter.

2:00pm: We uber to a biergarten because we must nourish ourselves before figuring out the public transportation.

2:15pm: It’s drizzling and Prater Garten is empty so we decide to find lunch instead.

2:30pm: We stumble upon the cutest street and decide on the little café, Engelberg. I’m really excited to try German food.

2:36pm: Berlin is much cheaper than CPH. Praise be! Morgan orders a wurst made of veal and a pretzel. I order Käsespätzle (basically German mac & cheese but a thousand times better).

3:24pm: After lunch, we continue to wander around, ending up in Mauerpark. Morgan and I both comment on the lack of upkeep. We’re not here to judge, but coming off of the high that is Copenhagen’s cleanliness, it was slightly shocking. 

Upon further research, I learned that Mauerpark translates to “Wall Park”, referring to its status as a former part of the Berlin Wall and its Death Strip.

3:45pm: We make our way back to Prater Graten for a round of biers and people watching. Loving Berlin and it’s only been a few hours.

7:00pm: After purchasing our Belin WelcomeCard (offers free transportation and discounts on attractions) from a train station, we make our make to the flat.

8:00pm: For dinner, we opt for take-out (more Shawarma) at a little spot appropriately named Happy Food.

 / / /

Berlin

BerlinBerlin

Berlin

Berlin

Day 6 // Bike tour history lesson…

8:00am: Waking up in Berlin and excited for our bike tour today.

10:00pm: Makes small talk with fellow vacationers in our bike tour group. The older couple with helmets, biking gloves and really intense windbreakers suddenly make me feel very unprepared and I begin to question my biking skills.

10:15am: Alex, our guide, asks if someone will volunteer to be the caboose and make sure everyone in our group stays together. Morgan volunteers, I’m relieved.

10:45am: Having the time of my life on this damn bike. Truly amazed by the amount of history Alex is dropping on us. He could totally be making everything up, but I don’t think he is.

Alex is originally from California, has a Canadian accent and has lived in Berlin for 9-ish years. He’s brilliant.

11:36am: Completely blown away that most of these beautiful buildings were destroyed in WWII, statues were sunk in the water and then buildings were rebuilt and statues extracted and replaced. Just thinking of the logistics stress me out.

To the history buffs rolling their eyes at me right now. Give me a break. I regret not paying attention in history class but I’m here now, ready to learn!

11:52am: Learns about the history of the currywurst.

Memorizes story in case it’s ever asked on Jeopardy.

12:10pm: We arrive to our lunch spot after biking through Tiergarten. Orders the Schnitzel. I love Schnitzel.

1:20pm: Back on the bike, a little tipsy and feeling unstoppable.

1:45pm: Having a hard time processing all of this German history. So dark, so heartbreaking, extremely fascinating.

Scolds myself again for not paying more attention in European history and makes mental note to sneak into a high school history class.

3:15pm: Tour is over. Morgan gets a free (giant bottle of) bier for being the caboose. We both confirm that Alex got cuter as the tour went on. We linger to ask him cool places the locals go, because we’re losers.

3:20pm: Onward to explore more of Berlin. Both of us had made notes on places to revisit after our bike tour. Topography of Terror being the first on our list.

6:45pm: Takes the tram back to our flat. Officially got the hang of Berlin’s public transit. Feeling like a local.

8:46pm: Dinner at Hirsch (recommended by Alex). Highly recommend, the bartender is super attractive and reminds me of Alex Karev from Grey’s. 😉

Makes mental note to eat all meals by candlelight when I get back home.

10:24pm: Back at our flat. Googles list of movies on WWII that I can watch asap. Falls asleep quick.

/ / / 


Berlin
Berlin
BerlinBerlin Berlin

Berlin

Day 7 // Oktoberfest bound…

10:00am: Today’s agenda – museums, bier, and more museums.

11:45am: It’s raining. I opt for rain coat, no umbrella. Morgan chooses cute outfit, umbrella, no raincoat. Let’s see how this plays out.

12:20pm: Brunch at a corner bakery. The bakery has birds inside. Just flying around and hanging out on the chandeliers. They’re cute.

12:22pm: Keeps hand over cappuccino after spotting bird shit on the chairs.  

12:45pm: Walks to Museum Island. It’s pouring at this point but Berlin is still beautiful.

1:30pm: After a bought of indecisiveness we end up at the Berlin Palace. It’s under construction but they have a temporary set up with exhibits.

2:15pm: Finds their rooftop restaurant. Pit stop for bier and cocktails! It’s still raining but the view is cool.

3:15pm: The exploring continues, we check our watches phones and decide to try and find this Oktoberfest we read about.

5:10pm: Takes the underground 30 minutes to the outskirts of the city. We begin our “short walk” towards Kurt-Schumacher-Damm.

5:12pm: We see a tree that has fallen on top of a car that was stopped at a red light. Notices that it is pretty windy.

5:28pm: Asks a woman if we’re headed towards Oktoberfest, she snickers and says yes.

5:40pm: Asks a man if we’re headed towards Oktoberfest, he asks, “you want to go to Oktoberfest right now?” We say, “yes.” He snickers and we keep walking.

5:48pm: We see a sign!

5:49pm: Where are all the people?

5:52pm: Oktoberfest is deserted.

Unbeknownst to us, we were in the middle of a major storm (dubbed Xavier) and so Oktoberfest was ‘closed’ for the day. All trams and buses were also shut down for the time being.

7:00pm: We make our way back to the city. Take a coffee and wifi break at Balzac to find our dinner spot.

7:47pm: We end up at Schnitzelei, make friends with the people next to us. Order a bottle of wine and a giant schnitzel.

9:58pm: Leave Schnitzelei full, happy, with wine-stained teeth.

10:30pm: Transit is back in service, delayed, but in service!

It comes to my realization that we actually didn’t end up at many museums today but covered a lot of ground. Berlin is sprawling. I can’t help but imagine what it was like pre-wall fall.

/ / /

Berlin

BerlinBerlin  Berlin Berlin

Day 8 // Learning to live like locals…

10:20am: Up and out, headed to the East Side Gallery.

11:01am: We ask a stranger to take our photo in front of a mural with a quote, hoping it doesn’t say something offensive that will make us look like insensitive assholes.

11:31am: Hanging out in Alexanderplatz. I’m determined to get an Oktoberfest Instagram so I order a bier before noon and don’t feel an ounce of guilt. Prost!

11:54am: Checking out the vendors, trying to resist the urge of purchasing fried dough covered in cinnamon sugar.

11:59am: Ends up with €50 euro worth of cheese and meat. This should surprise no one.

Morgan’s German comes in handy with this transaction but instead of asking how much the salami is. She asks, “what time is it?”

12:40am: Eats lunch at the oldest restaurant in Berlin – Zur Letzten Instanz. I’ll give you one guess on what I ordered. Rhymes with Blitzel.

3:22pm: We find ourselves at Hofbräu. People are in traditional German attire and I’m loving it.

5:54pm: Next on our list is a rooftop bar we read about – Klunderkranich.

Pretty sure a picture of Klunderkranich shows up next to the word eclectic in the dictionary.

6:06pm: It’s golden hour, I have a G&T in hand and we can see all of Berlin. Life is beautiful.

7:20pm: Our goal is to go to Brandenberg Gates for a “lights festival” but we keep getting on the wrong train. Just when we were feeling like locals, we get a reality check.

9:20pm: We end up back at Alexanderplatz for live music and our last helping of delicious German food.

11:00pm: Back to our flat to pack. Tomorrow we head home.

/ / /

Berlin

Day 9 // A little adventure for the last day…

6:00am: Barely awake but gathering all of our stuff because we have to head to the airport.

6:32am: We’re packed, walking out the door. Leave the apartment and building keys on the coffee table per instructions from our host. Her door and the building door lock automatically so we don’t have to lock up. (Any guesses on where this is going?)

6:34am: We make it downstairs, our taxi is almost here. I’m feeling good because our goal was to leave by 6:45am, so we’re a little ahead of schedule. Terrific!

6:35am: As I’m closing the door to the building, I ask Morgan if she needs anything before I shut the door. (This is pointless because the apartment door is locked anyway) but as those words come out of my mouth, I shut the door only to look up at Morgan to see her panicked expression.

6:36am: “I left my purse upstairs.” – Morgan

I’m thinking, well homegirl will have to mail it to you because we have to get to the airport.

“My passport is in my purse.” – Morgan 

6:37am: I want to cry but I don’t. I think Morgan wants to cry but she doesn’t.

6:38am: Our cab pulls up, we send him away because we have some stuff to figure out.

Quick background on our Airbnb host: We never met her in person, but she was very nice, hospitable via email and extremely thorough with her correspondence. So much so that she sent us an actual video of herself explaining how to unlock her apartment door (totally normal door, no explanation was necessary). She sent a lot of emails before we arrived, which is what led to the mix up at the beginning of our trip with the keys. So at this point, we knew a few things about our host:

  1. She was vacationing in Vancouver and was not returning to Berlin for a few more days.
  2. She left her spare key with her friend (our “emergency contact”), Nora, who we met at the beginning of the trip when she gave us her (only) set of keys.
  3. Her second “emergency contact,” Maggie was in Prague, but she gave us her number just in case.

6:45am: It’s raining, we are no longer half asleep and are fully awake. The only thing we know to do is go to the US Embassy and wait until they open. We call an Uber.

6:51am: Uber picks us up, we tell him we’re going to the US Embassy. He’s mutters that it’s too early for them to be open. We know that, sir.

6:55am: Morgan and I are talking about our game plan (or lack thereof) and our Uber driver goes, “You lost your passport!” He then turns into a superhero and begins to help us troubleshoot.

7:02am: Ali (our driver, we become quick friends) calls a locksmith and they say they can open both doors even though it’s not our apartment. Sounds like breaking and entering to us but gives us hope. We then learn that they will have to break both locks and we will have to pay to replace. So that solution is dead.

Our first flight is to Copenhagen, where we have a long layover before going to London. So if we can at least make the 2nd flight out of Berlin, we will still be able to make our connection. But if we don’t get the passport, Morgan’s vacation is extended since I think it takes a few days for the US Embassy to get you a new passport.

7:15am: Meanwhile, Morgan is trying to call our host and Nora. No dice.

7:18am: Morgan rereads all of our host’s emails…”Since Nora will be supplying her keys, please take note that there will be no spare key available.”

7:20am: I want to cry again.

7:28am: We decide to call Maggie, the 2nd emergency contact, just in case.

She answers!

She got back from Prague yesterday!

Her family is in town visiting.

We woke her up.

She has a set of spare keys.

7:32am: Ali makes a 3-point turn in the middle of the street and we head to pick up Maggie.

7:49am: Profusely apologizing to sleepy Maggie as Ali drives us back to the apartment.

8:17am: Passport recovered.

8:28am: Dropped Maggie back off at her apartment, profusely thanks her for saving our lives morning.

8:37am: Ali is driving like a bat out of hell.

8:40am: We arrive to the airport with 20 minutes to spare. 

If this were Hartsfield Jackson, it would have been impossible to check our bags, get through security and to our gate in time. But Tegal is miniature in comparison and we make it!

8:43am: Crisis averted. Casualties include Morgan’s dry shampoo and Oribe in the security line.  I need a bier.

Feeling thankful for Ali and his racecar driving skills. He was so helpful and went above and beyond his Uber Taxi-driving duties.

9:04am: Plane takes off. I’m craving Schnitzel.

< < fast forward > >

4:15pm: In line to board our flight in CPH. The guy two people in front of me looks familiar. I think I just saw him on a Jimmy Kimmel Mean Tweets video.

I may or may not have spent our 5-hour layover watching SNL clips and celebrity interviews on YouTube.

4:17pm: Googles:“Game Of Thrones cast.”

4:18pm: Shows Morgan and points to Jaime Lannister. Using her outside voice, she says, “That’s not Jaime Lannister.”

4:22pm: Upon further lurking, we confirm it is him. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in the flesh.

4:48pm: Trip ends with a celeb sighting. I’m happy.

Four flights later (TXL > CPH > LHR > BOS > ATL) I’m back in Atlanta. Sunday blues going strong.

/ / /

Berlin

Where We Ate

Engelberg  

Pratergarten

Schleusenkrug

Leysieffer

Hirsch

Bäcker Weidmann

Humboldt Terrassen

Balzac Coffee

Schnitzelei (Mitte)

Zur Letzten Instanz

Hofbräu

Klunkerkranich

Berlin

Where We Explored

Mauerpark

Fat Tire Berlin Bike Tours

Tiergarten

Checkpoint Charlie

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Topography of Terrors

The Berlin Palace

Oktoberfest Berlin at Kurt-Schumacher-Damm

East Side Gallery

Alexanderplatz

Where We Stayed

Airbnb in Friedrichshain

/ / /

Hope you enjoyed these overly detailed travel recaps! Jetsetting with your best friend to far away countries is what your 20’s are for. Shout out to Morgie for being the best travel companion. Can’t wait for our next adventure!

Berlin

Travel Diary: Copenhagen

I’ve been stateside for over a week but I’m still missing that Copenhagen life …

Copenhagen_G&J

& the cooler temps.

& the food.

& all the beautiful people.              

If you follow along on Instagram, then you probably saw that I recently took a trip to Copenhagen and Berlin. While the trip was planned months ago, the destinations were picked rather randomly. My best friend and forever travel companion, Morgan, sent me a list of destinations with cheap tickets and we decided on Copenhagen. Adding a leg in Berlin for good measure. 😉

Neither of us really knew what to expect with either destination. But I don’t think there was ever a moment where we were not eating, drinking, or laughing hysterically. Copenhagen was an absolute dream and Berlin was a blast.

Copenhagen_G&J

I’ll be publishing my recap on Berlin later this week, but first wanted to share some snap shots from our time spent in Copenhagen, along with a day x day breakdown. Hope these photos inspire a little bit of wanderlust!

Scroll to the bottom for a full list of the restaurants, museums and sights we visited.

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J Copenhagen_G&J

Day 1 // Arrives in København…

3:00pm: Deplanes at CPH and is immediately hit with a smell of something delicious (sausage, hotdogs?).

4:00pm: Meets host at our Airbnb. Morgan asks about cool neighborhoods we should check out. I inquire about those “hotdogs” we smelt at the airport.

After, trying to describe the food (“long pork links” – I use hand motions) and explaining that in America, we call them hotdogs. Søren, our sweet Danish host, confirms that they too, call them hotdogs (or pølse). I feel like a moron.

4:30pm: We settle in, unpack and freshen up. Ready to go explore and find a dinner spot.

6:00pm: We stumble upon Fleisch and are happily seated at the bar.

6:08pm: Our waiter looks like Olympian Tom Daly and the menu is meat focused. 5 stars.

8:15pm: Walks back to our apartment. Both of us are unsure of what time or day it is and fall asleep almost instantly.    

 / / /

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen

Day 2 // Goes on a gastronomic journey…

9:00am: Wake up feeling like it’s Christmas morning! We’re eating at Geranium for lunch.

9:15am: Morgan and I apply eye masks. We decide to skip breakfast because we’re about to dine on 16 courses. Casual.

9:22am: I plug in my straightener. Zap! Straightener dies. Reality sets in that I’m just going to have bad hair for the rest of the trip. But I don’t care.

9:35am: Contemplating what one wears to a noon reservation at the 19th best restaurant in the world. Decides on all black.

10:00am: Leaves apartment, giving ourselves 2 hours to make our reservation – plenty of time. Right?

10:30am: Clearly, we’re new here because the nicest gentleman offers us help with buying our metro tickets after he sees us struggling. Did I mention, that everyone is extremely nice (and ridiculously good looking)?

10:45am: We make it on the train. The station, platform and train car are all spotless, this seems to be a trend here in CPH. I like it. 

11:15am: Gets off at Nordhavn. Begins our “short” stroll towards the restaurant.  

11:45am: This walk is absolutely beautiful but I hope we’re getting close because that 2-hour time frame is closing in.

11:58pm: Arrives at Geranium 2 minutes early. Do we pace outside the elevator? Do we touch up our wind-blown hair? Do we just go in? All of the above, in that order.

***Saving our Geranium experience for a separate blog post because it was magical.***  

3:00pm: We begrudgingly leave Geranium, I think we could have lingered all day just watching the kitchen do their thing. 

3:45pm: Back in the city center, we take a beer break at a pub. This is the first of many “øl/bier” breaks we take during our trip. Not mad about it.

5:00pm: Head towards Nyhavn because I need an Instagram of the canals.

I should note that there are random public restrooms all throughout the city. They are such a blessing, I can’t even begin to tell you. And they’re clean! Seriously – Copenhagen, what’s your deal? Why are your restrooms so clean and your streets so tidy! I love you.

8:00pm: We choose a small Shawarma spot for dinner. Still not used their currency and we’re spending Kroners like it’s monopoly money – cheap dinner FTW.

10:00pm: Back at the apartment. Are we lame for not staying out? No, we’re grandmothers mature adults who are jetlagged.

/ / / 

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Day 3 // A day of exploration…

10:00am: Stops by Joe & The Juice for breakfast – the millennial pink logo is too enticing.

10:22am: Morgan and I are both convinced they put ice cream in our smoothies.

Note to self: need to Google ingredients of vanille mælk.

11:00am: Double fisting an iced coffee and avocado smoothie, we board the train to Humlebæk.

We also purchased a Copenhagen Card (highly recommend) so we’re feeling pretty unstoppable.

12:00pm: Walking through the most beautiful “suburb.” Daydreams about raising a family in OTP Copenhagen.

12:25pm: Arrives at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. Immediately feels more cultured.

12:40pm: You guys, Marina Abramović is a strange bird. Talented, provocative, intelligent but strange as hell.

1:43pm: Heads back into the city.

2:30pm: Takes the long route to Rosenborg Castle (aka I lead us toward the wrong direction, takes us about 5 minutes to realize).

2:46pm: Quick stroll through The Botanical Gardens.

3:08pm: Stops at the café outside of the castle for a quick snack (we forgot to eat lunch). Once again, my math isn’t quick enough to convert Kroners to USD. I spend roughly $11 on a bag of chips crisps and can of San Pellegrino. Oops. Copenhagen is expensive (maybe that’s why it’s so clean?).

3:30pm: Castle closes in 30 minutes so we run to the top floor to check out the oriental rugs, throne and impressive China collection and then jet down to the basement to see the crown jewels.

4:00pm: Wanders around the royal grounds contemplating our next move. Decides to head towards Strömma for a canal tour.

4:26pm: Pit stop for hot dogs pølse. They didn’t disappoint!

4:45pm: We pick up our tickets (free with the Copenhagen Card!). We’re told that there isn’t an open container law in Copenhagen. (We had noticed people openly drinking but it didn’t really occur to us that us tourists could partake in the fun!)

4:46pm: Purchases 4 Carlsberg beers for the ride. 😉

5:00pm: Canal tour is very informative until out tour guide is switched out and the new lady speaks in a soft whisper and doesn’t use the microphone to her advantage. Morgan begins mentally crafting the review she plans to leave on TripAdvisor. We have beer so all is well.

6:00pm: Tour is done, beers are gone. Public restrooms come to the rescue again.

6:45pm: Arrives at an inconspicuous bar, known for their craft cocktails. Couldn’t be happier.

7:02pm: We both develop a crush on the bartender.

8:00pm: Leaves perfect bar to find dinner.

8:15pm: Cute French bistro on the corner – yes, please!

9:20pm: Heads back towards the apartment but not before stopping for churros.

After all of the exploring from today, I’ve officially fallen in love with Copenhagen. The history, the architecture, the kind people, their suspiciously clean restrooms and (it goes without saying) their restaurant scene – this city has it all.

/ / /

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J

Copenhagen_G&J Copenhagen_G&J

Day 4 // Our last full day…

11:28am: We got a late start but we’re well rested. Headed to Carlsberg Brewery.

11:44am: Embarks on a self-guided tour through the exhibit that oddly feels like a haunted house with weird lighting and questionable sound effects. 

12:20pm: Settles in at the bar for brunch and a beer tasting.

Around this time, we found out about the Las Vegas shootings. With it being 6am East Coast time, the news was just breaking. Morgan and I sat in silence for a long time, just refreshing our CNN app in pure disbelief. Our hearts were absolutely broken. There is such a sense of guilt being on vacation while so many are suffering back home. We tried not to let the tragedy affect our trip but there was definitely a lingering somberness over the next week.

3:35pm: We head back towards the city center to rent bikes, with no destination in mind.

3:40pm: Pit stop at Taffelbay for pastries and cappuccino.

3:55pm: The bikes are equipped with GPS (& have motors!?).

Makes mental note to bike more in Atlanta. I love the bike!

3:59pm: We head toward Copenhagen Contemporary on Paper Island, a place we saw while on our canal tour the day prior.

4:26pm: Arrives at CC, the museum is closed but there are these “wishing trees” littered with handwritten notes in all languages. I snap a few pics of my favorites and write my own wish.  

4:30pm: We walk over to the warehouse next door, Papirøen. It’s a giant food hall! I immediately spot a gin & tonic menu and order a strawberry + black pepper G&T with Mikkeller gin. #Bliss

5:46pm: Heading back into the city, it starts to rain. Still buzzing from the G&T and couldn’t be happier with our bike situation so the rain is a non-issue.

6:24pm: Duck into a wine bar for dinner. It’s cute, quaint and full of locals. We can tell because the 3-member staff knows everyone by name and is asking about their family. My heart goes pitter patter. Morgan and both develop a crush on our server. A man that talks wine? Swoon.

6:35pm: We order the “staff meal” which is a duck & risotto dish.

Every Monday, the chef cooks a hearty meal for the staff. Guests can order by the bowl for only a 100DKK (~$15 USD) and if you love it (& there is extra) you can ask for a second serving.  

10:30pm: We’re back at our apartment, packing our stuff. Tomorrow we head to Berlin!

/ / /

Day 5 // Berlin bound…

9:00am: Heads to the airport. Praying my luggage scale doesn’t fail me and my bag isn’t overweight.

11:10am: Plane takes off for Berlin and I quietly shed a few tears because I miss Copenhagen.

 / / /

Copenhagen_G&J

Where We Ate

Fleisch

Geranium

Victoria Pub

Joe and The Juice

The Garden Café ApS

Døp

Ruby

Mon Amour

Rajissimo

Jacobsen Brewhouse & Bar

Taffelbay

Papirøen Copenhagen Street Food

Ved Stranden 10 – Vinhandel & Bar

Copenhagen_G&J

Where We Explored

Fælledparken

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Rosenborg Castle

Strömma Canal Tours

Indre By (neighborhood)

Carlsberg Brewery

Paper Island

Where We Stayed

Airbnb in the Vesterbro neighborhood

 

 

 

Packing Like a Pro

Raise your hand if you’re an over packer.

over packer

*Raises two hands*

I prefer the phrase well-prepared but if I’m being honest, I’m just a product junkie who over packs. For most trips, I embrace it and fill my car up with all the things I don’t need. But when I’m flying, I try and consolidate. Fact: I have a real fear of having to lift my carry-on into an overhead bin and it falling on top of me. 

over packer

I never have a problem editing down my wardrobe but definitely have trouble downsizing my accessories (ie: toiletries, hair products, makeup, my Buttercup). Over the years, I’ve fine-tuned my packing list and relied on three “tricks” to help keep my well-preparedness in check:

over packer

  1. Always keep your favorite toiletries in stock.

Should I ever need to flee my apartment in a hurry, I find comfort in knowing that my toiletry case is always packed. I keep a supply of travel-size shampoo, skincare samples, contacts & solution, a mini electric toothbrush, etc. on hand, always. I have a designated drawer to collect extra items while also keeping the essentials stored in my toiletry bag for quick packing. When I return from a trip, I make a list of items to replenish and go ahead and stock up so I’ll be ready for my next getaway.                                              

  1. Knowing when to donate or keep those free samples.

Whether items are from a “gift with purchase” promo or cashed-in points at Sephora – I’m a sucker for miniature/travel-size anything (as discussed in Tuesday’s post). But it’s important to keep your stash stocked with only things you will actually use. I make a point to donate or give away samples and travel-sized items that I know I won’t use.    

  1. Pack, assess, edit.

Though I tend to over pack initially, I always go back and edit my suitcase and toiletry bag. Usually after weighing them and realizing I’ve exceeded the 50lb limit but that’s neither here nor there. Once I’ve packed everything I think I need, I reassess and remove items that I could probably live without. It’s hard to do at first, but you’ll pat yourself on the back later. I usually make it a game – remove 5 unnecessary items and I reward myself with a drink. 😉

/ / /

And because I love reading about/seeing what other people keep in their bags (read: I’m nosy!), I thought I would share some of my favorite travel-friendly beauty products that I’ve packed for my trip…

over packer

In the hair care category – I need all the help I can get to extend my blowout. So I a few dry shampoo options, good shampoo + conditioner, and duck clips are musts.

over packer

For skincare – I like to continue my at-home (pretty basic) routine while on the road. Face wash, toner, and makeup remover – I can’t go without. I especially love Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser – the bottle isn’t huge so it makes it perfect for travel but it lasts a long time. The formula is so gentle (yay for no burning eyes!) and passes the white towel test every time. Not pictured is the moisturizer stashed in my carry-on. 😉

over packer

I would love to know if you have any go-to products for travel or any tips and tricks for packing! Read up on my carry-on essentials in this post

| shop today’s post here | 

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over packer

Inflight Cocktails

Today’s post combines two of my favorite things – cocktails minuatures.

Inflight Cocktails

I’m getting ready for a trip abroad and while I’m procrastinating packing my suitcase, I’ve started brainstorming what cocktails I plan to enjoy mid-flight.

Totally normal, right?

While we all have our own pre-flight “rituals,” I think it’s important to consider each trip as a treat. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your fellow rushed passengers. So next time you’re heading out on a trip – pack a few airplane bottles, indulge in a drink, close your computer (those emails can wait!) and start your vacation before you reach your destination.  

Here are a few of my favorite travel-friendly combinations that will add a little party to your next flight…

Inflight Cocktails

Pack a mini gin and mini Chambord. Snag a lemon wedge and sugar packet from the food court. Order a club soda and 2 cups – 1 with ice. // Pour gin, a heavy splash of Chambord, sugar into a cup over ice. Pour beverage back in forth between cups to mix well. Add a squeeze of lemon and top with club soda.

Inflight Cocktails

Pack a mini vodka, a mini bottle of hot sauce and mini celery bitters. Snag some salt & pepper packets and lemon wedge from the food court. Order a can of tomato juice and cup of ice. // Pour vodka and tomato in a cup over ice. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon and add 5-6 dashes of hot sauce and celery bitters. Stir, sip and tweak to taste.

Inflight Cocktails

Pack a mini tequila. Snag a lime wedge and sugar packet from the food court. Order a club soda and 2 cups – 1 with ice. // Pour tequila over ice. Add a squeeze of lime and sprinkle in sugar. Pour beverage back in forth between cups to mix well. Top with club soda.

Inflight Cocktails

Pack a mini bottle of Baileys. Snag a sugar packet. Order a coffee. // Pour sugar packet in hot coffee and stir. Add a healthy splash of Baileys and sip away.

/ / /

While these libations are delicious don’t forget to drink lots of H2O during your flight. Sip the cocktails, chug the water – I say!

Labor Day Entertaining

In the spirit of prepping for everyone’s favorite holiday (..kidding, but seriously who doesn’t love a Monday off work?) I wanted to share two fun things to enjoy this extra long Labor Day weekend.

The first thing being – surprise, surprise – a cocktail.

I realize that it’s technically not autumn yet but Labor Day does signify the end of summer so I think it’s safe to start celebrating with fall flavors. But let’s hold on the pumpkin, please.

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

My fall-ish spin on your typical margarita involves some pear and a little honey. It’s sweet with a punch of tequila and makes the perfect transitional bev for this “it’s-football-season-but-still-not-quite-fall” stage we’re in. Salut!

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

| recipe

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

On to the second thing – a game – creatively coined, The Accent Game.

Pear Margarita Labor Day Cocktail

A little backstory… this “game” started as something we would play on long road trips – previously called The Acting Game. I know, I know, my names are so inventive. The premise involved reciting weird sayings while expressing a specific emotion. My friends weren’t that into it, but I thought it was hysterical. This game eventually morphed into The Accent Game* after one too many Moscow mules in Highlands one night and has since been a group favorite ever since.

Instructions are explained below and to get you started I created a printable template with accent prompts (+ blank ones too). All you need to do is write in some really hilarious sentences. Adult beverages are optional, but strongly recommended. (It helps with the accents.) 😉

  1. Nominate someone to be the “Dialect Coach” – they are responsible for coming up with the hilarious sayings and writing them on the slips of paper. The Dialect Coach can participate in reciting a saying but can’t participate in the guessing (because they will already know the accent).
  2. Fill a bowl, hat, or whatever container you have with the folded (filled-out) slips of paper.
  3. The participants then each choose a slip of paper and keep their accent/phrase a secret.
  4. One at a time go around the table and each person can recite their saying using the accent instructed. The accents included in the template have a little more context but it’s only to help you get into character. The bolded word(s) notate the correct answer.  

Example: Accent is Boston police officer that was born and raised in Dorchester. If someone guesses “a Boston accent” that is totally acceptable.

  1. Other participants try to guess the accent the speaker is impersonating. Whoever guesses correctly first, collects the slip of paper. (Optional play: For every incorrect guess, drink.)
  2. The participant with the most slips at the end of the game wins!

*Editor’s Note: After proudly sharing my entertaining game idea with friends, I was later informed that the game already exists. ? I will admit their name is catchier but my DIY version is just as fun!   

 

 

Fave Five: Feeding a Crowd

It’s been too long since my last “Fave Five” post but with Labor Day weekend approaching, I wanted to share a few of my best crowd-pleasing recipes. 

If your long weekend plans include entertaining company and feeding a crowd – I hope you find some inspiration with these yummy eats…starting with breakfast:

| Breakfast: Chocolate Chip & Pistachio Pancakes |

LaborDayRecipes

| Lunch: Blueberry & Prosciutto Salad

LaborDayRecipes

| App: Whiskey Bacon Jam

| Dinner: Dirty Bird Nachos

| Dessert: Chocolate Pie

Turn Around Bright Eyes

I intended on posting this recipe yesterday so you all could enjoy an adult bev while viewing the Solar Eclipse today but I figured I shouldn’t promote drinking gin on a Monday around the 2 o’clock hour.   

Solar Eclipse Cocktail

However, I do recommend ending any workday with a little libation, especially on a Monday.

Solar Eclipse Cocktail

This solar eclipse-themed cocktail gets its dark hue from activated charcoal and its name (Turn Around Bright Eyes) from that song that’s been stuck in your head all day. 😉

Solar Eclipse Cocktail

| recipe |

Feeling a little unsure about mixing charcoal and booze? Don’t worry, I did my research before shaking up this combo. And by research… I mean I googled, “Will you die if you drink gin and activated charcoal?” We’re in the clear! Also, I’m no scientist but I think the detoxing qualities of activated charcoal will cancel out any chance of a hangover – so drink up, my friends! #ThingsITellMyself

Solar Eclipse Cocktail

Solar Eclipse Cocktail

Solar Eclipse Cocktail

Solar Eclipse Cocktail

| Shaker // Tools // Coupes // Plates |

 

Dorm Decor

Whether you’re 18 or 28 – everyone can always use a lacquer tray or a storage ottoman, amiright? 

My oldest niece is starting college on Monday and while visiting her dorm this week, I became surprisingly nostalgic about my collegiate days. It also got me thinking about how my home décor style has evolved over the past 10 years (thank God it did). Though I’ve toned down the DIY accents and completely ditched all of the sorority memorabilia, I do think there are a few accessories that can be carried over from college to post-grad living.

Dorm Decor

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5  

I wouldn’t necessarily call these items timeless, but more so transferable. They function in a cramped dorm room but could also follow you to your first post-grad bachelorette pad – if you can keep up with them, that is. 😉

 

Links, Lately

Work anniversary flowers and a G&T to start the weekend! 

| filed under my favorite things: flowers and gin |

My goal for the weekend is to tackle few household chores I’ve been putting off for a while. But before I do, Abbye and I are taking a trip to Scott’s Antique Market tomorrow and I’m hoping it will inspire me to finally complete my projects. Nevertheless, I’ll be sharing my weekend adventures via Instastories – TBD on if I continue to procrastinate or actually GSD.

As for the links…I’ve been compiling an obnoxiously long list in my notes on my phone, so I’m sharing more than usual today!

New York has their pizza rat and Atlanta now has their pizza squirrel! #WelcomeToTheSouth

A guide to all the lifestyle concepts you’ll be forced to know about soon.

Love a movie with a surprise twist ending! Here are 28 of the best.

Mindy Kaling’s home tour makes me want to paint an entire room turquoise.

Speaking of house goals – Maggie Griffin’s home tour on Ballad Designs is every. thing.

What it’s like to live next to Bumble’s headquarters – spoiler: it ain’t great.

Taking solo trip is on my (ever-growing) todo list – I loved reading about these 8 US destinations that I would have never thought about visiting.

14 new books that deserve to be read.

Somewhat tempted to try this new “brandless” online grocery store – gotta love smart branding.

Lastly, you should really go follow Woody Harrelson on Instagram.

Have a fabulous weekend, friends!