Thursday, September 29, 2016

Loads of Fantastic Fall Things, Foods, Books, and More!

Hi all!!

Happy Fall :-D

For those who have been reading my past few blog entries, eyeing my Instagram posts, and as well as who know me personally, you are well aware of the fact that I love autumn.  Its the season I absolutely adore.  I don't want to sound like a broken record (I just wrote a blog post on a similar topic in which I listed my favorite spots and activities in New England during the autumn season) but for me, fall is utterly romantic.

The explosion of color on the trees, the crunch of leaves under knee high boots, warm to-go coffee/tea cups clutched in hand.  The air is brisk.  Thick books beckon.  New beginnings and anticipation swirls in the air.  Autumn is the time to shake things up.  Its also the time to snuggle down and get cozy.  Afternoon movie marathons or cuddling into bed with a gripping read are both especially enticing as the temperature is dialed down a notch.  Cafes are an especially inviting locale to wile away the late afternoon.  Baking and cooking are even more satisfying weekend ventures (though the the items on the menu change, from salads and lighter fare to all things cheesy, breaded, chocolatey and DELICIOUS).  In short, autumn is the BOMB.

(If you wish to read further on my lamenting to awesomeness of autumn, look no further).

With all of that said, I had no trouble coming up with these lists of fabulous things to do, eat, watch, read, etc during this cozy, rapidly impending season.  So, in grand celebration of fall, here are the movies, TV shows, foods, activities and more that I personally think are ideal and awesome for the season.  Hope it gives you some inspiration yourself.  Enjoy!!!

1. Sweet potato
2. Apples
3. Grilled cheese sandwiches.  Do not skip out on taking a look at these absolutely delectable looking  seven "grown up" grilled cheese sandwiches.  Mouthwatering.
4. Soup, in any flavor
5. Butternut squash
6. Pumpkin
7. Lasagna
8. Tea (though of course, this is a drink and not a food.  And tea is awesome any season, though especially during fall).
9. Chili
10. Brussel sprouts
11. Quiche
12.  French toast and/or pancakes

My own photo and recipe :-D you can have the recipe yourself here!!

1. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin donuts... ;-p the list goes on.
2. Anything spiced and with pears
3. Apple pie
4. Any dessert with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg
5. Sweet bread
6. Scones
7. Brown sugar pound cake
8. Brownies
9. Chocolate cake
10. Fruit crumble

My own photo...pumpkin cheesecake.  Mmmmm.

Another personal photo.  These are some "Brookies" that I made.  A brownie and a cookie combined ;-)

Autumn Activities
1. Apple picking
2. Grabbing a tea/coffee to-go, a great friend, and go walking in a nearby park or the woods (bonus, revel in the colorful leaves as you stroll).
3. Shopping for a new pair of boots or a cozy scarf!!  Yay for fall!
4. Wile away the afternoon between the aisles of your favorite bookstore
5. Cooking something delicious or bake up something sweet and yummy.  The best part?  Chowing down afterwards.
6. Painting or carving pumpkins.  If you carved them, putting candles inside and setting them on your stoop lends a spooky, fun, seasonal look to your front door.  Love this.
7. Host a small dinner party with friends.  You could also make it a potluck, if cooking multiple dishes for people is too intimidating!
8. Spend an entire afternoon in bed either reading or watching your favorite TV series. :-D
9. Grab a great buddy and try a brand new restaurant together!
10. Take a weekend day trip to a new town you have never visited before.
11. Make a new friend :-) its important to cherish the close/great ones you already have, but ask that person whom you have always liked (at work, or a friend of a friend, or your neighbor) but never had the guts to out for a coffee this week!
12. Grab a friend/loved one and go on an afternoon bike ride together.
13. Picnic in the park!  Grab a wonderful friend.  You bring 3 edible items, they bring 3 edible items.  Each of you bring a book and your own drink.  Meet in the park!  Chat, eat together, catch up, laugh and then relax and read side by side.
14.  Go hiking!  You can find any type of hike, from a leisurely walk in the woods to a sweat-inducing climb up steep rocks.  Your choice.

Boston, MA <3

Cities to experience autumn in
1. Any city in New Hampshire.  Sure, I am biased, but its also wildly gorgeous.
2. Boston, Massachusetts.
3. Prague, Czech Republic
4. Paris, France
5. Edinburgh, Scotland

Prague during autumn.  I snapped this shot in October, 2013.

Prague again, October, 2013.

Edinburgh, Scotland.  I LOVED this bookstore.  One of the most charming I have ever had the pleasure of stumbling across.

Edinburgh, Scotland.  The birthplace of Harry Potter ;-)

Edinburgh again.

Paris, France <3 one of my favorites.

Paris again.

New Hampshire. Nostalgia.

New Hampshire.  Where I am from :-D

New Hampshire.

Annnnnd New Hampshire once more.

TV Shows
1. Gilmore Girls.  I love the small town feel of this show.  Charming, romantic, inviting and cozy.  The banter between Lorelai and those she has relationships with (her mother, her daughter, men she dates, everyone really.  Its just the best.  So much fun to watch.  Her wit- I want it).
2. The Affair.  Gripping, dark, emotional, really interesting.  Awesome show.
3. Friday Night Lights.  This will evoke some major high school/college nostalgia.  Its the perfect fall show.  I believe its won 11 Emmy awards.  This show has some major soul.  Ive watched all five seasons through twice.  Give it a chance for 4 episodes (as actually I would say with any show on this list).  You'll be hooked.
4. House of Cards.  So dark, sinister, intriguing, snags you and doesn't let you go.
5.  Sex and the City.  Classic.  And yes, even guys can enjoy this show.  I have witnessed this phenomena with my own eyes, believe it or not ;-).
6.  The Wire.  Always mind blowing and worth watching.  One of the best TV shows ever made, without question.  Dont believe me?  Google and read about it.

1.  Its Complicated (with Meryl Streep)
2.  The Nightmare Before Christmas (one of my favorites)
3.  Last of the Mohicans
4.  Double Jeopardy
5.  Harry Potter
6.  Sweet Home Alabama
7.  Hook
8.  Sleepy Hollow
9.  Edward Scissorhands
10.  Misery
11.  Crazy, Stupid Love

1.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.  I just finished this.  I loved it.  Spellbinding.
2.  Wild Mind by Natalie Goldberg.
3.  Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani.
4.  The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.  Or, even better, The Goldfinch by the same woman.
5.  Us by David Nicholls
6.  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
7.  Just Kids by Patti Smith.  One of my favorite books ever, in the whole world.  Phenomenal.
8.  Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel.  Excellent relationship book.  Really thought-provoking and interesting.
9.  Water for Elephants
10.  Open by Andre Agassi (the only one off this list that I have not read personally yet.  This was recommended to me by a friend, and upon checking it out in, the reviews and ratings confirm that it looks superb).

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Amazing adventure in just four weeks....

Hi all!!

This will be a short but exciting post.  In just four weeks, I am off for my next adventure!!!!  I had totally forgotten how high up on my travel wishlist this destination was until the other day during some random Googling.  The French Riviera.  Otherwise known as the south of France.  I was able to snag a flight for pretty dang cheap down to Nice, France for this October 24-28.  But Nice is not really the city that interests me.  That is merely where I will be sleeping.

For three days, I will leapfrog between the coastal cities of the Riviera.

I have three particular spots in mind, all of which I have dreamed of seeing in person for a few years now....

Villefranche Sur Mer is the city (or rather, fishing village) at the top of my list in terms of French Riviera must see locales.  I just think it looks SO charming, so romantic, so picturesque.  I have yet to see it in person and I already love it.

So, not only does this tiny town entice with its visual charm, what I am sure is mouthwatering seafood on offering, and bathwater-warm swimming, but there is a fascinating piece of history in connection with Villefranche that interests me, the cherry on top of the cake if you will.

The Rolling Stones fled here when exiled from England for not paying their taxes, the bad boys that they were.  In their escape, they set their sights on...where else, Villefranche Sur Mer.  They rented a villa called Nellcote.  During their time staying in this villa, they recorded what is now known as possibly the very best rock and roll album of all time.  Their album "Exile on Main Street."

Simultaneously during this time, they were (supposedly) within the grips of the very height of their heroin addictions.  The things that went on in this can only imagine.  A lot of darkness and grittiness without a doubt.  Now this spot is a legendary one for those who are Stones fans, because of what the band was able to produce while simultaneously encased in such a fog/downward spiral of chaos.

I love the Rolling Stones.  I have read a number of books on the subject of the band, their music, and the trajectory of their career if you will.  Their story is a gripping, alluring and exhilarating one to read about.  And of course, they are incredible musicians, having altered the course of rock and roll music.  So, I am especially intrigued to check out this village where they lived during this time period of their history.

Now, onto stop #2....

Eze Village.  This one is pretty self explanatory from the photos above...

Absolutely stunning, sweeping, jaw-dropping, gorgeous views, as you can see yourself.  I CANNOT wait to wander this tiny, hilltop medieval village!!!!

And last but not least, Saint Paul de Vence.
The last spot I plan to visit along the French Riviera.  How sweetly stunning is this village?  As though its been untouched by time.

Stay tuned for LOADS of photos and stories come the end of October!!!!  The countdown begins...