Sunday Stories

I am forever sharing mouth-watering dessert recipes from Lovely Little Kitchen - but I think this Whole Lemon Pie is my new favorite.

Photo used by permission of Lovely Little Kitchen.

Photo used by permission of Lovely Little Kitchen.

If you plan a visit to NYC soon, add this to your Broadway list. Hilarious, and more child-friendly than most other shows.

Dictionary and language geeks - read up.

In my opinion, she always looks super-stylish - whoever she is wearing and wherever she goes.

Love the "before & after" projects on Apartment Therapy - especially when they are in Paris.

For anyone that is always "too busy" - some serious food for thought.

How far will you travel to go to the gym regularly? We live exactly two blocks from our gym, so there are few legit excuses for skipping workouts.

Have a lovely week!

 

Reflecting

On a clear, calm morning, the Reservoir in Central Park is a beautiful place to reflect.

It's always darkest before the dawn, and I love the reflection of the lights of midtown on the calm surface of the water just before the sun begins to rise.

CentralPark.jpg

Now, we do not make a habit of going to Central Park in the middle of the night, but at the hour this was taken - about 5 a.m. - it is not uncommon to find runners and walkers already making their way around the track. On this particular morning, Scott and I were "sleep training" for an overseas flight - that is, getting up half an hour earlier every morning for a week to ensure we could sleep on our redeye flight to Europe later that week.

Have a beautiful - and peaceful - Wednesday.

 

Travel Tuesday: Slovenia

If you had never heard of Slovenia, your introduction to it may have come within the last year, since it is the homeland of the current First Lady.

We didn't know much about it either. But on a holiday in Italy a few years ago, we found ourselves with a couple of extra days in Venice. What to do? Since Slovenia is right next door - only about an hour's drive away - we decided to be spontaneous, rent a car, and go.

A quick look at Rick Steves' recommendations, and we were off!

With the river running through the city center of the capital, Ljubljana, it reminded me a bit of Salzburg. It is a compact, walkable city with beautiful bridges and architecture. It even has a medieval castle high above the city. Walk up the steep hill, or cheat by taking the funicular. This is very much a university town, with lively streets and cafés filled with students.

The river bank through the downtown is lined with outdoor cafés. In the chilly weather, every seat had included a warm, cozy blanket for you to use - a practice I could totally get on board with in other cities. Because the country has heavy Slavic, German, and Italian influences (most people seem to speak at least three or four languages), you can find just about any kind of cuisine here.

Ljubljana Evening.jpg

Every single picture of me in Slovenia has me wearing this jacket and scarf. When our trip started in Rome a week earlier, temps were more than 90 degrees, and I had brought clothes for warm weather. But temps in Slovenia plummeted into the 20s, creating a fashion emergency that required a stop at the center city Ljubljana H&M for a coat. Scott bought the warm, cozy scarf from a street vendor in Venice, and I still wear it multiple times each week during the fall and winter.

As lovely and vibrant as the capital is, you'll want to get out of town and head north to gorgeous Lake Bled. It is less than an hour's drive from Ljubljana, and the scenery is worth every minute of that trip.

During holidays, it is a busy resort. But when we arrived in early October - off-season for tourists - we found a peaceful, uncrowded village. We enjoyed the stunning fall foliage during a walk around the serene lake. You can also go out to the small island in the middle of the lake that hosts the beautiful Church of the Assumption of Mary.

Head up to the cliff-hanging Bled Castle, which dates back to 1011 (the road is a steep climb, or you can take a tram) to visit the castle and take in the breathtaking views of the Julian Alps.

The views are definitely worth the climb.

I was freezing, but clearly having a great time.

You can stay locally in Bled, but you can easily take in the sites and views on a day trip from the capital.

Slovenia was an unexpected treat for us - definitely a hidden gem in Eastern Europe. Where is the most interesting place you have visited that is off the beaten path?

Sunrise in Manhattan

Scrolling through the zillion pictures on my iPhone this weekend, it is apparent that I take lot of pictures at sunrise and sunset.

(And that I seriously need to clean out my phone).

There are a lot more sunrises than sunsets, however, because I am an early bird and often out and about the city - or heading to the airport - bright and early. A few of my favorites:

The East River, from Carl Schurz Park.

Carl Schurz Park.

The Upper East Side, looking south from our living room.

One of the many sunrises I have watched from the American Airlines Admirals Club at LaGuardia Airport.

Central Park, 5:30 a.m.

East 72nd Street, between York Avenue and the East River.

Early morning view of the Jenga Tower in Tribeca:

Where are your favorite spots to enjoy sunrises and sunsets?

Sunday Stories: "BBC Mum," Ina Garten's Apartment, and Oxford Commas

Ina Garten's Upper East Side pied-a-terre is for sale. Not surprisingly, the kitchen looks amazing.

Any of my Nashville friends scored fabulous designer deals at this store? Maybe I will check it out on my next visit. 

Sure, you can dress like her. But do you really want to tell people she is your fashion inspiration?

I have totally jumped on the cauliflower rice trend - even Scott loved this recipe and described it as tasting like couscous. 

Looks like a dreamy vacation to me.

Time to starting using the Oxford comma again.

I can't even. The writer of this heartbreakingly beautiful essay passed away this week.

Still laughing at the "BBC Dad" interview? This "BBC Mum" spoof is even funnier. 

Have a lovely week!