Friday 10: Top Posts of 2014

After setting some goals for 2015 on Monday, I thought it would be fun to look back at 2014's most popular posts. Take a peek! 

1. Friday 10: Weekender Bags

A round-up of stylish and functional weekender bags to take for your mini adventures.

2. Daydream Destination: Florence's Boboli Gardens

At first, it surprised me to see this older post doing so well this year. Then I realized Dan Brown's book Inferno features a tense scene in the grotto of the Boboli Gardens. Visitors came to check out pictures of the intricate grotto and the funny little statue of Braccio di Bartolo atop a turtle. 

3. Sweet Treats from Kelly's Bake Shoppe

A taste and review of vegan, gluten-free, peanut-free deliciousness from Kelly's Bake Shoppe. We ended up booking our wedding cake with them! 

4. Friday 10:  A Paris getaway

A round up of 10 places to stay and things to do for a beautiful Paris getaway. 

5.  Friday 10: Long flight essentials

My recommendations for surviving long-haul flights and making it to the other side feeling and looking good. 

6.  Halfway through the Whole30

My experience with the first half of the Whole30. Toughing through 2 weeks of no grains, no dairy, no soy, no added sugar, no msg/carageenan/sulfites, no legumes, and no alcohol. Yeah, about that. . .there's a reason why their timeline includes a "kill all the things" and "I just want to nap" phase!

7.  I finished the Whole30!

A look at how the last half of my Whole30 went. It was hard, but worthwhile. I learned a lot about how what I eat affects how I look and feel. As a result, I've kicked dairy to the curb--unless it's a really delicious treat! 

8.  Nights at the Louvre

Reminiscing about our last trip to Paris and my love affair with the Louvre at night. 

9.  Friday 10:  Carry-ons for the flight and beyond

Ten classic, stylish, useful carry-ons. 

10:  What's a sharecation, anyway? 

I consider this the wild card. It's a post I wrote a long time ago about how much I dislike the term sharecation. I thought it was a grumpy ramble, but something about it must have struck a chord with people. 

I still hate the word sharecation!

It was interesting to see what ended up being popular. The Friday 10 posts are obviously a big hit! I'll continue to do those (although I may play with Friday 5s, too). 

Let me know if there's something you'd like to see more of in the coming year!

I hope you have a great weekend! 

Friday 10: Pies, Poison, a Podcast, and Passes

This week has flown by! I had my birthday on Tuesday and pretty much ate my way through it. Then on Wednesday, S and I went to a Toronto Maple Leafs game. I think it was my first game at the Air Canada Centre and we had a great time. The Leafs destroyed the Bruins. We paid approximately 1 zillion dollars for me to have a collectors cup full of Coke Zero. I drank it all. I don’t think I ever want to drink Coke Zero again. We stayed up way past my bedtime and I think I’m still paying the price. I am old now, what can I say?

So figured it was a good week for a link roundup! There’s some Ham, some Histoire, and some Travel. 

The Ham

#1  We received a huge pile of carrots in our CSA box this week. Melissa Joulwan’s recipe for Cumin Roasted Carrots came highly recommended to me. It seemed perfect for the season, so I’m giving it a try tonight. 

#2  On the less healthy side, Serious Eats’s list of 11 Must-Try Pies Across America seems like a good reason to go on a road-trip, right? Not to be biased, but I’d probably start in DC for the Baltimore Bomb which is described by Dangerously Delicious Pies as “loaded with Berger Cookies (a Baltimore specialty) that melt down and swirl into a sweet vanilla chess filling.” Sign me up!

#3  Italian master barista Ettore Diana gives coffee at McDonald’s and Starbucks a thumbs up. Take that coffee snobs!

The Histoire

#4  My favorite video and link of the week. Vince Speranza, a WWII vet, tells the story of returning to the French town of Bastogne 65 years later and finding out he’s a legend. It’s a must-see! You’ll probably want to check this out after you watch, too. 

#5  A look at the strange, fascinating history of poisonous Victorian clothing (link via Stuff You Missed in History Class). The exhibition that inspired the article, Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Centuryis on at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum until June 30th, 2016. 

The Travel

#6  I’m daydreaming of staying in the Ufogel (€120/night), a Tyrollean house and "spatial wonder." I can just imagine cozying up with hot drinks to watch the snow fall on that beautiful landscape after a long day of attempting to ski.

via  Apartments for Sale Paris  and Paris Perfect |  Saint Aubin

via Apartments for Sale Paris and Paris Perfect | Saint Aubin

#7  I’m also daydreaming of buying this fully-furnished Paris apartment. It’s located in the 7th arrondissement and has an Eiffel Tower view. I’m not sure if €915,000 (approximately $1.2 million) is a deal or not, but it seems like it after seeing what Toronto prices have been doing lately. 

#8  I have been looking into the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France a lot  lately and this lovely post about the seaside town of Collioure from Girl in Florence has only sparked my wanderlust more. 

#9  Are those museum passes worth the money? I generally skip them because we don’t hop from museum to museum fast enough. The New York Times takes a look at Amsterdam, Madrid, Florence and Paris to see what kind of bang for your buck you are actually getting. 

The Wildcard

#10 And, finally, I’ve been completely mesmerized by a podcast called Serial. This season (I say that in hopes that there will be more) is all about the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, a young high school student in Baltimore. If you are one of the few who has not heard of it, give it a listen.

That's it for this week! The flurries were flying as I wrote this. I think I'll go settle down with some tea, a book, and a down throw!

I hope you have a happy and warm weekend. 

The case for revisiting

Have you ever started to plan a trip and had a tug-o-war between a familiar place and a new spot?

Jardin de Tuileries, Paris

Jardin de Tuileries, Paris

At the end of every trip I always think, “I need to come back here, we didn’t even scratch the surface.” And, yet, when a new opportunity rolls around, it’s hard for me to say no to the shiny new adventure. It can be easy to get into the mindset that more or newer is better, but that's not always true with life or travel. The more I travel, the more I believe that travel is much less about seeing places than it is about experiencing places.

Is Paris always a good idea? In my experience, yes. 

Is Paris always a good idea? In my experience, yes. 

I realized today how lucky I’ve been to visit Paris four times in the past five years. I felt like each trip revealed a new side to the city. The streets became a little more familiar. I can walk to certain places without a map. I notice what new graffiti replaced last year's models. I feel comfortable going a little further off the tourist-beaten track to find. . .a tiny French-Japanese bakery with matcha and azuki bean marbled bread.

Deliciously unique and beautiful  Marbrée Matcha & Azuki from Aki Boulangerie

Deliciously unique and beautiful Marbrée Matcha & Azuki from Aki Boulangerie

The shiny newness of adventure is always there because no trip--and no traveler--is ever the same twice. So revisiting isn't really about giving up the opportunity to see something new, it's seizing the opportunity to know a place more deeply.