Jan 25, 2011

Paris Part Deux

I'm off to Paris this weekend with some girlfriends for a birthday celebration.
I know, I know. It's a tough life. 
But with easy access to London airports, you can find yourself in any European city
in a few hours and £100 can go a long way.
In fact, Air France had £5 flights to Paris so how can one resist?
A while back I stumbled upon this blog with these fun images.
New York vs Paris...

I just love these prints. Simple, creative, and spot on. 
 I feel so lucky to have these opportunities right now, so I'm soaking it all in.
My hips will be soaking in the macaroons, cheese, croissants, and chocolate. 
How do French women do it?
I guess they just have that je ne se qua.

Fine Print

I stumbled upon these charming prints on Etsy by Blancucha.
Love all three cities. They all mean a little something to me.
Or a lot.
She also has this fantastic Vespa print with a girl driving!
Unfortunately, she won't make it with lighter hair.
I already asked.
Either way, I have my eye on these and their punch of personality.

Jan 16, 2011

Ringing of the Bells

One thing I found rather strange in Slovenia was all the bells that ring. 
Don't get me wrong, I love when I can hear church bells ringing in the hour.
I can sometime hear them at Christ Church College Chapel from our house. 
I love it. Feels very European.
But in Bled, they rang every 15 minutes...and sometimes for minutes at a time.
We were staying right next to a church and could hear them every 15. 
I would get woken up at all hours from the ringing bells.
Maybe it was something around New Years? 
But even stranger... the little chapel on the island lets anyone ring the bells.
I can image that during peak tourist summer months this gets annoying to the locals.
Tourists ringing the church bells ALL DAY LONG.
Or maybe they are used to it?
 We of course tried it. 
And probably woke up some locals from an afternoon winter nap.
They even encourage you to ring it by promising you a wish...
So if you ever travel to Slovenia, you will be well prepared for the ringing of the bells.

Jan 12, 2011

The Perfect Winter Recipe

I'm diverting from my usual posting style about travel and other randomness.
Today I'd like to share a recipe that we have been enjoying time and again this winter. 
Everyone seems to really enjoy it. And a few have asked for the recipe.
With a cold snap back home, I thought you might like to warm up with this favorite of mine.
It's Louisiana with a splash of England, since I can't get all of my usual ingredients here.

Sausage and Chicken Creole
1 lb smoked sausage or your favorite local variety, cut into small round pieces
1 green and 1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup of celery, thinly chopped
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded. Or carved from cooked bird.
1 package of fresh button mushrooms or your favorite variety
Handful of fresh parsley leaves chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 cup of chicken broth
2 bay leaves
black pepper, white pepper, herbs de provence
dash of salt(only if needed), dash of Zatarans or Tony's 
For seasoning I always do it to taste but generally use about 1/2 teaspoon of each

1. Chop and prepare all ingredients.
If you need to cook your chicken breast, prepare this before you begin.
1. Prepare rice in your rice cooker or on the stove
2. While the rice is cooking heat bell pepper, onion, and celery in a lightly greased (olive oil) pot or dutch oven about 5-7 minutes or until veg is tender.
3. Add sausage and cook for another minute or two
4. Add chicken and mushrooms and cook for another 2 minutes
5. Add seasoning, parsley, and bay leaves and stir together all ingredients
6. Add tomatoes and broth
 7. Bring to a good boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-25 minutes

Serve over rice. Serves 4

This meal makes me want to cuddle up with a good book
or come in from the snow and take a warm bath.
These are two of my all time favorite interior images saved in my "inspiration" folder.
Rustic Chic gets me every time.
Elle Decor Magazine
House Beautiful
Navy Paint. Herringbone wood floors. Exposed copper pipes. Swoon

Jan 9, 2011


Slovenia is a small country that touches the Alps and has a small coast line on the Mediterranean.
It is bordered by Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria.
It's breathtakingly beautiful and very interesting to boot.
I'll share some pictures, but they really won't do it justice.
Oh and flying in over the Alps was beautiful.
First stop was the capital, Ljubljana (Lub ee lana).
 Buckets of sauerkraut. Mmm
The Christmas decorations were great and the small river city was very vibrant for New Years Eve.
Slovenia really should be called the land of hot dogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Another common kind of meat there is... ahem, horse.
We may or may not have tried it. It may or may not have tasted very gamey or much like venison.
It was a one time bite for me. Been there, done that.

Then at midnight, the firework show started. 
Apparently there are no firework laws in Slovenia because in addition to the official show,
everyone was setting off their own all around us. 
We're not talking about sparklers, folks.
We're talking fairly large explosives that are being set off all around us.
There was one very close to us that we could feel. 
As in, we got kind of thrown around by it. 
It was Nuts. We've never experienced anything like it.
On New Year's day we headed out to the Postojna Caves.
It is a network of 20 kilometers of tunnels and passageways.
It was LARGE.
You start by taking a train about two miles in and then walk by foot another mile or so. 
It's a world heritage site and quite impressive.

Then we moved on to a little lake town called Bled.
Via this interesting train.
Neil doesn't look so sure of this...
It was a ghost town of a popular train station.
But we finally made it in and are sure glad we did. 

It was stunning. 
While at the Bled Castle, we met up with Andre the Monk.
He taught me how to bottle, cork and seal some wine.

We took a small boat out to the island. 
Neil wanted a pony ride, but they told him he was too big.
So we headed into the mountains for some skiing to finish off the trip.

It was a really fun trip to ring in 2011. Which is sure to be a great year!