Atlanta and Raleigh

Hey everybody! It’s been a while, eh?

I’m here to pop in and post some pictures of a trip I took recently to visit some friends of mine from high school in Atlanta and the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina!

It was a Wednesday to Wednesday trip since we were planning on driving up to NC from Atlanta for the week (since my friend works) and my ATL-based friend is in grad school and it was her spring break.

After arriving on Wednesday night, we got drinks, dinner, and most importantly ice cream (!!) in downtown Decatur.  We had a great dinner at Brick Store Pub and Jeni’s Ice Cream. Decatur (which where my friend lives) is super cute! Having never been to the Atlanta area before, I had no idea what to expect and Decatur and the Druid Hills area of Atlanta proper are full of beautiful old homes and parks. Downtown Decatur had lots of nice restaurants and loads of cute shops!

The next day we jumped head first into touristy Atlanta in the morning, as my friend had a couple academics things to take care of before her break. We went downtown to the World of Coca- Cola! If you’re a Coke fan (*raises hand*) then it’s worth a trip! It’s very cheesy and there’s not a whole lot to do but it’s interesting to learn the history of the drink and experience the whole host of amusements (if you’ve ever been to the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam, it was very similar.) The best part is getting to taste Coke’s different brands from around the world! Even if I felt overdosed on corn syrup after, it was cool to taste sodas (or pop as we native-Michiganders are prone to call it) from Africa, South and Central America, Europe and Asia.

World of Coca-Cola World of Coca-Cola

Our next day was an early rise to get on the road to NC. We couldn’t leave Atlanta without a good Southern Breakfast though so we stopped at Home Grown which was super delicious! They even had a vegetarian version of biscuits and gravy which, even though my veggie bf wasn’t there to eat was much appreciated! Fueled up butter and gravy, we hit the road. It’s about a six hour drive so we arrived in Raleigh just in time for an early dinner. It was so much fun to catch up with my best friends! Can you believe they had never seen a Wes Anderson movie??? I made them watch The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom.

Biscuits and Gravy

Not so pretty to look at but, oh so delicious!

The next day we explored downtown Raleigh. Even though my friend has lived there for a few months, she hadn’t spent much time downtown. Luckily, we had the perfect excuse to go, an awesome flea market/vintage fair! We all got some great finds and then set off for more shopping and lunch. My favorite place we went was Ramble Supply Co! Such a cool store (and she had the cutest puppy!) We ended up around the corner at Beasley’s Chicken + Honey for lunch. After some more walking and shopping, we headed up to Durham for my friend’s band practice! She was playing the keys and it was such a treat to sit and watch them play.

Raleigh

Fun fact: Raleigh is the City of Oaks

We started out next day with baby goats! We drove out to Celebrity Dairy Farm to meet some baby goats. We got lunch out on the farm while we enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine! After getting our fill of the country, we headed into Durham. We stopped in a couple stores at Brightleaf Square and drove around the Duke campus. We also ended up doing some shopping at The Makery which had jewelry, vintage, and art from local makers. It was right across the parking lot from our dinner spot – The Pit for some Carolina BBQ!

Baby goats

Our last day in NC was spent doing some chain store shopping and see Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! I love Tina Fey in any thing so obviously I liked it.

Back in Atlanta, it time to pack in all that we could do in two days! Day One started out at the Ponce City Market. Obviously, it invites comparison to Chelsea Market (especially with the Beltine/Highline comparison) and it does hold it’s own. There’s lots of restaurant choices (we ended up getting Morroccan food) and lots of cute shopping, although the biggest difference to me was all the clothing and the fact that the food is bookended by a big West Elm and a big William Sonoma instead of more local and smaller stores.

Ponce City Market

We walked a little bit of the Beltline after lunch which has lots of cool art and a nice view of the front of the market and the Atlanta skyline.

Ponce City Market Beltline

After a quick popsicle pick-me-up, we headed to Piedmont Park. We walked up to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. We balked at the $20 entrance fee, especially in the spring when not everything is blooming but they had an AWESOME orchid display that ended up bring worth it. Looking to kill some time before dinner, we went to Atlantic Station for even more shopping! When we were finally hungry enough for dinner, we headed over to BarTaco for some delicious food.

Orchids Orchid display

The next day, we went a little out of town for a hike, opting to forgo Stone Mountain we ended up at Sweetwater Creek State Park. There is a really nice, easy, trail that leads to an old Mill and it was absolutely beautiful! We really lucked out on the weather too. If you keep on the red trail after the mill, it gets quite rocky but follows the creek/river down to some more rapids which were quite stunning.

Sweetwater Creek Sweetwater Creek

After running home to change, we hit the town to go to the High Museum. My friend was interested in the Iris van Herpen exhibit which was really cool. She makes these stunning dresses that are inspired by different things but they really have a movement and life to them. We also saw a Vik Muniz exhibit that I really liked.

Vik Muniz

After dinner, I was off the airport! I really liked Atlanta, even more than I thought, and I hope my friend stays put for a while so I can go back!

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Buy my prints!!

After some encouragement from my friends I have made a Society 6! Some of my favorite pictures from past adventures are up and I’ll be adding more soon! I named it after my grandma and great-grandma, crafty ladies who will always inspire me! Check it out:

Lilyan’s Daughter

Lilyan's Daughter

Tote bag

I love the way this one looks as a tote!

July 4th

Look at this framed beaut!

New Year, New Blog?

Hello friends!

Do I ever post things? Nah. Do I wish I posted stuff on a regular basis? Heck yes!

I’m going to say this but I’m really not putting any pressure on myself: I want to post more often! and not just about books! (sorry anyone who reads this blog for books!) I’m writing it down and let it henceforth be known as my goal: To at least post something, like the following, once a month! Books, music, life, pictures, who knows? I already missed January and February but there’s lots of changes happening in my life right now and I’m going to embrace it! March is my month!

March

Click through to read about  a couple things I’m been into lately  (plus all the books I’ve read since I last posted! Wowie!)

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Vegetarian Thanksgiving Round-Up

Vegetarian Thanksgiving. Seems contradictory doesn’t it? Thanksgiving = turkey which is most definitely not vegetarian. For the past few years, Brian has been coming home with me for traditional Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house and we’ve had to get creative a couple times to bring a dish that he can eat. I like to keep within the traditional Thanksgiving flavors of the midwest, so I thought I’d round up some of my favorite things we’ve made in case you’re facing a similar dilemma!

First off,
Mushroom Gravy

Gravy

Photo from Umami Girl

This gravy is AMAZING. Definitely just as good as regular gravy. Since mashed potatoes are already veggie-friendly, all you need to complete this Thanksgiving side is gravy. It might seem a little strange since you need to steep dried mushrooms in vegetable broth (the inspiration for our vegetarian French onion soup!) but it’s worth it for the savory umami flavor that it instills in this gravy.

Roasted Vegetable Galette

Photo from Cook Your Dream

Photo from Cook Your Dream

We made this galette last year and it was a big hit! My mom really loved it and my uncle too! The roasted veggies keep this very fall feeling and if you didn’t want to make the dough, you could make this even easier by using pre-made puff pastry. If you’re not hosting Thanksgiving though, make sure there’s room in your host’s oven to heat this up before serving!

Mushroom Tart

If you haven’t gotten your fill of mushrooms yet, this is another easy dish to make, that’s similar to the roasted veggie one above.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Photo from Food Network

My aunt calls Brussel sprouts nature’s candy and she may be right! Roasted brussel sprouts are so easy and delicious and even the kiddies will eat them! Make them extra tasty by tossing them in lemon or another flavored oil, salt, and pepper. (My mom LOVES the flavored oils from O & Co.) Roast at 425˙ for 45 min.

Stuffing (or is it Dressing?)

Bri actually really hates stuffing but it’s easy to make vegetarian too!

Cheesy Potatoes

This has become my aunt’s specialty! She actually makes it for every holiday now – Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Make it with cream of mushroom soup instead of chicken and it’s vegetarian!

Green Bean Casserole

Green BEans

Photo from Campbells

This classic Thanksgiving side is so easy to make vegetarian! Just use cream of mushroom soup instead of any meat-based soup you may use.

Cranberry Relish

Cran Relish

Photo from Recipe Corner

Who doesn’t love the refreshing cranberry side? Instead of opening a can and having the weird jelly (my friend calls this “Can” since it always retains the shape of it’s container), make it fresh with cranberries and orange! Just pop cranberries, orange slices, and sugar to your taste into your food processor!

 

 

Lately (and books!)

Hello everyone!

Sorry, I have been so very MIA recently. Since we got back from Seattle I’ve had a crazy few months, work has been absolutely insane and stressful and frankly, upsetting and we just moved! Except not really because our bathroom is under construction and so we can’t live in our new place. Here’s what our bathroom currently looks like….

Bathroom

I realize I haven’t done a Monthly Reads in a few months and I’ve read way too many books in the past three (four! oh geez, I started writing this in the beginning of September and now it’s the 3rd day of November!) months to make separate posts about them. So here’s a list of all the books from July, August, September, and November. My favorites are bolded.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Galore by Michael Crummey
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
The Sandman: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenburg
The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Everything was good! Actually my least favorite may have been The Book Thief, I just felt like it had lots of short sentences that could have easily been combined to make it flow better… My favorite was probably 1Q84. I hauled that sucker around everywhere with me!

Did you make it through all that book talk?
We’ve also been on some adventures in the last few months – we went home to Michigan for Labor Day, Brian played a show up in Connecticut and I got to go with him, and we went on a fall color whirlwind tour to pick apples upstate. Here’s some pictures.

Black Eyed Susans

The Lake

My happy place

For Everest

The band

Apples

Apple picking

The Mountains

The Shawangunk Mountains

Hope you all are having a less stressful fall than me!

Love in Seattle

Wow, I’m feeling like a grown-up! My friends got married this weekend! Brian and I traveled to Seattle last week to attend Nick and Kim’s wedding and got to spend some time in the city beforehand exploring with our friends. I was so excited to see a new city (even though I read an article about how Seattle is long overdue for a huge earthquake/tsunami right before leaving) and it did not disappoint!

Here’s some pictures and stuff we did for a great 3.5 days in Seattle!

Pike Place

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Catskills, Year Two

Brian and I took a nice little trip up to the Catskills again last weekend for the 4th of July. You can see what we did last year here. Last year we stuck to cities and sites off of Route 28 and this year we were staying off 23A. Here’s what we ended up doing this year.

We left early Friday morning and stopped in Beacon on our way up. We decided to check out Mount Beacon, not thinking we’d climb the whole trail since it’s quite steep and rocky. The trail follows the old rail path up to the top of the mountain. There’s a stairway near the beginning of the trail and we thought we’d just walk up there and see we what we could. It was still blocked by tress and so we figured we’d keep going. We kept pushing ourselves up the punishing hill and finally made it to the top to awesome views of Beacon, the Hudson, Newburgh and the Catskills in the distance. There’s also some ruins from the old funicular, casino and hotel.

Mount Beacon

The view from Mount Beacon

After a great lunch in Beacon at The Hop, we checked in to the hotel and took a nap. We had dinner in Windham at Cave Mountain Brewing. The food was just bar food but pretty good!  The next day, it was raining and we headed towards the Hudson to Catskill and Athens. No one was around so we walked around Catskill in a break in the rain. We ended up following this guide to Athens from Escape Brooklyn and went to BlackHorse Farms (we got some good cookies, treats, and even some sale succulents!) and the Coxsackie Antique Center.  We found a cool poster of a Vogue cover from 1922 to take home. We went back to Athens to Crossroads Brewing for lunch. We loved it! Brian loved his beer and really liked our oyster po boys too.

Catskill, NY

Cats of Catskill

The rain cleared up after that and we explored some more of the Catskills area around our hotel. We wanted to go back to Maine Black Bear for dinner, but they were out of food! We ended up at a weird place down the street and headed to Margaretville for the fireworks. We went there last year and it was a great display so we were excited for this year. Well, it wasn’t windy enough or something and there was a great cloud of smoke, blocking all the fireworks! 😦 I got a couple pictures in though.

Fireworks

Brian had a show Sunday so we headed out early and stopped at Tantillo’s Farm near New Paltz to pick some cherries. We had a good time picking sour cherries for a pie!

Cherries

 

Yum! You gotta make it out to the Catskills/Hudson Valley soon!

May Reads 2015

A couple years ago, I was interning and one of the managers asked me to run an errand to the Upper West Side (about an hour ride on the subway from the office). His guilt evident, he asked me “Hey Camille, read any interesting books lately?” My answer was “Yes, actually!!!” much to his surprise. I had just finished Cloud Atlas and really loved it (and was excited about it) and was currently reading Love in the Time of Cholera. Is it really surprising to meet someone who reads? Anyways, it was a slower month but a happy month full of second-books-in-series!

IMG_0682

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Long time, no see!

Hello dear ~3 readers of this blog! Please excuse my absence these past fews weeks! It’s been crazy at work and then I left my computer behind when we went to Puerto Rico for a week! It was a great trip, I got to see my parents, brother, best friend (and her family), and Brian even came too! I’ll be posting my May Reads as soon as I get around to taking a picture of the books, but for now enjoy some pics from Puerto Rico and my last post – Strawberry Mint Lime Pops!

La Mina Falls

La Mina Falls in El Yunque

The view of El Yunque

The view of El Yunque from the balcony

The Streets of Old San Juan

The Streets of Old San Juan

Old San Juan

The colorful streets of Old San Juan

San Juan

Old San Juan

Old San Juan

La Pared

La Pared Beach in Luquillo

Castillo San Felipe

Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan