• Do You Want to Start a Scandal
    Books

    Top 5 Favorite Reads of November 2018

    I’ve surpassed my GoodReads Reading Challenge! I’m currently 15 books ahead, with 140 read out of 125 total books. I don’t think I’ve ever read so many books in a year before (according to GoodReads at least). I owe it in part to allowing myself to abandon books that I’m not enjoying. Reading shouldn’t feel like a chore, and I’ve stopped feeling guilty whenever I don’t finish a book. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right, and I’ll pick it up another time. But I read what I want, when I want. I end up finishing a lot more books when I enjoy them from start to finish.   Magic Bites…

  • Appetizers at Casa do Pescador
    Food,  Travel

    Where to Eat in Porto Portugal

    One of the top highlights of our trip to Porto was the food. Rodrigo and I both went to Porto with very little knowledge of Portuguese food beforehand. I did a bit of research on different dishes to keep an eye on, but we were really hoping to get insider tips (as we usually do) from our Airbnb host. We found the following restaurants through a variety of sources: Elsa—our helpful Airbnb host, Google Maps reviews, and other travel publications and articles. 1. Café Santiago Café Santigao is probably the most touristy restaurant on this list, but I think it’s important to include it because it gives you a solid…

  • Meet Your Baker by Ellie Alexander
    Books

    Top 5 Favorite Reads of October 2018

    I’ve been reading a ton of good books lately, and it’s gotten to the point where it feels too good to be true. I feel like any minute now, my luck will end and I will hit a reading slump. But for now, I’m having a hard time narrowing my top favorite reads of the month, and I am okay with that. I’m still making great progress on my GoodReads Reading Challenge! I’m currently 12 books ahead, with 116 read out of 125 total books. (For the sake of rounding things out, I increased my goal from 121 to 125. My goal is usually 1 more book than the previous…

  • Grave Phantoms by Jenn Bennett / Photo by Cialina
    Books

    Top 5 Favorite Reads of September 2018

    Since my trip to the Philippines earlier this month was more family business than pleasure, I spent a lot of my trip reading while waiting for appointments or lounging at the hotel. I’m still making great progress on my GoodReads Reading Challenge! I’m currently 7 books ahead, with 99 read out of 121 total books.   The Roaring Twenties series by Jenn Bennett Yes, three of the five best books I read this month were all from the same series. It’s saying something when I read through the whole series in a short span of time. I’m usually the type to take completed series nice and slow, just so I could…

  • 5 Things I Brought to France from America
    Real Life

    5 Things I Brought to France from America

    I’d like to say that, in general, I’m a pretty light packer. In the past, I’ve had to stuff towels in my checked bag (and more recently, air cushion packaging that usually comes with your Amazon deliveries…) to add extra cushion for my fragile items. But every time I have weighed my suitcase at the airport, my luggage is right at the weight limit. Why? Because I am always stocking up on my American “essentials” of items that are more expensive, hard to find, or just not quite the same in France. Here’s some of what I brought back from my 3-month summer in the USA. 1. Cole Haan sneakers…