Blogtember: Three Months

I’ll be linking up with Jenni this month for her Blogtember series. Today’s prompt: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do?

I didn’t even have to think twice about this one. It’s probably not any different from most other people’s wishes. BUT, if I had three months off I’d travel. I’d buy an around-the-world ticket, and off I’d go. My itinerary would look something like this (Please note, all images are sourced within the words of the document):

The western US and Canada for some hiking and the great outdoors. 
grand-tetonsGrand Tetons


Yellowstone National Park banff-alberta-train-travelBanff National Park (Alberta, Canada) 

I’d then head over to Asia, but this is where it gets tricky. Normally with around-the-world tickets, you can’t back track. So how do you get between all of the little islands and big lang masses without backtracking? Maybe it’s easier than it looks? I guess I’d stop first somewhere in the South Pacific…French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Fiji…they all kind of look the same, but that’s not a bad thing, since they all look like thiscook_islands South Pacific. Then I’d hit up New Zealand for more hikingwine-tasting, and kayaking.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand wine tasting NZ banff-alberta-train-travelDepending on how I’m doing on time, I might limit myself to just the South Island of New Zealand. Then I’d jet over to Australia and cover as much of the country as I could– including the outback. Sydney_Australia Uluru-Australia Sydney and Uluru  I’d rest my soul and renew my spirit and energy in Bali’s rice fields. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen head to Vietnam and Cambodia for culture and delicious food. Vietnam-South_2 Angkor Wat before sunset, Cambodia.In Thailand I’d mix culture with relaxationthailand-buddha-temple phi-phi-thailandOne of the most challenging yet most rewarding parts of my 3-month journey would be NepalnepalI’d put fears aside and hike to Mt. Everest’s base camp. 2-everest-base-campIt’s important to do things that scare you, right? India and the Taj Mahal would be next. college-abroad-taj-mahal-india-mainA few weeks in the Seychelles may be needed after all of this traveling. SeychellesI’d make a stop in Ethiopia just to re-visit one of my most favorite places on earth.  I’d go hiking and refuel on amazing food. Simien Mountains, Ethiopia. ethiopianfoodAnd then I would head back home.Philadelphia - LOVE 1

What would YOU do for three months?


Blogtember: Who are you?

I’ll be linking up with Jenni this month for her Blogtember series. Jenni’s first prompt reads: Describe where or what you come from. The people, the places, and/or the factors that make up who you are.These hills, valleys, mountains, streams and farmland raised me. DSC_1034IMG_2122 IMG_2149 IMG_2158 IMG_2171 IMG_2173 DSC_1228 DSC_1233This music feeds my soul.DSC_1160 DSC_1170These people are my life. DSC_0840 jump shot 592-Ashlee-Cory-WeddingSo many people and places have left footprints on my heart. They are who I am.

How to make your own mayonnaise

A few disclaimers here.

1. I don’t really eat mayonnaise.  If I had to choose I’d pick Miracle Whip, but I really just don’t eat things that require mayo as a condiment.

2. Mayo is not the most attractive thing to photograph, so if you have a weak stomach, I’ve put the recipe first. :)

That said, my husband eats a turkey sandwich for lunch. I was told making your own mayo was easy and, obviously, would have way less crap in it. So, I gave it a go.


DSC_2245 DSC_2249

2 eggs

2 cups of light tasting olive oil (not pictured)

2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of mustard (not pictured)

1 teaspoon of sea salt

Cayenne pepper to taste

Other necessary items: a blender and a jar (I use leftover salsa jars, but mason jars or pasta jars work too).

I’m still getting a handle on this blogging thing, so I didn’t get a ton of pictures of the “in process” part. I promise it’s easy. Just add everything but the olive oil to the blender. Blend well. The HARDEST part is this next step. It’s only hard because it tests your patience. Keep the blender running on its lowest setting, and SLOWLY drizzle the olive oil into the blender. You really need to do this almost drop by drop. This part takes up 9/10 of the time it takes to make your own mayo. Just be patient. The olive oil, blending slowly, allows the mixture to thicken over time. When you’re done adding the olive oil, do a quick taste test. You can add whatever spices you want. I sometimes use honey mustard instead of yellow mustard, and I often add more cayenne pepper, but the beauty of making mayo at home is that you can make it to your liking. I think I’m going to add wasabi next time. Here’s the final product:DSC_2250 DSC_2251 DSC_2252


Enjoy!  And definitely let me know if you come up with any great mayo recipes!

Life Lately

DSC_2243Brunch at the famed Honey’s with friends and their babe. Despite it’s Food Network fame, I’ve been twice and think it’s way over-hyped. But that’s another story for another day. The plus side is that they were VERY accommodating to a large stroller and an infant. 

DSC_2263 DSC_2262 DSC_2261 DSC_2260 DSC_2259Photos from the world’s best book club. Seriously, I am part of the very best book club that has ever existed. A hodge-podge of beautiful, brilliant women from different worlds collide for laughter and meaningful conversations. This time around we read The New Jim Crow. The author was a little ranty, the content was less non-fiction novel and more academic textbook, BUT it’s thought-provoking and worthwhile to read (or at least skim). Those of you watching Orange is the New Black would appreciate it.


I went to Atlanta for a work trip. It was nice to reconnect with old colleagues, but even nicer to spend time with old friends. While downtown Atlanta has nothing on Philadelphia, I miss the charm of Atlanta’s neighborhoods a lot. This was the view from my hotel room. Views of CNN, the Georgia Dome, and the newly installed ferris wheel. DSC_2274 DSC_2273 DSC_2267 DSC_2264And then I got to come home to my apartment and these views. I love our neighborhood so much. Our private roof deck makes it even better. And the sunsets have been out-of-this-world-beautiful lately.

Life has been busy but oh, so, good. 





Dear Dad

Today was the first day I had to do the popular “put your iPhone in rice” trick. I didn’t drop it in water. I did, however, walk through a monsoon this morning in a jacket that wasn’t as water-proof as it claimed to be. So far, about 10 hours after the accident, I’ve decided I can definitely live without the phone. What I can’t live without? Instagram and my iPhone camera!  I love my big girl camera, but you can’t carry it around all. the. time. Fingers crossed this rice thing works.

In other news, a friend shared a great article with me today. It talks about a father’s outlook on sex for his daughter. It’s hopeful and positive and strong and a totally refreshing perspective. You can check it out here.

And because this post needs some photos– thanks Dad, for all of your love and support throughout the years. I love you! These are for you.

20130527_18_32_38 20130527_19_47_19 20130527_19_48_26 20130527_19_48_27 20130527_19_48_30 20130527_22_22_31 20130527_22_23_54 20130527_22_24_51-4All photos by Sam Hurd.