as GOLD as it gets

Life's adventures should be fully accessorized!


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24 hours in baltimore

This past weekend we headed to Baltimore for the fastest and surprisingly relaxing weekend.

24 hours in baltimoreWe stayed just a couple of blocks from the Inner Harbor at the Hampton Inn so everything was just a quick walk away. If you are looking for affordable parking, I highly suggest using Parkwhiz! You select the area you want to park in and it shows you garages and prices. Often they are less expensive than showing up to the garage but they always reserve you a spot which is seriously reassuring! The only time I had an issue with a garage being full, they immediately refunded my money and helped me find other parking.

First up we headed to dinner. The inner harbor has so many restaurants, mostly chain restaurants but you can choose some really amazing local places just out of the inner harbor – head towards Fells Point, but we opted to stay close and go for tapas. After filling my bag with gummy bears (our fave) we walked over to take a City Lights cruise. It was an quick hour around the harbor and really beautiful. We had a bunch of high schoolers with inept chaperones on our cruise, otherwise it was really fun.

 baltimore harbor cruise

baltimore city lights harbor cruise

lilly for target upstream shift

baltimore city lights harbor cruise

The next day we headed to the National Aquarium. I had never been but it was really fun! Everything I read online said you needed a full day to go through. Maybe if you stopped at each talk or show that they had…. but I think you only need a half a day.

national aquarium baltimore national aquarium baltimore national aquarium baltimore national aquarium baltimore   national aquarium baltimore national aquarium baltimore   
national aquarium baltimore

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laudree macarons nyc

I’ve caught the macaron bug and I’ve been dying to head to Laudree to try the queen of the macarons. It wasn’t too long ago that the notorious french pastry shop came to New York City from Paris and now has two locations. I went to the Soho location which also has a full kitchen and tea room. I was in a moderate hurry but plan on popping back in this summer for more macaron’s and tea.
laudree macarons | as GOLD as it gets

I picked up a box of 6 which is $21, which is a lot but this is something that I cannot make on my own (yet!) and I also didn’t want to eat them right away and if you buy less than 6 they put them in a little sleeve like you get at Starbucks and these delicate little gems would just have not survived NJ Transit back to Princeton. And well, life has been hard and macaron’s are great! (Also something to note is they don’t have a credit card minimum).

macaron flavors from laudreelaudree macarons | as GOLD as it gets laudree macarons | as GOLD as it gets

A little about the shop: It’s gorgeous and feels like you are transported into a Parisian fantasy. The windows are decorated adorably and the shop has a bright mint exterior with a huge Laudree flag fluttering in the wind on W Broadway. The staff is so friendly. Honestly the reminded me of the ladies on Disneyland’s Main Street that serve ice cream, they look (and sound) like they flew in from Paris and they are so patient as you peruse the mountains of treats that you can get. You even get to choose the color box that you want (and they don’t seem to mind as you snap a few photos!).

window display laudree  Who doesn’t want to have a little dessert on this china?laudree tablesThey absolutely live up to the hype. They are so flaky, chewy but cripsy and obviously have amazing flavor. The one below is the Rose which is understated but fresh and smell heavenly.
macaron

Laudree Soho Location
398 W Broadway 


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princeton : the farmhouse store

We found the cutest store in Princeton! The Farmhouse Store is located in Palmer Square right next to the parking garage and Mediterra restaurant. We never park on that side of the garage so I haven’t never seen it before. I am literally kicking myself for not knowing about it. Browsing around I found so many wonderful pieces and Paula who was working was so kind and helpful.

First a look around…

the farmhouse store princeton, nj | as GOLD as it gets blog

They have tons of amazing items, candles, pillows, scarves, knick knacks that are adorable and rustic without looking at all cheesy. But what is most impressive is their furniture. You can see a table a little bit here and the large hutch in the background. To quote their brochure, “At The Farmhouse Store, we honor the great heritage of the American settlers who first timbered this land by reclaiming antique barnwood to create beautiful furniture built to enjoy forever.”

the farmhouse store princeton, nj | as GOLD as it gets blog

I found this perfect haven while waiting for JPS to get off of work, I couldn’t believe we had ever seen it before. I loved this New Jersey pillow – it even has a heart over where we live! After we met up he wanted to see the shop and he thought we needed to buy it!

the farmhouse store princeton, nj | as GOLD as it gets blog

We can’t wait to come back after we buy our first house (!!!!) to buy some one of a kind timeless furniture. I also can’t wait to purchase some candles – fresh thyme, heirloom tomato… that is central New Jersey!

the farmhouse store princeton, nj | as GOLD as it gets blog
the farmhouse store princeton, nj | as GOLD as it gets blogIf you are in Princeton you absolutely need to stop by!
new jersey pillow | as GOLD as it gets blog

p.s. doesn’t our new pillow look darling?


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unionville vineyards – central new jersey wine

I wanted to share this great vineyard – if you find yourself near central New Jersey you should definitely check it out or you can also order it online at their website. I had gotten a Living Social deal for a wine tasting and tour and it was so much fun. The grounds are beautiful and the tasting room is super cool and rustic.

unionville winery | as GOLD as it gets

Their wine tastes really good. And not just, “I’m at a vineyard and this is cool” tastes good, but a “I’d embarrass myself trolling stores looking for this again“. That good.

unionville winery | as GOLD as it gets

There is a ton of info in their tasting room about the vineyard owner and his inspiration and goals. It’s cool to see the man behind the whole adventure.

unionville winery | as GOLD as it gets

We actually first heard about the vineyard when we ate here. They pull from local farms and vineyards and we of course HAD to order Revolutionary Red, they also have George Washington wine.(have I ever mentioned on here our cats names are Martha Washington and Betsy Ross? #america). Anyway, we saw it was local and our waitress told us all about how they had a great relationship and really the wine spoke for itself.
unionville winery | as GOLD as it getsWe had a private tour of the facilities and it was so cool to see how they do things there. Most vineyard tours are the same but they really go into detail to share about what makes them different. I highly recommend a visit (or an online order!).


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guide to dining alone

When you travel (and especially travelling alone) it’s really easy to fall into the trap of eating in familiar places and not venturing out to find some local cuisine!

guide to dining alone

Eating alone in a restaurant is definitely a weird experience at first. It can be uncomfortable to see people with their friends + family and you are…alone. Don’t let that tempt you to get fast food and eat in your hotel room. You must explore + experience the local food!

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New Orleans

I am lucky enough to been able travel frequently for work but its usually to the same general places. I recently attended a conference in New Orleans, my first time there, and my first time to really explore a city alone. I know understand why people travel alone…because its awesome.

Jackson Square, New Orleans

Here are some of my recommendations from my brief stay.

Hotel: I stayed at the Courtyard Marriott and it was so convenient. I definitely recommend staying there, its just a few blocks away from the French Quarter, quiet and clean! The only weird thing is that my room had no windows to the outdoors, only out into the interior of the hotel.

Food: I found Chartres House on Yelp a couple of weeks before I arrived. It’s located right off Jackson Square on Chartres. You can see more about Chartres House here. My table looked right out onto the street, hence the scary van in the picture. The food was amazing and I only wish I had more people with me to split and try more things. I think that’s the worst thing about traveling alone!

shrimp poboy Continue reading