Friday Favorites: Brunch

Friday, January 31, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 11 Comments

Friday, January 31, 2014

It is no surprise that brunch is my favorite meal of the day. Maybe because it is a meal designed for people who want to sleep late. Or that I see it as the perfect diet, because you only eat two meals instead of three. Although, most of my brunches include french toast, so I think that is a moot point.

Here are my favorite brunch foods: 

1. Maple bourbon french toast (in Valdosta, you can find it at Friends Bar & Grill)
Need I say more? If you have a sweet tooth, you will be craving this every Saturday morning. Some of the best dishes are ones that toe the line between brunch and dessert. 

2. Croque Monsieur/Madame and Breakfast Potatoes (pictured at Tartine)
A ham sandwich with melted cheese on top leans more towards the "lunch" part of brunch, but is a great option for those of you who don't like sweets (although I have a hard time understanding you.) But to each his own.

3. Sweet Potato biscuits (in Valdosta, you can find these at Friends Bar & Grill)

I am not a biscuits and gravy person. If we're being honest, I really hate white gravy. So when given the option to choose between biscuits and gravy, or sweet potato biscuits and honey, the choice is pretty obvious. By adding a piece of ham to these, they make a great snack all day long.

4. And for brunch on a budget, there is always pecan waffles and hash browns at Waffle House. 
Fun Fact: The WH at Turner Field is the only non-24 hour WH. 
What are your favorite brunch foods?

Today, you can find me at Oak & Oats

Thursday, January 30, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 5 Comments

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hello everyone!
If you are in the South, I hope you are unthawing. 

Today, I'm guest posting on Oak & Oats
while Elizabeth is at Disney. (so jealous!)

I'm talking about that one time I visited
Monet's garden in Giverny
on a spur-of-the-moment weekend 
trip to Normandy.

While the trip was short,
it was one of my favorites. 

Getting lost riding through the French countryside,
staying at the perfect b&b, 
visiting the beaches of Normandy, 
and (almost) touring Mont St. Michel.

When can I go back?

Five Minute Face

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 7 Comments

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

From the countless hours I spent watching What Not to Wear as a child/pre-teen, the idea of Carmindy's "five minute face" was drilled into my head. And I'd like to think that I've now found the perfect makeup routine that fits into my morning schedule. Less time on makeup means more coffee time, and let's face it, more coffee time leads to a better day altogether. Am I right?

It all starts with e.l.f. primer, which at $6 and available at a Target near you, and should be in every makeup bag. It is comparable to Smashbox's photo-finish primer, and honestly I can't tell a difference between the two. Next comes tinted moisturizer (I use Mary Kay). Thankfully my days of acne (and with it harsh facial cleansers and toners) are behind me, so I have swapped out my foundation for a lighter option, especially in the summer. And for those persistent dark circles that never go away even with 8 hours of sleep a night, there is Mary Kay concealer. To brighten things up, I turn to Maybelline's Dream Bounce blush in candy coral.

And for the eyes, three quick swipes of shadow (Mary Kay colors: Crystalline, Espresso and Truffle) and two coats of CoverGirl lash blast volume mascara. I finish it all off with translucent powder and chapstick, and that's it.

What products do you swear by to achieve the "five minute face?"

Tourist in Your Hometown: Lauren and Rachel

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 5 Comments

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hi! I'm Lauren, and I blog over at Boston Sweet Tea Party.  I typically share recipes and style inspiration but also have a deep love for travel.  One of my favorite things to do is to explore my own town of Boston since I've only lived here for about three years and there is still so much to see!  I thought I'd play a little game I made up called "Trap or Treasure" to discuss a couple of places in town that are popular with the tourists.  

Trap or Treasure: The Freedom Trail

What is it? It's kind of Boston's version of the yellow brick road, except it's red and leads you to a bunch of historic landmarks instead of the Emerald City.  So really it's nothing like the yellow brick road.
I am biased here because I live just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the trail itself so I walk it all the time.  But getting out and walking has got to be the best way to explore any town--especially your own.  Forget your normal routine of the train, car, bus, (or in Boston some people even take the boat to work) and walk!  You'll see things you didn't even know were there!

Trap or Treasure: Duck Tour

What is it? An amphibious vehicle drives you around town then drives right into the Charles River and gives you a beautiful view of the city.

My husband and I have taken about five of these tours and it has been excellent everytime.  It's a great way for out of towners to see the sights, but the drivers are also extremely knowledgable and funny.  Trust me if these weren't so good, we'd send our guests to do it by themselves instead of going with them every time. Couldn't recommend enough.

Trap or Treasure: Cheers

What is it? Where everybody knows your name....

Verdict: TRAP
Dear goodness, if you don't have long to spend in Boston, do not put this place on your to-do list.  It's the very definition of trap.  The food is bad and the atmosphere is nothing special either.  If you're a sucker for cheesy gift shops like me then stop in, but otherwise skip it.

Trap or Treasure: Mike's Pastry
What is it? The most popular spot in Boston for cannoli and other pastries.  The line always goes out the door and around the corner.
{The Mike's Pastry sign is highlighted yellow in the photo above}

If you want an authentic cannoli, Mike's has the best selection around.  Some of my faves are the amaretto and cookies and cream.  Plus the line moves quickly!  But if you want a traditional dessert without fighting a crowd, head down the street to Modern Pastry.  It's one of the go-to spots for locals.  They variety isn't as good, but the taste is just as sinfully delicious!

For more of my thoughts on living in Boston, check out my Travel page!  See you there!
You can find Lauren here: Blog | Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Hi, Stamp in My Passport readers! I'm Rachel and I have a lifestyle and travel blog called Postcards from Rachel. I'm a former expat, a wife, dog mom, blogger, and new photographer -- and since we've been moving around the States every six months for my husband's career, I'm an excellent packer, too.
Postcards form Rachel
We've been living in Boston since September of last year and next month we're off to Northern Virginia. I was very excited when Jess asked me to guest post on her blog because I've fallen in love with this city and I enjoy sharing my favorite areas! If you plan on visiting or making the move to Boston, here's a short sightseeing list for you: Fenway Park If you're traveling to Boston, you have to schedule a Fenway Park tour, even if you despise the Red Sox. I've been on quite a few ballpark tours before and this was hands-down the most informative and enjoyable one. The ballpark has tons of history and there's a great view of the city skyline. Plus, strolling around on the Green Monster was a pretty cool experience. We were able to attend one baseball game last year and the atmosphere was insane.
Fenway Park Fenway
Sam Adams Brewery This brewery tour is free! FREE... did you hear that? Just be sure to bring enough cash for a donation because all funds go to local charities. Since the brewery is so small, the tour is short and sweet and includes time in the tasting room where you'll receive a complimentary Sam Adams tasting glass. After you make a stop in the souvenir shop, there's a "party" trolley that will take you to Doyle’s Cafe — the first bar to put Sam Adams beer on tap. There you can get a $5 beer and complimentary Samuel Adams glass. It’s totally worth it!
Sam Adams brewery tour Sam Adams Sam Adams Tour
Freedom Trail We've tried to do the entire Freedom Trail multiple times, but we always get distracted by the cafes and pubs that line the streets. Food and beer always win, but in the next couple of weeks, I promise we'll do the entire thing! Walking the Freedom Trail is a great way to see the entire city of Boston, and now that there are smartphone apps you can download to get all of the history, sightseeing is super simple and convenient. Pick a beautiful Fall or Spring day and enjoy the Freedom Trail with friends and family.
Massachusetts State House Freedom Trail Freedom Trail
Quincy Market Quincy Market is our favorite place to bring visitors because the area is packed with shops and an ice bar, and if you go inside, you'll find a ton of different food vendors. We love stopping by for a bowl of clam chowder because duh, clam chowder in Boston is delicious. Sigh... I'll miss this area.
Boston Quincy Market
Waterfront We always enjoy walking around the Waterfront area on a nice day while everyone is out and about, plus there are some great seafood restaurants. When my brother and his girlfriend stayed with us last November, we took them to Tia's for chowder and massive lobsters. If you'd rather observe sea things than eat them, the aquarium is also near the Waterfront.
Boston Waterfront Boston Waterfront
Harvard Square And, finally... we love Harvard Square. We went to Harvard Square last night to get pho at one of our favorite Vietnamese Restaurants, Le's (apparently our lives revolve around food) and also walked around the campus until we were too cold to move. There are plenty of bookstores, shops, restaurants, and museums in the area, plus we always stumble across a unique bar with live music and hot cider, my favorite.
Harvard Square Harvard Square
As you can see, there's a lot to do in Boston! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.
You can find Rachel here: Blog | Bloglovin' | Instagram | Twitter

Weekly Wishes + A Giveaway

Monday, January 27, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 27 Comments

Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy Monday. Whether you used this weekend to do all the things you don't have time for during the week, or if you laid around checking more movies off of your Netflix queue than your to-do list, I hope you are ready to face this week head-on. (head on, apply directly to the forehead, head on) Moving on...

To recap my goals from three weeks ago: 

1. Get settled into a routine. Well I have stopped sleeping in until ten on my days off, so that's about as much progress as I could hope for. 

2. Begin my Skillshare class. Check, check and check. I'll be jumping into the wedding invitation business in no time.

3. Finalize a monthly budget and stick to it. Yeah, this hasn't quite happened. And I would guess that my spree at Loft because I had a birthday discount and it was a double points day, would fall into any real budget. 

For this week: 

1. Complete my first readings for my Social Media for Business online class. I graduated with a degree in PR, but no classes were offered specifically on social media. When I found one offered by UGA's continuing education department, I thought it would be a great addition.
2. Find some new lunch options. While I'm always singing the praises for Healthy Choice steamer meals, I'd love to come up with some new lunches that are easy to prep, pack and heat up. Do you bring your lunch to work? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

P.S. There is still time to participate in Jess from Foreign Room's Blog Birthday giveaway! A $25 Modcloth giftcard is up for grabs. May the odds be ever in your favor!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Photography Friday Blog Hop Co-Host

Friday, January 24, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport|| 14 Comments

Friday, January 24, 2014

Welcome to the Photography Friday Blog hop! This is a blog linkup that focuses on Photography, at any skill level or experience. Each week we want to encourage you to get out and take some photos! It doesn't matter what Camera you have - an iPhone, a DSLR, a film camera, an instax - Just get out and press that shutter! Blog about your photographic awesomeness and link up here to share it every friday. If you'd like feedback on something, leave a comment asking what you'd like to know and your host will be happy to provide you with some.

I'm so excited to be co-hosting Photography Friday with Jessica from This Analogue Adventure! I'd like to think that I do iPhone photography at it's (almost) finest. And as I was  looking back through my archives I noticed a definite theme: food, buildings and cats. In that order. So, I thought I would give you a snippet of what I photograph most.

I dedicated an entire post to my "never take a bite of a meal before I snap a picture" hobby, which you can peruse here

And since I am one of the millions of iPhoneographers,  I'm a fan of Instagram (@jesskboyd).

Each week we will choose a new Photographer to be featured! To be considered for next week, please link up your photography post below and make sure you are following your hosts & co-hosts. These two things will qualify you for being a featured photographer!
Sarah posted some gorgeous photos of a flower arrangement. Maybe its the face that I miss summer so much, but these shots really spoke to me - I love the colours! Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah!

001. Please follow your host/co-hosts and featured photographer!
002. Link up your blog post instead of your main blog URL.
003. Please link back to this link-up in your post, either with a text link or a button. The more people who link up each week means more people see your work, so please help us out any way you can :)
004. Visit and check out as many blogs as you can! Leave comments and love. This link-up is about community, so make some friends!

Click Here to grab a different button!

Modern Calligraphy Skillshare Class

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 12 Comments

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One of my goals a few weeks ago was to find a calligraphy class or tutorial to put my new pens and ink to good use. And I couldn't be more thrilled with Molly Jacques' class on Skillshare. Her video tutorials walk you step-by-step through understanding the different nibs and supplies, to making your first strokes and ultimately to creating your own alphabet style.
While I am still in the process of tracing over guides and practicing consistency in shape and space, it's been so much fun the past few weeks. I've yet to submit any of my work yet to be critiqued by peers or Molly, so I thought I would share a little bit of it with you first. Perhaps you'll be a less judging audience? 
I can't wait to keep moving forward past learning someone else's writing style and creating my own. Who knows, maybe I'll be addressing friends' invitations before too long? 

The next step really is to learn how to keep ink from getting all over my fingers.

Tourist in Your Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 6 Comments

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hi there! I'm Kayli and I blog over at the lifestyle blog, Kayli Wanders. One of the main topics I write about (and my passion) is travel, so when Jess approached me with the idea for writing up a Tourist in my Hometown post, I was jumping off walls thrilled by the idea! Here are my ideas for things to Eat, See and Do in the Phoenix area.

Roosevelt Row Bagel at PHX Public MarketEat at the Phoenix Public Market and enjoy their tasty Roosevelt Row Bagel. Not only is their food amazing, they use tons of locally-grown ingredients and much of their menu is vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free!

Cubs Spring Training Game
See a Spring Training game! Baseball teams from around the country come down in the spring to train for their upcoming season. The results? Inexpensive tickets, a nice tan and eats and drinks to boot!

Hiking Pinnacle Peak- Scottsdale, AZ

Do hike Pinnacle Peak! It's a beautiful, moderate hike that you won't want to miss-- especially in the spring time when the flowers are in full bloom!

Looking for more to do in the Phoenix area? Check out my Local Love section today!