Tuesday, March 14, 2017

My Quest for the Perfect Macaron ~ Ladurée Paris

For years I've dreamed of the day I would travel to Paris and enjoy my first Ladurée macaron. The macaron is just a cookie, you say?? Oh, no no no. The macaron is Paris! The whole experience is one to remember.

Ladurée is one of the French luxury bakers and sweets maker houses in Paris. It dates the whole way back 1862. 

Fifteen thousand macarons are sold every day! So what makes Ladurée so special? Here are my favorite photos reasons to prove why Ladurée Paris MUST be on your list of things to see and do while traveling in Paris. 


Pretty Pastel Macarons

Table by the window or in the bar


Delicious Tea and Coffee


Parisian Decor


Have you been to Ladurée? Share your photo reasons why it's so memorable. 


Monday, January 30, 2017

One Flew South ~ Restaurant Review

 While waiting for our flight at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport we took in a lunch at One Flew South Restaurant & Sushi Bar. As you enter the restaurant the clean white leather chairs are a beautiful complement to the natural elements of marble, wood and iron. A stunning green forest mural showcased the sushi bar. The wait staff, Rayshawn, was exceptional. He was knowledgeable about the cuisine and the wine list which made the dining experience extra special. Try the edamame. It was out of this world! My husband had the Dragon Roll and I had the Cali Roll. Both were fresh and beautifully plated. 
One Flew South is a must if you're at the airport. 

Las Vegas Clubbing ~ Bottle Service Pros & Cons

There's a first time for everything and Vegas bottle service is definitely a first for me. In celebration of my husband's 40th  birthday, we invited 10 friends to join us at the Tao nightclub.  Here is my list of bottle service pros and cons.  

Pro Side ~ This is why you will love bottle service. 
  • Feel treated like VIP royalty - You get Bottle SERVICE! The wait staff was so attentive to our needs that not a moment went by that I needed to wait for a drink.
  • Ample Seating & a Table - When you buy bottle service you buy club real estate. Unless you plan to dance non-stop you will want to sit down; especially if you're wearing sexy high heels. 
  • The best view in the house - seated front and center with a personal dance floor. 
  • Security - Club security guards make sure the women are safely escorted to the restrooms. 
  • Coat, Jacket & Purses are kept in a safe place in eye shot.
  • Socialize with other club-goers who also have bottle service.
  • Limit your party to who you want in your party - non-VIPs can't come into your space unless invited. 
Con side ~ This is why you will hate bottle service. 
  • EXPENSIVE! - Outrageously expensive. For $1500 we got entry for 10 people plus a bottle of vodka and a bottle of gin. $600 for a 750ml bottle of vodka is ridiculous. All you can do is shake your head in disbelief and ask your friends to pay their share. 
  • Mixers, garnish and water are not included - This was a shocker when we got our bill. Carafes of OJ, Cranberry, Club Soda and Tonic were neatly arranged on the table along with bottles of Voss water. This ran us at least another $500. 
  • The wait staff would clean up the cocktail table and repeatedly dump full and half-full unattended glasses. It wasn't until I saw it happen was I able to more closely monitor our glasses. 
  • Tipping- Even though a tip was included, EVERYONE expects to be tipped i.e. the promoter, cocktail server, her helper, the bus boy, and security. 
Depending on your taste, the scantily clad cocktail waitresses and dancers could be a pro or a con. I'd go out on a limb and say my husband thought it was a pro. 

My opinion is that bottle service in a high end club is an experience not to be missed. The bigger the group the better.  Celebrate a birthday (but skip the $150 shout out and piece of cake). Dress up and have the time of your life! 


Have you had bottle service? What's your opinion? Share in the comments. 

6 Ways to Survive Airline Delays


Nothing is more frustrating than delayed or cancelled flights that interfere with travel plans. During a recent vacation, Delta Airlines announced that our flight was delayed because their "system" went down. After a 20 hour delay and a missed connection our nerves were shot. We were tired, "hangry" and disappointed. 

Follow these six suggestions for surviving travel delays.

1. Always purchase travel insurance and carry the contractual agreement with you. Travel insurance has saved the day on more than one occasion. Retain all of your receipts needed for submitting the claim. 

2.  Drinking alcohol might not be for everyone but in the midst of stressful travel an adult beverage or two can calm your nerves and give you time to wind down. If your flight is delayed long enough, why not have a meal? Walking away from the departure gate and settling in to a café or diner might take your mind off of the bad situation. 

3. Keep your airline contact information handy so you can quickly make a call if you need to contact your airline. Even if you're standing in line to get reticketed it's often worthwhile to make a call to the corporate headquarters. Sometimes HQ is the only one who can issue vouchers and offer upgrades for delayed or cancelled flights. 

4. Talk to people around you who might be in the same situation. Comradery with fellow travelers creates a sense of control against the airline who is trying to ruin your vacation. I've met some terrific people in these situations and we've remained friends. 

5. You just found a little extra time for shopping. Airports might not be the best for price shopping but window shopping is always free.

6.  Stay positive!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Up Up and Away ~ 5 Tips for a Smooth Vacation Departure


After days of waiting, vacation is finally here! We're settled in for a 4 hour flight and I have nothing but time to sit and reflect on how wonderful it feels that after working hard I am rewarded with time away with my husband. The first part of our vacation will be spent with friends celebrating my husband's birthday. Friends are traveling from all parts of the world to join us in Las Vegas for a few days. Here's where the tips for a smooth trip start to flow:

Tip 1 - Remember that vacationing should be stress-free. 
Traveling with a group could be stressful if you try to force everyone to do the same activities. Everyone is on their own vacation. Let people decide which part of the trip they want to be a part of and which parts they would rather skip. 

Tip 2 - Remember to take time for yourself. A quiet moment alone can add to the enjoyment of each day. Sip a cup of coffee, read a few chapters of your favorite book, soak in a tub, go for a walk and take in some sights. You'll be more fun to be around if you've given yourself time to decompress. 

Tip 3 - Remember not to over indulge in too much food and beverage to the point of ruining your day. No one wants to spend time recovering from eating too much or suffering from a hangover. Pace yourself. You will be happier with your healthy choices once you return home. 

Tip 4 - Remember to be aware of your surroundings. Don't spend your vacation worrying about your safety and well-being but don't forget that we are living in a time when staying alert could save our lives. Balance and be smart. Don't put yourself in a vulnerable position. 

Tip 5 - Remember that you're on vacation and work can wait until you return. Try to disconnect from your work for the short time you're on vacation. Unless you're out there saving lives, everything at work can wait until you return. 

What's your top travel tip? Post in the comments. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

A Dickens of a Christmas Party

I would be completely remiss if I didn't share this blog about one of the best holiday parties my husband and I have ever attended. We love dressing in costumes for Halloween and when this invitation arrived we both knew that this Dickens of a Christmas Party would be just the thing to put us both in the holiday spirit. 

From the moment we stepped foot into their Victorian home we were transported back in time to the 1840s in London where corset clad ladies and men in top hats danced and sang to Christmas carols while sipping mulled wine and dining on mined meat pies. 

The house was decorated with fresh wreaths, fruit and garlands. Every little detail reminded us of days gone by.

 Santa and Mrs. Claus even stopped in to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Special Thanks to our amazing host and hostess. You certainly brought Christmas spirit to all your guests.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy Hanukkah ~ Family Celebrations and a Brisket Recipe to Beat All Others

Our 8 day celebration has come to a close and we look forward to a new year. We had a lot of family and friends with us this year and I thought I'd share my husband's Beef Brisket recipe. 


1 turkey-size cooking bag
Cooking spray
Tin foil
9-10 lb brisket
Package of onion soup mix

Open the cooking bag and spray the inside with cooking spray. Add in flour and shake to coat all sides of the inside of the bag. Take your 9-10 pound beef brisket and place it inside the cooking bag (fat side down). Sprinkle the onion soup mix all over the top of the brisket. This adds moisture and a lot of flavor. Add in handfuls of peeled carrots and celery. 

Tie the bag closed very close to the edge of the brisket. Take a knife and cut 6 small slits in the top of the cooking bag. Completely wrap the brisket in foil and place it in a pan almost the same size as the brisket. Now, take more tin foil and wrap the whole pan in foil making a neat package. 

Place in a preheated oven on the middle rack at 350 for 5.5 - 6 hours. Check it at 5.5 hours and continue cooking if needed. After the roast is cooked, open the package and pull out the bag. Hold the bag over a bowl and clip the corner to drain the gravy. Make your gravy, as usual. Remove the fat from the brisket before slicing it against the grain. Delicious!!


Monday, January 2, 2017

Ring in the New Year and Transition from Holiday to Warm Winter Deçor ~ A Simple How-To Guide

Now that the holidays are behind us it's time to tuck away the Christmas decorations for another year and pull out your Winter's Best. This simple How-To Guide can help prepare your home for the winter months ahead. 

For an easy living room transformation, trade a red and green holiday wreath for the crisp clean lines of a white yarn-covered wreath adorned with a silver star. Welcome in winter by replacing the bright holiday red blanket with a cool toned winter throw. A side table quickly changes from a Christmas crèche to a winter white scene with shining antlers and a pinecone reminding us that old man winter has arrived. 

A pair of silver Christmas trees, holiday pillows, and a pretty poinsettia garland are removed and the whole room is warmed up with white and cream blankets. 

The winter topiary and pine cone centerpiece transform the coffee table. 

The dining room table maintains its original beauty but takes on a more dramatic appearance when traditional tartan plaid placemats and holiday tableware are replaced with dark table settings. 

Special thanks to a good friend of mine for showcasing her lovely winter home.

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