Vacation Recap

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You might have gathered from my Instagram and my lack of posts on the blog last week that I was on a much-needed vacation. Maryland is kind of wonderful because in less than two hours you can go from Baltimore to the Eastern Shore, which feels like it’s so much further away than it actually is (especially since the climate is much less humid and considerably cooler). I stayed in a house on the water, so there was lots of kayaking – which I haven’t done in forever, and it ended up being so much fun. There’s not much sand to speak of, but there are lots of tiny towns littered with shops (sadly not as good as I remembered, but that’s besides the point) – it’s really a place made for pedestrians and dogs, and going away was a refreshing change of pace and break from reality. I picked up a few vintage post cards on a day out (for some reason I can’t resist those), grabbed a cone of salted caramel crunch at a tiny ice cream parlor, went for lots of walks, took the ferry, finished a book, and ate some of the best food in memory. And of course I took lots of pictures, so I thought I’d share a few.

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{Crape myrtles seem to grow like weeds over there}

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{A charming little park in Easton, spotted during a walk around town}

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{This was the view waiting to get on the ferry}

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{Went to this fantastic restaurant twice for some really fantastic food (and look at that ceiling!)}

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{Passion tea infused crème brulée from the aforementioned restaurant – without a doubt the best I’ve ever had}

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{The sunset, as seen from the backyard of the rental house}

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Baltimore, Part Two: Mt. Vernon

Baltimore may not be as renowned as cities like New York and Los Angeles when it comes to cool restaurants and cultural hotspots and museums, but there’s never a shortage of things to do and see here. Without a doubt, one of my favorite neighborhoods in the city is Mt. Vernon, largely due to its stunning 19th century architecture and perennially picturesque park (these pictures were taken there). It’s also home to the Washington Monument, an awe-inspiring church, restaurants, the annual Baltimore Book Festival, and countless other can’t-miss spots. Here are a few snaps from my recent outings there.



Just a few minutes south of Mt. Vernon, the brand new Chesapeake Shakespeare Company theater downtown is a must. They’re my favorite Shakespeare company (yes, I go to enough Shakespeare plays to actually have a favorite group…I’m kind of a nerd) and the theater just opened in September. It’s a refurbished bank building, and the inside is just amazing. And their often-musical renditions of famous plays will make you truly appreciate The Bard, if you don’t already.



The Helmand, owned by the brother of former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, looks relatively unassuming from the outside, but their food has been raved about for years. It’s consistently delicious – like, really delicious (I’ve been frequenting it for almost a decade), the service is almost startlingly fast and the location is perfect. If you’re ever in Baltimore – you must eat here. End of story.


{Two of my favorite entrees: Aushak and Mantwo. Unlike anything you’ve had before.}


{The Helmand’s crown jewel: kaddo borwani. Not to be shared. I could eat it forever.}


{My latest favorite: Chicken Lawand. Rich, perfectly spiced, and doused with cilantro sauce and a spoonful of rice – it’s to die for.}


{Don’t skip on dessert – the special ice cream (creamy cardamom and loads of dried mangoes and dates) is perfectly light, and Turkish coffee, though bizarre, is worth a taste.}



The Walters is one of my favorite museums in the city (along with the BMA) – it has a cool façade and a truly extensive collection.


And now, some pictures. Just because.

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Baltimore, Part One: Hampden

If summer is the season of traveling to new places, then fall is the season of exploring your own city. These past few weekends have been nothing short of perfect – brunch at the Hopkins’ Club, a trip to the farmer’s market, a day spent shopping in local boutiques, hitting my favorite annual flea market, hoarding books from what’s probably one of the coolest bookstores I’ve ever been to, dinner at The Helmand after a Shakespeare play…and then, of course, returning home to cook and read and rest. I thought I’d share some of my favorite places in Baltimore, from recent discoveries to old favorites.

Cafe Hon


It’s a Baltimore landmark, of sorts – and featured in a (somewhat) recent episode of Kitchen Nightmares. Cafe Hon is filled with an eclectic mix of decor – from retro to rustic – with lime green walls and leopard wallpaper in the bathrooms to top it off. The menu features plenty of crab, but there’s lots else – I had a seriously delicious black bean burger with guacamole.




I learned about this shop at the Baltimore Farmers Market – there was a booth set up selling wide array of goodies, including ornate pillows, one of which I immediately knew would be perfect for my studio. The vendor told me about their shop in Hampden, and, knowing I’d be in that neighborhood soon, I decided I’d have to make a stop. The store is nothing short of amazing – jam-packed with exotic treasures from all over (an employee told me that the owner is going on a buying trip to India this week). There are Mexican sugar skulls, Moroccan tea glasses, Indian eye liner, racks of patterned coats, tunics and pants, exotic teas and incense, bowls full of colorful beads, and fair-trade bracelets made of PVC pipe from Nambia – just to name some of it.

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David’s On the Avenue


This used furniture shop is chock full of mid-century modern pieces at affordable prices – I swooned over the set of chairs below and a few marble and brass tables. In the front of the store there are crates of copper framed reproduction vintage posters – I picked up a Lanvin perfume ad.

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Trohv is one of those stores that’s thoroughly gorgeous, inside and out. The products are perfectly curated and organized, and the whole space is beautifully styled in a way that’s somehow slightly rustic and slightly modern at the same time. Products include enviable home goods and accessories (including Rifle Paper Co. coasters, striped paper straws, and glasses and mugs of all kinds), beautiful books and magazines (among them Kinfolk and Anthology), and a little collection of succulent terrariums up front.

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The Mill Centre


Once a textile mill, The Mill Centre now holds studios for artists, graphic designers, photographers, and architects. From time to time they have an open house, where you can peek in some studios and talk to artists about their work (and buy it).


{A cheeky sign out front…I just had to include this}

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London, Part One


{The incredible view from my hotel room at night}

I really don’t want to be one of those people who posts hundreds of meaningless travel photos on the internet, but London is just too pretty not to share a couple. I’ve only been here for two days and I’m already falling in love – with the architecture, the food, the weather, the accents…so, without further ado, here are a couple of pictures from my trip so far.


{The architecture here is unbelievably pretty}


{Buckingham Palace…}


{…and its gardens}


{The Queen Victoria Memorial against a perfectly blue sky}


{Obligatory phone booth shot – it’s crazy to see these all over the place}


{The gorgeous façade of Westminster Abbey}


{Exterior details of the church (there’s no photography allowed inside)}


{Stopped at a cute café for lunch and (obviously, as evidenced by the empty cup) coffee}


{A blue rooster + fountain outside of the National Gallery}


{Big Ben, looking gorgeous behind the trees}

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