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Just thinking…

Vacay Planning: City Mouse/Country Mouse

paris doors

It snowed again in New York on Monday. Okay, okay, I’ll admit, the novelty might be wearing off just a teensy bit. Not helping matters is that Joe and I have not had a proper vacation — you know, one in which we could truly get away, de-stress, disconnect from our jobs, and not worry about impending cross country moves — since the summer of 2012. That’s been a minute, y’all.

le louvre

We’re wanting to take a big trip at some point this year, and of course, my vote is for France (again). I used to beat myself up a bit for having the whole big wide world to visit, and here I was, always wanting to go back to the same place, but I guess if you love it, you love it. Since it’s my 30th later in the summer, I’m scheming to celebrate the occasion en la belle France, but right now, we’re just trying to figure out how long we can go and where we want to go. Current dream trip? Spending a week in the city (in Paris, bien sûr), and then a week in the country — this time in the Loire Valley, about an hour’s drive southwest of Paris (it’s an area known for beautiful chateaux and fab wines).

haussman architecture

What’s interesting is that while we both adore Paris, recently Joe and I have realized that we’re turning into people who really love the country. 10 years ago, I couldn’t imagine spending a vacation out in the middle of nowhere. Now, I crave it all the time! There’s nothing better — to me at least — than completely unplugging with books, home cooked food, peace and quiet, and beautiful vistas.

les fleurs

We’re still trying to figure out the logistics of where, when and how long we could get away for a couple weeks. But to tide myself over in the meantime, I’ve been keeping up with my French classes, and of course, browsing through old pictures of visits to France — city and country alike…

notre dame

The above are all from the city…here are a few from the country:  Read more »

Holiday Cheer


Welp, kiddos, this is it for me. I’ve decided to take a long overdue break from the blog and enjoy the holiday next week. And I mean all next week. I don’t think I’ll post again until right before the new year! I’m so looking forward to snuggling up with Joe and Lucy, eating way too much yummy food (we’re making Christmas fettuccine this year!), and taking snowy walks through Central Park. Although it’d be great if New York got it together and wasn’t 70 degrees this weekend (SERIOUSLY, after 11 years in California, and THAT’S the forecast?!?!). I’m sure I’ll be posting some snaps on Instagram, so be sure to follow along there!

It’s been another fantastic year here at vmac+cheese, and I’m looking forward to what 2014 brings. Hard to believe it will be my sixth year of blogging in May! Your readership (and in many cases, friendship) has meant so much to me over the last few years, and I owe so much — actually, almost everything — to this little site and the wonderful community here. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

It wouldn’t be Friday without links, of course, so here are a few things to tide you over through the holiday:

+ Beyoncé’s album. Seriously, just go download it. And then watch it (yes, watch it) over and over again. Has anyone else checked it out yet? It’s amazing. Read this review and these two interviews for more deets.

+ Something decadent and cozy for you to make: Potato Ham Chowder (yum).

+ And also: indoor s’mores. How fun is this?? I wanna try!

+ Do you guys remember that Queen of Versailles documentary that came out a while back? I finally caught an airing of it this week and just…wow. The documentary is so well done; the subjects, total trainwrecks. The phrase “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined” was never more appropriate. I saw it on CNBC (of all places) — see if you can DVR it!

+ I’m so in love with this stunning floral arrangement Natalie put together. She’s très talented!

+ If you’re traveling for the holiday next week or for new year’s, you must download this packing list. You won’t even need to check it twice, it’s so comprehensive.

+ Still wrapping up any gifts? Here are three tips on making ‘em pretty.

+ Still NEED a gift idea? Here’s a simple handmade option (you just need to make a quick trip to a craft store!). I also love this idea for a homemade manicure set.

+ Keep Champagne and sparkling wine cold with a simple frozen cranberry skewer. Festive and perfect for the season!

+ And finally, this quote is my motto going into 2014. More on that soon. So true though, right?

What are your plans for the holiday? Please share in the comments — I’d love to hear what you are up to! (And maybe what’s on your wishlist too). Happy merry everything!


Happy Thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving

I’m taking today and tomorrow off from the blog — there’s too much cooking, wine drinking, and merry making to be had! I hope that you have the most wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family, wherever you are. Stay safe and warm! (And international friends, enjoy a few quiet days in blog land :) )

PS — You can keep up with me over on Instagram…I’m sure I’ll be snapping some pics of that Turducken.

PSS — I’ll be popping in on Friday to share some of my favorite can’t-miss Black Friday deals, with a special focus on small businesses you can support this holiday season. You’ll have your shopping done in no time, guaranteed!

{Image Credit: Hillary Mayberry via Style Me Pretty}