#travelgrams: Atlanta

This weekend I roadtripped from New Orleans to Atlanta for a music festival and it was an absolute blast. 

Let's recap the weekend insta-style: 

I totally ignored the speed limit and high-tailed it through Alabama. I usually don't like to make stops and drag out the trip, but I just had to visit Priester's Pecans, a giant pecan factory/store/utopia that's literally in the middle of nowhere. 

I went to Music Midtown at Piedmont Park and it was SO SO FUN. Pretty much my first music festival ever, if you don't count that time I had mono and went to Jazz Fest for two hours because my insides started boiling alive and I suffered a nasty reaction to amoxicillin. 

This experience was much better. I twerked to Iggy Azalea (I debated on embedding the video(s) of this in here, but decided against it), saw Lorde do that convulsing dance thing she does when she performs (it was amazing), watched Lana Del Rey's set from the top of a ferris wheel looking over the park, drank some really watered down vodka lemonades, and ate lots of delicious things from food trucks. Simply put, it was amazing. 

This is going to sound weird coming from a self-proclaimed professional sugar addict, but I don't like cupcakes. Every time I have one, I always end up wishing I had a slice in three-layer form. The cupcake explosion of the late 2000s never really caught on with me, but Sprinkles owns a big piece of real estate in my heart. Whenever I have the pleasure of visiting a city with a Sprinkles, I order a couple of vanilla vanilla and red velvet cupcakes. 

I've been dying to try Sprinkles Ice Cream for a while now, and Atlanta is the first city I've been to with a scoop shop since they've launched the concept in 2012. This is v important. I indulged in a Cap'n Crunch ice cream, topped with my favorite vanilla cupcake (of course!). This ice cream, y'all.... this is where it's at. I'm looking into ordering a couple pints of this stuff ASAP because the flavor is out of this world. 

As if eating half a pizza wasn't enough of a calorie overload, we then walked (#health) to Jeni's Ice Cream at Westside Provisions so I could actually experience the perfection that is Jeni's outside of the the usual pints I buy at the store or the recipes I've made from her wonderful cookbooks. 

After waiting in line for twenty minutes (sorry Connor and Sean), the worked seemed to get the memo about my sugar addiction and they gave me a sample of every. single. flavor. That's whats up. 

After a lengthy decision, I decided to go with a trio of the Bangkok Peanut (pb + cayenne, hello), Brown Butter Almond Brittle (yaaaas), and Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam (foodgasm) with salty graham gravel. Jeni Britton Bauer, you're officially my hero. 

I ended my trip on Sunday morning by wasting $40 on a ticket to the Georgia Aquarium and all I got was this iPhone picture of some jellyfish. Angered, I sped home and jammed out to my "Club Mix 97" album I bought for two dollars at a thrift store. (Can we talk about this jam?)

Despite my air conditioner breaking right before the last two hours of the drive, I made it home from my crazy weekend in one piece! I've got a crazy busy two weeks ahead of me, full of lots of desserts, photo shoots, even more concerts, and planning a crazy eventful trip to New York. I've got some super fun posts coming in the next week, so keep your eyes out! 

Graham Blackall, World Traveler.

I have a confession to make: I haven't baked in almost a month. 

For me to do such a thing is unheard of. It sounds pathetic, but to think that my fingers haven't touched the preheat button on an oven for such and extended period of time sends me into a bit of a panic myself. Such a shocking circumstance could only be a product of one of three scenarios:

1) A zombie apocalypse has ravaged the small town of Covington, Louisiana. 

2) My most cherished possession — my beautiful, huge new KitchenAid mixer that I still have yet to name (any ideas?) — was stolen, burst into flames, or walked out on me when she found out that sometimes I cheat on her with my ex-mixer. (Hey, making small batches of cookies in a 6 quart bowl results in lots of butter-sugar residue getting stuck in the bottom of the bowl. You can't blame me!)

3) I've spent that time galavanting through Europe on a life-changing trip full of memory making, relaxing, donkey riding, shopping, and eating my body weight in bread alone. 

Luckily, it was the latter. 

Original plans had me boarding my Air France flight with laptop in tow so I could share each and every moment with you guys via thrice-weekly travel diary updates. I even had a schedule! But shit happens. Namely, that shit being you deciding that carrying a laptop and camera bag in addition to a rolling carry-on and the inevitable bag full of airport purchases — did you know they still have crispy M&M's in Europe? Neither did I, but my pantry does very well now — is just too much of a hassle. So I left it, and opted to go the Instagram route for the duration of my trip, giving me ample time to truly savor each and every moment. Sorry not sorry. 

Instead, I'll give you the highlights of my amazing trip ex post facto:

1. Flying Air France business class, also known as the land of endless champagne, Valrhona chocolates, macarons, and warm mini baguettes. Given my strange childhood obsession with A View from the Top and the subsequent urge to become a flight attendant, this was like bucket-list level for me. Seriously, how I am I going to go back to economy after this? #firstworldproblems

2. Selfie-ing in front of the Trevi Fountain, because I really didn't like a single thing about Rome. Oops? Sorry, but I really just don't get off on history. Gelato, on the other hand...

3. Riding donkeys and getting a fish pedicure in Santorini, because I'm totally a Kardashian. 

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4. Having a traditional Turkish bath and the most amazing rooftop dinner in Istanbul, the most foreign and crazy-ancient-yet-weirdly-modern city I've ever been to. 


5. Beach hopping and exploring an abandoned lighthouse on the top of the world in Mykonos. 


6. Ditching touring the Acropolis for more important things, like you know, froyo.  


7. The Amalfi Coast. No explanation needed. 

8. Binge eating pizza napoletana at Da Michele in Naples. This changed my life for the better. No really, this was the best pizza I've ever eaten; and trust me, I've eaten a lot of pizza. 


9. Having a traditional Dutch-Indonesian rijsttafel. Hands down, the best meal of my life. 

10. Falling head over heels in love with Amsterdam. From biking through De 9 Straatjes, visiting the mind-blowing Anne Frank House, visiting the Van Gogh Museum, shopping at de Bijenkorf, gorging on stroopwaffels and french fries, going from one cute cafe to the next one, I immediately felt a deep connection with this amazing city. Now I'm researching how I get back there immediately, because it's the best place I've ever been. 

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Alas, I have (unfortunately) returned from my trip. (Cue the sad face emojis. In particular, the one that looks like it's having a debilitating mental breakdown. This one.) As if the separation anxiety I'm feeling wasn't enough torture, I have still yet to adjust to the disappearance of surplus of attractive people, my inability to legally drink alcohol, or you know, sleep. Thanks, jet lag.

Brb, I have to mend together my currently-fragile relationship with nameless mixer. Lots of vacation-themed recipes are coming your way. 

Get ready :) 


Hello! Is anybody home? 

After waking up at 5 am and driving straight to school for my (almost) last classes of the semester, I am finally back home from my long weekend in Florida at the beach. 

My much-needed break from school was full of lots of relaxing, running on the beach, burning to death in the sun, unsuccessful shopping attempts, suppressing my desire/need to bake, and lots of delicious food. Oh, and a beach wedding. 

Take a look at my vacation insta style:

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Sidenote: Um, how adorable is this soda fountain in Rosemary Beach? Rose Bros. is part-artisanal coffee shop/part-soda fountain (hello?) serving up Southern Craft Creamery's amazing selection of handcrafted ice creams. I went to TOWN on a scoop of the roasted banana and salted peanut. 

I have lots of extra special recipes and features planned for the next few weeks, so get your forks out!