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Essential Home Cooking Tools

Thank you Calphalon for sponsoring this post. Calphalon products are the perfect addition to your wedding registry and home kitchen. Ever since we moved uptown, we’ve had a bit of a lifestyle change. Uptown NYC is much more family friendly and residential – we have schools every block, the park as our neighbor and lots […]

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It’s All About the Hustle

A recap of the Harlem Eat Up! with Chef Marcus Samuelsson

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Luci's MorselsApril 25, 2017 - 7:09 pm

Love the cut and pattern of this dress! Gorgeous!

Vicki WintersApril 28, 2017 - 9:48 am

Stunning photos!! I don’t know which is prettier, you or the location! Uptown Eat Up sounds great. I love Red Rooster and Chef Marcus! Yes, Chef indeed!

SherApril 28, 2017 - 11:04 am

Youre making me blush vicki ???

[…] you’re interested in a Macy’s food event like the one I attended with Marcus Samuelsson last month, there’s a really exciting partnership with Kristen Kish in honor of Asian Pacific Heritage […]

[…] Check out my recaps from previous Macy’s events here: Marcus Samuelsson […]

Israel’s Exploding Culinary Scene: 10+ Foods You Need To Try

I ate my way through the best restaurants of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Northern Isreal (Haifa, Galilee, Nazareth, Caesaria). Here’s my Isareli Food Guide for everything you need to eat!

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Lora WileyApril 19, 2017 - 6:12 pm

What a fantastic and comprehensive post. From street and fast food to fancy restaurants, Israel is definitely worth a visit for the food alone.

Ajay SoodApril 20, 2017 - 10:04 am

Oooooh! What a multi-course yummy post! All tastes have come storming back! Fantastic!

Mike'sRoadTripApril 20, 2017 - 10:14 am

Awesome photos! Everything sounds delicious! We had very little food provided on our FAM and what was provided was not photo worthy or worth writing about. ?

Laura LynchApril 20, 2017 - 10:31 am

What a great overview of the food you ate in Israel! Your photos bring it all to life and showcase exactly how delicious everything is. I would go back for the food alone, in a heartbeat.

SherApril 20, 2017 - 10:37 am

Thanks Lora! I totally agree – they spoiled us with choices!

SherApril 20, 2017 - 10:38 am

Thanks Ajay! It was great to meet you and see the master photographer in action :)

SherApril 20, 2017 - 10:39 am

Ugh, that’s so disappointing.. I wish everyone had had a great experience. The country has so much to offer.

SherApril 20, 2017 - 10:40 am

Hi Laura! It was so nice to have met you during the trip. Loved your write up of Haifa as well!

Vicki WintersApril 20, 2017 - 1:12 pm

Yes, we did. We stuffed our little faces. This is such a wonderful post with sooooo much information. Thanks for sharing….your foodie friend, Vicki

SherApril 20, 2017 - 8:43 pm

So great to meet you Vicki! Looking forward to seeing you around NYC :)

JoyceApril 20, 2017 - 10:05 pm

All of the food sounds and looks sooo amazing! I can’t wait to go on food tours if I ever get to go to Israel! Thanks for such a comprehensive guide!!

Characters & Carry-ons

[…] the trip mostly centered around food and I can’t believe it took me this long to experience Israeli cuisine. It was mind-blowingly good and I didn’t want to miss out on anything so it felt like we ate […]

Svetoslav DimitrovApril 25, 2017 - 5:03 pm

Humshuka!

How on Earth did I miss that? I’d have taken all of my clothes out of the suitcase and filled it with this delicacy!

It goes without saying that this is a brilliant post! But it was not brilliant that I saved it for before going to sleep as my saliva started to fill my hungry palate.

I pinned it to come back and salivate again.

P.S: My home-made hummus with special ingredients may rival some of the finest Israeli creations :)

Thanks for this article, Sher!

Megan IndoeApril 25, 2017 - 5:20 pm

Wow, what an impressive food guide! This is making me want to go back to Israel right now just for all these places we missed! Delicious Israel tour was awesome! I want to try that crepe cake in your photo!

Grace SillaApril 28, 2017 - 11:47 pm

I recognize so many of those foods – in Syria we use tahini in everything and we eat za’tar and of course falafel. Kanafeh is super popular and SO delicious. Also, we call boureka barek b’jibna which just means with cheese – my dad makes them with cheese and parsley!

SherApril 28, 2017 - 11:53 pm

Oh very cool! The food was soooo good and my first introduction to middle eastern / arab cuisine! I definitely hope to explore more of the region :)

DianaApril 29, 2017 - 11:37 am

wow, what a comprehensive guide! I love Israeli food and dying to visit soon! My Israeli friend always tells me to go visit but I may for real this time.

ChristieMay 10, 2017 - 11:10 am

Wow, these photos are absolutely beautiful!! What camera do you use, out of curiosity? Now I totally want to visit Tel Aviv! Pinning this for later.

SherMay 10, 2017 - 12:36 pm

Hey Christie, thanks for the kind words! I use a mix of iphone / canon mk iii for my blog photos :)

Lord & Taylor Friends and Family 2017 (Promo Codes +$20 Coupon)

Sharing key dates, promo codes and my picks from the Lord & Taylor Friends and Family Sale 2017.

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JoyceApril 4, 2017 - 11:09 am

Cute outfit! Love that spring seems to have arrived, the pink jacket is on point!

[…] have been wearing it nonstop (you can see more outfit photos of the jacket from different angles in this previous post). I took a quick look once more and there’s lots more sandals and handbags for spring that I […]

HannahApril 20, 2017 - 4:08 pm

Just came across your blog. Love the outfit girl!

xx Hannah

Thailand in 2 Weeks: The Perfect Itinerary

The most blissful two week itinerary in Thailand.

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JoyceAugust 6, 2014 - 10:44 pm

I’m loving this instagram wrap-up! Your trip looked amazing! Is that your boyfriend peeping out of the pics?

http://www.charactersandcarryons.com

SherAugust 8, 2014 - 1:44 pm

Thank you! It was hands down one of the best trips I’ve done in a while.

danielleMarch 14, 2016 - 11:15 am

that sounds so incredible! i’d love to go one day so thanks for sharing :)

http://www.avecdanielle.com

Dana IvyMarch 14, 2016 - 11:45 am

I seriously can’t get over your posts! Each one is better than the next!! Can I travel with you!?!?

Xox Dana Ivy // http://www.iadorewhatilove.com

SherMarch 14, 2016 - 4:42 pm

Thanks so much Dana!! I recently started to redo all my travel guides in an effort to make them more useful, so it means a lot that someone enjoys them haha!

SherMarch 14, 2016 - 4:46 pm

Hi Danielle! I hope you get to go someday, Thailand is just amazing. The food, the sights and the islands = heaven!!

JennyMarch 15, 2016 - 12:09 am

Ahh Thailand is lovely and the food, oh, the food is so so good! It sounds like you managed to pack a lot into your two weeks, along with some good relaxation towards the end. Glad you had fun!

VickiMarch 15, 2016 - 12:53 am

This looks like an amazing adventure! Glad you managed to get some Island time in at the end – and what a lovely contrast across 2 weeks – mountains, cities & beaches, who could ask for anything more?!

SherMarch 15, 2016 - 1:27 pm

Yes! the islands were my favorite part :)

SherMarch 15, 2016 - 1:28 pm

I know right? the food is SOOO good. I literally order thai takeout at least once a week haha

CristinaMarch 16, 2016 - 3:29 pm

What a dreamy vacation! I’ve never been to Thailand but I’d love to visit some day.

http://memoriesofthepacific.blogspot.com/

Hung ThaiMarch 17, 2016 - 2:21 am

Oh man what an epic trip! I visited basically the same attractions as you minus the beaches – now I have to come back and do that in a year or two.

[…] For my Thailand trip in June, we stuck to the Gulf islands as the weather is best on that side. We visited Koh Samui and Ko Tao and had an amazing time. For a guide to the best of Thailand, you can check out my two week itinerary here. […]

SherMarch 20, 2016 - 12:09 pm

hey hung! wohoo! thailand is awesome right? i never get tired of hearing about people’s travels there and of course there’s always places I missed as well. hope you see the islands soon :)

AnnikaMarch 21, 2016 - 1:31 pm

I really love the layout of the post, but I very much wish you wouldn’t promote riding on an elephant – i is such a horrid practice :(

SherMarch 21, 2016 - 4:54 pm

Hi Annika – there are a number of conservation efforts dedicated to rehabilitating elephants in Chiang Mai and across Thailand. While I’m definitely against the tiger kingdom, i do believe elephant conservation programs are ok to support.

AnnikaMarch 21, 2016 - 5:17 pm

Hey Sher, definitely, elephant conservation programs are great. However, real conservation programs will never let you ride an elephant. Elephants’ spines are really sensitive and the practice that makes an elephant baby docile enough to allow it is absolutely horrifying. Google ‘elephant breaking camps’ and speak to places like the elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai. There is a huge difference between those places and others which allow elephant riding. I just think if you don’t support tiger temple you really shouldn’t endorse something like that. Cheers, Annika

SherMarch 21, 2016 - 5:21 pm

ah ok appreciate the insight. just to be clear – i haven’t ever ridden on an elephant! and the photo above is of a painting. i felt kind of weird doing all that in chiang mai so i didn’t, but i have friends that have spent a day at the elephant conservation program and i *think* they just played with and bathed the elephants and didn’t ride them. i’ll look into replacing the top photo, i really liked the image but hm yeah maybe not the best experience to “promote”

AnnikaMarch 21, 2016 - 5:41 pm

I must admit I like the image too, though it portrays a horrid practice too romantically. But I was actually commenting on your advice for Ayutthaya where you say to ride on an elephant, not on the picture.
Look, I actually wish people could/should ride on elephants, I do love them and I love the idea and certainly I don’t just blame anybody who has done it. It is just really terrible for the elephants and after learning it, I just want to spread the word and make people aware of it (as I guess, most are not) – no offense to you or your friends!

SherMarch 21, 2016 - 5:47 pm

ah i see. i changed to “on a bike” :) appreciate the insight! i knew instinctively that the tigers at tiger kingdom had to be drugged – there’s no way they are that passive and let you hug them normally. but didn’t realize elephant riding was a bad thing! i guess i figured they were like horses..

[…] you want to check an itinerary for Thailand in two weeks, read here and you will find what to do in […]

JillJune 14, 2016 - 4:33 pm

Hey Sher! I stumbled upon your website and post about Thailand as I am doing my own research to spend two weeks there :). Your trip looked absolutely amazing. If you wouldn’t mind, would you be able to share an estimate budget for your trip? Including, travel, and lodging? Thanks so much!!!
Jill

SherJune 14, 2016 - 5:24 pm

Hey Jill! Hm honestly what I spent probably won’t be very helpful for you as it really depends on what kind of lodging, activities and logistics options you choose. I listed all the hotels I stayed at so you can take a look to get a sense of current pricing. We did a mix of hostels and high end – i think splurging on the islands is well worth it!

Overall I’d say thailand is extremely affordable – we had some amazing street food / road side restaurant meals that were something like $2 USD. We also ate at the hotel and had very similar meals (pad thai etc) for $30 USD.

Ko Samui was very expensive – any of the islands with a luxury bent tend to be pricey. Ko tao is a great budget friendly option, a lot of expats and backpackers go there. Scuba diving is incredibly affordable in thailand, we paid about $350 USD for the open water PADI certification and that included basic accommodation.

flights from the US are kind of pricey – we saved by choosing a flight with 2 stopovers. it was definitely brutal but since we stayed in thailand for 2 weeks it was fine. overall i’d say thailand is probably the cheapest destination i’ve been to but also one of the most fun!

ChristineJune 24, 2016 - 2:33 pm

Hello,

This trip sounds amazing. What kind of travel did you use/suggest to get from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui?

SherJune 24, 2016 - 2:52 pm

Hey Christine! The best way to go from northern thailand down south to the islands is to fly. Ko samui is a main island and has its own small airport. Then from there you can ferry to the smaller islands like ko tao, ko phang an etc. flights are very inexpensive too! I think i paid about $79 one way on thai airways

RebeccaJuly 12, 2016 - 12:50 am

Hi! I’m trying to plan a trip to Thailand next year and this itinerary looks perfect! I love the photos and recommendations of places to sleep. I was wondering if you could give me an idea of your budget for this trip?

SherJuly 12, 2016 - 1:11 am

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks! Glad you found the itinerary useful. I honestly can’t remember how much specifically I spent, but I do recall that the flights were the most expensive part of the trip. Everything in thailand is very cheap and doable – amazing food from street stalls was 10-30 baht a dish. i got fruit smoothies everyday for maybe $1-2 USD. local trains sitting in 2nd class were maybe $30 from bangkok to ayutthaya. entrance fees to sights are also minimal, maybe 15-30 baht per sight. cabs were super cheap in bangkok and we took tuk tuks in the other cities. you can insist on the meter with the former, negotiate on the latter.

we also kept costs low by staying in mid-range hostels in Bangkok and Chiang Mai – maybe $10-30 a night for double occupancy, private rooms with bathrooms? hostels in asia are for the most part, very clean and very cheap. But then we also splurged on a Conrad villa in Ko Samui and got PADI certified on Ko Tao – the islands are much tough on the wallet. if you’re on a budget, i’d skip ko samui – the flight + cabs are crazy expensive. i think it was $60-80 USD for a cab ride to get from the airport to the conrad one way.

Ko Tao is pretty affordable and a lot of british/aussie expats live there to dive. you can stay for very cheap in dive accommodation (but this will be very bare bones, i always felt like i still had sand stuck on me)

if i remember correctly, the entire trip at just over 2 weeks including the splurges was about $2500 a person not incl. our international flights. we aren’t backpackers so you can definitely do it for cheaper. you can also go high end and well the sky is the limit on that! i want to say you can do thailand on $50 USD a day including accommodation if you are careful with your spending – and still eat amazing food, see the sights, have a beer etc..

i hope that helps – i dont know your budget or what activities you are looking to do. i can try to give more input if you let me know!

-Sher

kaylaAugust 24, 2016 - 12:19 pm

I loved your itinerary, looking to do a trip next summer! This was really helpful. Just wondering how you packed for the trip & what did you do with your luggage well you were the ruins since they were day trips?

SherAugust 24, 2016 - 3:48 pm

Hi kayla! I am NOT a light packer haha so I packed a big standard size suitcase and day backpack for the two weeks.

For the day trips i stored my luggage in the train luggage rooms and brought valuables in my day pack. The luggage rooms are in almost all the train stations, definitely ayutthaya (sukhothai train station is tech in a town called phitsanulok and I stayed overnght in town so had a hotel).

Just keep in mind its a small room near the ticket office not really a secure locker so try to bring a separate lock. Also i dont remember there being large luggage space on the train itself – we just tried to get an empty seat if possible i think. There may have been a small shelf area above the seats. Hope that helps!

If you want a specific packing post on what I brought (thailand has some rules w the temples), weather, etc happy to do that. Just let me know

NatazshyaSeptember 7, 2016 - 12:10 pm

Yes, please! The packing post would be greatly appreciated!

SherSeptember 7, 2016 - 2:45 pm

Hey Natazshya – ok sure. I’m headed back to southeast asia soon so I’ll whip something up!

AhmedSeptember 21, 2016 - 2:33 pm

Thanks for sharing! Great tips and precious advice for travelers.
Anything about Indonesia? Please and thank you.

SherSeptember 21, 2016 - 4:25 pm

Hey Ahmed, awesome glad you enjoyed it. Funny you ask – I’m off to Indonesia soon going all around the country and I will have some posts up in about a month! Feel free to check back or subscribe so you’ll be be first to know :)

MarieveNovember 18, 2016 - 6:15 am

I love your photos! Do you use a specific instagram filter? Thanks for the great info as well :)

SherNovember 19, 2016 - 11:22 am

Hi Marieve – thanks so much! Hm these photos were taken a couple years ago and at the time I think used a mix of VSCO and the native Instagram filters, depending on each photo’s lighting conditions. hope that helps!

[…] here’s a great Thailand in 2 weeks itinerary – we all know how hard it is to decide where to go, especially when your time is […]

[…] Mai, in the north of Thailand, a chilled out, temple-filled city which makes an awesome stop on any Thailand itinerary. The cost of living in Chiang Mai is very low, but it’s also a modern city with great […]

[…] to visit? Krabi was another that I was hoping to get to but couldn’t fit in my itinerary. Check out Erika’s post for more Thai beach and temple suggestions and this post for more […]

[…] first thought that comes into people’s minds when visiting Thailand are the beautiful beaches. You definitely shouldn’t miss the beaches, but while booking a […]

KatieJune 7, 2017 - 12:22 am

Hello, I had a quick question.
I wanted to visit Bangkok, Phuket, and Chang Mai. I’ll be staying in Thailand for 2 weeks, what would you say would be the best option for me and how long should I stay in each place?
Thank you!

March Recap and Springing Forward!

Checking out fun events at Macy’s and their new Yigal Azrouel capsule collection!

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Svetoslav DimitrovApril 4, 2017 - 9:16 am

Sher,

These garments are just fabulous! I don’t blame you for eating a lot in Israel – I tried to do the same. Even hummus feasts are so scrumptious!

Svet

Vicki WintersApril 11, 2017 - 6:59 pm

We did eat every hour in ?? Israel. It was not your imagination. I’m still full from all of the deliciousness . It was fun to spend time with you!

[…] bucket list is Red Rooster so I’m so excited to attend this event! You can read more about the Macy’s event I attended last month here. There will be a chance to taste Harlem’s dynamic culinary scene with a number of other prominent […]