A Christmas Markets Trip Along the Rhine & Soup to Warm You On This Cold Day

I had a big decision to make today. So what did I do? I procrastinated and started cutting up vegetables, instead.   This is the best vegetable beef soup! It smells so insanely good while cooking...makes the whole house smell that way, too.  It's made from a recipe I found in an old Southern Living magazine, if I'm remembering correctly. I always change the recipe a bit by adding some stew … [Read more...]




Stalking a Darjeeling Limited Safari Bag & Sweater Weather

Several years ago I came across the blog(s) of Kiel James Patrick and Sarah Vickers. Their fashion style always features tried and true classic clothing, and I love it! I've always been drawn to the classic (some would say "preppy") clothing style. Though a big fan of Sarah's blog, I can't always stretch my budget to purchase the clothes/shoes/handbags that she features on her blog, but every once in a … [Read more...]




A Special Delivery

This is turning into a busy week. My main desktop computer was rebuilt and got a brand new hard drive. I picked it up yesterday and it's wicked fast! So happy to have that done and to have my computer back! I'll be getting a quote this week on having part of my backyard fence rebuilt and the hall/basement staircase door is being replaced again on Friday. The deck cleaning, staining, and rail painting is … [Read more...]




A Tour of Lough Eske Castle, County Donegal, Ireland

Thanks so much for all your well-wishes over the last few days. I can't speak for all of Atlanta, but my immediate area seems to have fared quite well. Hurricane Irma was mostly a tropical storm when she arrived here, so though we got plenty of wind and rain and the lights flickered a few times, we never lost power. My biggest concern was that a tree would come down, but thankfully that did not … [Read more...]




Answering Your Questions & What I Brought Home From Ireland

It's 5:30 AM as I write this, I've been up since 3 AM. The previous two mornings, I awoke at 4 am. This pretty much happens every time I travel to Europe. I'm not sure when my body will get back on Georgia time, but for now I'm enjoying the peace and quiet you experience when you get up before the birds even open their eyes.   It's amazing all the stuff you can get done when you awaken at 4 … [Read more...]




Tour the Belleek Pottery Factory, Beautiful Pottery Still Hand-Crafted in Ireland

Welcome to the 466th Tablescape Thursday! While away in Ireland, I created a post sharing a few pics inside the Belleek Pottery Gift Shoppe located inside the Belleek Pottery Factory in County Fermanagh. If you missed that post, you'll find it here: Shopping in Belleek Pottery.   Today, I thought we would go back inside to tour the "factory." I put factory in quotes because it's not very … [Read more...]




How I Packed For Travel for Ireland in August

It feels so good to be back home! I got back in yesterday afternoon and after catching up on some email and doing a bit of unpacking, I was sound asleep by 8:30 PM. That was 1:30 AM, Ireland time and was as long as I could force myself to stay up. I awoke at 4:00 AM and spent the day unpacking, washing clothes and picking up/sorting mail/packages that were being held. I have some delicious books to share … [Read more...]




A Beautiful Bedroom in Ballynahinch Castle

Welcome to the 448th Metamorphosis Monday! It's very late as I type this, so again will keep the wording in this post brief. I'll be heading back home very soon and can't wait to share photos of the wonderful castles and manor homes we've stayed in during this trip across Ireland. In the meantime, for this week's Metamorphosis Monday I thought I'd share what has thus far, been my most favorite castle, … [Read more...]




Shopping in Belleek Pottery in Northern Ireland, A Dish-Lover’s Heaven!

Welcome to the 466th Tablescape Thursday! It's after midnight as I write this, so it's already Thursday here in Ireland. The days are wonderfully busy and full as we tour this beautiful country. It's everything that you said it would be in your comments on my previous posts about this scheduled trip. It's lush and green, and the people who live here are just as friendly as you described. I'm sure this … [Read more...]




Tour Historic Dunboyne Castle, A Beautiful Irish Castle

Welcome to the 447th Metamorphosis Monday! Good Morning! It's 7 AM here and I'm writing this on my second morning in Ireland. The first is a bit of a blur since I didn't sleep at all on the plane ride over. Rather than bore you with that, how about a tour of  the lovely castle where we stayed on our first night in Ireland. This is the older section of Dunboyne Castle. I'm not sure if they have actual … [Read more...]




Forty Shades of Green

Welcome to the 465th Tablescape Thursday! I took the new tablescaping storage for a spin yesterday, and I have to say, it definitely made putting a table together for Tablescape Thursday a lot easier with everything so accessible. If you missed that previous storage post, you'll find it here: Tablescaping Storage.   With an upcoming trip to Ireland just a few days away, I couldn't resist … [Read more...]




A Peek Inside My “Personal Item”

Two weeks from now I'll be taking off for Ireland. (If you missed that post, you'll find it here: Luxury Travel to Ireland Without the Luxury Price.)   I purchased a Frye leather tote bag to use on this trip. When it arrived, I loved it so much, I purchased it in a second color called, Walnut. I love the contrast stitching on the "walnut" bag and the warm, rugged appearance of the "saddle" … [Read more...]




4 New Items I’ll Be Taking and Wearing When I Travel to Ireland

Can you believe it's already been a whole month since I first shared about the upcoming trip to Ireland for the Deluxe Irish Castles Tour. That trip is a just a month away now---hard to believe!   One of the fun things about travel is it gives you a good excuse to add a few new pieces to your wardrobe. Isn't that pretty much a requirement for any vacation! ;)   Ireland is known … [Read more...]




Luxury Travel to Ireland, Without the Luxury Price

Ever since I saw the movie, Waking Ned Divine, I've wanted to visit Ireland. Have you seen that movie? If you love comedies with endearing, quirky characters similar to those in Doc Martin, great scenery, beautiful Irish music and happy endings, you'll love it! It's one of my most favorite movies. After seeing Waking Ned Divine, Ireland immediately went on the bucket list. Getting my Ancestry DNA test … [Read more...]




Two Enjoyable, Yet Very Different Books: Wanderlust and Classic Style

This past weekend I did something I haven't done in a while, I curled up with a couple of new books and just vegged for a whole evening. The two books could not have been more different from each other, so it was like whiplash reading as I alternated between the two of them. I'm not sure what that says about me, that I would order and enjoy two such different books. lol   Wanderlust by … [Read more...]




Awesome Travel Deal & A Peek Inside My Summer Bag

Happy Friday! It's here! The wicker bag I ordered a few days ago came, so I'm sharing some pics of how it looks in person, as promised.   I took photos in a few different spots in the upstairs living room so you could get a better idea of the color in different lighting.   The leather top is a nice warm brown and I really like the bamboo handle.   The interior … [Read more...]




Morocco & Two Fascinating Tours: Fossil Tables & Beautiful Leather Jackets

When I was in Morocco, we visited some truly fascinating places. I wish I could have put you in my pocket before I left and taken you on every inch of this trip. At least I can share those parts that I think you'll find interesting or maybe even helpful. Whenever I do share something from my travels, I always ask myself, is this something I would find interesting or fascinating even if I didn't really … [Read more...]




5 Items I Always Take When Traveling Internationally

I discovered something new on this last international trip. I discovered that I much prefer taking the longer 8-9 hour flights during the daytime, instead of at night. This was the first trip I've been on where the longest flight took place during the day time. I always thought I'd be bored to death on a long flight, but I purchased the in-flight WiFi and that, along with some interesting reading, made the … [Read more...]




New Rules That Impacted My Flight Home From Paris

Happy Friday! Hope you've had a great week! I think my body is just about back on U.S. time. I'm actually able to keep my eyes open past 8 or 9 PM now, although I'm still waking up very early, usually by 5 AM. That's okay by me though; I'm loving the early morning hours. I thought I'd address one of the most common concerns and questions I received before I left for Morocco. Several folks voiced surprise … [Read more...]




Dining in Fez & Cooking in a Tagine

Welcome to the 445th Tablescape Thursday! I'm back home! Enjoyed my time in Morocco but there's definitely no place like home. When traveling, it seems like every time you turn around it's time to eat again, not that I'm complaining! Trying new foods is definitely one of the best parts of travel. On Saturday, March 18th, we explored Fez, a place our guide-book states is often considered "the world's … [Read more...]




Camping in the Sahara Desert, A Moroccan Adventure

Welcome to the 426th Metamorphosis Monday! It's Sunday evening in Marrakesh. As I type this, I find myself perched on a tiny stool in the corner of my hotel room. The hotel is lovely, but like all the hotels we've stayed in during out time here in Morocco, sans one, the concept of providing patrons with a proper desk, chair and WiFi fast enough to do anything other than access email and Facebook (and … [Read more...]




A Visit to the Souks

Welcome to the 444th Tablescape Thursday! The place we are staying here in the Sahara before we head out to our tented camp in the desert, has the absolute worst internet I've encountered the entire trip. So instead of trying to create a large post sharing one of the many dinners we've had on our trip, I thought I'd take you on a brief trip through the Fez Market, also known as the "Soucks" for this … [Read more...]




What I’m Packing For Travel During Shoulder Season

Welcome to the 424th Metamorphosis Monday! I had hoped to post photos of the hat rack I ordered back on February 25th, installed here in the office. Unfortunately, it still hasn't arrived. It's coming from Bulgaria and the last time I looked, it had finally made it to the U.S. and was in New York. So since I can't share that little before and after, I thought I'd share how I'm packing for my upcoming … [Read more...]




A New Travel Handbag & Tiffany Butterfly Glasses

See that chicken over there, the one running around without a head. It's name is Susan. ;) I'm sure that's how I've looked the last few days as I've been running errands and completing last-minute preparations for my trip to Morocco. I'm usually not a putter-offer, also known as a procrastinator. When I need to get something done, I usually get on it. But one thing I've been putting off for ages is … [Read more...]




The One Part of Travel I Always Dread and a New Tactic for Managing It

Email Update: I just noticed today that the company I use to send out emails for BNOTP, has been using the wrong return email address. It's been changed to the correct one which is [email protected] . So please add that address to your "approved contacts" or your email addresses. That will help to ensure that you'll receive email updates when a new post is up here on the blog. If you're one … [Read more...]




When You’re on Safari, It’s All About the Animals: Part II

Thanks so much for all the comments on Sunday's post where I shared many of the animals we saw during our safaris out into the Kenyan bush on a trip to Africa in the fall, 2015. In this second post, I'm sharing a few more of the beautiful and amazing creatures we saw during our many game drives. We came across so many groups/families of elephants while out on safari. There were always babies around so we … [Read more...]




Hat Drama & Decorating with Hats

Welcome to the 422nd Metamorphosis Monday! Did you know there's such a thing as hat drama? lol Okay, I'm being silly but I have had a bit of drama over the past year with finding and holding onto the right hat. Back in the fall of 2015 when I was planning a trip to Kenya, I did a lot of research about what I should take with me on the trip. One oft recommended item was a hat for sun protection. Since … [Read more...]




When You’re On Safari, It’s All About the Animals: Part I

In September 2015, I took a six day trip to Kenya. While there I stayed at the beautiful safari camp, Mahali Mzuri, where we took two game drives each day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That trip was the first time I had ever traveled to another country, and though it was brief, every single moment was filled with wonder and enchantment. It's All About the Animals I've blogged and … [Read more...]




How I Got Approved For Global Entry in 20 Days

When I booked a trip to Morocco recently, the agent who helped me asked if I had already applied for Global Entry. She was the second person to mention Global Entry to me that week. I took that has a sign and decided to apply.   I completed the application online on January 4, 2017 and today, just twenty days later, I received Global Entry Approval and a Global Entry number, aka, Known … [Read more...]




Awesome Deal on a Small Group Travel Adventure! Come With!

Snow and a "wintry mix" were predicted for our area starting around 4 PM today. The snow part doesn't scare folks around here that much, it's the phrase "wintry mix" that sends everyone into a panic. I really didn't want to do it, but I knew I had to make a trip to the grocery store. I never like shopping for groceries, snow or no snow, so shopping when the store is packed is something I avoid like the … [Read more...]




Gone With The Wind Museum: The Beautiful Dresses, Furniture & Collectible Memorabilia

Gone With Wind Museum Recently when a friend was in town, we visited the Gone With The Wind Museum in Marietta, Georgia. The museum opened in June 2002 inside a former cotton warehouse and carriage stable that dates back to 1875. Many of the collectibles found inside the museum belong to Dr. Christopher Sullivan, a physician from Akron, Ohio. Dr. Sullivan read the book, Gone With The Wind, and saw the … [Read more...]




The Week I Took a Staycation

Have you ever taken a Staycation? This past week I took my first and it was truly a lot of fun! From time to time I get e-mails from folks who are headed to the Atlanta area and are looking for ideas on what to do and where to go during their visit. I'll definitely be referring them to this post in the future. :)   FRIDAY My friend, Linda, flew in on Friday, September 30th, and we wasted … [Read more...]




Back to the Future Meets Harry Potter

This week I'm being a tourist in my own city. Have you ever done that when family or friends were visiting? Yesterday a friend and I visited the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia. I've only been there once before and that was many years ago before it moved to its current location. It's HUGE now! We had a great time, it was almost like a visit to a mini-theme park, part museum, part Back to the … [Read more...]




A Tour of Daisy Room at Giraffe Manor & A Visitor to my Balcony

I'm finally going through all the photos I took on my visit to Giraffe Manor and I realized today that I had never given you a full tour of the beautiful room I stayed in while visiting the manor. This post has 20 photos in it that I've never shared from my visit. Each of the rooms in the manor is named after one of the Rothschild Giraffe who have either lived or are currently living on the property. … [Read more...]




Dining at Mahali Mzuri and Giraffe Manor, One Could Get Used to This!

Welcome to the 418th Tablescape Thursday! I have a lovely friend coming to visit real soon who is super crafty. She creates beautiful cards and the most amazing scrapbooks/photo albums! You can see her beautiful work in these delightful, 3-D, handmade cards I've received this past year. Aren't they wonderful?! Each is such a treasure, I could never part with them!   This dear friend … [Read more...]




Video Walk Around Mahali Mzuri, Richard Branson’s Safari Camp in Kenya

Last fall when I was on safari in Kenya, I stayed in Richard Branson's safari camp, Mahali Mzuri. One afternoon after returning from a morning safari, I grabbed my camera and filmed a quick walkabout for you. I wanted to take you around the camp so you could get a feel for it, instead of just seeing it in photos. I don't know why it's taken me so long to get it uploaded, but I finally got that done … [Read more...]




Visit Port Isaac Where Doc Martin Was Filmed!

I'm in the planning stages of a trip I hope to take late next spring. I thought I'd share some of the details with you today in case it sounds like something you would be interested in. I've never traveled with this company but the comments I've seen online at TripAdvisor looked good. Of course, I highly recommend you do your own research before traveling with any company. The tours I'm looking at are … [Read more...]




On Safari: An African Safari-Themed Tablescape

Welcome to the 399th Tablescape Thursday! When I was on safari in Kenya last September, I stayed in romantic Giraffe Manor for one of  the nights I was there. Giraffe Manor, built in 1938 in the style of a Scottish Hunting Lodge, is truly like something out of a storybook. The Rothschild Giraffe is endangered and the good folks at Giraffe Manor are doing what they can to increase the population. Did … [Read more...]




A Ride Up-Down Monte Solaro & An Impromptu Performance

My main computer, the one I use every day, is currently at the computer doctor being worked on. While it's away, I thought I'd share a video I made back when I was visiting the Isle of Capri.   While visiting Capri, I did a little shopping inside Carthusia where I purchased two small bottles of perfume.   The island of Capri has two towns, Capri and Anacapri. One of the … [Read more...]




Decorating and Dressing in Blue & White

I'm a big fan of blue and white, just find it so beautiful. I've used a lot of that color in my guest room.     Well, no one does blue and white better than the Dutch! When I was touring this outdoor village that I shared in this post: Zuiderzee Museum, I got a wonderful surprise when I walked into one of the buildings there.   The entrance of the building and this room … [Read more...]




Take A Tour of a Historic Dutch Home on the Zuiderzee in Enkhuizen

Please note: If you see any political ads running anywhere on the blog, please ignore them. All political ads are supposed to be blocked, but a few are somehow getting through the filters. I have someone working on it, so hopefully they will get them stopped soon. Yesterday we visited the pharmacy in the Zuiderzee Village Museum in Enkhuizen. Today I'm taking you further into this fishing village and … [Read more...]




Whimsical & Just a Little Weird: The Strangest Thing I Saw in Holland

Whew, yesterday was a long day. It's pretty much a full-day endeavor getting back home from Europe. Thankfully the plane ride was a direct flight. Funny thing on the plane, my seat mate was a guy who was a dead ringer for Scott Kelly, the astronaut who just spent a full year in space on the International Space Station. If he hadn't had an accent (I think it was Dutch) I definitely would have believed it to … [Read more...]




A Canal Ride in Bruges, Belgium

Take a little ride with me through one of the many canals in Bruges, Belgium. Click on the photo below to ride, or click here: A Canal Ride in Brudges, Belgium.   … [Read more...]




Ferris Wheels and Windmills, A Visit to Amsterdam and Kinderdijk

Welcome to the 378th Metamorphosis Monday! Early Saturday morning, as I was flying into Amsterdam, I looked out the window of the plane and did a double take. Do you see them down there?   Lots and lots of windmills, smack dab in the middle of the ocean. How is that even possible, windmills in the middle of the ocean? I thought I'd see windmills on this trip, just had no idea I'd see … [Read more...]




Packing for The Netherlands & Going With a Go-Pro

Packing is definitely my least favorite thing about travel. It feels a bit overwhelming, trying to decide what to take to a far-a-way place you've never been, especially when the trip is occurring during the changing of the seasons. Per The Weather Chanel, the weather is going to be quite chilly during the time I'm away. I'm leaving sunny weather that's in 70's for a place where the high each day is in … [Read more...]




A Little Beach Time for Winter Weary Souls

Today I was going through photos I took while "Sailing With the Scotts" and I came across a video I should have included when I posted about visiting the Mayan Ruins in Tulum Mexico. (If you missed that post a few days ago, you'll find it here: A Visit to the Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum.   It's a video I filmed of the waves coming in. It was a gorgeous day and I figured we could all use a … [Read more...]




A Visit to the Ancient Mayan Ruins of Tulum

Welcome to the 365th Metamorphosis Monday! Today's Before and After takes us on a trip back in time, all the way back to the 13th century. In November while "Sailing with the Scotts," I had the opportunity to visit Cozumel pictured below.   Once we docked in Cozumel, a big group of us took a ferry to the city of Playa del Carmen, Mexico.   In Playa del Carmen, it was the … [Read more...]




Dining in Italy and the Mystery of the Missing Bread Plates

Welcome to the 383rd Tablescape Thursday! That title of this post sounds a little like a Nancy Drew Mystery Story, doesn't it? lol For this week's Tablescape Thursday, I thought I'd share one of the dinners we were served while traveling in Italy. The tour/trip I took included some lunches and most dinners. Sometimes our lunches didn't include meat and just consisted of salad, a large bowl of pasta … [Read more...]




A Visit to Positano Italy, A Beautiful Hillside Town on the Amalfi Coast

Welcome to the 364th Metamorphosis Monday! Today's post is about the metamorphosis of a picturesque seaside village located in Italy on the Amalfi coast. Through the good and the bad it has survived, and today it's a bustling village where tourists flock from all over the world. Ever since I saw the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun, I've wanted to visit Positano. I finally got my chance when I traveled to … [Read more...]




Hear the Beautiful Bells of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano, Italy

Now that the holidays are behind us and I have a bit more time, I'm starting to go through all the photos I took while traveling this past fall to Africa, Italy and Mexico. I took a lot so it's taking a while to go through them and choose the best to share. I also shot a little video along the way so I'll be mixing those into each post as I share the beauty of these amazing places. I can't wait to share … [Read more...]




A Metamorphosis of the Animal Kind: Baby Elephants Playing and Feeding

Welcome to the 363rd Metamorphosis Monday! My metamorphosis this week is an unusual one, one of the animal kind. During my week long visit to Africa back in September for a photographic safari, on my last day there before my flight late that night, a guide took me to several fascinating places. I visited a bead factory where I didn't buy anything but was super tempted.   I toured the home … [Read more...]




Sailing With The Scotts: Sharing All The Details

Welcome to the 356th Metamorphosis Monday! For this week's Met Monday, I could share the wreaths I hung across the front of the house yesterday as my metamorphosis, but since Drew and Jonathan (the Scott Brothers) are the masters of Before and Afters, in honor of all their past makeovers, let's go "Sailing with the Scotts" this week instead.   This was the ship the Scott Brothers chartered … [Read more...]




A Double Rainbow Seen While Sailing With The Scotts

I'm back from the "Sailing with the Scotts" cruise and have some fun pics to share. I spent yesterday sorting and going through many of them...and doing this. Yep, it's that time again, time to bring out the wreaths. I'm going to spend the afternoon hanging them and can't wait to see them up. (See how I hang them in this post: How to Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows )   Looking at that photo … [Read more...]




It’s Almost Time to Go Sailing With The Scotts!

Well, it's almost that time! Very soon I'll be heading down to Florida to hop on a big ol ship to go "Sailing with the Scotts." I'm not sure what type of wifi connection I'll have available during the trip, but whenever I do have one, I'll be sharing the fun with you on Instagram. If you're not already following on Instagram, you'll find BNOTP here: BNOTP on Instagram   Snapchat Anyone a … [Read more...]




Bringing Home A Bit of Tuscany To My Kitchen

Welcome to the 353rd Metamorphosis Monday! Almost every day sees some kind of metamorphosis in our homes right now with the holidays here. I absolutely love this time of year! Halloween has always been one of most favorite holidays because it's filled with so many smiles and so much laughter. I hope your Halloween was a lot of fun this year. I have a small Before and After to share in my kitchen. It's … [Read more...]




6 Pairs of Shoes That Kept Me Warm, Cozy and Comfortable in Italy

For several weeks before my trip to Italy, I checked the "extended" forecast for the Tuscany and Amalfi Coast region a couple of times a week. As the time drew closer to leave, I checked almost daily. Forecasts can often be wrong but the three-week extended forecast for the areas we were to be touring, was consistently showing chilly temps and cloudy days with lots of chances for rain. Ugh. Not what I … [Read more...]




Chills in Sorrento

Welcome to the 352nd Metamorphosis Monday! While we were staying in Sorrento, on afternoons or evenings when we were out touring or were just free to explore on our own, we would often walk the short distance to a nearby market area where we could shop and dine. About a block away from our hotel, there was a bridge that had to be crossed to reach the shopping/dining areas. We merrily crossed over it … [Read more...]




A 4-Course Meal With 2 Desserts!

Welcome to the 370th Tablescape Thursday! On Monday, October 19th, after spending the day in Positano, we had dinner in a beautiful restaurant on the way back to our hotel in Sorrento. We've been traveling all day today, en route from Sorrento to Rome (that's why my post is late going up) so the info I have about the restaurant we dined in is buried somewhere in my suitcase. When I get home, I'll share … [Read more...]




A Visit to Herculaneum, An Ancient City Buried for 1,700 Years

Grand Circle Travel included five free days into our 17 day tour of Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast. On those days we can head out on our own or, we can participate in one of the "optional" tours they offer. This past Saturday, I was tempted to skip the optional tour of Herculaneum (one of the cities left in ruin after Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD) since Pompeii was already a scheduled site for our trip. In … [Read more...]




Under The Tuscan Sun: My Visit To Bramasole

Greetings Dear Friends! I've just returned from a day touring Herculaneum, one of the cities buried by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. I can't wait to share the photos I took with you. I was so amazed to see how much they valued decorating and having a beautiful home and garden even back in 79 AD. I guess I thought they would be too busy coping with the daily needs of life (food, shelter, etc...) to … [Read more...]




Inside the Siena Cathedral and the Piccolomini Library, Italy

On Monday we visited Siena and this was the view we had overlooking the city as we walked down steps on our way to the Siena Cathedral.         The Siena Cathedral is a medieval church located in Siena, Italy. It was designed and completed between 1215 and 1263. It's built in the shape of a Latin cross with a dome and a bell tower.   Let's go … [Read more...]




A Visit to Radicofani & the Orcia Valley

Happy Friday! Do you have a fun weekend planned? It's late here, but before I turn in, I thought I'd share a few photos from today's excursions into the Tuscan countryside. Doesn't this photo scream Tuscany? Though it was pretty hazy out and not the greatest day for landscape photos, this one was pretty much a requirement when we happened upon it. Do you think the folks who live here planted all those … [Read more...]




When in Rome…

Welcome to the 368th Tablescape Thursday! As I type this, my laptop says it's 3:24 PM, but I know that's EST time back home in Georgia. The handy little "Dual Clock" widget on my phone informs me that it's actually 9:24 PM where my physical body finds itself...Rome, Italy. After traveling over 5,000 miles and crossing six time zones, I arrived early this morning just in time to catch this beautiful … [Read more...]




Dinner Under The Stars With a Spirited Performance By Maasai Warriors

Welcome to the 367th Tablescape Thursday! One afternoon while relaxing on the deck of my tent during my trip to Kenya...   ...this invitation was hand-delivered to my door. Ummm, what have they planned for us now?   Promptly at 19:00 hours, I made my way to the main tent where the Mahaliz Mzuri bar is located. Since it was now dark, I had to be escorted by one of the Maasai … [Read more...]




Answering Your Safari Travel Questions & What I Brought Back From Kenya

I've received a lot of questions via emails and comments about the recent trip I took to Africa. Today I thought I'd take time to answer some of those and to make this post a bit more fun so it's not just a bunch of words, I'm including pictures of the souvenirs I brought back, along with some of the little gifts I received during my stay at Mahali Mzuri and Giraffe Manor. Please Note: The captions under … [Read more...]




Mahali Mzuri: An Unforgettable Stay at Sir Richard Branson’s Safari Camp in Kenya

Welcome to the 348th Metamorphosis Monday! What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, "Going on safari?" For the next few minutes, erase all the pre-existing ideas, thoughts and concepts you have about what it's like to go on safari. If there's anything I've learned from my recent trip to Africa, it's that safari camps and safari experiences can all be completely different. No two safari camps or … [Read more...]




What Worked & What Didn’t On My First Trip Abroad

I've had so much fun sharing Kenya with you over this past week. Did you get a chance to see the 30+ pictures I shared on Instagram? Once I get a chance to go through all my photos, I'll create one big post sharing all the animals we saw on safari. I also have some additional video to share that I think you'll enjoy. We were very fortunate to catch the Wilderbeest and Zebra migration across the Mara River … [Read more...]




Dining by Candlelight in Giraffe Manor

Welcome to the 366th Tablescape Thursday! Shortly after arriving at Giraffe Manor, a beautiful manor home built in 1932 in the style of a wonderful old Scottish hunting lodge...   ...I walked through the downstairs rooms taking a few pictures to share with you upon my return. This is how the dining room looked during the daytime.   Come evening, lit by candlelight, it takes … [Read more...]




Breakfast with Daisy and Giraffe Kisses

Greetings, dear Friends! I'm back home from a fun, exciting week in Kenya. It will take me a while to get through all the photos I took, but I can't wait to share them with you. I caught some exciting footage of the migration and I'll be sharing it soon. In the meantime I've uploaded a couple of more videos that were shot while I was staying at Giraffe Manor.   In the first video below, … [Read more...]




A Romantic Bedtime Makeover

Welcome to the 347th Metamorphosis Monday! Today I left Mahali Mzuri and headed off to Giraffe Manor. Visiting Giraffe Manor is such a great way to end this African safari adventure.   I was booked for the "Daisy" room. All the rooms are named after much-loved giraffes that have called Giraffe Manor home at some point.     When I arrived the beds looked like … [Read more...]




On Safari in Kenya with Lions and Giraffe: 2 Videos

How's your Friday going? Mine is going great as I continue on safari here in Kenya. I've been sharing photos today on Instagram, hope you're enjoying those! If you're not yet following BNOTP on Instagram, you'll find the link on the sidebar or click here: BNOTP on Instagram. It's going to take me quite a while to go through all the pictures I've taken, so I thought I'd share a couple of short videos, … [Read more...]




A Quick Access Bag That Keeps Out Prying Eyes

Everything is ready. My house-setters are ready, the bird feeders are all filled to the brim and I even took time to change out the food in the hummingbird feeder so they would have fresh nectar while I'm away. I was thinking today that I'm a little crazy. Okay, quit nodding your head in agreement! I'm the only one who's allowed to think that, much less say it out loud! ;) For my first trip out of the … [Read more...]




A Dry Run

Yesterday morning I took photos for the post I planned to publish, then I headed off to an eye-appointment. It's been a while since I've been to the eye doctor and I had totally forgotten that they dilate your eyes. Unfortunately, there was to be no picture sorting or post writing after that. Vaccines...My Experience Before getting into today's post, several folks have asked about the vaccines I had … [Read more...]




Packing For An African Safari

Welcome to the 343rd Metamorphosis Monday! This isn't exactly a metamorphosis but in a way it is since it's a drastic change from how I would normally pack for vacation or a trip. I guess you can call it a luggage metamorphosis. When I travel to Africa in a few weeks, I'll be traveling via "light aircraft" on two different occasions. On the smaller planes, suitcases with pull-handles and wheels are … [Read more...]




Africa Bound: A Visit To Mahali Mzuri and Giraffe Manor

In December of last year, I posted about a magical place called Giraffe Manor. Ever since then I've been obsessed with the idea of one day visiting the manor and seeing the endangered Rothschild giraffes in person.   How much fun would it be to breakfast with giraffes! I've actually thought about it so much, I've started dreaming about it! Have you ever thought about a place so much you, you … [Read more...]




What I’m Loving & Some Good News!

Good news! Williams-Sonoma brought back their tartan bedding! Last year several folks emailed or left comments upset because this bedding sold out so quickly at the Williams-Sonoma Home website. After talking with an associate in one of the WS stores, I had high hopes that they would bring it back and they did! You'll find it on their website here: Tartan Bedding   I purchased several … [Read more...]




An Inspiration Update For My Home Office

Yesterday afternoon I made a little update here in my home office.   You may remember seeing this large decorative clock on the wall in previous photos. (This photo was taken back around Halloween one year so ignore the pumpkins.) I like this clock but I purchased it mainly to help fill that big blank wall. I've always wanted to do a gallery of photos there, instead.   Maybe … [Read more...]




10 Rolling, Carry-On Bags That Are Beautiful, As Well As Practical

I've been giving a lot of thought lately to what luggage I'll be carrying when I travel to Italy this fall. When I first started dreaming and planning for a trip, the travel company I was considering using really emphasized taking a very small suitcase (like a carry-on size) for the whole trip because they often booked rooms in small Mom-Pop owned hotels where there were no elevators. Also, due to the … [Read more...]




I’m Sailing With Jonathan & Drew! Can You Come, Too?

The last time I went on a cruise with Carnival Cruises, I was 19 and had just graduated from high school. How do  you like the dress? It was a long dress, all the way to the floor. Seeing it now makes me think of the Lilly Pulitzer maxi dresses that were so popular this summer. My hair was long, too--down to my waist. Remember those days?   I think it's time to go on another cruise and this … [Read more...]




Great Camera For Travel: Sony Cyber-shot RX100

Welcome to the 331st Metamorphosis Monday! Whenever you plan a trip, especially if it's your first time traveling to another country, it's inevitable that you're going to need to buy a few things. Fortunately, my shopping list is pretty short. The main items I need before heading off to Italy in the fall are: Secure travel purse √ Comfortable walking shoes that aren't sneakers (I've been told by … [Read more...]




Take a Peek Inside My Travelon Travel Purse

Welcome to the 329th Metamorphosis Monday! How was your weekend? I was supposed to clean out the garage but instead I spent part of the weekend doing this. The addiction continues. ;) With summer almost here and dreams of travel always on my mind, I'm loving travel puzzles these days.   This one will look like this once completed, well except the blue shop is also visible in the puzzle. I … [Read more...]




A Stylish Anti-Theft, RFID Secure, Crossbody Bag For Travel

Welcome to the 328th Metamorphosis Monday! Recently on Instagram, I shared a picture of a puzzle I was putting together. (You can follow BNOTP on Instagram here: BNOTP on Instagram) I wondered if anyone would be able to recognize it, in its half-finished state. They did! Can you tell what it is? If you guessed Cinque Terre in Italy, you're right! Cinque Terre means "The Five … [Read more...]




Look Out Italy, Here I Come!

About a month ago I asked for your thoughts and advice on the many questions I had regarding taking a vacation overseas. Today I've been reading back through all your comments again, taking lots and lots of notes. You left so many great suggestions and advice on that post and I appreciate those so much! If you missed that post, you'll find it here: Wanderlust I've taken the next big step and I've … [Read more...]




Wanderlust

Wanderlust. Wikipedia defines it this way: a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. The older I get the more I find myself suffering with a severe case. Something keeps telling me the time to travel is now, while I'm still young enough to withstand the rigors of long flights, carrying luggage and lots of walking. Last night as I lay in bed, head spinning and wide awake … [Read more...]




A Trip to the South of France

Recently, Meg, a reader of BNOTP, traveled to Provence. While there she stayed in the village of Apt. This was the beautiful view of the village from her balcony apartment.   They stayed in a charming old converted convent named La Madone.   I looked at the photos of the rooms in La Madone online and they are beautiful!   Meg captured this scene in the village … [Read more...]




Giraffe Manor, A Unique Travel Adventure

The older I get, the more I dream of doing a little traveling. Recently, a friend sent me a link to the most amazing place, a place where giraffes stop by daily for head scratches...   ...or just to say hello.   They are also more than happy to join you for breakfast, of course served on giraffe plates.   Welcome to Giraffe Manor, home to 10+ endangered … [Read more...]




The Imperial Silver & Porcelain Collection Museum in The Hofburg Palace

Welcome to the 325th Tablescape Thursday! We're going to Europe this week, to Vienna, Austria thanks to Elena, who generously shared pictures from her trip there. While in Vienna, Elena had the opportunity to tour the Hofburg Imperial Palace where Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elisabeth lived during the period of the Habsburg Empire. On a visit to the palace, Elena was able to tour the museum that … [Read more...]




Shopping The “A Christmas Story” Movie House Gift Store

A few months ago I was visiting family in Ohio. While there, I took a little day trip over to a Cleveland to tour a place I've always wanted to see in person. Afterwards, I shared this funny picture on the blog and asked if you could guess where it was taken.   I can't get anything by you guys! Y'all had no trouble figuring out I was reenacting a scene from the well-loved Christmas movie, A … [Read more...]




There’s Gold And Wine In Them Thar Hills!

Actually, Dahlonega Mint assayer, Dr. M. F. Stephenson was misquoted. What he really said that day in 1849, standing on the courthouse steps was, "There's millions in it!" as he tried his best to persuade miners they should stay in Dahlonega instead of heading out west to California where another famous gold rush was underway at the time. A few weeks ago some friends and I headed up to the north Georgia … [Read more...]




A Christmas Story House, Part III: The Living Room

Welcome to the 288th Metamorphosis Monday! Bob Clark, the Director and a co-writer of the movie, A Christmas Story, had trouble finding funding for this now iconic Christmas movie when he first set out to make it. He had an extensive history of making horror films so none of the production companies felt comfortable funding him in the making of a comedy/family oriented movie. His next movie was Porky's … [Read more...]