A Brazilian Beach Bed & Breakfast

A little over a decade ago, owners Janneke and Roel Wetters left their Dutch homeland to travel the world. After two years of globetrotting, they settled in Cumbuco and began work on what would become the 0031 Boutique Hotel.

What was once a sandy lot is now a veritable oasis nestled in Cumbuco’s sand dunes, just a few minutes walk from the beach. The gated compound is filled with lush landscaping, a central pool and lounge area, and Mediterranean-style villas.

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Wanderlust Wednesday | Travel Accessories

I’ve been mulling over the idea of starting a series or two for my blog as a way to add some continuity to an otherwise broad spectrum of posts. It’s partly for the reader’s sake to know what’s coming, and it’s partly to give me some framework to stay on track. I’m starting with Wanderlust Wednesday; the idea is to share some of the behind the scenes of how and why I travel the way I do. For this first installment, I’m talking about some of my favorite travel accessories.

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Carrot Top Pesto

It’s easy to forget that carrots are actually roots, since we’re so used to seeing them packaged by themselves. But in order to grow, they need their lacy greens to soak up the sun above ground. And like most root vegetables, the greens are also edible.

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Why I’m not giving up chocolate for Lent

I’ve lived my whole life in the Bible Belt, so conversations with classmates, colleagues, or friends about what I’m giving up for Lent seem totally normal. Every year, there are the usual suspects: desserts, candy, Coca-Cola, coffee, chocolate.

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Leek + Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a nostalgic dish for many–maybe a dish that brings back memories of a parent or grandparent lovingly preparing it, maybe a dish that soothed what ailed you. To me, it’s one of the most comforting foods when I’m not feeling well. My mom made it for me as a child, and most recently, a couple of girlfriends helped me prepare it after I got my wisdom teeth removed. It’s an uncomplicated dish that doesn’t require much skill or time in the kitchen.

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“French 28” Lavender + Lemon Champagne Cocktail

For the last three years, I’ve thrown myself a dessert party for my birthday. “I can make my own birthday cake if I want” is generally the idea, and the theme is loosely French: cheese, chocolate, champagne. This year, to keep things simple, I decided to only serve a champagne cocktail and sparkling rose. To keep things French, I decided to play off of the classic French 75 cocktail. I infused the simple syrup with lavender and swapped out some of the lemon juice for more floral tasting Meyer lemon juice. Seeing as it was my 28th birthday, I thought my cocktail would be appropriately named the “French 28.” Nobody can agree on where the “75” comes from anyway.

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Revisiting Costa Rican Paradise at the Andaz Papagayo

Last year, we uncharacteristically booked a long weekend trip to Costa Rica with only one week’s notice. (We’re usually planners.) This year, we uncharacteristically decided to go back to the Andaz Papagayo. (We usually like to try new places.) But getting a big, beautiful room in paradise for $75/night is hard to beat. As holders of the Chase Hyatt Visa card, we each get a free category 1-4 night every year. The card’s $75 annual fee is totally worth it when you can redeem the free night on a hotel like the Andaz Papagayo, which would’ve cost us $500 + resort fees per night had we booked it normally. Our third night was a mere 15,000 Hyatt points, which is a steal relative to the value.

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A Realtor’s Stylish Ranch Renovation

When I met Carly, she was running a Paleo meal delivery company called Carlinary Cuisine, and we immediately connected over our mutual love of food. The first time I visited her Brookhaven (Atlanta) home, I was shocked to see a gorgeous, spacious interior in an unassuming ranch house. I was even more impressed when I found out that she and her husband, Zach, renovated and decorated it themselves from the studs out.

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Maui Travel Guide

I once wondered if the long travel days to get to the Hawaiian islands were really worth it. I’m now lucky enough to know that they are, in fact, worth it. The lush island of Maui offers a diversity of experiences that will suit the tastes of many different travelers. Adventure seekers can find strenuous hikes, cliffs to jump, and massive waves to surf. Sun worshipers can soak up the Hawaiian rays from a number of postcard-worthy beaches. Wildlife lovers can see whales, sea turtles, dolphins, and tropical fish galore from a boat, paddle board, or up close with snorkeling or diving gear.

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Year in Review

In spite of the personal, national, and global turmoil, there was still a lot of good in 2016. It was one hell of a travel year for us, including awe-inspiring hikes, beautiful golf courses, and some incredible meals. We were overwhelmed with love and support from friends and family. I continued to find my way professionally as a photographer, cooking class teacher, and blogger. And I launched this new blog! Those are the parts I want to focus on and remember, so I’ve put together this “year in review” to record some of the highlights. I mostly did this for myself as a practice in gratitude, but I’ll also consider it my Christmas card substitute. Lord knows I don’t have my life together enough to get real ones in the mail.

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Brioche Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Icing

Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning (or any morning, for that matter) are a nostalgic endeavor for me. From my childhood through my college years, it was usually a can of store-bought rolls with the little cup of icing. It wasn’t until my young adult years that I discovered the magic of homemade cinnamon rolls.

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