Friday Favorites: iPhone 4s Cases

Friday, February 28, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 5 Comments

Friday, February 28, 2014

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

If you are like me, and are on the two-year phone cycle that has yet to come up for an upgrade, then you know how difficult it is now to find cases for the "late" model iPhones. Thankfully, Rifle Paper has a few left in stock and if you are lucky you can find some Kate Spade New York cases on Ebay. But thank goodness for Etsy.

Now that I am not in school and away from a charger for most of the day, I decided to take a break from my Mophie case. And what a lighter load it is now! 

Which is your favorite? And where are your favorite places to dress your tech? I love Fossil and Kate Spade the most. Is it bad that my motivation to buy a new phone is because I want a new case? 

The one (and only) time I attempted to ski

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , , | 10 Comments

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Well everyone. I wanted to share this post during the Olympics, but I didn't want to be compared to Julia Mancuso and Mikalea Shiffrin. Because I'm about to share the story of the one and only time I have ever been skiing. And by skiing I mean getting kicked off the bunny hill because I didn't pay for lessons and then deciding that it was best for myself and everyone else on the mountain if I walked back to the restaurant and enjoyed the view.
I spent my entire life living in South Georgia before relocating to Arkansas to go to college. So it's safe to say that I had never been around large quantities of snow or real mountains. (side fact, I hadn't been farther west than Dallas, or north of Tennessee until two years ago.) So when I read on my group's itinerary that we would be spending a weekend in Interlaken skiing, I was equal parts excited and terrified. 
My balance and coordination has always been less than ideal and I'm firmly convinced that being on a different latitude and altitude only made it worse. Combine that with the fact that I was too cheap to pay for ski lessons and you get an adult never making it off the trial hill before you advance to the easy slopes. But, who cares, I can still say that I have skied in the Alps. And whenever I make it to Colorado to ski, I'll make sure to stay long enough to take lessons. And then maybe I won't be passed by six-year-olds.
The positives from this trip: 

1. The view from the top of the mountain is breath-taking. It was worth every penny for the ride up there. 

2. The Swiss know how to put great restaurants for their skiers. So great that you forget why you decided to wear five layers of clothes and strap two pieces of metal to your feet. 

3. And if skiing is not your strong suit, Switzerland has beautiful lakes and hiking trails. Pack a picnic (because you won't be able to afford a restaurant meal) and enjoy the outdoors.


Abby of Becoming

This blog will share my story. I'll share life events, musings, creations, photography, life in New York, taking a year of service, and whatever else might cross my mind. Random might be a good term for this blog, but I promise to keep it interesting!

Who would you most love to have dinner with?
I would love to have dinner with Audrey Hepburn. She was stunning, classy, and an amazing performer. Her style was iconic and she did some great things on earth. I have no doubt we could eat in the fanciest restaurant in New York City if I had dinner with her. :)

What you should be reading: 

Jess of Foreign Room

I'm a CA girl with a passion for adventure, photography, and iced coffee, preferably all together. I blog about personal style, my latest travels, my favorite spots to explore in the SF Bay Area, and finding beauty in every day life.

Who would you most love to have dinner with?
I would have dinner with Mindy Kaling because I think she would be so entertaining and fun to hang out with. Like, can't we already be best friends?

What you should be reading: 

Tourist in Your Hometown: Macy & Megan of Baltimore

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | Be the first to comment!
Today Macy and Megan
are taking over and giving
an insider's look at what you should 
be seeing and doing if you ever find yourself 
in Baltimore.

Both suggested you visit the Baltimore Aquarium, 
so it's safe to say that is a must see. 

Hey Guys! I'm Macy, and I blog over at to travel and beyond, where I write about pretty much anything that comes to mind. When I read the post about Jess doing a feature on being a tourist in your hometown, I was super excited! While I love traveling elsewhere, it basically takes a blogger to find awesome stuff in their own backyard. So I am thankful to be able to share my favorite parts of the city and it's surroundings with all of you! I promise it isn't all like what you see on The Wire. I am going to start with my two favorite places, which are also most likely the most well known. Then I will get into the more hole in the wall spots. The National Aquarium. I could go here everyday and never get bored, but that might also have to do with my slight obsession with sharks. Our Aquarium has multiple levels, a huge shark and sting-ray tank, a dolphin show (I have to admit it was better when I was younger), huge bubble machines in the lobby that are mesmerizing, and a really neat bridge that takes you from one building to the other above the harbor. In the picture below, the aquarium rainforest is in the red and glass building, the main lobby is in the odd triangle shaped building, and behind it where the other triangle shaped building is where the Dolphins are.
My other favorite spot is M & T Bank Stadium, aka Raven Stadium. I am a huge Ravens fan, and get butterflies just driving by, but it really is beautiful since it has been remodeled. After winning the Super Bowl last year the stadium went through some changes, it has now went Green and won a gold award through LEED. The first out-door professional sports venue to achieve this. But besides all of that stuff, it's so much fun for other events also, like last year when Justin Timberlake was in town. I love going for bike rides around the city and being able to bike past it whenever I want.
Now for a few behind the scenes places. I asked some friends where their favorite places in the city are and almost all of them mentioned The Horse You Came In On, and I would agree. It is said to be the last place Edgar Allen Poe was before he passed away. Many say he was walking home from here when he died. The Horse is also the oldest continuously operated bar in Northern America, it was founded in the 1700's. Besides the history behind this bar, it is so much fun. No matter what night you go, there is almost always live music and a great crowd. I highly recommend it for happy hour, after work drinks, or a going out spot.
 A nice spot for some outdoor activities is the Federal Hill area. The actual hill has a small playground with some swings, an old cannon, a bike and walking path, and of course an amazing view. You can see all of the Inner Harbor from the top, and it really is breath taking, especially at dusk (or when everything is purple because of the Ravens).
A quick bite on Cross Street. Another favorite of mine is Cross Street Market. There are multiple vendors selling several types of food, some clothing vendors, and a few flower shops. The food ranges from cheesesteaks, to sushi, to pastries, it is all a great price for a good meal. Another plus is the price of beer, being surrounded by bars that serve drinks for a pretty penny, is a bar inside the market where you can get a 24 oz. beer for $3. bingo!
All around Cross Street are cute little boutiques that sell the quirkiest things, so if you are ever in the neighborhood, first stop by and say hi, and then we can go check out all of these wonderful spots. Thanks for letting me invade your blog, Jess! I can't wait to continue reading all of the other Tourist In My Hometown posts :) XOXO, Macy


Hi Stamp in my Passport readers! My name is Megan and I blog over at Soup of the Day! I love to travel and spent the last two years traveling the country with my job at the time. Since switching career paths I've been traveling more for fun and less for work. When I have some downtime I love to play tourist in my own city and experience what Baltimore has to offer. Here are some things you should keep in mind when visiting the Inner Harbor of Baltimore!
photo 2
Eat a plate of Cinnamon Danish Waffles with a side of hash browns at Miss. Shirleys! The wait reaches upwards of 3 hours long on summer weekends so make sure you go early (8-9am) or close to closing time to avoid the rush! The Food Network even named them as the Best Restaurant in Maryland.
photo 1
See Baltimore from the top! Pay $5 to ride the elevator up 27 floors and see the city and all the surrounding neighborhoods from a birds eye view. The World Trade Center of Baltimore is my favorite building in the harbor and the view never gets old!
Do make sure you stop by the Baltimore Aquarium and check out the new Black Tip Reef exhibit. The exhibit houses 70 species of animals including a 518 pound green sea turtle named Calypso who was rescued after being injured by a boat.

Check out my Baltimore Love page for restaurant suggestions & things to do in the city!

Weekly Wishes 16

Monday, February 24, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 7 Comments

Monday, February 24, 2014

Happy Monday everyone. Did anyone else watch the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding piece on NBC last night? I was 2 when the spectacle occured and so it was all news to me, but I was more amazed by how high everyone's hair was teased. I think all of the hairspray in the 80s and 90s played a major role in whatever damage has been done to the ozone layer.

Moving on... 

Last week my goals were to begin my Skillshare class on SEO and to finally hang up all my pictures in my room. Glad to check those two things off my list, even if they both were quite late in the week. Thankfully for the class we are supposed to make a practice website in Weebly to learn the basics, and that was the platform I used for my digital portfolio in senior seminar so I was able to breeze right on through the steps on how to set up the site. Don't worry, I'll share whatever helpful hints I learn with you when I'm done and maybe we can both know a little bit more about how to land at the top of search results. 

And as for my room, I finally feel like I've moved back in and don't look like I will be packing my bags again at any moment. Pictures to come soon, I promise. 

And for this week, my main focus is polishing my interviewing skills. You know, like finding the perfect "weaknesses that I have actually turned into positives" and how to answer the question "tell me about yourself" without rambling off on a tangent about Paris. 
And to end things today, I'd like to share a photo of the five (5) active Starbucks gift cards I found in my wallet. Needless to say, I will be stopping by for an afternoon coffee today without feeling the least bit guilty. Plus, it won't be too much longer until I'm bona fide and have received my gold card. It's the little things, right? 

Coffee Talk vol. 9

Saturday, February 22, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 7 Comments

Saturday, February 22, 2014

photo credit
- Remember that one time that I studied abroad in Paris? (yes, I'm still talking about it. it's a habit i probably won't quit...) Well there is another group that just arrived. You can follow all of their adventures, as well as their fearless leader, Aspiring Kennedy, as they eat their weight in crepes. And no, I'm not bitter at all. 

- Amanda shared some helpful tips on how to begin the process of living (and working) abroad. There are a lot of options out there that I didn't even consider. The best part of working while living abroad is that you don't have to have a trust fund to actually enjoy all of those side excursions. 

- I can't believe Selena was able to view the Northern Lights while she was in Iceland! Apparently, a sighting (especially a good one) is extremely hit and miss.

- Design Love Fest has my absolute favorite desktop backgrounds and phone wallpapers. Here is the latest installment. The florals (paired with the 85 degree temperature outside) has me dreaming of spring. 

- For those of you who are thinking about (or have successfully) blogging as a career, Lisette has some great information on how to file taxes on the income you make from writing all of those words on a screen. 

Friday Favorites: For those moments I'm not watching Gossip Girl

Friday, February 21, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 12 Comments

Friday, February 21, 2014

It's true. My go-to Netflix pick is Gossip Girl. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. Even through the middle seasons when the writers fumbled adjusting the cast to life in college, I keep coming back for more. And, yes, even through the few episodes when Hilary Duff makes a cameo.

But when I decide to branch out, I somehow always end up in the documentaries category. So basically I watch both ends of the movie spectrum, from trash to educational. 

Here are a few of my favorite documentaries: 
Somm - Follows a group of extreme wine enthusiasts as they prepare for their master sommelier exam. Some will triumph, some will fail, but all have a keen sense of smell and a thesaurus to describe all the nuances in each wine they swirl and spit.

First Position - Similar to Somm, this documentary follows a group of young ballet dancers as they compete in the Youth America Grand Prix. Be prepared to watch children and teens who have much more grace and coordination than you do as an adult. Accept this fact, knowing that unlike them, your feet will be ready for pedicure season.

The September Issue - This is the real life version of Devil Wears Prada and gives you a "behind the scenes" look at the making of the 2007 September issue of Vogue. While Anna Wintour is at the helm of this publication, I think Grace Coddington and Andre Leon Talley are the real stars in this film.

Helvetica - I love typography, so it's not surprise that I love a documentary that chronicles the creation of one of the most iconic typefaces in modern history. I first watched this in my typography class, and while others used the two hours to nap, I was glued to the screen.

Inside: Chipotle - This is an episode of the Bloomberg channel, but it does a great job at outlining what the restaurant has done to create the "fast casual" restaurant category as well as food with integrity.

In My Queue: 

Page One: Inside the New York Times - The New York Times has had to adjust with the move from print to digital and I'm interested in knowing exactly what challenges went into the process. But because it came out in 2011, I would imagine that it is slightly outdated on this topic.

180 Degrees South - Who doesn't love a real-life adventure set on the high seas? Follow the journey of "a band of bliss-seeking surfer-mountainteers" as they sail to Patagonia. 

The Tents - New York Fashion Week is one of the most iconic events perhaps in the entire world and "The Tents" gives you a behind the scenes look. Project Runway has given a look into what goes in to creating a show and the mehem that ensues, but I'm interested to see if this film goes into all that goes into the organization of the shows as a whole. 

Hello, I'm Christina of Route Bliss. While I've been blogging for over a decade now, Route Bliss itself has only been around since the Summer of 2013. RB (as I've dubbed it) is where I share my love of travel and photography as well as what I'm learning on my journey to healthier living (adapted recipes as well as running and fitness tips and grumblings!). 

If you could have dinner with one person (living or dead) who would it be and why?
There's so many people I'd love to have at one dinner party, but if I had to choose just one on them, I'd have to go with Ansel Adams. I would love to pick his mind on photography as well as about all the national parks and other places he photographed in his career.

What you should be reading: 

Breakfast to-go

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| , | 4 Comments

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sometimes sitting down in a chair to eat breakfast is not an option. Sometimes the snooze button gets the best of you. And sometimes you hair just doesn't want to cooporate. But that doesn't mean you have to forego the most important meal of the day. These apple oatmeal muffins are the perfect on-the-go breakfast or afternoon snack. With rolled oats and not a lot of sugar, they won't break your calorie bank. So go ahead; take your time getting ready, put your coffee in a thermos and grab a muffin for the road. 

If you enjoy baking and have leftover baking ingredients, try making apple oatmeal muffins. They make a perfect to-go breakfast, afternoon snack, or Christmas gift for your suitemates. 


2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)

1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 TB baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 finely chopped apple

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease well a 12-cup muffin tin. In a medium bowl, mix the oats and the milk and set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, making a well in the center. Stir in the liquid ingredients and the oatmeal mixture until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Batter may be lumpy. Fold in chopped apple. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes until lightly golden or a cake tester inserted into center of muffin comes out with moist crumbs attached.

*recipe from

Tourist in your Hometown: Chelsea of Des Moines, Iowa

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 8 Comments

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

hello all - I'm chelsea + I blog over at little lessons in a big city. I love to travel & have lived in 3 different states over the past 3 years. but thankfully because moving is terrible, I think I've found a happy home in Des Moines, IA. where I've lived for exactly one year. there is so much I am yet to discover. but what I've come across thus far, I love. when jess reached out to me for the tourist in your hometown series, I didn't even hesitate. if you were coming to visit me, these are the places I would excitedly take you. and I can promise you'd be a bit tipsy, very full, and quite happy after our adventure.

10 things you must do in Des Moines, IA. in no particular order.

[*editor's note: this barely scratches the surface of what makes this city so great].
zoo brew at blank park zoo. // where adults go to pretend they're kids, while drinking beer. you have full access to the zoo exhibits + temporary bars scattered throughout the place. [hence the 24 ounces of bud light in my hand]. who doesn't love the zoo? *every wednesday night throughout the summer.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
el bait shop bar. // 120 beers on tap. 150+ bottled beers. and bacon-wrapped tater tots. just saying.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
pappajohn sculpture park. // it makes for the prettiest of pictures.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
fong's pizza restaurant. // famous for their crab rangoon pizza. while also making tiki drinks that will transport you straight to a tropical island. and gourmet egg roll creations, like bacon mac & cheese or raspberry cheesecake.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
downtown farmer's market. // the best way to spend saturday mornings during the warmer months. I go for a large iced coffee, the best breakfast burrito, and fresh flowers.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
scratch cupcakery. // a locally-owned cupcake shop, that began in my iowa hometown, and thankfully opened in des moines recently. they make the BEST cupcakes. you will not be disappointed, I assure you. and you will not be able to leave with just one ..
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
jethro's BBQ restaurant. // because wherever you go, you need a good BBQ joint. bonus points: they serve cocktails in mason jars & have a fabulous brunch.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
iowa state fair. // one of the largest state fairs in the country. famous for the butter cow. and obviously, fried food. hello fried oreo.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
hessen haus bar + restaurant. // an old-world german bier hall. two words: das boot. or beer by the liters. must mention, it's housed in a former train station. so when a train goes by, the bar offers $3 shots, if you're into that kind of stuff.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
the iowa state capitol building. // it's just breathtaking.
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //
tourist in your hometown; des moines, IA //

come visit des moines - I'll show you around!

oh and I must mention, NBC declared des moines, IA the "wealthiest city in america". I can't make this kind of stuff up.
[thank you for having me jess - xo!!].

Weekly Wishes 15

Monday, February 17, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 14 Comments

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Monday? If you are one of the lucky ones who is enjoying time off for President's Day, enjoy it and think of the rest of us who are waking up early to face another Monday.

Last week I wanted to get ahead in blogging, and well as I'm writing this on Sunday afternoon, I am going to feverishly write several posts to schedule, so let's say this goal will be finished before you read this...hopefully. I also tried a new recipe, apple oatmeal muffins, which I will share later. And finally I wanted to start going back to spinning class and I went twice this week. I go at 8:30 a.m. and this week it was just me and three retired men, so I felt an added pressure to keep up the pace with them. I can't have them out-peddling me.

Goals for this week: 

1. Submit the first part of my calligraphy project. I've been practicing on my own for several weeks and I think I am finally ready to begin submitting my project for critique. 

2. Along those same lines, I have absolutely fallen in love with Skillshare classes. Maybe it is because I am not quite out of the routine of learning and classes quite yet, but I just started one on learning SEO. This will help with not just blogging, but with future jobs too. I have a decent background working with web content management, but I've always wanted to learn a little bit more about SEO, hopefully this class will simplify the subject!

3. Decorate my walls. I just got the most perfect print of a doxie staring out the window looking at the Eiffel Tower framed and it needs a home in my room. Actually all of the prints I had hanging in my apartment at school are still in a box sitting on my floor waiting to be put up still two months later.

Coffee Talk vol. 8

Saturday, February 15, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 12 Comments

Saturday, February 15, 2014

1. Do you need a reminder not to drive distracted? There is a new movement called "paint your thumb red" and it's just what it sounds. Paint your thumbnail red and that way when you are on your phone behind the wheel, the bright color will remind you to get your eyes back on the road. Don't worry, that text, tweet, or status can wait. Will you participate?

2. Rachel shared the best list of ways to be an awkward American when abroad. I would also add "thinking that all of Europe drives on the 'wrong' side of the road" to that list. And this is why I'm so thankful I was never allowed to drive abroad. 

3. There was one of the most well explained Photoshop tutorials to achieve a soft and pretty coloring to your photos featured on Lark and Linen.  

4. Add these 9 pancake recipes to your repertoire for brunch. You friends and family will thank you later. 

5. Downton Abbey announced that they will be adding new characters to the cast for season five. I don't know whether to be excited or nervous about the addition. Because whenever new charaters come, that means that others will have to go...i.e. be killed off. And I'm still trying to recover from Sybil and Matthew's deaths last season. 

6. Did you see Elsie and Emma's recipe for vegan crunch wrap supremes? Avoid the "shame" that everyone talks about (that I don't feel) of eating Taco Bell and make your crunch wrap at home. Plus I imagine that this one will taste even better. And your guacamole won't come out of a silver can...

Friday Favorites: Color Palates

Friday, February 14, 2014 | Stamp in My Passport| | 7 Comments

Friday, February 14, 2014

Sometimes we all need a little design and color inspiration. Whether you are working on graphic designs, blog layouts, or combining your clothes into a new outfit, what colors are you loving these days?