Bali Part II

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Thank you all for the sweetest comments on my last two posts- they made me laugh, some of them made me cry, and overall they just made my heart warm.  I love you guys!!!!  We’re all settled in with the friends that we’re staying with until we close on the new house (!!!!!!!) and I’m thinking that by next week I’ll be back to regular recipe posts, style posts and my usual song and dance.  But before that happens I want to share the second half of our Bali trip with you!  This post is dedicated to all of you in the northeast still shoveling your way out of the heaping present that Juno left!  I grew up in Maine so I remember those stormy days oh so well!  Let today’s post be a little escape to a place where snow doesn’t fall, windshields don’t need scraping, and mittens are non-existent!

As you saw here, we spent the first of our two weeks in  Ubud,Bali at the amazing Castello Jasper with friends!  And then we snuck away for a romantic week at The Bale´hotel in Nusa Dua- in search of white sand beaches and a whole lot of nothing to do.  We found exactly what we were looking for!  I don’t have a ton of recommendations because we barely left the beach/hotel/spa- but it was one of the most amazing places we’ve ever stayed and too gorgeous to not share!  It’s not a budget friendly hotel but we were there during the off season and they were running a special so we snuck into a hotel that we normally couldn’t afford.  As for travel to Bali during the “off season”- it rains a bit more (which I found romantic and lovely), there a more mosquitos than during the non-rainy season and it’s quieter.  From what I gathered that’s about the only major difference. Well worth the savings to visit then in my opinion!

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Ubud Bali + Castello Jasper

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Things have been a whirlwind since the beginning of December when we spent those two magical weeks in Bali, but I’ve been DYING to share our trip with you and am so happy that the day has finally arrived!  We spent our first week in Ubud with our friends Greg, Farra, Juan and their baby – and it was hands down one of the best vacations of my life.  We stayed at Castello Jasper, an incredible rental home with an infinity pool perched over rice paddies and facing the jungle and mountains.- A DREAM!  Each morning the lovely staff at the house (Wayan and Suri) greeted us with breakfast and helped us with anything we needed for the day (including arranging spa services at the house!).  We skipped a majority of the typical tourist things in lieu of relaxing, but we did have a few adventures and eat at some amazing restaurants.  More about that and my recommendations after the jump!  xx- Sarah

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End of Summer Road Trip

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I’m excited to share a few of our vacation snaps from a recent trip to Lake Powell today!  I’ve never experienced anything quite like it- the lake is like a maze, with little inlets that have canyon walls that tower up on either side, and crystal clear waters with orange sand beaches.  These photos don’t do it justice, sadly.  It’s one of those places where you just feel so tiny and you’re reminded again how amazing our planet is, how fortunate we are to have places like Lake Powell to explore.  Please go for a visit if you ever have the chance, I know you’d love it.  Happy trails everyone!  xx- Sarah

 

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Remote Printing Our Vacation Snaps With Canon PIXMA!

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As a child I was obsessed with photos, OBSESSED.  I would take pictures of our family pets, our home, flowers, my friends, our dinners and have them printed- in doubles!  My dresser drawers housed more photos than they did clothes, it got a little out of control. As an adult the obsession continues, but now that photos live on my phone and computer rather than in film and prints, I would appear to be a little less of a hoarder.  A few years ago though I realized that I missed the experience of  looking through stacks of photos, or flipping the pages of albums.  There’s nothing that brings a memory to life more to me than a photo and it’s amazing how much of our lives we forget.

I started a tradition of printing all of my favorite photos from the year and putting them in beautiful leather albums to give to Lou for Christmas.  I made it one year (and I love that one year’s album SO MUCH!).  Years two and three I had all of the photos printed, bought the albums but never managed to tape them into the books.  They’re still sitting in stacks tucked away in a drawer.  I KNOW!  Terrible.  That’s why I was so excited to learn about the Canon PIXMA MG7120 Wireless Inket All-in-One Printer and the PIXMA Printing Solutions App.  It’s changing my game with the technology they developed that allows you to print from anywhere!  Yep, that includes social platforms like Facebook/Twitter and storage platforms like Dropbox!  Lou and I were recently in LA for a couple of nights for a little work, a little play and as usual we took a million photos.  I chose my favorites and printed them from my phone, my laptop and Lou’s phone.  When we got home all of the photos were in my office in a neat little stack in the printer, waiting for me to tape them into our album.  GENIUS, right?!   Organizing and taping a few at a time into our album is totally manageable and at the end of the year all of our photos will be in order, all of our memories in tact and if I was a betting lady I’d say I’ll be VERY proud of myself.  This is life changing for a photo hoarder like myself who has a tiny problem with organization and sometimes lacks follow through, LIFE CHANGING!  xx- Sarah  {see more of our getaway snaps after the jump as well as a few of our must-visits in East LA!}

This post was sponsored by Canon PIXMA, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting!
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Cadillac Road to Table- Adventures in Philly!

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Cadillac recently paired up with Saveur Magazine to host a culinary experience, Road to Table in select cities across the US.  And when they asked if I’d like to come to Philly to attend one of them I couldn’t book my ticket fast enough!  A chance to combine my love of travel, amazing food and luxury?  YES PLEASE!  The evening started out at 2424 Studios where we had cocktails and tasty tray passed appetizers, setting the tone for an evening of fun ahead!  Then we were off  for a test drive in the sporty Cadillac CTS.  The car was comfortable, boasted  all the latest technologies and offered such a smooth ride- I was thoroughly impressed by Cadillac once again!  The test drive ended at Sbraga, the Philadelphia restaurant owned by Top Chef Season 7 winner Kevin Sbraga.  I am such a huge fan of Top Chef so it was especially exciting to see Kevin in action!  He and his team prepared an incredible four course meal that started with a fluke crudo that I’m still thinking about.

This post is in partnership with Cadillac

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Each course had a wine pairing that perfectly complemented Sbraga’s flavorful dishes and brought a sense of festivity to the event.  The ambience in Sbraga also set the tone for the evening- intimate and cozy, it was easy to settle into the experience and let the outside world slip away.  Midway through the meal Saveur Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief James Oseland welcomed us all to the event and introduced Chef Sbraga who spoke to us about the menu, the inspiration and his restaurant.  There’s something so great about hearing a chef talk about food, I could listen for days!  Sbraga’s food values are similar to mine- he appreciates local, sustainable, seasonal ingredients and uses them as inspiration for his imaginative dishes.  The evening ended with dessert and coffee at 2424 Studios, and they sent us on our way happy, full of goodness and a little bit glowy from a great night. Thank you so much Cadillac and Saveur for such a magical evening!

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Earth to Echo X Jim Denevan

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When I was a kid movies like “Flight of the Navigator”, “The Goonies” and “Stand by Me” shaped my childhood with stories of adventure and wonder.  I remember leaving theaters with my imagination running wild, feeling tangible jealousy that the children in the movie got to experience such incredible things, filled with hope that I might someday have a grand adventure of my own!  I can still recall so many of the details of those movies even though it’s been YEARS since I’ve watched any of them, I can still remember so vividly the EXCITEMENT! That’s part of the brilliance of the movies that you love as a child isn’t it, that you carry them with you forever?!

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I was so happy to learn about Earth to Echo, a movie by Relativity Media that caters to that same sense of childhood imagination, that tells the story of kids who discover an adorable little alien that needs their help to return home- exactly the kind of story I LIVED for as a child!  This movie will thrill and stoke the imagination of this generation, and I couldn’t be happier for all the kids (and parents) who will leave theaters with that sense of excitement and possibility!

Relativity Media recently commissioned amazing artist Jim Denevan (seen below) to create an experiential sand sculpture at Lucerne Dry Lake (seriously, go to his website and check out Jim’s work- it’s so far beyond incredible!).  So you can imagine how thrilled I was when they invited Lou and I to come check it out!  We roped our friends Jacob + Anne into going with us and left our houses at 3 am to be there for sunrise to watch Jim finish the sculpture.  And then, on a grand adventure of our own, we went up in a helicopter to see the 700,000 sq. ft work of art that Jim and his team had spent the week creating!  It’s the adorable alien “Echo” from the movie, a piece of art that will evaporate in the days to come.  It felt like a dream, lifting up in the helicopter at sunrise and hovering above this giant sand sculpture, with no one except Jim and his team in sight.

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What an adventure, right?!  And here’s a video produced by Jacob that I know you’re going to love!  Thank you Relativity Media for creating this magical experience for us!  xx- Sarah