Ultimate List of Travel Must Haves

Are you a fellow wanderlsuter? Wanting to see as much as possible while lugging the least? Are you ready for the ultimate list of travel must haves?

When packing for a trip, you want to make sure you have the essentials without going overboard. I am all for being prepared but the older I have gotten, the less I want to lug around a MASSIVE suitcase, or schlep stuff I am bound to dispose of at some point. Whether going by plane, train or automobile, I have put together a list of my faves and life savers. 


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Grandma’s Coconut Chews

Family tradition recipes are some of my favorite things to make, and to pass along, cherishing the memories that go with them. These Coconut Chews are just that, a sweet reminder of my Grandma Brown. She loved Christmas —  so much so that she and my grandfather were married on December 23rd (always stylish, she wore navy blue velvet and pearls).

Every holiday season, well into her 90s, Grandma Brown would make pies, date nut bread (what I wouldn’t do for a slice of that with some cream cheese slathered on top right now) and these ooey, gooey, bite sized Coconut Chews.

It wasn’t just the baking I loved about her at the holidays. She was always so joyful and excited to celebrate. Her face would light up on Christmas morning as we brought her the VERY OVERSIZED stocking full of goodies she loved.


Grandma being a good sport and dressed to impress for Christmas dinner 2008.


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Hawaii Dreaming

I’ve been Hawaii dreaming lately.  Like, a lot. Sadly I have never been, but it has always been on my travel bucket list. It’s been a dream to laze about on the Big Island and explore the other captivating islands on a leisurely escape. Ahead of booking flights and arranging luaus, one of the main decisions to make ahead of a trip is whether to indulge at a resort, or go for the convenience and homestyle feel of renting a (luxury) home away from (not so luxurious) home. Hawaii rental homes  can run the gamut from chic apartments to sprawling estates.   

Untitled design-37 

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Uncommon Goods

Have you ever heard of Uncommon Goods? 

-Yes? Awesome, great stuff right? Check out all the goodies below you need to try!

-No? Well,  you’ve been missing out– but keep reading! I found some fabulous uncommon goodies I think you’ll like as much as I do.



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Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Salad

I get a hankerin’ for Buffalo chicken more than I’ll admit here. Wings, boneless tenders, cheesy dips, you name it…  but it’s not always the healthiest option. To keep the flavor but kick the unhealthy fried junk, I thought of this Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Salad.   It hit me one day when I was making the plain ol’ classic version of chicken salad that I needed to punch up a bit. So, along came this Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Salad. A bit healthier I’d say. Use some good quality mayo, blue cheese and lean chicken breast and you’re on your way to a flavor packed chicken salad.      

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Turkey Ricotta Meatballs

You need these Turkey Ricotta Meatballs in your life. As soon as possible. You won’t even miss the fact that there is no beef, veal or pork. They are super flavorful,  and they never dry out- thanks to the ricotta. And…they take very little time to put together. It’s a win all around. Even the biggest meat lovers love these non-traditional meatballs. 

Guilt-free with all the flavor. Per favore

Turkey Meatballs

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North Forkin’ in Greenport, NY

I’ve been to Greenport a few times now, and I find it to be one of the most relaxing and quaint little towns — the perfect spot for some summer fun, rest and recharging. As we are in the thick of summer, I think about all the goodies the North Fork has to offer and I wanted to share some of them with you. 

So if you are looking for Summer Fun — have a look at some of my favorites and go North Forkin’ in Greenport, NY! 

north forkin


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Creamy Chicken and Broccoli with Wild Rice

I know we are heading into summer, and people are heading outside to grill, but sometimes you just need to throw a one pot meal together and stay in the cool A/C.

Most days when you are craving comfort food you don’t want to wait ages to get it, I certainly don’t. Well, I have a creamy, comforty chicken dish for you- ready lickity split. This Creamy Chicken and Broccoli with Wild Rice has only a few simple steps but yields layers of flavor. The perfect one skillet meal- and winner for a weeknight dinner.


Creamy Chicken Broccoli and Wild Rice                                                  

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Strawberry Banana Bread

Sometimes you go to the farmer’s market and buy a half flat of strawberries. Sometimes you have a bunch of bananas you forgot to eat in their 32 second window or perfectness. Sometimes you put all of it together to make something magical. Strawberry Banana Bread is it. 

 Strawberry Banana Bread

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Say YES to Good Palm Oil.

It’s time to say yes to GOOD palm oil.

I am always looking for ways to incorporate sustainable and ethically sourced products into my kitchen and cooking. I was tickled to hear about this new campaign for RSPO’s GOOD Palm Oil.

May 23rd marked the launch of RSPO’s  exciting new global campaign, which highlights the many consumer goods that contain palm oil, and that everyone can make a choice between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ palm oil.

This blog post is sponsored by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.



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