napa food

the most important part of our recent trip to napa was probably what we ate and drank.  everywhere we went, even the most casual diner, served dishes that blew our minds.  perhaps it is all the access to fresh, local food?  i mean where else in america can you get perfectly ripe strawberries in december?  below are some shots of our favorite dishes.

napa snapshots

napa is one of the most breathtaking places in america i have had the pleasure of visiting.  we experienced a range of weather, but even in the rain, it was stunning (and the rain brought out a gorgeous double rainbow).  the weather was a perfect 55 – 60 degrees, and the range of vegetation was amazing.  i sincerely hope we have the opportunity to go back soon.















we spent a lovely and decadent long weekend in napa in december.  we stayed at the amazing carneros resort and spa, and never wanted to leave the property.  every room is a little cottage, and there is such amazing foliage around every corner.

{our room}


{the lovely outdoor deck which we rarely got to use because of the rain}


{one of the spots at the property popular for weddings}


{wild pomengrate trees were scattered around}


{the library area at reception}


{the breathtaking pool that overlooks the vineyards}


the one where i bought all the japanese pottery

to say that i had a mild obsession with the pottery in japan is quite the understatement.  we went to more stores than i can count, and i feasted on all the little bowls and dishes they had available.  while many of these are meant for japanese-style meals, i use them everyday for mise en place while cooking, separating parts of my meal while eating, or even holding my tea bag.

these pictures make me ridiculously happy.

japanese pottery 1japanese pottery 2

japanese beauty buys

i have previously mentioned how much i love going to drugstores in other countries.  i didn’t do much research on the best things to buy in a japanese  drugstore ahead of time because it wasn’t a top priority in terms of trip planning,  however, on our last morning, i decided to pop into a store near our hotel.  this is what i came home with.

260E7EDA-BA93-4FF4-A14A-641A1C90FAAFthe d.up liquid liner is literally the best i have ever used.  there is no dragging, and the line is super thin and dark.  i also got some false eyelashes from the same brand to play with, because i heard that japanese falsies are much higher quality than what you can find in america.  the transino skincare has been pretty good so far at lightening my dark spots.

kyoto 1

kyoto was so, so, so amazing.  the food, the people, all the sights…i totally get why people just go on and on about it.  because the rugby world cup was happening, there were many more foreign tourists than i expected.  but it didn’t detract from the charm much.  and i would still go back in a second.


hoshinoya karuizawa

after tokyo, we headed to calm, quiet wilderness of karuizawa.  we had saved up a ton of credit card points so we were able to splurge and stay at the hoshinoya.  it was one of the most spectacular resorts i have been to. the service, the food, the grounds, and the rooms – everything was incredibly special.  i wish we were there longer than 2 nights.