Dwellable: For the Wanderlust in All of Us

I’m sure it’s obvious, but I’ve got a little case of wanderlust that rears its head now and then. I don’t mind I leap at the chance to hop on a plane or bus or train and go to a new place. Or revisit an old place. Really, I just like places. And with all this bopping around, I’ve been collecting a few different apps to keep my traveling in check.

If I’m driving, it’s always Waze.

When I need to figure out public transportation, despite Google Maps being pretty solid, I am a huge fan of HopStop.

If I’m looking for last minute lodging, Hotel Tonight does the trick.

Sometimes, though, I actually make plans ahead of time. And, in that case, I’ve found a new option. Enter: Dwellable. Ideal for the lady or gentleman who is always planning the next trip. From the comfort of wherever I am (since it’s an app on my phone) I can start plotting out my next journey.

Ooooh where AM I going?!

Ooooh where AM I going?!

Dwellable, while still being relatively new, has OODLES of listings in some pretty fantastic places.

Hawaii? Yes, please.

Hawaii? Yes, please.

Unfortunately, on the other end of the spectrum, some areas have hardly any listings.

[I am actually ALWAYS the first one to a party.]

[I am actually ALWAYS the first one to a party. Good eye, Dwellable.]

I found this out when I started looking at places that were a little more likely to get a visit from me in the upcoming year (sorry, Hawaii, we may have to wait until next year…) But, let’s be honest, we all know that I’ll be back in Ocean City, NJ again and again. And, though I may personally have a place to stay there (thanks, Mom and Dad), if I ever want to invite say…. 7 of my closest friends… Well, we might need another home.

Beach Block. You're speaking my language...

Beach Block. You’re speaking my language…

The app has some pretty cool features and then a few aspects that I wasn’t really feeling.

The Pros:

  • The Design. Seriously, this app is beautiful. Like, remember watching the movie Avatar or Life of Pi and you couldn’t help but think “This movie could LITERALLY be about anything and I’d enjoy watching it because it’s so aesthetically appealing”? That’s how I felt about Dwellable when I first started using it. I just started looking at a bunch of pictures and then realized “wait, I should probably go in with some sort of intention…. right?” Right.
  • The Filter. You can filter by amount of beds, swimming pool, pet friendly, fireplace, and hot tub. You can also organize the listings by price if you’re looking for something cheaper or swankier. I do love to sort.
  • The Map. You can view your options on a map! So if you know you want to be near the water, just choose the ones there. If you know you want to be near a metropolitan hub, you got it.

Succinct Descriptions. These speak for themselves.

Right to the point

Right to the point

Now, onto The Cons:

  • The Pricing. This was actually an easy fix, once I looked it up. However, when there’s a pricetag on the listing, I couldn’t tell naturally whether that was per night, per week, or per hour. A Google tells me it means Per Night. Noted.
  • The Calendar. Compared to the rest of things, it just looks a little blah. And initially, it took me a bit to figure out how to utilize it by entering my desired dates. I figured out, but again, it didn’t feel as natural as other pieces.



  • The Lack of Options in Certain Places. HOWEVER, this is part of the reason I wrote the review. So that more people see it, and maybe more listings go up. And MAYBE, just maybe, there will be more than 4 listings in OCNJ come next summer.

Now I just have to find 7 friends.

What’s your favorite/most essential traveling app?

*Disclaimer: I didn’t receive any money or compensation for this post. BUT, if Dwellable decides they like it the most, I could win some swag. And I do love swag.*

Jet Setting Fuel

If you ever wondered how fabulous the life of a jet-setter like myself is on the edible-front, this is the post for you. In the past 14 hours, I’ve run the gamut of planes, trains, and automobiles. All en route to the sunny shores of the Dominican Republic. And after a long day of classes, what’s better than a Bolt Bus trip to NYC?

First, I had to recharge. My body AND my electronics.

And so it begins

And so it begins

A new Sweetgreen just opened near campus and, courtesy of LevelUp, I had a $3 discount. The resulting Misoba Salad I purchased may easily be the most delicious salad I’ve purchased since I’ve moved to Philly. And MAYBE worth the $8.50 price tag that you’d normally pay without the LevelUp discount (though if you sign up for LevelUp using that link, you can get $5 fo’ FREE making this salad a mere $3.50!)

Before I could say “Soba Noodles”, I boarded my Bolt Bus, armed with a Nook full of books and a pack of snacks. And my most important snack: a hostess gift of Montealva, a relatively affordable semi-hard goat’s milk cheese with an excellent tangy bite that travels the 2+ hours from Philly to Brooklyn with ease.

Tiniest Cheese Plate

Tiniest Cheese Plate

My hostess, Claire, and I gossiped about boys, giggled like schoolgirls, and geeked out on cheese. It was dreamy. And, after a brief slumber snuggled like bugs in Claire’s bed, she woke up for work (ah, employment) and I (eventually) woke up to putz around before my flight to Orlando. I also rooted around in Claire’s fridge to whip up arguably the most delicious breakfast of leftovers on the planet.

Come to Mama.

Come to Mama.

Claire’s a bit of a gourmand, and she whips up Smitten Kitchen’s Butternut Squash Salad weekly. Feta, onions, squash, can’t beat it. Paired with the maple-apple-bacon cake (on the left) and topped with a dippy egg.

Get on my level.

(Seriously, though, make that salad. It’s unreal.)

I just enjoyed a breakfast of a Fiber One bar and banana, complete with a multi-vitamin. Much cheaper than airport nibbles, and likely better for me than Cini-Minis from Burger King.

I camped out here in the Orlando Airport last night (grad student life = saving $250 with a slumber party on the airport ground).

Home Base

Home Base

Luckily, I just checked in for my last leg(s) of my trip AND was upgraded to the exit row window seats for BOTH my remaining flights.

All I could think of was the following clip:

Ok, y’all. Time to fly to greener pastures. And sunnier skies. Keep your fingers crossed for no rain, and only a little sunburn.

Favorite traveling foods? Do you pre-pack or buy in the terminal?

I’ll admit, I caved and got a medium order of french fries.

Treat Yo Self 2013, whatevz.




Call Me Crazy


I am pretty sure that I’m the only person grinning like a lunatic at 30th Street Station right now.

I get the biggest thrill from crowded airports and train stations….

Hope everyone makes it home (or wherever you’re headed) safely today and/or tomorrow. Try to avoid stress-induced road rage, y’all.

iCosta Rica: Scenes from My Phone

Since I am still working on editing the big-girl camera pictures from my trip, I figured I’d share a few choice shots from my phone with a brief intro to my Costa Rica adventure!!

From Top Right, Clockwise:

  1. Quick stop at Flying Monkey Bakery for some Whoopie (pies!) with Ryan before nabbing Rach at the Greyhound station.
  2. I wish I could just dive into these.
  3. 3:30 a.m. calls for breakfast. Mimosas and Banans, anyone?
  4. My sleepy traveling partner…. If Rachel could’ve slept 70% of the next 5 days, she would’ve been a happy camper.

From Top Left, Clockwise:

  1. Remember when I had to make that decision? Now, I just breezed by both. I had bigger fish to fry.
  2. Oh, neat, my first meal in Costa Rica. Yup, it was in a mall food court.  A solidly Americanized food court. Delicioso?
  3. Learning Spanish!

Scenes from our home, the GORGEOUS Casa Luna Hotel & Spa

From Top Left, Clockwise:

  1. Clear shot of the Arenal Volcano from our balcony
  2. Are you an orchid? I hope so.
  3. The birdies left the nest!
  4. Who pulled the clouds down?

From Top Left, Clockwise:

  1. Breakfast, EVERY DAY! Rice, beans, eggs, salami, pineapple, granola, toast, joy.
  2. The absolute perfect avocado Rachel and I enjoyed for lunch.
  3. Casado: Rice, beans, protein, etc. The etc included treats like plantains, eggs, corn, salad, tortillas, papaya root, or anything!

From Top, Clockwise:

  1. Fried plantains. I want you all the time.
  2. A tasty little present all wrapped up! Tamale, anyone?
  3. Nachos. Heavy on the avocado.

 A bevy of bevvies!

From Top, Clockwise:

  1. Cerveza! Imperial. Not my favorite beer. But still tasty.
  2. Best sangria of my life, courtesy of Lava Lounge. I probably drank about 2 pitchers of this over the course of our stay!
  3. Whiskey for my friends, ridiculously girl star fruit cocktails for MOI!

Sometimes, things were hilarious.

From Left, Clockwise:

  1. Important souvenir I forgot to get.  Sorry, everyone. I owe you a gift.
  2. QUICK! PUT EVERYTHING AMERICANS LIKE ON A SIGN!! That’ll trick them into coming in.
    Dude, I don’t know if burgers are Italian food.
  3. Second Drink Down: Who wouldn’t be proud to order a Self Pleasure?

Much more to come….


Memoirs of a Road Warrior

Yesterday, for nine hours, I was a road warrior. A trip that, in the past, has taken me a mere 6.5-7 hours transformed into a nine hour driving bonanza.  I figured there’d be no harm in inviting you into my brain during those nine glorious hours.  Here are the thoughts I thought, the sights I saw, and musings along the way.

Heck yeah! 10:30, getting started early!! I’ll be home in time for an early dinner!

Every time I see Oxford on a sign, whether it’s in North Carolina or Pennsylvania, I wish it was for Mississippi.

I am so hungry. Why didn’t I eat before I left?  I’ll just hold off until 12:30. If I can make it until then, I’ll be more than a quarter through the trip! [how wrong I was.]

Marlboro Country?

Good to know the cigarette business is alive and kicking.

Driving through Virginia is like inviting all of my country music dreams to come to life.


You know what would go so well with leftover salad?

Solid choice.

Salad + Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Nuggets + Fries = balanced meal.

I’m pretty sure that Taylor Swift and I would be great friends in real life. She might get mad that I couldn’t French braid her hair, though. That’s okay, I’m sure she has people for that.

Since when is a medium soda the size of my face?  There’s no way I’ll be able to finish this.

*rattling of ice* Wow, was that it?

[20 minutes later] gotta pee.

Gotta pee, gotta pee, gotta pee.

I know… I will just get through DC. Once I pass DC, I will get gas and use the restroom.

Thank goodness I have this GPS, I’d never know where I was going.

[At this point, I blindly followed my GPS that hasn’t been updated for 4 years.]

Uh oh.

Washington Monument or America's peen?

I am not a cartographer, but I’m pretty certain that “around DC” is not the same as “through DC”.  This is going to get messy.

Neat. Now I’m in the middle of Washington DC, no idea of how to get around, hoping to God that this GPS can steer me home.

Bumper to bumper traffic. Score.

Whoah, jam.

Upon closer look, apparently the streets of DC are fans of Lisa.  Or just Okies, in general.

I can’t STAND when people’s cars are so covered in bumper stickers that you feel like you’re reading their biography.

Oh my LORD I have to pee. It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever wanted the equpment to pee in a bottle.

FINALLY through Washington!! Time to PEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

And also, time to practice my straw whistling skills. I’m super skilled. (At looking gorgeous and having flawless skin.)

Oooh, is it snowing?!


Turns out it was actually bits of paper and trash coming off the back of this truck. Thank goodness I wasn’t dreaming of a white Christmas.

Hooray! I’m back on I95!! Next stop, HOME!

No, wait, just more traffic.

[at this point, I called my Dad for a back way. then got trigger happy, and took the first turn I saw. BIG mistake.]

Oh, great, one lane road 40 MPH. Lesson of the evening?

Appearances can be deceiving.

Just because a sign says Route 1, doesn’t mean it’s the Route 1 you want to get on. It could be Maryland 1. Or Pennsylvania 1. Or a sign made by a young child. Either way, it’s going to take forever to get home.

Thank GOD for NPR! Today, I learned about Cancer, Pakistan, Doula services, migratory patterns of birds, and NASDAQ.  Jealous?

2 hours later, one GIANT accident navigated around (smart phone to the rescue!), and about 70 miles later…. Is that the intoxicating smell of my mother’s THOUSANDS of candles?!


I have arrived.

Favorite part of road trips?

Mine is probably the point where you lose all control of being logical and normal and start talking to yourself.





Wordless (as in there are less words than usual) Friday

Last night was chock full of this:

Mexican Shrimp Martini from Rockfish

North Carolina Girls Pint Out!!

Explaining the two beer specials of the night at Tyler's


The Inaugural/Founding Members of NC Girls Pint Out! (minus a few, we missed you)

Don’t worry, none of this made an appearance.


And now I’m off to a LONGGGGG drive.  Luckily, I’ve got a bunch of THIS!

Healthy snacks for the Pitt Trip!

Lunchspiration and Zumba Gear!

After coming back from a long weekend, it’s always hard for me to get back into the swing of eating things.  My cupboards are usually bare, I did my best to empty out the fridge before we left, and I’m so exhausted that the idea of a long grocery trip is often beaten by the idea of a nap.  These past few days were no different.

I flew back to RDU on a slightly later flight than usual and arrived around 1:25, so was able to be back to work by 2pm.  Truly, the Southwest Airlines route from RDU to Philly and back is unbelievably easy, frequently very cheap/on sale, and never takes longer than 1.5 hours.  I can’t even talk about how convenient it’s made living 300+ miles away from my family.  But, as they’ve yet to add personal masseuses and white noise machines on the flight, I still find myself tuckered out after a day of traveling.  I managed to grab some of the “essentials” last night at the store:

Most. Random. Essentials. Ever.

Truly, though, I was just getting what was on sale as I knew, fairly soon, the changing of the sales would occur (as it does every Wednesday).  That left me with a still fairly bare cupboard.  Then, right before lunch, it hit me.

Flatout Wrap: Unwrapped

The Full Monty

  • Flatout Wrap (light Italian)
  • Egg scramble inside with: red pepper slices, sauteed spinach, salt and peppah
  • Reduced fat Sargento 4 cheese blend
  • Carrot (cut myself!)
  • Sabra Hummus from yesterday’s shopping trip

I’ve tried hummus of all kinds, Athenos, non-name brand, Trader Joes, Harris Teeter…. they don’t hold a candle to the creaminess of Sabra, and the rich nutty taste of this particular flavor (Roasted Pine Nut).  Now it’s gluten free, too, which doesn’t really effect THIS GIRL too much, but worth mentioning for everyone else out there!

I also got an awesome package in the mail….

Zumba Nation, baby!

A brand new Zumba shirt (and bracelet, not pictured!) from the ladies over at Zumba Goodness.  Big thanks to the girls, Sarah and Kasey, and congratulations to them for a year in the Zum-biz!!

Can’t wait until next Tuesday when I can rock it out at Zumba class at O2 Fitness (the new instructor KICKED MY ASS last week, so I’m ready for her to bring it again.)

Workout plans tonight are a little tough, as I’m on call from 5pm-9am tomorrow morning and have to be by my phone/a computer all night…. maybe that’ll give me some time to whip up a healthy meal and finally unpack my life as I’ve been living out of my suitcase lately.

How do you get inspiration for lunch time variety? I’ll be honest, I saw a tweet from FlatoutBread and another from Sabra Hummus  and it just hit me.

Do you have any gear particular to the workouts you do?  I have seen instructors rocking the official Les Mills gear, and I want the Body Attack shirts SO BAD. So if anyone else wants a 6’1″ blonde (who’s currently rocking quite the suntan) to model their Les Mills attire…. just gimme a call.  Or a tweet.

Back to work, overtime today to make up for my unbearable lateness of being yesterday.

(If you caught that pun, you win!!)