Category Archives: Drinks

Paris: Stay There, Eat That

I don’t think anyone realizes how much input my husband puts into this blog. He’s not just the photographer/videographer, he’s an idea man as well. When we had our weekly content meeting last week, he suggested one of the topics for this very post. The conversation went like this:

JOEL (sitting on couch after work): “You should write a post about Paris next week.”

ME (walking up the stairs en route to bathroom): “What about Paris specifically? I have a lot of posts in mind.”

JOEL: “The food. Talk about the food in Paris…. I’m hungry. What should we make for dinner?”

FINE, JOEL. I GUESS I’LL TALK ABOUT ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS EVER: FOOD. But first…

The Paris of Joel and Sarah Blumer’s future is centered around the Four Seasons, Michelin Starred restaurants, and shopping at Christian Louboutin. It’ll be just like in that Bruno Mars song: “shopping sprees in Paris, everyday 24 karats”. The Paris of our present, however, is more along the lines of a pleasant hotel or Airbnb, cheap eats, and window shopping at the Christian Louboutin store (because shopping sprees in Paris would equal everyday 24 carrots because that’s all we’d be able to afford to eat). Although the future version sounds great, I wholeheartedly LOOOOOVE how we see Paris now!

This was, technically, the third time Joel and I have been to Paris (remember the first and second time?) and I make sure to casually bring that fact up in conversation as much as possible (yet somehow I’m not the most pretentious person I know). It’s a city that outdoes itself every time we see it. Paris really is the epitome of everything charming and beautiful.

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Normally, we’d pick Airbnb for accommodations in any city for more than 3 nights, but Hotel Panache was not only too cute, but way too much of a steal to pass up! At just over $100 per night, we got a room on the top floor with the best views of the 9th Arrondissement.

Boutique hotels combine the unique and charismatic elements that you’d get with an Airbnb with the simplicity and ease you’d get with a hotel. Win/win.

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With a sweet and knowledgable staff ready to drop recommendations about whatever tickles your Parisian fancy, Hotel Panache really has it all! Instead of pillow mints, you can expect fortune cookies with something funny written inside; Joel’s said “never make eye contact with another person while eating a banana”.

One thing you should know is that one of the toiletries provided by the hotel is body lotion NOT hair conditioner…. the label was in French and I made the mistake of assuming it was the latter, which will explain why my hair might start to look funky in a lot of our vacation photos.

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Fine. I guess we can talk about food now…

At home, we try to stick to a diet of mostly “plant-based” meals. When we do eat meat, it’s usually turkey, chicken, and fish and almost never beef or pork. In France though, that way of munching goes out the window. Not that it’s hard to find amazing vegetarian options in Paris, we just didn’t want to. We’re on vacation, damn it!

Before we went to Paris the first time around, I did a ton of research and asked people we knew who had been where the best cafés were, only to find out that when you’re on the streets of Paris, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a cute café. The hypothetical rock you’re throwing will probably bounce off of one cafe and hit two more before it slows down.

To save some dough whilst in Paris, we only ate at cafés, brasseries, pâtisseries, and my personal favorite: crêperies. These are all especially great options if you feel awkward making dinner reservations in a foreign country (we rarely go to places where reservations are needed stateside anyway). Just go in, find a seat, eat and enjoy! 

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A lot of cafés in Paris are not only charming, but come with so much cool history too! Le Consulat in Montmarte happens to be where Picasso, Van Gogh, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec used to all go to have a drink and shoot the shit, artist style. And Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole (located right by Notre Dame) was established in 1512, making it one of the oldest buildings still remaining in Paris! Just look at that wisteria growing, hiding it from the prying eyes of most tourists! C’est vraiment magnifique!

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Can we give a shout out to “mixte” plates, real quick?! It doesn’t get much better than a big plate of various meats and cheeses (sometimes with a side of pickles!) served with warm bread and washed down with cold beer. We ordered them a couple of times not really knowing what kind of meat or cheese we’d get specifically, but they never disappointed.

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For burgers in Paris, Mamie Burger is THE BEST (also conveniently located right outside of our hotel)! If you don’t want to be an asshole or an “américain stupide,” be sure to order your burger medium. Yes, there will be blood, but it’ll be worth it. Trust me.

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I can’t look at the pictures below without drooling. The street food in Paris is so. freaking. good. My last meal in France was a gyro with spicy cheese sauce that I ate at 10 p.m. and had the worst heartburn from, but couldn’t get enough of! The pizza and garlic knots were also so very tasty.

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We Blumers are all very big fans of Belgian beers. Belgium is France’s adorable northern neighbor, so drinking a good Belgian beer in France is as easy to do as going anywhere in the U.S. and drinking a Bud Light or any other trash beer. Hooray! We also had a few cocktails and a few bottles of wine because, like I said before, vacation.

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Ah, crêpes. The quintessential king of all street food in Paris. Try one with butter and sugar or Nutella and strawberries! Whatever you get on them and wherever you get them from, you’ll be satisfied by crêpes. I have so many photos on my phone of just crêpes. I love crêpes. crêpes. crêpes. crêpes.

Say crêpes one more time…

Crêpes.

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Pastries in Paris are an art form. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It’s a fact. Macarons (NOT Macaroons, there’s a difference, okay?!), croissants, croissants aux amandes, pain au chocolat, eclairs, etc… each one is better than the next. It might literally be impossible to eat a bad pastry in France. Just sayin’.

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Ugh, crap. Now I’m drooling again…

Ohio Is For Lovers*

*Ohio is for cheap wine loving residents of Pennsylvania.

I used to feel like Joel duped me into moving up to PA from Texas for the lone reason that Pennsylvania has some whack AF laws regarding alcohol. “What do you mean you can’t buy beer or wine with the rest of your groceries and have to go to a separate part of the store? TRADER JOE’S DOESN’T HAVE WINE AT ALL? HOW WILL I LIVE WITHOUT MY OTHER BOYFRIEND, TWO BUCK CHUCK?!”

But, being a serial optimist, I can always find that silver lining….

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THEY TOTALLY SELL WINE EVERYWHERE IN OHIO (fun fact- most of the people who willingly visit Ohio are just thirsty Pennsylvanians)! Last weekend, Joel and I embarked on the fifty minute journey out of PA, through WV, and into OH for the sole purpose of buying cheap wine. We’ve both been feeling the itch to travel again, plus there’s totally a chick-fil-a on the way. Three birds, one stone, dead.

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We took a break from being Plant Based to share 30 nuggets #becauseweareworthit

Joel heard on the streets that Aldi sells an “award winning” rosé, which everyone knows is the drink of the summer as well as a key ingredient to frozé (frozen rosé). So with bellies full of chicken and NPR on blast, we embarked on an epic…. “oh, we’re already there? cool…”

And whatdya know, they were sold out! Instead, we got:

  • a white zinfandel (it’s pink too, so close enough)
  • cheap Aldi champagne
  • a box of Chardonnay (it’s not good)
  • a 6 pack of Amber Ale (also pretty bad)
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oh, don’t mind me, just getting photographed behind an abandoned building in Ohio.

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When we got home, Joel made some champagne ice cubes, which we later mixed with the White Zinfandel and some frozen raspberries, and you know what, it was one of the most refreshing alcoholic beverage I’ve ever had (suck it, frozé).

It’s funny, when I lived/worked in Ohio for the 9 months leading up to our wedding, I felt myself harboring this childish resentment toward the whole state, but it really isn’t that bad. I swear, people from Ohio are the nicest, so I’m hoping they don’t get too offended by my lighthearted teasing (lookin’ at you Leann and Rachel)!

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Coffee Shop Soundtrack

It’s been so difficult to keep this a secret, but….

WE’RE OPENING A COFFEE SHOP! For locals and anyone interested in visiting the ‘Burg in the near future, Cup Of JoeL Is now open in the trendy neighborhood of Lawrenceville! Do you love specialty lattes with pictures of flowers in the cream, European-style espresso, and organic ingredients? If so, this is not the place for you. Are you craving a crappy cup of coffee that you could probably just make yourself at home? Well, crave no longer, Cup Of JoeL totally has that! Here, it’s okay if you want call it “expresso”, because that’s not on our menu anyway!

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Seriously, this April Fools joke has been sitting in my list of drafts for months now. NO, we are not actually opening a coffee shop, but whatever… Joel’s getting really good at photoshop!

Never Have I Ever…

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IT’S FRIIIIIIIIIIIIDAYYYYYYYY!!!!!!

“Never Have I Ever…” is not only the name of a fun drinking game, it’s a unique way to get to know a group of people a little bit better. Haven’t you ever played this game with friends and found yourself saying: “wait, you’ve never been to Europe?!” or “you really haven’t ever driven a convertible car?!”.

Though I like to think that I have lived my life to its full potential thus far, there is still a lot I haven’t done. For this drinking game, grab yourself a Belgian or craft beer to sip (we’re adults, get out of here with your PBR!) and play along.

NEVER HAVE I EVER:

  • been skiing (I had never even seen snow until Joel and I started dating)
  • been to Disney World (or any other Disney themed parks)
  • gone far enough on a boat so I can’t see the shore
  • done a cartwheel
  • been snorkeling or scuba diving
  • stayed awake through all of Pulp Fiction, What About Bob, or The Big Lebowski.
  • ran a charity race
  • been mistaken for a celebrity
  • eaten frog legs
  • broken a limb
  • spent any time in a hospital as a patient
  • had jury duty

So what have YOU never done?!

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Shark Attack: The Drink/Drinking Game

Ever just want to throw it back to your hardcore partying college (high school?) days and play a drinking game?! Well wait no longer and look no further! I’m finally adding drinking games to the long list of things that I do so well here on my blog! YOU’RE WELCOME, WORLD.

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We have a fun end of summer tradition in our house: watch the Syfy channel classic, Sharknado (they’re on their fourth installment) and play a drinking game with it. For the last two years, we’ve made over the top, specialty shark drinks to chug while we play. Here’s what we use and how we make ’em:

You’ll need:

In a glass that normal people use for whiskey, add ice and a squirt of blue Kool-aid. Use a cocktail shaker to mix the lemonade, 2 oz gin, 1/2 oz tequila then add to the glass. Throw in some rock candy and a gummy shark on a cocktail stirrer or toothpick and you’re done! For a “scary” effect, you can freeze some blue Kool-aid in one of these and add it to your drink with some strawberry daiquiri mix for a real “bloody shark attack” feel.

BUT DON’T DRINK IT YET…

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This drinking game has been adapted from a few that I’ve seen on the Internet over the years and will work with any of the Sharknado movies… it could even work for some of the other Syfy classics like Dinoshark, Ghost Shark, or Sharktopus…

Take a drink when

  • someone gets eaten by a shark
  • someone makes a Jaws reference
  • you see a B through D list actor make a cameo
  • someone says “Sharknado”
  • someone kills a shark with a weird object (i.e. not a gun)
  • there’s a blatant product placement
  • someone revs a chainsaw or cocks a shotgun
  • there’s a girl in a bikini
  • there’s a “hot girl scientist” (big boobs, glasses, speaking gibberish)
  • every time Tara Reid screams
  • there’s a weather report
  • there’s a shark pun

 

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You will most likely end up drinking  your way through the entire movie so if you want to switch to beer, I totally understand. OH, THE PERSON WITH THE MOST LIQUID IN THEIR CUP AT THE END HAS TO JUMP INTO THE CLOSEST BODY OF WATER: THE BATHTUB!