Category Archives: Fooooood

24 Hours In Austin

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard how cool of a city Austin, TX is. It is the OG “weird” city (sorry Portland, we were “keeping Austin weird” way before you guys, but thanks for sending Voodoo Donuts to the Lone Star State). It is the blue epicenter in the middle of a very red state. Austin has been and always will be many a hipsters’ Holy Land.

I started escaping to Austin when I was in high school. I would skip school and bum a ride an hour north of San Antonio to spend the day exploring a very explorable city. There’s always something happening in Austin, as it is the live music capital of the world. I have so many great memories of concerts in the capital city of Texas, like at SXSW when I snuck in through the VIP section to see The Strokes, or when Explosions In The Sky put on an amazing fireworks show over Lady Bird Lake for their finale. I saw Stevie Wonder at Austin City Limits in 2012 (but he did not see me). I got kicked out of a Mickey Avalon concert (not my fault) at the old Emo’s, and I climbed out of a bathroom window and onto the roof at the iconic Paramount Theatre during a New Year’s Eve Bob Schneider show…

But music is not all Austin has to offer. The food! The nightlife! The friendly drunk people on 6th street! The general atmosphere of this city makes it the reason we’d live there if we were to ever move back to Texas.


Our recent trip to Austin was, unfortunately, pretty limited. We took a Megabus from San Antonio on Monday morning and flew out of the Austin airport and back to Pittsburgh that same evening. We sure did cram a lot into that short time frame, though!

I gotta take a minute to share my new found love of both Megabus and the Austin airport. Holy crap, it was the best transportation day of my liiiiiiife! My friend said she used to take the 1.5 hour long bus ride to and from Austin to party with friends on weeknights and be back for work in San Antonio the next morning. It’s such a cozy ride, you don’t even mind having to sit in the notoriously bad Austin traffic because you can watch movies on your laptop (free wifi!), and you get dropped off right in the middle of downtown by the UT campus. If you’re visiting Austin and want to experience the best tacos in all of Texas, hop on a Megabus and go to San Antonio for a few hours. It’s so easy and convenient! And, dear Lord, Austin Airport- you are the most magical airport I’ve ever been to (*insert hallelujah hands emoji here*). No line at security AND I can take my beer to my terminal? Ohhhh, you da best.



Fresh juice from Jugo, the only healthy thing I had ingested for 72 hours- had to document. Had to!
Austin has a Voodoo Donuts now and it’s huuuuuuge!


Since downtown Austin is on a grid, getting around on foot is extremely easy. We got off of the bus, met my friend Liz for lunch at Leaf downtown (so many great healthy food places in Austin), walked to Rainy Street to gawk at the new high rise condo buildings and adorable restaurants, then crossed the river to South Congress street to window shop and conclude our Texas trip with a couple of local beers. It was a very good day.




I’m gonna have to write a blog post about all the cats we’ve met in all of the cities we’ve traveled to…










Even in the scorching Texas summertime, Austin is a great place to find yourself. We always look forward to visiting ATX and can’t wait to go back!


Ohhhh Austin, we love you so much.

Let Them Eat Cake!

If you live in Pittsburgh, you’re in for a real treat! My very talented sister, Annie, is now taking orders for custom cakes. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might be familiar with her work. Annie made a pink and blue cake for our friends’ gender reveal party last year. She also made the rainbow sprinkled beauty for my Super Sweet 16 (+ 10) party.


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Although she has her Master’s Degree in Library Science and not in The Science of Dessert, Annie has always shown serious talent for all sorts of cooking; with a specialty in baked goods. She worked at a gluten free bakery here in The ‘Burgh before accepting a position with another bakery, where she is now the head honcho of all those pretty pastries.

What started as a hobby, or favor for friends, is beginning to turn into a monetized side gig and I could not be more proud of her! Annie’s talent and creativity know no bounds! I took these photos of the gorgeous pink baby shower cake she was making for her future sister-in-law this past weekend. The pink drips! The gold leaf detailing! All the heart eyes, am I right?!








Annie does cakes for all occasions (weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, etc). To place an order, simply send a message via Instagram.

Be sure to be on the lookout for a 6″ cake giveaway, too!

*giveaway open to locals only as the cake will need to be picked up.



Holidays Daze

And just like that, round 2 of the holiday season is over. IDK about you, but I am definitely feeling a Christmastime hangover because it comes and goes too quickly. We try to pack as much stuff as possible into a short amount of time and our heads are left spinning.


This Christmas was different from the last five I’ve had with my Pittsburgh family, but we added some great new customs to complement the old. My sis-in-law + her husband (our family’s most loveable weirdo, Friggin’ Todd) usually come to town, but stayed in Nashville this year. And although I hate to miss an opportunity to hold the cutest baby in the world, our niece Lola; seeing her via FaceTime was so, so sweet. We usually get pretty dressed up for Christmas Eve dinner at my in-laws, but my new favorite tradition of drinking all night and dancing in the living room until 6 a.m. on the Eve of Christmas Eve meant showing up in yoga pants. I’m also 99% sure one of our new things to do every year is letting friends wear my hair extensions.


Another new tradition we’ll be honoring is going out for fancy hot chocolate. Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream makes the best. It’s so rich and decadent and will definitely make you sick if you drink it too fast or too much of it (oops!), but it’s somehow sooooooo worth it. This was the first time we’ve ever been to Millie’s that it wasn’t packed full of people, so we took some photos. Definitely put this on your list of places to go to in PGH if you haven’t been!





faux fur coat/SheIn (similar), look of regret on my face c/o being lactose intolerant

Anyway, happy belated birthday, Jesus! I’m feeling pretty hashtag blessed because I’m looking forward to going back to work tomorrow and we’re almost through the final round of the holiday season (NYE is Sunday). Happy ‘Daze!

24 Hours In Miami

Last weekend, Joel and I took a trip to Florida to celebrate my 28th birthday AND to visit some good friends who moved down south back in April. Although we were flying into Ft. Lauderdale and staying with our friends in Davie for most of the weekend, we couldn’t not go to Miami! Miami has been on my list of U.S. cities to see for quite some time (Wynwood Walls is basically every blogger’s version of the Holy Land) and I’m so glad we got a little break from the cold weather in Pittsburgh to soak up the sun and feast our eyes on the most colorful city I’ve ever been to.

When I was researching stuff to do in Miami for our trip, Art Basel kept popping up. “What the hell is this Art Basel thing everyone keeps mentioning” I thought to myself as I scrolled through my Pinterest search of “cool spots in Miami, FL”.  Basically, Art Basel is a lot like Austin’s South By Southwest, but instead of music all over the city, there’s art. It’s actually held word wide throughout the year, but Miami is the biggest one. There are tons of events going on throughout the week and there are SO. MANY. PEOPLE. I remember thinking it would be cool to see Art Basel someday (and get invited to some parties or gallery openings because I’d be such a popular blogger in this futuristic fantasy)… I did not realize that Art Basel would actually be wrapping up during our weekend in Florida, but I’m so glad we got to witness the craziness!

Bienvenido à Miami!


Jumpsuit/Show Me Your Mumu (similar)


As a birthday gift, my friend Jess got us a room at Atton Brickell so we could stay in the city and not have to worry about driving back to Davie Saturday night. IT WAS AWESOME! They have a rooftop infinity pool that we had to ourselves because we were the only people not cold in 60 degrees, south Florida’s version of “winter”. I loved seeing Floridians in their fur coats and down jackets; it reminded me of my hometown of San Antonio where people freeze when it’s any temperature under 70.

During the year’s biggest art festival, Miami’s Art district was the place to be! We went to Wynwood to walk around, eat, drink, window shop, and look at the most beautiful street art in the world. It’s where we spent both Saturday night as well as Sunday morning and early afternoon. Did I pack a suitcase full of different outfits to change into throughout the day? WHAT DO YOU THINK?! I definitely changed clothes in the middle of the street where there were people spray painting 20 feet away too… Miami is not a city where you have to be shy, I actually saw a guy peeing in the street on Saturday night so I figured changing my top would be NBD. I hope there are some people who are looking at the photos in this post without reading anything because it’ll look like we were in Miami for a whole week and not just 24 hours.


Sweater/Wildfox, Glasses/SheIn, Bandana/




Visit Miami If…

  • you get inspired by all things colorful
  • you want a cool backdrop to have your picture taken in front of
  • you want a cool backdrop to take pictures of your food in front of before you eat it
  • you enjoy being completely surrounded by beautiful art, both on the streets and in the stores
  • you love shopping
  • you’re a beach person
  • you like Art Deco
  • you’re a people person
  • you don’t mind traffic
  • you want to be fashionably daring, but it’s too cold in your hometown (see my cool jumpsuit in the second photo from the top)
  • you’ve had this song stuck in your head for a while now (swap Philly for Pittsburgh, a convertible Bentley for a sweet, sweet Saab, and the music video is literally our trip to Florida in a 90s nutshell)
  • you enjoy visiting freakin’ awesome cities








Dress/ASOS, Jacket/LuLu’s, Glasses/Amazon, Bag/SheIn



“if you post this picture, you should say something about being a big FAN of Miami” -Sam Henderson




We left Wynwood Sunday afternoon with the top down on our borrowed Saab convertible and headed to South Beach. What a gorgeous part of town!!!! I love the Art Deco hotels that line Ocean Drive and don’t even get me started on the eclectic lifeguard stands on the beach! All the heart eyes for this crazy colorful city.

There are a few things we did not get to do whilst in Miami; such as gawk at the modern architecture, hang out in Little Havana, or visit The Villa Casa Casuarina (aka The Versace Mansion). But it’s always good to leave a few things to come back to…





Party in the city where the heat is on. All night on the beach ’til the break of dawn. Can’t wait to see you again, Miami!

It’s Only Natural


photo via

There are two ways of getting into a pool: the first way, you use your big toe to check the temperature and if that feels good, you slowly lower your body in as it gets used to the water. And the second way is… AHHHH! YOU JUMP!

I like to think of this scene from Superstar as metaphor when it comes to taking the plunge into living a more “granola” lifestyle. Though, unlike Mary Catherine Ghallager, we prefer the former method and are going ever so slowly into all-natural, organic living…


Now that we are officially closer to 30 than to 20, we’re getting to be more aware of the products and foods we are putting onto and into our bodies. Did 21 year old Sarah care about how the synthetic fragrances and aluminum in her deodorant could potentially cause breast cancer and/or kidney problems? No! I just wanted to smell nice! Did I give a crap about all the plastic I was wasting by buying the tampons with plastic applicators?! Nope. I cleaned everything with bleach and other harsh chemicals and I never really cared about the effect it had on myself or the world around me. Had Joel, at age 23, ever even heard of Whole Foods or knowingly been within 100 yards of a Farmer’s Market? Probably not, too busy eating chicken wings or whatever… Ha! Just kidding, Joel’s parents are actually two of our healthy living gurus who raised their kids on lentils. Luckily, somewhere along the line, our eyes and minds started to open (thanks a lot to all of our gurus). That old saying about how “our bodies are our temples” always struck a chord with me; and since I plan to live a long and prosperous life, I need to start treating it as such…. Plus, we all need to start caring a little more about this world we have to leave to the generations to come.

The thing is, buying organic versions of all of your beauty/bath products (shampoo, soap, makeup, deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, etc), cleaning products, plus all of your food can be ungodly expensive and ridiculously overwhelming. “Whole Foods? More like ‘Whole Paycheck’ am I right?” Hence the whole “taking it slowly” thing I mentioned earlier. We are implementing holistic teachings as well as plant based meal options bit by bit. I mean, I spent the last 2 years trying to find a good replacement for my old deodorant and I just now found one that actually works. Slow and steady wins the race, doesn’t it?

Going all natural is really not as hard or as expensive as I had originally thought it’d be… I didn’t know until recently that tofu could taste so good or that I could clean the bathtub with just baking soda and white vinegar! I’m glad that that being a little more “crunchy” is the cool thing to be these days. This is a band wagon that people should want to be on and I can’t wait to talk more about it!


Cheap Dates: Lunch And The Library

What ever happened to going to regular old Lunch on a weekend? All the cool kids are either waking up at the butt crack of dawn to buy vegan donuts for Breakfast or they’re at the hip new Brunch spot on the trendy side of town. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of both of those things, but sometimes I just want to get satisfied by a BLT + chips + a pickle spear around noon on a Saturday. Let’s bring Lunch back! #LunchIsTheNewBrunch






A great spot to get lunch here in Pittsburgh is the Squirrel Hill Cafe; located in, you guessed it, the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill (my personal favorite PGH borough). You might recognize the place from the latest episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, where Tony sat to have burgers with local author Stewart O’Nan. If you want ridiculously good, cheap food this is the place (the total for 3 people- 1 bacon cheeseburger, 1 BLT, 1 fish sandwich, 1 beer, onion rings, and fries- was $33!!!!!). Be aware, though, that although it has “cafe” in the name, you must be 21 or over to enter Squirrel Hill Cafe and that it is one of the last remaining bar/restaurants that still allows indoor smoking (gross, I know, but worth it for cheap food). Hey look! They decorated for Halloween!

Since we’re a married couple with no kids, we have alone time in spades. And since we love the company of my favorite sister, Annie, we invited her along to be the third wheel. Who else would be able to stomach taking photos of Joel and I reenacting Lady And The Tramp with fries?! Annie then surprised us by picking up the tab, turning this Cheap Date into a FREEEEEE DATE!!!!! Thanks, Annie!

Photo of an indoor smoker

Speaking of free, the Squirrel Hill branch of the Carnegie Libraries is right across the street. I’m not sure how the libraries in your city stack up, but Pittsburgh’s are superb! Have you ever taken a date to the library? Probably not since college, huh? Well why not grab a few from the fiction section and get cozzzzy at a table with your significant other. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again… havin’ fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card….



A few blocks away from the library and cafe, are some outdoor chess/checkers tables, which would be cool had we known about them and thought to bring along the chess pieces my nerdy husband owns. On the next installment of Cheap Dates, we see how many times I can hear the phrase “check mate” before having a full-on mental breakdown…



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?”


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.


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.




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.


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! 





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!



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.


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.


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.



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.



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…






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…