My Favorite Worldly Flavors (& How I Use Them When I'm Dealing With Wanderlust)

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I’m an admitted foodie - it’s true. Luke and I are more than likely to make a bucket list of restaurants and dishes as we are to making one of galleries, tourist sites and historic monuments.

I could wax poetic about how important understanding a place’s rich history in culinary arts brings us closer to understanding its people, and although that is absolutely true, at the end of the day… good food speaks for itself. Good food brings people together, it opens dialogue, it makes life worth living.

So why wouldn’t a traveler pick up an intense love for a place’s traditional foods? It taps into our innate sensory memory - those fleeting moments of intense recollection. Worldly flavors do so much more for me than fulfilling a meal. They bring back an indescribable element of nostalgia. They make me feel closer to those far off places. They send me reeling into deep fits of appreciation and gratitude.

The truth is, guys, I use these worldly flavors most when I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of wanderlust. I feel most in touch with my memories of Italy when I’m cooking cacio e pepe and sipping wine. I feel closer to Japan when I’m slurping udon noodles and gyoza over a tasteless beer. These recollections come flooding back to me in the midst of savoring familiar flavors I’ve experienced on foreign lands. And even better, I feel more excited to explore unknown, unvisited places when I taste their dishes beforehand.

Today, I wanted to share some of my favorite worldly flavors I discovered at Whole Foods, who so lovingly attended to my *need* for multicultural goodness, thanks to their new Lancaster store. Since their opening in late summer, Luke and I have gone to the store an embarrassing amount to peruse their aisles and get our fill of deliciousness. So, I’m thrilled to share some of my favorite finds.

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First up, a taste of Italy through an amazing “aperitivo” spread. If you haven’t caught on already, going for an aperitivo before dinner is one of my absolute favorite memories of our summers in Rome. If you ask my opinion, if you’re eating dinner in Italy without an aperitivo beforehand, you’re doing it wrong! Also - while we’re at it - can we please make these a real thing here in the states?!

For our spread, I went for a classic chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano (an Italian CLASSIC) fresh off the block, mixed with a delectable pairings of garlic marinated olives, parmesan and toasted crackers, and Mama’s Pesto (can’t recommend this stuff enough - it’s stupid good!). Is there anything more Italiano? I think not!

What I love about Whole Foods is its insane cheese selection. Luke and I could have spent hours in there! We easily washed down all of this Italian deliciousness while sipping on Blood Orange Soda - something we were obsessed with when we lived in Rome. I haven’t been able to find anything that comes close to the stuff we loved so much until this one!

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To add a more multicultural twist on an aperitivo, why not make it a bit more French by adding some soft and pungent blue cheese, fig jam and a crusty, delicious baguette from the bakery… maybe with some sweet butter cookies for good measure? I also just had to pick up some dried lavender while in the store too. Is there anything more French than the smell of lavender?

What I love about aperitivo is just how flexible it can be! Put out some pairings of cheeses, a spread, something crunchy, something fresh, something sweet - just GO FOR IT. And everyone’s happy!

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Next up - SWEETS. I’m a sucker for coffee and cookies. I’ve pretty much mastered the art of “tea time” as the Brits do it, except I prefer some dark roast coffee instead of a traditional pot of tea here at home. (Anyone who’s worried - don’t worry, I kept it traditional while we visited England this summer!)

For my multicultural twist on a mid-afternoon tea, I paired a smattering of classic cookies and biscotti, with an Amsterdam favorite, stroopwaffles, and a pour-over of Lancaster Coffee Roasters. Seriously the coziest spread! Get this girl some cookies, coffee and a good book and she’s square.

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While we’re on the sweet stuff - I picked up a few multicultural chocolate bars while shopping at Whole Foods! Check these babies out!
Mast Chocolate Bars in Almond Butter, right here from Pennsylvania, an Icelandic Milk Chocolate Bar, and a Guajillo Chili Chocolate Bar from Mexico. Just proof that all around the world, people celebrate the deliciousness of chocolate in their own beautiful ways. I’m just here spreading the good word… a relishing in their creations!

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While we giddily shopped Whole Foods aisles, I had to pick up some other worldly flavors I miss ever so much, like the matcha latte powder, some thick cut udon noodles straight from Japan (taking me back to Shinjuku’s Omoide Yokochō!) , as well as some other Asian treats like Whole Food’s Jalfrezi Curry Simmer Sauce (love this stuff) and Kalbi Sauce from Korea.

It’s amazing how much selection Whole Foods has. Any sort of multicultural dish could definitely be covered - a big perk here in Lancaster, where a lot of grocery stores lack those unique ingredients needed in traditional meals around the world!

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Using cooking as a tool to “deal” with my wanderlust while at home has served Luke and I well. We’re not only well fed, but also hellbent on developing our perfect recipes to make here at home (or at least until we can taste the real deal in person). We feel connected to our memories of those far off places and also filled with curiosity for those we taste often but have yet to step foot in.

A big thank you to Whole Foods for sponsoring this post. Feeling so grateful to have a store here in Lancaster to consistently shop at!

Have you ever used cooking as a means to “deal” with wanderlust? What are your favorite recipes and flavors?

Hygge, Pennsylvania - 7 Of My Go-To Cozy Tips And Tricks

In the dead of winter, I'll admit... I'm OVER this weather. I'm starting to groan at the very hint of impending snow, hate the dark mornings an early sunsets and lose all intentions of mastering my list of goals for the new year. You with me? However, it's also around this time when I realize the beauty that the winter season brings me each and every year. I mean, seriously, how often would I kill for a warm, toasty fire place roaring instead of sweating my face off in the summer? And isn't it kind of wonderful how everyone sort of hibernates during this time of year? Winter may be a drag sometimes, but it's also full of little joys.

Now that being said, I know what you're thinking... what in the world is this word "HYGGE"?! (You've probably seen it splattered all over the Internet.) Hygge stems from the Scandinavian country of Denmark, and let me tell you... adopting it into your day to day life is a guaranteed way to instill a serious sense of coziness and connectedness to your life. What better time to gain a better understanding about this Scandinavian lifestyle traditions than right in the dead of winter? So, let's live worldly and find out a few ways to adopt these traditions in our day to day lives! 

Hygge, Pennsylvania - 7 Of My Go-To Cozy Tips And Tricks | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
Hygge, Pennsylvania - 7 Of My Go-To Cozy Tips And Tricks | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

WHAT EXACTLY IS HYGGE?

First things first, hygge (pronounced "hoo-gah") is a tricky thing to define. Because hygge is a feeling, it can be hard to nail down the right words to accurately define it. But for all intents and purposes, it's the Danish tradition/lifestyle approach that celebrates “coziness of the soul,” togetherness, comfort and all things cozy. Simply put, hygge is “the art of celebrating coziness and togetherness.” 

So why infuse some hygge into your life? Considering that Denmark has been consistently ranked as one of the happiest nations in the world, even with horrific weather and some of the highest tax rates in the world… there’s obviously something that can be learned! As we know, self-care is incredibly important. Hygge is one avenue for personal happiness and fulfillment. Who doesn’t crave a little ritualized act of self-care? Plus, if you’re someone like me, it’s fun to learn more about a different culture’s traditions and infuse some of their ideas into our own daily lives.

WHAT HYGGE FEELS LIKE

Hygge is definitely something that pairs well with autumn and winter… because lord knows there’s nothing better than feeling cozy and relaxed in colder weather! Hygge is definitely a personal thing. After all, we all source happiness and contentment in different ways. For some, there is nothing more hygge than a brisk hike, enjoying the changing leaves and the beauty of nature. For others, that is the exact opposite of comfort! So, remember friends... hygge is up to you to define!

For me, hygge is that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you’re reading a book on a rainy day. It’s holding a warm coffee cup in your hands and savoring a cinnamon bun in the morning. It’s that cozy, nostalgic feeling you get when you set up the Christmas tree. 

Hygge, Pennsylvania - 7 Of My Go-To Cozy Tips And Tricks | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY
Hygge, Pennsylvania - 7 Of My Go-To Cozy Tips And Tricks | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

HYGGE BASICS 

My mild (read - major) obsession with hygge stems from the reading I've about the Danish tradition through various books, blog articles and more. My go-to favorites, FYI, are "The Little Book of Hygge," "How To Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life," and "The Book of Hygge: The Danish Art of Contentment, Comfort, and Connection." If you're not looking to buy a book, although I seriously suggest you do - there's nothing cozier than learning about coziness (super meta!) - just do a quick search on Pinterest and you'll be bombarded with other blog posts regarding hygge's history.

ATMOSPHERE 
To really create a warm and cozy environment, be sure turn down the lights and light a candle. In fact, most Danish people agree... a key ingredient of hygge is a candlelit room. The Danish use more candle wax than any other country in the world. If you can, light a fire in the fireplace and curl up with a cozy blanket. 

PRESENCE
Whatever you're doing, whether it's watching a movie, reading a special magazine or baking a treat for yourself... do it completely. Be here, right now, in the moment. That may mean putting your phone out of sight, in the upstairs rooms where you won't be bothered to scroll on social media in between whatever you're doing today. Turning OFF your phone might be the most hygge decision of your day! 

PLEASURE
Read - SWEETS. Have something sinfully delicious. Coffee with chocolates, cookies, warm cake, caramels or candies you love. 

GRATITUDE
Take it in, savor everything. Breathe in all the good things that surround you. Hygge is very much about appreciation and taking the time to savor and be thankful. 

COMFORT
My fave. There's NOTHING better than getting cozy... so relax. Take a break. Pop on your most comfortable sweatpants and worn in sweater, lie down on the couch with your warmest blanket and warming socks. (There's actually a term in Danish that translates to hygge pants... aka, the pants you never want to be caught in public wearing, but you can't imagine throwing them away because their so dang comfy!) Cuddle cup, get your cozy on.

TOGETHERNESS
Start traditions, or continue to practice them. Have nostalgic conversations with old friends, build relationships with new ones. Host an event where everyone can contribute in something together. 

SHELTER
Remember that your home is your place for peace, quiet, security and sanity. 
 

7 OF MY GO-TO HYGGE TIPS & TRICKS

I titled this blog post Hygge, Pennsylvania because I want you all to know that although hygge is Danish in origin... it's something that can be practiced in any place around the world! I've found the most hygge moments come with a little bit of intention and mindfulness. So if you're reading this post and wondering how to start incorporating some serious coziness in your life... this is for you! 
 

EAT SOMETHING A LITTLE SINFUL WHILE READING
The BEST! Get cozy and open up a book, whether it's an old favorite that brings you all the joy and nostalgia, or a new one that fills you up with excitement and curiosity, and place some of your favorite sweets beside you. Enjoy the simplicity of getting lost in a great story while also indulging in some simple, delicious treats. Bonus points if you turn your phone off for the whole experience! 

PURPOSEFULLY GO TO A COFFEE SHOP TO SAVOR ALONE TIME
Take the time out of your day to go to a coffee shop with all the cozy vibes (Danish people religiously look for places that feel hygge to hang out in, why shouldn't you?). Order a hot drink, feel its warmth in your hands, sip in between watching the weather, journaling or writing a letter to a friend you haven't seen in a while. The purpose of your trip shouldn't be something on your to-do list. It should be something special you are doing just for you to enjoy!

FYI - Lancaster-ites, my favorite hygge coffee shop is sort of a hidden gem, it's Commonwealth Kitchen and Cafe on Mulberry Street! The light and view to the park behind, combined with their pastries and endless coffee is my favorite for some serious hygge-vibes. 

WATCH A THUNDERSTORM (OR SNOWSTORM) FROM INSIDE
Ahhh... is there anything better than watching a storm roll in from the comfort of your cozy home? My parents and I would watch summer thunderstorms while curled up on your front porch swing, enjoying the warm, humid air blown through, counting the seconds between the lightning and thunder, and now I do just the same. Right now, in the dead of winter, I love opening my blinds while snow falls. Watching the outer turmoil of the weather while safe and warm indoors is one of the coziest feelings in the world!

POP ON THE COZIEST SWEATER
You know that sweater that has all the nubby fabric and is worn in just right? Yeah... wear that one and have no apologies!

HOST A QUIANT POTLUCK STYLE GET-TOGETHER
Having close friends over in your home to do something fun and possibly start a tradition together is a great way to incorporate some hygge in a more extroverted way! By asking everyone to contribute to the overall get-together is a great way to bring everyone together and open up dialogue in new ways. That's why I love a good potluck. There's no pressure on the host to do it all, everyone brings something a little special for everyone to nosh on, everybody gets some variety and helps with the clean up. It's a win-win. Hygge potluck party must haves? Candles (duh), lots of candles. And that's pretty much it! 

Lancaster peeps, anybody want to do a low key hygge-party soon? 

SNUGGLE YOUR DANG HEART OUT WHILE WATCHING A FEEL-GOOD MOVIE
It's simple. It's a classic. Put on a movie that makes your inner child happy, or your standard favorite to watch with your significant other... and snuggle the day away. For me, it's Harry Potter marathon or Breakfast At Tiffany's. For Luke, it's I Love You Man. For you, it might be something completely different. Pick a movie that has a tinge of nostalgia to it, get snuggled up in a warm blanket and just enjoy the simple beauty of a wonderful story unfolding in front of your eyes while comfortable and safe at home. 

LIGHT A DANG CANDLE
The Danish burn the most candles out of any country in the WORLD. Think about that. Candles are pretty much the staple piece to any hygge-seeking individual. So whether you're cleaning your dishes or reading a magazine, turn off your fluorescent lighting (THE WORST!) put on a candle and enjoy the simple ambiance it brings. Whenever I light a candle at home, it turns any room into a mini-retreat. I love it!

Hygge, Pennsylvania - 7 Of My Go-To Cozy Tips And Tricks | ROAM + GOLIGHTLY

Hygge, although Danish in tradition, is yours to embrace. So savor the little things, indulge in something special, light a candle, drink slowly, and enjoy the coziness that embraces every aspect of your daily life. Hygge requires no money, but it does require some intentional thought, mindfulness and a sense of appreciation. Tap into this tradition, practice it in your life in a way that suites you and makes you happy... and you'll find yourself exclaiming "wow, that is soooo hygge" the way I have been doing for months now. Enjoy!

How are you going to hygge?

Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town

There's no denying that most people have a deep, long standing love for Paris. The romance! The art! The food! The fashion! Ah, Paris. There's no place quite like the city of lights, is there? I'll confess, as a twenty five year old woman I'm in the midst a serious "French phase." My obsession with Paris has grown exponentially (almost embarrassingly so) over the past year. But, I mean, c'mon... doesn't every girl go through a similar obsession with Paris at some point in her life? 

Regardless of whether or not you've visited the city of lights, the aspiration to infuse tastes and tiny moments of a French life is one that we can all learn from. But instead of just waiting in anticipation for a trip to Paris, let's put this desire on its feet! So, friends, let's find Little Paris in our own neck of the woods. Shall we?

Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town
Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town

TO MARKET, TO MARKET

A simple and wonderful joy. Pacing the streets of Paris in search of a warm, delicious baguette can easily be translated for anyone, anywhere with a short trip to your local market. Smell the bakery's bread, pick up some fresh rosemary or a locally made jam and walk languidly home with a sizable, picnic-worthy treat or two. There's nothing more Parisian than that!

ADMIRE THE SIMPLE

If you've listened our second season of the podcast, you know that PRVNCL magazine's editor in chief, Grace Taylor speaks openly about her admiration for the French culture's ability to value balance and rest with the work hustle. So remember to admire the simple, glorify rest, take a moment everyday to ask yourself what would be nourishing and healthy for you today. As opposed to our society, the French do not believe in maximalism... and that includes the glorification of the work-life "hustle." So take a breather. Read for fifteen minutes instead of scrolling your phone, meditate or sit in silence for a moment in the morning while you sip your coffee, notice the details in life that bring you great joy. 

Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town
Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town

FIND YOURSELF THERE (VIA INSTAGRAM)

Due to my current Franco-phile tendencies, I'll admit that I've spent many hours pursuing through various Paris-based Instagrammers. There's just something about those street-scapes! Check out @paris for your daily dose of inspiration (they're always sharing fun Insta-stories on the streets exploring), @parisinfourmonths to fulfill your dreams of becoming a full-fledged fashion icon, @seemyparis for beautiful streetscapes and cafe shots and @mylittleparis for secret spots, quirky finds and eye candy galore. I'll tell you first hand, if you find yourself swept up in the romance of this city but unable to hop on a plane... these Instagram handles are sure to satiate your wanderlust!

FRESH FLOWERS, ALWAYS

As Claude Monet said, "I must have flowers, always and always." Adorn your home with a simple bouquet. Not only is a vase of flowers a simple pick-me-up to an ordinary space, but it also completely adds an inviting element to your home. Whether you source some greenery and wildflowers from your backyard, or you pick up a pre-made bouquet from the grocery store... there's nothing simple and Parisian than some fresh blooms.

Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town
Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town

BUILD YOUR FRENCH CLOSET

When I think of one word to describe a Parisian wardrobe, it's this... curate. I've obsessively sourced Pinterest to fulfill my desire to have a French woman's closet (see for yourself here). And if there are some tricks and tips I've learned along the way, it's that the French are impeccable at building a closet "foundation," meaning those staple pieces that can be worn endlessly season to season. Think classic white button downs, great fitting denim, a worn, delicious leather jacket and pair of black flats that can be worn dressed up or down! Again, Pinterest is a great resource for building your own French closet.

This is something I'd love to create more resources about (maybe a Youtube video or another blog post)... what do you think? 

PERFUME

Find your scent. There's something so romantic about putting on a spritz of perfume, isn't there? Find one that reminds you of childhood, watching your mother put on her makeup and get dressed...or even dapple some of your significant others' cologne or after shave on your wrists. It's a cliche, but the French truly understand the power of the senses (especially the nose). Wisp some perfume on your wrists and by your collarbone and transform into the dynamic Parisian woman of your dreams.

HAVE A PICNIC

With a baguette and cheese, of course. Bonus points if you add wine. 

Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town
Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town
Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town
Finding Little Paris | 8 Ideas To Help You Find France In Your Own Small Town

IT'S A STATE OF MIND

It really and truly is. Paris is lush. It's nuanced. It's just... all too much at one time. Tapping into these romantic notions of a place doesn't have to happen only when walking through the city of lights. It's a headspace. So watch a Parisian set movie and immediately take an afternoon walk, with a latte in hand, searching for little details similar to this fantastic city. It's there. It's 100% waiting for you. You just have to search for it. 

What details of Paris can you find in your neck of the woods?