Summer Travels | Southeast Asia

Practically the biggest and most exciting personal thing we’ve been working on this summer is hammering out the details for a big summer trip! We are headed to Southeast Asia.

Lonely Planet, Travel Books, Southeast Asia on a shoestring, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, Travel, Summer Travels

 

After a lot of reading and research (primarily with this Lonely Planet Guidebook), scanning pictures, scouring reviews and chatting with people who have been there, we’ve landed on a plan.

In a little less than 2 weeks, we are heading out.. here’s a breakdown of what our trip will look like, once we arrive:

3 Days in Singapore

3 Days in George Town, Penang, Malaysia

3 Days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a day trip to Cameron Highlands

7 Days in Bali, Indonesia with a day trip to Lombak

Then back to Singapore for a night before we fly home.

Summer Travel, Traveling, Summertime, Vacation, Summer Vacation, One Room Challenge, ORC 2016, ORC Spring 2016, One Room Challenge 2016, One Room Challenge Spring 2016, ORC Guest Participant, Living Room, Family Room, Painted Trim to match Walls, Painted Molding, Molding painted to match walls, Painted Doors to matche walls, Painted Details, Pre War Molding, Stacked Molding, New and Old Design, Pre War Building, Jersey City Living, Jersey City interior Design, Interior Design, Interior Designers JC, Interiors of Jersey City, Jersey City Bloggers, Blog, Design Blogger, Decor Blogger, Blue, Perfect Blue Paint Color, Chandelier, Ceiling Medallion, Pre War Ceiling Medallion, Contemporary Design, Contemporary style in old space, Living Small, Small Space, Small Space Big Design, Krystle Pickens, Krystle Pickens Interior Design, Wanderlust, Travel, Wanderlust Nook, Reading Nook, Travel Section, Lonely Planet Travel Guide, 1000 places to see before you die, Snail, LafCo Candles, LafCo Candle,

It was so hard to narrow it down to these countries and then these specific locations. When we chose Southeast Asia, we wanted to cover the whole region and see everything, but with limited time away we decided that we would be better off limiting our stops and taking more time in fewer places. Quality over quantity. Slow and steady like our snail friend from our wanderlust reading nook.

If you’ve been to any of these places or areas and you have recommendations, send them our way! I can’t wait to go and experience this trip. It really will be the trip of a lifetime, except hopefully we will go back to the region again at some point to explore the countries and places we aren’t getting to this time around.

I can’t wait to share all the nitty gritty details and what I imagine will be all the stunning imagery once we return. And if you can’t wait to see some of our adventures, follow along with us on social media for updates as we go! (Links below.)

What trips have you been on or been planning this summer? Anything you have dreamed about for ages? Hopefully your summer has been filled with fun!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Camping in PA

When P and I first started dating, I discovered he had never been camping before! I grew up camping and had always loved it, so the first Memorial Day weekend we were together, I planned a little camping trip for us up in Maine, and ever since he’s been hooked!

camping, tent camping, tents, lake, vacation, pennsylvania, summer vacation, weekend getaway, memories, making memories,

Unfortunately with work and life and all the things, we haven’t made it camping in two years! The first years we were together, we went as often as we could and camped in Vermont, Connecticut, Texas and Louisiana in addition to the first trip in Maine.

This year for hubby’s birthday one of the only things he had on his list was to go camping. I really didn’t know if we were going to be able to get the same time off together, but not only did it work out, last minute we ended up with a fourth day off and were able to leave a day early!

We headed out to Raystown Lake in PA for the first night (the bonus night) and it was a beautiful spot to camp. The restrooms were a little less than desireable for a campground (no running water), but considering we were only there for 24 hours we didn’t really need much.

The scenery was gorgeous and Brantley even went into the lake with us and attempted swimming for the first time. He had so much fun splashing in the lake even though he kept at least his back feet firmly planted the whole time! It was great!

Our second stop was at Keystone State Park about an hour east of Pittsburgh. We chose this destination specifically for it’s proximity to Pittsburgh as we attended a pup night at PNC Park while we were on our trip.

The first night we set up camp and explored before dinner, and of course ended the night with a campfire and s’mores.

The second day we walked be all around the grounds over to the water and back up to our campsite. No swimming for him here, but still nice to see the water. We headed back to camp and made lunch before some rain rolled in… we ducked into the tent and played a card game, read a bit, and even snuck in a nap.

Then we headed into Pittsburgh and we had such a fun time with the pups in the Park! Brantley met 3 other wheatens, which he’s only ever met maybe one or two before ever and it was cute seeing them together. We (or at least I) didn’t really watch the game because there was too much going on with the dogs, but it was a really cute set-up and everyone had a good time. That said, we both agree that we will have to get back to this ballpark sans Brantley to actually enjoy the park and the game, but it was definitely a fun detour!

The third day, we slept in! I haven’t slept in in ages and I got over 8.5 hours of sleep (I’d like to have that again right about now)! We took B on another walk around the grounds, had breakfast and got cleaned up (the bathroom facilities here were great), and then slowly but surely started taking down camp.

We made lunch at the campsite, finished loading the car and were on the road home by 1pm. I had a serious hankering for ice cream and P knew that there was a creamery at Penn State which we were going to be driving within spitting distance of, so we added it as a detour and we were all happier for it–even Brantley!

penn state creamery, vacation, summer vacation, ice cream, penn state college, pennsylvania, summer life, memories, making memories

The only other stops we made on the way back were for gas and bathrooms, and we spent the car ride home reading through our travel guides to plan our next adventure (which I will share more on later). But all in all I’d say it was a great trip!

Always good to be home, but now the camping bug has most definitely bit us again, and although we likely won’t be able to go at all for the rest of this year, we are already thinking about next summer!

What is your favorite type of family vacation? Do you have any fond memories of family trips you took as a kid? Are there any great places to camp that we should put on our list for the future?

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

The Done List

It has been well over a month since I last blogged and I have been missing this outlet as a way to express myself and share the happenings of life and work. I had been seeking inspiration and making a lot of lists until last night. On our way home from our weekend away, P and I were listening to “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin, and she mentioned getting great blog ideas and wanting to save them away but needing to trust yourself to come up with new great ideas for posts all the time and to use them when you have them.

I don’t recall the exact quote but it was something like creativity grows more creativity, or inspiration in place of the word creativity… something like that. However she put it hit me and I was sitting there thinking, you know what, it’s time to log back on and get back to it. It’s been too long! (Check out her blog and book to get more inspo for your own happiness–I think when we finish the book I might start listening to her podcasts too.)

The other thing that had me feeling so inspired the other day was @EliseJoy‘s #100aysofelisepeptalksmake a DONE list.” I’m a list maker anyway so this one really struck me. It’s easy to think of all of the things you need to do, or that you want to do, or even to beat yourself up for the things that you haven’t done yet. But if you stop for a minute and really think about what you have finished and make that into a list, you will feel so much better. I’m paraphrasing what Elise said in her post here, but it resonated with me, like really really resonated. (Check out her blog for and jump over to her instagram links above for a lot more inspo.)

I spent the time away from the blog doing a lot of things, but one of the things that I think is pretty interesting is that I spent time email and talking to other bloggers (or following and reading other blogs) and telling them that I missed writing and I missed this outlet, yet I still couldn’t find the drive to get back here and get going. Sometimes you need a break, sometimes something that you love so much and that you really want to do, you just have to take some space from before you can really get back into it. I tried to come back a lot sooner with a post in late May after a shorter hiatus post One Room Challenge, but I wasn’t ready yet.

So anyway, I think I’m back… I think I’ve found my voice a little more, and I am feeling inspired. Some of the coming posts will be of the catching up variety but some of them will be all new and progress reports that you’ve not been getting. I hope your still here to read through it all and offer continued support.

My Done List since I’ve been gone:

  • Finished the living room, like it’s really really done.
  • Adjusted to hubby’s new work schedule
  • Committed to a fitness class 2x/week and have actually gone and loved it every week!
  • Finished knitting a baby blanket for my dear friend’s newest little one.
  • Spent some time with said friend and met the new baby.
  • Worked my ass off.
  • Taken on a few new clients and focussed on getting their plans done and materials specified.
  • Taken a dozen naps.
  • Spent some quality time with Brantley.
  • Spent some quality time with Pat.
  • Worked out our new budget.
  • Started a “no spending” challenge at home.
  • Went on our first camping trip in over two years.
  • Enjoyed a relaxing weekend at the shore.
  • Hosted my in-laws for a night.
  • Reorganized the linen closet.
  • Cleaned countless times and remade the mess.
  • Lived.

I could go on, but I think you get the point… making a done list is so rewarding. I feel like this ‘quiet time’ around the blog hasn’t been a huge waste or isn’t time lost. I feel like it has been time well spent on a few other things. Or, well a lot of other things by the looks of the list above.

I would challenge all of you to make a done list. It feels so good, I promise! Need a prompt, What have you done in the last month? Over the holiday weekend? I’m sure you have done a lot more than you are giving yourself credit for.

If you made it all the way through this picture-less post, thank you so much for reading! Feel free to comment below and let me know if you’ve taken a time-out in any areas of your life lately. I hope this post inspires you to get back on the horse!

Let’s be social! Follow DBK on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Bloglovin’ so you don’t miss a thing!

Transitioning to Fall

Fall fashion week is all about the spring season, and my mentality right now is all about holding onto summer. But, whether we like it or not, fall is looming so we might as well begin transitioning.

I’ve been adding cardigan layers back in with my bright, flowing, summery skirts and tees, along with breaking out a few pairs of booties. Cardigans and booties are the perfect layers to add to your wardrobe this time of year. Scarves are also a favorite fall layer to add on, but I am so not ready.

For your home, fall inspires light layers of coziness, all things pumpkin and leaves and at least for us, the transition to sleeping with the windows open at night.

Fall for me is always a good time to declutter — make sure our surfaces are clean and that a gust of wind isn’t going to come in and blow over a pile of papers. It’s a good time to make sure things like window treatments are in order (so you can easily open and close them for day and night), pillows are cozy and you can break out your light-weight cozy blanket to toss over the back of the sofa.

So if you are like me and you need a slower transition to fall, here are some ways you can transition a bit more slowly:

  1. Wash your windows to let all of the sunlight in. If we are really trying to have summer forever, sunlight is key!
  2. Work on decluttering your surfaces. There is nothing like a fresh, clean tabletop to make you feel good about life.
  3. Start considering some of the fun accessories like pillows and blankets for the living room. You don’t need to cover everything in leaves and pumpkins to start to feel a little cozier.
  4. Treat yourself to a new candle. The smells of fall might just convince you that it’s okay that fall is in fact just a week away and remind you why fall is your favorite season. (*It’s my favorite season, but I’m feeling very resistant this year!)
  5. Relax and enjoy your bright, clean and cozy living room!

When October rolls around we can start talking about adding in some pumpkins and leaves.

Labor Day Weekend Recap [And a Recipe]

We spent Labor Day weekend with my in-laws at their new place down by the Jersey Shore and what a glorious, relaxing and restful weekend it was.

I had a hectic install Friday morning that I dragged P along to help with, and then we hit the road, exhausted and ready for a long weekend. We ordered pizza for dinner from a local pizza place that had a gluten-free crust made from scratch that was so delicious!

Saturday we went crabbing (caught 3 blue claw crabs!) and made up a little appetizer on the fly–3 crabs isn’t really enough meat for more than an appetizer for 4 people to share. Then Saturday night, we went over to Seaside, played mini golf, rode the sky-lift ride with great views of the coast and the boardwalk, enjoyed my favorite summertime treat (Kohr’s Brothers frozen custard–the only flavor worth getting is the vanilla-orange swirl), we even rode some of the rides!

Sunday, we drove around Beach Haven on Long Beach Island, walked around shopping, took in a few views of the coast, explored a trail with Brantley and enjoyed the sunny weather. That evening we drove out through the marshlands to West Creek for a dinner at sunset that, between the views and the food, did not disappoint.

Monday we took it easy in the morning, stopped at the local fish market and picked up some fresh ingredients for dinner and had a quick lunch of grilled burgers and hot dogs before we went over to the pool. The pool was beautiful and so refreshing, I was so relaxed that I even fell asleep at the pool! We capped off the weekend with a Kitchen Clambake courtesy of Ina Garten’s recipe, that was probably among the top 10 best home cooked meals I’ve ever had in my life!

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!

Recipe: Spicy Cheesy Crab Balls

-Meat from 3 crabs (Boil fresh caught crabs with Oid Bay for 10 minutes and refrigerated until cool enough to handle, before meat is removed.)

-1/3 cup cheddar cheese

-Jalapeños (seeds removed)

-2 Corn Tortillas

Rough chop the jalapenos, corn tortillas and cheese and combine ingredients into a food process. Chop until all elements are well blended and a dough is created.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture and roll into balls. Heat vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet until it bubbles. Drop balls into oil and let them cook, rotate them so that all areas cook, keep them in for a good few minutes until they brown and then remove and place them onto a paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Repeat until all of the crabby cheesy goodness has been cooked, insert toothpicks and serve. Make sure to eat one for yourself as you bring them out to the masses or else you might not get any of these tasty morsels!! Enjoy!

5 on Friday|Ready for the Weekend!

Some weeks, the weekends are just more exciting than others.

JC Project Eats

1.This weekend, if you are in New Jersey, driving/train-ride distance to Jersey City, you should stop by! Right outside the town hall there will be LOADS of food, drinks and good times, for Project Eats Food Festival.

2. My Seattle Mariners are in town this weekend playing the Yankees, so P & I are headed out to the game on Sunday and will be clad in opposing teams’ gear. I love going to ballgames, it is always such a good time!

Also this weekend is the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. (I must’ve watched their Instagram post about it on repeat for 15 minutes yesterday.) Here are my picks:

3. Fashion Accessories: What woman doesn’t love a good handbag?! I was in a car accident back in early April, and ever since I’ve been looking for a small cross body-bag is stylish but that won’t weigh me down. These three are perfect. (Left to Right: Vince Camuto “Baily” in Roebuck, Kate Spade “Cedar Street-Monday” in Rose Jade, Rebecca Minkoff “Mini 5-Zip” in Latte.)

The second row is filled with over-sized scarves that look so cozy they’re making me itch for autumn. Classy enough to wear to work, cozy enough to nap in and perfect for jet-setting. What’s not to love? (L to R: Halogen Cashmere Travel Wrap, Halogen Brushed Floral Print Wrap, BP Geo Print Poncho.)

4. For the home, I’ve selected linens & entertaining pieces.

If you have been reading DBK for any length of time, you may already know that I am a bit of a linen snob. I love lush and decadent linens. Any of these would be great to update your master bedroom or refresh a guest bedroom. The bedding on the left is a reversible duvet set, solid either navy or grey on one side, patterned on the other, perfect to get you through the whole year! The sheet sets are simple, lux and cozy. The Creamsicle colored throw is the perfect way to add in a pop of color and texture to any bed or seating. Lastly, it’s always nice to have some decorative patterned towels to mix in with the solid ones, this option comes in a variety of colors to fit perfectly with any scheme.

In addition to my love for linens, I love to entertain. Hosting friends for anything from brunch to dinner, drinks to game night should be a treat, and with the right serving pieces, you can make prepping for any gathering less of a chore. I love these mason jar style serving pitchers, and they pair perfectly with monogrammed mason jars (with straws)! It doesn’t get much easier than topping off a pitcher and letting your guests help themselves! Copper Moscow Mule mugs make the perfect vessel for everything from it’s refreshing namesake to a hot buttered rum in the Fall, no bar cart should be without them!

5. When we aren’t busy shopping, eating, or rooting for the away team, I’m going to be perusing through our new travel books, purchased on Prime Day, they should be arriving today, and if there is one thing I love more than cozy linens and a scarf made for jet-setting, it’s layering on that scarf, crawling into that bed with a glass of wine and a travel book, dreaming about destinations afar.

What are your plans this weekend? Will you be shopping or heading out to any fairs or festivals? Or maybe just grabbing a book and heading to the beach? Whatever you are doing, I hope you get your fill and enjoy the weekend!

Red | White | Blue | Waffles

As promised (and sorry it is so late), here is our fun patriotic breakfast in honor of this past weekend!

Strawberry Blueberry Waffles 1For the 4th of July, I thought it would be fun to do a little red, white & blue breakfast, and I happened to find fresh strawberries and blueberries at the farmer’s market, so it was meant to be. I broke out the waffle maker and got to mixing!

I love blueberries mixed into waffles and pancakes, but I prefer the strawberries as a topping. If you haven’t tried roasting fruit, it’s a must-try, especially if you are entertaining. The flavor becomes very full bodied. For these strawberries, I simply cut them, sprayed them with coconut oil, mixed in some vanilla and popped them into the oven at 325 degrees. You will be able to smell when they are finished, but expect it to be around 20 minutes.

Once the waffles came out of the waffle maker, I just placed a few on plates, topped them with the roasted strawberries and voila, breakfast of champions. Such a great way to start the day. Not only is it a beautiful breakfast with all the colors, it is healthy and easy to make too!