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Part Three: Our Honeymoon in Santorini, Greece

Today’s post is about the final stop of our honeymoon in Santorini, Greece! If you missed my previous honeymoon posts you can read them here: Part I: Athens and Part II: Mykonos.

Alright, let’s jump in!

We traveled from Mykonos to Santorini on the Hellenic Seaways Highspeed 7. The Highspeed 7 is very comfortable and travels much faster than other boats and ferries that make the same trip. The trip takes about two and a half hours, and at the time that we booked, it was a good amount less expensive than flying between the islands. If you choose to take the Highspeed 7, I have a few tips for you before you go.

  1. Have your hotel call the port to see if the boat is on time. When we arrived at the port, we learned that our boat was going to be at least 40 minutes late, so we ended up having to stand outside in the heat with all of our luggage for over 90 minutes to wait to board the boat. There was no online system to check (like there are for flights), so we had no way of knowing about the delay until we arrived. There was an indoor waiting room, but it was already packed with other travelers. If we traveled by boat again, I’d have our hotel call the port ahead of time to confirm whether or not things are on schedule.
  2. Also different from American flights, there is no system or order used to board the Hellenic Seaways. When the boat docks and the gate comes down, everyone is allowed to storm on all at once with their rolling suitcases and strollers. If you’re traveling with kids or anyone elderly, be careful, because it is not a smooth process.
  3. The seats are all above deck, but passengers have to leave large suitcases downstairs in an open area. I’d suggest bringing a small baggage lock with you to protect anything you keep downstairs, and take anything very valuable with you to your seat. We had nothing stolen, but you can never be too safe.

Where We Stayed:

When we arrived at the port in Santorini, a shuttle arranged by our hotel picked us up and drove us to the Volcano View Hotel in Fira, our home for the next six nights. We chose the Volcano View because it received great reviews online, and guests all seemed to comment on the fantastic food and gorgeous views.  Our room was simple and modestly decorated, but the view of the ocean and caldera from our little balcony was breathtaking.

Our first night we had dinner at the hotel and and Travis and I were both blown away by how delicious everything was. We were happy to know that we wouldn’t have to travel far to get a great meal over the course of our stay at the hotel.

Like our hotels in Athens and Mykonos, the Volcano View also offered a complimentary Greek breakfast buffet every morning, which we made sure to take full advantage of. They had a wide variety of breads, fruit, pastries, eggs, and more, so there really was something for everyone.  Breakfast was enjoyed on an outdoor patio overlooking the ocean, and it was a beautiful, peaceful way to start each day.

The hotel also offered a complimentary shuttle to and from Fira town (where the majority of shops and restaurants are), and it operated about every two hours or so. This was helpful, as the walk from the hotel was about thirty minutes, and there was no shade to protect you from the sun.


What We Did:

Santorini Sailing with Ted

We LOVED our Santorini Sailing experience! We chose the semi-private Blue Lagoon sunset tour, and similar to our boat trip in Mykonos, we were one of three couples on the boat. However, this boat was much larger than the one we were on in Mykonos, and there were three staff members dedicated to just the six of us. The tour was about five hours long and included stops at two swimming spots, an all you can eat and drink (beer and wine) Greek dinner, and an amazing view of the sunset from the water. The Santorini Sailing team was SO professional and made us feel very safe onboard. The dinner consisted of vegetables, pasta, poultry, and seafood, and was very impressive (especially considering it was cooked on the boat!). I highly, highly recommend this excursion.


Watch the Sunset

Most people would say that the best sunsets in Santorini are in Oia, but I honestly think you’d be in awe by the sunset everywhere on the island. Whether we were at a restaurant or just in our hotel room, not a night went by that we didn’t stop and stare at the sky as the sun was setting. They truly were the most spectacular sunsets we’d ever seen.


Rent an ATV

ATVs are such a fun way to get around the island, and they’re less expensive and easier to park than a car. You can rent them all over Santorini, but the Volcano View concierge helped us coordinate with one company that delivered the ATV to our hotel. We drove our ATV from Fira to Oia one day, which took about 25 minutes. I let Travis handle the driving, so I just sat behind him and held on tight. Don’t forget sunblock and make sure to wear your helmet! Locals drive fast and there are lots of winding turns.


Visit Domaine Sigalas Winery

Our friends Kyle and Kelly also honeymooned in Santorini, and they spoke so highly of Domaine Sigalas, so we stopped there on our way back from Oia. Travis and I split one wine tasting, and we both loved the wines. We’ve done a lot of wine tasting throughout California, but the wines at Domaine Sigalas are really special. They don’t distribute widely throughout the United States, otherwise I would buy their white wines regularly. If you’re a wine lover, visit Domaine Sigalas.


Santorini Wine Adventures Small Group Wine Tasting Tour

We also attended the Santorini Wine Adventures small group tour and had a blast! This time we were one of four couples, and our tour was led by Dimitris, who was extremely knowledgeable about Santorini vineyards and Greek winemaking. The tour included transportation to and from our hotel, tours and tastings at three different wineries (I believe we tasted at least 15 wines), and food pairings. It lasted about five hours, but we felt like it flew by because we were having so much fun and learned a lot. I would absolutely do this tour again if I went back to Santorini.


Where We Ate:

The Caldera Restaurant

The Caldera Restaurant was the main restaurant in our hotel. Because the food was so fantastic, we really didn’t eat out at other restaurants much. It’s absolutely worth a visit if you’re in Santorini. I highly recommend the salmon and fava bean dip.


Cava Alta

Cava Alta was one of our favorite restaurants of our entire honeymoon. We loved it so much that we went back a second time for lunch on our final day. The food is phenomenal, but the restaurant is so unassuming and reasonably priced. We actually hadn’t read about it anywhere, but one of the couples we met on our Mykonos boat tour had recommended it to us.

Make sure to get the tomato fritters (I regret not asking for the recipe!), fresh pasta, and lamb shank.

Cava Alta in Pyrgos...Our Honeymoon in Santorini, Greece: Details and Tips about where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and where to enjoy fantastic Greek wine! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com // Honeymoon in Greece, Greek Honeymoon, Greek Vacation, Greece Travel Tips, Santorini Travel, Santorini Restaurants, Santorini Dining, Greek Wine


Volcano Blue 

Volcano Blue is in Fira, and overlooks the ocean and volcano. For the best view, sit upstairs if it’s available. The menu features a variety of Greek specialties, so we decided to order a few smaller items to share so we could sample more of the menu. The eggplant and sundried tomato starter is fantastic!


Yogi’s Gyros

If you’re in Fira and looking for a good gyro (Greek-style sandwich in a pita), go to Yogi’s…or get it delivered! That’s right — they will deliver to your hotel! Now before you laugh at us for being the ultimate millennials and getting delivery on our honeymoon, let me explain.

Our Honeymoon in Santorini, Greece: Details and Tips about where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and where to enjoy fantastic Greek wine! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com // Honeymoon in Greece, Greek Honeymoon, Greek Vacation, Greece Travel Tips, Santorini Travel, Santorini Restaurants, Santorini Dining, Greek Wine

On the second night we were in Santorini there was a celebratory firework performance scheduled by the caldera in the ocean. The majority of restaurants with views of the fireworks were already booked or featuring expensive fixed-price menus, so we decided to just watch the fireworks from our hotel room patio, which we already knew had an amazing view. We’d read that Yogi’s Gyros were great, so we called to see if they would deliver, and they did! In the end we only spent about ten Euros on our (ridiculously delicious) gyros and had a fantastic view of the fireworks in our comfy clothes and slippers. It ended up feeling so special and I’m sure we’ll remember it for a long time to come.

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I hope you enjoyed reading about our honeymoon in Greece! I loved sharing these photos and details with you because it allowed me to reminisce…and start thinking about how soon we can go back!

I finally have our wedding photos back, so I’ll have to start going through those and share a full wedding recap with you guys. Thanks for stopping by the blog today!






Part Two: Our Honeymoon in Mykonos, Greece

Hey hey! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving last week! I was in Maine celebrating with my family, and it felt so nice to be able to drive to Thanksgiving this year, rather than fly. I love living on the same coast as my family!

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Today’s post is all about our honeymoon in Mykonos, Greece. If you missed part one about the two days we spent in Athens, you can click here to read the post.

We traveled from Athens to Mykonos on a teeny tiny Olympic Air plane. I’m not typically scared of flying, but I’ll admit that small planes like we flew here make me nervous. Luckily, we were only in the air for about 30 minutes, so I wasn’t nervous for too long. The carriers who fly between the Greek islands are typically low cost, which means that if you don’t care to select your seat and only have carry-on luggage, then your ticket could potentially be very inexpensive. We wanted to sit next to each other and we each had one large suitcase to check, so we paid additional fees for those upgrades, but the cost was still relatively cheap (about $70 USD per person).


Where We Stayed:

When we arrived at the Mykonos airport we were picked up by our hotel’s complimentary shuttle. We stayed at the Mykonos Bay Hotel for six nights. We chose the Mykonos Bay Hotel because it was one of the very few hotels we found that had direct access to the beach, a swimming pool, and a close proximity to Mykonos Town.

When we first arrived we were put in a guest room next to the hotel’s laundry room, which was extremely noisy. We immediately knew that if we wanted to enjoy our time in Mykonos and get any quiet time, then we’d have to find a different room. After speaking with management, they were able to switch us to a beautiful guest suite with a private jacuzzi for our first night and then move us to a sea view room located far away from the laundry room for our remaining nights.

We were very grateful that they were able to accommodate the change, but if you do stay at the Mykonos Bay Hotel, make sure to request a room away from the laundry facilities. I also highly recommend upgrading to a sea view room. You’ll love opening your doors to this view every morning!

The guest rooms at the Mykonos Bay Hotel are pristine white (classic Greek style) and modern. Just like most European hotels, the rooms are small, but still very comfortable. I particularly loved the rain shower, fluffy robes, and slippers in our room. Also, each room is equipped with a Nespresso machine, which comes in handy if you are experiencing jet lag or just need a mid-day pick-me-up.

The hotel also offered an incredible complimentary Greek buffet breakfast daily.

The options were endless: dozens of artisan breads and crackers, a rotating selection of traditional Greek pastries (I may or may not have had baklava every morning…), pancakes, sausage, granola, Greek yogurt, eggs, nuts, cheese, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, and so much more. We made sure to fill up our plates each morning to start the day on the right foot.

Since we had just come from a crazy week of wedding celebrations, we decided to take a few afternoons to just relax, and laid on the beach chairs with our books. I went through two books in four days!


How We Got Around:

Because our hotel was so close to Mykonos Town, we were able to walk there daily to eat and shop. I highly recommend staying in a hotel that is walkable from Mykonos Town because you’ll be able to do so much more by foot. The streets in Mykonos are very narrow and there are no sidewalks, so walking can be especially dangerous at night. If you do walk on the streets at night, wear light colored clothing and constantly be on the lookout for oncoming traffic.

You can rent a car, ATV, or scooter; however, parking a car is sometimes difficult and maneuvering around other (crazy) drivers on an ATV or scooter isn’t the easiest. We chose to rent a car for one day just to explore other parts of the island, but in the end we decided it was too stressful to drive on the old and narrow streets. We likely wouldn’t do it again.

Taxis in Mykonos are very expensive because there are so few of them, yet there are many tourists looking for rides. A five minute taxi ride could easily cost you 20 Euros, so keep that in mind before taking one. Many hotels offer complimentary shuttles to and from Mykonos Town, which is another great thing to look for when selecting a hotel. Some shuttles operate on a schedule and others, like our hotel, are available whenever you call for them.

There is also a bus system in Mykonos that appeared to be very popular, but we didn’t use it. It has many routes and seemed relatively inexpensive, so that is certainly another option to get around the island.


What We Did:

Walk around Mykonos Town

image source

Exploring Mykonos Town is SO much fun! The cobblestone streets are filled with fantastic restaurants, clothing and accessory shops, and souvenirs. When they were constructed many, many years ago, the streets were intentionally designed like a maze to confuse pirates. I loved getting lost in the maze of streets because every turn we took we stumbled upon something new we hadn’t seen the previous day.


Watch the Sunset

The sunsets in Greece are undeniably gorgeous. We spent some evenings watching the sunset from our hotel porch and other nights watching it along the beach in Mykonos Town. Pro tip: you can buy a bottle of beer (or in my case bottle of prosecco) from a shop in Mykonos Town and carry it with you to watch the sunset. The shop we purchased from even opened the bottles for us!


Mykonos Sailing with Artemis

If you do one excursion in Mykonos, make sure it’s this sailing trip. We had SO. MUCH. FUN!

Artemis operates two daily sailing trips from his personal sail boat – one in the afternoon and one at sunset. We chose the 5 hour afternoon trip and were among a small group of three other couples, so eight passengers total. We really lucked out because the other couples on our trip were a blast to hang out with and we all hit it off right away. (We even keep in touch on social media now!)

The boat makes two swimming stops and the trip includes an all you can eat and drink (beer and wine) Greek meal. Artemis cooked an INCREDIBLE Greek feast by himself on the boat. We were amazed what he could whip up using a small portable grill and sailboat kitchen. He’s a pro sailer and cook!

I really can’t recommend this sailing trip enough!


Where We Ate:


Vergera is a great little cafe right on the water at the edge of Mykonos Town. We loved the chicken kebabs and grilled vegetables.



We loved Kastros so much that we went there twice throughout our six day stay. It’s located in Little Venice, overlooking the water and sunset. We made early dinner reservations both nights so we could watch the sunset while we ate. Everything on the menu is fantastic, so you really can’t go wrong!



If you’re looking for an upscale meal that will impress you, go to M-eating.  The presentation and flavors were fantastic. We loved sitting on the porch that overlooks the hustle and bustle of Mykonos Town, so try to get a seat outside if you can.


Pepper Souvlaki

Pepper has THE BEST chicken souvlaki sandwiches. They even have whole grain pitas available, which was an extra win for us. Each giant sandwich was less than 4 euros, so it was by far our cheapest meal on the island. Travis loved these pita sandwiches so much that one night he had one after we had already eaten dinner. He just couldn’t leave Mykonos without having a Pepper souvlaki sandwich one last time!


Keep Reading…

Part Three: Our Honeymoon in Santorini


Part One: Our Honeymoon in Athens, Greece

Here we are one month after returning from our honeymoon in Greece and I am finally getting around to tell you guys about it! As you know, life has been a tad bit crazy for us with our cross-country move last month, but I was able to go through and edit all of our honeymoon photos this weekend so I feel much more caught up.

I brought my DSLR camera with us on our honeymoon, but I ended up leaving it in the room for the majority of our vacation for two reasons. #1: It was really hot in Greece in September, and lugging a heavy camera around just wasn’t very comfortable. And #2: I consciously tried to be fully present throughout our honeymoon, and sometimes spending time setting up the “perfect” shot prevents you from doing that, you know? It was a lot easier to keep my iPhone in my small cross-body purse and pull it out quickly if I wanted to capture something. So that was my long way of explaining why the majority of the photos that I’m going to share from our honeymoon actually came from my phone (although I am wishing the iPhone X was out at that time…have you seen that picture quality!?).

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

You may want to know: how did we select Greece as our honeymoon destination? Travis and I both always wanted to go to Greece, so we considered it along with Southern Italy for our honeymoon. We wanted a honeymoon that included delicious food and wine (duh!), and a mix of sightseeing and beaches. In the end, we selected Greece because we found a ridiculous flight deal that we could not pass up. Normally, Travis and I spend a long time researching our future vacation destinations, but when we were alerted to the flight deal, we ended up booking our flights to Greece that same night! It was pretty spontaneous and out of the norm for us, but with roundtrip flights to and from Athens for less than $500 per person, we knew we’d have a good amount of flexibility in our budget for hotels, activities, and meals.

Per the suggestion of a few of our friends, we only spent two days at the beginning of our trip in Athens, and allocated our remaining time to the Greek islands. To keep things organized (and to prevent this from being 50,000 words), I’ve decided to break up my honeymoon recap into three posts: Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. So in today’s post I’ll share highlights from our brief time in Athens including where we stayed, what we did, and where we ate. If you’re also planning a honeymoon in Athens (or Mykonos and Santorini) I hope you’ll find these posts helpful, and feel free to reach out to me with additional questions.


Where We Stayed:

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Image source

We stayed at the Amalia Hotel in Syntagma Square for three nights. We booked the hotel because it is located right in the heart of Athens, and it’s walkable from all of the main tourist sites and many fantastic restaurants. We were welcomed to our room with a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine and fruit platter, which was very appreciated after a long day of traveling. The hotel and guests rooms are modest in appearance, but very comfortable. We had no problem falling asleep in our queen-sized bed at night and greatly enjoyed the view of the National Garden from our balcony.

Like most hotels in Greece, the Amalia offers a complimentary breakfast buffet. Given that the breakfast was included in the room rate, our expectations of it were fairly low, but we ended up being pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. There were so many different selections of bread, eggs, breakfast pastries, cereals, jams, and more. It was so helpful to be able to fill up with a hearty breakfast and plenty of coffee before sightseeing both days.

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

If you’re looking for a well-located and reasonably priced hotel in Athens, I highly recommend the Amalia Hotel. All of the activities and restaurants that I mention below were walkable from the hotel, and the only time we took a cab was to travel to and from the Athens airport.


What We Did:

Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Athens. It was built in 330 B.C. for the Panathenaic games, and it is the only stadium in the world made entirely out of marble! It was refurbished in the late 1800’s and hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896!

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

We loved climbing our way to the very top of the stadium because the view looking down was incredible. Make sure to take the free audio guide tour because there aren’t many signs within the stadium, so the audio guide explains everything you see along the way. If you’re feeling up for it, you can even run a lap or two around the track (seriously, you can!).

Pro tip: Wear shoes with good traction and be EXTRA careful if you’re visiting after a rainfall. The marble steps are extremely slippery, and I took a tumble down some steps even wearing sneakers.


Tour the Acropolis

The Acropolis is an ancient fortified area located on top of a rocky hill in Athens. It contains many historically significant buildings, the most famous of which is the Parthenon. Visiting the Acropolis was a must-do on our list, and it was amazing to finally see it in person. I tried to remember everything I could from my 7th grade ancient history lessons, but I honestly wished that I’d done a little refresher before visiting. There are many guided tours available, which we likely would have done if we had more time.

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Depending on what time of year you go, the Acropolis can get very hot, so make sure you wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Also, you’ll be walking up rocky, steep hills throughout your tour, so I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to wear sneakers or hiking shoes.


Walk Through the National Garden

Our hotel was located just a short three minute walk away from the National Garden, so we spent our second morning wandering through its beautiful maze-like twists and turns. You really can’t take a wrong turn in the National Garden because every corner has something new to explore, and there are so many amazing photo-ops. There is even a small zoo inside, which is great if you’re traveling with kids.


Visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus

Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

The Temple of Olympian Zeus was an ancient Greek Temple dedicated to Zeus. Construction of the temple began in 470 BCE and what we are standing in front of in the photo above still exists today. You really have to visit in person to understand how incredible (and enormous!!) this temple is. Our Acropolis tickets included entrance to this site, but I’d say you don’t need more than 20 minutes here.


Where We Ate:


Ergon was an adorable outdoor café located down the street from our hotel, and the meal we had there our first night really hit the spot after 14+ hours of traveling! We devoured every slice of bread in that bread basket with a variety of Greek dips, and we shared a small grilled whole fish for our entrée. The flavors were simple, yet totally authentic.



Mono was one of our favorite meals of our entire honeymoon. When we made our 7PM reservation, we felt lucky to get a good time slot considering how popular we’d heard the restaurant was. It turns out that NO ONE in Athens eats as “early” as 7PM, so we had the place to ourselves for our whole meal. Needless to say, we had fantastic service given that we were their only customers, ha!

For our meal we shared an amazing Peloponnesian white wine, a Greek salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, homemade croutons and balsamic, and moussaka for our entrée. We were very impressed by both dishes, and no bite was left untouched.



Avocado is a vegetarian café located right outside of Syntagma Square. The menu has an emphasis on clean, healthy, plant-based dishes, and reminded me of something I would see in Los Angeles. Travis and I shared a fresh-pressed green juice, (a giant serving of) avocado hummus and pita, and a salad. The menu is pretty extensive, so if we were staying longer I would have liked to try more of it.



Read all about our Honeymoon in Athens! Where we stayed, what we did and where we ate. ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Image Source

We went to Athinaikon on our last night in Athens, after window shopping at the hundreds of stores in Syntagma Square. For our meal we shared a whole fish, grilled vegetables and the house white wine. One thing we noticed throughout our time in Greece is that the house wine at most restaurants is very good! It’s served in a carafe and usually offered in a 500ml portion, which is about 2/3 a full bottle of wine. It’s a great option if you don’t want a full bottle and don’t want to spend a lot of money. For the most part, we found that a 500ml carafe of house wine was only around 5 to 6 euros (about $7 USD)!


Keep Reading…

Part Two: Mykonos

Part Three: Santorini




Life Lately

Major Life Updates: We’re Married & We’re Moving!

Hey guys, it’s been awhile! And A LOT has happened in the last few weeks, so it’s about time that I get you up to speed.



Travis and I were married in Boston on Labor Day weekend! Our wedding day was everything I dreamed of and more. It felt so special to be married in the city I grew up in, and to celebrate with our closest friends and family. Once I receive the professional photos from the photographer, I will write a full wedding recap. In the meantime, here are a few photos I collected from our guests.

Rachel Pattison and Travis Winkler Elm Bank Wedding, Boston MA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Rachel Pattison and Travis Winkler Elm Bank Wedding, Boston MA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Rachel Pattison and Travis Winkler Elm Bank Wedding, Boston MA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com


Two full days after our wedding, Travis and I flew from Boston to Greece for our honeymoon! We visited Athens for two days, Mykonos for six and Santorini for another six. It was a perfectly long and relaxing vacation with my favorite person and travel buddy. Since we had plenty of time in each location, we never felt rushed and we were able to take our time exploring each area.

Mykonos Honeymoon ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I have so many photos and Greece travel tips I want to share with you all, but in effort to keep this blog post a reasonable length, I’ll save all that for another day.

Honeymoon in Santorini, Greece ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

And lastly…we’re moving!

And finally, our new BIG piece of news. We’re moving to NYC! Travis accepted a job in New York that we really could not pass up. The role combines two of his favorite things: sports and media, so I’m thrilled for him. Everything is just moving so fast! We just got back from our honeymoon and now we’re in the midst of packing up our apartment here in Los Angeles and trying to find an apartment in New York.

Santa Monica Boardwalk ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This move is certainly bittersweet. When I first moved to Los Angeles five years ago, I regularly told Travis how much I would love to move back east to be closer to our family and friends. But now, five years later, I finally feel settled in Los Angeles. We’ve both made incredible friendships and love the sunny, healthy and active lifestyle here. Los Angeles, specifically Santa Monica, is where Travis and I have spent the majority of our relationship and built our first “home” (ahem, one bedroom apartment) together. It’s where we fostered over twelve dogs and ultimately found Bessie, our favorite furry family member. It’s where I taught myself food photography and decided to turn my blog into a little business. We are really going to miss this city.

Bessie ll Chihuahua Terrier Mix Rescue Dog from Los Angeles, CA ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There are, however, SO many things about New York that I am looking forward to. I can’t wait to be just blocks or a quick subway ride away from so many of our friends. I look forward to countless dinner parties, holidays, birthdays, and many other celebrations with people we love. We’ve had to miss out on many of these events over the years while we were on the west coast. I also look forward to being able to take public transportation just about anywhere and not sitting in traffic on a regular basis.

A few people have asked me if I am ready to go back to the cold winters. The short answer is not so much, but I do look forward to having seasons again. I think having seasons makes you appreciate the good weather days even more. In Los Angeles, I rarely check the temperature because it’s pretty much 75 degrees and sunny every.single.day. I will miss being able to jog to the gym at 7AM on a January morning in just leggings and a thin long-sleeved top.

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This has been an absolutely crazy, fun, exciting year for us. From quitting my job, to traveling throughout Europe, to getting married, and now moving across the country, I can honestly say that 2017 was our best year yet.

Thank you for reading and following along. I appreciate it more than you know! I’m looking forward to getting back on a regular schedule with you guys. Stay tuned for some delicious recipes coming atcha this month!


My Bachelorette Party in Nashville!

This past weekend I celebrated my bachelorette party in Nashville, TN!

This post would be amiss without saying how appreciative I am of my best friends who were able to travel all the way to Nashville to celebrate with me. They made the weekend incredibly special. It took me nearly all week to finish this blog post because I have SO much I want to say and share about our time in Nashville, but I know you guys don’t want to read a 100-page book!

When researching potential cities for my bachelorette, I was drawn to Nashville because it seemed like a convenient meeting point for my friends who were flying in from all over the country. And after just a quick google search of Nashville bachelorette ideas, I realized that there was so much to do and see in the city, including fantastic restaurants, bars with live music, and wine tasting. Most of my friends had never been to Nashville before, which just made the destination all the more exciting.



Most of our group flew into Nashville by early evening on Thursday, and arrived at the Airbnb we rented by 6PM. By the time I got to the house, my sister-in-law, Morgan, and college friend Emily had already set everything up and picked up lots of delicious snacks for the weekend.

Morgan also put together these adorable goody bags for all of the girls.

Inside the bags were: matching grey tank tops that said “Rachelorette in Nashville”, pink sunglasses with each girl’s name on the stem, a bottle of gatorade (a bachelorette necessity), and an itinerary for the weekend.

Once everyone arrived, we popped a couple bottles of prosecco to enjoy while the girls got to know each other. My best friends are from all different points of my life: high school sports, college, my sorority, summer camp, etc., so for many of the girls this was their first time meeting. It felt very special to have so many of my favorite people in one room together!

We decided to keep it low key that night, and for dinner we picked up take-out from Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and Coco’s Italian Market. It was also my friend Kelly’s birthday (THANK YOU Kel for flying to Nashville on YOUR birthday!), so we celebrated with a variety of cupcakes from Gigi’s Cupcakes. If you’re an icing person, you’d LOVE Gigi’s Cupcakes because there was a TON of icing!

Pretty soon after dinner we decided to call it a night (it was already midnight) and headed to bed so we would feel rested for the next day.



On Friday morning my friends Liz and Rebecca led us through a quick 15 minute workout in the backyard of our Airbnb. Just by looking at us, you would have thought we worked out for 90+ minutes because we were DRENCHED thanks to the humidity and 90 degree heat that morning! I am not used to that kind of humidity, but it felt really good to get the day started with a quick and sweaty workout.

Afterwards, we quickly showered and got ready for brunch at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant. Puckett’s was recommended to us by a couple of people and it lived up to the hype! We ordered pretty classic southern dishes, and I dove right a plate of chicken and waffles.

My Bachelorette Party in Nashville, Tennessee! -- www.littlechefbigappetite.com

After brunch we drove to Belle Meade Winery for wine tasting. The tasting was held in an old barn on the property and was led by sommelier, Debbie Van Pelt.

We sampled five different wines and paired them each with a piece of cheese, meat, or chocolate. Since Debbie didn’t have another group after us, she graciously went over our allotted time to talk to us about the wines and answer our (many!) questions. If you’re ever in Nashville and have the opportunity to go to a wine tasting led by Debbie, do it! She was very knowledgable and made the whole experience lots of fun.

After the wine tasting at Belle Meade we went back to the house and played a few games. Without me knowing, my friend Kelly coordinated a really cute game involving Travis. She sent Travis a list of questions and had him answer them over video. At the party, Kelly asked me the same questions and I had to guess what Travis’s answer was. Some of my answers were spot on, but others I guessed completely wrong, which resulted in a LOT of laughter. I guess even after 6+ years of dating you don’t always know what the other person is thinking!

After the games we got ready for dinner and hopped into Ubers for dinner at FLYTE restaurant.

Our dinner at FLYTE was incredible! We sat at a large table overlooking the kitchen, so we could see the chefs at work.

Because we were celebrating, the restaurant generously sent us a round of champagne and some delicious snacks for the table to kick off our meal.

We all ordered different entrées and each of us raved over the presentation and flavor of each dish. Kelly, who is extremely knowledgable about wine, put together some wine pairings for the table, which was awesome! FLYTE has an expansive wine list and two in-house wine directors, so they were also able to offer some fantastic recommendations.

Our meal at FLYTE was a true highlight of the weekend, and I want to give a BIG shoutout to our fantastic server Todd, manager Will, Chef Christopher, the rest of the FLYTE team for providing us with royal treatment that evening. If you’re in Nashville, RUN, don’t walk to FLYTE!

After a 3+ hour dinner (and basically shutting down the restaurant), we jumped in Ubers towards Music Row for some bar hopping. We popped into a few different places with live music and danced the night away. My phone stayed in my bag for the rest of the night, so I unfortunately don’t have any pictures to share, but we had a blast!



Our late night on Friday resulted in a very slow Saturday morning. We had plans to drive around Nashville on a “party barge” at 11AM, but we woke up to a thunderstorm, so our tour was cancelled. It wasn’t the worst result in the world because most of us were exhausted from the night before and benefited from a couple additional hours of sleep.

Once everyone was up, we ate a late brunch at the house, and played some more games. We were supposed to wear our matching tank tops and sunglasses on the barge, so instead just wore them in the Airbnb that afternoon.

That night, we had an early dinner reservation at Urban Grub. I opted to share a couple of dishes with my friend Emily, which was definitely a good choice because the portions were big! We were seated at a large outdoor booth with a GIANT Lazy Susan in the middle. It made sharing appetizers among a large group and passing drinks around the table much easier. I want one in my future home!

After dinner most of us ended up at The Stage on Broadway and listened to The Matte Gray Band, who was FANTASTIC!! They performed a mix of current country hits and older classics, and the entire audience was singing along and dancing to every song. It was such a perfect way to end our weekend in Nashville!


Most people had early morning flights on Sunday, so I set my alarm for 7AM to make sure I was able to say goodbye to all of my friends. I can’t wait to see them again in September at our wedding!

My flight wasn’t until 3PM, so my friend Liz and I swung by EIO and The Hive for a quick brunch before heading to the airport. It was recommended to us by my friend and Nashville native, Laura Lea from LL Balanced. A healthy meal was just what we needed after an indulgent weekend.

Luckily, my trip home went smoothly and I was back in my apartment in Los Angeles by 6:30PM. It felt so nice to be back home with Trav and Bessie!

If you’re planning a bachelor/bachelorette party (or just a weekend) in Nashville and have any questions, feel free to reach out! I am definitely not an expert, but I’m happy to share more information about our itinerary and what we loved.

Thank you again to my friends who traveled to Nashville to celebrate with me! I love you all so much!

Loving Lately

What I am Loving Lately — June 2016

Hi guys!

I wanted to check in today with my monthly edition of what I am loving lately. I love writing these posts, even if they aren’t always food related. It’s fun sharing some of my favorite things from all aspects of my life and I hope you guys have fun reading these!

Alright, let’s get to it.



Headspace App

Have you heard of the app called Headspace? My doctor was actually the one who introduced me to it when I had a check up last week. I mentioned that I am terrible at meditation and “turning my brain off” and she suggested Headspace because they have introductory meditation sessions that are just 10 minutes each! Don’t you love how there is an app for just about everything these days?

I was very excited and I immediately downloaded Headspace when I got home. I’ve done four of the 10 minute sessions so far and I really like it. Right now 10 minutes is just about as much as I have time for, given my busy schedule. I’ve been doing the sessions first thing in the morning before I have coffee or breakfast and I think it’s a great way to start my day. Anyone can squeeze in ten minutes and the app is free, so download it and let me know what you think!


Dave’s Killer Bread – Thin Sliced

Dave's Killer Bread, Good Seed Thin Sliced

If you’re not on the Dave’s Killer Bread train yet, you GOTTA get on! Their bread is SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. It’s soft, but hearty and it’s packed with only good-for-you ingredients. It’s seriously my favorite bread ever.

I’ve been eating Dave’s for a few years now, but I was pumped when I saw that Whole Foods was carrying a new thin-sliced variety that is half the calories of a regular slice. My recent go-to breakfast is avocado toast with an egg on top, and now that I have this thin-sliced variety, I have no guilt about having two slices.

By the way, if you guys haven’t heard of Dave’s Killer Bread until now, you should check out Dave’s story on their website!


Wedding-related Instagram Accounts

Style Me Pretty Instagram Account

Now that I’m engaged, I started following a few wedding Instagram accounts. It makes me SO happy to see gorgeous wedding posts pop up into my feed and I am getting very excited to start planning my own wedding.

I am sure I drive Travis crazy because I tag him in basically every photo where I love the decor, color scheme, venue, or basically any wedding photo that includes a dog. But he hasn’t complained yet….so for now I am going to keep blowing up his feed 😉


Fresh Basil

Fresh Basil

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that I have a black thumb, but I certainly am not the world’s best plant-keeper. When it comes to keeping plants, I feel like I never know what I am doing: watering too much, watering too little, keep it in the sun, out of the sun, partial sun? Oy.

I’ve grown basil before and it only lasted a few months, so I decided to try it again.  I am hopeful that round #2 works out a little better than before, and hey — I am one week in and I haven’t killed it so far (woohoo!). Plus, I’ve already used the basil in four different recipes. I think having it out (rather than buried in the fridge) is a great reminder that it’s there and ready to be used.

If you have any herb keeping tips, please share in the comments below! I’d love to be able to grow my own mint and rosemary as well.


From Around the Web

Apricot Orange Chicken Recipe — We made this for dinner the other night and it was SO good (I made a few tweaks to the recipe). I served it over farro and we devoured it!

Wedding Planning Hacks that Will Save You Time & Money — This one sucked me in! So many tips that I will definitely use!

36 Hours in Los Angeles — My mom sent me this article from the NY Times and it’s a great list of top places to visit in LA in a short period of time. A lot of these spots are new and Travis and I still haven’t checked them out.

Why Meditation is the Best Gift You Can Give Yourself — I can seriously relate to this story, and this motivated me even more to continue doing the Headspace app.


Alright, that’s it from me and my favorite things today! I hope you have a great week!




Life Lately

We’re Engaged!! And This is Our Proposal Story…

As promised on Monday, I am back today to share our engagement story!

We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Two weekends ago, Travis and I went to Philadelphia for his 5th year college reunion. For those of you who are longtime readers, you’ll remember that Travis and I met at the University of Pennsylvania when he was a senior and I was junior. We had a long distance relationship for a year, when he graduated and moved to Los Angeles for a job and I was still a senior at Penn. After I graduated, I moved out to Los Angeles and we lived separately for a year before moving in together in Santa Monica.

Okay, back to the story!

When Travis first mentioned wanting to go back to Philly for his 5th year reunion, I told him that I didn’t need to go with him because I wanted him to be able to celebrate with all of his college roommates who he doesn’t see that often. Travis insisted that I should come along, but I didn’t think anything about it because his reasons made sense. Neither of us had been back to Philadelphia since my college graduation four years ago and we have so many favorite spots in Philly that we both wanted to revisit.

Travis did all of the planning for the trip. He rented an Air B&B in Philadelphia so that all of his college roommates could stay in a house together again. This is another reason I was not suspicious. This wasn’t a romantic getaway, I was bunkered up all weekend with a lot of guys!

We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

On Saturday morning, Travis said he wanted to head to the Penn campus a little earlier than the rest of his friends so he could film some of the festivities on his GoPro. Now, if you know Travis, you’ll know that he takes that tiny camera everywhere with us, documenting all of our trips and events, so again, nothing was out of the norm here.

We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Once we arrived on campus, Travis suggested that we get our photo taken in front of the famous sculpture in the middle of the campus that spells the word “LOVE.” Everyone takes their photo in front of that sculpture, so there was a little bit of a line. When it was our turn, we asked another couple to take our photo and once they were done, I started to walk away. But all of a sudden, Travis grabbed my hand, pulled me back, got down on one knee and held up a ring. It was there that he asked me to marry him!
I was SO surprised! Actually, to put it frankly, I was in complete shock! At first I didn’t even say anything because I couldn’t believe what was happening — when I tried to speak, no words would make it out of my mouth (even though my brain was screaming “YES!!!”). Finally, he stood up, put the ring on my hand and told me that we actually had to hurry because he had a bottle of champagne waiting for us at a local restaurant about 2 blocks away. I think I said something like “Hold on! You just proposed! Can we slow down for a second?” but he said that we were 40 minutes late for our reservation (oops, my fault — I was very slow to get ready in the morning, but he couldn’t have rushed me because I would have known something was up).
As we walked to the restaurant, I kept staring at the most gorgeous ring on my hand in disbelief! I was asking Travis one million questions: “Who knew?,” “How long were you planning this?”, etc.
When we arrived at the restaurant, the manager took us back to our table. Next thing I know, we’re walking into a private room and I see both of our immediate families standing there waiting for us.
We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
THAT is when it finally hit me and I broke into tears. I couldn’t believe it. Travis pulled off the most incredible surprise – I had no idea any of this was coming. He planned an absolutely perfect proposal and the best day of our lives.
We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
I was beyond appreciative that both of our families drove all the way to Philadelphia to see us for just a couple of hours — even with two tiny babies in tow!
We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 I also can’t believe that everyone kept all of these secrets from me for so long!

We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
We had a beautiful celebratory brunch (although I could barely eat anything from all the excitement), and it was so nice to spend even just a few hours with family who I don’t see nearly enough.
After brunch, our families had to depart and we had to head back to campus to meet up with friends for more of the reunion activities. It was very hard to leave our families, but I know I will see them all soon enough.
We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
Once we got back to campus, the word had spread and everyone was so excited to hear the story and celebrate with us.
Our friends tried to have us recreate the engagement (since Travis didn’t end up getting any of it on his GoPro), which just made us crack up the entire time.
We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
We're Engaged!! And This Is Our Proposal Story! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com
Words cannot even describe my happiness. I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal, and spending it with our families meant the most to me. I love Travis with all of my heart and I am SO excited to see what the future holds.
And just since everyone has been asking, no we don’t have a date or venue picked out yet. Right now, we are just taking in every moment we can to celebrate!
Thank you so much for reading and your congratulations on Instagram – you guys are the BEST!