Skimbaco Lifestyle | online magazine » SKIMBACO TRAVEL http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com Skimbaco Lifestyle, online magazine inspiring you to live life to the fullest. Travel, home, food, fashion, family. Sun, 26 Apr 2015 19:12:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.3 Nomadic Lifestyle Gone Wrong: We went after Global Adventures and ended up with the American Dreamhttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/04/nomadic-lifestyle-gone-wrong-we-went-after-global-adventures-and-ended-up-with-the-american-dream.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/04/nomadic-lifestyle-gone-wrong-we-went-after-global-adventures-and-ended-up-with-the-american-dream.html#comments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 00:13:49 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=44287&preview_id=44287 I sometimes forget how privileged our children are. All three were born in different countries, and they all also carry two passports, and are fluent in the language in the country we just lived as…]]>
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I sometimes forget how privileged our children are. All three were born in different countries, and they all also carry two passports, and are fluent in the language in the country we just lived as expats the past three years. Raising a multicultural family was not an option for us, it was mandatory since I am Finnish and my husband is an American. But raising world travelers was an option we worked very hard to accomplish.

Our oldest daughter Isabella is fifteen years old now, and on her first grade school project of celebrating the “100 days of school” she drew a world map and wrote the names of the “100 towns where I have been.” It was an impressive list for anyone, not to mention to a 6-year-old. That list has since doubled and the countries she has visited is higher than her age in numbers.

book-shopping-in-paris

I recently wrote for Huffington Post a blog post titled How to Give Your Kids the World, and in the post I listed 7 ways to think of family travel in a new light. I advice every parent to start traveling with their children when they are still young, and make sacrifices in your family’s lifestyle so you will have money and time for travels. It will be worth it.

Some of our lifestyle choices have been hard, like moving often for different jobs, or not living close to our families. Some of them have just added the fun, like me being a lifestyle blogger has opened us many opportunities we couldn’t have experienced without blogging. But being a business owner has also made it more difficult to travel at times, you can not take two weeks completely off when you are running your own business.

It would be easy to think we have only had the access to travels because of the travel writing I have done, but in reality, we were traveling long before entire blogging was even invented. Matt and I met in Germany, and by the time we had our first child, we had already lived in two countries together (USA and Germany) – and Isabella was born in a third one (Finland), while Matt was on a work assignment in a fourth country (Kosovo). Our life has always been an adventure, it didn’t become it when I started working online. Most of our family trips are still have nothing or very little to do with the work I do, although I sometimes still write about them.

elephant safari in Bali

My online work has enabled me somewhat fulfill my career dreams though, otherwise it might have been very difficult to keep our moving pace as fast as it has been (we have moved on an average every two years), and both of us to have jobs. Matt has been fortunate as well, and he has been able to find work from many great locations around the world, and now he has been working for the same company for 7 years (in three different locations). However, as his contract was ending in Sweden last year, he struggled finding another job. We were praying and hoping his company will offer him another position after the assignment was over, but it wasn’t until less than 30 days of the assignment ending that they actually offered one. Needless to say, the uncertainty of our future was killing us, and our last year was the toughest year we’ve had so far.

We lived in a mansion, drove German luxury cars, traveled in several countries, didn’t have any money worries because everything was paid for, and yet last year was the absolute low point in our 17 of world traveling together. It was because we didn’t have the secure future plans for our family. We were open for adventures, in fact, one day we were looking into schools in Bali, the next week we started taking Turkish language classes, month later we took a trip to Pennsylvania for a job interview and to scout the place. On one hand we felt the entire world was open for us, and we were ready to jump on the next amazing opportunity (a job for my husband), on the other hand we realized we were completely putting our trust to the higher forces, or even luck, and we had no control over our future whatsoever.

kids in Paris

We had had an amazing “rags to riches”-looking story the past 7 years, going from ski bums to living outside New York City to leave-it-all-behind when we moved to Sweden to live in a historic mansion. We lived every day to the fullest and enjoyed it all, but it became almost impossible to even enjoy knowing that the three expat years came with an extremely high price tag: uncertain future after that. We honestly were that stupid that with our “flexibility” and ability to adjust and being open to the world, we’d “find something,” figure it all out once the time came. It always just had, and part of the adventurous traveling lifestyle is giving away every single string of control in your life, and just trusting that when you fall, there will be something to catch you, and hopefully it will be just another adventure.

Of course we had back-up-plans. One was to buy an RV and move back to the USA and live from a RV for a year, while Matt would homeschool the kids and I would focus on working online. One was to move to Finland to live close to my family and start a new business there. Moving to a beach town in Thailand or Indonesia were also discussed. Picking a town, any town, moving and trying to find a 8-5 job and live a “normal life” was never really in our back up plans.

So, I am telling you, I am still in a shock that we ended up moving to a small town upstate New York, bought a house, and now plan hosting backyard BBQ parties this summer. We haven’t owned a house for over ten years, not since it became impossible to buy a house for a short term and fix it and make money from it.

kids-in-stockholm

In a way we succeed. We lived the crazy traveling lifestyle for 17 years and raised three children who are now open for adventures, and adjust anywhere in the world, and yet we were able to pull off the American dream of house in the suburbs with a pool in the backyard and kids succeeding in the academics at middle school and high school. We are able to now provide them the stable teenager years without the uncertainty of the future and knowing we will stay here until we are emptynesters. Maybe I am somewhat crazy though, because part of me feels like we failed miserably, and just when we were starting to have fun, we crawled back to the safety of New York state, where we had lived twice before, and chained ourselves with a mortgage to pay. At the same time – living is cheap here and the schools are excellent, and my husband got a high profile job offer that nobody would have declined.

kids-in-sweden

Life also becomes crazy when you officially become middle aged as I turned 40 this year. Now I am equally sad that we will only have 6-7 years of kids living at home, as I am happy that then we can sell everything again, and travel even more. The real question now really is – how to live the adventurous lifestyle without living other foot out of the door all the time, and how to build and plan the future that when kids go to college, we can have a middle-aged gap year or two and travel the world together?

Because if there is one thing I learned from last year, I will never again be that open for any adventure that it will land me to the safest option out there. Who said that life is a daring adventure or nothing at all….? I agree with that, and I’d check the quote, but I am busy going to a dog shelter to adopt a dog next. What else this suburban life would need?

Post by Katja Presnal

“My mission is to inspire you to live life to the fullest and find your own “skimbaco,” how you enjoy life where ever you are in the moment. For ideas for travel, home, food and fashion, subscribe to weekly Skimbaco Lifestyle feed on Mondays and I hope you get my newsletter that I send out sometimes on Fridays.” Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief and the owner of Skimbaco Lifestyle.

Let’s connect!

Visit Skimbaco Lifestyle (Skimbacolifestyle.com)’s profile on Pinterest.

skimbaco-moments

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The AWAY Spa at The W in Bali Treats us with a DIY Body Scrub Recipe Specially for Menhttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/04/the-away-spa-at-the-w-in-bali-treats-us-with-a-diy-body-scrub-recipe-specially-for-men.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/04/the-away-spa-at-the-w-in-bali-treats-us-with-a-diy-body-scrub-recipe-specially-for-men.html#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2015 20:16:37 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=44322&preview_id=44322 After a long winter, entering the spring season relaxed and refreshed is a great feeling. W Hotels offers luxury spa treatments at their “AWAY” spa at resorts around the world, some geared specifically towards men…]]>
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After a long winter, entering the spring season relaxed and refreshed is a great feeling. W Hotels offers luxury spa treatments at their “AWAY” spa at resorts around the world, some geared specifically towards men and their unique needs when it comes to spa treatments. Luckily, I found a way to create a Bali-inspired spa treatment at home without the long flight to Indonesia. Read more for the at home treatment, inspired by the AWAY spa at The W.

Our Editor, Katja Presnal, has traveled to Bali multiple times and was able to experience the W Retreat & Spa Bali- Seminyak first-hand. Her pictures throughout her travels were mesmerizing as I lived vicariously through them.

who3221ag-134121-W Bali

With Bali as a dream destination of mine as well, I was intrigued by the AWAY spa at the W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak offering spa packages specifically for men. What better way to feel refreshed than with a package known as “I Love you Man”?

This package is 4.5 hours and is truly aimed at the gentleman that knows how to take care of himself. The package consists of namely three segments: warrior exercise, top performance, and hunks pedi.

Warrior Exercise:
Inspired by ‘silat’, a traditional Indonesian martial arts exercise, it promotes agility in movement, increases flexibility and stimulates healthy blood circulation. It will warm you up, wake you up and get you started.

Top Performance:
Take a pit stop from your hectic activities to recharge, replenish and refuel your energy. Jump start with a skin exfoliation using aromatic spices of black pepper and cinnamon scrub. Rev-up your engine with Balinese secret to vitality Lanang Bagus (“Hot Hunk” in Balinese) beat the clock and overtake aging with prime time facial to get you into pole position. Emerge irresistible, dashing and in tip top condition

Hunks Pedi:
AWAY’s signature pedi is designed to decompress and impress. Once soaked, buffed and scrubbed, they will give your soles a mini massage. Then, they will trim, clip, file and polish.

Of course whiskey on the rocks can be enjoyed at leisure throughout the duration of the treatment. Sounds pretty nice right? Most of us will not be traveling to Bali, however, that does not mean we have to miss out on great spa treatments.

I hope to be able to put Katja’s Bali Travel Tips to use one day, but right now it is about being able to get the luxury spa experience at home. A great facial scrub is an easy way to cleanse while feeling rejuvenated and refreshed at home. Try making your own Black Pepper Cinnamon Scrub at home, similar to that of the W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak.

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DIY Black Pepper & Cinnamon Scrub:

Energizing body scrub for men via @enjoylifeoils

Men’s body scrub recipe modified from The W Seminyak Bali luxury spa AWAY’s recipe.

3 tablespoons of sea salt or Epsom salt for a body scrub OR 3 tablespoons of sugar for facial scrub
1-2 Drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
1-2 Drops Black Pepper Essential Oil
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil like Almond or Avocado Oil

Mix and create a paste.

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) has a pungent, crisp aroma that is comforting and energizing. It is supportive of the digestive system and is useful topically for soothing muscle discomfort following exercise.

The warm, spicy aroma of Cinnamon has been sought throughout the ages both as a valuable commodity and for its ability to improve wellness. Young Living Therapeutic Grade™ cinnamon bark is meticulously tested to ensure that no dilution from similar-smelling oils has occurred. Cinnamon is thought to promote healthy cardiovascular and immune function. You can also use it to enhance your cooking, or dilute and massage into chakras to create a soothing, relaxing sensation.

Apply to skin in a circular massaging movement. Afterwords, rinse off with hot water for cleansed, refreshed skin.

Note: sea salt has exfoliating, cleaning, and moisturizing properties and it is best to be used in an energizing body scrub. However, salt can be too harsh on sensitive skin, and I recommend using sugar for facial scrubs instead.

We recommend using Young Living Essential Oils as they are the producer of the world’s highest quality oils with their seed-to-seal technology. Click here to learn how to purchase or learn more.

 Photos: W Retreat & Spa Bali Seminyak

Post by Wes Holland

Monsieur Curations - Men's Lifestyle at Skimbaco Lifestyle, feature by Wes Holland

“I dream of being a business leader in the fashion world. Whether that be creating and running my own luxury retail consulting firm, or heading a department for a renowned fashion house, I want to mix the intellectually stimulating side of business with the creativity that the fashion world offers. Make sure to subscribe to Skimbaco Fashion weekly feed.” Wes Holland of Life Through Preppy Glasses.

Let’s connect!

Follow Skimbaco Lifestyle (Skimbacolifestyle.com)’s board Monsieur Curations for MEN on Pinterest.

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Travel Around the World with Instagram Travel Thursday Travelershttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/04/travel-around-the-world-with-instagram-travel-thursday-travelers.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/04/travel-around-the-world-with-instagram-travel-thursday-travelers.html#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 19:04:57 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=44333&preview_id=44333 And not just on Instagram… I admit, I have been cheating on Instagram with my new hot app friend Findery. I just kind of like new and shiny things, and I like how on Findery…]]>
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#skimbaco on Instagram http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/instagram

And not just on Instagram…

I admit, I have been cheating on Instagram with my new hot app friend Findery. I just kind of like new and shiny things, and I like how on Findery I can create notemaps and put all of my travel photos and tips of a same place in different folders. I also have been creating travel folders, notemaps, using my Instagram photos so I have been able to use same content in multiple places for more people to see. Findery is like mixture of Instagram, Foursquare and Pinterest.

I also got back together with Pinterest, and have been much much better friends with it lately. In fact so good, that I started a company focusing on Pinterest with my friend Nienke of The Travel Tester, stay tuned for the news of our launch and get our newsletter, lots of fun for anyone who is interested in Pinterest.

Instagram Travel Thursday, #IGtravelThursday and #skimbaco travel community on Instagram is still closest to my heart. I love following our community members around the world each Thursday. Now I like it even better since Instagram changed the rules that all photos are in chronological order no matter when you add the hashtags. The newest and freshest photos are always on the top of the #IGtravelThursday and #skimbaco feeds.

Today I wanted to feature a few great Instagrammers from our community and their photos from this week! Enjoy, and go follow these cool people on Instagram!

peru instagram photo via https://instagram.com/globetotting
Peru via globetotting

https://instagram.com/jolynneshane on instagram

Scottsdale, Arizona via JoLynneShane.

https://instagram.com/sihteenmki
Grand Canyon, Nevada, via Sihteenmki.

Romania on instagram via https://instagram.com/maggiebee137
Romania via maggiebee137.

venice instagram photo vua https://instagram.com/lenetravel
Venice, Italy via Lenetravel.

morocco instagram via https://instagram.com/tiefblicke.ch
Morocco via tiefblicke.ch

https://instagram.com/bonvoyageurs/ on instagram

Thailand via bonvoyageurs

And of course – I hope we are connected on Instagram! I’m Skimbaco


Join us!

Read more Instagram Travel posts from these new blog posts this month and add your own blog post. Linky closes on the last day of the month.

Instagram Travel Thursday

Join us every Thursday on Instagram by sharing your travel photos with #IGTravelThursday hashtag.
Follow @skimbaco and @IGtravelThursday and we will feature the best photos on Instagram and on our Facebook page.

Instagram Travel Thursday is a fun community project to connect travelers on Instagram, read more.

Bloggers! Join the Instagram Travel Thursday and Host the Linky!

Bloggers, join us! Get email sent to you when the Instagram Travel Thursday linky post is up (subscribe it here).

GET A FREE EBOOK ABOUT INSTAGRAM

Also get my ebook Instagram as your Guide to the World – How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World FOR FREE when you subscribe to my newsletter.


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Slovenia’s Ljubljana – Top Tips for Family Travellershttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/03/slovenias-ljubljana-top-tips-for-family-travellers.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/03/slovenias-ljubljana-top-tips-for-family-travellers.html#comments Tue, 24 Mar 2015 22:16:31 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/?p=43690 I recently returned from a weekend in Ljubljana with my three kids and I was wondering prior to the trip if it was a bit too crazy to do a city-break at sub-zero weather in winter with the littles…]]>
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Ljubljana with kids

‘Exploring the town plan near the famous triple bridge with the children’

I recently returned from a weekend in Ljubljana with my three kids and I was wondering prior to the trip if it was a bit too crazy to do a city-break at sub-zero weather in winter with the littles ones. Luckily the answer turned out to be no. We came back tired, but happy (all that fresh air and exercise) and kids were asking in the plane when we’d be going back there for skiing in the mountains and hiking in the summer…and the answer is probably pretty soon.

My first trip to Slovenia was only last September and I loved the nature, the food, the friendliness of the people – and coming from the UK especially the lack of noise and empty, wider roads which were in excellent condition and calling to travel and explore…

Ljubljana is culturally a very mixed city: because of it’s central location it has been part of the Roman empire, Austria and few other territories, and all those periods are visible in its cultural heritage and building styles. This heritage is easily observed by foot, as nowadays the old town centre is a designated pedestrian zone, which is refreshing from other large cities and also safer – especially for children. We did a walking tour with a guide from Visit Ljubljana.

Here are the top things we enjoyed during our wintry break, and when we’ll return in summer time we’ll be adding the Zoo, Tivoli park, the botanical gardens, the science centre, the water park and more hiking to our agenda for sure. If you are planning to visit several sights in town it’s probably worth getting the Ljubljana Card, which gives you free access not only to most main attractions, but also to buses, wifi in city centre, city bikes and even to a free guided tour.

River cruising Ljubljana

1. River Cruising on Ljubljanica River

The river has a very important place in the history of this town and it splits the town into two, and is therefore a perfect way to enjoy the beautiful architecture and rest your feet. The captain offers warm juice and biscuits and has blankets as well as the winter is rather chilly. Children also enjoy spotting ducks, geese and wild otters during the cruise. In summer time you can also join in a romantic evening cruise.

Ljubljana Castle funicular

2. Funicular to the Castle & Hiking up the Castle Tower

Kids love funiculars and castles. The rise in the funicular to the Ljubljana Castle will reveal breathtaking views over Ljubljana and the surrounding snow-capped mountains. The castle itself is nicely restored, but it’s not one of those castle that is filled with exhibitions and royal things. There’s a penitentiary to visit, tower to climb for even more breathtaking views, a puppet theatre and some permanent exhibitions, as well as a guided tour called the ‘Time Machine’.

Ljubljana Castle writing

In the old chapel inside the church, you can meet a lovely young lady called Tanja, who’ll write your name with ink using old medieval lettering for free (I’d recommend tipping her though for this beautiful art work she’ll do for you). My kids loved their name tags and they look really pretty.

Ljublajana cake

3. Visiting the Market and Tasting Local Specialties

Ljubljana market is one of the attractions of the city: there’s the covered fish market by the river, with some amazing delicatessen upstairs offering chocolate-filled croissants, flaky apple strudels and local specialty: the Ljubljana cake (pictured above). Or you try the local fast-food, which looks like rolled crepes filled with different meats and vegetables. All so delicious!

Ljubljana river

4. Crossing (all) the Bridges across Ljubljanica River

There are many bridges crossing the river: the famous pedestrian Triple Bridge, the Dragon Bridge, the new Butchers Bridge now filled with love locks parisian style, the list goes on. The are all different, beautiful and special – and so much fun for the children! Add to the mix street artists (even in winter) and musicians and you get plenty of entertainment while exploring these 12 lovely bridges and zig-zagging from one side to the other.

5. Sporting around the City: Biking, hiking, skating, you name it!

Street music Ljublajana

Ljubljana also has a city bike scheme like most European cities, and it’s really cheap in comparison to London for example. Biking is a great way to get to know this town better, and much safer than in many other places because of the large pedestrian zone and low traffic count in general. When travelling with children another good idea is to bring their scooters if you have a folding model or even roller-skates.

My own children like walking, or rather skipping and running their way around while exploring their environment. You can also spot playgrounds and a in winter-time there is a pretty large outdoor ice rink with skate rentals also. Lots of options for exploring little streets, their architecture, hidden corner-shops and bakeries. And this kind of free exploration is the best way to get a feel for the authentic city life too!

Disclosure: Our agenda was provided courtesy of Visit Ljubljana, Ljubljana Castle & Funicular and Captain. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. 

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Culinary Postcard: Make Crêpes like in Parishttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/03/crepes-like-in-paris.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/03/crepes-like-in-paris.html#respond Mon, 23 Mar 2015 16:07:32 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=44266&preview_id=44266 Crêpes like in Paris Crêpes are the comfort food of my childhood, and the childhood of my children. They are tasty thin pancakes, that are much less sweet than what pancakes typically are. The dough…]]>
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crepes-in-la-marais-paris-france

Crêpes like in Paris

Crêpes are the comfort food of my childhood, and the childhood of my children. They are tasty thin pancakes, that are much less sweet than what pancakes typically are. The dough is often even made without sugar and then the sugar is just sprinkled on the top, or a sweet topping is added to give the Crêpes some sweetness. I also love savory Crêpes with Swiss cheese and ham for example, or with cold smoked salmon.

My mother would make crêpes after school, and she taught me and my sisters to make them too. Later on, I then taught the skill of making crêpes for my daughters. While crêpes might mainly bring me family memories, I can’t help but share my favorite spot to get crêpes in Paris, France. The La Droguerie Du Marais is a small crêpe shop in La Marais with a few seats inside and a window to outside, and you can buy the crêpes to go directly from the window, and see them being made for you. I always buy them with Nutella and Banana, and can’t visit Paris without a visit to this crêpe shop, even though you can find Crêpes from all around the city – sometimes even sold by vendors on bicycles!

crepes-bicycle

Learn how to make crepes at home with the help of this video by my daughter Isabella.

More culinary finds from around the world

I am currently adding some of my favorite food finds from around the world in my “Eat around the world” Notemap on Findery. Are you already on Findery? Join me and share your favorite food – and other finds!- from around the world!

More about Paris on Pinterest

More travel tips to Paris also on my Pinterest board.
Follow Skimbacolifestyle.com’s board Paris Chic on Pinterest.

Post by Katja Presnal

“My mission is to inspire you to live life to the fullest and find your own “skimbaco,” how you enjoy life where ever you are in the moment. For ideas for travel, home, food and fashion, subscribe to weekly Skimbaco Lifestyle feed on Mondays and I hope you get my newsletter that I send out sometimes on Fridays.” Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief and the owner of Skimbaco Lifestyle.

skimbaco-moments

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New Online Community to Highlight North Carolinahttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/03/out-about-north-carolina.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/03/out-about-north-carolina.html#comments Thu, 05 Mar 2015 12:56:40 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=44146&preview_id=44146 As a founding member of #IGTRAVELThursday, I consider myself an old-timer. I’ve been part of Katja’s Skimbaco team since the summer of 2012. I remember tossing around the idea of #IGTRAVELThursday in our team meetings for months. The…]]>
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#OutaboutNC

As a founding member of #IGTRAVELThursday, I consider myself an old-timer. I’ve been part of Katja’s Skimbaco team since the summer of 2012. I remember tossing around the idea of #IGTRAVELThursday in our team meetings for months. The whole concept was built on the foundation of building a community around one single hashtag. and using this hashtag and instagram as a travel guide to the world.  We now have more than 28,000 pictures from all over the world, and in my opinion, the world seems so much more smaller now to explore. I have learned about so many places that I may would not have been on my radar before taking the time to connect with others. Honestly, it’s made me want to see the world.

 

"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home & rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." - Lin Yutang

When I was at TBDItaly with Katja last October, I started talking about my old, familiar pillow as mentioned in the above quote that I call “North Carolina” to people I met there. I told them about the waterfalls in Highlands, our majestic castle in Asheville, and the wild horses on the Outer Banks.  But, I didn’t stop there. I talked about our cuisine and our fabulous craft beer scene.  I had passion. I had a spark in my eye as I told these international people about my home state of North Carolina. The more I talked over pasta and wine, I fell even more in love with my wonderful, familiar pillow, also known as southern U.S destination with a great climate, and can give visitors the a view of the mountains and the coast in just a day’s drive. 

When I got back to North Carolina, I kept hearing the k-i-s-s-i-n-g song in my head , but with different words, of course…”first came #IGTRAVELThursday then came community then comes baby in the baby carriage.”

Baby?  Yeah, let’s have an #IGTRAVELThursday  baby.  And I’ll name it #outaboutnc.  This is an online travel guide to North Carolina, powered by its locals experts. It has the same guiding principles that Katja outlined in book about using Instagram as a travel guide, which eventually established our #IGTRAVELThursday community.  

As I started talking about N.C. more, I realized that my social media accounts, including my involvement with #IGTRAVElThursday were aligned for me to showcase my travel, but I was hardly traveling. There was a lot of time where I was at home in North Carolina with kids just enjoying the local attractions and cuisine. However, my original “hotel and lifestyle audience” did not align well enough for me to showcase 90 percent North Carolina/local content and 10 percent other travel content.  It was best for me to build a fresh, new community who all love N.C. travel.    

 

I started #outaboutnc on Jan. 25 and it’s been wonderful to get my N.C audience in one place on social media. I’ve met so many people since starting it and have learned so many new things about my state. I’m speaking at the N.C. Travel and Tourism Conference in Pinehurst this weekend on social media, and I cannot wait to share #outaboutnc with the travel and hospitality community in attendance. Since it’s inception, we now have 1,000 N.C. photos tagged. I love looking at the feed daily, and I thank all the bloggers and local N.C. residents who are helping this community grow.

 

We are @OutaboutNC on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Be sure to check out our very first awesome trip giveaway to Asheville, N.C which includes a one-night Downton Abbey experience package at the DoubleTree Biltmore in Asheville. You can learn more and enter on HinesSightBlog.com

Join us!

Read more Instagram Travel posts from these new blog posts this month and add your own blog post. Linky closes on the last day of the month.

Link up, but read the rules first!instagram-travel-linky-rules

Instagram Travel Thursday

Join us every Thursday on Instagram by sharing your travel photos with #IGTravelThursday hashtag.
Follow @skimbaco and @IGtravelThursday and we will feature the best photos on Instagram and on our Facebook page.

Instagram Travel Thursday is a fun community project to connect travelers on Instagram, read more.

Bloggers! Join the Instagram Travel Thursday and Host the Linky!

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Whiskey Cocktail Recipe for a Crowd: It’s no Longer Just a Man’s Drinkhttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/02/whiskey-cocktail-recipe-for-a-crowd-its-no-longer-just-a-mans-drink.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/02/whiskey-cocktail-recipe-for-a-crowd-its-no-longer-just-a-mans-drink.html#respond Wed, 25 Feb 2015 11:14:43 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com?p=44014&preview_id=44014 We’ve come a long way, baby!  Gone are the “Mad Men” days of whiskey being a just a man’s drink, straight on the rocks. Whiskey sales are on the rise, and women are contributing to…]]>
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TOPO whiskey in Chapel Hill, N.C.

We’ve come a long way, baby!  Gone are the “Mad Men” days of whiskey being a just a man’s drink, straight on the rocks.

Whiskey sales are on the rise, and women are contributing to that rise.  Last year, whiskey sales were nearly $4 billions which is an increase over the $3.5 billion dollars in sales in 2013, according to recent figures released by Nielsen research. What’s different this year? Mixologists are being credited for this growing trend as they craft cocktails that complement the whiskey flavor with a plethora of other ingredients, whether its syrups, fruit juices, vermouth or even tea.

“People are drinking less wine and more whiskey, and women have become more inclined to give whiskey a try,” says Steven Earles, CEO of Portland -based Eastside Distilling, whose company already experiments with a variety of flavors in its drinks, such as Cherry Bomb Whiskey and Oregon Marionberry Whiskey.

North Carolina’s TOPO Organics Distillery in Chapel Hill, N.C. released the Carolina whiskey  at the end of 2014, and it also sells a DIY-TOPO Whiskey kit for at-home distilling.

“Brown spirits are really hot both domestically and internationally, and mixologists are making more and more inventive whiskey-based cocktails, ” commented Esteban McMahan, TOPO Organics Distillery’s Spirit Guide. ” My favorite whiskey cocktails are the “Orange County” served at the Top of the Hill  Restaurant in Chapel Hill, which includes TOPO Eight Oak, apricot brandy, vermouth & bitters.” In order to give whiskey in the bar a boost, some restaurants are now promoting “Whiskey Wednesdays” to feature cocktails.  From innovative drinks like New Fashioned and The Sidebar, whiskey is becoming center stage on the bar menu.

The classic whiskey cocktail may the Old-Fashioned, which has been around since the late 19th Century, but now is the time to created new classics. Try this new whiskey cocktail by Eastside Distilling for your next cocktail party.

Earls Demise whiskey drink from Eastside Distillery
• Earl’s Demise
25 oz. Cherry Bomb Whiskey (one 750ML bottle)
12.5 oz. Burnside Bourbon
75 oz. Smith Teamaker Earl Grey Tea (chilled)
25 oz. Orange juice
25 oz. Simple syrup
12.5 oz. Sweet vermouth
5 tablespoons Peychaud’s Bitters

Mix all the ingredients in a large punch bowl, then add ice or ice ring. Serve in small punch glasses. The mixture serves 10-12 people.

For more  recipes for your at-home bar, visit Eastside Distilling and TOPO Organic Spirits for the latest mixology recipes featuring whiskey.

Post by Leigh Hines

Leigh Hines, hotel and family travel expert | Skimbaco Lifestyle

“I live like a tourist in my hometown and my dream is to travel the world one luxury hotel at the time. If you love traveling as much as I do, subscribe to Skimbaco Travel, and never miss any travel content from our site.” Leigh Hines of Hines Sight Blog

Let’s connect

Visit Leigh Hines of Hinessightblog.com’s profile on Pinterest.

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Hotel Review: History Comes Alive in Antiq Palace Hotel & Spa in Ljubljanahttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/02/hotel-review-history-comes-alive-in-antiq-palace-hotel-spa-in-ljubljana.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/02/hotel-review-history-comes-alive-in-antiq-palace-hotel-spa-in-ljubljana.html#respond Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:54:46 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/?p=43848 Ljubljana comes with an interesting history starting from early Roman influence to Italian and Austrian ones, and that is reflected in the town’s building style with Baroque Venetian style being very dominant. Amazingly, one of these middle…]]>
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Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana_6

Ljubljana comes with an interesting history starting from early Roman influence to Italian and Austrian ones, and that is reflected in the town’s building style with Baroque Venetian style being very dominant. Amazingly, one of these middle ages palaces now serves as a luxury hotel: The Antiq Palace Hotel and Spa, located in the heart of the historic Ljubljana town centre which is designated to pedestrians only. This little gem is part of the Historic Hotels of Europe and Castle Hotels & Mansions as well as the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World group.

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana_2

When you open the door to the hotel you step back in time – you are transported to yesteryear’s glamour accentuated by unusually high ceilings and fine details of craftsmanship. You’ll be surrounded by beauty and history – tastefully mixed with all the mod cons one can expect from a high quality hotel.

Although this boutique hotel has just 18 individually decorated luxurious rooms and suites and they look gorgeous, there is an on-going effort to maintain and upgrading these spacious, double-height rooms and suites to meet the demands of globetrotting travellers.

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana_5

Currently Antiq Palace is officially rated as a 4-star hotel, likely due to its’ small size and not having continuous dining and room service options on site , however they offer dinner options on most night via nearby restaurant. The rest of the service offered: the first-class concierge service, gym, beauty spa with La Prairie products and a private health spa area with a hot tub and three saunas guarantee a memorable stay. And these same services are the reasons why the hotel has gained top-notch marks 4,7 out of 5 on TripAdvisor by fellow travellers.

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana

The common areas are a combination of high-ceiling grandeur and cozy vaulted rooms with reading areas, corners for resting and enjoying a snack and a cup of tea on offer – or a selection of local liquors, or schnapps, that Slovenia is famous for.

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana_1

The inclusive breakfast was a delicious affair and not only because of the beautiful presentation but for the freshness and excellent taste of the food: selections of fresh breads and pastries, cold cuts, salmon, olives, fruits, mueslis, a press for oranges to make your juice, the list goes on. When I get a delicious coffee and my three little ones find plenty to fill their little tummies the breakfast is a success, and it’s not always such an easy accomplishment. As my mantra goes, a great breakfast guarantees a perfect start for the day!

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljublajana

I stayed for an extended weekend with our three children in Antiq Palace and we absolutely loved the place. Normally it is hard to find hotels to accommodate a larger family, and we end up having to take two rooms – and many hotels don’t even offer interconnecting rooms!

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana_9

Therefore our suite with two bedrooms was heaven-sent, especially as it came with a large, fully equipped kitchen/ living room (yet still offered also mini bar products) and a lovely bathroom with a tub that fitted all three kids. And there was plenty of space for the children to play as well as a beautiful oversized desk with free wifi for working.  All important ticks on my family hotel wish list there.

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana_4

When one thinks about an apartment hotel, the images that spring to mind are more of a bare kitchenette in the corner of a miniature living room which starts making one feel claustrophobic after two days. However, with Antiq Palace the effect is the opposite: you feel like at home, except that it’s a very glamorous version of it with a daily cleaner, with no outside noise as it’s located in a pedestrian zone and with such soft and luxurious beddings that one didn’t want to get up in the morning!

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana_8

Antiq Palace dates back to the 16th century and the owners appreciate its’ rich heritage, some suites now have the original ceiling frescos restored as much as possible for the enjoyment of the guests. I was amazed to see some of those restored delicate patterns during my tour of the hotel.

Antiq Palace Hotel Ljubljana_10

The hotel has added more livable space to the original palace by making an attic conversion (which is more modern in style and has lower ceilings), and as over time other surrounding buildings have been extended, it has created a couple of courtyards for the guests to enjoy. I imagine they’ll look stunning once the summer is back and in full bloom again – one can start the day by sipping coffee, or mimosas, in the garden while enjoying the first rays of the warm morning sun…

All in all Antiq Palace is such a hidden little paradise in the midst of the city. It is a hotel that I’d highly recommend both for couples as a romantic getaway with luxury spa experiences, as well as for families and small groups looking for more space, yet in a luxurious hotel-setting – but with the added benefit of the self-catering ability which comes to the rescue for tired, little eaters at night as a minimum. As Slovenia is still a less-known destination, you’ll be guaranteed to get value for money in this hotel also.


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Disclosure: our stay at Antiq Palace Hotel and Spa was comped, but as always all opinions expressed are my own, and based on my personal experience at the hotel.  

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Find My Exotic Bali Travel Tips Now on Findery (and Huffington Post)http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/02/find-my-exotic-bali-travel-tips-now-on-findery-and-huffington-post.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/02/find-my-exotic-bali-travel-tips-now-on-findery-and-huffington-post.html#respond Thu, 19 Feb 2015 21:16:31 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/?p=43929 I admit, I am one of those women who read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” and wanted to go to Bali to find myself, do some yoga, bicycle in between the rice fields, and flirt…]]>
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Lunch by the rice fields in Ubud, Bali

I admit, I am one of those women who read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray, Love” and wanted to go to Bali to find myself, do some yoga, bicycle in between the rice fields, and flirt with dangerously gorgeous men at the beach parties. I loved how the story came alive in her stories of each place and event, and I wanted to experience it all.

The reality, which I am not even ashamed to admit, is that I am a married mother of three, I can’t even imagine sleeping in a hut in the tropics without air-conditioning, and I enjoy the luxury hotel breakfast far more than a beach party hangover on the mornings. Bali is an excellent destination for romantic getaways or ladies-only trips, but my last visit to Bali was a mother-daughter bonding trip with my 13-year-old daughter. And I do have some great stories from that trip too!

If you would like to know some of my favorite places and things to do in Bali, head to Huffington Post today to read my post about Bali. If you want to read some of my stories from the trip, check out my Exotic Bali notemap on Findery. I partnered with Findery, a mighty cool travel app, where you can create travel notes of places where you have been – and even where you want to go. I created a special notemap of my Bali favorites, and you can easily follow my notemaps on Findery, and make your own too!


Follow on Findery

What’s Findery?

It’s probably the easiest to use Findery on the go, kind of how you would use Instagram. You can download the app in your phone, and post a photo and text, also what they call a “note” on a specific notemap you created on Findery. It can be as simple as “places where I have been” or “my trip to Paris.” The best about Findery is that you can geo-tag photos even when you are not in the location. I like going through my trip photos on the evening or after the trip, and NOT posting them in the moment when they happen. I like to live life to the fullest in the moment, and that’s why live-tweeting or using Foursquare have never really been for me. I don’t want to miss the moment by broadcasting it.

I can guess what you still might say: why use Findery because you are already using Instagram, Pinterest and every other social media network! Yes, I get it, but Findery IS kind of different. Instagram is very difficult to search for specific information/photos. It is not impossible though, that’s why I wrote my book Instagram as your Guide to the World – How, What and Who to Search and Follow on Instagram to Help You Travel the World to help people to figure out how to search location based photos on Instagram. But it took me a few months of research to figure it out, and then a few months to write the book, and while I think I made it simple in the almost 100-page book, it kind of is a lot of work, and then you still might not find what you are looking for, and saving the information that you can find later too is even more work.

Pinterest on the other hand comes very handy for searching travel information, and they too started adding maps on the Pinterest boards and users can add the geo-tag to all of their pins. But how often you find an amazing travel photo on Pinterest, and you have the feeling “I want to go there” but there is no information where in the world that actually was taken?! I wish I had the correct number from Pinterest to tell you how rarely people use the geo-tags on Pinterest. Many travel bloggers are really working on this though, and that’s why we started Mappin Monday to pin travel stories on a big map. But Findery still isn’t quite like Pinterest.

Then there is Foursquare… Oh yeah, is anyone still using it? And who really cares which level Jetsetter badge you have?!

Take all of your favorite elements from Instagram (great travel photos and awesome friends), Pinterest (make “boards” or “notemaps” to organize your photos and stories), Foursquare (add your stories/notes on a map either in the moment OR later on when you have time to add the story), and Facebook (add a little bit longer story to go with your photo) and only focus on discovering the favorites and that’s how you kind of get what Findery is about. The focus is in travel, but Findery is for you even if you don’t travel all the time. Findery is excellent for saving and discovering your favorites in your own neighborhood/town/state/country! I see Findery as something where your short little travel stories come alive – and are added to the map!

Findery Map of Exotic Bali by Skimbaco

Bali favorites on Findery

I noticed that my approach to Findery is very different compared to some other apps. I felt like I was able to tell a longer story than on Instagram, but shorter stories than a good blog post would be. Bottom line, I really wanted the location in the map to come alive with my little stories. I think Findery is excellent for those of us, who love to channel our inner storyteller! You don’t have to be Elizabeth Gilbert to tell a good story.

How often do your friends ask for your recommendations from the places you have been and you wished you could just send them a link to read them all? Now with Findery you can VERY easily create your own “travel guides” to send your best friends, because you don’t want them to miss all of the good spots, now do you?!

Monkeys in Bali - my story on Findery.com/skimbaco

monkeys in Bali

Join me!

I hope you will join me at Findery, and create your own notemaps of your favorite places. You can download the app to your iPhone or Android phone, or just use the website Findery.com.

Here are my latest notes on Findery. What will be YOUR first story to share on Findery?

Disclosure: I am working together with Findery, but my opinions about the app, monkeys and Bali are my own, like always.

Post by Katja Presnal

“My mission is to inspire you to live life to the fullest and find your own “skimbaco,” how you enjoy life where ever you are in the moment. For ideas for travel, home, food and fashion, subscribe to weekly Skimbaco Lifestyle feed on Mondays and I hope you get my newsletter that I send out sometimes on Fridays.” Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief and the owner of Skimbaco Lifestyle.

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Sometimes on Your Travels You Reach the Mountain Tophttp://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/02/mountain-top.html http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/2015/02/mountain-top.html#respond Thu, 12 Feb 2015 15:21:27 +0000 http://www.skimbacolifestyle.com/?p=43798 My Skimbaco moment in the mountains of Italy Guest post by Carolyn Cruze The air is misty and cool. It is the kind of fresh that you can only get when you’re over 4,000 feet…]]>
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climbing mountains in italy

My Skimbaco moment in the mountains of Italy

Guest post by Carolyn Cruze

The air is misty and cool. It is the kind of fresh that you can only get when you’re over 4,000 feet in altitude. The colors of autumn trees dance vibrantly under the shadows of the Dolomite mountains as we climb higher, hoping to reach the place where clouds and trail meet. For my friends Charlie Tessari and Sylvia Bassini waking up to these strikingly beautiful mountains is normal. To me it is fantasy.

Charlie says:

It’s difficult to say when is the best period of the year to be here. I love certain days in February, right after a nice snowfall, when the sunlight strikes the snow and all the flakes glitter against the blue sky but also in the summertime, the bloomings on the high meadows under the Dolomite rocks are spectacular.”

charlie ski instructor in italy

A ski instructor and certified nature guide, Charlie dedicates his life to learning more about the natural world around him so he can better educate others about the flora and fauna in the area.

Choosing a job that I liked improved the quality of my life. It gave me the main ingredients for my ideal job: outdoors, contact with people, a healthy environment, teaching and learning,”

italy mountains

As we climb closer and closer to the Austrian boarder, Charlie points out the old ruins from the first World War. There, Italian soldiers took shelter in caverns carved out of the mountains for two years. These men survived some of the coldest winters in Italian history. I have to see them. Despite his better judgement, I convince Charlie to cross the snow-covered cliffs and reach the ruins. Our risk is well worth the reward.

ruins in italy

The next day we spend visiting the town. Located in the Italian region of Veneto, Sappada is made up of small aesthetically pleasing wooden cabins that date back to the mid 18th century. They are built so meticulously that they are still fully intact despite their age. In the spring and summer, there are flower competitions where families cover the outside of their Austrian inspired homes so high it is impossible to see the windows. Male figures made from hay serenade their counterparts on every balcony. The old part of the village also has several rifugios (mountain huts) that serve traditional meals for after a long day exploring the mountain. There is everything from wild fruits and mushrooms to warm soups and pasta.

house window

During the winter, logs are piled up in uniform order to help insulate the homes and during Christmas time, the nativity houses are placed along a path toward the church. At this time many people visit Sappada or Cortina (the next town) for family skiing and snowboarding trips but if your anything like Charlie, you might just stay in the mountains for good.

“There is much more to skiing than a parallel turn. Skis are wonderful tools that help us discover the beauty of nature as well as a great opportunity to improve many aspects of life.”

According to Charlie, skiing is similar to life in that there are uphills and downhills, sacrifice and relaxation, fear and joy. Appreciating and understanding the skiing environment can greatly improve performance on the slops and make skiing even more fun.

Along with the wonderful downhill and cross-country skiing opportunities Charlie told me about, Sappada is great for snowshoeing, hiking, mountain-biking, and there are incredible valleys relatively close to the town including; Val Comelico, Val Pusteria (close to the Austrian boarder), Cortina d’Ampezzo, and the Carnia valley in the nearby region.

ski town italy

While getting to Sappada proved to be a little taxing (I had to take 5 trains and 2 bus rides people!), seeing everything with a local family was completely worth the trip. I would recommend that you give yourself a little extra time for travel between regional trains as there isn’t much you can do if they are late; however, if you have a quick change between regional buses informing the driver about the limitation should suffice. Returning home, my first bus driver even spoke to my second about the quick transition which was very helpful. So even if you don’t speak Italian (like me!), the generous nature of these people will be enough to help you on your journey to the mountains. You may just reach the top.

Eventually in your travels... you will reach the mountain top

Guest post by Carolyn Cruze. Carolyn Cruze is a junior Journalism at the University of Oregon with an avid passion for writing, photography, and design. When she’s not taking photos, she enjoys sailing, music, art, and exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. For more on Carolyn, check out her website: carolyncruze.com or follow her on instagram @carolyncruze.



Visit Carolyn Cruze’s profile on Pinterest.

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