Sunday Stories for November 22, 2015


narrows bridgesIt’s been awhile since I shared some of my favorites stories and links with you. Let’s chalk it up two a few months of pretty intense traveling and not enough time to do the reading that I typically do.

I’m back at home for awhile now, and am in the process of having cataracts removed (which will make it a whole lot easier to do that reading), so expect my weekly roundup coming your way every Sunday.

Grab a cup of coffee (I usually write this in the morning), a glass of wine (you might be reading it in the evening), and see what caught my eye this past week, and over the last couple of months.

Woman Donates Entire Toy Store to Children in Homeless Shelters

Sometimes the news can seem pretty depressing with all the news of war and hate. But in the mdist of all it, it’s good to remember that there are still wonderfully loving things happening every day by very ordinary people. While there aren’t many of us who can buy out a toy store, I challenge you to find something you can do to make the world a brighter place for yourself, your family, and the people around you.

It’s the time of year when New Yorkers will donate a toy or two to a child in need. But what about donating every toy in a store? NY1’s Michael Scotto tells us about a woman who has done just that.

Visiting the Terezin Ghetto and Concentration Camp

This is both horrifying and inspiring. Set aside some time to really dig into this story.

If I were wearing one-sided blinders, I could imagine I was walking in a peaceful park on a sunny day, for then I could not see the rows and rows of stone tablets beyond the trees to my right—thousands of them—set into the lush grass to mark the resting places of so many who died earlier than they should have. Most of the plaques have names; some do not. A few are marked only by a number, just a few digits to sum up an entire life.

My Favorite Reusable Souvenirs from Italy

My souvenirs from Italy are wine and olive oil, but those aren’t exactly reusable. This is a good list if you want to bring something home that you can keep for awhile.

Here are some of my very favorite useful souvenirs I’ve purchased in Italy, along with a few other suggestions for Italian souvenirs you might not ordinarily think of bringing home.

The Mason Jar: An Easy Travel Memory Keeper

I like this idea. It takes up room, but not too much room, and it is easily visible when stored in a convenient location. I may give this a try and see if it helps reduce some clutter floating around from the last several years of traveling.

But here was my dilemma, what about the “things” like matchbooks and ticket stubs that I used to embed in my thick scrapbooks? I had shoeboxes and manila envelopes stuffed with things that I thought would surely one day be added to a scrapbook (yeah, right). I wondered should I keep these things or toss them?

Ultimate Female Packing List for German Christmas Markets

Visiting the Christmas Markets has been on my bucket list for awhile now. While I won’t be going this year, I’m filing this packing list away until I go. Great tips on how to be fashionably warm.

The Christmas markets start towards the end of November and usually end on December 24th, though some will stay open a few days or even a week longer. Traveling to Germany during this time is not quite the same as visiting during the warmer months, like for Oktoberfest. Make sure you come prepared with tips from this post on how to pack for German Christmas markets.

Travel DIY: Create Your Own Packing Lists

I’m pretty Type-A when it comes to packing, but this puts me to shame. There are some good tips to adapt to my list making.

We’ll show you the many ways you can create your own packing list suited for your trip. This will allow you to take our lists to real life!

Wallingford restaurant makes Bon Appetit’s ‘Hot 10′

Putting this on the list to check out.

After three Seattle restaurants appeared in Bon Appetit’s top 50 new restatit’s top 50 new urants in the United States at the beginning of August, the pared-down “Hot 10″ released Tuesday retains a nautical-themed Wallingford space: Manolin.

19 Genius Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make In A Muffin Tin

The holiday season usually has me looking for all sorts of new recipes, and finding these mini takes on some classic comfort food seems like a great way to enjoy now and also save for later. Plus, it’s a great way to manage portion control.

Read original article here: 19 Genius Thanksgiving Recipes You Can Make In A Muffin Tin

10 American Cities That Are Paradise For Vegetarians

I’ve made some changes to my eating habits lately, and one day a week I’m going to try to eat vegetarian. Nice to know if I’m on the road that I’ve got some tasty and convenient restaurant choices.

With some locations, it can be a nightmare to live a meatless lifestyle, but there are some that can be a total paradise. We’ve narrowed it down to 10 cities in America where it’s a breeze to be vegetarian.

50 Things to Eat in Boston Before You Die

You’ll never go hungry in Boston again. If you’ve got a visit planned, use this as a quick reference on where to go for dinner – or breakfast or lunch, all sorts of recommendations for every meal of the day as well as snacks.

Boston may not be a huge city, but it makes up for its size with its food options. From burritos to doughnuts, Boston has it all. Since it can be more than a little overwhelming to pick and choose, we narrowed it down to the top 50 for you.

5 Tips for Finding Your Signature Beer

Because everyone should have a signature beer.

With so many places offering a more interesting and diverse beer menu, the question becomes what to order. Whether you already enjoy craft beer, or are curious to see what all the fuss is about, it’s never been easier to find something you’ll love.

8 Christmas Drink Recipes To Warm Up Your Holiday Parties

‘Tis the season for all the tasty, but fat-laden holiday drinks. While I’m not one to make a habit of drinking this kind of deliciousness every day, I know I’ll have a least one or two over this holiday season. Did you spot a favorite?

Christmas is the perfect time to enjoy some warm drinks with family and friends. If you life in a region with snow during Christmas, you understand how amazing it can feel to come in from the cold outside and have a warm Christmas drink to warm your spirits.

Ice Cubes

Yeah, I got a chuckle over this. Read the “reviews” (comments); they’re just as funny.

I’m publishing this recipe because I’m sure that there are other families who have members, who don’t know how or have forgotten how to make ice when the ice tray is empty.


Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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