2014 Recap: The Gift Year

I know that by this time, we've all stopped rehashing 2014 and have started looking ahead to 2015. But I can't just summarize last year with pretty photos of Paris and Europe - I need to pause and share my reflections of a special year.

21 Trains
19 Flights
5 Buses
5 Rental cars
14 Countries
21 houseguests
131 blog posts
2 camels 
And countless sheep

2014. I think of this year as my “gift year.” That’s not to say that every day we get on this earth isn't a gift, because it is. I mean it in the sense that when I think about 2014, I think “we shouldn't still be here.” Michael had a contract to work on an assignment in Paris for almost two years, ending in December 2013. Except by the end of that year, we had realized that Paris wasn't merely the home base for our travels throughout Europe. We had somehow built a life here, entered into community, and fell in love with life in the city. Things were looking bleak for a while and it seemed that we did in fact have to move back to the US as planned. Until things turned around and we were able to stay. We weren't supposed to still be hanging around the City of Light this year, but somehow in the end we were gifted with more time.

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Simply Sara's European Christmas Market How-To

I have always loved celebrating the Christmas season, and moving to Europe has introduced me to an absolutely wonderful tradition: the Christmas market. For the past two seasons my husband and I have traveled to many European cities during December to experience the burst of holiday cheer and have been anything but disappointed in our findings. 

If you’re off to a European Christmas market, here are 13 tips we've learned firsthand!

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Simply Sara Eats: and Sips in London

In the "Simply Sara Eats " series, I recount the my favorite food and drink discoveries.

This year London keeps beckoning me over to visit. And if you've ever taken the Eurostar between Paris and London, you know you can get easily from one city to the next in about 2.5 hours. Between my winter stint in London in January, my impromptu girls' getaway in the spring, and my long weekend with friends in June, it's been hard to stay away from England's capital. 

While there, you can be assured that I've discovered some great spots to relax over a beverage. Whether you like tea, coffee, beer, or cocktails, you can find it all on my top 5 list of what I've been loving in London these days:

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