7 of My Favorite Food Moments in Ethiopia This Year

At the end of every year I tend to write a lot of recap posts so I can easily catapult myself into the new year, be a little reflective,  and also so I can remember everything I’ve done and want to improve upon the next year. I traveled a lot this year for which I am extremely grateful!  I spent most of my time abroad in Ethiopia. Who knows where I will travel to in 2015, but April and June of this year were mostly spent in one of my favorite countries in the world. Even though I haven’t seen nearly all of Ethiopia (which I very much intend to do!) I have seen a great deal of it in Addis and its surrounding area, the south to Arba Minch through the Great Rift Valley, and even the northern part of the country on Lake Tana.

I associate a lot of my memories in Ethiopia by what I ate and drank because the coffee and beer are so very good and so is the food! I love that you can easily find vegetarian meals if you’d like because so many Ethiopians fast from meat and dairy and I even love that you can find some pretty decent Ethiopian wine if you look hard enough.

Here are a few of my photos of some of my favorite moments in Ethiopia involving food. I can’t wait to go back. I miss it already!

Washington, Dulles (IAD)

I have my own little beloved ritual every time I fly Ethiopian Airlines out of Dulles. I eat sushi at my favorite Japanese spot in the airport and drink a cold bottle of Sapporo. I love this place because none of the sushi is premade. I sit and watch the sushi chef meticulously make my food to order.  I look forward to this every time I fly to Addis!



Hotel Harmony (Addis Ababa,  Ethiopia) 

When the International Reporting Project trip I planned was over in June I took a quick trip to Johannesburg and then back to Ethiopia and spent a day and a half in Addis Ababa. After nearly two weeks spent with a team of nine journalists, two translators, one fixer, countless drivers, NGO liaisons, and IRP staff I couldn’t believe I found myself in Addis all by myself. This was my first dinner alone.



Lewi Hotel and Resort  (Hawassa, Ethiopia) 

One early morning I got up at the Lewi Hotel and Resort in Hawassa, ordered a cappuccino, and just sat quietly and looked out at the lake. It was blissful before a busy day! It’s really hard in the midst of work to stop and reflect. I did more of this in 2014.


Lake Hawassa


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Beautiful Africa: Northern Tanzania

Northern Tanzania

One of my absolute favorite places I visited this year was Tanzania. In particular I loved spending time in nature with the Maasai and international NGO Oikos. Alhtough the terrain is terribly arid due to human fault and probably global warming, the landscape was still utterly breathtaking to me. Granted I don’t live there and don’t have to deal with the problems that perpetually arise from not getting enough rain. Selfishly, I simply loved sleeping in a tent under the full expanse of the night sky that was filled with millions of stars and then waking up on a beautiful, sunny morning to snap photos of native birds and flora.

Northern Tanzania Northern Tanzania

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Eu Vim Da Bahia by João Gilberto and Stan Getz

Copacabana Beach
When I was in Rio last spring I listened to this song every day I was there. I have no idea the translation. This song just makes me happy. Happy Monday!

Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach

Copacabana Beach

A Delicious Meal in Georgetown

Right before I left for India in late May my family and I found ourselves in Georgetown a few short days before I was off to the other side of the world. I had to pick up my Indian visa in DC because — lucky for me — everything just runs faster and smoother in person as opposed to sending off my paperwork via the Interwebs and then crossing my fingers HARD that everything goes well. I used an agency that did a superb job making sure my visa was in my hands when I needed it. Kudos to Travisa Outsourcing for amazing expedited service. If you’re going to India, I highly recommend them!

It was a gorgeous, sunny DC Friday afternoon the day I picked up my visa. Travisa is located just around the corner from Georgetown’s M Street so we decided to walk a bit and find a great place to have dinner. Most of the restaurants were already packed for dinner, but we happened upon Clyde’s. It looked like it was just getting revved up for a Friday night and wasn’t super packed so it was our choice for the night.

Surprisingly Clyde’s food was really good. Admittedly I didn’t have high hopes for the food because it wasn’t packed to the rafters like the other restaurants on M Street. The bar was packed, but the meal-goers had yet to descend upon the booths. Thankfully, the food was divine.

Michael had a delicious scallop meal and I had their salmon. Both dishes were prepared perfectly. Who else hates salmon that’s overcooked? What was particularly great about Clyde’s is the plates weren’t stuffed with what could easily be two or three servings. It was a modest, delicious seafood meal that we all savored together before I had to travel so far.

Seared Wellfleet Day Boat Scallops - Clyde's Georgetown

Seared Wellfleet Day Boat Scallops – Clyde’s Georgetown

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon- Clyde's Monthly Special!

Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon- Clyde’s Monthly Special!

Our girls also had the salmon. And after they had tea to help their summer colds.

Our girls also had the salmon and loved it. And, afterwards they had herbal tea to help their springtime colds.

After our meal which was really delightful (food, service, atmosphere, togetherness) we decided to take a leisurely walk along the waterfront. Like I mentioned, the day was absolutely beautiful and we wanted to soak it all in before it was time to go.

Waterfront  - Washington, DC

Waterfront – Washington, DC

Our Sweet Girls

Our Sweet Girls

Georgetown Waterfront Park

Georgetown Waterfront Park

Georgetown Waterfront Park

Georgetown Waterfront Park

I have beautiful, fond memories of that Friday evening right before my first trip to Asia. I can’t wait to go to Georgetown again with my family and my mom since she lives right outside of DC.

By the way, I want to let you know about a travel guide that I have adored for many years. Have you heard about the Purple Passport? They have really amazingly thorough travel guides for some of the most amazing cities in the world. I love them! Purple Passport just launched their Washington, DC guide this week with hand-picked and reviewed places to stay, eat, and visit. Show them some love and visit them at www.thepurplepassport.com/picks/washingtondc.

See you soon!

My Walk to a Much-Needed Latte


I love where I live. It’s not Manhattan or downtown Chicago, but it’s my little slice of the hustle and bustle in North Carolina.

I don’t need much to make me happy. A short morning walk to my favorite, local coffee shop is a great way for me to set my day. This morning I walked around the corner to get a latte and took photos along the way. If there is one thing I love, it’s a beautiful summer North Carolina day.

Wolfies - My Favorite Local Ice Cream Shop!

Wolfies – my favorite local ice cream shop – with a few words of wisdom.

It’s the subtle things I love noticing.

While it was only morning and not yet opened, Hutch and Harris’ patio was bustling by lunch.

Picking my lid.


Don’t you love a coffee shop that’s also a wine shop/bar. Love!


Les fleurs!

Les fleurs!

7 seconds....

7 seconds….hurry!

I hope you have a great Friday! By the way, I was interviewed about Social Good Moms today on Jennifer Barbour’s Philanthropy Friday series. I love it. Do give it a read.

– Jennifer

Great Coffee and Conversation

Yesterday I had a really inspiring morning with a great friend. Not only did we have really wonderful coffee and conversation, we also cooked up a few things  that will be fun in 2013.

One thing I love is really delicious coffee at  my favorite local coffee shop. Something about yesterday just kicked my day off well.

Today hasn’t been too shabby either. I will be speaking at Britmums Live in London this year and can’t wait to be back in one of my favorite cities in the world. This year will mark three straight years I’ve visited London Town and I can’t wait to get back.
Coffee at Camino

Coffee at Camino

What Going to Kenya With ONE.org Means to Me #OneMoms

One Mamas

Lindsay Maines, Cooper Munroe, Karen Walrond (left to right) at the "Why Bother" Vaccines Press Conference at the National Press Club

Ever since I started my online journey eight years ago I have always wanted to help other mothers in any way I can from sharing blogging advice to setting up paid campaigns for bloggers to recommending bloggers to brands that aren’t a great fit for me. My greatest intention has always been to help. That’s why I couldn’t have been happier to partner with ONE.org earlier this year as a part of the One Mom Advisory Council. Now I am able to help mothers on a global scale. This is unbelievable.

If you haven’t heard about ONE it is an advocacy organization that was co-founded by Bono, Bob Geldoff  and others and seeks to eradicate extreme poverty and preventable disease in Africa. What I find most compelling about ONE is they don’t want your money;  the simply want your voice.

ONE has over two million members who advocate on behalf of the word’s poor. ONE does extraordinary work and has for years from working on maternal and child health and education to HIV/AIDS and agriculture. What’s so compelling to me about ONE’s work is they believe in sharing the improvements people who live in extreme poverty are experiencing through their Living Proof series. It shows the world that the aid (less than 1% of the US budget) that is going to Africa is actually working. Now, as a member of the ONE Mom Advisory Council I will be headed to Kenya in July to see for myself how US Aid is working for African communities in need.

I, along with other members of the ONE Mom Advisory Council, will be reporting from the ground about our discoveries in Kenya. We will be reporting live in some instances, tweeting, and posting on our blogs as well as on the One Moms page. This team of moms is so different that our coverage will be unique in scope but very comprehensive in nature.

Here is the list of the ONE Moms:

Jennifer James of MomBloggersClub.com @mombloggersclub
Lindsay Maines of RockandRollMama.com @rockandrollmama
Emily McKhann of The Motherhood.com @emilymckhann; @themotherhood
Elisa Morgan of FullFill.org @FullFillmag
Cooper Munroe of TheMotherhood.com @coopermunroe @themotherhood
Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks.com @chookooloonks
Shayne Moore for GlobalSoccerMom.com @GlobalSoccerMom
Rachel Fox,ONE Congressional District Leaders, @rachelonefox
Jyl Johnson Pattee of MomItForward.com @jylmomIF @momitforward