National Treasures: AHeirloom

Arkansas cutting board

My parents love to host big gatherings of family and friends, so I’m always on the lookout for unique gifts they can use when they have people over. Last year, I came across Brooklyn-based studio AHeirloom from husband-and-wife team Bill Mowat and Amy Stringer-Mowat, who create cutting boards in the shape of U.S. states (how fun is this Hawaii board?) Since my folks are based in Arkansas, I picked the board above which went over swimmingly when it was unwrapped on Christmas morning.

I love the ability to customize boards with a brass heart inlay representing the location of your hometown or favorite city in each state. AHeirloom also makes custom boards engraved with initials—excellent wedding gifts—and have gift sets that come ready to use with cheese, crackers and spreads.

AHeirloom Custom Wedding cutting board
AHeirloom cutting board
AHeirloom cutting board
AHeirloom Cutting Boards

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Glorious Getaway: Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado

Hotel Jerome Aspen

Spent the weekend ogling the interiors at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colorado. I love that the public spaces feel so busy and clubby, with plaid and ikat fabrics juxtaposed against leather furniture and dark hued walls. It’s easy to imagine being curled up in one of the cozy club chairs, fire roaring and book in hand—maybe an Old Fashioned, too.

Beyond skiing, the hotel offers a long list of other activities to keep guests busy. I’d opt for a dog-sled across the snowy fields of Aspen at twilight, followed by a four-course dinner at Krabloonik, a farm-to-table restaurant housed in a rustic cabin. The hotel’s circa 1880 J-Bar is also a favorite local watering hole (fun fact: Hunter S. Thompson used it as his de facto office) and the spa offers of-the-place treatments like the High Altitude Sports Recovery Massage, perfect after a day spent on the slopes.

Hotel Jerome Aspen Hotel Jerome Aspen
Hotel Jerome Aspen Bar at Hotel Jerome Aspen Restaurant at Hotel JeromeHotel Jerome Aspen

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Glorious Eats: Lunch on the 18th Hole of Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach 18th Hole

Jack Nicklaus once said, “Augusta is my favorite place to go play golf. But Pebble Beach is my favorite course to go to.” It’s easy to see why. Pebble Beach is among the most beautiful courses in the world and the view of the shoreline from the 18th hole, with its single Cyprus tree in silhouette, is particularly stunning. Opened since 1919, The Lodge at Pebble Beach is famous in its own right, having hosted five US Open tournaments and bold faced golf enthusiasts from Teddy Roosevelt and Winston Churchill to Justin Timberlake and Tiger Woods.

Even if you’re not a golfer, Pebble Beach is worth seeing and their lineup of restaurants and bars, many of which have views of the 18th hole, should be on your list of places to dine if you’re in the Monterey area. We spent an afternoon at The Bench, the Lodge’s more casual restaurant with comfy outdoor seating position around fire pits, which keeps things cozy if wind comes off the water.  The menu focuses on wood-grilled fish, steak and chicken and fire-roasted veggies, all of which are delicious. But the must-order is a bottle of your favorite champagne or wine to sip as you watch golfers finish up what for many of them is a bucket-list game on one of the world’s top courses, and raise your glass as they pass by grinning ear-to-ear.

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Glorious Weekend in Upstate New York

Fish & Game Restaurant Hudson

I’ve put all those weekends spent driving around New York state to good use and created a weekend travel guide over on Jetsetter called “Upstate for Everyone”, with itineraries to fit all types of travelers. Here’s a shot of farm-to-table restaurant Fish & Game in Hudson, a perfect destination for antique hunters.

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