Category Archives: Travel

Homemade Soft Pretzels

So am I the world’s worst blogger, or what?!

Sorry for the huge delay. Life has handed me a lot of things lately and TBA has unfortunately been neglected. But starting now I will do my best to post once a week! I am also always on Instagram, so you can keep up with me daily over there!

Since I was here last, I have settled into my new job, gone on an amazing trip to Portland, Oregon (recap to come), visited a few places on our Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives bucket list, experienced some food fests in our town, and got to finally see New Hampshire in the fall (GORGEOUS) while attending an unforgettable wedding. Lobster was also cheaper than deli turkey…or cheese…by the pound. Yes, please!

Byway's Cafe

Pacific Ocean

Cannon Beach, OR

Voodoo Doughnut

Voodoo Doughnut Portland

Pacific Oysters

Last night dinner in Portland

Red Arrow Diner

New England lobster

Tony & Danielle's wedding at Camp ConistonWest Chester Restaurant FestivalI also just made homemade soft pretzels this past weekend. With horseradish cheddar beer dip.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Mm hmm. That’s right.

I based the pretzels off of this recipe, using whole wheat flour and Earth Balance in place of butter, since we didn’t have any. Makes a ton, so I froze half. Easy warm up in the oven! These will make your Sunday even happier. Or Monday, or Tuesday…..

Homemade Soft PretzelsIMG_4655Homemade Soft PretzelsIMG_4659Homemade Soft Pretzels

Do it!



A Birthday Post! And The Balance Artist Links

Not only is tomorrow Coop’s Big 3-0….but today is my blogging anniversary! TBA hasn’t been around that long (since April!), but my original blog, Sam Bock Illustration & Design, began this day, last year.

(Any readers remember this?)

Happy Birthday, Coop!

This past weekend, I surprised Mr. I-Don’t-Want-a-Party-Grumpy-Gus with a room at Windrift in Avalon.

(Photo via

We fell in love with it Memorial Day weekend when we first saw the renovations, and I knew we had to stay there! Had to do something special…thirty is a big deal!

I made the two of us some veggie-filled pitas and some smoothies to get some last-minute nutrition, and we headed down to the good ol’ Jersey shore early Friday afternoon.

It was a really great weekend full of friends and surprises. Started off with discovering our sweet room view (right over the pool!) and cracking open some Malbec after hunting for a wine opener.

We ate lots of great food (wood-fired pizza, sushi, oysters, Bang Bang Shrimp, etc. from Windrift are all Sam & Coop-approved), and my sister Allie and her boyfriend Oscar came for the first night.

Shenanigans ensued.

Gosh, I love them.

Saturday was a hot one, but our friend Norty met us after the four of us had brunch on the deck and we beached it for hours until we took it to the pool.

(Photo via

(Photo via

It was so convenient having our meals at the hotel, and we actually didn’t make it out to any other bars at all in Avalon this time. We had too much fun and never left! Saturday night, a bunch of our friends from Ocean City came to surprise Coop, and we ended up hardly leaving our small suite…we had the best time!

Sunday was reggae happy hour at the Golden Inn next door, where we met the CUTEST basset hound/black lab puppy named Sadie and Coop sat in for one of our favorite reggae bands, The Raggamuffins!

My rockstar can play chill reggae, too! It was a very different “shore weekend” for us, but it was so much fun! Already can’t wait to go back to WD. If you are ever a Jersey shore-goer, definitely check it out. It is our absolute favorite!

Happy Birthday, Blog!

I also wanted to implement a new little aspect to my blog, since it IS my blogging birthday!

Called “TBA Links,” I will link up four links of possible interest at the bottom of posts. Since my posts tend to be lifestyle-related on a regular basis, I figured these links will help me stay true to my original intent for my blog…balancing my life of art, food, fitness, and fun.

One for each section of the heart and soul of TBA: Art, Food, Fitness, & Just for Fun. Here are my first TBA Links!

  • Are you a big birthday-celebrator?
  • Have you found any great links lately?

It’s Been a While…Part 2!

Part 1 here!

Here’s another slew of photos from my last month. This batch includes our New Hampshire trip and a yoga photoshoot in some beautiful gardens in New Jersey!

It’s been a good, albeit super busy, month. Part 3 (and possibly 4!) to come tomorrow.


Vegas Part III: Ziplines & Sunshine

(You can find Part I and Part II here!)

Yay for fringe bikinis and Coop’s arrival!

C’mon…you didn’t think that between Coop and I, we wouldn’t fit in some crazy healthy eats, too, right?? Having kitchens on vacation = amazing.

Why did we do this? Because Rob Dyrdek did. And we are obsessed.

I’d have killed for a turnout like that when I was a dancer…sheesh. In schooling Coop on the ballet positions, he whipped out this fifth position. Like a pro. He’s going to kill me for posting this. 😉

We frolicked around Fremont Street and drank our 50 oz drinks….and thoroughly enjoyed them. I didn’t even come close to finishing that bad boy.

…which led to shenanigans like this…

Yes, afterwards we realized that we were not even doing correct “double dutch” hand motions. We are quite a group.

Obviously, we asked every street performer to play the Sexy Sax Man song.

We ran back SO fast when we heard this violinist start to play after we walked by. I have not laughed this hard in a very long time…pretty sure I snorted again in this one.

Biggest omelette of all time.

Banana bread that came with our humungo fruit platter at Peppermill.

I will take him as a waiter any day, thanks.

…not sure where my eyebrows went during that picture….

After the waiter kept forgetting Allie’s drinks, he brought her 16 Diet Cokes at once.

Happy birthday, Allie and Grandma!!!

Have a great weekend, everyone! I will be back to regular posting next week. More recipes, art, and ramblings. Hope you enjoyed the Vegas recaps, though! xoxoxo