Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Mother-Daughter Date Night Cooking Class Review

By Hayley Braun | Uncategorized

If you're looking for a unique date-night experience, I'd highly recommend checking out a cooking class. It's a great way to learn some new skills, have a fun night out, and get a taste of different cultures without even leaving your hometown.

This is my review of our experience at Wynton's World Cooking School near Raleigh, NC.

A Mother-Daughter Date Night

For my mom’s 50th birthday, I wanted to make sure I planned something extra special. I looked into planning a weekend away, but it wasn’t practical with my work schedule (or budget). 

Then, I thought of the perfect mother daughter date idea:  a date-night cooking class, just like we had done in Peru

I searched all over the internet to find the perfect class. That's when I came across Wynton's World Cooking School. The menu sounded amazing, and the reviews were promising, so I decided to give it a shot!

When we met for our mother daughter date night, we were greeted by Chef Wynton himself. We were the first “couple” there, and I still wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. We sat down, uncorked our bottle of wine, and waited for the class to begin.

Our Wynton's World Cooking Class

Our entire time at Wynton's World was amazing from beginning to end. I'd love to do it again! Here's a little more about our experience:

Wynton's World Cooking School kitchen before the class

This was the set up when we entered Wynton's kitchen. It was a small and intimate atmosphere with only 8 of us, but we still had plenty of room to move around.  Wynton started off by telling us about the menu and how we should expect the class to go. We moved back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room with each course. This gave us time to socialize with the others in our class. 

For the first cooking session, each couple was assigned a specific prepping task. Wynton explained each task to the entire group, and then we broke off into individual couples. My mom and I started off by prepping the pasta dough. The instructions were also on the sheet in front of us, and Wynton was helpful in guiding us through the details.

For the first course, we had a fresh bruschetta that the couple next to us had made during the prep time. Wynton and his team made the transition from kitchen to table seamless. It was incredible how simple it was, but still so delicious! 

We got back into the kitchen, and began prepping the next course. After getting to know our classmates better and with a little wine in our systems, the whole class was having a great time. We laughed and teased each other about our lack of cooking skills, and placed bets on whose dish Wynton would need to re-do.  

 When it came to the pasta making part of the class, we were excited to see each couple got to make their own ravioli. It turned out great (despite our lack of cooking skills), and the best part is, we found the same ravioli cutter on Amazon to try at home! Who knew pasta making was SO easy?!  

After an amazing butternut squash stuffed ravioli, we were back to cooking for the last time. I sautéed the mushrooms, and then my mom started cooking the chicken. That's when Wynton surprised us with the grand finale: a flambéed chicken marsala! Again, it was both delicious and fun to make.  

Final Thoughts & Review

Overall, my mom and I had an incredible date night together. I would love to go back! I think it's the perfect experience to share with a loved one for any special occasion.

Whether you're with your best friend, spouse, mom, dad, sibling, or grandparent, you'll both enjoy the laid back and fun atmosphere in Wynton's World Cooking School.

Personally, I loved the way that Wynton highlighted Italian culture while teaching us about Italian cuisine. He explained the origins of the different foods, and the dining culture of Italians.

We later found out Wynton spends many weeks a year taking tour groups to different countries and has learned all of this first-hand. He has tours all over the world, everywhere from Argentina, to Japan, to New York City and more. We love to travel (obviously), so hearing Wynton's stories was an especially cool experience for us.

If you're looking for a fun mother-daughter or date-night idea, I'd highly recommend trying out a cooking class!


The 5 Lessons Everyone Learns from Studying Abroad

By Marley & Hayley | Uncategorized

"For me, studying abroad in London was like five famous movie quotes."

Last week, I asked my mom to write an article about what she learned studying abroad, and how it changed her life. The headline above is what she came back to me with. 

At first I thought, "Really? Old movie quotes? What does that have to do with study abroad?"

But when I started reading my mom's article, I realized how well it captured not only her study abroad experience, but mine, too.  If traveling abroad for the first time was (or is) completely out of your comfort zone, then maybe some of these will sound familiar.

The lessons my mom describes are not only universal but also timeless, which is why I decided to add my own photos (and my captions) throughout her stories.  Other than the outdated movie quotes... it seems like the study abroad experience hasn't changed a bit. 

-Hayley

"We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that's all."
-The Breakfast Club

Our apartment was like a bad sequel to the Breakfast Club. It featured me (the naïve princess), the pot head, the alcoholic, the jock, the thief, and the goth girl.  My study abroad roommates were different than anyone I had ever met, and honestly I wasn't sure how to react at first.

When my roommates invited complete strangers (who were following some band called the Dead) to come live with us, I learned to stand up for myself.  I discovered so much I didn't know about myself while living with them, and also got to know this crazy group. I quickly realized we had more in common than I ever would have thought.

Each new person I met through study abroad, I learned to look past the surface and find out what kind of human being they were, first. They were all human and all made mistakes, just like me.

I learned to be less judgmental.

I'll agree with my mom on this one-- the people I met during my time in Europe are people I will never forget. They might not be as crazy as my mom's roommates, but definitely pretty bizarre... Love y'all!

"Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
-Ferris Bueller

When I was in college, I was constantly focused on “what am I missing”?  I was never actually living in the moment, I just was waiting for the next big moment to find me. 

It took me until the second half of my semester in London to realize that what I was missing was every opportunity around me. I finally took the time to go and enjoy the theater on my own, sit at high tea, window shop at Harrods, and take in the lively conversation going on at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park. 

My time there was slowly slipping away.

I learned to take full advantage of all of the opportunities in front of me.

I remember hiking up to see "Sky Jesus" by the beach in San Sebastián and thinking that exact same thing. I was staring out over the water, watching the sunset, and sharing a bottle of wine with friends. It's always one of the simplest moments like that when it'll really hit you how amazing this world is and how important it is to enjoy every moment.   

"Houston, we have a problem."
-Apollo 13

What do you do when the German train conductor comes to stamp your passport in the middle of the night, and not only is it missing... but your license, your money, your credit cards (and anything that identifies you as a U.S. citizen) are all gone too? 

Complete panic sets in.  Your trip is ruined.  Or is it?

You come up with a plan and you ride the German train back and forth across the country.  You bathe in the sink, and live off of bread until you can figure it out. You adapt your plan. 

As much as it sucked having everything stolen, I learned so much from the experience. I don’t think I would have it any other way.

I learned that I couldn’t change what happened, but I could change how I reacted to it.

Luckily I've never had anything that bad happen, mostly because my mom has warned me about this over and over (so I'm very cautious).  But still, forgetting to get tickets for one of the main sights in Barcelona when you're only meeting your best friend there for 48 hours seems like the weekend is ruined! Luckily, this taught me to improvise (and to see Park Güell in the dark if you have to!)

"I see dead people."
-The Sixth Sense

I remember walking into Westminster Abbey and feeling like I had the breath knocked out of me. 

I was a huge history buff and that day history came alive to me like it never had before.  It made me feel small, and yet big at the same time.  I was standing on top of hundreds of years of history.  I was surrounded by Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton, and countless kings and queens. 

I had lived my whole life outside of Washington, D.C. and had never appreciated it.  For some reason, that day made such an impact on me that now I go into every historical site with my eyes wide open.  As another much more famous Marley said, “In this bright future you can not forget the past” (Bob Marley). 

I learned to have a heart full of appreciation for every graveyard, ruin, or museum that I visit.

Alright, I'm not 100% sure where my mom is going with the "dead people" thing ...but I do know for sure, studying and traveling abroad has given me a great appreciation for all of the people that have literally paved the way for how our world is today.  Old cities like this (Toledo, Spain) never cease to amaze me!

"There's no place like home."
-The Wizard of Oz

Don’t get me wrong.  Living in London for 4 months was great, but I just realized I'm not a city person. 

I realized I truly loved the slower pace of North Carolina.  I loved American television.  I loved that I lived somewhere I didn’t have to worry about bomb threats every day.

My time away taught me a deep appreciation for so many things about my country, my family, and my friends that I had always taken for granted. 

I learned how to be grateful for what I have here.

And for that, I am forever thankful.  

San Sebastián will always feel like a second home to me, but there really is no place like Clemson, South Carolina. Being away has always made me so thankful for the people in my life at home, and the places around me that I get to explore every day.

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