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Burm Family Year in Review

December 31, 2015
Happy New Year's Eve! We are wishing you all a bright and joyful year ahead.


2015 was one of the most difficult years that my family and I have had to endure – we combatted cancer, faced the loss of my grandfather and a move – but we have gained strength from it and are determined to make the most of every day in 2016!

Today, I am sharing an update about us for our family and friends who we haven't had the opportunity to visit in 2015.

This year:
  1. I continued my work as a Web Content Writer and Editor and also began writing my Lifestyle and Travel blog here at Burm Voyage.
  2. My husband accepted a new Sustainability opportunity – working for the public sector of his field.
  3. We traveled to more than 15 states in 2015, including Hawaii!
  4. We lived in the Northwest, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.
  5. We made a new home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  6. We wrote about "10 Things We've Learned from Moving Across the Country."
  7. We visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. and crossed them off our "Life List."
  8. We had our second wedding anniversary and are looking forward to celebrating 10 years together this year!
  9. We also celebrated Olive's second birthday – you can view her birthday photos on Instagram.
  10. Finally, we met this year's travel resolution to visit more locations on our "Life List" and are working on a new list for 2016.


This will be our New Year's Eve view tonight!

What are you looking forward to the most this year? Have you set any resolutions for 2016? Share with me in the comments below or on my Facebook or Instagram!

Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays from The Burms

December 24, 2015

Although we have been celebrating Christmas together for the past decade, we have only been sending out holiday cards the last two years, and I'm challenging myself to become better at it each year!

Here is our Burm Family Christmas Card from 2014 that I designed, featuring Olive:
This is our Burm Family Christmas Card this year, through Vistaprint, which had an incredible holiday card collection and labels to choose from:



(This is not a sponsored post, I genuinely enjoyed the ease of creating our Christmas cards through Vistaprint.)

Happy Holidays from our family to yours this year!

We hope that you all have a Merry Christmas with your family and friends.

Classic Christmas Sugar Cookies

December 20, 2015
There is nothing like the holiday season, and for me, baking traditional family recipes are the best way to celebrate!

As the youngest granddaughter living out-of-state in a family with 15+ grandchildren, I didn't get a lot of time alone with my grandma growing up. But when I did, I spent most of my time helping her bake. 

I grew up cherishing her recipes, and a favorite of mine was always her sugar cookies. Coincidentally, it is also one of my husband's favorites, so this classic recipe is one that we make each year around this time.

We hope you enjoy our recipe for these easy-to-make Christmas Sugar Cookies over the holiday!


Classic Christmas Sugar Cookies

Serves about 8

Ingredients:
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tablespoons buttermilk
  • Sprinkles or colored sugar, for decorating
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Set aside a small bowl. Stir flour, baking soda and baking powder together in the small bowl.
  3. Set aside a large bowl. Stir butter and sugar together until smooth, then add in egg and vanilla. Stir.
  4. Gradually combine the dry ingredients from the small bowl into the large one. Add in buttermilk and stir until the dough is soft.
  5. Roll teaspoons of dough into balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Add sprinkles or colored sugar.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes until edges of cookies are golden. Let stand for 5 minutes to cool.
  8. Enjoy!




It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Also, how sweet is this ornament that my in-laws sent us for our tree?

Merry Christmas Week to all!

Home for the Holidays

December 16, 2015

Since we are usually in the air or on the road going to visit out-of-state family and friends for the holidays, we have historically not decorated much for Christmas, since we aren't there long enough to enjoy the winter atmosphere.

However, this year we are going to be having family over at our home for the holidays, so it has been great to have time to add some Christmas pieces to our decor and make our home merry and bright!



Christmas Ornaments: Martha Stewart Living



It has also been incredible to experience the winter festivities here in the Mid-Atlantic.

We had the opportunity to go downtown to explore Pittsburgh – and it's holiday markets, outdoor ice skating rink and Wintergarden – over the warm winter weekend and found it to be a wonderful place to make Christmas memories!






The entire city is so beautifully decorated for the holidays and everyone here is so full of Christmas spirit that it really has felt like the most wonderful time of the year.

Happy Holidays, friends!

Mid-Atlantic Living

December 5, 2015

It was great to take time off from Burm Voyage to focus on spending quality time with family during our first Thanksgiving in the Mid-Atlantic – but it's also nice to be blogging again!

Over the Thanksgiving holiday we traveled to Maryland and Virginia, where we visited with family. Then, once we were back home in Pennsylvania, we embarked on a move across the city to our very own condo in Pittsburgh – just in time to beat the cold and the beginning of winter.

Although it has been a busy month for us thus far, we have enjoyed being able to spend so much time together in the comfort of our new home!





Since December 1, we've been listening to Christmas music and adding holiday pieces to our decor – but we are still waiting for our first snow.

This weekend, we plan to head downtown to experience some winter festivities in the Mid-Atlantic, which include a "Christkindlmarkt" inspired by German holiday markets (that I was able to experience in Germany 10 years ago) and an outdoor ice-skating rink.

I'm looking forward to blogging about both events soon, so stay tuned to my Facebook or Instagram!

Night at the Museum | Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History

November 21, 2015

Temperatures are dropping and winter has made it's way across the Mid-Atlantic this week!

We have seen our first snow flurries and snow is becoming a regular part of the forecast across Pennsylvania, so we began searching for an exploration that would take us out of the cold weather. We found ourselves at a night at the museum: The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History.

The Carnegie Museums are distinctive but located together in Pittsburgh's Oakland neighborhood, which allowed us to spend an evening viewing incredible collections at both museums!


The Carnegie Museum of Art was founded in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie and features over 35,000 works of art.

The museum holds contemporary and fine art, but also has a permanent collection of traditional art from both the United States and Europe, which was beautiful to view.

We had a great time going through the exhibitions – which ranged from 17th century to present works of art – and could have spent an entire weekend appreciating them.




The Carnegie Museum of Natural History was founded a year after the Museum of Art, in 1896, by Andrew Carnegie, who also had an interest in gems, fossils and minerals.

The museum includes the world's first specimen of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, as well as the world's largest collection of Jurassic dinosaurs.

We spent most of our time there looking through the impressive collection of dinos and quoting Jurassic Park ("Life finds a way."), but the museum also features herpetology, invertebrate zoology, mammals, minerals and mollusks exhibits.





It seems like it is going to be a cold winter for us in the Mid-Atlantic, but thankfully, there are other Carnegie Museums, The Carnegie Science Center and The Andy Warhol Museum (Andy Warhol was born and raised in Pittsburgh), that we can explore in comfort, out of the chilly weather.

Check back soon for a blog about our first winter in Pennsylvania!

Sweet and Salty Fall Snack Mix

October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Fall is my family's favorite season and Halloween is our favorite holiday. Every year growing up, my family would get together for a big Halloween celebration that was always full of fun.

My husband and I are continuing the family tradition this year, and our costumes are ready, our pumpkins are out on the front porch and I'm enjoying one of my favorite Halloween snacks today. Here is my family's recipe for our simple Sweet and Salty Fall Snack Mix:

Sweet and Salty Fall Snack Mix

Serves about 4

Ingredients:
  1. Pour the bag of candy corn, cinnamon and peanuts into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Shake and serve!
  3. (Optional) Split mix into Ziplock bags and share with friends and family.

Even if you don't enjoy the sweet and salty ingredients separately, something delicious happens when you mix them all together.

Hope you enjoy this simple recipe of ours and have a Happy Halloween!

Gettysburg in a Day

October 25, 2015

I've always enjoyed learning about American History, particularly the U.S. Civil War era, since it occurred during the time that one of my favorite presidents – President Abraham Lincoln – served the country.

That being said, for as long as I can remember, I've wanted to visit Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the Battle of Gettysburg and the inspiration for Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

This week, we finally had the opportunity to!




We began our drive early, to make the road trip from Pittsburgh to Gettysburg in a day. 

We then navigated directly to the Gettysburg National Military Park to obtain as much information from the National Park Museum and Visitor Center about what we wanted to visit as possible.

After we had been to the Visitor Center, we ultimately decided to visit the Soldiers' National Cemetery, where Union who passed away in the Battle of Gettysburg were buried and where Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.




We then participated in the self-guided Auto Tour, so that we could tour the 25+ miles of Gettysburg at our own pace.

The visit made us thankful that: "Our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." – Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

Although it is a solemn place, it was a very informative visit, and we enjoyed the beautiful fall day we had there.




Have you visited Gettysburg before? How did you spend your day at the National Park? 

Comment below or connect with me on Facebook or Instagram to share!

What We Loved about Ohiopyle

October 18, 2015

We have been so fortunate to have family visiting us this month, and to have had the opportunity to take them with us on our explorations around the Mid-Atlantic.

My mother and sister-in-law from the Southwest were here, and we were so excited to see them experience their first autumn – luckily, we didn't have to go far to view the beautiful fall colors – they were all around us!

But, we wanted to take a scenic fall drive, so we found ourselves in the Laurel Highlands at Ohiopyle State Park.




The Laurel Highlands are along the westernmost ridges of the Appalachian Mountains, and feature beautiful rolling hills, rivers and woods in the area, which are perfect for hiking and are so picturesque!

At the heart of the Highlands is Ohiopyle (a Native American name meaning "white frothy water").

Ohiopyle was founded alongside the Youghiogheny River (Yawki-gay-nee), and is known for some of the best whitewater rafting in the Eastern U.S., though, we didn't see anyone out rafting on such a brisk day.




We had an incredible time driving and hiking through the area and taking in the fall scenery!

We were also excited to stop by Frank Lloyd Wright's Kentuck Knob and Fallingwater homes, though the home tours were full, so we spent time exploring the grounds instead.

All in all, it was a great fall day, and we even experienced our first Mid-Atlantic snow in the cool weather of the Highlands, which was beautiful (but also triggered the onset of our first sickness of the year).




Stay tuned for our next fall exploration – a daytrip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania!