Giverny flowers

The price of freedom: My $9k dream vacation

betty ming liu Art, Food, Inspiration, Relationships, Travel 12 Comments

Running away from home for a 10-day painting vacation in France came with a price — $9,079.80, to be exact. But it’s what I wanted to do. I had a great time. Plus, I learned the value of letting go. “Me first” is my new mantra! Everything was new. I’d never gone on a vacation by myself before. Never went …

Buying fish in Honfleur

Shopping for memories from my French painting vacation

betty ming liu Art, Food, Travel 7 Comments

Oh, this French vacation is zooming by, making me feel nostalgic. So I went shopping for souvenirs — memories to take home as I explored Honfleur during a very rainy day. Weather-wise, we’ve been lucky during this 10-day painting trip in northern France. It’s been sunny until now. The downpour started last night and it was crazy noisy. This morning, …

5 reasons to love the Hastings-on-Hudson farmers market

betty ming liu Food 5 Comments

It’s that time again here in my hometown! The farmers market is setting up for the summer at its outdoor location overlooking the Hudson River. There’s something special about buying stuff grown and made only a few hours away. It makes me feel connected to the earth. Good for the soul. And, the stomach too. Through the winter, a scaled-down, …

Green Festival Expo — photos of new food & home products

betty ming liu Food, Holistic health, Money, Travel 4 Comments

For three intoxicating hours at Green Festival Expo, I stuffed my face on organic food samples and marveled at hundreds of new products. This was heaven for impulse shoppers, which meant I went home with a bunch of excitingly odd items to try out. This annual weekend event continues through today at New York City’s Javits Convention Center (April 24-26). …

How to budget a Miami vacation & not feel like a loser

betty ming liu Travel 8 Comments

My daughter and I recently discovered Miami and can’t wait to go back. This crazy, seaside metropolis delivered excellent surf, shopping and dining on a budget. The trip left us rich in memories from our first mother-daughter vacation in three years. That’s right. Three. Whole. Years. Between her doing her thing and me doing mine, our priorities and schedules just …

4 reasons to avoid sugar

betty ming liu Holistic health 11 Comments

If you’re not interested in dealing with the issue of sugar addiction, the new August issue of National Geographic might change your mind. The cover story on the evils of sugar uses gorgeous photos, historical facts and trending data to show why we’re in big trouble. Refined sugar is amazingly delicious but offers absolutely zero health benefits. In fact, it …