Hello! I’m Jessica. Graphic designer, part-time traveler, and foodie with a mega sweet tooth. Together with my husband, Loc, I’m on the search for the most unique sweets and eats around the world, and helping you to experience them for yourselves through your travels and in your own kitchen. We hope that this global food and travel blog will help inspire you on your journeys and at home in your own kitchen. Bon appétit!
Where it all began…
Born and raised in Michigan, my parents instilled in me the strong desire to explore and travel early in life. From Sunday drives, to summer road trips to the upper-peninsula, they always made a point to plan adventures throughout the state and around the country. In a time before GPS, my dad was never afraid to take the scenic route and get a little lost off the beaten track. I have so many great memories of the places we discovered by accident, and inspired me to live by the same mantra.
Throughout high school and college, I jumped at every chance I could to visit somewhere new, pining to visit the faraway places I saw in magazines and on The Travel Channel.
In 2010, I finally got my chance. I randomly won an all expense paid trip to London, England with iTunes for the iTunes Festival held every year at The Roundhouse (lucky, I know!). Having never traveled abroad before, London was a good primer. English speaking, full of culture, and fairly easy to get around. My best friend Charity and I had a blast navigating the maze of cobblestone streets and ogling at the abundant and spectacular castles, imagining what it would be like to live there as royalty.
It was first trip overseas, and it launched my love affair with international travel.
(Some of the links on sweetandsavor.com are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase or booking. I partner only with companies I truly love and use on a regular basis.)
The turning point in travel…
Feeling restless, and turning 30, I spontaneously made the decision to take my first solo trip. I settled on Thailand, a location that was about as different from Michigan you could get, and literally halfway around the world. Although, my friends and family probably thought I was crazy, I quickly booked a spot on a group tour with Intrepid Travel.
After a quick layover in Germany I arrived in Thailand. As soon as I stepped out of the airport and into the blast furnace heat of Bangkok, I knew it was going to be an adventure. Solo travel is equal parts thrilling and terrifying. The thrill of being in a new place for you to discover and create your own new stories, and terrifying when all of the travel horror stories you’ve heard come rushing back to mind.
The trip went on without a hitch and was life-changing. Experiencing other cultures not only opens your mind, but it opens your soul, helping you realize that maybe we all aren’t that different after all. The smiling people, dazzling temples, and intoxicating smells of street food stole my heart and left me wanting more.
Fast-forward to today. I’m living in Grand Rapids, MI with my husband, Loc, and our two cats, Bella and Evy. I am so blessed to have met and married a man that loves to travel as much as I do. We have explored his home country of Vietnam, sailed the Mediterranean for our honeymoon, and crisscrossed the United States with no plans of stopping any time soon. Additionally, Loc graciously helps me behind the scenes with editing, developing recipes, research and photography (we make a pretty good team!).
Why Sweet + Savor?
My friends and family consider me the “travel expert,” even though I feel like I’m not even close! They come to me often for advice, and I love being able to help them make their next trip a possibility. I love researching new locales and discovering what truly makes a place special through its food and culture.
I also inherited the “Albert Sweet-tooth” and have a passion for desserts and baking, taking the family title of “baker” after my grandma passed away last year. A title I’m happy to carry on and continue her legacy of baking delicious things from scratch.
The sweet spot is when the two intersect. Every culture has it’s own unique desserts that tell the story about what makes that country or region tick. I hope to create a place where people can come learn about new cultures and their desserts, through recipes, personal experiences, travel guides and recommendations. I want readers to be transported in their own kitchens and be inspired to plan their own trips to places they haven’t considered or thought possible to travel to themselves.
Where I've Been