Tonight I'm writing on an empty stomach. There's a banana keeping a handful of spices company in my cabinet. I think I have a bag of carrots somewhere in our fridge I bought a couple of weeks back (?). Heading to the grocery store less than 2 miles away is Plan B, right behind playing up the dramatic and eating a dark chocolate bar for dinner instead. I'm going with Plan A.Read more
June is booked to the brim with travel-- this past weekend marked the official kick-off. Lauren has lived in Boston for the past couple of years, so I've tried to take advantage of a short flight and free stay when I can fit it in! We decided to switch things up this time around and head to Martha's Vineyard for a day. New England is such a dream.Read more
This weekend my friend, Lauren, and I took a spontaneous road trip to the Gulf. She flew to Nashville from Boston before we made the drive down to the coast. We felt so overwhelmingly grateful to snag a getaway in the middle of our busy work seasons!Read more
Happy 2017, everyone!
I'm finally getting around to posting the second leg of our Charleston trip, mostly because I had to filter through 1000 photos (oops). The city is just so dang photogenic as you can see.
We spent the remainder of our trip walking the streets of downtown Charleston and enjoying the scenery. On our last full day of the trip, we woke up early and stopped at the sweetest coffee shop called Black Tap Coffee. With our coffee in hand we strolled the quaint brick streets and enjoyed the architecture unique to the city. My dad studied architecture in college-- it's fun learning from him!
We were determined to take at least one historical tour while in Charleston, deciding on the Edmonston-Allen House. The masion looks out onto the bay and Fort Sumter. On the second floor of this home, the general of the Confederate Army stood with a gold telescope in hand to watch the first shots fired on Fort Sumter. It was absolutely incredible to be standing in the footprints of major American history.
We spent part of our day popping in and out of the shops near our hotel, our absolute favorite called Candlefish. We ended up going back in two more times after the initial visit! It was Christmas in retail form, candle heaven on earth. We restrained ourselves from buying 8,000 candles by walking the side streets of downtown Charleston, dreaming of what it would be like to live in a city dripping with history. Coming back from the trip, I've been reading more and more about the Civil War era and the impact it had on our country (and the world at large). Spending time in the South, in the midst of it all, ignited a curiosity to not only learn history but the stories of the lives who lived it.
We fell in love with Charleston and cannot wait to get back! If you travel to Charleston in the near future, you can reference my city guide page for a handful of recommendations!
My Christmas gift to my mom last year was a few nights stay at this sweet Airbnb called HausBar Farms in East Austin. The hostess, Dorsey, was the best of all time and welcomed us with farm fresh eggs, home baked bread, and local beer upon arrival. The urban farm boasts a variety of vegetables and fruits as well as a flock of chickens, ducks, and two donkeys. A pomegranate tree sat just outside our bedroom window. I kid you not then I say we woke to a rooster crowing outside our window at 6am each morning!
East Austin is incredibly similar to East Nashville, so it was fun to compare the two areas. I loved the authenticity of East Austin and genuine feeling of acceptance as you moved into it's neighborhood lines. Urban farms similar to HausBar cuddle up next to coffee shops occupying refurbished school buildings. The people were as friendly as they come. You could sense the evolution of the area, the reuse of once was deemed unusable. There's a magic to East Austin you simply can't replicate!
We spent each morning making breakfast at the house before heading into the sweltering heat for the day's activities. I would let mom sleep in a bit as I began the most vital process of the day-- making coffee. The radio was replaced with the crackling of eggs in our small Dutch iron pan and sleepy rumble of the coffee pot. I fully understand why people yearn for this type of quiet lifestyle. When you're silent enough to listen to the makings the day, you begin to take notice it's anything but.
On the night of our second day at HausBar, we made sure to stop at a restaurant on the long list of spots who source a variety of vegetables, fruits, and eggs from Dorsey for their daily menu. It was called Emmer & Rye and was one of my most unique restaurant experiences to date! All bread is sourced from a single origin ancient grain, the meat comes from a pristine ranch in Central Texas, and the chef ferments all vegetables in-house. Not your typical, trendy farm-to-table restaurant. They do the hard work, and boy, does it pay off!
The most unique aspect of our experience was the cart service, similar to what you would see at a spot serving Dim Sum. As the meal progressed, we were approached several times by a cart with circulating specialty plates we could add as we pleased. Such a fun way to dine!
Staying on the theme of food, I also want to highlight another favorite Austin food spot! Josephine House is as charming as they come in the world of cuisine. We felt like we stepped out of Austin and straight into Newport Beach, California. Crisp, colorful food in a subtly beautiful atmosphere. It's a must visit if you are in Austin!
I mean, come on, look at that exterior! Charming is among a never ending list of adjectives. Two seats at the community table were waiting for us as we entered the restaurant, which is the preferred dining style in Austin. I absolutely love that! I imagine heaven someday as one, long dinner table (possibly with food from Josephine House, to be honest).
Austin, we'll be back for you. In the meantime, if anyone is traveling to ATX and needs recommendations for food/stay/activities, please let me know!
I'll stop my rambling now. Sending hugs your way for whatever is amidst this coming weekend. You all have my heart!
Austin, you were hotter than the pits of Sheol and fried my hair to a crisp, but I absolutely love you.
It's taken me far too long to get this post up, mostly as I had to filter through 500 photos of our 5-day trip! Austin is the most photogenic city I've visited to date. Every corner we turned presented us with a full spectrum of color and typography. I was in heaven. Creativity seeping out of every crevasse of this city-- it's truly magical.
We spent our first few days of the trip getting the lay of the land with no specific plan in place. We decided to split the trip in two parts-- the beginning of the trip was mostly spent downtown near our hotel while the last leg of the trip was spent in a surrounding neighborhood of Austin near our Airbnb. The city itself is unique in nature, sitting perfectly in the middle of flat Texas fields and the hill country. It's possible to have two completely different geographical experiences if you visit (which I believe is part of the charm of this city)!
Congress Avenue is one of the most noted streets of Austin and home to the famous Jo's coffee. They serve coffee and breakfast tacos which is the pride and joy of this city. Mom and I tried breakfast tacos (for dinner). Big fans, we are of the b tacos.
We perused a few boutiques along the strip and bought my older brother a few items at an incredible men's shop called Stag Provisions. If you're male and find yourself in Austin, make sure to stop! Another favorite shop was a palace of quirky antiques from all over the U.S. We found a vintage Texas Longhorns basketball jersey, a 1940 city of Chicago flag, and boy scout belt buckles from the 1960s. All necessities, but we decided to part ways without. Nevertheless, we loved spending an hour traveling back in time.
We ended our day at Hillside Farmacy in East Austin for dinner. It was originally a pharmacy in the early 1900s and was recently converted to a restaurant. A beautiful space with simple food. I wish I was a bigger fan of oysters because their raw bar was gorgeous!
On a personal note, this trip was a great reminder of why travel is so important. It is, of course, a privilege. I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to go from place to place without much sacrifice. With this all said, inhabiting a new place and soaking in it's personality puts my dreams in perspective. It's much too easy for me to get caught in the fantasy of a new city, but ultimately, I wouldn't have loved this trip half as much if I weren't with my mom. My people, they're the main show. The rest is supplementary.
Thanking God today for staying steadfast and true during this season of uncertainty! Second post on Austin to come sooner than the first.
Mom and I had been planning a trip down to Texas for quite some time, and were thrilled to finally make it to Austin and Waco! Mom is an original supporter of Chip & Joanna Gaines, so she was especially thrilled to finally make it to Magnolia Farms. A kid on Christmas morning.
Waco was a welcomed contrast to our time in Austin. Even with the addition of Magnolia Farms to the area, Waco is still sleepy, simple, and sweet. The sky swallowed up 3/4 of the quintessential Texas town. The Silos you see above are original to the area and were salvaged by Chip and Joanna.
We took a trolley over to the Silos which stand tall in the center of downtown. The grounds are composed of a home shopping area, garden center, bakery, and food truck coral. Although we were joined by hundreds of tourists, the experience still felt incredibly genuine (which is significant being 30,000 people visit the Silos per week). The gardens were absolutely gorgeous and brought a nice dose of color to the monochromatic color scheme of Waco.
'Magnolia Flour' is the name of the bakery and was calling our name after a few hours in the hot Texas sunshine. We treated ourselves to a almond pastry and lemon lavender cupcake before hopping back on the trolley. Joanna Gaines gets it, y'all.
It was a short trip to Waco for us, but we loved every moment! My affinity for interior design comes straight from my mom-- it was special to share a day of dreaming with her.
It was about a 1.5 hour trek back to Austin on flat highways with tall billboards. Gas stations down there are the size of grocery stores. There is no exaggeration when they say everything is bigger in Texas! Among it all, Waco is a diamond in the rough, truly a step back in time. I told my mom only in Waco does it feel acceptable to wear a cowboy hat, and would be one of the few places I'd willingly wear one.
Austin, you're up next!
I've learned to love watching the sport of golf through Pete.
On Saturday I followed him on the back nine (I don't have the patience yet for a full 18). Growing up solely in team sports, I've never fully understood the pressure of individual performance beyond my own stats. The mental stability and endurance needed in a full 18-hole round is unfathomable to me! Hitting that tiny white ball with a metal stick is equally as mind-boggling as I'm sure many of you could agree.
Of course it never hurts when the course you're walking is as beautiful as Pinehurst.Read more
How was the weekend? Hoping it was a rejuvenating one for you all.
I am just arriving back to Nashville after a weekend away in Pinehurst, NC. My parents and I drove out early Thursday morning to spend the next few days watching Peter play golf and enjoy the warmer climate. It was a long jaunt from Nashville but absolutely worth the car time.Read more
Hey all! Happy Sunday!
Jillian and I jumped in the car after work on Friday to visit my wonderful cousin and his wife in Atlanta. We've been hoping for a weekend getaway for some time and decided last minute to drive to Georgia. Aaron and Lauren (pictured above) were the most gracious and loving hosts, taking us in for the weekend and showing us the best local spots. Thanks you two!Read more
My parents and grandfather drove through downtown to pick me up on our way to Holland, MI for the remainder of the weekend. I was easily able to convince the guys to stay downtown awhile longer while my mama and I shopped around Michigan Ave. Thanks boys!Read more
This past weekend, I made my way north to visit old friends and play in my college's alumni basketball game! It was a sweet time of catch-ups with familiar faces. I left early from work on Thursday and flew into O'Hare around 5:30pm. I began my trip visiting my freshman college roommate, Tessa. We both went in blind to Hope our first year and graduated as lifelong friends. She now lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and is loving every second!Read more