Part One: Richmond

September 19, 2016

travel / weekend

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What would summer be without a road trip? For the long July 4th weekend, I drove north to Virginia to visit friends in Williamsburg. My first stop though, was Richmond, a city I had not visited before, but immediately took a liking to for it’s natural beauty, culture, and good food. Here’s a glimpse into my one-day highlight tour of Richmond, Virginia…

8am

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My first stop was Libby Hill Park. Located in the Church Hill area, quaint brownstones line small streets leading to this picturesque park. It was a great way to get acquainted with Richmond because the Jamestown River and downtown cityscape can be seen from the same spot.

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By this point, I was in desperate need of coffee, so I stopped at Alchemy Coffee on Broad Street. Just down the street from Virginia Commonwealth University, Alchemy boasts a cool, local vibe complete with modern styling and baristas that know more about coffee than I know about #Hiddlesplit.  I grabbed a cup of dark roast and a seat by the front window and did what I do best: people watch.

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534 North Harrison Street | Artist: Ever

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620 North Lombardy | Artist: James Bullough

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11 South 18th Street | Artist: 2501

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11 South 18th Street | Artist: ROA

One of the highlights I was most looking forward to when planning my trip to Richmond was the street art. Recent projects like the RVA Street Art Festival and the Richmond Mural Project have produced splashes of color on buildings all around the city. So after my caffeine fix, I walked around in search of some of these beauties.

There are so many more I hope to see next time, including this one by the Liechtenstein-eqsue street artist D*Face, who designed Blink-182’s latest album cover. Geeky that I know this, I know…

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My next stop was the Edgar Allen Poe Museum, undoubtedly the creepiest museum I have ever visited. Comprised of four separate cottages that date back to Poe-era Richmond, this museum has a beautiful courtyard complete with two resident black cats. The creepy factor comes from the creaky doors and floors heard while walking the cottages. The museum was not crowded so there were times I was the only (living) soul in the building. Serious Tell-Tale Heart vibes, and it was in the middle of the day…

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Getting back to the lighthearted exploring I know and love, I made my way to Quirk Hotel. As I previously mentioned, this hotel is like something from a Wes Anderson movie and I was dying to see it in person. It exceeded every expectation…

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The coolest part of this place? It features an art gallery just next door to the hotel with events and workshops hosted on the regular. The absolute best part of this place? THE GIFT SHOP. I have never seen such a wonderfully curated collection of… stuff. From ceramics to books to local art to jewelry to sunglasses, this shop is amazing.

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Walking the streets of Richmond made me hungry, so I popped in Perly’s Delicatessen for lunch. This modern Jewish deli is small but very popular, so I grabbed a seat at the counter where I admired the mid-century inspired decor and plentiful plates being served all around me.

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I ultimately decided on the Modigliani, a toasted everything bagel with schmear, corned beef, and dressed salad on top, with a side of dill fries. Twas delicious. And it’s worth mentioning how friendly, quick and attentive Perly’s staff is.

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I decided to walk off my lunch with some vintage shopping. First stop: Rosewood Clothing Company. Truth be told, wearing someone else’s old shoes is not really my thing, but the selection of accessories, apothecary and art offered by local artists here is top notch. The young lady working the counter was incredibly friendly, and I dig their promotion of local, up-and-coming artists.

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My next stop was Circle Vintage. As a novice vintage shopper, this place was a true experience. They have everything you could ever possibly imagine including vinyl, cassettes, Pyrex casserole dishes (one of which I regret not buying!), and other quirky odds and ends. One example that made me laugh, was a bowl of old family photos 5 for $1. So random!

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My last stop of the day was the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked, so I saw the featured exhibition and then hit up my favorite collections.

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tiffanyThe modern art gallery is always my jam, and  I geeked out pretty hard over an extensive collection of Tiffany lamps and Frank Lloyd Wright furniture. The best part was the museum was practically vacant because it was so late in the day.

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The outdoor deck and sculpture garden are incredibly gorgeous and if I were a local, I would visit this spot frequently. So zen

outsideIt was the perfect ending to a fun day, and left me feeling inspired and recharged. Overall,  I had a fantastic day in Richmond. There’s so much more to see and do, and I’d love to go back for another visit when I have more time.

summer music / 2

September 12, 2016

life / weekend

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Funny thing happened earlier this year: I found out my hands down, all-time favorite of all time forever and ever band, Dashboard Confessional, was pairing up with another favorite, Taking Back Sunday, on the Taste of Chaos Tour. What was even more incredible was they were scheduled to play Tallahassee. What that whaaaa?! No one ever comes to Tallahassee, at least, not by choice. So in a frenzy of excitement and disbelief, I purchased two tickets to the Tallahassee show. But before that, I purchased four tickets to the show scheduled the day before in Tampa. I didn’t want to risk the Tallahassee show being cancelled and missing Dashboard. Four tickets was over zealous, yes, especially considering I didn’t have a single soul to go to either show with at the time, but, like… yolo.

Fast forward two months, I was able to sell two of the Tampa tickets but still had two I wasn’t going to let go to waste. I had concert buddies for both shows: Saturday – Tampa show with my sister; Sunday – Tallahassee show with my bestie. It was everything I hoped for and more… oh, and did I mention that I GOT TO MEET CHRIS CARRABBA?! Who’s that? Just the lead singer of Dashboard and the man of my adolescent dreams, nbd. Here’s a recap of me fangirling my way through one of the best weekends of my summer…

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awkward & awesome

So, let’s just get to the good part, which is the first part. I met Chris Carrabba! Our tickets allowed us early entry to the venue and a small, acoustic, pre-show performance, and we were pleasantly surprised with a meet and greet. Despite me sweating balls and downing an $11 Dixie cup sized jack and coke, I was still super nervous.  He was of course, lovely and kind and despite the look on his face below, very gracious.

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loosing my mind   |  #2002

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It should be noted that hanging my sunglasses on my dress like that was the wrong move. Walking away from this epic interaction, my sister pointed out that my top was unbuttoned and my bra was very exposed…. I inadvertently flashed my teen idol. Of course I did. Thanks, Life.

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Cut to the pre-concert concert. It was so nice to hear anecdotes and Chris’s thoughts on past albums. He took requests and made us laugh and sang really old stuff. And then a guy  in the audience proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of it all. It was a truly emo moment and suited the scene perfectly.

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Currently Into #4

August 15, 2016

life

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Eventide Collective // I’ve grown slightly obsessed with searching for affordable art online. There are so many choices and more popping up everyday. While some sites definitely have quantity over quality, Eventide Collective has perfectly curated collections of modern photo prints available for purchase online. From beach landscapes, to Vegas lights, the prints on Eventide are beautiful and offered in several different sizes. I love each collection and frequently reference the site when looking for inspiration for my own photo shoots.

Flat white // Everyone has their go-to coffee drink. Maybe you’re a purist and drink it black. Maybe you go all out and order that frappucino with the jazzy drizzle on top. For over a decade, my fancy drink (you know, the one you order when you have enough stars for a freebie) has been a triple grande non-fat no whip white mocha. I know, it sounds obnoxious.  Here lately though, I’ve been addicted to a non-fat flat white. It’s just restretto espresso blended with milk, but it is so dang smooth. It’s definitely the grownup version of my previous sugary white mocha.

Sword and Scale // On a recent road trip, I discovered the true crime podcast Sword and Scale. The hour long episodes tell stories of some of the most gruesome and unbelievable criminals in recent history. I’m a true crime junkie, and working in the industry only fuels my curiosity into these cases. I like the format which details cases primarily through recorded witness testimony and news reports. If you’re like me and love Dateline and Serial, check out Sword and Scale.

Anthony Bourdain // I got hooked on Anthony Bourdain while researching my New Orleans trip. He’s hosted a few shows over the years, and while the formats have varied slightly, they all pretty much center around him traveling, meeting locals, and eating regional food. I like all of these ideas and his dry, witty writing so I’ve been binging on No Reservations, The Layover, and Parts Unknown. Bourdain has been everywhere from Sao Paolo to Brooklyn and has shared some of the most exclusive trends in food and culture with a generally down-to-earth and accessible vibe. Even though he’s very much a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy, I dig everything he shares in his travels and confidently use his shows as travel resources.

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J.Crew swim // I’m taking one last trip this year, to Puerto Rico, to finish off the summer the best way I know how: exploring, eating, drinking, and beaching. I’ve needed a new bathing suit for awhile now, but I don’t exactly jump at the prospect of bathing suit shopping. To alleviate some of the pain, I turned to J.Crew. They’re playful patterns, bold color combos, and classic cuts create excitement more so than dread when looking for a new suit. Familiar with the excellent quality of J.Crew, I went with a timeless black bikini that I’m confident will remain in style and good condition for years to come.

hindsight

August 11, 2016

life

 

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going through old photos tonight realizing just how clueless i was in 2013. clueless about my camera, traveling abroad, relationships, life. it’s a bittersweet memory, mostly because i was in beautiful Paris and London but captured it so terribly. traveling is supposed to teach, inspire and give perspective, and while my first trip abroad did all of those things, i think i’ve learned even more in looking back at it years later.

passion tea with lemon

August 1, 2016

food

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It goes without saying that summer is hot. By the time August rolls around, the pool is the temperature of bathwater and getting in a car after 11 a.m. feels like jumping in an inferno. The remedy is everything cool, including a refreshing beverage. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite summer drinks in the next few weeks that cool me off and keep me going in this crazy weather.

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My favorite cold drink from Starbucks is an iced passion tea. It’s tart and citrusy and every time I take the first sip, I say, “that is fresh” like Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids. I’ve grown to love it so much that I brew it on the regular at home. Instead of adding lemonade, I squeeze a whole lemon in the glass and add extra ice. This way it’s sugar free, calorie free, and caffeine free, so I don’t feel bad drinking it by the gallon… which is totally possible when the temp reaches 104.

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summer music / 1

July 12, 2016

entertainment / travel / weekend

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I mentioned in the previous post that I surprised my dad in New Orleans with Weezer tickets. To be honest, I was a little nervous he wouldn’t like standing outside in the heat for hours surrounded by a huge (rather eclectic) crowd. But he seemed to love it when all was said and done so I was grateful for that. There’s something about summer and live music that I just can’t get enough of. In an effort to keep the good vibes going, and maybe inspire your summer playlist, I’m sharing the set lists from Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Panic! At the Disco, and Weezer…

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I’ve had a strong obsession with Something Corporate since my high school days, so Andrew McMahon’s latest project, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, is the perfect transition into a modern sound. His set was short, but I loved hearing his live variations of Canyon Moon and a throwback to popular Jack’s Mannequin hit Dark Blue. His enthusiasm onstage really got the crowd the pumped.

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Apparently, I have seen Panic! At the Disco before with Dashboard Confessional in 2008 at UF, but had no recollection until the friend I went with brought it to my attention. I don’t know if frontman and the only remaining original member, Brendan Urie, has changed his performance style since then, but Panic! puts on quite a memorable show now. For the younger members of the audience, this was the main event. Urie was enthusiastic, humble, and addressed the crowd between songs. He played drums, piano, sang like Sinatra and even did a few backflips. I’m a fan of their latest album, Death of a Bachelor, which they played a lot of, and their cover of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody wasn’t bad either.

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FAVORITES: Ballad of Mona Lisa, Hallelujah, Nine in the Afternoon, Miss Jackson, Death of a Bachelor, I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Victorious

WEEZERCOVER

Weezer is one of those bands that subtly permeated my adolescence and young adulthood.  Undone takes me straight back to high school, Surf Wax America reminds me of late night hangs with my best friends, and El Scorcho was my unrequited love anthem throughout college. They have so many amazing songs because they’ve been around for what feels like forever, or, 1992, and their new album, Weezer aka the White Album, is SO GOOD.

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have an amazing weekend.

July 8, 2016

weekend

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It’s the weekend and I couldn’t be more thrilled. The past few weeks I’ve been here, there, and everywhere, and while it’s been a blast, I’m looking forward to sleeping in, not washing my hair (don’t judge), and getting everything back in order. I’m so excited to share what I’ve been up to lately, like meeting my teen idol (!!!!!!), but in the meantime, hope you have an amazing weekend.

Xx

New Orleans

June 28, 2016

travel

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New Orleans. There’s so much to do, see, eat, drink, smell, and laugh at. I only had a few days, but tried to get in as much as I could, and while I barely scratched the surface of my to-do list (because let’s go again!), here are the highlights from my first visit to this wonderful city…

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My dad and I set out to New Orleans for a long weekend, but made a lunch detour for beachside oysters at Flora-Bama, a charming dive bar/restaurant on the Florida-Alabama state line.

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The cajun oysters were my favorite, but the fried pickles, which they call frickles, were de-lish too!

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New Orleans has some incredible hotel options, but I ultimately decided to Airbnb it in the Mid-City neighborhood. Our rental was only a few blocks from City Park, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the streetcar line. Known as “The Heart of New Orleans” this neighborhood is totally walkable, full of great restaurants, and French Quarter adjacent. The architecture of the homes and our amazing host allowed us to feel like part of the city, and not just tourists. After getting settled, we grabbed dinner at Liuzza’s, a neighborhood restaurant with a cool, local vibe. My recommendation: the eggplant po’boy. You won’t regret it.

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Flour Power

May 2, 2016

food

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My pantry is currently stocked with four different flours, three sugars, and all the ingredients needed to bake a cake/muffin/doughnut/you get the idea. I have very little ‘real food’ on hand because I don’t cook, but I love to bake. While I can follow a recipe with the best of them, I’ve always wondered why my cookies call for cake flour, and why these biscuits call for self-rising flour. What is the difference? Without getting too boring and science-y, here’s the quick and easy explanation on which flour you should use in your next recipe, and why.

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