By far my favorite part of vacation is eating dinner on the beach. I mean nothing is more relaxing than kicking your shoes off burying your feet deep in the sand, and watching the sunset over a delicious dinner. It’s something I look forward to all year long, but there’s just one issue with eating dinner on the beach, and that issue is figuring out what to wear.
Okay, I have to tell you guys a funny story; let me rewind to last year when my family, Matt and I went to Aruba for Easter. On Easter Sunday my Dad went the extra mile to get us a reservation at the fanciest restaurant, which mind you only had one round of sitting that took place on the beach, at sunset. Basically, to make this long story short, we decided before dinner that it would be fun to walk from our hotel to dinner on the beach boardwalk. I mean we had good intentions, we even went and asked the concierge if the distance was walkable and they replied ‘yeah, it’s just up the boardwalk’. So off went my sisters and I, all decked out in our Easter dresses and kitten heels thinking we’d take a leisurely stroll to dinner, just up the boardwalk. Well a mile and a half later, right up the boardwalk, we ended up being 30 minutes late for our dinner reservation, which we almost lost and all of our feet were blistered from running in our kitten heels in the sand. Oh, and if you are wondering we 100% missed the sunset but it was comical, to say the least.
All I have to say from this is I learned my lesson. From now on I set my fanciest shoes aside, settle for my favorite pair of Jack Rogers and reach for something flowy and breathable to wear it with. I love wearing white to beach dinners so when I saw this bell sleeve, Lilly Dress, I knew I had to add it to my summer wardrobe. I can picture myself now wearing it to a dinner in Nantucket or an afternoon polo match in Watch Hill. Basically, I had to have it and I can’t wait to bring it with me on my upcoming trip to Costa Rica.
We are leaving one week from today, which is insane to me, I honestly don’t know why this year has been slipping away from me. All and all though I’m really excited. This is my first big family vacation, and by big, I mean thirteen of us under one roof. Oh and to make matters better, I’m bunking with Tessa, so you guys better follow us over on Instagram for some hilarious late-night shenanigans and TONS of video content.
My brother once joked that my work-life balance is reversed because I create content while traveling and relax while at home; but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I LOVE making content for you guys especially while exploring new destinations. Both Tessa and I are already pinning away inspiration and if you have any suggestions in terms of what you want to see…let us know!
Anyway, I’m off to the mall to grab a few more items before flying out next week. Wish me luck and don’t forget to tell me your suggestions for content below.
Now, if you are subscribed to our weekly New England newsletter you know where this post is going! Our crew published this New England Flower Farm guide last week in our newsletter, but since so many of you missed the signup deadline to receive this content, straight to your inbox, I decided to also publish it here on the blog. Our TCC Weekly Newsletters are usually exclusive guides to New England, so if you like this post PLEASE SUBSCRIBE HERE.
You guys April has arrived, which means it’s time to plan your spring photo-op moments, I kid. But guys really, spring is here and it’s time to support your local farmers, grab your cameras and head out to my three favorite New England flower farms!
Tulips are actually one of my favorite flowers, so when this organic pick-your-own tulip farm opened in Rhode Island, I had to see it with my own eyes, with my tulip picking basket in hand. Now, this farm is the perfect excuse for a day trip to Rhode Island but don’t make plans too soon because they expect to open their gates in late April. I do highly suggest you purchase your tickets online in advance because they did, in fact, sell out last year, so make sure to snag a ticket here when they go on sale!
You might remember seeing Lavender Pond Farm in this blog post from a few years back. I’m a huge fan of lavender, whether I’m spraying it on my pillow before bed or throwing some lavender in my morning lattes; I’m all for it. I always plan an annual trip to Killingworth to this local farm to smell the beautiful lavender fields and to stock up on lavender goodies for, well basically, the entire year.
Nothing says summer like sunflowers, am I right? Now while these flowers don’t bloom until late July I had to include Buttonwood Farm on our flower farms list, because of how they give back to the community! Not only do they open their gorgeous 14-acres of sunflower fields up to the public, but they also donate 100% of proceeds from their sunflower sales to Make-A-Wish foundation. I mean, it’s a win-win for everyone and I highly suggested stopping for some of their homemade ice cream after your sunflower photo op.
Oh, and don’t forget to plan the perfect outfit for these photogenic farms while you’re at it. When I heard I was going to Charleston in the spring I knew there would be flowers on flowers, which meant I needed to invest in more gingham. Nothing says flower farm attire quite like a Dorothy inspired large gingham print. I’ve been trying to include more green hues in my closet, so I instantly purchased this wrap silhouette gingham print, mini dress when it popped up on my feed.
I mean, it’s perfect, right? Just imagine the green in a crisp purple field of lavender…Instagram worthy, to say the least. Anyway, I’d love to hear from you guys! Are there any flower farms I missed? If so leave the name and location of them below.
Now by nature I’m a very much ‘on the grid’ person. I need to micromanage everyone on the TCC Team, just ask Tessa and Cecilia, and I’m constantly checking up, checking in, and checking on progress. Which now I realize was a huge waste of my time, but I’m the type of person that sends to-do texts to them at 12AM, who nitpicks every part of our site and overbooks myself to the point of overwhelming myself. I mean, I leave voice memos of things to get done and have five different to-do lists going at once on my phone (to-do Cecilia, to-do Youtube, to-do digital, to-do blog, to-do home). It’s funny because I’m good at managing other people’s time but by doing so was wasting an enormous amount of my time. Anyway, I decided I needed to disappear more, falling off the grid and just taking a day off.
I’ve needed a day off more than I’d like to admit lately, and recently I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me step back and fall off the grid. I’m a Gemini, which means one day I’m type A and need to manage everything myself, and the next day I’m totally chill and delegating to my fullest. But if I’m being honest with myself as we head into the busy season of blogging, I’ve decided that I need a balance of being on and off the grid, for the sake of the TCC Crew and my sanity. I wanted to share the tricks I’ve learned and implemented with you all in this post, in hopes of inspiring some of you to fall off the grid with me.
Do you guys watch Park and Recreation? If so you might remember the episode where Ron hires Tom and Donna to get him ‘completely off the grid’ well that’s how I felt last month. If you haven’t seen the episode stop what you are doing now and watch it, it is actually one of my favorites. Anyway, while I don’t have a Tom and Donna to help me, I did implement these three tricks, to help separate myself from the craziness of the job and the demandingness of the blogging business.
#1 Deleting My Email App From My Phone: This trick has worked wonders but was really hard for me to pull the trigger on. One of my favorite parts of the job is getting emails, it’s like getting a letter in the mail. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a bill or a thank you card, I loved seeing my phone light up at all hours of the day with emails. I loved it so much, I would stop what I was doing right in my tracks to check and respond to all emails. I mean, I was a soooo effective at answering emails but ended up getting nothing else done. I was always pulling late nights due to not having my blog posts done or photos edited. Hi, I’m Aubrey and I’m addicted to my email inbox, NO JOKE. So I did something crazy, deleted my work email from my phone, ahhh. It hurt a little bit but was huge for my work flow. I have three dedicated email times, 9 AM, 2 PM and 8 PM. These are the only times I’ll pull up my Gmail account and if something is urgent, the TCC Crew knows to send me a text. Not only has this helped me fall off the grid, but it’s also helped me cut down my working hours behind a computer from 9 hours a day to about 4.5 hours a day. To sum it up: Call me, beep me, if you want to reach me!
#2 Top Seven To-Do List: If you’ve read the book, The One Thing, than you already know where I’m headed with this. In the book the author instructs readers to create daily to-do list with no more than seven things to accomplish in a day; AND at the top of the list you should label your ONE THING! That is the one thing you MUST complete in the day before turning off, but just because it is at the top of your list, doesn’t necessarily have to be the first thing you do when you wake up.
Basically, the idea here is that you should save your ONE THING for when you’re ‘feeling it’, does that make sense? Stay with me here, it’s kind of like going to the gym, some people can wake up and instantly go to the gym and run four miles; but some people no matter how much coffee you give them can’t get into a morning workout…aka me. So instead of trying to fit a triangle into a square, schedule your to do list in order of your mojo. I for instance, write my blog posts in the morning because it’s the hardest thing for me to get off my to-do list, writing doesn’t come easy to me and I’m always procrastinating, so I get this mundane task off the list first when I’m calm and save my ONE THING for night-time when I’m most alert, active, and FEELING IT.
By compressing down my to-do list to just seven things and reorganizing how I complete them by my mood, has really helped me to getting my work done within an eight hour work day and stepping off the grid. Again, this process has helped me stay ahead of the game, which frees up more time for myself and leaves me feeling more accomplished at the end of the day, knowing that I’ve completed what I must for the success of the TCC brand.
#3 In The Words of Arron Burr ‘Talk Less, Smile More’: I mean, guys sometimes it is just not worth going down the rabbit hole. My job is a very public one and you wouldn’t believe some of the emails, text messages and DM’s I get; I mean people can be odd. I went into blogging with the principle that I would respond to ALL READERS messages, but honestly feeding into such negativity from ingenuine readers is such a waste of time. It’s funny how quickly I’ll want to respond to the rude comments, to the text messages from acquaintances who are constantly letting me down or just defending myself and my content to complete strangers.
I mean responding to those messages instead of responding and spending time with loved ones is silly, even if it means not everyone gets a response. This year I’ve gotten really good at talking less, and just smiling more. If you have an issue with a picture, with my content or just aren’t being genuine then, it’s not worth working the extra hours of planning a politically correct, nice, and kind rebuttal in order to please unappeasable people. I would say by talking and engaging less with negative comments has cut down the time I spend on social media platforms, but has also provided me with more time to talk to you guys, the actual readers of this blog. Win, Win! Now apply this to your life, so if you have a friend that’s never happy with you or someone on social media that irks you every time they post, just delete them straight out of your life, like Arron Burr Sir.
By using the above three tricks to getting off the grid, I’ve been able to scale back on the hours spent behind my computer and my phone, and has allowed me to spend time where I actually want to be…the beach. Getting outside and taking in New England’s beaches is by far my favorite thing to do in spring and summer. Flash back to last week when my Mom and I were visiting Charleston, we finished our content shoot day early and decided to celebrate by making a quick stop to Sullivan’s beach. I was so excited to pull out my new Lilly Pulitzer arrivals and just breath in that crisp sea air. I wore this blue and white, Lilly Pulitzer off the shoulder dress, and watched as the lighthouse turned on its light for the ships at sea. Even better we actually saw some dolphins, it was the perfect end to a busy workday.
If I of all people, can make time to get off the grid, detach from emails, detach from busy work and detach from time-consuming people than you can too! Anyway I’d love to hear from you guys, do you have any tips for getting off the grid? If so let me know below.
Hey guys and happy Friday, this post was highly requested over on my Instagram, so I hope you like it! I feel like a broken record saying this, but Charleston was truly one of the prettiest places I’ve visited so far. Whether you’re renting a bike and strolling down the battery or walking through the colonial streets of residential downtown; it is hard to ignore Charleston’s deep historical roots. Almost all the buildings downtown were historic in some way and getting to see the colonial city first hand was extraordinary.
If you’re a fan of Boston then I really think you would like Charleston, SC. I do however know all too well how hard it can be planning a trip, so today I’m sharing my Charleston Itinerary for spring break with you all. I hope this makes planning your next trip to this city less stressful, while inspiring you to visit sooner than later. So let’s get to it.
I mean, where to start! The food in Charleston was nowhere near what I had anticipated. I was mentally preparing myself and my stomach, for some heavy southern dishes similar to Texas’ style, but was surprised how light and seafood based a lot of the restaurants’ menus were. I did get my fair share of fried chicken, but was delighted with the amount of fresh salmon, shrimp and scallops local restaurants had to offer. Here are the restaurants I would recommend checking out:
+ Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits– I would highly recommend visiting this store for breakfast, not only are the biscuits divine but the iced coffee is superb.
+ Poogan’s Porch: I think this was actually my favorite restaurant in all of Charleston! My Mom got the scallops and I had the seared salmon. Oh, My, God, guys it was so good. This is the perfect place to eat if you’re headed out on a romantic date night or in need of celebrating an occasion.
+ Black Tap Coffee:Three words: Iced Lavender Lattes! I’m a huge latte fan and the kind barista insisted I get a little edgy with my order and add a pump of lavender, and it’s always hard to say no to new things while on vacation, so I went for it. Now I’m addicted to lavender lattes and Matt can thank this coffee shop for my newest coffee addiction.
+ The Darling Oyster Bar:I mean, sometimes you just need a hot buttery lobster roll after a long day of being a tourist. I was really dying for a lobster roll since the seafood in Dallas isn’t that great, and instantly fell in love with the aesthetic of this quaint oyster bar, the moment I walked through the doors. The delicious lobster roll was just an added bonus.
+ Vintage Coffee & Cafe: My Mom and I stumbled upon this cute breakfast joint on the way back from watching the sunrise on Sullivan’s beach. It was just about 8 AM in the morning and I was in need of some food before the hangry set in, so we quickly decided on this place. I was in heaven the moment I stepped through the door, now while their indoor seating is extremely limited their acai bowls are 100% worth trying to find a seat. I mean, if it wasn’t raining I would have gladly eaten outside on their gigantic outdoor patio area.
While visiting we actually stayed at two hotels, as our trip got extended a day due to weather conflicts and we needed to find a room. Below I’ve broken down the two hotels and my thoughts:
+ King Charles Inn: Loved this hotel, we were in a really convenient location and the accommodations were superb. This hotel is golden if you’re traveling to Charleston with a car, as they are one of the few hotels with guest parking downtown.
+ Elliot House Inn: This hotel was in a great location too, right next to Poogan’s Porch in fact, however it was a tad noisey due to late night restauranteurs chit chatting outside while waiting for a table. All and all this hotel was quaint and a more affordable avenue for staying downtown! Not to mention the team is so insightful, they really helped us get our money’s worth when it came to having coupons on hand for almost all touristy activities.
We ended up spending about four days in Charleston but honestly I could have spent over a week! There is just so much to learn, see and take in; but when push comes to shove here are the activities I would suggest hitting first and foremost:
+ Antiquing on King Street: King Street aka the 5th Ave of Charleston is the place to go shopping while in Charleston, from high end designers to historical antiques this cobblestoned street has it all. I would recommend grabbing a coffee from Black Tap Coffee and just walking the entire street, from start to finish. There are so many little mom and pop stores worth taking in.
+ Day Trip To Sullivan’s Island: I never take a beach for granted especially when we’re talking about spring break. Anyway on the second day of visiting Charleston my mom and I took a $10.00 Uber to Sullivan’s Island to walk the beach, take photos and see the sunrise. It was the perfect way to start our trip and I’d highly recommend taking the drive over.
+ Ghost Tours: I mean, I hate scary things but after taking a historical tour of the city, I would say a ghost tour is necessary. Charleston has an interesting back story, from pirates to torture prisons and taking a ghost tour at night is the perfect way to tour the city at nightfall without dealing with the hot Charleston sun.
+ Rainbow Row: I mean, how could you not visit Rainbow Row!
& as Bugs Bunny says, that’s all folks. I hope this guide is helpful in some way, shape or form. Make sure to leave a comment below sharing any additional places you would recommend and have a wonderful weekend.
I think we can all agree that the weather this year has been a rollercoaster ride. From an unusually mild winter to three Nor’easters in March, I think it’s safe to say we could all use a little warm weather in our lives. The other weekend my Mom and I decided to take a last minute flight to Charleston, in order to escape the snow for a quick weekend trip. Three nights and four days is actually the perfect amount of time, to really see a city and decide whether you’d like to revisit for a longer time period, or check it off the bucket list. Recently I’ve been all about these quick weekend trips, you might remember Matt and I’s weekend trip to San Francisco in this blog post. Anyway, I figured some of you might be getting ready for spring break, and maybe you already have plans but if you don’t here are five places to fly direct from Logan Airport this spring.
From the moss draped oak trees to the historical homes and cobblestoned streets; Savannah GA is on the top of my list for places to visit this spring for photos and fun. I’m really into visiting historical cities, like Boston, and after visiting Charleston this past weekend I think it’s about time to explore more of the southern states and the history they have to offer. Oh and not to mention you can hop on a direct flight out of Logan on Jet Blue and arrive in Savannah in less than three hours!
I’ve never been to Palm Beach but if you follow Lilly Pulitzer on Instagram then you might be very familiar with the area! In 1959, the Lilly Pulitzer brand we all love and sport, was launched with a focus on bright shift dresses. I mean, I love how the Lilly brand has stayed true to their shift dress and colorful patterned roots. Now Lilly Pulitzer was just in Palm Springs with some of my favorite bloggers and it just looked so idyllic for a quick weekend trip. It even inspired me to grab this blue and white top, featured in today’s blog post images.
Right now you can take a non-stop flight from Logan Airport to San Diego for under $300, isn’t that crazy? Anyway as most of you know, I went to college in San Diego and I’m always eager to go back and visit any chance I get. I specifically love visiting in the spring and early summer, in order to avoid the overly crowded beaches. Make sure to read my San Diego travel guide, here, before booking a trip!
I’ve just started to share my Charleston content with you all on the blog, and if you saw the images I shared in Friday posts, then I’m sure you’re already planning your trip. Charleston is by far the most photogenic city I’ve ever visited and that’s not even the best part. By far the best part of visiting Charleston is how walkable and safe the city is. I mean you could easily walk to any restaurant downtown with no need for a cab, and if you want to visit the beach or a plantation it’s all a quick Uber drive away. Overall this city is really affordable and durable to travel alone or on a tight budget.
Two years ago, I drove my car out to Dallas to move in with Matt. My family and I decided to use Nashville as a breaking point. Since the drive to Nashville was so long we decided we would spend a weekend in the city before heading out to drive another 12 hours to reach Dallas. I mean, I can’t believe it’s been two years already but I honestly can remember this city like the back of my hand. From visiting Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James flagship store to seeing Raelynn sing at the Grand Ole Opry, the city stole my heart. There is so much to see, do and eat that I’m sure you guys would love it. Oh, and the flight is under three hours, so it’s a quick shot.
Okay, now that you’re all inspired to make the most of your spring break, let’s talk about this outfit! Now that spring is around the corner, I’m starting to place my dark colored jeans and sweaters into bins labeled winter and refresh my current closet with some new arrivals. That’s where this Lilly Pulitzer blue and white shirt comes in. When I first saw this shirt online I was unsure how it would fit on me, but I must say this is by far one of the most flattering shirts, I’ve EVER owned.
And if you don’t want to take my word for it, take my two younger sister’s words for it, as this shirt as I’ve picked it out of my sisters’ dressers on several occasions. Anyway, the blue and white pattern is really what prompted me to showcase this shirt for you all as I think it would just be perfect for a future New England beach trip I have planned. Now, check out the shirt for yourself here!
That’s all I have for you guys, but I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below. Do you have any places you fly direct to for a steal? If so let me know where your flying from and to in the comment section below.
Our trip to Charleston, last week, ended up getting extended by almost two days due to a freak Nor’easter which I gladly appreciated. I mean, by no means is Charleston a bad place to get stuck during a storm. With all this free time on our hands after two days of endless shooting, we quickly decided to take the extra days and make the most of it! We had already covered the entire downtown area of Charleston, so we used this opportunity to explore historical sites outside of the city. We woke up early, found a delicious breakfast joint and caffeinated up before taking a 20 minute Uber ride to Boone Hall Plantation.
First and foremost, if you haven’t watched our Charleston Vlog yet, do so here! In the video I take you guys all along for the tour of this historic plantation and even antique shopping at the end, I promise it is good. Oh, and don’t forget to subsribe to our Youtube channel, we publish new videos every Wednesday. Okay, now back to the tour…we arrived at the plantation wicked early, we did this primarily to make the most of our day and to insure we wouldn’t have too many wandering tourists in the back of our photo shots. All and all we spent almost four hours on this plantation taking in all the history and snappingg a few pictures of these historic oak trees draped with moss.
The Boone Hall Plantation was the first plantation I’d ever been to and it was honestly, much different than what I had pictured in my mind. I originally thought it would be more grandiose, like the Newport Mansions, but really the Boone’s home was modest in size and interior detail. The true showstopper of the tour was not the home but rather the plantation grounds. With over 738 acres, from fields of seasonal crops to naturally preserved wetlands, creeks and ponds; it was marvelous getting to see one of America’s oldest running plantations at work. Actually when we were visiting it was the first day of peach picking, and it was fun to drive by the families with their baskets of peaches freshly picked from the trees.
Now, if you’re a fan of the movie The Notebook, then you’ve seen this home before, as it was actually the location of Allie’s summer home or you might recognize this homes’ most notable natural feature, The Avenue of Oaks. I mean, this was one of the reasons I decided we tour this plantation over the others, was that I was really dying to see the sophisticated Avenue of Oaks, which was originally planted in 1743, crazy right!? Around eighty-eight oak trees run about three fourths of a mile from the entrance of the plantation to the front gate of the Boone’s Home. The dramatic grounds leading you towards the plantation home was suppose to symbolize both southern heritage and wealth at the time, and boy was it beautiful. Fun fact though, it took about over two centuries for the massive oak trees’ branches, which are draped in moss, to meet overhead; finally forming the shaded overhead Major John Boone envisioned.
The weather on this day was being typical transitional weather with a high of 75, but with crazy wind making us feel like it was closer to 58 degrees when in the shade. This time of year is always tricky when it comes to picking out what you should wear. Before heading on this trip, I did anticipate a few colder days so I did fortunately pack this pair of polka dot straight legged pants. I usually avoid all things polyester, but I felt like this was the perfect piece for anyone’s transitional wear closet, whether you pair them with just a white tee or a tee and a jacket; these pants feel like spring no matter the actual temperature. Oh, and the pants are now on sale…so I think we all need a pair.
Anyway, I hope this post inspires you to visit Charleston and I’d love to hear from you guys about which historic city has the best homes to tour. Right now, I think it’s Newport, RI but I’d love to hear where you’ve all been below.
From New England to the hilltops of San Francisco, Victorian homes are plentiful, but no one seems to preserve and obsess over them as well as the San Francisco community. I mean, no offense but the Victorian homes in New England often give me the Alfred Hitchcock vibes and I usually steer away from them entirely come open houses. Yet there is something so charming and surprisingly warm about the way San Franciscans paint and renovate these quirky 19th-century homes. Which got me thinking, why are Victorian homes such a to do in San Francisco, as they literally line the streets as far as the eye can see.
So I dug out my laptop and started to do some research, for those of you whom might not know, Victorian architecture was named after Queen Victoria of England due to its popularity during her reign. Oh, and if you have no idea what I’m talking about the style is really easy to pick out, because of its ornate milling, asymmetrical porches, and high pitched roofs. Personally, I love a more subtle look, so most Victorians as a whole are just too ornate for my liking, but I really loved how San Franciscans used warmly toned paints to tone down the dramatic effect. They keep their Victorian homes painted with light pastels or even a sharp white, versus a lot of the darker or deep gray painted Victorians in New England. After digging deeper into the Victorian home history rabbit hole, I read that New Englanders often go with a deep gray due to its historical accuracy for the time. In fact, a lot of Victorians homes were originally painted gun gray, as painters were using war-surplus navy paint. Interesting right!?
It made sense to me that New Englanders would focus more heavily on maintaining and preserving the history of the homes, while San Franciscans would focus on making the homes standout by capturing city goers attention with bright colors and details. In 1978 the term Painted Ladies was actually created by an American architectural book, which referred to ‘Painted Ladies’ as any Victorian styled home painted in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. This architectural book author noticed that multi-colored Victorians were a popular style for the colorful era of the seventies in San Francisco and created the famous term Painted Ladies to describe this ever growing trend. I mean leave it to the seventies to make multi-colored exterior painting a thing, but I feel like Victorian homes can pull it off. All and all, these beautiful homes are still a sight to see today, and really do add to the character of the city.
After visiting San Francisco and digging into its architectural history, I really do have a greater appreciation for Victorian Homes as a whole. I would love to hear from you guys; have any of you lived in one of these 18th-century beauties? I hear they are a lot of work to keep up with but well worth it. Anyway, I find myself looking at homes more and more these days as Matt and I prepare for our move back to New England. Whether we choose to rent or buy, I think we are done with apartment living and I can’t wait to see what this year brings our way.
What a month guys. If this month has taught me anything it’s that sometimes you just need to be humble and ASK FOR HELP. I’m not always keen on asking others for help, because I reallllly hate imposing on others, but this month has slapped me in the face and taught me in the most transparent way possible, that when obstacles start to pile up it’s OKAY to reach out for help from a friend, coworker or family member. I learned that sharing my burdens with others, not only helped me process the hectic events happening around me but it also gave me perspective while bringing us closer as we maneuvered the ups and downs together, as a team. All and all this month really put me in my place and showed me that sharing your burdens with those around you can be just as important as celebrating the success. Oh, and it also taught me that when stuff starts to hit the fan these are the moments you’ll look back on and just die from laughter. Anway, let’s jump right into this month.
Let me quickly recap with you guys, some of these obstacles that Matt and I had to overcome in the past month. They include but are not limited too: a flooded apartment, a car accident, our luggage and camera equipment getting stolen during our first day in SF, my phone and computer dying on the same day (oy), and finally our San Francisco photographer’s hard drive breaking…resulting in us losing basically ALL the images from San Francisco entirely. I mean, it was a lonnggggg month. Let me start by saying I’m thankful that none of these issues are life threating and I’m so grateful that we can easily replace most of these objects, but it was still hard dealing with one incident after another after another.
To be transparent with you all, I had to step away from the blog and my social media for a bit and you may have noticed that last week. I always want my social media content to be uplifting, and I felt that the best thing for me to do at that moment, was to take a step back and breath. I was really crispy when I found out that all the images we worked SO HARD to shoot in San Francisco, seven blog posts to be exact, were completely gone. It basically felt like I couldn’t catch a break and I was exhausted; leaving me in a humbling situation that resulted in me having to reach out for help. I needed financial help from my parents to help maneuver some costs, I needed moral support from my friend Jennifer to help me continue on with my trip to SF when so much nonsense was clouding my mind, and finally, I needed help with TCC work which made me grateful for each member of my crew: Tessa, our videographer and photographer, Cecelia, our operations manager, and Matt! Without these people, I would have never been able to continue on and recover and reshoot an entire vlog in one day. I mean, not to brag but my TCC Crew is what dreams are made of right now, and I can’t wait to share more of their talents with you all in the future.
Okay, so now it’s time to hear from you! Have you struggled to the point where asking for help was the only option? What was it like stepping out of your comfort zone and asking for help? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and I hope you guys enjoy our vlog! It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here, so enjoy. xx.
I always feel like Friday nights are meant to be spent downtown, does anyone else agree? When Matt and I first got notified that we’d be living in Dallas for two years, we knew the best part of living outside a city, would be having the chance to experience a youthful city nightlife. Both Matt and I love keeping ourselves busy so we felt this two-year adventure would leave us with lots of different neighborhoods to discover and coffee shops to explore.
I’ll admit Dallas wasn’t exactly what I pictured when I first visited. I thought the city would be more on the historical end, like a Boston or Charleston, filled with old homes and charming streets; but in all honestly, Dallas is a classic metropolitan city. Between massive highways and building cranes filling the skyline, you can tell this city is in the mists of a huge growth spurt, making Matt and I, very grateful that we get to experience a city that welcomes new businesses with open arms and land to build on. This growing metropolitan area has provided Matt and I, with an ever growing amount of restaurants, coffee shops and dessert joints to choose from, making our trips downtown that much more fun.
I guess the hardest part about living in such a growing city is keeping up with all the different districts and what they have to offer. If you’re new to Dallas or just visiting for the weekend you might feel overwhelmed, I know I did, so I wanted to share some of my favorite districts with you all and what they have to offer:
+ Downtown District: I visit Downtown not nearly enough, but when I do I like to take in the museum and events the city has to offer. I often find myself visiting The Sixth Floor Museum, which showcases the life, death, and legacy of President JFK, with family members visiting the city for the first time; or I’ll find myself at the American Airlines Center watching the Dallas Stars shred up the ice. Hockey has always been one of Matt and I’s, favorite sports to watch, so having an NHL team so close to where we live has truly been a blessing. Also located downtown is Neiman Marcus Headquarters and original store.
+ Deep Elm District: This district is by far my favorite place to visit if I’m headed out for the night or in need of some good old fashion comfort food. From Pecan Lodge’s BBQ to Tex-Mex, Deep Elm has you covered, but don’t rush out of this district after dinner, stay around an explore the insane nightlife and bars Deep Elm has to offer. I mean they even have a dueling piano bar and thriving street art; all and all this district is by far the hippest in town and reminds me of a mini-Austin.
+ Bishop Arts District: I feel most at home here, to be frank, with over 60 independent boutiques, restaurants, bars and coffee shops, this district is the perfect place to stroll around with a latte in hand and just get outside. I often head to this district to visit Society, a local high-quality candle shop. They specifically have a collection dedicated to the scents of Texas, and I plan on stocking up on hundreds of candles before moving back to New England with Matt.
+ Uptown District: With high-end fashion stores, electric bars and a bumping restaurant scene; the Uptown District would be the place I’d most likely buy an apartment in if I wanted to live within the Dallas metropolitan city area. Being the country mouse that I am, Matt and I decided on an apartment just outside of Dallas but I could easily see myself moving to Uptown. I mean they have a Soul Cycle, guys!
It’s all a little overwhelming, isn’t it? I still can’t believe Matt and I have been in Dallas for almost two whole years, I don’t know where the time has gone and it makes me a little sad that I haven’t spent more time here. I still feel like we haven’t done or seen enough but each weekend Matt and I make it a point to revisit the districts and see what new businesses have opened and what has changed since our last visit.
Okay, so now I’d love to hear from you guys! Have you been to Dallas? If so which district is your favorite? Did I miss any I need to include? Let Matt and I know below, we are still taking suggestions even though we’ve lived here two years, oh well and happy Friday.
2018 is our year of travel and I know I’ve probably already stated that about fifteen times, but Matt and I are sooooo excited to travel as much as possible this year and to bring you all along. As some of you might know, Matt was assigned to work as an account manager in a Dallas office for two years, and with only six months left, we are really trying to cram in as many experiences as possible, before settling down back in New England.
We kicked off our year of travel first with Central Connecticut, then Vermont and now Dallas. For the next two weeks, our crew will share posts pertaining to our favorite areas, neighborhoods, and restaurants that Dallas has to offer. Before we jump right into traveling guides and itineraries, I’m going to share one of my favorite travel tips with you all, how to feel a part of a city, while being a tourist.
I actually learned this trick through experience, when I was studying abroad in Florence. When you’re traveling it is so easy to feel lost or lonely, especially if you are traveling alone or for a long duration of time. I found that having a routine or a spot, that you can go to, to plan your day or finish off some emails each morning really made me feel more settled while traveling. To be honest, I’m by no means a world-traveler, in fact, I would much rather prefer to stay at home, but having this small morning ritual of; waking up, getting dressed, putting on my walking shoes and walking over to a local coffee shop or bakery; was a great way feel a part of whatever city I am in.
I kid you not, having a routine and getting outside of your hotel room in the morning and into a local spot, is the key to feeling a sense of belonging and community. First off it’s a great way to see what that culture treats themselves to for breakfast (yummm) and secondly, coffee shops are aesthetically set-up to bring people together in a collaborative environment. Whether you’re traveling alone and want to meet new friends or traveling with a friend and just want to hear the local gossip, coffee shops are a great way to feel out the local scene.
So the other morning Matt and I woke up and decided to explore a district of Dallas we had never visited prior. It was a beautiful day in Dallas, almost 70 degrees in January! And when we opened our car doors to the Knox-Henderson district, we could feel the energy and excitement this winter-heatwave had brought upon shoppers and locals. The streets were bustling and after passing about two coffee shops Matt and I decided on the Village Baking Co. Boulangerie. This shop was filled to the brim with a large variety of specialty baked goods and pastries to choose from, it was honestly hard to decide on what to purchase. So hard in fact that I ordered one breakfast croissant and two desserts, oops.
Matt and I spent almost an hour and a half in the coffee shop talking to the bakers behind the counter and hearing the lengths they take to create such beautiful baked goods. Of course, Matt had to interrogate them about their espresso machine after he asked for an iced coffee and watched them make an Americano, his mind was actually blown. After we were both caffeinated and on a sugar high we departed the Baking Co. and headed outside to enjoy the fresh air and shops the district had to offer.
Again, I left the district feeling like I had a chance to feel it out. Maybe I’m odd, but I love figuring out what makes certain city districts unique and how they draw specific types of people in. Maybe that’s just the marketing major in me or maybe I spend too many hours reading books on Facebook Ad Targeting, but seeing how restaurants, coffee shops, and people can transform a small area into a ‘district’ with almost a life of its own, still amazes me to this day.
Overall the Knox-Henderson district was thriving with a bustling restaurant scene and some amazing storefronts, I was grateful Matt and I had taken the time to get to know a new part of Dallas, well at least a new part for us. We can’t wait to bring you along with us next week for a few more of our favorite districts of Dallas, and until then I’d love to hear how you guys embrace community as a tourist. Leave a comment below, with any tips or ticks and have a great weekend.