Archive of ‘travel’ category

Work Trip – St. Augustine

After my super quick mini-vacay to St. Mark’s last weekend, I headed straight for St. Augustine for the Florida Public Relations Association’s annual conference. Between program speakers, networking, tweeting, eavesdropping on seasoned pros, working while I could and squeezing in as much sight-seeing of America’s oldest city as we could in our downtime, I’m so happy to be home! Even if it means unpacking one extra large suitcase only to repack once again. But more on that later. For now, here’s my whirlwind work trip complete with fun fashion and my amazing FPRA divas!

 

 

 

 

casual chic: boots + leggings

I’ve only been in Chicago for a few short days and already I’ve noticed a few things.
1. It gets really cold here. Shocker, I know!
2. The wind blows a lot. Hello, Windy CIty!
3. Black leggings and boots are the most spotted fashion combo (usually topped with a sleek jacket or layers of warm knits).
It’s not only a practical look, but it can also be chic. I LOVE this style. This is great for running errands, weekend shopping, traveling and more. Comfortable leggings, stylish cognac boots and practically any long top works from a button-up to a cardigan to a jacket to a sweater or a long tee. Just add a scarf and sunnies and you’re ready to go! Here are a few ideas on how to put it together.

 Images from herehere, herehereherehere, and here.

Hello, Nashvegas!

And… I’m off!  I’m en route to Music City for less than a handful of days to meet with a few journalists and bloggers on behalf of South Walton. Sure it’s work, but it’s also a mini-escape. These days I don’t have much time for moments on my own outside of the midnight to five AM window. I’m not Superwoman or Supermom or any other person with extraordinary powers. I’m just trying to figure it all out and get as much done before I crash face-first into my comfy bed each night.

via Twitter, @NashvilleGulch

Here are a few things I’m looking forward to when I’m not working:

1. Trying as many of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recommendations from here and here as I can. She lived in the Gulch area (pictured above) while she was filming Country Strong and lists places like Whiskey Kitchen, City House, Frothy Monkey,  and Imogene + Willie as must-visit Nashville stops.

2. Enjoying real fall weather that involves a jacket, boots and piles of multicolor orange and yellow leaves.

3. Squeezing in as much shopping as I can, naturally! I have Emmaline, H. Audrey, Haven and almost anything in the Green Hills shopping area on my list of places to browse. There is even a newly opened Tory Burch store!

4. Last but not least, catching up with friends. I have plans to meet up with my friends Michelle and Logan while I’m in town and I can’t wait!

Not sure how much time I’ll have to see these sights, but I”m going to try my hardest. Let me know if I’ve missed anything major. Hope all of you lovelies have a wonderful week. Adios for now!

atlanta and company

Wow, it’s been a busy month and it’s only half way over! Work has been crazy, trying to settle in to our new house has been time-consuming and on top of that, I’ve even been traveling for work. Though I wouldn’t normally be the one to go out and about in our major markets chatting with media, I’ve pitched in lately and handled several appointments in Atlanta over the last few days. It was so fun, but so exhausting. Leaving Sunday and coming home late Tuesday night has been a little rough — it’s the longest I’ve been away from Emery. Ever. I missed my sweet girl so much, but it was also relaxing to get away, even if it was for work. You know me, so you know I squeezed in a little shopping time whenever I could. I was in the South’s largest city, after all.

After a fun afternoon of splishing and splashing with these sweet cheeks on display, my little Emery was down for the count and I was kissing her nose and hitting the road. I spent the last few days in Atlanta for a South Walton media mission, to catch up and chat with journalists about what’s new at the beach. Let me tell you, there is a wagon full of fresh happenings, including a fun photo contest and exciting giveaway on Facebook for those of you who want to Find Your Perfect Beach

Go ahead and enter. If I could name you all winners I would, but I have nothing to do with the selection and can only cheer and wish good luck from the side lines.

Meanwhile, enjoy a melange of photos from my trip.

Alabama country roads. I saw way too much of this view.

Pit stop in Auburn, AL. Home of the Auburn Tigers and two of my high school years. Ahh, memories!

The famous tree at Toomer’s Corner, recovering from a nasty poisoning by an Alabama fan. Doesn’t it seem sad?

Finally arrived in Atlanta after what seemed like hours of Alabama countryside. My friends Mara and Elizabeth at 92.9 Dave FM recommended I go straight to the new Anthropologie in the Howell Mill Road area. Guess what? I did. It was cool and awesome and did not disappoint.

Bought a few of these for a future project. 

Love this Anthro stool!

 
Such a cute area that seemed to be recently revitalized. I loved the leftover industrial elements juxtaposed with shiny new shops and lovely signs. 

Stopped at this cool Yeah! Burger after a Foursquare search with tons of great reviews. I loved the wallpaper detail.

I went for the grass-fed beef with extra avocado and gluten-free fries. Yum yum yum!

Hello from the hotel elevator! 
Desperately needed this after a day of traveling and speed-shopping!
ATL
Loving this little jute media swag bag we’re using these days, complete with flip flops, of course. 

Did I mention I love the Dave FM peeps? Stopped by to visit Mara and Elizabeth and talk hummus.

Lunch at Highland Bakery. I wanted it all.

Can you tell it’s already been a long day, even before noon? 
So far, it probably doesn’t look like I did much work, but trust me, there were lots of media appointments crammed in along with navigating the Atlanta traffic and gabbing about South Walton. By 5 o’clock, I had just enough time to run in Lenox Square before dinner.
I would love to one day commit to a red sofa. That day is just not today.
Love this J. Crew ensemble.
I was so excited to meet my best friend Shannon at Eclipse di Luna and it was icing on the cake that we were dining on a special ladies night – $15 for all-you-can-eat small plates. It was appetizer heaven.

Here is proof that we stuffed ourselves with fourteen, yes FOURTEEN different small plates.

We sipped wine and sampled dishes for hours. The great thing about best friends is that no matter how long it’s been since you last saw each other or what has happened in your life, you can pick up right where you left off, just like you never left. It was glorious. Love you, Shan!

We had to snap a pic of the crescent as a throwback to our old Gamma Phi days at FSU.
One of our final meetings was with Atlanta & Company for an on-air interview about South Walton and the contest. 

It was such a cool experience and our sweet host was so lovely. She was fabulous and professional and had perfect eye makeup. 

weekend getaway to atl

With only a few weeks left til Emery is scheduled to arrive, Hunter planned a little weekend away in Atlanta for some much-needed rest, relaxation and shopping. What a good hubby he is! The weekend was just what I needed.
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There’s something about oversized hotel pillows and puffy down comforters that make for two very good nights of sleep. I’ve only recently started tossing and turning all night trying to find a comfortable position instead of sleeping, well… like a baby. This big bed defintiely helped. Sweet Dreams!
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We ate way too much good food…
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…especially this Krispy Kreme bread pudding at Dantanna’s…
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…and the DoubleTree’s famous chocolate chip and walnut cookies…
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We did a lot of my kind of shopping, hitting almost every store in the mall, including my favorites like J. Crew, Anthropologie, Michael Kors, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Madewell… The list goes on.
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We checked out nursery gliders at Pottery Barn Kids, lots of stuff we didn’t need at Crate and Barrel…
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… found a dress for Emery…
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… and even squeezed in some Hunter-style shopping, too.
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The stuff in that place is totally foreign to me. I’m sure he felt the same way about the shoe department at Bloomingdale’s.
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We took the growing bump out to the Atlanta Hawks game that night…
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… saw that familiar Chik-fil-a cow…
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…cut off Hunter’s head in the self-portrait as usual…
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…watched a great game down to a buzzer-beater shot that gave Charlotte the win…
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…and saw my bestest buddy Shannon for brunch. I love her! We had a great time catching up with her and Doug at Carpe Diem, then hit the road back to our home sweet home. Photobucket
I really loved this weekend. My Hunter is so thoughtful and sweet. I just love him. I can’t help but think that we won’t have many chances for weekends like these for a long, long time. Knowing we’re in the final weeks as a family of two makes a weekend like this one that much sweeter.

Honeymooning

St. Lucia was fabulous!! It was wonderfully relaxing and romantic. The beach was pretty and the people were all so nice. For the most part, we were just bums, going from the beach to the pool to the bar to eat and to sleep. It was great. The only picture I didn’t get was of my favorite frozen drink while we were there — the Bob Marley! The song “One Love” was like a constant soundtrack everywhere we went. I miss those days already!
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Rodney Bay…
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Before our private dinner…
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Chik-fil-a Day

My sister Jennifer and I spent the better part of the weekend in Atlanta after we went to a ceremony for her hubby Mike at Chik-fil-a’s corporate headquarters on Friday. He just finished a six-week training program and we celebrated his moving up the ranks. Congrats Mikey! He is officially a store operator now! It was so cool to see the corporate side of a fast food place, especially with the mini-museum and tour of the offices. There were even a ton of cars in the lobby from the founder Truett Cathy’s personal collection, including a Batmobile. Doesn’t everyone have one of those parked in the driveway?
Tim Tassopoulous, the Senior Vice President of Operations addressed the group with a nice speech about leadership and setting an example, then it was on to lunch! We had a tasty meal with Chicken Cordon Bleu and even got to sample the new Spicy Chicken that will be coming out soon. Get ready for a very spicy sandwich!

Afterwards, Jennifer and I shopped til we dropped around Ikea, Lenox Square Mall and Perimeter Mall. I found a mirror I loved but didn’t have room in the car for it. Maybe next time… I settled for a few other purchases and we finished off the trip with a slice of rich red velvet at the Cheesecake Factory. It was to die for.

It’s probably better that cheesecake this good is 5 hours away. If not, I’m pretty sure I’d be in big trouble.

S’MAC

Anyone who knows me knows I am domestically uninclined in almost every way. I prefer to focus my energy on other areas, that’s all. My skill level in the kitchen is pretty close to the bottom, so I can really appreciate simple classics like the always-tasty dish mac n cheese. When Jennifer and I were in New York for my birthday we went to the best place serving only macaroni and cheese: S’MAC in the East Village.

It was amazing. I mean mouth-watering amazing. You choose your cheese, meat, veggies or whatever toppings you want, then it is served in your own personal iron skillet. There are a few different sizes but we each went for one of the mediums since we were starving. I picked grilled chicken, broccoli and cheddar cheese while Jennifer went for a hamburger/cheddar combo. She said after she ordered she was afraid it would be some version of Hamburger Helper, but it turned out to be really, really good. We couldn’t quite finish our skillets, but ever since we went I’ve been comparing every mac n cheese I’ve had to this and none of them compare. It was by far the best. Now, if only I could do it myself….

Frommer’s Top 10

Our little area, the Florida Panhandle Beaches, was named one of the Top 10 Destinations of 2010! It’s so exciting! The only other US destination listed is the Big Island of Hawaii. People are starting to catch on to what we’ve known all along. Here’s what they had to say about our neck of the woods:

Like the Rodney Dangerfield of the American Southeast, Florida’s panhandle never
gets the respect it deserves. Dubbed the “Redneck Riviera” by dismissive
northerners, northwest Florida, in fact, contains some of the most diverse
recreation choices along Florida’s drastically under-appreciated Gulf coast, and
some of the best options for visitors seeking an affordable family vacation.
From Destin to the west, where you can hire a fishing or sailing charter, to the
smattering of National Seashores as you move east, there’s really something for
everyone. Seaside’s planned community is so “perfect” it was the setting for the
The Truman Show, yet you’ll also find old-school Florida towns with funky shops,
tiny hotels, pristine beaches, and the perfect cottage to rent.

Read more about the Panhandle and the other destinations on this year’s list: http://www.frommers.com/articles/6469.html#ixzz0ZCglLaS7

Start planning a trip now!

Lovin’ the Look of Greece

Lately I’ve been trying to plan a little girls’ trip to Europe in the fall, so I’ve been obsessed with anything travel related. I’ve never been, so it’s a pretty big deal for me. A friend of mine went to Greece not too long ago, and I seem to be falling madly in love with the pure whites and beautiful blues of the landscapes. The palette is just gorgeous and so relaxing. Everything pops against the bright white. It’s a similar look to a favorite local community and oh so pretty!

Simple and beautiful!

Of course, I can’t help but think of what I would wear! I think I would live in either version of this dress, or maybe both. The blue is fun, but you can’t go wrong with black and white.

Just pack a pair of heels and gladiator sandals — you’re good to go!

Photos: DB, Forever 21

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