Travel Guide: Washington D.C.

FRIDAY:

We meant to get to DC early evening on Friday to get settled in and take in the city, but after several travel hiccups we both arrived around 7:30 on Friday evening. Leaving just enough time to check in to the hotel and grab food.

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

CHECK IN AT EATON HOTEL:

I was lucky enough to score an awesome deal when booking my room at the new Eaton Hotel and Workshop. This boutique hotel has some really cool elements such as a rooftop bar, a speakeasy, a coffeeshop, and a restaurant.

The mid-century modern rooms have amazingly comfortable beds, a hip vibe, and the coolest bathrooms. They even have record players in the room as well as tarot cards in the bar.

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

FOOD: MXDC

We were craving Mexican and took a little walk down the road to MXDC. It was only a few blocks away from the Eaton and had a variety of options with reasonable prices (considering most restaurants in the area were a little too posh and expensive for my dive bar tastes)

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

SPEAKEASY: ALLEGORY

After dinner we wanted to check out the in-house speakeasy, Allegory behind the walls of the library in the Eaton hotel. This place gets PACKED! (We didn’t even get to check out the rooftop bar on Saturday because the line wrapped around the entire lobby)

But we got a seat at the bar and tried several of their signature cocktails.

SATURDAY:

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

BRUNCH: AMERICAN SON

American Son is the restaurant attached to The Eaton and was the easiest choice for breakfast in the morning. They also have an in-house cafe that offers a variety of pastries and coffee options. (all which are also served at American Son)

I snagged some eggs Benedict and a homemade english muffin before bundling up to tackle a cold DC day.

SATURDAY SIGHTSEEING

Even though it was freezing we bundled up and took a stroll through the National Mall and even though we were headed towards The White House (which I realized I had only seen from the back) I was actually smitten with the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. It reminded me from something out of a Wes Anderson movie and definitely overshadows The White House.

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

BOTANICAL GARDENS

I had seen photos floating around of a gorgeous botanical garden and was delighted when we found out it was totally free to come inside and check it out. The tropical temperatures were just what we needed to thaw out from our walk and check out all the exotic plants. This was also a great photo opportunity.

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART:

Then we took to the Art Museum (which is totally free) to check out all the great pieces of art and get out of the cold. We only walked through 1/4 of this giant museum before we got hungry.

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

ASTRO CHICKEN AND DOUGHNUTS:

I always look for donut shops when I go out of town. It’s right next to thrift stores on my list of great finds. When I stumbled up Astro Chicken and Doughnuts. That’s right - there is chicken between those doughnut buns and it is DELICIOUS.

They offer a variety of specialty donuts and of course their regulars. Our favorite was the PB & J and the Chocolate Candy Bar

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

BRUNCH: FOUNDING FARMERS

Our final brunch of our girls weekend was at Founding Farmers, a cute and famous brunch spot on all the must visit lists. This simple eatery offers all the classics, from eggs, toast, and meat options, to waffles, pancakes, and french toast.

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

GEORGETOWN

Take a step outside of Downtown DC and take a walk around Georgetown. We visited on Sunday morning but i would suggest swapping this for Saturday. In the morning most of the shops were closed so we just walked around checking out the amazing architecture and maybe even Zillow-ing some of the price tags of the houses. During the winter months the Dumbarton Oaks has free admission to their garden grounds from 2pm-5pm. Something I was sad I had to miss but will put on my list for next time.

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

UNION MARKET:

I wanted to grab some lunch before heading back on the road towards home and so we stumbled upon Union Market. This up and coming neighborhood features one of the Top 5 food halls in the nation. This bustling hall has a variety of food options as well as several store fronts. From sushi, to sandwiches, donuts, tea, vegan options, and more. It truly has everything you’d ever want. There was even an airstream serving “hot cocktails”

And yes we sampled a few of District Donuts signature flavors.

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC
Politics and Prose  - in Union Market

Politics and Prose - in Union Market

Travel Guide Washington DC - Things to do in Washington DC - Girls Weekend in DC

Travel Guide: Sydney to Auckland (Pt.1)

To say this trip was spontaneous would be an understatement. When my sister called me in May telling me how she booked a plane ticket to Auckland and had no idea how long she was staying, I knew I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. Thankfully I had some sky miles and was able to get the flight cheap(er) than usual…

There were a few unexpected aspects of traveling to Australia and New Zealand that we wish people would have told us when preparing—so if you plan to head “down under” make sure before you leave, you have/remember

(1) You have to go through Australia to get to New Zealand

(2) You need a travel Visa to get into Sydney

(3) We flew out from Atlanta, so there was about 24 hours of plane travel (so rock those compression socks like it’s your JOB)

(4) Their seasons are backwards from ours, so keep that in mind while planning ;)

Because you have to stop in Sydney, we decided to spend a few days in the city. Sydney is basically like if you took all the people from Whole Foods, the coolest hipster coffee shop you know, and the girls who work at anthropology, and stuck them in one city and gave them cool accents. Everything and everyone was super fit and healthy—even the McDonalds seemed somehow not as bad for you as it is here ;)

Not letting jet lag get the best of us, we headed out to the Sydney Opera House, The Royal Botanic Gardens, the Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art, and Zumbo’s Patisserie (as seen on the Netflix original “Zumbo’s Just Desserts)

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The Opera House is located in Circular Quay which is a great place to chill and grab a cocktail. The Opera Bar serves famously fancy cocktails that make you feel like your on the set of Gossip Girl—but watch out for the seagulls (they are a little extra).

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Right in the same area is an amazing contemporary art museum. Most of the artwork is inspired by Asian and Aboriginal culture. The best part about this museum is that they have a rooftop cafe that is the perfect spot to grab a cup—or gallon—of coffee to get you through the rest of the day.

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Before you head home for the day, take a walk along the Royal Botanic Gardens. You can take a short walk or spend an hour walking to a nearby beach for a quick dip in the Pacific. The trees in this garden are outrageous and make for a great picnicking spot.

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Because we only had 2 days in the city, we had to pack a lot in. The second day, though locals said we couldn’t do it, we wanted to see the famous Blue Mountains, and the Sydney Zoo (because I mean come on…kangaroos!) all in the same day.

The Blue Mountains are an hour train ride into the outskirts of Sydney, tucked away in this cute little mountain village. We decided to take this double decker tour bus that would drop you off at each of the National Park sites. The bus starts the tours at 8am and runs until 5pm, so If you can, get there early so you don’t miss anything! Since we had limited time, we decided to choose three spots to spend our time on—(the Three Sisters, the famous Hot Chocolate Cafe, and the Scenic Railway). I would recommend doing this bus tour because all of these excursions cost money, and not all of them are in walking distance, so it was way more convenient to drop a few dollars on this all-inclusive ticket.

This is the Three Sisters. Around it are several walking trails with various levels of intensity. We chose the 10 minute walk and it was easy, we had a great view, and the entire walk was absolutely gorgeous!

This is the Three Sisters. Around it are several walking trails with various levels of intensity. We chose the 10 minute walk and it was easy, we had a great view, and the entire walk was absolutely gorgeous!

The  Scenic Railway  is the steepest railway in the World! At the top of the railway is a food court with a coffee shop and gift shop, but at the bottom, you can get off and explore this portion of the national park. There are several hiking trails to go on depending on how long you want to stay there. This ride is so fun—just make sure to hold onto all of your belongings hahha

The Scenic Railway is the steepest railway in the World! At the top of the railway is a food court with a coffee shop and gift shop, but at the bottom, you can get off and explore this portion of the national park. There are several hiking trails to go on depending on how long you want to stay there. This ride is so fun—just make sure to hold onto all of your belongings hahha

When they tell you this is the best hot chocolate in the world, you need to believe them…because this is the most literal form of hot chocolate. The ladies that own  Blue Mountains Chocolate Company    melt their homemade chocolate, mix it with steamed milk, and bring it straight to your table!

When they tell you this is the best hot chocolate in the world, you need to believe them…because this is the most literal form of hot chocolate. The ladies that own Blue Mountains Chocolate Company melt their homemade chocolate, mix it with steamed milk, and bring it straight to your table!

Our last stop in the Blue Mountains was the  Scenic Skyway . This all see-through, glass cable car glides back and forth between the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley and gives you the best view of the major sites of the Blue Mountains.

Our last stop in the Blue Mountains was the Scenic Skyway. This all see-through, glass cable car glides back and forth between the Three Sisters and Jamison Valley and gives you the best view of the major sites of the Blue Mountains.

Unfortunately, the best time to visit the Taronga Sydney Zoo is when it is warm outside, but it didn’t stop us from seeing those sweet koalas! The best (and cheapest) way to get to the Zoo is to buy a ticket at Circular Quay that includes the ferry boat ticket as well. The ferry gives you one of the best views of the harbor and only takes about 20 minutes.

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The Zoo is shaped sort of like a slanted pin-ball machine, so they take you on a a ski-lift to the top, and you basically just work your way back down to the entrance. The map was a little confusing, so just accept the fact that you’ll need to ask people where to go haha.

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To finish Part 1. of this travel guide, I’ll list some of our favorite food spots in throughout our shot stay in Sydney, as well as our cute little AirB&B that you should all check out:

Fav Food Spots:

Zumbo’s Patisserie  is so dreamy and fun! Our favorite dessert was the Lemon Tart, but everything looks and tastes delish!

Zumbo’s Patisserie is so dreamy and fun! Our favorite dessert was the Lemon Tart, but everything looks and tastes delish!

No. 12 Vintage  Coffee Shop: We started and ended our trip at this quaint little coffee shop within walking distance from our AirB&B. The owner was so nice and fun, and she gave us a lot of ideas for our short stay in Sydney. This was my favorite spot for cool gifts to bring to friends because everything was vintage or handmade! our favorite sip was the Turmeric Latte—and be sure to grab a ham and cheese croissant on your way out!

No. 12 Vintage Coffee Shop: We started and ended our trip at this quaint little coffee shop within walking distance from our AirB&B. The owner was so nice and fun, and she gave us a lot of ideas for our short stay in Sydney. This was my favorite spot for cool gifts to bring to friends because everything was vintage or handmade! our favorite sip was the Turmeric Latte—and be sure to grab a ham and cheese croissant on your way out!

Four Frogs Creperie : French food (check)—delicious Rosé (check)—modern & minimalistic atmosphere (check)! This little spot was vibrant and so fun! The crepes were bigger than my face, yet we each ate one savory one for dinner and split a sweet one for dessert ;) We splurged and got the seasonal dessert crepe—so when you go, trust their recommendations—because we LOVED everything we tried here.

Four Frogs Creperie: French food (check)—delicious Rosé (check)—modern & minimalistic atmosphere (check)! This little spot was vibrant and so fun! The crepes were bigger than my face, yet we each ate one savory one for dinner and split a sweet one for dessert ;) We splurged and got the seasonal dessert crepe—so when you go, trust their recommendations—because we LOVED everything we tried here.

Inner City Self Contained 1br Unit —Kensington: This AirBnB was EVERYTHING. The location was PERFECT. Were we able to walk to get coffee in the morning, then head on a bus, and within 10 minutes we were in the city center. While we were in Sydney we used public transportation to get everywhere. Our hosts were kind enough to have public transport passes already loaded and ready for us when we got there, which made life so much easier for us! The owners are some of the kindest people we have ever met. This apartment is tucked in right behind their home, but with just enough privacy so you don’t feel like you are encroaching on their lives. They gave us maps, guides, and helpful tips on navigating the city—they even gave us authentic Vegemite Toast to try:) With two people, we had more than enough space in this little studio apartment. It had a great kitchenette, a spacious bathroom, and a perfect little lounge area!

Inner City Self Contained 1br Unit—Kensington: This AirBnB was EVERYTHING. The location was PERFECT. Were we able to walk to get coffee in the morning, then head on a bus, and within 10 minutes we were in the city center. While we were in Sydney we used public transportation to get everywhere. Our hosts were kind enough to have public transport passes already loaded and ready for us when we got there, which made life so much easier for us! The owners are some of the kindest people we have ever met. This apartment is tucked in right behind their home, but with just enough privacy so you don’t feel like you are encroaching on their lives. They gave us maps, guides, and helpful tips on navigating the city—they even gave us authentic Vegemite Toast to try:) With two people, we had more than enough space in this little studio apartment. It had a great kitchenette, a spacious bathroom, and a perfect little lounge area!

How to Rock High-Waisted

I really cannot over emphasize how happy I am that high waisted has come back in and stayed in. For someone who tried to get her hands on some high-waisted pants before they were sold in stores it was a real struggle. 

First it was jeans - and now it's everything and I'm so jazzed. 

Joanna and I both found some fall transitional pieces that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. 

THE FASHION SHORT 

how to wear high waisted - creative community - fashion blog

High-waisted shorts are a great way to dress up an outfit while still beating the heat. I can wear these to weddings, a meeting, or even a party. I can also dress them down depending on the occasion with a simple tee or dress them up with a collared shirt. 

For fall layer with a sweater or add tights and booties. Whichever way you decide to wear them these high-waisted shorts can be a year round staple. 

My favorite part about these shorts is the tie in the front. It gives it great dimension without actually holding my pants up. 

fashion blog - high waisted shorts - black and white shorts

 

THE FASHION PANT 

Joanna has a knack for thrifting. It also helps that she gets to thrift in the best places in the midwest when she goes home to visit her family. 

These green high-waisted pant was a thrift find but there are a lot of new options that mimic the look of these pants. 

Since Joanna spends her fall roaming the halls of NC State University she needs a look that says student but also is respectable for when she puts on her teaching hat.

These pants are light-weight, perfect for working in hot offices during the fall and winter, but also lightweight enough to wear during the summer. Pair with a sweater, linen shirt, or blouse for a myriad of looks. 

raleigh creative community - fashion blog
fashion blog - raleigh creative community

 

 

 

Rainy Day Wear

Rainy days are always associated with drab and boring clothes but why not put a little color into your rainy day. 

rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion

This jacket was a Target clearance find that made me jump for joy! It was so whimsical and reminded me of the 1950's and since I'm a costume junkie I had to have it. (I've literally worn it twice) 

It's technically not a rain jacket but it looks like it - so I choose it for my rainy day attire. 

rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion

This scarf is from a GROCERY STORE! Can you believe that? My mother is a huge coupon-er/clearance shopper and picked up some of my favorite scarves from the grocery store. I don't know which one but sometimes fashion can come in unconventional places. 

The necklace was a find from the boutique we shot with Glamour South Market. They have some great jewelry and some really unique clothes. 

rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion
rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion

I have these shoes in 5 colors. Red, Navy, all Black, Black with White Stripes, and Gray. They aren't Ked's but $14 knockoff's at Target. 

rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion

My jeans were a clearance find from Madewell (I just love the quality of their jeans) and they are supposed to be a crop jean but since I'm so short they look like a weird high-water. So I always roll these up when I wear them making them my go to rainy day jean. 

Don't forget Madewell always has sales with up to 30% off their clearance and if you shop in store use your student ID for an additional 15% off. And if you turn in a pair of jeans (any color, any brand) you get $20 off a new pair. 

SHOP THIS LOOK

rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion

Maybe you saw Joanna on Jubala's Instagram account? While we were hanging out working on our latest content we shared one of these rainy day photos and it got reposted. How cool is that right?!

rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion

Joanna's outfit is perfect for class, coffee, and a little rainfall. 

rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion
rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion
rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion
rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion

SHOP THIS LOOK

rainy day outfit - fashion blog - lifestyle blog - rainy fashion

Travel Guide: San Francisco

After spending a week in Portland (see my travel guide here)  I headed down the coast to San Francisco. 

Since we have friends that live in the area we were able to stay at their place instead of our usual Air BnB. They technically lived in Redwood City so a few of these locations are in Redwood City. 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

We arrived in San Fran right in time for the 4th of July celebrations. 

First off was a trip around Redwood City which included coffee at Red Giant (a stop we frequented almost every morning) 

We walked through the city where everyone was lined up for the parade. We stopped by the local fire station for their pancake breakfast before watching the parade from the rooftop of their apartment building. 

Next we headed towards Downtown San Francisco to pick up some All Birds for our journey before checking out 

Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog

PIER 39 

They have tons of shops and food stations inside the piers - we stopped off at a chocolate shop, mushroom store, and ice cream parlor. There is a park across the street and a view of the bridge out back. Perfect for a stroll and people watching. 

Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog

PAINTED LADIES

If you've ever seen the show Full House you'll recognize this historical landmark of Victorian Houses all in a row. The park was crawling with tourists due to the holiday all waiting for the perfect view of the fireworks later that evening. 

Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog

FIREWORKS 

There are tons of firework displays in San Francisco. It's like almost every city has it's own show. We were able to watch three from the rooftop in Redwood City. 

Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog

MUIR WOODS

The next day we made the trek to Muir Woods to see some Redwood Trees (aka the moon planet of Endor from Star Wars)

You have to have a reservation to park at the lot, which you have to make online, and then there is a fee to enter the park. The best advice I can give you is GET THERE EARLY.  We had the earliest reservation at 8am and had the park entirely to ourselves until 9 when all the buses showed up. Luckily we were able to explore in peace before all the people came through. 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide
things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

EQUATOR COFFEE

Another plus is at the end of the hill that leads to Muir Woods is this adorable surfer themed coffee shop. The coffee was delicious as well as the pastries (downside is there is no bathroom so make sure you go before you leave the park) 

Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog

GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

When you travel back from Muir Woods there are several view points to get a good photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, however our favorite is kind of hidden. Take the first exit off the bridge (on the opposite side of Muir Woods), head up the hill past the official viewpoint, and pull into the gravel lot of the abandoned military fort. Climb up into the fort (there are actually several stairways and access points) but the best is at the very top. It leads to a grassy hill and an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide
things to do in san fran
things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

HAIGHT ASHBURY

This is probably one of the more famous San Fran areas. Famous for housing Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and being the home of the hippie movement of the 60's this street is full of novelty shops and designer stores. I would have loved to visit before it became commercial, but besides getting to say that you've walked the streets there isn't much here. I was actually super surprised that the one record store on the block had more DVDS/VHS's than actual music. 

There are quite a few thrift stores but they have higher price tags but they do have a great selection. You can totally spend hours sifting through all the clothes. 

 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

CHINATOWN 

Chinatown was definitely the most interesting place we visited in San Francisco. From the insane rolling hills - to the people - to the dialect - and the insane amount of restaurants. 

We settled on the oldest Dim Sum restaurant in America - which is located down a little alley way next to a park. This place is pretty clean but do some research before you order because there are no descriptions of the food. It was definitely authentic and a little oily. (and they forgot about our food for 45 minutes) 

But it's probably your safest bet if you want to try something in the district. 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide
things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide
things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide
things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

MISSION DISTRICT

Don't be fooled by the shady nature of this area when you drive through. One of my favorite neighborhoods was the Mission District. This hispanic section of San Fran had my favorite Vintage Thrift Shop - Mission Thrift

Seriously everything was less than $20 and the selection was amazing (especially with how trendy vintage is now) 

They have amazing and colorful murals that reflect hispanic culture. 

Also this area was home to my favorite restaurant of the whole trip, La Taqueria. This place had a line out the door so you know it's good and it is cash only so come prepared. The burritos are giant and the salsa verde has that kick a lot of others lack. I would eat here everyday if I could. 

 

things to do in san fran
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog
Things to do in San Francisco - San Francisco Travel Guide - Lifestyle Blog

PACIFICA

Want to check out NoCal (or Northern California) look no further than the scenic drive to Half Moon Bay and Pacifica. We didn't have a lot of time to check out this area (we mostly ate at Half Moon Bay Brewing and stopped off the side of the road at Pacifica - but this was one of the most beautiful places I had ever seen. 

If I could have spent a day just strolling the beaches at Pacifica I would have. There's just something about beaches that also have mountains that is just so alluring. 

 

REDWOOD CITY 

A few of the other places we went were in Redwood City and ate at several local chains which I would look up if you're in need of something delicious and fast to eat in the area. 

Nick the Greek

Fast, delicious greek food that's super fresh. Also I'm never against Gyros that have french fries in them. 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

In-N-Out Burger

Anytime I visit the West Coast I have to stop at In-N-Out. Typically I'm not one for fast food but their simple menu, fresh ingredients, and fast service make this a west coast classic. 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

Tin Pot Creamery

Fresh, organic ice cream with a vegan option. For how granola San Fran is supposed to be this was the only ice cream shop I found that actually had a dairy free option. I ate here twice. It was delicious. 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

The Blacksmith

This was the first bar we stopped at and although the music was super loud (man I feel so old just typing that) the drinks were strong and delicious. Has a moody ambiance and outside seating, excellent for California nights 

things to do in san francisco - san francisco travel guide

Milagros Latin Kitchen

In a moment of drunken cravings we headed to Milagros for fish tacos, salsa trios, chocolate cake, and churro sundaes. All were delicious but the margaritas were a little light on the liquor which was sad since we had just left The Blacksmith 

 

Favorite Gardens to Visit in the Triangle

If you are looking for an easy way to get outside, visiting your local arboretum or public garden is a great change of pace. Luckily here in the Raleigh-Durham area, there are several beautiful places to take a stroll.

 

favorite gardens in the triangle - north carolina gardens - north carolina lifestyle blog

Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham 

Duke Gardens consistently ranks as one of the top public gardens in the United States, and it is easy to see why. Come ready to walk - there are several smaller gardens which highlight particular plants (such as azaleas or camellias), an arboretum that showcases native plants and another section of the gardens that is its asiatic arboretum and features chinese and japanese gardens. It is an incredible jewel, and has the ability to feel incredibly intimate even though it is a large place.

Information: Open 365 days a year, 8 a.m. to dusk. Parking is $1 per half hour, but there is free parking on weekends in an overflow lot to the the high popularity of the gardens.

http://gardens.duke.edu/

 

JC Raulston Arboretum, Raleigh 

JC Raulston Arboretum is a part of NC State University, and is a free, public garden. It is beautiful in every season; my husband and I visited in the dead of winter and chose it to be our wedding venue for June - it was stunning both times. There are several gardens within the Arboretum, including an intimate Japanese garden, a rooftop terrace and a xeric garden, which features heat loving plants. If you haven’t been here yet, it is a lovely, peaceful escape.

Information: JCRA grounds open 365 days a year, with different hours for spring/summer  (8 a.m. - 8 p.m.) and winter/fall (8 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Small free parking lot, or ample, free roadside parking.

https://jcra.ncsu.edu/

 

best gardens in the triangle - north carolina lifestyle blog

WRAL Azalea Gardens

A beautiful piece of green space in the heart of Raleigh, walking here when the azaleas are in full bloom (especially in the spring) feels like you have escaped to a forest full of flowers. If you’ve missed the azaleas, the gardens have several other flower varieties that bloom throughout the year. It is a smaller space than Duke Gardens or JC Raulston, so it makes for a lovely short stroll.

Information: WRAL open 7 days a week, from dawn to dusk. Free parking lot. https://www.wral-gardens.com/

 

favorite gardens in the triangle - north carolina gardens - north carolina lifestyle blog
favorite gardens in the triangle - north carolina gardens - north carolina lifestyle blog

 

The Raleigh Rose Garden

This garden is located on the campus of the Raleigh Little Theatre and is well known for its many rose beds and rose varieties. Roses are in bloom around Mother’s Day until fall. It is wonderfully quiet, peaceful and undeniably romantic.  

Information: Open to the public 7 days a week. Limited parking in theatre parking lot (read signs) or street parking. https://raleighlittletheatre.org/visit-us/rose-garden/

 

Have you been to any of these places? Do you have a favorite place to recommend? Let us know, and stop and smell the roses somewhere.

Summer Sunshine: Easy to Grow Summer Flowers

Warm seasons bring amazing colors to the landscape. Last year, we started to plant flowers with the intention of having readily available cut flowers for the house or to gift to friends. Even well into the summer, here are some easy flowers to start from seed that will continue blooming for weeks. These can be directly sowed into the ground.**

summer flowers - summer gardening tips - north carolina lifestyle blog

**When planting anything, please be aware of whether or not the plants are invasive species to your environment. Invasive species can quickly take over and outcompete native plants, changing the natural ecosystem and negatively impacting many species. North Carolina has an excellent list here for reference, but many other states make their lists of invasives readily available.

 

Zinnias

There are so many different varieties of these happy, multicolored flowers. They are relatively hardy, and can grow on tall stems that are perfect for bouquets.

 

summer flowers - summer gardening tips - north carolina lifestyle blog
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Marigolds 

If you are planting tomatoes, growing marigolds near them helps deter pests. Also, marigolds can be dwarf sized or tall, and tolerate poor soils and hot summers. African marigolds are taller, with bright orange-yellow blooms and study stems.

 

summer flowers - summer gardening tips - north carolina lifestyle blog

Cosmos 

Cosmos have more of an airy, wildflower appearance than zinnias or marigolds. Their orange blooms seem to burst from their verdant foliage, making them look like little fireworks of color. They will self sow (or throw our seeds for next year) and are relatively low maintenance.

Bonus: Sunflowers! Sunflowers grow on sturdy, tall stems - some of mine last year were easily over 8 feet tall. There are some varieties of sunflowers suitable for containers if you don’t have space for these sunshine-loving giants. Also, I like to leave some sunflowers go to seed to feed our bird friends into the fall.  

 

summer flowers - summer gardening tips - north carolina lifestyle blog

Growing a Green Thumb: Easy to Grow Vegetables

I grew up in 800 square feet of Washington, D.C. suburbia, in a condo on top of a green hill. We were lucky to have that green space, and even that young, I craved hearing the birds and being outside.

When we moved to our home in Fuquay-Varina, a suburb of Raleigh, we knew we had to at least try to garden. Coming from someone who could never keep houseplants alive, and who had never grown anything before, it was a little intimidating. We picked a spot with full sun, added compost to our soil, and worked intentionally. Our first year gave us endless tomatoes, squash and other vegetables.

easy to grow vegetables - gardening tips - raleigh lifestyle blog
easy to grow vegetables - gardening tips - raleigh lifestyle blog

 

If you are in the plant-killers club, no fear - here are the top vegetables I recommend beginners start with because: 1) they are easy to grow 2) you have the option of growing them in a container and 3) they can produce a ton for you to eat!

Tomatoes 

The difference in flavor of a grocery store tomato versus a homegrown or farm picked tomato is like night and day. By growing your own tomatoes, you can leave them to ripen on the vine and develop all those delicious flavors. They also do well in containers if you do not have a dedicated garden space. Try: Cherokee Purple, Better Boy, and pretty much any cherry tomato variety.

 

easy to grow vegetables - gardening tips - raleigh lifestyle blog

 

Peppers 

Just like tomatoes, peppers will tolerate containers if you don’t have a ton of space for planting. Peppers also freeze well, and are relatively disease and pest resistance. I’m not a brave spicy pepper person though! My favorites are sweet bell pepper varieties that can be eaten raw or cooked, and that freeze wonderfully. Try: Golden Wonder, California Wonder, banana peppers

 

easy to grow vegetables - gardening tips - raleigh lifestyle blog

 

Cucumbers 

When cucumber plants have good soil, they are prolific. A great hint from a good friend - use a tomato cage to help support the cucumber plant. It’ll encourage good airflow around the developing cukes and will make it easier to harvest. If you are growing in a container, look for a smaller bush-variety - cucumber plants can get quite large! Try: Straight Eight or Salad Bush

 

easy to grow vegetables - gardening tips - raleigh lifestyle blog

 

Happy Gardening!

Staying Body Positive This Summer

body positivity - creative community - women in business

We live in really strange, turbulent times, but there is one thing I can say that has been amazing these last couple of years is the body positivity that is coming from Hollywood, the media, popular culture, and social media. 

For once women aren't tearing each other down or judging each other and it's a wonderful feeling - especially in the summer during swimsuit season. 

We joined forces with the boss babes of Lemon Jones Marketing to show off a variety of body types to let you know that any body is a bathing suit body. 

 

body positivity - creative community - women in business

So How Can You Stay Body Positive This Summer? 

Surround Yourself With Positive People:

I know it's hard and as someone who is on social media constantly it's so easy to see a picture of someone on a tropical island, with a rocking bod and get a little sad. But you know what - choose to put yourself in fun situations with friends that support you. 

When you're surrounded by other positive people you know that you're in a safe space, that no one will be judging you, and that you'll be able to have fun. These experiences make putting on that same bathing suit easier even if you're in new or more public environments. 

body positivity - creative community - women in business

Find Your Flattering Suit

Being body positive doesn't mean you have to feel comfortable in everything. Find pieces that make you feel comfortable no matter what. When I look for any type of clothing, a dress, a bathing suit, even jeans I try on tons of options. I want to make sure that I'm choosing a fit, color, and size that makes me feel comfortable, sexy, and stylish. 

For me I tend to choose high waisted two pieces or my Tommy Hilfiger one piece because I'm a sucker for vintage flair. But I choose similar pieces in all aspects of my wardrobe. Like I said it's all about what makes you feel comfortable and expresses your style. 

I always felt uncomfortable in my own skin (by industry standards I've always been a little overweight) but a few years ago I just stopped caring. I found a vintage two-piece polka dotted swim suit I loved and it made me feel good about myself - I wore that thing by a Vegas poolside and felt great. I even had a photo shoot in it I loved it so much - which brings me to my next point ........

body positivity - creative community - women in business

Confidence is Key

If there is one thing I've learned from binging the newest season of Queer Eye is that confidence is the most attractive quality you can posses. If you walk out to that pool/beach/lake feeling unsure of yourself, covering yourself with a towel, everyone is going to pick up on that body language. If you go out and rock your look with a positive attitude no one will question that you're body is absolutely perfect for you. 

And being around great people, finding your flattering suit will give you all the confidence you need to rock any swimsuit attire event this summer. 

body positivity - creative community - women in business

So if you were worried about losing those 10lbs or showing too much skin - don't bother. You have the perfect body for summer and you will rock whatever swimsuit you want! No matter if you're a size 2 or a size 12 or size 22 - know that you are awesome, beautiful, and a magical mermaid. 

body positivity - creative community - women in business

Why You Should Shop Farmers Markets this Summer

If you live in the triangle, chances are you have either visited or have at least heard of our amazing state farmer's market. If you fall into the former categories, you have also probably experienced the overwhelming excitement  of seeing an entire warehouse lined with vendors selling fresh vegetables and flowers along with the homemade baked bread smells wafting through the air. 

It's a great colloquial experience, walking up and down with fresh squeezed lemonade eyeing the colorful produce and gaining inspiration to actually start eating healthy. But rather than it being just an instagramable outing or a great day date, there are some pretty great incentives to build a Farmer's Market trip into your weekly life. 

North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic

1. Plant Expertise

Whether you're a green thumb or you're just starting out your first garden or landscaping project, the vendors at the farmer's market aren't your average Home Depot worker (not that I have anything against Home Depot). Most of those working have raised these plants by hand in actual North Carolinian soil. They are a great resource to troubleshoot your plant problems, offer advice on when to plant, and how to upkeep your green friends. 

North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic

2. Freshness

You just can't beat it. These vendors restock their shelves with freshly picked fruits, veggies, and herbs every other day, if not daily. Even the most organic grocery stores are shelving produce that has taken a couple of days to travel to your nearest location. But Farmer's Market vendors probably picked these beauties this morning (or at the very least the evening before) and drove them over for today. Unless you grow them yourself, you will not taste better peaches or tomatoes or any produce sold here for that matter. How about them apples?

North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic
North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic
North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic
North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic

3. Best Freshly Baked Bread 

Hands down. No argument. Coming from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, an area predominately made up of German and Dutch roots, perfected fresh bread was an expectation. I could find perfectly crusted, light, fluffy loaves in the grocery store not to mention the local bakeries. However, when I moved here, the bakeries have a little bit different style, and I've been hard pressed to find an equivalent. However, I need not look any further. I have found the best bread in the triangle at the Farmer's Market. You can disagree but only after you have tried their bread. Then we can talk. On top of bread, they have all sorts of delacacies that you may be in search for. 

North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic
North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic

4. Farm to Table 

By shopping these local vendors at the Farmer's Market, you're ensuring that your dollars  directly support local business and thereby support the Farm to Table movement (read more about this here). It's pretty straight forward. Your money directly supports your NC neighbors, whether you know them by name or not, which in turns ensures quality produce for your table and your family. Your dollars aren't going to a nebulous corporation. It's paying the bills of the person who just handed you the handful of carrots. 

North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic

5. Supports Small Business

Along with promoting the Farm to Table movement, it supports smaller farms. Of course there are larger farmers represented at the Farmer's Market and that is great, but in the grand scheme these vendors are small business owners which is what we're all about at Copper Creatives. An added perk is that this fresh and at some stands organic produce is very affordable. 

North Carolina State Farmer's Market - State Farmer's Market - Farm to Table Movement - Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Organic

These are just a few reasons why we love the Farmer's Market, and we hope you make a point to love it too! Maybe this summer you can make it a habit! 

Dressing on a Budget Madewell Mimic

The thing is I’d be a Madewell junkie if I could afford it. What I have loved about Madewell is their clean, simple and organic look. Their authentic materials are visually pleasing, light and wearable. But Universal Threads has provided an alternative by using using cottons, linens and genuine denim for most of their pieces which makes me a happy camper. I’m not a very vibrant, colorful person when it comes to my wardrobe ( I figure my hair color does the lion's share of the work in that department) but Universal Threads still comes through for me. Even if you're not shopping Target's new line, seek out natural fibers like shirts that are 100% linen, cotton, or wool. I also usually stick with more neutral colors (blues, blacks, grey, whites, off whites, and olives). These colors are materials are building blocks for Madewell.

Whether or not you're shopping Target or Thrift Shops, this look is pretty easy to replicate. 

I absolutely loved Universal Thread's white linen button up with the fine blue stripe. This paired with the darker wash denim high wasted jean made for a more professional look.

Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Raleigh Creative Community - Lifestyle Blogger -  Outfit of the Day - Outfit Inspiration - Universal Threads
Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Raleigh Creative Community - Lifestyle Blogger -  Outfit of the Day - Outfit Inspiration - Universal Threads

I slipped my cognac faux leather booties from their line (which are look alike a from free peoples and a fraction of the price).

Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Raleigh Creative Community - Lifestyle Blogger -  Outfit of the Day - Outfit Inspiration - Universal Threads

The tinsel to my outfit was brought to you by a pair of thin gold hoops from Etsy and a Daniel Wellington Watch.

Raleigh Lifestyle Blogger - Raleigh Creative Community - Lifestyle Blogger -  Outfit of the Day - Outfit Inspiration - Universal Threads

Simple, clean and breezy. Just the way I like it.

SHOP THIS LOOK

Travel Guide: Carefree, Arizona

Ela Arizona

Ela, from Event Espresso, made her way across the country to the desert town of Carefree, Arizona and is sharing her travel tips and tricks with us! Get ready to suffer from some serious wanderlust as you read about her incredible trip! 

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Day 1:

Woke up in this gorgeous desert home that belongs to my boyfriend’s magnificent Aunt & Uncle! They have a beautiful view that overlooks Black Mountain and since we were exhausted from the flight the night before, we laid by the pool all day! Carefree is a gorgeous, quiet city filled with breath-taking desert views, coffee shops and surrounded by Mid-Western themed restaurants and bars.

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Day 2:

The Sedona Desert has been on my bucket list for years now. I highly recommend the Pink Jeep Tours, where a lively guide takes off-roading to some favorite Sedona sites. You’ll need to buckle in and hold on tight because the ride can get super bumpy (and nerve-wracking, in a good way!) After the Sedona tour, we stopped to see The Chapel of The Holy Cross that was built into rock in 1956. The church design was approved by Frank Lloyd Wright and has more amazing views. On the way home, we stopped at some art galleries and craft shops-Sedona is very artsy with lots of unique shops to explore.

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Day 3:

We were up bright and early to go ATVing through Salt River Valley with an Extreme Arizona Motorsports Adventure guide. It was an unforgettable day scattered with blood, sweat, and almost tears. Some of the trails were scary, rocky, and even over-looked cliffs! But the views were unbeatable while riding around in the valley. On our last loop, we climbed up a rocky cliff to see Indian Mesa Ruins, a rock wall from 1,000 years ago built by the Hohokam Puebloans.

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Day 4:

There’s nothing quite like riding a convertible through the desert. On our last day, we took a relaxing drive to Lake Pleasant, a huge outdoor recreation area where you can jetski, boat, picnic, swim, and host events around the bright blue reservoir. On our way back, we had a great view of “The Boulders”-a cluster of rocks left behind from when this area was covered in water millions of years ago. To finish off the trip, we wandered around Old Town Scottsdale which is filled with art galleries, bars, and restaurants.

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Tips & Tricks

-Bring water & chap stick EVERYWHERE! Since the air is so dry, you hardly feel yourself sweat and get dehydrated very easily!

 -Although it seems counter-productive since it’s so warm, a light long sleeved shirt and pants can really help keep you cool. If I wasn’t wearing long sleeves while ATVing, I would have completely fried!

 

 

Recommendations

- Janey’s Coffee Co. & Bodega: Cute coffee shop & lunch spot with a relaxing outdoor patio

- Harold’s Cave Creek Corral: Western bar & grill with great martinis and delicious bar food

- Indigo Crow: Yummy American restaurant & bar in a cool atmosphere (and the best carrot cake we’ve ever had!)

- The Mission Old Town: Modern Latin American restaurant with a dark, romantic vibe

DIY: Head Board

Headboards are one of those things that can make or break a bedroom. It can work as a great artistic centerpiece that sets the aesthetic for the room. The issue is is that they can be expensive.  When I was designing my bedroom, I knew I wanted something simple but still rich and bold, but I wasn't finding anything within my price range. I was seeing a lot of really beautiful wooden headboards that had a really simple design but they were pice well over $200. That's when I settled on the DIY route. I'm honestly not a huge DIY person, BUT this was too easy and cheap not to do.

Materials:

  • (4) 10'' wide boards 60'' (or 5 feet) long
  • (2) 2x4 board 54" long
  • (1) can of interior wood stain, color of your choice. (We went with Red Oak)
  • (1) can of semi-matte finish
  • A box of wood screws 1 1/2 inch. 

Tools:

  • Screwdriver 
  • Tape Measurer
  • Pencil
  • Staining Brush
  • Rags 

This DIY Headboard will transform the look of your bedroom and can accommodate almost any style you have in mind. For my bedroom, I was going for a midcentury rustic/eclectic look. I selected boards that had a worn and distressed look, full of knots and textured grains. I also selected a stain that was a rich, warm color. After selecting these materials that fit the look your going for, gather the rest of your materials and get to work. All in all, this only took us an hour to assemble, 2 hours to stain, and a day to apply the finish as you have to wait for each coat to dry  before applying the next. 

Step 1: Purchase your materials. Home Depot cut all of the wood for us. So if you don't have a saw or sawing skills, never fear. 

Step 2: Lay out your four wide boards in the order of your choice. Make sure that the ends all line up flush. With the four boards laying tightly together, lay one of the 2X4 boards across the four wide boards. Position it so it’s 1” down from the top and 2” in from the side. Make sure to measure and mark it with a pencil. Mark the top and side edge of the 2X4 board on the first (top) wide board. Go down to the last (bottom) wide board and again measure in 2” from the side and mark it. With the 2X$ board lined up with your top and bottom marks, you can now draw a line down the edge to ensure it’s straight while you drill your holes and fasten your screws. On that pencil line, mark ever 9 inches where you will fasten your screws. Now you're ready to screw in your screws. This method will disguise your screws so that you can't see them from the front. I actually wanted the screws to be seen, so I followed this same process, except I placed the 2X4s on the ground first and placed the wide boards on top so that I would screw them from the front. 

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Step 3: Apply the stain. Follow the individual stain instructions of the stain you purchase. We went with Minwax Wood Finish. I like to gradually bring the stain to the shade I want, so I air on leaving the stain on for only a few minutes (3-5) and then wiping it off. I applied 3 coats of stain, leaving each stain on for three minutes before wiping off. 

DIY Headboard - Lifestyle Blog

I like to gradually bring the stain to the shade I want, so I air on leaving the stain on for only a few minutes (3-5) and then wiping it off. I applied 3 coats of stain, leaving each stain on for three minutes before wiping off. 

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DIY Headboard, Lifestyle Blog, Wood Stain

4. Assemble and style! Allow the stain to dry, waiting at least 24 hours before bringing it in the house. The kind of bed frame you have will determine how you attached the headboard to the bed. For this, we easily slid the supporting posts into slots that were in the frame and screw them in through the screw holes. And viola! 

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I was so excited to style this space with the headboard as my anchor. I am a lover of white with pops of color.  The white duvet and cushions are from Ikea and the stark white horse print is from Hobby Lobby. I wanted a fun, bright color to pull it together, and my grandmother's knit wool blanket acted as the perfect inspirational starting point. I loved the bright orange and used that to select my pop-cushion color.

DIY Headboard

I followed that with a boho orange candle holder from Anthropologie and the chartreuse lamp from Ollies (which was only $6). I found this cute minimalist bedside table with the white drawer from Overstock

If you have similar experience with a DIY headboard, we would love to hear about it! Send us your pictures of how you styled it or post them below! 

Why Girl's Night is More than Just an Excuse To Get a Drink.

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

We've all been there - it's been a ridiculous week and it's only Tuesday - or maybe its a night you've scheduled for awhile because if you don't put "Girl's Night" on the calendar with thick red marker it will never happen. Whatever the reason we are here to assure you that Girl's Night is more than just an excuse to get a drink but can be a cathartic release of all that negativity that's been weighing you down. 

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

One of our favorite places to grab a drink in Downtown Raleigh is The Haymaker - from the cool speakeasy vibe, the amazing signature cocktails, the bubbles and Gin & Juice on draft, and the view of the skyline from the windows give this place all the best vibes, especially for a girls night out.

(Joanna's favorite part is the cup of goldfish they leave out for those overly imbibe while Jessica loves the Biggie wallpaper in the bathroom) 

Since we've gotten older and are perpetually busy we usually get in around 4-5 before the crowds come in and find a seat with the best view. 

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

So what goes down on a typical girls night? 

First we vent about work - I mean saying that you're not going to talk about work is completely ridiculous - it's basically our lives and when you work for yourself you have no co-workers to complain to so it's nice to finally get all that off your chest. 

Next of course we talk goals - ways to improve morals - things we are looking forward to - and all the positive aspects of our lives. Basically trying to rationalize on how truly we love our jobs and wouldn't trade our lives for the world. 

Then lastly of course we dish about boys because well - we all have boyfriends/husbands and we have to remind ourselves we actually have personal lives outside of work!

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

But why is this helpful? 

You see when you keep things bottled up inside, stress - relationship drama - work problems - anything that's weighing you down it creates a layer of anxiety in everything you do. Your day to day activities become overshadowed by the fact that you're stepping on eggshells to not have a mental breakdown and that's just not healthy. 

This release of talking to someone, letting it out, and giving yourself a good 30 minutes to an hour of not touching your phone, not checking emails allows you to recenter yourself and get motivated. 

I can't tell you how many times talking to Joanna has made me create a major to-do list, or crank out a handful of blog posts in an afternoon. There's just something about pushing each other and voicing the negative thoughts that has been filling your head and have someone else offer clarity, perspective and a time to empty and reset that allows you to move forward and grow. 

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

So the next time you're in need of a decompression or a release of all that stress that's been building inside of you - invite a friend out for a drink. If you don't drink that's cool too - invite them for coffee or infused water or a raw juice bar. Whatever the beverage we're sure you'll feel so much better after dishing it out with your fellow creatives. 

Interested in grabbing a drink with us?

We'd love to start a Girls Night Club at The Haymaker one weeknight a month. Let us know if you'd be interested by commenting below. Til then we'll be sipping on Gin & Juice (or in Joanna's case eating goldfish crackers).  

girls night out - lifestyle blog - haymaker raleigh

Travel Guide: Waco, TX

So let's get real - we all know the only reason to go to Waco, TX is to visit something Chip & Joanna Gaine's related. 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

We made the hour and a half trek from Austin into Waco on a cold, rainy morning and found that the parking lot for Magnolia table was still packed to the brim. The restaurant opens at 6am and stays open until 3pm

We had heard that the wait times can be quite long so even though we arrived at 8:45 we still had a 45 minute wait. The nice thing is that there is a cafe open on the patio where you can grab coffee and a few pastieries while you wait. 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

You can also browse a menu so you'll be ready once it's your time to go inside. They put your name on a list and then text you when your table is ready. There is individual seating and communal tables but there is a longer wait for the private tables. 

If you don't feel like waiting there is a little room off to the side where you can order pasiteries and some other items to go. 

Everything about Magnolia Table is just like you imagine. From fake fireplaces, to long farmhouse tables, and amazing tile and signature pieces throughout. 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

The food are classic, southern staples and of course come served with presentation in mind. Our first dish was the buttermilk biscuits with homemade, whipped strawberry butter. 

Then we choose the Oatmeal and Classic Breakfast dish to share. 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

A 15 minute drive from Magnolia Table is the Magnolia Silos. Parking can be a bit of a drag but there is free parking if you don't mind walking a bit (and hopefully it isn't raining on you like it was for us) 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

Even the outside of Magnolia is decorated with planter boxes and decor pieces. Can you believe this was actually the side of the walk-in freezer they use for their cafe on site? 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

Once you make your way inside you'll be greeted by the large Magnolia entrance to the shop. I'm not going to lie the inside of this place was overrun by people. Also now that they have their Target line I couldn't actually see buying any of these pieces are they are more expensive than the Target line and the majority of them you have to ship to your home. 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

The grounds surrounding the silos have entertainment for kids and gardens for the adults. There is also an abundance of home and lifestyle inspiration everywhere you turn. The wait for the bathrooms is quite long so I highly suggest going before you leave Magnolia Table (and definitely head there first) 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

The nice thing about the store is it is seperated into sections - Chips Corner and the T-shirt items are on the second level while the home goods are on the top. 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog
Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog

Don't forget to snap a photo before you go. There was always a line at every "photo op" spot but luckily customers were eager to take photos of one another. (My husband however opted out of having his photo taken) 

Overall I would say it's definitely an experience to have and if you're going to the restaurant you might as well hit up the Silos - but Target is your main resource if you want an affordable piece from the Joanna Gaine's collection. 

Let us know if you're heading to Waco and feel free to ask us any questions you have before you go. 

Waco, TX - Magnolia Texas - Visting Magnolia - Waco Travel Blog