Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Charleston Bachelorette (or Girl's Weekend) Itinerary and Activities

If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, then you know that I haven’t shared that much about my recent trip to Charleston for my friend Sophia’s bachelorette weekend. Today you’ll be getting more than you’ve bargained for with a full itinerary of our Charleston trip plus other activities that Sophia and I did on Sunday and Monday just the two of us that would still make great activities for a Charleston bachelorette or girls-trip weekend.

As maid of honor, I did most of the planning for the trip and was thrilled once it finally arrived since I had been envisioning things for so long before actually arriving in South Carolina. Although her wedding isn’t until the end of July summer gets busy, and this was the weekend that worked best. I’ll be sharing more tips on planning a bachelorette party on Thursday so be sure to stop back by the blog then for advice. I hope you’re prepared for loads of pictures, plenty of ideas, and just a glimpse of all the fun that we had during Sophia’s bachelorette weekend.

Since we were all traveling from various locations to Charleston, we figured that a laid back Friday night would be the best choice for everyone. With staggered arrivals doing this would also help to make sure that no one felt like they were being waited on or holding the group back from other activities. And after a long day of travel, a quick turn around to look decent and feel energized enough for activities didn’t sound like the most relaxing way to begin the trip. 

Check in to the Inns 
I was the first to arrive in Charleston (around 5) and drove straight to the Inns to check in. We had access starting at 4:00 that afternoon so luckily there was no waiting around once I arrived. I’m not sure I would have been the best at being patient when it came to stepping inside to discover just how cute the place we stayed was. To avoid boring y’all with all the details of where we stayed I am going to direct you to last week’s blog post all about the Inns here in case you’re interested in seeing more of our home base for the weekend. 

Y’all know I love a theme, so there was no way I was going to host a bachelorette party without one. I’ll be sharing my tips for planning a bachelorette party plus more on our theme on Thursday so definitely check back then for all of those details. I tried to keep things relatively minimal but wanted the girls to have a few mementos of the weekend and an itinerary waiting for them once they arrived. 

Set up Charcuterie and Dessert Board and Stock the Fridge 
Opting to stay in that night meant that we needed to have food on hand at the Inns. It also meant that this food should be able to sit out from around 6:00 until we went to bed. Since Sophia loves cheese (and it’s not a party without some sort of sweets), a charcuterie board and array of desserts seemed like the best choice. Fortunately, there was a small wet bar situation in the Inns so I was able to keep hummus and a few other snack dips cold until we wanted them while also cooling down the wine and prosecco brought along for the weekend. 


Wait for Everyone to Arrive 
This may have been the hardest part about Friday. Once everything was set up, I was ready for everyone to arrive so that we could enjoy it! The next girl arrived around 6:00, and then everyone else staggered in between 7:30 and 8:30. 

Bridal Shower
Once everyone was settled in with a plate full of snacks and a full glass of wine we did a little shower for Sophia with the gifts that we brought. After that, we stayed up talking and snacking way later than anticipated and finally went to bed around 2:00.

Saturday was most of the girls only full day in Charleston, so we did our best to make the most of our time without exhausting ourselves after staying up late the night before. Since there were five girls, it took a little bit to get everyone dressed and ready for the day, but once we were good to go, we walked to breakfast. 

Breakfast at 132 spring
This cute coffee shop/restaurant was only two blocks from where we were staying which was perfect. The line began to get long after we had sat down so if you have set reservations during the day you may want to arrive with plenty of time to spare. Everything our table ordered looked delicious, and we all perked up a bit after ordering their cold brew coffee. Once we were finished, we walked back to the Inns to head to our next stop.

Deep Water Vineyard
I figured that we needed some sort of activity for Saturday and Sophia happened to find this Vineyard about 35 minutes outside of Charleston. We drove there and arrived just in time for their 11:00 wine tasting (that only cost $7). Once that was over we purchased a bottle of our favorite from the tasting to enjoy while sitting outside where they were setting up for live music. Oddly enough the vineyard also had a bunch of animals, so we wandered around looking at the pigs, chickens, and cow before eventually heading back to Charleston. 

Airbnb for a Snack
I didn’t make lunch plans for Saturday since I wasn’t sure how hungry everyone would be after a later breakfast so when we got back to Charleston, we stopped at the Inns to snack on some of the food from the night before which held us over well until our earlyish dinner. 


Shop down King Street 
Sophia and I would have been perfectly happy shopping down King Street all day, but we weren’t positive that would be everyone’s cup of tea. Having a couple of hours to wander ended up being perfect since we were able to head to the Lake Pajama store which was on the top of Sophia’s shopping list. The interior of the store is gorgeous and worth going just to take it in. We popped in a few others as a group, but Sophia and I hit more when it was just the two of us.
Some of our favorites included: Lake Pajamas, Skinny Dip Charleston, Candlefish, Hampden, Grit & Grace.

Get Ready for Dinner
After walking back to the Airbnb, we had just enough time to change and get ready for our dinner reservation. It was insanely humid on Friday and Saturday, so it was nice to have time to freshen up before the night’s activities. Before we left for dinner, we got a few pictures on the porch of the Inns. 

Rickshaw Ride
Since we had already walked a decent bit during the day and I knew that we wouldn’t want to do that in wedges, I scheduled Rickshaws to pick us up and take us to dinner. A co-worker told me that she and her friends had done that for a bachelorette in Charleston and couldn’t stop talking about how fun it was. I used this company, and it ended up being $6 a person every 10 minutes. Since the restaurant was close to where we were staying it wasn’t too pricey for us and ended up being a blast. 


Dinner at the Darling Oyster Bar
With so many restaurants to choose from in Charleston Sophia and I ultimately decided to book a reservation at the Darling Oyster Bar because of the rave food reviews we’d heard and the aesthetics of the interior. Every detail was so well thought out inside, and we ended up having a great booth that made for great people watching of the bar. We all started our meal with oyster shooters (I had never had a raw oyster up until this point) and delicious cocktails. Order the Basil Daisy for me! I’m dying to attempt to recreate it since it was that good. We ordered some raw oysters and a few other appetizers for the table before eventually placing our dinner order. I decided to get the shrimp and grits which came with crispy Brussel sprouts. 

Jeni’s Ice Cream
After finishing at dinner, we walked next door to Jeni’s for some ice cream despite how full we all claimed to be. The line at Jeni’s is always long but worth it! Since I’m not great at picking a single favorite flavor here are a few of my favorites: Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Salted Peanut Butter with Dark Chocolate Flecks, Savannah Buttermint 

Live Music and Drinks at Republic
Earlier in the day, we had walked past the courtyard at Republic where live music was playing. We spent most of our time out and about on Saturday night there and had the best time. Sophia sighted a bowl drink and claimed to want one, so we ended up ordering one for our group even though I’d guess they are intended to be shared among more people. Either way, it was delicious. Once we finished most of that, we left our spot to get up and dance closer to the band. They didn’t play any of our requests but had the whole place singing along. 

Rooftop View from Stars
When we left Republic, we went across the street to Stars (per the recommendation of our rickshaw driver) to get a rooftop view of the city. After staying there for about an hour, we eventually called an uber and headed home for the night. When we got back, we ended up eating leftover desserts from the night before and went to bed close to 2 yet again. 


Charleston seems pretty quiet on Sunday morning which makes sense given how late everyone stays out on Saturday. Our group slept in a bit before heading to our brunch reservation at 10:30. 

Brunch at Parcel 32
I believe Parcel 32 is a relatively new restaurant on King Street. When looking at their brunch menu the fact that they had $3 mimosas sold me on it as our food stop that morning. We had reservations, but I’m not sure if they were actually necessary that morning. We all got coffee, drinks, and split their French toast before ordering our dishes. I got the chicken and waffles which were very yummy and filling. 


Once we got back to the Airbnb everyone but Sophia and I headed back home after the most fun weekend. Sophia and I had plans to stay until Tuesday and did some other activities that would be equally as fun for a bachelorette group or girls trip. 

Other Ideas & Activities 

Gel Manicures at Mylk Bar (in Mount Pleasant) 
Mount Pleasant is a short drive from Charleston and is where Mylk Bar is located. This is the cutest salon that Sophia and I went to and had our nails done. They have the option of booking a group on their website so if you’re planning to pamper yourself a bit on your trip go ahead and make your reservation in advance. 


Stay at Hotel Bella Grace
If you’re looking for a hotel option while in Charleston Hotel Bella Grace is centrally located with plenty of amenities and gorgeous rooms. See more about our stay there in this post

Candlemaking Class at Candlefish
Since the cost of this was $55, I didn’t want to schedule this for the whole group since I wasn’t sure it would be something that everyone would want to do. Sophia and I had a blast doing it and were both able to make two candles. The classes are held at the Candlefish store on King Street, and there seemed to be a lot of different time choices when we booked our class the week before heading to Charleston. These classes are also BYOB and Candlefish provides cups and wine openers in case you want to add that element to your candlemaking! 

Dinner at Le Farfalle 
This was a recommendation from a friend and ended up being a fun meal. If you’re going with a group, you will definitely need reservations, but we sat at the bar. We split a salad, ricotta, and some chicken pasta. According to the bartender who was our waiter, the last people at the bar on a Sunday night get a free limoncello. It’s strong, so you’ve been warned! 

Dinner and Drinks at The Watch
For a great view of the city, good small plate options, and delicious cocktails go grab dinner at The Watch located on top of the Restoration Hotel. We went around sunset and were able to get a table outside with an amazing view of King Street and the water. Everything we ate was really good, and it’s a good place to order a few items to split if you want some variety. 

Walk Around the Historic District 
It’s not a visit to Charleston without taking in all the brightly colored houses and historic charm the city offers. Tradd Street and the battery are my favorite areas for a bit of house hunting. 


Feel free to pin the image below to save these suggestions! 

Writing all of this out made me want to plan another trip to Charleston stat. If you’ve never been before add it to your list and if you have a trip planned hopefully these suggestions were helpful! If you do have a trip planned you can see what I packed in this post and I've included some of the items worn in the pictures below for you to shop. 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Step Into My Week

I am happy to report that I survived my first full week back last week and am here to tell the tale! It was a busy one which was kinda nice since it made the week feel as though it went by quickly. I have another full week this week before I have another shortened week to head to my childhood best friend’s wedding (seriously questioning how we’re old enough for her to be getting married).

As for this past week, Monday started with finalizing resources for our July/August issue and working ahead on copy for September. I also spend a decent bit of time each Monday responding to comments on various social platforms and getting back to anyone who called or emailed us over the weekend. We had a team meeting in the afternoon, and aside from that, I continued to work on different things I had written on my to-do list. After work, I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up some lettuce and other lunch box essentials before heading to the Y to workout. I came home, showered, and made dinner before watching Netflix’s new movie, The Perfect Date, with my roommate.

Looking back at my planner to write these posts (since I can’t seem to remember how things differ day to day without it) usually gives me a good indication of how busy I was on a given day and Tuesday had every to do list line filled. I did a lot of editing on upcoming home stories and worked ahead on the resources for a special issue we have coming up. After work, I went to the Y and walked on the stair climber for a while (that always seems harder than running to me) before doing some arm and ab exercises. I came home and showered and then ate dinner before doing a little blog work before bed. 

Wednesday wasn’t quite as crazy work-wise since a lot of the stuff I was trying to accomplish required me to wait for responses from the people I was reaching out to. I worked on one of our photographer’s upcoming travel schedules along with completing my usual tasks. After work, I came home and went for a run ending it at Nell’s apartment so that we could go on a walk together. Her roommate Madeleine joined, and the sun was setting by the time we finished. Nell drove me to my house and stayed for a bit to catch one another up on life. At this point it was late, so I ate, cleaned up, and got in bed. 

On Thursday I continued to work on the travel schedule I had started the day prior and also got ahead on social captions for the month of May. I find that doing a bunch of captions and scheduling at once is what works best for me when it comes to planning out content. Our team had a meeting with a PR agency we work with frequently and most of the rest of the day was spent accomplishing various tasks. After work, I went to the Y to workout and came home to quickly shower and eat dinner before bible study that night.

Friday started as it usually does with coffee and some time on my computer at Starbucks. It’s funny to think about the fact that going into work at 8:00 instead of 7:00 somehow allows me more time to accomplish little blog related tasks than I’d expect. I knew that I’d have a lot to do despite having a half day since we got our binder back for one of our upcoming special issues back. This binder took me longer than normal since I had to check more resources with page numbers than I usually do since the magazine is focused entirely on interiors. I finished going through it at noon on the dot and left the office feeling relatively accomplished. After work, I came home and unloaded the dishwasher while making and eating lunch. I hadn’t slept particularly well during the week and had been looking forward to the nap I took for the better part of the week. After waking up from that, I decided to head to get some blog work done before running a couple of errands. Pretty much all of my friends were out of town this past weekend, so it was up to me to come up with my own fun. This resulted in a trip to home depot to get flowers for my window boxes. I went for a walk once I got home from those errands as an excuse to listen to the audiobook I had started the day before, The Royal We. Once I got back, I decided to experiment a little for dinner with chicken stuffed baked avocados. I’m going to have to test out this recipe again before sharing it with y’all since I managed to drop the stuffed avocados in the oven which made such a mess. Fortunately, they tasted much better than they looked. Afterward, I watched Crazy Rich Asians while working on yesterday’s Mother’s Day gift guide. Once the movie was over, I got in bed and went to sleep.

Saturday morning, I woke up and got ready so I could pick up two friends and head to the farmer’s market at Pepper Place. We wandered around for a bit (stopping to pet lots of dogs while there) and eventually I dropped the friends off before heading to get the last few plants for my window boxes. I came home and planted those deciding to place them on our front porch (fingers crossed they survive). I made lunch and then decided to enjoy the amazing weather we were having by reading magazines on our back deck before going on a walk while listening to my audiobook. I was supposed to do stuff with a friend that night but that ended up falling through so I stayed in, watched a movie, and planned ahead some blog content instead. I went to bed relatively early.

Sunday morning, I woke up and drank my coffee and ate my breakfast in bed before getting ready to go for a run. The weather was overcast but warm, so I was glad to knock that out before the afternoon. I came home and did some laundry and started the dishwasher before eating lunch and heading to a coffee shop to write blog text. After that, I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up a couple of things for the week before meeting up with a few friends at Back 40, a brewery in Birmingham. Once I got home, I caught up with my roommate who had been at a conference all week and went on a walk to talk on the phone with my parents. After getting back, I showered and made dinner so that my roommate and I could watch a movie before going to bed.

I hope that your weekend and the past week was nice as well! I think this week will be a fun one with some plans during the week and for the weekend already in place. 


Reading: I recently finished reading (listening to) From The Corner Of The Oval
This book was one that my dad had found and thought I might like. He is really great about discovering books that are not as well known and suggesting or gifting them to my brother or me. I saw that this was available to listen to on the Libby app and gave it a try. It was narrated by the author which I liked and gave a unique perspective on what it’s like to travel as an employee of the White House. 

Watching: The Bold Type
I had watched the previous seasons of this show and had no idea that new episodes were already coming out again. I’ve been watching it using the Freeform app on our AppleTV and have liked having a show with new episodes to look forward to.

Wanting: This Dress
I’m picturing it with a cute white jean jacket for my summer travels. I’m not one too typically be drawn to pieces from FreePeople, but this reminds me of something I’d find and fall in love with on Tuckernuck’s site. 

Loving: Cereal for Dinner
I feel like eating cereal for dinner screams broke college student, but it’s the easiest meal that on occasion I crave. Call me crazy, but after doing that one-night last week, I planned it into my meals for this week. 

Whether headed to the farmer’s market, work, or to run errands I keep reaching for this piece. I sized up to a medium in it since they were out of the small when I initially ordered it. It comes in 4 colors and is worth a try if you want an easy go-to top for spring and summer. 

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Sunday, April 28, 2019

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

How on Earth is it nearly May? This year is going by at an alarmingly fast rate. For fear of it creeping up on me before it's too late, I spent a bit of time this weekend thinking ahead to Mother's Day (it's exactly two weeks from today). I think I have come up with the perfect gift for my mom and I'm excited because I'll be in Fairhope that weekend to watch her unwrap it in person. 

If you haven't just yet come across the perfect gift to give don't worry! I've come up with a slew of options at varying price points that will do the trick. In addition to the items below, I also love the idea of these mugs, these cocktail napkins, this luggage, a gardening set, or these plates

To shop an item, click directly on it in the image below to be taken to where it can be purchased. The planner below can be purchased here

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Saturday Shopping vol. 12

Happy Saturday! The weather was so nice here yesterday and is supposed to be equally as nice today which is so exciting. I have plans to spend most of the day outside and definitely can't complain. When it comes to temperatures heating up it seems like more and more pieces that would help to beat the heat have been released. Currently, my eyes are glued to this dress and this dress!

To shop any of the pieces pictured click directly on the item in the image to be taken to where it can be purchased.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Where To Stay In Charleston (Hotel Bella Grace)

When it comes to staying in hotels, I feel like there are two camps of people; those that love it and soak in every second or those that would much rather be in their own bed at home. As long as the hotel is pretty with a comfortable bed, I fall in the first camp. 

Growing up, especially in elementary school, it seemed like most weekends in the spring and fall were spent on the road staying in hotels since my brother and I both played club (travel) soccer. Sometimes that meant our family of four was heading to the same place planning to divide and conquer with different playing times and field locations and others it meant my mom and I headed to one out of town city and my brother and dad heading to another. We were traveling so frequently that staying in a hotel lost its magic (somehow Eloise always seemed to keep hers at the Plaza though…) that is unless our teams happened to all be staying in the same place at a cool hotel that I’m sure my parents were worried we would destroy. 

Since getting older and traveling less unless it means heading home to Fairhope, I’ve started to rediscover my love of staying in hotels in different cities. Staying at Hotel Bella Grace in Charleston, SC only confirmed this further. Toward the end of my visit to Charleston a couple of weeks ago, Sophia and I decided to make the most of our time together and opted to stay in Charleston two days past when her bachelorette weekend ended. Having lived together, I like to think we are really good travel companions often wanting to rest at the same time but having similar activities in mind when we’re ready to get up and go again. On the last night of our stay, we checked into Hotel Bella Grace which opened in August and were both floored by its beauty. 

Situated just a couple blocks off of King Street, the hotel was centrally located with a design that mixed historical Charleston with a bright, modern interior. Hotel Bella Grace is built in an L shape to the side and behind a historic Charleston home built in the 1830s also owned by the hotel called the Delaney House. Inside the Delaney House is a restaurant that is open to the public from 3-10 every day with complimentary breakfast for guests each morning. When I think of a hotel’s complimentary breakfast, I often think of a waffle maker and some cereal options, but since Hotel Bella Grace is a boutique hotel, they instead choose to offer a mimosa bar, made to order egg/omelet options, and delicious bakery items on top of the typical breakfast choices. To make it even better, you can eat inside or take your food to the porch with a beautiful view of Mother Emanuel AME Church.



After getting a taste of the history and architecture at the Delaney House walking into the lobby makes it seem like you are stepping into a different century. The lobby is warm and inviting with plenty of details that catch your eyes and make you want to linger even longer. Once you do make your way to the elevator and your room you’ll be greeted by an airy accommodation complete with the most comfortable bed, a sitting area, modern bathroom, and even a kitchenette (perfect for all those leftovers you’re bound to have from the delicious food you’ve ordered while in town). Everything about the room felt so crisp and almost New York like while still being the heart of the Holy City with all its southern charm. 

Once we arrived in our room and discovered plush robes waiting on us, it took everything in us to leave the room to head to our dinner reservation. As soon as we got back, however, the robes were back on, and we felt pampered soaking up every minute of our stay. 



If you’re heading to Charleston and are looking into which hotel to stay at look no further than Hotel Bella Grace with its central location, accommodating staff, and spacious suites! 

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