Thursday, March 22, 2018

🌍 Our 2018 Travel Bucket List 🌍

My oh my how 2018 is turning out to already be quite the year. It's one thing to start it off with what you think is a clear idea of your goals and loose schedule for the year just to have it completely turned on its head in the best possible way. Not going to lie, I'm a little sad I used up my Powersheets planning prior to knowing this change of plans. :)
The stresses of "immigrating" to another country for a year (y'all won't believe how intense the Visa process is!) are numerous, but gosh thinking of all the TRAVEL brings us so much excitement. So we made a bucket list of all the places we want to go in this next year and you guys, there just aren't enough weekends!!! 

Below is what we narrowed it down to - but we need your help! Either comment on this post or go to my Instagram post featuring our Buckingham Palace selfie and comment on any or all of the blow:
  1. If you had to choose a quick weekend in one of these places which one would you do: Cinque Terre, Ireland, Belgium or Holland (we're going to miss the tulips already) 
  2. What on this list would you skip?
  3. Are we going to any places at the wrong time of the year?
  4. What are we missing?
  5. Where should we stay and what should we do in these places?! I'll post individually on them too throughout the year because it is a little intense to think about getting recommendations on all of them at once. I have a note on my phone going for them though - so bring it on if you think of something!
A few call outs... the December Hawaii trip was already planned before our move, so no control there (we know it's going to be a looonngggg flight). We're excited and grateful to our parents for bringing us along to celebrate their big anniversary! 

We won't be taking Sully to Ibiza and Morocco, that trip is to celebrate our 30th birthdays (quite a bit after) while my Mom is in London.

Paris, Champagne and Amsterdam are already booked so no going back there! 

We'll still be abroad in 2019 so a couple other trips we're thinking about early next year are - Switzerland and Norway (for the northern lights!). We also hope to make it back to Positano at some point since it's our most favorite place in the whole world and we'd love to show it to Sully.

And who am I kidding, life happens and traveling is expensive so we may only make it to half of these places! Or maybe we'll just fly by the seat of our pants and look on a Thursday at what the cheap flights are and just go from there. I'd like to think I'm chill enough for that anyway :).

Also, we plan on taking advantage of London and all the fun day trips there too, I just didn't list them out!

Ok GO, let me hear your thoughts!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

5 Steps to Wellness in your Home

My word for 2018 is WELLNESS, so I'm trying to bring this into every avenue of my life. Including inside my home! When I shared a poll on Instagram Stories asking if you'd like to learn how we're incorporating wellness into our home - 100% of you said "yes"! So here ya have it, 5 steps that helped me get started on bringing "Wellness" in your home. 

First and foremost (and no this is NOT sponsored, but this is my referral link)...


This is hands down the service that kicked off my wellness in the home journey and quite honestly the #1 way I stayed on track and was introduced to new products. Their goal is literally to bring safe, sustainable products to every family. 

They email and/or text you each month to remind you to order and you can order nothing (no limit on how much you can skip), order what you did last month or add things. Even better, almost all the products are discounted - I did a comparison to the same products at Target and they were cheaper on Grove. They also give you exclusive access to products that you can't find at big stores (like the coveted peppermint Meyers soap!). 

Secondly, download the Think Dirty app on your phone and scan or search cleaning products before buying them so you know what products aren't harmful or toxic. It's absolutely crazy how many products are masked as "clean" but score a 7 or higher on the app. 

{ONE} Wool Dryer Balls + Essential Oils

This is my favorite wellness in the home hack. Where do I even begin on these 3 magic wool balls that I add lavender essential oils to every single dry? Here's everything they do or are:
  • Reduce your drying time by 25%
  • Soften your clothes 
  • All-natural and chemical-free
  • Hypoallergenic so even if you're allergic to wool, they work
  • Last 1,000 loads
  • Save you LOADS (see what I did there ;)) of money by not buying dryer sheets that leave a chemical residue on your clothes + save you energy/money with the reduced drying time
  • Naturally, scent your clothes 
Just search "dryer balls" in Grove once you join. They're the Grove brand and only $16!

{TWO} Essential Oil Diffuser

Speaking of essential oils, I'm completely hooked. A lot of the time we diffuse them instead of candles. Why?
  • Chemical free - a lot of candles produce benzene and toluene which are carcinogens!
  • No flame around dogs or babies
  • The smell lasts longer because it's dispensed slowly over a period of time
  • Aromatherapy - it's amazing what a little lavender can do to calm us down, what a little lemongrass can do to make my home feel like a spa and what energizing blends can do to pep up our morning

We just use this $25 diffuser off Amazon. I even wrote a whole post on essential oils for productivity over on my business's blog. 

{THREE} Towels (not napkins or paper towels)

Ok, so we made it maybe a week straight with purely towels if I'm being honest. That said, I no longer buy napkins and I only reach for paper towels if it's something truly grimy. It was just crazy to me how many paper towels and napkins filled our trash. This has at least brought us awareness so we cut down on our usage. 

Funny enough, my favorite kitchen towels are the free ones Grove sends me. I have three now and they're so absorbent, sturdy and large. You can also find them on their site by searching "kitchen towels" once you join


Speaking of reducing waste to make your home "well". I normally drink at least 3 cups of tea a day (just can't do coffee y'all) - that's over 1,000 tea bags thrown in the trash in a year! Enter the ManaTEA that I found at Target. Now I buy loose leaf tea, pop it into my tea diffuser and compost the leaves (see #5 on that topic). BOOM - no waste! 

True, you can compost some tea bags, but most of them aren't hemp or ingredients that are compostable so be careful and see #5 below for more info. 

{FIVE} Composting

Is it ok for me to share one thing that we've completely failed at when it comes to wellness for our home? Because we totally failed at composting. 

First off, I thought you literally compost ANY type of food - including meat. Ew, WRONG. So, so wrong. I like this article on 100 things you can compost. Here are some things you CAN'T compost:
  • Meat! (including fish)
  • Dog and Cat Poop (or any carnivores for that matter)
  • Citrus Peels
  • Onions - this and the above can kill worms and other things that help everything thing down
  • Paper (ok, paper bags sure, but no glossy/coated paper)
  • Take the sticky labels off your fruits and veggies!
  • Ash and sawdust (from treated wood)
Secondly, the bag leaked on us one time and then another we didn't compost the bag well enough and our dogs got into it and got sick. I'm for sure not giving up here though! I'm determined to make this work y'all. 

I do love our little compost bin. Not to sound like a broken record, but it's from Grove which you can find by searching "compost" once you join. See, I wasn't kidding when I said I really do love Grove and you should join :).  Our bin is only $20 and the bags are $6 for 25, but honestly, I haven't shopped around on those yet to know if that's good or bad for compost bags. 

Any tips for me on this one?

Ok - so that's it! What other things do you do around your home to keep it "well"? I'll be asking this question on Instagram, so pop over to see the answers from others and share your own!

PS: Did you check out my new #CoolMom backpack earlier this week?! Under $100 and it has pockets for days! See it here. Plus, this blush stripe cabana top (as I like to call it) is 40% off!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Blush & White Striped Cabana Top

The moment I saw this blush and white striped top on JCrew, I knew it was going to be a fun Spring staple. It made me feel like I should be lounging under a cabana sipping a mojito with perfectly pedicured toes kicked up to a blue sky. Even better, right now get 40% off when you purchase 4 items from JCrew with code NEWNEW.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Meaning if you click on or buy things I've linked, I will receive some change thrown my way. Thank you for supporting my blog. 
Shirt // Jeans // Shoes (similar) // Earrings (similar) // Bag (similar)
I first got to wear this fun top to breakfast in downtown Charleston with Nana and Papa when they came to town. Paired with my new fav button fly, wide-leg crop jeans and leopard mules it was such an easy and cute outfit. 
We parked on Archdale and walked to Queen Street Grocery for crepes. I had never stopped in the Unitarian church's graveyard before so we wandered through there. I was BLOWN AWAY! The Spanish moss, the history in the tombstones and the azaleas all were just so beautiful. Not going to lie, it made me think, "Why am I leaving Charleston again?". 
Of course, I found a Charleston home that matched my stripes perfectly too! Right across from Queen Street. It was actually under construction and this green door was wide open. Well, it was too pretty not to get in the photo so I reached in and closed it just a smidge ;). 
What are some of your favorite items coming up for Spring? 

I also purchased this pink raincoat, this leopard sweater and this LOL shirt (Let's Share A Laugh Day is coming up on the 19th!). Those are coming soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Girl, I've Got Your Back(pack)!

For years I've carried around a very, very large tote bag and while I don't think it's going anywhere anytime soon, I started getting a hankering for a backpack that was more shoulder-friendly. Enter the Calpak Kaya Travel Backpack in Stone (square version here) that I am officially obsessed with, especially when running (literally) to meetings throughout downtown Charleston. 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Meaning if you click on or buy things I've linked, I will receive some change thrown my way. Thank you for supporting my blog. This is in no way sponsored by Calpak or other affiliates. I just really LOVE this bag y'all!
I first saw this bag when I had coffee with my friend Brette. When I did a google search after we met I couldn't believe that it was under $90! The perfect price point for a stylish backpack to try out vs. some of the designer brands that are $200+. Although I will say, I do still love this pink backpack (I ordered the mini for Sully), this pebbled leather one, and this one seen on Gal Meets Glam is just backpack goals!
Now it's my go-to for everything from toting around my laptop (it fit up to a 15" laptop) to all the snacks Sully's little heart could desire! I have a feeling it's going to be my main bag in London and all our travels too.
What I love the most besides the style and price? There are SO many pockets! I mean, I feel like I find a new pocket every day y'all. First, there's the front zip pocket where I keep my cell and keys and things I need to quickly access.
Then in the main compartment, there are two open pockets and one small zip against the front flap. There's also a large open pocket against the back as well.
The pocket fun just doesn't stop! :) There's also a back padded compartment with an open pocket and snap closure for your laptop.
Finally, there's a strap that sits flush up against the bag that you can use to connect the backpack to your suitcase in the airport.
Awesome, right?! I seriously don't think I've ever gotten more compliments on any bag before! I already know two friends who've ordered it themselves. #twinsies 

Order yours here or here

Friday, March 2, 2018

5 on Friday: Oh Hey March!

It's the first Friday in March y'all! How did that happen?! I'm ready for a fun 5 on Friday, how about you?!

Frankly, before we get started, I'm pretty pumped March is here because in my world right now, March equals decisions being made! Like renting the "flat" where we'll be living in London, solidifying our house being rented out in Charleston, getting a UK bank account (the hardest thing in the world believe it or not!) firming up Sully's part-time daycare and oh so much more. 

This is going to sound like a total diva moment, but I don't know that I would have survived February without my close friends (you know who you are!) and my acupuncturist. Cupping and the hour lying on that table with zen music and those perfectly placed needles was my saving grace. Not to mention Lisa's calming and insightful presence!

This month I have a great mix of 5 on Friday items, no matter how you're feeling at the beginning of this month!

{ONE} Travel_InHerShoes

Do you ever come across someone on Instagram and literally can't get enough? That's what happened when I found Aggie and her 426K followers. Her adventures are amazing, her photo editing stunning (and she sells her presets!) and her Highlights are my go-to when looking at where we're going to travel when we move abroad!

{TWO} Article - What Those Words on Beauty Products Really Mean

The Free People blog kills it y'all, I love it and this article was short and sweet enough that I actually got it. This is particularly scary: 

"... a lack of regulation makes it incredibly easy to slap the term ‘natural’ on a label without anything to back it up. Many products that claim to be natural are likely just jumping on a marketing trend."
I'll be looking more for this label:

"Three cheers for regulation! To be “organic,” a product needs to pass a test of sorts put forth by the USDA: it has to contain at least 95% organic ingredients that have been grown and processed under a strict code of guidelines, and be free of additives."
Y'all need to school me on this topic, what else do I need to know about ingredients? Which ones do you stay away from when you look at ingredients? That's what I want to know next!

{THREE} Shopbop Buy More, Save More Sale (Ends Tomorrow!)

Oh the big Shopbop sale... gets me every time! This round though I'm very conscious of the fact that anything I buy I will also have to haul on suitcases on the plane (yep, we're bringing everything on the plane with us!) when we move. So here are the two things I did buy:
Free People Midi Dress
(full disclosure - I returned this dress because it is so not made for busty girls!)

Now, here's a few other things I really wanted:

{FOUR} Perfectly Pink Raincoat

Last clothing thing on the docket today and how perfect is it?! London is going to be all black everything, but the preppy pink loving American in me is swooning over this coat! 

This Instagram post by @bymariandrew really struck home for me this week y'all. I am really contemplating printing it and hanging it up in my office, fridge and bathroom mirror! What are other inspirational accounts you love?

That's it for this week y'all! Stay tuned to see my favorite new work backpack and more info on our big move. Make sure you don't miss my Instagram-worthy London Bucket List too!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Our Instagram-Worthy London Bucket List

What a whirlwind London trip we had y'all! And now I'm glad I can finally say why! We took a redeye and landed in London Friday at 7am, dropped our things at the hotel and hit the streets immediately to combat the jet lag. Then we had the weekend to play around and be tourists. 

I have to note that we went in January and it gets dark starting around 4pm, so our daylight was limited. Which means it also got cold early too - see my full packing list here

After a meeting on Monday, we really realized that London could be our home in a few months. So then it was more about going around and looking at neighborhoods. That's why things slowed down on Insta Stories haha, I felt like I couldn't post too much! I actually had people asking me via Instagram if we were ok because I stopped posting. Sorry y'all!

Not to mention, there was ZERO time to plan before we got there because we booked flights two weeks before we left, so we just were winging it based on all your wonderful recommendations from this Instagram post and messages on Facebook

Considering it was a lot of tubing and town touring, I thought I would switch things up and instead of sharing a play-by-play of our trip, share an Instagram-Worthy London Bucket List with you!
First off, can we just establish that pretty much all of London is Instagram-worthy?! So yes, this post is going to be long, but that's how I roll :). I was really surprised at how cute of a city is considering that 11 MILLION(!) people live there. 

I love how easy Instagram was to use as a resource to find fun places to go! Much to Ryan's dismay ;), we hit SO many of them too! I added everything we did to my Instagram Highlights on my profile, you'll see the little soldier icon that says "London" and it's all right there for you!

Here's a print out for you too in case you like the areas and places we visited and want to visit them yourself! If you have trouble grabbing it or specific questions, email me at or message me on Instagram
Here were our favorites of these locations!

We didn't time things right to make the changing of the guards, but Buckingham Palace still didn't disappoint. It's just such a magnificent building and there are so many beautiful views of it, so make sure you don't stay in just one place - walk around, walk up, walk away. 

I had such a lovely afternoon at Kensington Palace Gardens while Ryan was working. I randomly happened upon it when touring Kensington as a place to live so I decided to walk through the Gardens where I saw the swans at the lake and then made my way to the Palace. I completely lost track of time though and when I got there around 3:50, they weren't letting anyone else in for tours because they close at 4pm. Oh well, just another thing to do when we move in April! :)
PS: How awesome is my new camera (Lumix g85) + Lightroom editing. I love this photo!

When we landed and were trying to fight jet lag, we headed straight to Notting Hill to check out Portobello Road. It did not disappoint and was a great introduction to the city. 
We ate breakfast here almost every morning because it was so cute and really close to our hotel (London Bridge Hotel).  The egg butty was our fav and it's right across from an amazing juice stand! This wall is walking out of the market onto the main road, you can't miss it! And we all know a good wall is a key to Instagram-worthy!
This was by far the most recommended place. Trust me when I say the bathrooms are going to BLOW.YOUR.MIND. It felt like I was in some bizarre sci-fi movie. And then the tea... OH the tea. The service is awesome, they bring you tea of your choice and then sandwiches and cakes. It was a really neat experience y'all! We had to make reservations and it was pretty expensive but in my mind an experience like none other.

I seriously could have done a whole entire post on just this place! Only thing is, it's not the best lighting at all for photos :). 
These are the infamous bathroom pods...
Ok, how could a gal who loves good shopping NOT go to Harrods?! It was beautiful and was everything I imagined it to be and so much more! Even if you don't like shopping and can't afford a single thing in the whole store (like me haha), GO. There are entire restaurants, butchers, coffee roasters, confectionaries and more there. It was fabulous. 
You have to have Indian food when you're in London! And this is the place to get it folks! My friend Christen (follow her yummy IG) raved about the Chai Tea (my fav!) and the Egg Naan Roll for breakfast. The chai tea was insane to the membrane!!! Make this one of your first stops. 
The staff was absolutely incredible and our main waiter asked if we lived in London or were tourists and we mentioned we could potentially be moving to London. He got so excited and ran away and came back with these little tiny bags and inside was a mini bronze dice on a key ring. They have a "locals day" so if you're part of the mailing list a bring it in your dice keychain that day they give you an actual dice to roll. If you roll a 6 your entire table's meal is on them! Isn't that so fun?

I know you've seen this place all over Instagram, it's the one with the pink floral wall and yummy food! We ran out of time (and the line or "queue" as Brits say was always long) so we went at night and were so excited to get sat in the flower wall room in the back. Surprisingly, this place had the best food we ate (outside of Dishoom for breakfast). 100% order the sweet potato fries!
When I asked people where to go in London, Charleston Weender and a friend of a friend (who I think has great taste!) suggested this adorable cake shop which is in the Westminster area of town. It was absolutely adorable with its flower-filled heart outside of the pink building. Definitely save time to walk around the area and see the beautiful flower shops, shoe shops and home interior shops (my favorite made table cloths that looked like watercolor, but really spelled out funny words). 

We waited in line to get in and have a cupcake and a drink and I have to tell ya, I wasn't super impressed with the cupcakes we had. They were adorable, but dried out, unfortunately. So I would suggest taking your cute photo outside and then popping inside to grab a hot chocolate to go - because that was DELISH!  
It helped that our hotel was a few buildings down from The Shard (like a piece of glass) which is the tallest building in London and has THE best views. Now - it is incredibly expensive, but to get to the observation deck which is a floor above and is an entry fee, so at least at the Gong restaurant you get a drink for your money while you wait to get moved to a window seat. 

They do make it interesting drink wise, mine had an actual (dead) SCORPION hidden in the leaves. They told me I could eat it and I was like.... uhhhh no thanks :). The person next to us had a Star Wars themed drink that legit was floating. 
This one was a surprise for me. We didn't have it on our list, but happened upon it after Dishoom and were so surprised. We went to the Paris macaroon house of Laduree and wandered in and out of stores watching street performers and taking in the city views. 
If it's your first time to London, you just have to go to Trafalgar Square. It's an easy walk up the Mall (pronounced Mal) from Buckingham Palace. It's full of beautiful landmarks (and some street performers) and surrounded by even more historic buildings and museums. 
This is a given for a good London Instagram photo, right!? And don't stress, you'll find these fancy little booths all over London. This one was right outside Covent Garden. 
I can't believe I forgot this one on the list! It's so cool from the outside you guys and just as interesting on the inside. It was the perfect stop after a loooonnnggg day of sightseeing. 
A note on BIG BEN AND WESTMINSTER ABBEY - they both were under construction and Big Ben especially was completely covered in scaffolding so don't get your hopes up here if you're going anytime soon. 

I added thoughts on what to pack, money exchange, your cell phone and riding the tube in this post if you want more info there! 

What spots did I miss and need to go back to when we move in April?! 

What do you want to know more about! Comment below or message me on Instagram
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