Carry On Packing

So as you all know, I have been traveling A TON! I have been in over five states in two weeks and flying so much. With flying comes so many things–stress, planning, and of course, packing! When have been traveling about every two weeks to a month but I am new to traveling every week. I enlisted the help of one of my best friends Kay to get advice for packing a carry on. I have her advise as well as a little of my own below!

Tips from Kay:

I travel for work. A LOT. And with this comes early morning meetings, late night client dinners and 45-minute hauling ass connections. Which is why, when I fly, carry on is not just the best way, it’s the ONLY way. Your luggage won’t get lost, you won’t be late for that conference call because you’re waiting on your bag, and you won’t get it back to find one wheel missing and all your toothpaste on your favorite sweater.

The most important thing when packing a carry on is, well, the carry-on. Anything adorable and a duffel bag- save it for road trips. Unless it has wheels or you plan on backpacking it and need to get used to the weight, it’s just going to piss you off. I am a fan of the “spinner”, but anything with wheels will do. If you travel occasionally- a good Samsonite, Travelpro, or London fog will do the trick, and for a pretty minimal investment. BUT, if you plan on being a road warrior – go for the tumi, briggs & riley, or the ADORABLE Steamline Luggage (HEART). These are pricey, but come with good warranties.

I personally have a Tumi continental spinner- and I love it!

Before I leave on a trip, I make a list of the days I’ll be gone, and the temperature in the city where I’m going each day. Then I write down what clothes I’ll need (work, travel, outside, etc).

When packing, leggings are a girl’s best friend. So is silk. I usually take a pair of thick black legging-pants and 2-3 silky tunics to go with them (they don’t wrinkle too bad, and can roll up small). If the tunics are long enough, this is a great option for work, and if not- a great option for going out. Throw in a flattering winter white skirt for evening parties, and chances are- it’ll match every shirt you packed. Think coordinating colors: camels, blue, black, white and jean always match… And if you’re me, leopard print is a neutral too. I always pack a pair of tennis shoes and workout clothes. AGAIN- spandex is king. The smaller your shorts and top for running, the better.

Wear your riding boots and a cute blazer or jacket on the plane, this way you can save that precious carry-on space. Stay light on bulky jewelry and scarfs- only take your favorite basics, and if you can, wear these on the plane as well. This will not only save you space, but keep you from leaving your earrings at the hotel.

If you play your cards right, it’s easy to pack in a carry-on for a week.

Just a few more tips from me:

 

 

Cheers and Travel Often!

 

 

While We Were Out: Charleston

We have been traveling machines lately! We were blessed to have family that recently purchased a home in Charleston, and of course we couldn’t wait to go visit! Even though it rained most of the weekend, it was so nice to get out of town for a few days and really enjoy ourselves and explore!

 

We went to a few different places that were so good for food! We started by doing dinner with family on Friday night at the Red Drum in Mount Pleasant. I got the salmon dish and it was SOOO good!

While We Were Out: Cocoa Beach, FL

 

Hey y’all!! It has been a while! We have so many changes going  on in our lives right now and have been so busy traveling I have not had much time to update the blog with outfits, food suggestions, or activities! Hopefully, I can catch up this week! We went to the Kennedy Space Center this weekend in Cape Canaveral {Titusville} on Saturday. It was actually really fun and very informative. I would suggest getting there early, especially if you really enjoy science, space, or anything/all things NASA. Also, because there really aren’t that many people there in the mornings.{I would also suggest bringing lunch, they have a ton of places to eat but it is overpriced and not that good. However, you can go to your car and in and out as long as you get a stamp. We went to Publix and got subs for lunch before hand, I was very glad we did!}

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After finishing the day at KSC, we went to Cocoa Beach for the night and for Sunday to enjoy the sunshine! As a Southerner living in the North, we are not used to cool days until May! I am loving being in Florida for spring this year {call me a snowbird, I don’t even care}. It was such a nice weekend! While we were there, we went to a few cool spots. For dinner we went to Fat Kahunas {get the tuna and Key Lime Pie} and Jazzy’s {get the Calamari, Mahi, Hush Puppies, and Mac salad}. Both of which I would suggest. To get drinks I would try Coconuts (if you are wanting a beach view and more of a main stream experience) or if you are looking for a more local dive bar try Hunkerdown Hideaway. Y’all I am telling you this is the dive of dives for a good band and amazing people watching!!

Jazzys

 

Cheers,

 

Tess

 

While We Were Out…Nashville

Y’all, we have been traveling non stop! We have been in Birmingham, Brooklyn, Nashville, Bristol, and Orlando all in two months! I wanted to share a couple of pictures from our travels to Nashville and a couple of places to try! First off we were in Nashville to celebrate one of my best friend’s weddings! Miss Hannah is now Mrs. Hannah and I am so excited for her! it was a gorgeous day and she looked stunning!

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The rehersal dinner was held at Merchant’s and man was it delicious! I had a delicious steak and shortcake!

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We went out to a few bars but I really liked Acme. It is a large area, but they had plenty of things to keep you busy. A band on one floor and shuffleboard on another. They also sale food, which is always nice. It is a great place to go with a big group of people.

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{Sorry the pictures aren’t the best! these are from snapchat and I haven’t had time to edit the pictures from the wedding on my real camera yet!} Where do you like to go in Nashville?

Cheers,

Tess

SHOPBOP Sale Picks

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Ray Ban Sunnies | Rebecca Minkoff Pack | Watch | Flamingo Floatie & Flamingo Drink Floatie | White off the Shoulder | Romper | Glitter Card Holder | Ring

Spring is right around the corner and I am very very excited! I am ready for warm weather this year. Living in the Northeast makes you much more excited about the arrival of spring. Shopbop is having a sale right now go to their website to check out  Now lets talk about some of these cute items above.

Tassels, stripes, off the shoulder, gold, pink, and fun are what I am forecasting for this warm weather season. First off lets chat about fun. Look at these flamingo floats!! Obviously, you need one and how about your drinks? They need a matching floating oasis to ensure no spills and what pool doesn’t look better with more floaties inside! The rest of these items are definitely on my wish list for the spring/summer season.

 

What is one your spring wishlist?

 

Cheers,

 

Tess

Staycations: NYC

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So you live where you live. How many landmarks are in your town that you have never even visited? I bet there are museums or tours you have never been to. What are you waiting for? Bored on the weekend? No plans? Make them!

Aaron and I did just that. We spent time doing all of the “touristy” things that most people in NYC do when they are visiting the first few days. We bought a NYC Pass {check it out here} for a five day pass. This pass gives you access to so many amazing sites and some fast passes for certain sites. We crammed in so much and really were exhausted by the end but here are some of our journeys that we had. We did tours, walked through museums, and my favorite things were the the views from Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building. But I will share some pictures of some of our favorite experiences and tips!

 

Must Go:

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  • Empire State Building Tour and Observation Deck {link}

    • We had so much fun going to the top of the empire state building. I am a building buff so I loved the audio tour as well. We decided to check out the top of the empire state building during the day and the top of the Rock at night. Honestly, I think going any time on a clear day or night is great. Make sure to check the weather so you get the best “bird’s eye view” of NYC that you can. It is absolutely gorgeous and makes you realize how many buildings there really are in the city.
  • Top of the Rock {link}

    • Once we got to the Top of the Rock, it was so worth the wait. As I stated earlier, we decided to do Top of the Rock at night because we wanted one day experience {Empire State} and one night view from above. If you can go at sunset and get the best of both worlds, I would suggest it! This deck is more open than the Empire state building is. They have glass panels that line the edges of the building so you get a better unobstructed view of NYC. BRING YOUR CAMERA!
  • MoMA {link}

    • MoMA was full of interesting art. They have everything from Post Impressionist paintings to VERY modern works of art and abstractions. It is definitely going to take you a couple of ours to get through all of the floors of art but it is pretty well organized and they also have some very famous pieces of art. For example, when we were there, we got to see the famous “The Starry Night” -Vincent van Gogh. They also had a few pieces from Monet {one of my favorites}.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art {link}

    • Okay, on to the Met. Y’all, wear tennis shoes!! That is the first and best statement for the Met! If you have ever been to the Louvre in Paris, you will need to expect the same thing at the Met. The Met is the closest relative, in the museum world and in NYC, to the Louvre because of its vast amount of space and variety of art and artifacts. There is so much to see I suggest that you spend as much of a day there as you can, especially if you really love museums.

 

Tips and Tricks:

  • Make sure you don’t just look at NYC pass website for hours. Go to the business website of the site you are visiting to confirm openings/closings and regular business hours.
  • Make sure to plan your days ahead of time. Aaron and I sat down and made a list of what we HAD to do what we would like to do and what we would do if time allowed. Then we sorted them based on location to help us organize our time and get the most access we could with our passes.
  • Pack water! or at least take some one dollar bills for street vendor waters {they are the cheapest}
  • Do a few audio tours. I know I know, no one wants to walk around the same section of a museum for three hours trying to listen to what seems like a book on tap. But I promise that the audio tour for the Empire State Building and MoMA are a must! You will learn a lot and really get to pick and choose what you want to listen to.
    • Please note that some of the audio tours are not included in the NYC Pass and some are. It is good to check before hand or be ready to pay a little more if you are determined to have the audio experience.
  • Another Option is City Pass, it is basically the same but some minor adjustments. Check it out here to see which one would be better for your trip.
  • Wear tennis shoes or comfortable flats. When you book these days full you will be glad you did, and after a few hours that conscious feeling of looking like a tourist starts to fade away! I wanted to share some good versatile tennis shoe suggestions to make you feel comfortable and a little less touristy!

Cheers and hope you have a great trip!
Photo Credit: Refraction Photography Company
-Tess

Sweater Weather | Brooklyn, NY

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Moving to Brooklyn was definitely a change in life. Moving into a brownstone, walking to everything, marketing, really everything about the lifestyle is different. There are a ton of things I love about living in Brooklyn like that are so many restaurants and coffee shops within walking distance, the ease of transportation, and the vibe of openness {it is super chill}! Some of the more challenging things have been marketing. What I mean by that is that there really aren’t any “grocery stores” per say. Instead, there are multiple tiny markets. They really turn into specialty shops and you end up having to go to five stores to get everything you need for dinner. I walk to each of the shops, there is one shop for wine, a butcher, one store for veggies/fruits and main essentials, a pharmacy for toiletries and then a flower shop for a quick bouquet. That is much different than driving to a Publix for an all in one sort of shopping.

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Two other things about Brooklyn that I love are the fashion and the brownstones. The Brownstones really add a touch of classic NYC and highlight elements of the past, while the fashion has such a hipster vibe and new age rules. Really the only rule seems to be that anything goes. I love seeing what people come up with. There are wonderful mixtures of 70’s sunnies to 90’s crop tops and army boots. It is never boring to walk around the neighborhoods to check out the beautiful homes and the fun fashion. Although, for now I will stick with my more classic style, I may add a couple of fun pieces in after all this inspo!

 

Cheers,

 

Tess

The Palm Court | The Plaza Hotel | New York, New York

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The Palm Court

For as long as we have lived in NYC, I have always wanted to go to The Palm Court for dinner or tea. We finally got the chance to check it out this month. I was very excited about going and I was not disappointed. We went during NYC Restaurant Week and really had an amazing night {for more on Restaurant Week check out my post here}. We each tried an appetizer, entree, and dessert all paired with a delicious cocktail. Hands down my favorite cocktail we tried was the “Unencumbered.” I love anything that has cucumbers in the drink, I really feel like it adds such a fresh and crisp element to a cocktail.

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The food and drinks are wonderful at The Plaza’s Palm Court, but lets be real. You are mainly there for the location and experience! Part of me had never felt more New York than that date. Or at least the “New York” that I had pictured before actually moving to New York. Dressing chic, wearing stilettos, walking into the gorgeous Plaza Hotel, into the extravagance of Central Park South alone will have a girl swoon. Once you walk into the Palm Court space and seeing the beautiful stained glass piece of art that comprises the roof of the restaurant should make anyone appreciate the interior elements that harmonize this space. There is definitely a stigma for the restaurant but at the same time, almost every table was having their servers take their pictures {so of course we did too}!

After dinner and walking around Central Park South area and Upper East Side, it was back to reality for this girl. Again, never feeling more Brooklyn then after this experience getting street food Halal, riding the subway and heading back to my borough! lol!

Until next time, stay classy NYC.

 

 

Cheers and xo,

 

Tess

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While We Were Out: Best of Birmingham

So we were basically out for the month of January but we were having fun in Birmingham. Currently, we are just living out of a suitcase city to city! It is actually really exciting but I am already exhausted and we are just getting started! I lived in Birmingham for a while but wow has it changed! I wanted to share some fun new places and some wonderful old places to go to.

 

Coffee

Red Cat is a great place to go if you are looking for a place to work on your laptop or hangout for a while. It is good for a small group meeting since they have a good bit of seating. Make sure to check their hours before you go! I suggest the Russian mint coffee.

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O Henry’s has a couple of locations. The Homewood location is also great for laptop/book working or a small group. The location in Highlands is a little smaller. Better for a coffee to go or a couple wanting to get a quick drink/dessert. I suggest their carrot cake and chai latte.

Drinks

There are really starting to be a good amount of breweries in Birmingham. There is Avondale, Good People, and Cahaba just to name three that I visited. You should definitely try them out if you are up for a good local brew.

 

I also recommend trying out Saturn, it is a new bar/music venue in Avondale area. The interior is really neat and they have the original Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and some other older gaming systems to play! There are also a TON of other games they have available to use if you are not seeing a show.

 

Another place you have to try is The Collins. It is my favorite place to go in Birmingham.

{Photo Credit here for The Collins}

Collins Bar, Bar director Feizal Valli

 

Eats

Okay, lets just start by saying, there are so many places to eat in Birmingham! I like to eat locally or at least locally owned places. Here are a few of my favorites and suggestions on what to order.

  • Gianmarcos: Rigitoni with four cheeses or Lasagna
  • Moe’s BBQ: Wings, mac and cheese, banana pudding
  • Slice: perfect pepperoni slice and a wedge salad
  • Chicken Salad Chick: Three scoops–Fancy Nancy, Buffalo Barclay, and Pasta Salad

 

 

What are your favorite places to eat in Birmingham?

 

Cheers,

 

Tess