October 05, 2017

Weekend in Charleston

Spending my 20th birthday in Charleston was a dream! I have always wanted to take a trip to Charleston to experience their Southern Charm. What a blast this trip was! The architecture, the food and the atmosphere was incredible. Here's a recap of my adventure...

Where We Stayed
We stayed at the beautiful French Quarter Inn. It was the perfect place to spend a classy getaway. We stayed in a Traditional Queen Room that had two queen beds and a luxurious marble bathroom. Every room came with a seven pillow menu and a pillow concierge button on the telephone! Pillows range from Swedish massage to Snore-No-More! How incredible is that?! Every night we got in after a day of exploring we were greeted with Charleston treats and water in our room. It was a sweet little treat to end the day! I plan on staying at the French Quarter Inn when I visit again. It was conveniently located and was such a delight.

What We Did
My family and I scheduled a two hour walking tour around Charleston with Michael from Charleston Footprints. This tour was an easy way to see the city. We walked through the cobblestone streets, heard all the stories about Historic Charleston and viewed the beautiful architecture. We visited the French Quarter, South of Broad, Rainbow Row and The Battery. We saw colonial churches and graveyards, historic parks, classic architectural, gardens, etc. Our tour guide, Michael, is from Charleston and did an excellent job our showing us around his home. This tour is a must if you want to see the city in such a short time! 

One of Charleston's famous landmarks, Waterfront Park, was a must on my to-do list. We took our pictures with the famous Pineapple Fountain and had a blast. The Waterfront Park is along the Cooper River. Kids were playing in the fountain and local musicians were playing. There is also a walk way canopy of oak trees with many benches. This is a relaxing spot to hang out at! 

Of course we couldn't leave Charleston without visiting King Street. It is one of the top streets in America. It has antiques, shops, restaurants, lodging, art galleries, book stores, etc. We went to King Street on my birthday to do some shopping. My favorite stop was The Skinny Dip: Charleston Edition. The eclectic shop is a preppy dream. Not only does it have the cutest things to shop but it also has a rooftop bar. They are famous for their frosé (frozen rosé!) Upstairs was decorated beautifully. The upstairs deck had a porch swing, floral picture wall, palm-print pillows and boho decor. Bring your girls! It's a blast. 

College of Charleston is named America's Most Beautiful College Campus. If I traveled out of state for college, this would be my #1 pick. It is breathtaking! Even if your college years are over, it is worth the stroll. The oak trees, architecture of the building and overall Southern Charm atmosphere makes this spot one to see.

The Charleston City Market was located right behind our hotel. It was a great way to meet the locals and shop for souvenirs. Sweetgrass baskets are the most popular souvenirs in Charleston. They are pricey but they are an incredible Charleston treasure. My mom purchased one for our dining table. There are more than 300 booths to shop from in the market. The market is covered so this is a great thing to do if it rains. There is something to see, do, taste and buy at the market!

What We Ate
Oh boy...you better pack stretchy clothes if you are headed to Charleston! Trying to fit all of Charleston's "must-eats" in one weekend was a fun but painful one. This city has endless options but I will list a few of our favorites. The number one place I wanted to eat was Callie's Hot Little Biscuit. I am a sucker for biscuits so of course I had to stop by! We ended up visiting the location inside of Charleston City Market on our last day. We picked up a baker's dozen for the ride home. The country ham was my favorite!

For my birthday dinner, we ate at 82 Queen. This unique spot did not disappoint with their cuisine and hospitality. If it is not too hot, I recommend sitting outside. The scenery is beautiful. You have to walk down a tight cobblestone walkway to get to the restaurant. The courtyard is very elegant...perfect for date night. I had the Carolina Crab Cakes that came with Charleston Red Rice. This was my favorite meal of the entire trip. Yum, yum, yum! When I return, I will be stopping here!

Magnolia's is another must-eat place for Charleston. They are known for their traditional Southern cooking. For dinner, I ordered a typical Southern entree. I ate Buttermilk Fried Chicken Breast with mashed potatoes, collard greens, corn and a biscuit with sausage-herb gravy. I split this entree with my mother and I still couldn't finish it. However, it was amazing!

Other restaurants we ate at were Eli's Table, Brown Dog Deli, Cru Cafe, Jeni's Ice Cream, Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts, Peace Pie and the complimentary breakfast served at French Quarter Inn! You can't go wrong with any of these places! They were all incredible. 

Charleston is a beautiful city with thousands of things to see, do and eat! I posted some more pictures on my Instagram so make sure to check those out. If you ever head to Charleston, let me know! I'd love to see pictures and hear what you did. I already want to head back. Thanks for reading!

Hannah Claire

August 29, 2017

Haleakalā Downhill Experience

Our first morning in Maui was a fun one. We got up at 2:00 am Hawaii time and headed up to meet Haleakalā Bike Co. for our bike trip starting in Haleakalā National Park. We chose the "Sunrise Special Trip" that included a sunrise experience. If you are ever in Maui, this is the one thing I recommend you MUST do. I was scared at first when I was told I was going to bike 23 miles down a mountain on a road that cars frequently drive on. This experience was safe, fun and definitely something I will do again!
After we checked in at Haleakalā Bike Company, we suited up for our adventure. We picked up helmets, jackets, gloves and backpacks. We got in a van with about 15 other people and headed up to Haleakalā's 10,023 feet summit to view the sunrise at the rim of the crater. You probably wondered why we needed gloves and jackets in Maui, right? This is why. It is freezing at the top of the mountain. It is recommended that you dress in layers for this trip. I started with the jacket they gave us and a sweatshirt. By the time we reached the bottom, I was in a tank top.
The freezing temperature and lack of sleep didn't matter when the sun started to rise. The view was incredible.

After snapping pictures and time lapse vides of the sunrise, we headed back down to our drop off location. We started outside of the Haleakalā National Park entrance at 6,500 feet. Our group consisted of my two brothers, their friend, my sister-in-law, my boyfriend, my dad and me. Of course the boys started full speed down the mountain while the girls and my dad stayed in the back. It was scary at first trying to adjust to the bike heading fast down a curvy mountain but I eventually got the hang of it. We could see the a portion of Maui's coastline and land. It was insane how high up we were!
We got a few drone shots of the family heading down and then made our first stop at Maui Lavender Cafe. This little shop was just outside the path of eucalyptus trees and attached to a lavender field. We stopped in to pick up a few Lavender treats and toxic-free products. I had lavender lemonade and a slice of banana bread. My family also shared a few cinnamon rolls that were delicious!

We hopped back on our bikes and continued to ride down the mountain. We were on main roads so we had to be aware of cars passing. Luckily, this wasn't an issue for us as the locals see bikers everyday. We passed churches, schools, farms and homes on our path. We even saw a sweet horse that we stopped to take pictures with.

The bike down was so much fun. We arrived back at the meeting spot around 10:30 am. We were asked to be back before 4:00 pm so we could've explored more if we wanted too. However, I think we saw a lot that morning.
I will say it again...you must do this bike tour if you are in Maui! Do not worry about it being strenuous if you are not active. I am far from being active and this adventure was not challenging for me. Also, if you think the early morning schedule just won't work for you, try scheduling this trip on the first or second day you arrive. Since we were traveling from Eastern Time Zone, the Hawaii-Aleutian Time did not bother us much.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post and make it out to Maui in the future if you haven't been already. 
Hannah Claire

July 23, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Home Decor

It's that time of year again when the same pair of booties, same beauty product and same cardigan is posted all over your feed. Don't get me wrong, major props to the bloggers who take the time to showcase each and every pick from the sale. I am just not the type of girl who willing buys a new fall wardrobe when it's 90 degrees outside.

After seeing all the rage, I went online to check out what this years sale was all about. I know most of my readers are either moving into a new apartment, dorm or redecorating their rooms at home so this was the perfect chance to share decor items. I created this blog post to share with you my favorite home decor picks (UNDER $100) from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

I am really into boho vibes lately. These items would be perfect for any beach bum like me! 

Click the item below to shop...

I'd love to see how you style your space if you end up purchasing any of these items.
Thanks for reading! Get to shopping ;)

Hannah Claire

June 02, 2017

Away I Go: Carry-On Essentials

Ahhh, summer time! I am so blessed to have some great trips to look forward to this summer. Once I plan a trip, I like to start planning what I am going to pack so I can be prepared. I pulled together a group of items to help you pack for future trips. Enjoy!
To find item details, click on the item in widget below.

Away We Go Mini Travel Kit: Wow! What a life saver this little kit is. 18 travel size essentials like fresh breath drops, pain reliever, hand cleaner, blister balm, etc. are packed inside this tiny pouch. 

S'well Marble Water Bottle: This adorable bottle keeps liquids cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. It is perfect to take any beverage on the go. Bonus points for the trendy marble print!

Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Cardigan: I am not kidding when I say I wear this almost everyday around the house. This cardigan is SO soft. It will help you stay comfy in the chilly airport and on the plane.

Some flight tips...

  • Don't forget to hydrate your skin! I always pack a travel size face spritz, lotion and lip balm wherever I go. I get really dry on airplanes so having the lotion and facial spray helps me rehydrate after and during the flight. 
  • Entertain yourself. Before you head out on your adventure, download movies and books to keep yourself entertained during the flight. Another way to stay entertained is to make a playlist to listen to during your trip. 
  • Bring snacks! I'm always hungry on the plane and sometimes the salty peanuts don't cut it. Pack your own food to stay energized. I also advise to moderate caffeine intake and avoid heavy meals while traveling. 
  • Stick to comfy, slip-on shoes. Espadrilles are easy to take off when passing through security.
  • If you wear contacts, don't forget to pack eye drops and a pair of glasses. I prefer to wear my glasses when traveling.
Thanks for reading, jet setters! I hope you enjoyed this post. 
Where are you headed this summer?

Hannah Claire


March 27, 2017

Let's Go To The Beach

Hooray for sunshine! I'm so excited it is finally spring. Give me all the bright hues and tassels please! I tend to buy more pieces that stand-out and have a tropical feel around this time. The beginning of spring gets me super excited for beach days. So many pretty items under $100 have debuted so I decided to round up my favorites. For those who live by the beach and/or have vacations planned, this post is for you! 
I just picked up this super cute suit for under $60! Sadly, this exact set is no longer available online. I linked a few other styles from the line below. Luckily, there are a few suits in this print available...yay! PS: If you love Kombucha or are looking to try it out, this one is so yummy!

To find out item details, simply click on the item.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed my collection of beach ready items. Let me know if you end up purchasing any of the picks above, I'd love to see pictures!

Hannah Claire

March 25, 2017

Spring Break: Sarasota, FL

Ahhh, spring break! School and work have been stressful so getting a week to finally kick back was just what I needed.

My dad is a big time Baltimore Orioles fan so when March rolls around we travel to the Gulf Coast to attend a few of their Spring Training games. What made this trip so special was that it was my nephew's first trip to the beach. I have never seen a baby so happy. Barron was squealing and clapping almost every hour of the day. I couldn't be more blessed with such a fun nephew.

Here's a recap of our fun in the sun...

Sunday: My parents, Asher and I left St. Augustine to meet Brandon, Izzy and Barron in Orlando for brunch. We ate at Slate. The modern decor was gorgeous and the food was great. We babbled on about how big Barron was getting and gazed over his first few teeth. We hopped in the car and eventually made it to our hotel in Siesta Key. When we got to our room, we put Barron down to eat on the couch. He propped his leg up on the pillows and drank away. It was too cute...he was ready to relax!

Monday: My parents, Asher and I decided to head to The Ringling Museum for the afternoon. My parents and I had been before. I loved the decor of the Museum of Art courtyard and the Ca' d'Zan so I wanted to head back to show Asher. The weather was beautiful. It was a great day full of learning and exploring. We had a blast playing around in the Circus Museum. Dad put on a show while walking the wire and Asher surprisingly fit into a small clown car...haha!

That night we were reunited with Brandon, Izzy and Barron. We went to Shore for dinner. Last time we were in Sarasota, they were in the process of building the restaurant. I was so excited to finally dine at the mid-century beach cafe. It was totally my aesthetic. The food was amazing and I enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere. 

Tuesday: This was my favorite day of the trip. It was our designated beach day. I woke up, changed into my bathing suit and drank coffee on the balcony. We had a pretty amazing view and it was so relaxing. We got to cuddle Barron before we all headed down to the beach. He was waving his hands, clapping and giggling all morning. I got the cutest pictures with him. I'm going to frame them and hang them in my apartment. When we got down to the beach, we brought Barron down to the water. We dipped his little toes in, let him feel the sand and explore. He was focused on the waves the whole time. It was so lovely watching him experience a new place.

After a relaxing day at the beach, we headed to St. Armands Circle for shopping and dinner. My family always makes a stop at Tommy Bahama for dinner when we are in Sarasota. We invited Izzy's mom and aunt to dinner with us. We had a wonderful time chatting over dinner and loving on Barron. After dinner, Asher and I went shopping. I always like to pick up a sweatshirt or t-shirt wherever I go. Yes, I know I'm a typical tourist.

Wednesday: We headed down to the pool bright and early. After an hour in the sun, Asher and I took the car to go fly fishing. We blasted Moon Taxi with all the windows down and pulled up to the water. I walked through mangroves with him and enjoyed the peaceful scenery. After Asher was done fishing, we drove around town for a little. We looked at houses and explored. We loved the town so much we even mentioned moving down here one day.

When we got back from fishing, it was time to get ready for the baseball game. We decked out in our Orioles gear and headed to the stadium. My parents bought Barron a baseball hat that said "My First Spring Training" and an Orioles hoodie. It was cute seeing him cheer in his oversized hoodie and hat on. During the game, Brandon would hold him in the air so the cameramen would spot him. Luckily, they did and they showed him on the big screen TWICE. It was too cute seeing him pop up on the screen for the whole stadium to see. It was the perfect first baseball game for Barron.
Photo from Izzy Rose
Thursday: We tried to soak up most of the sun on our last full day of vacation. Asher headed off to fish most of the morning and the rest of us relaxed on the beach. Izzy and Brandon took out a kayak while my parents and I watched Barron for a little bit. We snuck in our last beach cuddles with him while they were kayaking. Later that day when Asher got back from fishing, we went out to paddle board. It was a fun way to burn off the Ben & Jerry's I had indulged in all week...haha!

That night we had planned a birthday dinner for Izzy. Before heading out, we took a few goofy pictures on the balcony. Izzy picked this trendy, farm to table restaurant called Boca to spend the night at. We met with her side of the family to celebrate her birthday. The restaurant took a while to get us seated so when we finally sat down to eat we were greeted with champagne as an apology. This was a nice gesture and gave us the opportunity for the 12 of us to toast the night. We clinked our glasses and celebrated. It was the perfect ending to our vacation.

Spring Break 2017 will forever be a great memory to reminisce on. I can't wait to show Barron pictures from his first beach trip when he is older. Hopefully he grows up to be a beach lover just like his auntie.

I hope y'all enjoyed reading this post about our week! Check out my Instagram and VSCO for more pictures from the vacation. 

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