Monday 5: Savannah edition

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Happy Monday! I hope this weekend was a good one! We enjoyed our day trip to Savannah, GA. I’ve been to Savannah a few times before and have especially enjoyed it the past couple of times. It is such a lovely city with lots of historical sites and very welcome to visitors. Only two hours away from Charleston, it’s an easy drive which makes it perfect for a weekend getaway.

The weather wasn’t great, there was actually a pretty heavy storm for a little bit in the afternoon but luckily we were inside for a tour so we were spared the rain! It was super humid and warm though, just a heads up. I think next time I’d like to go in the Spring or Fall.

In any case, it’s definitely worth a visit if you ever get the chance, here are the top 5 things I’m excited about in Savannah, GA!

City squares

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Every block or so in the historic downtown, Savannah has lovely squares with beautiful trees and some sort of historic monument or fountain. It was refreshing to be in a city where you almost see more green than concrete. The squares are nice too because they offer shade, and you might even learn something if you pause to read the text on the landmarks! Also, there are specific ‘ambassadors’ who work for the city who usually hang out in the squares to hand out helpful information for tourists. This is how we found out about the free trams that you can get a ride from and the free boat rides!

Cafe M

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I’m very wary of touristy spots whenever I go to a new city. It’s hard to tell online whether a restaurant/shop is actually cute or just a tourist trap! I was a little nervous about Cafe M because it’s on the water which is where most touristy places tend to be, but it turned out to be great! It’s honestly adorable inside and the sandwiches we had were very yummy. Granted, I think locals don’t probably frequent that spot too much, but even so it’s a place I’d happily return to.

St. John the Baptist Cathedral

We were lucky enough to make it in time for daily Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. Regardless, just walking around the church would have been a treat. It is seriously gorgeous. This is probably one of the more beautiful cathedrals I’ve been to in the states, so pretty! Definitely well worth a stop if you’re in the area – it was also a nice break from the extreme heat/humidity we had that day!

The childhood home of Flannery O’Connor

As I mentioned a few Monday 5’s ago, we’ve been reading a couple of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories recently. Flannery’s childhood home is in the heart of downtown Savannah close to the cathedral so we decided to stop by. It was a great tour, and free! We learned so much about Flannery, her family and different cultural differences of the time period! It was really cool to see original furniture pieces from her house and to learn about how she got started. Even if you haven’t read her work, just learning about her quirks and tenacity when it comes to writing was super interesting!

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We ran into a couple of these oyster shell wreaths, so neat!

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A slightly rundown courtyard we ran into…Nicholas made me pose even though I’m not a fan of getting my picture taken…I always feel so awkward in front of the camera!

The Paris Market

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This was probably one of my favorite spots. I’ve been a handful of times before and each time just love it. It’s a two story French boutique with a coffee shop attached. They do such a good job of arranging their products in an incredibly creative and beautiful way. Upstairs they have smaller items like candles, creams, scarves, candy and greeting cards (my favorite). Downstairs it’s larger items like furniture, plates, cookbooks and other home items. You could easily spend way too much money here but walking around is so fun and inspiring! I definitely walked away with some craft ideas that I want to try.

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Despite the less than ideal weather and the one moment of panic where we thought we had forgotten where the car was, the trip was super nice. We wanted to get in some quality time before Nicholas starts his more intense rotation this week and going to Savannah was such a nice opportunity for that! Adventure is an essential part of relationships and one that is easy to forget about!

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Here’s to mini getaways and a new week!

xo

Miranda

Monday 5: Cleveland edition

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Happy Monday! Do people ever ask you what you did over the weekend and you completely blank? That happens to me all the time and even now I’m having trouble recalling all that happened…and it’s not even over!!

The highlight of the weekend was certainly a concerto competition we attended at University of South Carolina in Columbia. There were eight quartets composed of high school students from various states in the Southeast, they were all so talented! The music was lovely and watching teenagers master a skill that takes so much dedication was pretty inspiring.

Last week I promised to share a few things about my trip to Cleveland that I’m excited about…so here they are! It really was a fun couple of days and I was impressed with how picturesque some of the areas of Cleveland are…and how big Lake Eerie is!!!

Barrio Mexican restaurant

On Monday night we ate dinner at a local chain called Barrio which had really good (and inexpensive) tacos. What really stood out especially to me was their Tuscan guacamole which had a balsamic vinaigrette, pine nuts, goat cheese (my fave!) and sun-dried tomatoes..among other things. It was seriously so good. The environment is also cute and fun, a little different from your average Mexican restaurant. We went to the location downtown but they also have one in Tremont area, Lakewood and Cleveland heights. Highly recommend a meal there! Don’t. Forget. The Guac.

Rooftop bar at Hilton hotel 

This hotel is new to the downtown Cleveland area and I’m so glad we stopped by because they have a sweet rooftop bar. It’s called Bar 32 and is (conveniently) located on the thirty second floor. The view it pretty incredible; you can really see how massive Lake Eerie is and so much of the city! It’s the perfect spot for a delicious gin and tonic (and a cool pic for Insta).

Westside market

We ate lunch here and it was probably one of my favorite parts. Walking around to see all the different vendors and eating lunch on a bench on the second floor overlooking the whole place was awesome. You can come here to grab lunch or a snack or even buy some groceries. We saw several bakery stands, meat vendors and various types of international cuisine (we chose Judy’s oasis gourmet middle eastern food where we bought some yummy Baba Ganoush, tabouli and pita bread to share). The building itself is very picturesque with incredibly high arched ceilings and huge windows that let sunlight in. This is a fun place to walk around if you’re downtown, and the amount of sweets they had was incredible.

Buckeyes 

I had heard rumors about this Ohioan dessert and was eager to try one for myself while I was in Buckeye Nation. It turns out you can’t really go wrong with chocolate and peanut butter (who knew?!). We bought a few at Westside market and they were delicious. I tried both milk and dark chocolate and somewhat preferred the milk chocolate but both were good. I really want to learn how to make these now, they seem like a fun, simple dessert to bring to a party or have people come over!

Saint John the Evangelist 

We went to Mass Monday evening at the cathedral downtown called St. John the Evangelist. It was such a beautiful church, definitely worth stopping in for a few minutes to look around. The artwork and organ are so impressive! There’s something so romantic and therapeutic about admiring beautiful churches, you kind of feel in awe of the grandeur, a little smaller. I think it’s a healthy way to focus on something larger than life (or whatever we’re currently worried about at the moment) for a few minutes…to be reminded it’s not really all about us (which is actually kind of a relief).

I hope this comes in handy if there are any upcoming trips to the Cleveland area. I’ll admit I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and hope to go back soon 😉

Happy Monday!

xo

Miranda

 

Monday 5: Needlepoint hats & other things to be excited about this week

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Happy Monday! I hope the time change didn’t throw you off too much (why can’t we just pick one time and stick to it?), although I’m not complaining that the days are now an hour longer!

This weekend my family and I went to Atlanta to visit some relatives who live in the area. I got to visit some of my favorite spots which I talk about in my Atlanta edition of the Monday 5. The list includes a fantastic bakery/restaurant with an amazing shrimp po’ boy, an adorable stationary store with hilarious greeting cards and the best upscale thrift shop I’ve ever been to.

I know the time change can be a little disconcerting, here are some things I’m excited about that might help you think of your own list instead of how sleepy you are.

 

The Book of Virtues

I’ve had this book in my bookcase for years and for some reason last week I was inspired to pick it up and see what it was all about. This compilation is written by William J. Bennett, who worked for the Reagan administration as head of the department of education before retiring and publishing this book. He separates the book into the various virtues (courage, honesty etc) and groups various poems, short stories, songs and excerpts from books that relate to it. I have enjoyed perusing this book so much, it is a great reminder of what we should really be working on and all the charming literature that is out there that Netflix often distracts us from. Some of what I’ve read so far includes Greek myths, a letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald to his daughter and Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I have a dream.’ It isn’t a book that you need to read cover to cover, but it’s really worth checking out if you haven’t before. All I’ve come across is lovely and inspiring, and great to read to children as well!

 

Macaroon Boutique croissants

I absolutely love chocolate croissants. They are one of those simple (if caloric) pleasures that every now and then are such a treat! Most bakeries and many coffee shops have them, but there is one bakery downtown Charleston owned by a French couple who have some of the best croissants I’ve had in the states. Friday before we left for Atlanta we bought a few of them and so were able to enjoy some delicious croissants over the weekend. If you like croissants and ever are in Charleston, I highly recommend the Macaroon Boutique on John street! So yummy.

 

Needlepoint hat

One of the stops we made this weekend in Atlanta was a shop owned by another husband and wife called Steve Mackenzie’s. They have a little bit of everything from home furniture to tassel earrings. Their store is incredibly well-decorated and so much fun to look around in! They have those adorable things you don’t strictly need but fall in love with anyway (like emoji embroidered napkins for cocktails). While there, I came across these canvas hats that were had various embroidered details. I’ve been looking for a good hat (cute, fits well) for a while now and am so glad I found these! They are a brother and sister who make and design unisex baseball caps, the company is called Harding-Lane and you can check out their hats here. The one I bought is a faded red with a sailboat on it. So cute!

 

Upcoming mini-adventures

Before the trip to Atlanta this weekend, a few months had passed since my last travels over the holidays. It was refreshing to get out of the routine and explore some new (and some old favorite) spots and I’m excited for a few other short trips I have coming up! This coming weekend I will be traveling to Eastern North Carolina and I have another trip in early April as well! I think in general even the smallest of trips can be seen as an exciting experience to look forward to and break us out of the same old same old. You can be on the lookout for new special editions of the Monday 5 coming soon!

 

Anticipation

Speaking of looking forward to things, I’ve recently learned about the importance of anticipation and how it is more meaningful to some than others. A part of traveling that I very much enjoy is the planning beforehand. Finding the perfect place to stay, fun places to go and where to eat is almost as enjoyable to me as the trip itself. I love to get an idea of what it will look and feel like before I actually experience it, and often going in person feels more fulfilling when I had gotten a glimpse of what it would be like in advance. This pretty much goes for everything I do, whether it’s just a normal Monday or a trip or a night out, thinking about it before makes it that much better to me when it actually takes place. Not everyone is this way. Some people much more enjoy the spontaneous, unexpected or unprecedented kind of events or travel without the hassle of planning. While I see the positives to that, I have come to terms that anticipation is important to me. Knowing this, I make an active effort to plan for and let my imagination wander (just a little bit) to things I’m excited about.

 

I hope your week is a good one and you get to enjoy the newly extended hours of daylight.

xo

Monday

 

 

 

Monday 5: Little Washington Edition

As you all know, (or y’all if you live in the South) for the past few weeks I’ve been posting five things I’m excited about on Monday’s. I started this in hopes to create a little more enthusiasm about Monday’s and what a new week brings, if only by encouraging you to make your own Monday 5.

This week I decided to variate just a little from the typical Monday 5 (but not too much because change is scary) by doing a special edition on a small town I visited just last week.

This can act as a guide if you ever decide to go of some of the highlights of the town, too!

So here we go:

Little Washington is a small (like, supersmall) town in Eastern North Carolina. If you’ve ever heard of Eastern Carolina University (ECU), it’s about 35 minutes away from there.

Definitely what gives Little Washington its charm (other than your typical Southern hospitality and friendly locals) is the fact that it’s on the water. Who doesn’t love a waterfront view??

The downtown area is quaint and has some super cute shops and yummy restaurants. I recommend stopping by if you ever venture that way. And if you happen to try any of my recommendations, let me know your thoughts! (unless you don’t like it…then just, shhhhh)

  1. Brownie BakeryIMG_3698

    My mom discovered this place when I was about 6 or 7 and we’ve been going back ever since (#thanksmom). Owned by a second or third generation Sicilian, this adorable bakery has the best doughnuts you’ll ever try. I’m not exaggerating, I’ve had a lot of doughnuts and these are the best. This place isn’t in the main downtown area but rather on the way in if you’re coming from Greenville (where ECU is). This is my number one place and I make it a point to go there every time I’m in the area if it’s the only thing I do.
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  2. The River Girl Antiques & Interior Design:IMG_3639

    This was a shop I wandered into and fell in love with. It has a lovely combination of antique and contemporary pieces. I especially loved the teal and white plate set (pictured).IMG_3637IMG_3636
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  3. Cottage Junkies:IMG_3649

    This was another adorable boutique that I am so glad I decided to explore. The store was arranged in such a cute and intentional way, which I really appreciated (#detailsmatter). It is very small but there are so many fun things to look at you’ll probably be in there a while.IMG_3647IMG_3644

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    4. Rachel’s Bakery:
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    So I definitely have a thing for bakeries…probably because I have a thing for baked goods. Right in the middle of downtown, this bakery has really, really good coffee. They also had this dessert called a ‘Nutella Tart’ (like a Poptart but with Nutella) which I did not try but fully intend on doing so next time I go back. They have other baked goods including homemade granola bars and a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches if you’re looking for something more filling.

    5. The waterfront walkway:

    IMG_3654Like I said, what really gives this town it’s cuteness factor is the fact that it is on the water. After you eat all the baked goods and go into all the shops, make sure to walk on the walkway by the water. It begins on the marsh and then goes into where the shops are so you get a variety of backgrounds. It’s a relaxing and entertaining walk with swings spread out intermediately throughout the path if you decide to take a break.

 

I love Little Washington. It really makes a great day trip and gives you a break from the rush of our busy lives. You step into a more serene, quiet, peaceful place for a few hours and get to appreciate the beauty of a slower pace of life.IMG_3697PS: watch out for crabs, they’re everywhere.