14 April 2017

DIY Earl Grey Coconut Face Scrub

Sometimes we all need a little hydration and I've found that coconut oil provides the best hydration out there. I made this earl grey coconut facial scrub for my best friend's bridal shower last year and since then I fell in love with this scrub. Since I love finding new beauty tricks, I figured I'd share it with you too!
Ingredients:
2 cups granulated sugar
4 packets of  Earl Grey tea
1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
An airtight glass jar

Directions:
  1. In a medium sized  mixing bowl, pour in the sugar and black tea. Mix together and make sure that it is completely mixed before you add the coconut oil.
  2. Put the coconut oil in the microwave for 20 seconds. The goal  is to turn into a liquid.
  3. Pour the coconut oil over the sugar/black tea mixture and quickly stir until everything is covered with the coconut oil.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the airtight glass jar for safekeeping. Want a refreshing facial scrub? Keep the jar in the fridge until you're ready to use it.
When you're ready to use it dampen your skin and apply the coconut and earl grey sugar scrub. Gently rub it into your face, rinse off, pat dry and say hello to lovely skin! This would make a great gift as well. So do something nice and make one for a friend or coworker!

07 April 2017

Our French Quarter Travel Guide

Our French Quarter Travel Guide is finally here! I mean, no one was really expecting this... but finally I wanted to create this since we got back from our honeymoon. Now, three months later... hah. Life, right? If you've been following this blog for awhile, it should come as no surprise that I love New Orleans. So I was thrilled when Alex said he wanted to go there for our honeymoon.
I had a blast showing him some of my most-loved places. Unfortunately, we had to leave two days earlier than we had planned, but I still managed to show him the "real" French Quarter. So, if you're thinking about heading to New Orleans for a few days keep the following places in mind.

Alex & I stayed at Hotel St. Marie, in the heart of the French Quarter. What made this hotel cool was the fact that Vacherie was the hotel's restaurant. Since I had frequented their Cafe a lot during my previous trips, I knew that we'd have great food to take up to our room - which we did. But what made this even cooler for me was the fact that the outside of the building was featured in American Horror Story's Coven - which you can see above. Fan girl, I know. But it's my favourite. Anyway, let's move on to some other cool places, shall we?

COFFEE+DRINKS


Cafe Du Monde - If you go anywhere else for beignets and chicory coffee, we're not friends. ;) Cafe Du Monde started all the way back in 1862 and best of all, you just sit down at a table and a waiter comes to take your order. The beignets are perfect, doughy fried pillows and their chicory coffee is something I dream of.

Vacherie Cafe - Luckily for us our honeymoon happened in February, right before Mardis Gras, so we drank a lot of their King Cake lattes - which were incredibly delicious. But their other lattes are great as well.

Tujague's - This is the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans (160 years) and they have the best Ramos Gin Fizz in the Quarter. If you're curious as to what a Ramos Gin Fizz is, it's a gin cocktail with egg whites and orange blossom water. It sounds weird, but I promise you that it is delicious. Even if you're like me and don't care too much for gin.

FOOD


Brennan's - We went here for brunch and indulged on their super fancy eggs benedict. We we're also given free champagne in honor of our honeymoon. One thing we regret not going back to try their famous bananas fosters. Maybe next time. Here's a tip though, ask someone there if they can give you a quick tour of the upstairs. It's incredible!

The Grill - If you're craving diner food, which I do at least once a month, The Grill is the place to go. It's classic diner food at it's finest - with a great price point. They also have the perfect cherry cokes (they add grenadine) and the sweetest, sassiest servers. P.S. Their rubens are to die for!

Vacherie Cafe & Bar - Somehow we managed to not make it to the actual restaurant - every time we made it there it was closed. However we did make it to the Cafe and the Bar to order food, which we took up to our room. The Vacherie Bar's broiled brussels sprouts with fried pork belly is soo good. Also, their roast beef debris po'boy was incredible! As for the Cafe, I'm addicted to their homemade granola and greek yogurt bowls and have been for years now. Their breakfast sandwiches are pretty awesome too.

Coop's - Sadly, we didn't make it here on our trip, but I've been here several times before. It's so good that you have to wait in line for this place, but it is totally worth it. It's a tiny bar with big & delicious meals like marinated lamb ribs, the best fried chicken - hands down - and rabbit jambalaya (don't tell Olive). Seriously, the food served here is unexpected and top notch.

Stanley - Delicious Cajun food with a cool atmosphere and pretty, Instagram-worthy white marble tables. If you sit by the windows you can get a great view of Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral. They have great food and outlandishly decadent eggs benedict with boudin. We went here for brunch the first day we got into town and really enjoyed ourselves.


SHOPPING

Bottom of the Cup Tea Room - This place has been around since 1929 and has the best loose tea. Every time I come to New Orleans I buy some tea to take home with me. This time I got Strawberry Shortcake Black Tea. Last time it was Blueberry Black Tea. All of it is delicious. If you're looking for sage bundles, they have that too!

Esoterica - I go to this place everytime I'm in New Orleans. They have all the supernatural stuff a girl like me could ever want. I've gotten a lot of rare and hard to find books from here too. It's definitely must see place if you're into that kind of thing.

Marie Laveu's House of Voodoo - A French Quarter essential. What more could I say?

Beckham's BookShop - Located on Decatur Street, this awesome bookshop was on our list, but sadly we didn't make it. I've been here before so I can attest to how awesome this place is. Two stories tall with so many books that they overflow onto the floor into random stacks.

Royal Street - Just head down this street for a ton of antique shops and art galleries. Alex & I stopped into so many places that we can't remember all of them. We viewed all of these like museums - it was pretty incredible the items and art pieces that we came across. There are so many to choose from too. You won't be disappointed.

French Market - Tons of vendors and shops.

AROUND TOWN
Jackson Square - This is my favourite place to head to early in the morning whenever I want to feel as though I am in the middle of it all. The view is perfect with the cathedral on one side and the river on the other. Most days there are artists selling their work, tarot card readings, and live music.

Audubon Insectarium  - I'm pretty sure this was Alex's favourite thing that we did while in New Orleans. He loves bugs and this insectarium was incredibly awesome. It even gave you plenty opportunities for hand on experiences. Which we both took advantage of, like the Madagascar hissing cockroach. I even rescued a butterfly who tried to escape.

St. Louis Cemeteries 1, 2 and 3 - Sadly Alex & I didn't make it, but since I've been to all three before, it was on our list.

"Touchdown Jesus" - You have to check this place out late at night. It's located on the back on St. Louis Cathedral. The shadow of the statue reflects itself on the facade of the church. Here's the story behind it.

The Riverfront - It's always nice to walk right alongside the riverfront. We started from where the Insectarium was and made our way back to the French Quarter. It offers views of the bridge and steamboats.

Latrobe Park - If you're looking for a little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Quarter, this park offers a nice reprieve.

And that's it. Well, for now! I hope you guys enjoyed this travel guide. I had a lot of fun putting it together! If you enjoyed reading it, let me know and I'll keep making them!

If you've been to the French Quarter before and have any suggestions that I missed, I would love to hear them (because honestly, we have to start planning our next trip!). Let me know in the comments below!

31 March 2017

How To Hygge In the Spring

Last year, in the throes of winter, I wrote about hygge (re: coziness). With a few weeks into spring, hygge looks a little different. Especially in Florida, when daily highs have a tendency to reach over 85. Luckily the nights are still cool... So, yes, spring is here, but that doesn't mean that hygge should be left behind. In my opinion, a home should always be cozy - no matter what the season. So, with that in mind, I wanted to share how I hygge in the spring.

Bring Home Fresh Flowers

Flowers have a lovely way of making any home feel peaceful. However, steer clear from artificial flowers, it just doesn't give the same effect. Simple, colourful bouquets will keep you connected to the natural world. If you have a green thumb, opt for indoor flowers like hyacinths. Don't forget about the greenery with easy to maintain pot plants, like succulents or cacti!

Let In Some Light

I am a sucker for natural light. If it were up to me I'd have multiple windows in every room. Throw open the curtains or open the windows. Natural light is a great mood booster and now that it's getting darker later you can enjoy it even more!

Delve Into Spring Scents

Candles aren't just for fall and winter. In springtime, the key is to find fresh scented candles. Candles that remind you of well, all things Spring. Using candles will help you to add that feeling of hygge. Scents of fresh linen, light floral scents, or sweet fruit are perfect for this time of year. This Coastal Palm candle from Target is both fresh and sweet.

Spend Time Outdoors

Spending time outdoors means you can take in all of the blooming flowers and enjoy nature. I mean, even if it's means having dinner on the back porch, it's still hygge. Think fresh pico de gallo and tortilla chips with homemade margaritas. Any time spent outdoors is a good thing. Go on a picnic, spend time at the park, take a walk around a lake. Whatever it is, go outside and enjoy it.


What are some of the ways in which you can bring hygge to springtime? Let me know in the comments below so we can discuss!

29 March 2017

Our Wedding: The Party

Wow.... this is the last installment of our wedding series. And honestly, I'm a little sad about it. Weird, right? For this final post I'm going to focus on the reception. Now I know most people refer to this as the reception, but to Alex & I it was one giant party. Which was our goal to begin with. Lots of dancing, mingling and awesome music. This post is going to be pretty heavy on the photos, so enjoy!
This part of our day was filled with so many smiles from everyone. I didn't eat as much as I wanted to and I think I only had one glass of my cranberry & vodka. Either way, I was on cloud nine. Alex & I had so much fun dancing so I didn't even notice that I forgot to take a bite of a macaron. Go figure...

Our first dance...
And lots of mingling with our special guests...


Oh and cake!
More dancing and roasted marshmallows,,,










And to top it all off,  a sparkler exit!








I hope you've enjoyed our wedding series as much as we have. And that you've had fun looking at these final photos as well. If you're interested, you can see all of the posts from our wedding installment here. I seriously cannot believe that it's almost been two months since Alex & I got married. I'm so glad that we have these incredible photos so we can take a walk down memory lane every time we look at them. Thank you again for following along with us!

Photography: Laura Davis Photo