the shade hotel (work travel edition)

i just got back from what was hopefully my last work trip to california for a while.  i stayed at the lovely shade hotel on manhattan beach, and had the best time.  work trips are not nearly as glamorous as they sound, so it is such a treat to come back to such a lovely room and a hot bath.

all i packed for 6 days, including work out clothes.  more on the bag later.  :)

travel-1sorry i wasn’t able to take a picture before my clutter exploded drink set favorite feature.  the bathroom has walls that can be opened or closed, so you can watch tv from the tub.  or retain your privacy if you same view with the sliding doors packed 1 black skirt, 2 cream tops, and 2 black dresses, and a gray cardigan (not pictured).  this was more than enough to make all the (non workout) outfits i needed for the three pairs of shoes for the whole trip.  i would normally wear the sneakers on the plane, but since i had enough room in my suitcase, i packed them and wore the pink chloe

momofuku milk bar

to celebrate a friend’s birthday, i recently trekked out to williamsburg to learn how to make the famous momofuku birthday cake.  best part?  the constant tasting.  oh, and the 6″ cake we each got to take home.

for those of you interested in the class, fair warning that you don’t actually bake the cake.  the class teaches you how to assemble the cake.


the year my skincare regime went bananas

i don’t know if it is getting older or the unexpected turn my work has taken this year, but i determined that if i was going to be stressed all the time, i might as well not look it.  i added several new products to my skin care regime.  i am not sure if they are making a day to day difference, but they do make me feel like i am doing something.

skincarethe undereye masks and sheet mask are from peach and lily, an online korean skincare emporium.  they do make your skin brighter immediately after use.  plus, they feel so nice.  i use them whenever my skin feels especially.

the drunk elephant c-firma is for the morning, and the dr. dennis gross retinol is for evening.  i layer the retinol all over my face, and top with the neo under eye cream.  i read somewhere that if you want to stimulate collagen (the stuff that plumps out wrinkles), you should use vitamin c in the morning and retinol in the evening.  i have been on this schedule for only a few months, so i will report back on the results.

back home in nashville

i cherish every weekend i get to visit nashville, my hometown.  especially when it is for a dear friend’s wedding.  on this trip, i was lucky to hit up most of my favorite places.


beautiful church on 12th south


flower truck in front of imogene + willie


imogene + willie haul


breakfast at the loveless cafe


pancake pantry


the end of peach season in tennessee


the sunset after the storm


the biggest wildcard during my vacation was definitely malta.  i like to go somewhere i have never seen before on each trip, and since i was fortunate to travel around italy with my family while in college, we added malta to the itinerary.

though i didn’t love the location of our hotel (st.julian’s bay), the abandoned beaches, dusty and romantic landscapes, and those stunningly blue waters made me forget all about that.  we were also very lucky to spend an afternoon on a private boat visiting the sister islands and going through caves.



i don’t know what it was about this trip, but i absolutely fell head over heels for rome.  i remember being unimpressed when i visited in college, and now i realize how completely wrong i was.  the city is unspeakably beautiful, and there was so much to do and see.  i could have easily spent the full 2 weeks here alone and been more than satisfied.

sorry this is such a picture heavy post.  i wanted to put all of these up just to remember what an amazing experience it was.