Savannah magic

Savannah was an absolute dream. It’s pure magic. It forever feels like the first ten minutes after a thunderstorm. The air is full of warmth and life. I've listed some of the favorite things we did while we were there below and if you click on the photo below you can view the full Savannah gallery.

        GALLERY

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb:

We stayed in this beautiful townhouse in the Historic district of Savannah, right next to Forsyth Park. Adam, the host was incredible. He is the only artisan chocolate maker in all of Savannah. He has two locations for his shop Chocolat by Adam and if you ever make it out to Savannah, be sure to try his Honeycomb chocolate bar. It is absolutely to die for. 

Coffee:

We tried a couple coffee spots and the one truly worth mentioning is Perc Coffee. The cafe is part of their roastery that's housed in a beautiful old brick building. I love how they utilized the space. We went here every day we were in Savannah and every day it was consistent and the cappuccinos were made perfectly. 

Food:

  • The Grey is true Savannah magic. It's a 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal that has been restored to it's original beauty and is proudly serving what I think is the best food in all of Savannah. Every single thing we ordered was amazing, and we basically ordered every vegetarian thing they had on the menu. They bring out the tiniest thing of popcorn before your meal and at first I was like, "um, okay? That's small. Why bother?" But omg. Please bother. All-the-bothers. Because that popcorn was the best popcorn I've ever eaten, and I am a popcorn connoisseur. At the end of the meal, before dessert, they bring out tiny popsicles that were also incredible. Even though they brought us the popsicles for free we still ordered cheesecake because CHEESECAKE. And it was my favorite part of the meal. Perfect texture, perfect sweetness, perfect everything. If you go to Savannah and only eat at one place, make sure it's here.
  • Fox & Fig is the only true vegan spot in Savannah and they were about to charge us rent because we were there so much. They had too many interesting things on the menu so we had to try pretty much everything. The weirdest, but most delicious thing was a special that wasn't even on the menu — a glazed donut cut in half and grilled and then filled with Miyoko’s cheese which had a smoky flavor so it was like a sweet + smoky hooked-up donut grilled cheese. AMAZING. And if you haven't had Miyoko's cheese and you're a vegan, what are you doing with your life? You must get your hands on it because it's the best vegan cheese we've found. Photos of donut deliciousness in the gallery.
  • The Collins Quarter is all-around incredible. The decor is stunning, the staff is helpful, and the food was some of the best we had in the city. They didn't have a ton of vegetarian options so I risked being annoying and asked our server if they could make the # Tag This Hash, but leave out the meat. She said she was a vegetarian too and gets it all the time sans meat. She said she would have the chef hook it up veg-style. And man, it was perfect. They have great brunch drinks here, too — strawberry mimosas, bellinis, bloody marys, all the goods done really well.
  • Cafe M could have killed me with their croissants they were so good. And their ceylon black tea I could have consumed by the gallon. 
  • Vinnie Van Go Go's was the perfect spot to grab a pizza for lunch. Great local spot. It was all about their crust - the perfect texture. The line gets long here and it's cash only so come prepared.
  • Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market is located inside the beautiful Perry Lane Hotel. We had a few drinks and appetizers here as we waited for the Rick Bragg event to start. Lively and bright atmosphere, lovely decor, great service, and well-made drinks.

All the things:

  • Perry Lane Hotel is amazing, everything about it. They have a rooftop bar that has a view of the city that is incredible. We explored the hotel (they even have dog-friendly rooms!) and I loved every single room. We spent most of the time in their Ballroom for the Rick Bragg reading and signing. It has a view across the city and we watched a beautiful thunderstorm as he told stories that touched my heart.
  • Forsyth Park is a must-see. We walked it twice a day because we just couldn't get enough of the trees. You'll see a lot of photos from here in the gallery.
  • Bonaventure Cemetery is a beautiful and haunting graveyard that sits on the bluffs of the Wilmington River. I tired to look at the headstones, but I couldn't take my eyes off the trees. In Savannah, the trees are magic.
  • E. Shaver, Bookseller hosted the Rick Bragg event and they have the oldest bookstore in all of Savannah. I bought the most darling book bag and filled it with Rick Bragg books that I bought for myself and friends.
  • The Book Lady is another great indie bookstore that also has used books. The staff was really helpful and they were kind enough to let us hold and smell a first edition of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Yes, smelling old (and new) books is a thing, an acceptable thing.
  • Woof Gang Bakery was awesome and they showered Jackson + Memphis in tons of treats and love. There's a super cute photo in the gallery of Jackson smelling the treat bar and another cute one of Memphis with a treat that's too big for him in his mouth. It's pretty much the best thing you'll see today.
  • Black Dog Savannah General Store was calling to us. Being official members of the Black Dog Club we had to check it out. Love their merch, love their logo, and the staff is so friendly. My favorite part was the little chihuahua they have with a balloon tied to her harness so they know where she is at when she is walking around the store. Adorable and brilliant idea.

I have so many highlights, but the one that tops them all is having the opportunity to talk with Rick Bragg, one of my favorite authors of all time. He is so real, so raw, and so incredibly charming. I feel so grateful to get to ask one of the greats questions that plague me as a writer. And his answers were full of validation that I so desperately needed. He spoke truth — messy, dirty truth. There’s nothin’ more valuable than that. He was so kind to personalize two books to me. In one he wrote, “welcome home” because after all my years I finally found a place to call home in the beautiful mountains of the south. And in the other he wrote, “by way of North Carolina” which I thought was extra special because it was through North Carolina that I found him to begin with. It was in a used bookstore in Raleigh that I first stumbled across his work. I paid 25 cents for All Over But The Shoutin’, and now knowing how much it’s touched my heart, I would have paid the moon. Here’s to the truth-tellers, the life-livers, and the memory-makers. 

Summer love in New York City

We were in NYC co-hosting a cocktail party for Ali Brown, one of my high-level entrepreneur clients and women leaders who were guests of the Glambition Radio show (which I produce), and some of the gals were in town for the Forbes Women Summit. It was inspiring to be amongst such incredible women.

Of course we had to tack on a few days for exploring our favorite coffee spots and eating all the food. For those of you who have asked I have included a list of our New York City adventures and recommendations below. Click on the photo for all of NYC gallery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NYC GALLERY

Hotel: 

Orchard Street Hotel - this place was amazing. We had a room on the 10th floor and it was wall to wall windows. The view was incredible and the bathroom was floor to ceiling marble. Easy check in, great location in the Lower East Side, good WiFi and the price won’t break the bank. 

Coffee:

  • Black Press Coffee made the best all around best cappuccino and the staff was super nice. It was in Midtown so it was a bit of trek from LES, but it was worth it. 
  • Cafe Grumpy made a good, consistent cappuccino but the staff is super rude. Not sure if that’s their act because it’s called “Grumpy” or what, but it was a bit much. Their logo is the best though. I almost bought a baby onesie with the logo on it because it was so cute, but I restrained myself.
  • Birch coffee was everywhere and they make a good cap and iced latte. We met a guy named Josh while we were escaping the heat, and we ended up camping out in Birch for almost three hours. This is one of the best things about traveling with no agenda, just allowing the space to meet inspiring people. 

Food:

  • Juliana’s Pizza in Brooklyn was worth the 45 minutes we waited in line. Coal fired pizza made with fresh ingredients and the staff is super nice. 
  • Top Thai in Greenwich Village, the food is good but more notable were the drinks. We got a cocktail with jalepeno infused vodka with mango purée with chili flakes on the rim and a lychee purée saketini. I don’t usually drink mixed drinks, but these were an exception, and they were incredible. 
  • Il Corso for Cacio e pepe. We specifically went here for this dish, and it was incredible. They served it in a beautiful bowl made of parmesan. It was so delicious that it was almost exhausting to eat.
  • Doughnut Plant was incredible. Perry got a rose water glaze that was shaped like a rose and I got a blueberry cake doughnut. It was the best blueberry doughnut I've ever had. I wanted to try all of them, but it took me all day just to eat one so there was no way that was going to happen.
  • Best Bagels & Coffee was a must. You can't visit NYC without having a proper bagel. The bagels were huge and this place didn't stiff you on the cream cheese either. 
  • Egg Shop is known for their egg-centric dishes, which are awesome. And their biscuits are to die for. Oh, and get the hashbrowns. All the carbs.
  • TAIM makes a killer falafel with harissa. The whole join is vegetarian which is totally my style. I wanted EVERYTHING, but settled on the falafel plate with hummus and tabouleh with super fresh za'atar pita. Great spot to grab a hearty lunch before we headed to the airport.
  • Gong Cha in Chinatown makes the BEST boba milk tea I've ever had. And I've had A LOT of boba milk tea. If you go, get the pearl milk tea. That's the jam.
  • Kubeh was like experiencing a culinary trek across the Middle East. We had a table full of small plates as we couldn't decide what to get. Every single thing we ate was incredible. And I loved the decor here. Cozy nighttime spot, too.

All the things:

  • Terra Blues, arguably the best blues club in NYC, and it didn’t disappointment. And they have an impressive whiskey and bourbon selection. Their open until 3am so it’s a great after hours spot. We went on a Sunday and it was only a $10 cover. 
  • The Chelsea Hotel, iconic landmark frequented by some of the greats like Leonard Cohen, Mark Twain, Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Jean-Paul Sartre, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, the list goes on. If you haven't heard Leonard Cohen's Chelsea Hotel #2, what have you been doing with your life? And if you haven't heard Gregory Alan Isakov's cover, you're in for something truly special. You're welcome.
  • Bryant Park, in the summer they play movies on the lawn. It’s free, but you want to come early because it fills up fast. 
  • The Iceman Cometh starring Denzel Washington at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre. The theater was beautiful and we could see the stage perfectly from the first row mezzanine. And DENZEL WASHINGTON. Excuse me while I have a fan girl meltdown. 
  • Oscar Wilde themed bar + restaurant. Very extravagant victorian decor and the drinks are great. Cheeky drink titles, too. "50 Shades of Dorian Gray", yes please and thank you.
  • Bookmarc is a book store owned by Marc Jacobs. They carry a great selection and the store is sleek and stylish, as you would imagine.
  • The New York Edition, upscale hotel in midtown with killer Lobby Bar. That's where I hosted my cocktail party and it was a perfect location.
  • Chelsea Market is a madhouse, but worth a visit — especially the Artists & Fleas portion.
  • McNally Jackson is a two-story indie bookstore that I could have spent a week in. 
  • Central Park, duh. Calm and peaceful during sunset — we could actually hear the birds. We went to the Tavern on the Green in Central Park West. We ducked in here to escape a crazy thunderstorm and the bar was very inviting. Swanky and really comfortable. The outside has string lights and lanterns, it’s very beautiful. And the staff here is great. While we were waiting for our Uber some crazy came up behind me, like right up on me and started shouting madness. Perry asked him to back up, but that just led to him getting in Perry’s face and threatening to punch him, and just being very vulgar. The doorman of the Tavern stepped between Perry and the crazy guy, and told him to leave. Another 5 minutes of this crazy guy now shouting in the doorman’s face and the cops had to be called. Our Uber finally came and the guy tried to follow us into the car so our driver had to step on it. What’s a New York trip without being accosted though right? We called the Tavern and sang the praises of the doorman to make sure he would get recognition for his bravery. 

Anyway, that's all for our trip recommendations. Until next time, NYC <3

A glimpse back through 2017

This year has been one full of travel, adventure and finally finding a place to call home. It was a special experience to go back through the year with all these photos. I felt like I was able to live a piece of them all over again. These aren't even a quarter of the photos we took this year, but here are a few of my favorites.

Here is a list of most of the places (some of them I can't remember) where these photos were taken.

Boulder | Denver | Grand Junction | Evergreen | Fort Collins | Garden of the Gods - Colorado
Joshua Tree | Los Angeles | Santa Barbara | Laguna Beach | Carpinteria | Ojai | Big Bear | Victorville | Marina Del Rey | Palm Springs | Salton Sea - California
Harrison | Farewell | Clare | Grand Rapids | Berrien Springs - Michigan
Waynesville | Asheville | Burnsville | Outer Banks - North Carolina
Little Rock | The Ozarks - Arkansas
Nashville | Memphis - Tennessee
Cedar City | Green River - Utah
Albuquerque - New Mexico
Louiseville - Kentucky
Flagstaff - Arizona
Omaha, Nebraska
Atlanta - Georgia

The good inside

Most of us have a false sense of identity. We are so much more than we believe ourselves to be. Our limited belief in who we really are is rooted deeply in such a strong habit that we aren't even aware that we've been living with an impoverished identity most of our lives. 

We've let the world shape us. We've allowed what happened to us in our childhood form our story. Society has influenced how we define who we are. But we can change that. We don't have to live from a place of fear, uncertainty, hate or shame. We don't have to act from our damaged sense of self. We can let go of labels, of who people in our lives said we are. We can be free of our own beliefs about ourselves. We can shed it all like old skin and step into our glowing identity, whole and free.

We have the ability to change our story at any time. We don't have to do something just because that's what we've always done, because that's what it expected of us. We don't have to believe something about ourselves just because it's all we've ever been told. 

Think about all the things you believe about yourself. Are they serving your life? Why do you think those things? Where did they come from? Think about who, what or where your greatest influence comes from. Is it adding to your life in a way that fulfills and propels you? Think about the things you want to believe about yourself. It's time to start believing those very things.

We can change our thought patterns. Don't let the world, your circumstances or even the people you love tell you who you are. Acknowledge your grace, your virtue. Honor your nobility, your worthiness and your dignity. A profound and radical change will happen in your life. Let it.

JessyEaston_Paris

I am striving every day to live from my highest sense of identity, my full character. It's tough to form new habits, to redirect my thoughts, but I'm always moving forward. What you practice grows stronger. Even if it feels overwhelming or like you're just standing still, don't give up. It will get easier.

I'm always here if you need to talk. We need to stay connected and bring out the best in one another. Each time we honor the good in someone and show them that they're respected and valued it opens up an avenue to their own goodness. It gives them the chance to accept and admire the good inside and work from that place of kindness, that place of goodness. Everyone deserves that chance. We all deserve to be valued.

Genoa, Italy

After living out of our backpacks for a month in France we took the train from Nice to Genoa. It was a busy, beautiful port city in Italy's Liguria region. With the streets narrow and the cathedral's grand, Genoa was like being in an old Italian film. I loved the lines and structure of the Romanesque Cathedral of San Lorenzo with its striped walls, but most of all I couldn't get enough of the fountains. They were almost more grand than the architecture. I wish I could live the whole trip again in slow motion.