Sunday Inspo | A Note on Patience

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A little inspiration for the beginning of a new week. I know, for me, this is may be a little bit of a challenging one. Why? Because patience is hard. Patience is one of those things that’s easier said than done in almost any situation, but it’s also one of those things where I have to drop my hands because I am not in control. Why worry about something that you can’t do anything about until you can, right?

Hang on tight this week. Remember that whatever you’re waiting on is worth the wait.

10 ways to distract yourself from the waiting game:
1. Put on your jogging shoes and go out the door before you have a chance to change your mind. I know from experience that just going on a brief (and still struggle filled) run around your neighborhood can help to put things into perspective…or at least help you focus on how awful the hill you’re about to run up is (*life metaphor, am I right?!?*). Spoiler alert: you are going to make it to the top. Promise.

2. Drive. Go anywhere. Blast your favorite music,  blast Coldplay’s new album (or Ed Sheeran if you’re into that kind of thing) and watch your city roll on by. And SANG. Loud. Who cares who’s next to you at the stoplight (unless it’s that person you smiled at, at the bar last weekend…then you cool it).

3. Find yourself a snow cone. There is nothing that a snow cone on a hot day can’t help. (If you live in Nashville figure out where Retro Sno is because it will not only change your day IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE OKAY?

4. Say yes to things this week. I know that I’m really guilty of holing myself up in my room and shutting down when I’m stressed out, but I’ve found that if you actually LEAVE your room (aka the center of all stress) then you will be able to breathe a lot easier.

5. Make a to do list and check thangs off. Getting things done always makes me feel a sense of accomplishment and makes any stress I have seem a lot less daunting.

6. Pizza.

7. Fill up your schedule so you don’t have time to think about whatever it is you can’t stop thinking about.

8. Laugh as much as you can; watch a funny movie, binge on buzzfeed, hunt down the next big youtube sensation, cruise the internet for comedy gold…I swear it helps. I make a point to spend some time on my favorite funny websites before bed most nights. Laughing relaxes you and makes your brain feel 100 times better. Or call me because I’m hilar.

9. Plan something really great for what happens after you know you’re going to find out about whatever it is you’re waiting on. That way you’re looking forward to something and not dreading it.

10. Pizza. (Needed to reinforce how important this step is. Ask for ranch.)

 

 

Speak to you soon!

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Head East | Weekend in the Appalachian Mtns

headeast WV45 WV29WV21 WV53  WV56 WV50WV39 WV24 WV19 WV44 WV34WV47 WV33WV41WV32 WV55For three days last weekend I was on a mountain high. Two of my best friends and I loaded up and drove to their family cabin in West Virginia to spend some time hiking, laughing way too hard and exploring the best ways we knew how. Trail after trail took us on winding routes where we got to be close with lots of wildflowers and lots of deer. The views from the top of the mountains we climbed, though they were hard to get to, were always well worth it. The earth is a breathtaking place, and sometimes I forget that.

The area we were in was the northeastern part of West Virginia, right in the thick of the Monongahela National Forest.  The hills were covered in lush, aromatic spruce trees that seemed to go on forever and in the mornings they stayed tucked under thick blankets of heather gray fog. There was so much to do within an hour of the cabin so here’s a little guide in case you’re up for some adventuring as well:

SENECA ROCKS
-Hiking, rock climbing and repelling are just a few things that you can do at this nationally renowned park. The hike up the mountain isn’t terribly hard, but it’s 1000ft of elevation that you’ll definitely be feeling in your thighs when you get to the top. Good news: even though you’ll be exhausted you can rejuvenate on the observation platform and chow down on a peanut butter CLIF bar (there’s a snack cart at the top). If you’re interested in climbing or repelling on the flat faced rocks, there are lots of instruction classes around and guided excursions as well. Seneca Caverns (all the cave photos above) isn’t far away and was so cool as well!

SPRUCE KNOB
-AKA The highest point in West Virginia. There are a lot of trails that vary in length around the mountain  (many of them with an abundance of wildlife running about) as well as one that goes to the top. When you reach it there’s an observation tower with a killer view, and if you explore around the peak of the mountain you’ll discover the coolest boulder garden that would be great for camping or just to stop and soak everything in.  There are plenty of other lower areas for picnicing and grilling as well.

CANAAN VALLEY
-Blackwater Falls should be the first stop of your day. There are some trails on the grounds of the park, or you can just take the stairs down to view the falls.
-Get back in the car and drive about 20 minutes and you’ll arrive at Canaan Valley Resort State Park. In the winter it’s a ski resort, but in the summer it’s teeming with outdoorsy people who want to take the lifts up the mountain to the trails. We hiked the Bald Knob trail which was a 2.5 mile trek that took us through the most perfect forest I’ve ever been in and then opened up to the top of a mountain with breathtaking views. (We saw so many deer during our hike, it was crazy). I’d definitely like to return to this part of WV for some snow tubing and skiing.
-Don’t forget to stop off in some of the quaint towns that line your drive to Canaan Valley! We didn’t have a lot of time, otherwise I would’ve been all over their many antique stores and restaurants boasting home cooking (aka my weakness).

This guide is far from being complete, but it should be enough to get your wheels turning. GO somewhere. Explore more, ya’ll.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading to Charleston SC to indulge in coffee, southern cuisine and sunshine. I’ll be there through the weekend so be on the lookout for some beautiful instagrams! Follow me at @lacunningham

If you’re interested in seeing more of my photos from the trip feel free to take a jump over to my Flikr page (click on the About tab at the top of this page)

Thank you guys for reading/looking and being wonderful!

 

Speak to you soon!

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Weekend in the Woods

R&R | Summer Camping Essentials, via Red Lips + Tortilla ChipsWeekend in the Woods

 

Early tomorrow morning I’ll be loading up in a car with two of my dearest friends to escape the world for a few days. We’re headed to West Virginia for a weekend of hiking, swimming, star gazing and cabin-living.

I’m most excited about this trip because there isn’t any option but to be off the grid for a little while. Having a job that is centered around the internet means I am literally a l w a y s on my computer; or on my phone; or finding some tinfoil to make an antenna to check my email when there’s no 3G. But not this weekend. This weekend we’re stepping away from it all.

I’m taking my camera to capture the scenery (and the ridiculousness), but I’m hoping the next few days will be a big moment that we’ll just be living in. What I mean by that is instead of being consumed with the things we can take away from the trip on our phones or our memory cards we’ll be consumed with being with each other and making actual memories instead of virtual ones. I think it can be hard to do that in 2014, but I’m determined that this weekend will be full of them.

I’ll be excited to show you guys the moments I do capture. And don’t worry, as I’m sure you know, there will be plenty.

Exciting travel news when I get back! Speak to you soon!

 

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Sunday Brunch | Sangria Edition

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via: AnthropologieKitchen TreatyDesign Sponge • not pictured: Smokey Beer Sangrita via Stir and Strain

In the spirit of returning from Spain (and needing a break from photo editing) I’ve been hunting down Sangria recipes to help me: a) continue pretending I’m seaside in Barcelona and b) survive through the hot summer months ahead. Sangria is a refreshing treat that can be as sweet, fruity or tart as you like it. You can make it with red or white wine, or pretend you’re still 10 and at a soda machine and mix them both together at once (note: that makes me nervous, but hey wine not.)

Spain photo diary continues soon! Get excited about a new playlist this week too.

 

Speak to you soon!

 

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Scatterbrained

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A few of my favorite pins/reblogs from this week:
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This week I have been all over the place; from errands, to client meetings, to coffee catchups–things have been a little crazy. There are just a few final loose ends to get tied up before liftoff on Monday. Have I told you guys I’m going to Spain? Just kidding, I know I have. I only wanted to hear myself say it again for the sake of my #sanity.

Speak to you all soon!

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Twelve

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This week has already started off on the strongest foot I can imagine; with one week left until Spain, a beautiful photo shoot wrapped up this afternoon and the promise of some exciting projects on the horizon, I have no complaints.

I explored some new genres this week and really fell in love with some artists I hadn’t heard of before. Get ready to dance, ya’ll.

 

 

 

Speak to you soon!

follow me on Instagram at @lacunningham

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Cheers to the Weekend

promoPG1 PG7a PG6 PG7b PG5b PG8b PG9 PG3 PG10a PG12Feeling crazy isn’t so crazy after all, or that’s what I’ve learned in my first few months of being 23. Between balancing work obligations, a semi-social life and room for new ventures and Netflix binges…things get a little hectic. I think maybe I’m beginning to figure out the rhythm, though. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Remember that it’s okay to not be working all the time. Having a job centered around emails and online business transactions is nearly impossible to get away from; that little red number on my screen depicting my unread emails viciously taunts me every time I try to ignore it. But you know what? A phone can be turned off for a little while. Business hours don’t have to be around the clock. Just because you’re your own boss doesn’t mean you have to be an unreasonable one. Give yourself a break. (Hint: It’s the weekend. Now is a good time).

Put reminders around of the things coming up that you are looking forward to or things you want to make happen. Seeing these will give you the gratification of knowing you’re working towards something. Also, put notes up about how great you are. (Future you will get a kick out of it when).

Figure out what organizational system works for you, or just figure out organization period. I’m a list maker. Give me a to do list and I will give you results. Other things I make lists for include: groceries, cleaning, restaurants to try and people I meant to call two weeks ago and forgot (I’m sorry.)

Last, but certainly not least, I’ve got three words for you: NEVER. ENDING. PANCAKES. Really it’s two words, but for the sake of drama I wanted to draw it out and give it the emphasis it deserves. There is a restaurant in Nashville called the Pfunky Griddle where you are given a table with a griddle on it and the options of french toast, pancakes, build-your-own omelettes and a variety of a la cart items.

After you make your decision, your server will return to the table with pitchers filled with your batter of choice. With the pancakes, you have a choice of white or whole grain batter and numerous topping options. I went for the whole grain with blueberries and bananas while my friend Mackenzie went white with strawberries and chocolate chips. Within a few minutes we had our griddle hot, buttered and ready for cooking.

The whole experience was really gratifying and definitely stands out from your normal breakfast place. Top that off with a hot cup of coffee, their sunny interior and a great conversation, and you’ve gotten your day started on exactly the right foot.

For more information on the Pfunky Griddle click here

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide via Etsy

mothersdaygiftguideIf there is one person that I love to celebrate in this world it’s my Mom. My encouraging, fun, honest, supportive, stylish, talented, loving, tender hearted and kind Mom. She’s the kind of mother you can’t wait to introduce to your friends so they finally understand why you are the way you are; she’s the kind of mother who is up for any adventure or new restaurant; she’s the kind of mother you want to call for absolutely no reason at all except to make her laugh; she’s my mother, and she’s my best friend. (She’s also already in the middle of a mom-sob by this point so if you’d like to email her a tissue I’ll leave a link at the bottom. Love you, Glen).

I think the best gift to give to a mom is a thoughtful one. One that you know they’ll use and cherish and that will remind them of you when they see it. Etsy is chock full of unique gift ideas that are affordable, and often customizable. Here are the links to some of the ideas I had from above:

• Get her a piece of jewelry that will go with everything, and then get yourself one to match. It’s kind of like you’re with her all the time, and she with you. I really loved this minimal, beaded gold bracelet by Flakes New York.

• I always hear my mom talking about wanting to grow herbs at home, but never having the time to buy the tools to make it happen. Create an herb gardening kit for your mom: select a few seeds (Cilantro, Parsley, and Rosemary are a good place to start), choose your pots (I opted for these vintage tea tins here and here), and pick up some potting soil. Now all she has to do is give them a little water and watch them grow.

• A new weekender bag. Giving mom a more fashionable carry on is a good way to ween her off of that rolling suitcase that she found at the garage sale. Next, you bring up the trip you’ve been wanting the two of you to take together…

• Wine stoppers are a great way to keep wine fresh for that extra day, especially when the cork is presenting problems. These are customizable stoppers that are accented with the map of your choosing. Pick a place that means a lot to the two of you and I guarantee you it will be a frequent reminder of the memories.

• Lastly, a blanket that’s fit for spring. I know that my mom loves to wrap up in a blanket while she’s watching her newest Netflix obsession or catching up on SNL; her go-to-blanket is a cream colored microfleece, but with the summer heat I thought a lighter version might be a good idea. The Turkish towel product selection is made up of towels, shawls, blankets, etc; turkish blankets are lightweight and super soft, and I know from experience that they are a breathable and comfortable option for lounging on the couch on a warm, rainy day. There are a lot of color and pattern options available here.

 

Mother’s day is on Sunday. No matter if you give them anything, reach out to your mom and to other important ladies in your life, and let them know they are appreciated.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

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Vineyard Afternoons + Wine Tasting Dos / Donts

promowine6wine4wine8wine1wine14wine5wine2wine13wine3wine12wine9wine11bI think having an affinity for wine is something most regions of the world can relate to. While my favorite bottles come from places like Argentina and France, an afternoon at a vineyard in Tennessee was a great way to escape from the dizziness of everyday obligations.

About 45 minutes out of Nashville, there is a slice of southern paradise called Arrington Vineyards. The drive out weaves between rustic family farms and flower filled fields. It’s far enough from the highway to feel solitude but close enough that making a visit more than once a season isn’t hard to do. The vineyard offers free tastings (up to nine wines), music on warm weekend nights and plenty of picnic tables. It’s one of my favorite ways to spend a sunny day.

Vineyards can be found all over the place, it just takes a little looking to know where to find them. Next time you have a free day gather some friends (1 or 20) and road trip to one around you. It will result in a memorable day that’s an escape from every day life. While you’re there, take advantage of the opportunity to taste the wines the vineyard offers! You never know what new tastes you may discover and love from then on.

I put together a little guide to help you on your next wine tasting adventure. The biggest thing is just to learn a little something, relax and have fun!

Wine Tastings Dos + Do Nots | Via Red Lips + Tortilla ChipsSpeak to you soon!

 

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