Kentucky Bourbon Trail | Map

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I remember someone once told me that if you want to know more about something, you should surround yourself with it; if you want to learn French, go to France; if you want to know about art, visit as many galleries as you can; and if you want to know about Bourbon-Whiskey, go to Kentucky. So (you better believe) I did.

On the way up to the cabin, since we would be driving through bourbon country, we decided to make a stop on the Bourbon Trail–AKA the region that America’s best distilleries call home. After much debate on where to start we decided on Woodford Reserve in Versailles* Kentucky(there was really no competition, let’s be honest).

*Pronounced “VER-SALES” if you’re a native and also if you don’t know what France is.

The tour through the distillery was about an hour long and took us through each stage of the bourbon process from cooking to consumption*. The Woodford distillery is the oldest around in the states; it was built some time in the late 1700s and the architectural style is so truly Scots-Irish you may forget you’re in Kentucky. After being up close and personal with such much bourbon, it’s a little bit hard for me to tell myself not to start a micro distillery…in my kitchen.

*My favorite part was the consumption.

After visiting my first distillery it’s now become a goal of mine to visit the rest on the trail. (Who doesn’t want to drink learn more about bourbon and the area that does it best?). To make that journey a little easier, for myself and for anyone else who wants to join in, I thought I’d make a little map. Bon Voyage!

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After a change of plans I’ll be leaving for Charleston tomorrow in the A M and making stops in Chattanooga, Atlanta, and who knows where else. Why not make a long drive into a real road trip, right?

 

Speak to you soon!

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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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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Sunday Mornings.

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Here are a list of words that begin with S that describe Sundays:

  • Serene
  • Serendipitous
  • Spiritual
  • Simple
  • Sacred
  • Spontaneous
  • Sweet rolls

If we’re being honest, I’m mainly focused on that last one.

Sunday mornings are the time in the week when I really allow myself to savor every moment as it comes. I take time to be still and to breathe and to make myself relax, because during the week those moments are few and far between.

And sometimes a mimosa (or 2) makes that relaxation all the sweeter.

Take the day off. You deserve it.

Speak to you soon!

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LA Photo Diary: Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery | via RLTC Magnolia Bakery | via RLTC Magnolia Bakery | via RLTC Magnolia Bakery | via RLTC Magnolia Bakery | via RLTC Magnolia Bakery | via RLTC Magnolia Bakery | via RLTC Magnolia Bakery | via RLTCI’m certain that it took a total of one time driving past Magnolia Bakery on 3rd Street in WeHo for me to make a decision that I’d be making my way back there no matter what it took. The alluring sign and promise of sweet temptations beckoned to me. I think the cake displays in the windows may have actually whispered to my subconscious, and when cake whispers you always listen.

Walking into the charming, mint green establishment a few days later I immediately knew I’d made the right decision. A table in the middle of the room welcomed me with examples of the bakery’s beautiful work. Near the back there were pastry chefs working on a new batch of cupcakes, newly frosted with pale pink buttercream and lightly sprinkled with white sugary pearls.

After talking to the girl behind the counter, I learned there are only a few Magnolia’s storefronts–one of those being in LA and the majority of them being in New York. Not wanting to miss an obviously God given opportunity, I ordered 3 chocolate and buttercream mini cupcakes and was on my way.

I’d later find out the only thing I was to be disappointed in was the fact that I didn’t order 10 more cupcakes, some cookies and a dozen blondies to boot.

To learn more about Magnolia and to order every baked good you ever need from now on, click here (they deliver!).

More photos tomorrow! Follow me on instagram at @lacunningham for more livefeed photos.

Speak to you soon!

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How to Survive a Polar Vortex in Style | PART I

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, either because you’ve frozen or because you’ve heard about it in the news, the U.S. is currently pretending to be Antarctica while it rides out the remainder of the polar vortex. Somehow, I managed to plan my Europe trip at the same time as Nashville’s transformation into Tundra Town, and I have never been more comfortable skipping around in a (chilly) 50 degrees.

“Did she say chilly 50 degrees?” Oh I did. And I said it from underneath my tiger print fleece blanket.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about how angry clueless I’d be in enjoying myself if I was around temperatures that dropped into the negatives, so I made little guide that might be helpful in making your shivering a little more chic.

|TIP 1: COLD DAY, HOT DRINK

Irish coffee by 52 Kitchen Adventures, Chamomile Hot Toddy by Honesty Yumm, Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate by Chasing Delicious, Mulled Wine by Flourishing Foodie

Irish coffee by 52 Kitchen Adventures, Chamomile Hot Toddy by Honesty Yumm, Bourbon Spiked Hot Chocolate by Chasing Delicious, Mulled Wine by Flourishing Foodie

It’s 11AM (or 7PM whatever) and it’s becoming very evident that the coziness you are craving isn’t going to be provided by your blanket cocoon. Your next move COULD be to bump the heat up–OR you could swagger over to your liquor cabinet and see what awaits you in (what I like to call) the cave of wonders.

Hot cocktails are all about preference and creativity. What do you like? Hot cider? Add a little rum. Coffee? Make it irish. Wine? Simmer it with some fruit and voila–it’s mulled. I love to spike a hot chocolate because you can’t really EVER go wrong with that, and my other favorites are hot toddys. Hot toddys are generally made with Whiskey/Rum, lemon, hot water, and spices (whatever you fancy). I’ve also just stumbled across a chamomile one on Honestly Yumm that sounded like it would make my cold day dreams come true, so it will be happening ASAP.

I don’t care what kind of pottery barn fleece you have swaddled around yourself; there is nothing warmer than a booze blanket and the eminent nap that will follow closely behind it.

|TIP 2: BUNDLE UP

1. Madewell 2. Sea of Shoes 3. Oracle Fox 4. Park and Cube 5. Man Repeller 6. Tumblr / Justletitbe 7. tumblr /unknown 8. it-girl-rag-doll

1. Madewell 2. Sea of Shoes 3. Oracle Fox 4. Park and Cube 5. Man Repeller 6. Tumblr / Justletitbe 7. tumblr /unknown 8. it-girl-rag-doll

What better opportunity to attempt all of those street style layering combos than during a mother nature induced game of freeze out?

What’s that? You got a new asos turtle neck, a zara sweater, and a cardigan from Topshop for Christmas? COMBO THAT SHIT. Layering is like slushie choices at Sonic, the choices are limitless. You don’t even have to wear it out of the house. Try on your new beanie and rock it while you play sodoku on your ipad. Get comfortable in new combinations in the comfort of your own home. Who knows? These new circumstances could cause a style revolution and a brand new wave of confidence you didn’t even know was WITHIN YOU.

If you need some ideas for your new clothes-on-clothes-on-clothes look, check out pinterest or any of the myriad of fashion blogs floating around the internet. Find a style you like and see how you can emulate it and make it your own.

Also wool socks. Always wear wool socks.

I’ve got more tips to share, but I thought I’d make this a series and keep 3-5 for a new post in a couple of days. We head to London tomorrow for some meetings and last minute souvenir shopping before hopping on a train to Amsterdam.

If you’d like to follow my adventures in real time, follow my instagram at @lacunningham

speak to you all soon

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2014- New Mantra, New Cocktails

It’s my third day in England and I think I’ve already had more cups of Earl Grey tea than I can count. I’m a coffee person, but slowly tea is winning my affections.

Today is new years day, and somehow despite the amount of pints I had last night, courtesy of the generous people of Oundle, England, I am alive and kicking on this first day of 2014. It’s a new year? What? Hopefully this will be a big one full of clarity, reassessment, and a lot of chicken Phó.

Apologies for not posting for a few days, jet lag got the best of me and I was really busy sleeping and falling in love with this quaint little town (or just all of the British men). Oundle is the quintessential english experience–tea houses everywhere, pubs on every corner, mini coopers zooming down the lanes, houses all in close quarters of eachother…it’s my dream. I’ve been wanting to come to england for years now, so this was a wonderful way to start.

First trip down to London is this weekend. I think site seeing, coffee drinking, and plaid wearing will probably be in the cards for us. Oh, and did I mention we’re going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour? Because we’re going to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. (Brace yourselves for photos of me shamelessly riding a broom in front of a green screen).

I don’t have too many pictures yet, so I thought I’d just share a few things I’ve been loving right now (side note: if you follow me on Pinterest–you already know this list is going to be full of ostentatious cocktails and blanket scarves):

french twist

Sometimes (most of the time) I don’t love putting a lot of effort into my hair. Not to say that I want it to look bad, I just would rather put it into a style that takes minimal time but looks stylishly effortless. This messy french twist via Once Wed is something I’ve been looking forward to trying. Super elegant while still super casual and not time consuming. Count. Me. In.

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Spotted this photo of warm feta and tomatoes on Pinterest, and never have I been so quickly persuaded to visit a cooking blog (note: they are now my new obsession, which is making it hard for me to uphold my other new favorite thing which is trying to live out my dream of being a gym rat). This recipe is super easy to make, beautiful to present (even if your tomatoes aren’t that pretty) and something I could see myself enjoying all year round. Check out Suvisur Le Vif and see what I mean.

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Plaid pants are out to play in this years 90’s fashion craze, and I gotta say–I AM ALL ABOUT IT. This Navy pair worn by Lauren Zwanziger of The Transatlantic was purchased at Zara and they fit like a dream. Neutral enough and different from the classic red tartan that is sweeping a lot of street style sites, I think it’s safe to say that if I owned these pants they would be gracing my short little legs more often than not.

what's stopping

My new mantra for 2014. If you dream of something, there is a way to accomplish it. Don’t let the “what ifs” and “buts” stop you from taking steps towards your goals. I’ve learned so much about perseverance and hard work this year–it’s taken me places and I know it can do the same for you. (Unless it’s competitive eating. There are things that should stop you from doing that. Stop it.)

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Finally, as promised, a seasonal cocktail. This one is the Sage, Ginger and Prosecco cocktail that was introduced to me by Local Milk. Although I haven’t had an excuse to make it yet, it’s hard to go wrong with that combination of ingredients and bubbles. Hopefully in the near future I’ll have a reason to try this out with some friends.

2014 is here. Let’s make the most of it, ya’ll.

Also! If you have any suggestions for things to do in London, Amsterdam or New York please feel free to comment below! All are appreciated!

PS: Sorry for the lack of blanket scarves…next time.