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!

 

x

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!

x

Spring Drink | Champagne Lemonade

FIRSTChampagne Lemonade-733It is finally the season of brunching on patios and spending the afternoons in sunrooms. Light drinks, like wines, sangrias, and spritzers, are typically what I lean towards on those kinds of days, and last summer my friend Lauren showed me a great recipe that is a winning combo of all of those things: Champagne Lemonade.

This recipe is super affordable, easy to throw together, and results in super refreshing and slightly carbonated sips all around.

You will need:
• Fruit of your choosing (We used lemons, strawberries, black, berries, and lime)
• Herbs of your choosing (Rosemary adds a great herbal flavor, but I’m also excited to try mint, basil, lavender, and ginger with this recipe)
• Lemonade (Newman’s Own Organic Virgin Lemonade is a great choice, there are no unexpected ingredients or processed sugars)
• Champagne (You can’t really go wrong on this part)

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Step One: 
Prepare your fruit: wash, slice, remove the seeds, etc. Combine and put aside.

TOAST

Step Two: 
Pop your Champagne! Now you feel like you’re celebrating.

Remember: Popping a bottle does not have to be a near death experience. First, carefully remove the cage from the cork (Note: The cork is not going to shoot out of the top without a little bit of effort on your part). Breathe, you’re halfway there. Grab a dishtowel and place on top of the cork, stand near the sink, tilt the bottle at a 45 degree angle, breathe once again and slowly remove the cork from the bottle. The cork will POP and it may startle you, but you probably won’t experience death by carbonation.

Just remember to go slow and to store your Champagne in a stationary place. The less you move it the less pressure that will build.

 

Step 3
Decide how much you want to make. Once you decide, you will need the final result to amount to around 2/3 Champagne and 1/3 Lemonade. If you want to make 6 cups worth, which is a good amount for a get together, then you will need to measure out 4 cups of champagne and 2 cups of lemonade. These numbers aren’t concrete–just mix and taste until it tastes delicious to you! (a little more champagne never hurts, right?)

 

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Step 4
Add the fruit you prepared to the mix, as well as your herbs, then, put it in the fridge and let it chill for an hour so; all of the flavors will begin to extract and mingle together. Right before your friends arrive get it out; this is so you look really prepared. T3Champagne Lemonade-730

Serve your drinks with an herb garnish, and maybe try to get some actual fruit in the glass as well. I can tell you already: your drink is going to be a hit.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this!

 

Speak to you soon!

 

 

x

 

 

 

*photos and graphics by Lauren Cunningham*

Pretty boy // Your Monday Playlist

Pretty boy

  

Getting back into the swing of things can be hard after a weekend of warm family moments and an abundance pillowy dinner rolls. Here are a few words to inspire your next few moves:

•Today is going to be great. It is a new week. It is a new day. It is a new beginning. There is no reason not to be delighted in that.

YOU are great. You are talented and your dreams are worth chasing. They are worth it. You are worth it.

•Know that you are loved. It’s Monday and sometimes it feels like everything is spiraling in a bad direction. It’s not. Breathe and know you are going to make it through.

 

•You can make the decision to be happy today. Don’t forget that.

 

•You can also make the decision to choose pizza for lunch, and there is no better cure for a bad day than that.
  
This weeks playlist was inspired by my (often discussed) masculine-feminine style obsession for spring 2014; I’m continuing to love the shapes and pieces involved in a more boyish look and twisting them with girlish textures and details . My two favorite items are the oversized black watch (MARC by Marc Jacobs) and the boyfriend shorts (rag & bone featured here, but we all know about the love affair I have with the Madewell suitor.)

 

The playlist is a bunch of fabulous ladies who sing like angels. So, without further adieu, your Monday mixtape:

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

x

Nashville Guide: The Essentials

Nashville Weekend Guide | via RLTCSometimes I forget how amazing it is to live in a city full of so much history, ambition and pizazz. Just one internet search about “What to do in Nashville” yields endless results; tours, music, famous bars, places to buy find that single shoe that Johnny Cash wore–once.

Okay maybe not that last one, but you get the drift.

Overhearing conversations at the coffee shop I worked at was often overhearing frustration from travellers (and locals) not knowing where to get the best BBQ or where to hear the best bluegrass or where to get “hot chicken,” whatever that meant…

(IT MEANS the best damn chicken you’ll ever eat. Check yourself. And then promptly drive to Prince’s and feast like you are the fire king).

So without further adieu, I give you my condensed (sort of) Nashville to do list. This idea stemmed from the forthcoming visit from my amazing parents. While sifting through blog posts and trip advisor comments, I just wanted to be able to look at ONE thing. So I made it. I really tried to think from all realms and to fill it with things that would keep you (a traveller OR a local) busy for an afternoon, a day, a weekend…I hope it’s as helpful to you as it was for me!

Discover something new in Nashville.

(Also, please feel free to discover how great the adjective pizazz is. Note to everyone: use it more often.)

 —

I’ll be a little absent the next few days (spending much needed time with the parental unit) but I’ll be back during the weekend/the beginning of next week with a FLOOD of pictures. There’s a lot coming up for this little blog! Get excited.

Also, thank you guys for all the support and kind words! I’m excited about this new venture and about bringing you on it with me.

 

Speak to you soon!

 

 

x

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!

x

Instagram Catchup // February

Instagram via @lacunningham Jeni’s  is down the street from my house now, so this is now the most dangerous thing that’s ever happened to me.Instagram via @lacunningham Spent an afternoon at the Nashville Humane Association playing with the sweetest puppies. This guy’s name is Arctic, and he was my favorite.Instagram via @lacunningham Crema is a great place to go for coffee, work, and seeing everyone you ever knew that also loves coffee and is aware of Crema. Coffee is always good and so is the company. I’d highly recommend it if you’re in Nashville and have never been. You don’t do coffee? Their Chai latte is also the best I’ve had in the city. Just go. And while you’re there, pick up one of their Nashville mugs and admire their chalkboard wall art. Have I sold you yet?Instagram via @lacunningham My 23rd birthday rolled around on the 9th of February. The day started with the MOST exquisite brunch of blood orange mimosas, steak eggs benedict, and pancakes at The Southern. It’s located in the heart of downtown Nashville and you NEED to pay them a visit. They had a huge amount of people waiting to sit down as we were leaving, so I’d definitely suggest making a reservation. In any case: go.Instagram via @lacunningham Instagram via @lacunningham Also my best friends threw me a surprise birthday party and I’ve never felt more loved in my entire life. I can’t say thank you enough times.Instagram via @lacunningham  Instagram via @lacunningham I bared my legs because they sun came out and I wasn’t sorry about it.
Wearing: Shoes | Converse, Skirt | (old) Target, and Sweater | MadewellInstagram via @lacunningham Instagram via @lacunningham Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI’ve been making a solid effort to not only explore other places in the world, but also the city I live in. This week’s was inspired by a recent post by A Beautiful Mess. She went to a store that I’ve passed 100 times on my street and on Tuesday I decided it was my turn to venture in. White’s Mercantile is a collection of knick knacks that are so the spirit of Nashville. Vintage inspired and all of it would look perfect on that shelf that you just need to add SOMETHING ELSE on. Worth a trip to 12 South to browse around. Also, you should probably buy one of the candles they have on display because they are *praise hands emoji* GOOD.Instagram via @lacunningham

“When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.”

-Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

The past few weeks, every waking moment I’ve had I’ve spent day dreaming about sunny afternoons and excuses to go down the street to Las Paletas and get a popsicle just because.

The warmer temperatures have prompted met to surround myself with flowers, friends, and a fresh outlook. I did a closet overhaul, and I’ve never been happier to open its doors in my life. It’s all seems sort of new and a lot more manageable.

I’ve done the same thing with a lot of my priorities. An overhaul of things weighing me down. Results? Happier me.

Take advantage of spring, ya’ll.

Countdown to LA: 12 days.

 

Speak to you soon

 

x

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

x
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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.

tomaattifetasalaatti_suvisurlevif

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.