Coffee Lovers and Stocking Stuffers

Well, we’re here. We’ve made it deep into the holiday season, and halfway through our cheap, chocolate filled advent calendars. If you’re like me, you’re still (stressfully) shopping for the people on your list. Bearing that in mind, I give you my final 2016 holiday gift guide! This one covers your coffee lovers and your stocking stuffers. Enjoy!


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Just like last year, I’m obsessed with the idea of coffee being delivered straight to my mailbox (instead of realizing I’m out at 6am and pouting for 10 minutes before I settle for a cup of old tea). Coffee subscription boxes allow you to try different beans from all over the country, and sometimes from all over the world.

Driftaway Coffee is a customized coffee subscription service that bases their selections for you on your given flavor profile preferences. First, they send you a box FULL of different kinds of beans (my favorite so far is the Brazil. SERIOUSLY one of the best coffees I’ve ever had). Once you’ve had a chance to try them all, you enter what you liked and didn’t to the Driftaway app. From there on out, the beans you receive will be chosen by the experts at Driftaway based on what they think will perk you up the most, allowing you to discover new beans and roasts that you never knew about before.

Learn more here!

Of course, it’s not just what you brew, it’s how you brew it! I like to keep it simple with my coffee setup, but also enjoy experimenting with new brew methods.

  • Bodum Pourover Set — I saw this at Target the other day and freaked out! This pourover set up is a) aesthetically pleasing and b) has a built in filter. HELLO. This is great for your friends who are having trouble coming to terms with their strained relationship with Mr. Coffee.
  • Hario Skerton Coffee Mill — This hand grinder allows the brewer to have ultimate control over the grind of their beans, while also getting a sufficient bicep workout. Probably best for the experienced coffee drinker, and not your friend’s mom who is going to mistake this for a ~ swanky pepper grinder ~
  • Bodum Travel Press — ALERT ALERT! YOU CAN NOW MAKE A FRENCH PRESS WHILE YOU TRAVEL. Easiest decision you’ve made all day.
  • Aeropress Coffee Maker — This simple piece of brewing equipment has completely changed the game for my At Home Coffee Routine. The coffee produced by an aeropress is clean, and full of flavor. It also takes less than 5 minutes (if your water is hot) and you’ll look really cool prepping it in your office’s kitchen. Seriously, do recommend.

    [Also the aeropress kit literally comes with everything you need to brew, with the exception of beans. Have I sold you yet?]

  • Turkish Coffee PotWatch this video and then tell me* you don’t have a hip, home-barista friend who doesn’t need this in their life.

*ADMITTEDLY  I’ve never had Turkish coffee, but I hear that it’s some of the most aromatic and richly flavored around. PLUS THE POT IS COPPER!! Who doesn’t love copper in the kitchen?

Looking for something small and (possibly) snackable?

See below for my compilation of food-and-drink-centric stocking stuffers, all produced by small businesses and local makers from across the U.S.!




And that wraps it up for holiday gift guides! I hope that everyone has had a fabulous holiday season so far, and that it only continues to be great.

SO looking forward for what’s to come in 2017 (and what’s to enter my stomach).

Carne Asa-duh

It should come no surprise to anyone that last night (without hesitation) I traveled nearly 20 miles in search of (what I hoped would be) The Greatest Carne Asada at a place I heard about through the grapevine (on Seattle Eater).

Admittedly I spent most of the drive frantically trying to capture a VERY elusive Eevie (Pokemon Go has  made it into this blog post and I’m so sorry about it (no I’m not)), but when we parallel parked next to a mostly abandoned strip mall (after getting lost because we drove past it first) I knew we were EXACTLY where we needed to be.

Hot Tip for finding hole-in-the-wall restaurants: You’re more likely to find an actual hole in the wall than to locate the restaurant on your first try.

The parking lot was PACKED. We recognized the logo painted on the window from their website as we eagerly pushed the door to go inside. Upon walking into the small, one room restaurant we discovered that every table was full. The air smelled like smoke (from a grill, not an ashtray) and meats and I immediately began to salivate. After waiting for a few minutes (and then accidentally sitting down at the wrong table, revealing our newbie status) we finally settled into a table against the back wall.

From the way we were looking at the menus set in front of us, you’d think we were reading letters informing us that we’d won the PowerBall (as if we’d found the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin but, you know,  instead of gold it would be filled entirely with mesquite, grilled meats). FINALLY After much debate we decided on a Rib Eye steak and an order of ribeye tacos, squeezed the limes into our Negra Modelos and awaited our prizes.

While we waited on our meals I admired the plates of everyone else around us: there were giant platters of perfectly cooked meats, papas locas (crazy potatoes!) LOADED with toppings, ramekins of fresh radishes and homemade salsas, and a very tempting bread pudding that was calling. my. NAME. Before I knew it our dishes had been set down in front of us and suddenly it was very clear that there would not be room for dessert on this night.

Let me keep it short and sweet: I’ve had a lot of Carne Asada in my life, and this was the best one so far. The ribeye in the tacos was high quality (USDA Prime in fact!), perfectly cooked (medium rare (THE ONLY CHOICE)), and was complimented best by the house made salsa (served in a bowl on the side), a squeeze of lime,  and a sprinkling of onions, cilantro and radishes. The steak? Served on a pickled cactus leaf and can be described as nothing short of Fit For the Gods. Does that feel too enthusiastic? I’m not worried about it.

My final verdict: Definitely worth the drive to Kent (I’d drive it 10 times in a row just for one more taco). Better news? They are opening in Ballard SOON. They’ve been keeping their Facebook page updated with progress! Check it out.

Oh, and next time? I’m getting the damn bread pudding.

Seattle’s Best Mexican Restaurants – Seattle Eater

Asadero Sinaloa coming to Ballard

Asadero Sinaloa – Facebook

Krohn Conservatory | Cincinnati, Ohio City Guide


Cincinnati may boast beautiful architecture and an up and coming restaurant scene, but it also boasts some of the most beautiful parks I’ve been to. After spending the morning snaking through the city’s allies, Rachael and I were longing for something a little more alive than a concrete jungle, so we opted for a real one instead.

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Krohn conservatory is a greenhouse, about five minutes from downtown, that houses over 3,500 plant species from around the world. The building, another example of the recognizable art deco style that so boldly ornaments many other buildings in the area, is fully glass and surrounded by an army of flowers dressed in every color of the rainbow. The conservatory is a site in itself, but it sits right in the middle of several other parks worth spending time in, as well.

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I think my favorite part  was either the room full of succulents or the room with tropical vegetation. If you know me at all, then you know how I feel about desert plants–I have five and they are my nearest and dearest friends plants; so you can imagine the amount of time I spent oggling the many species of cacti and aloe. The tropical room housed so many bright colored, interestingly shaped flowers that I was simply entranced by it all. I know this post has a lot of photos, but really…this wasn’t even the half of it.

Highly reccomend checking out the Krohn conservatory if you’re in Cincy! Beautiful way to spend a day (especially a rainy or hot one). More tips on visiting the city/photos come in the next week!


Speak to you soon!




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!



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!

Barcelona by Night | Spain Photo Diary

bbnpromo barca14barca10 barca17 barca7barca9  barca8 barca12barca13 barca6 barca16 barca11On our first night in Barcelona we braved the crowds to see the Magic Fountain. Although it was flooded with tourists, the view of the city paired with the music and good friends made every second worth it.

Have a great weekend! More Spain photos to come.

Speak to you soon!




La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary

La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla Chips La Boqueria | Spain Travel Diary, Red Lips + Tortilla ChipsWhenever I mentioned that I was making a trip to Barcelona, a popular suggestion I got was to visit La Boqueria. La Boqueria is a huge market filled to the brim with produce, locally made products (cheese, cured meats, olive oils, etc) and counters where you can pick something up or have an authentic meal prepared right in front of you. Our hotel was near La Rambla, we made the market one of our first stops.

Things you should probably pick up at La Boqueria:

1. Fresh Produce – Traveling can often consist of eating heavily for days upon days. A welcome change, for us, was to grab some fresh fruit for breakfast and vegetables to take along with us for lunch. We spent a fraction of what we would’ve at a restaurant and still got to enjoy the local flavors. My favorite things were the vibrant red cherries, juicy peaches and perfectly ripe avocados.

2. Juice – It’s impossible to miss the rows of festive, brightly colored straws that adorn the fresh juices all over the market. From kiwi coconut to mango banana berry, you can pretty much get any combination (or single flavor) that you’re hoping for. Definitely a refreshing treat that would make a hot day maneuvering through the crowds much more bearable.

3. Candy – On a less healthy note, you have got to get your hands on some of the specialty candy in the market. We made a point to go three separate days, each time trying something new. My favorites were the macarons (of course), the truffles,  the coconut bonbons and this circular, toffee and chocolate crispy treat. I really think I could’ve tried anything and would’ve had a shut-my-eyes-in-chocolate-ecstasy moment.

4. Gelato – Gelato isn’t just delicious in Italy; no, I had some of the best gelato I’ve ever had from a counter in the very middle of the market. We got one coconut and one scoop berry (with fresh berries piled on top). The gelato was so good that we actually had to have a seat right in the middle of La Rambla to enjoy it to the fullest extent (send your judgements to my P.O box).

5. Empanadas – Jamón y Queso. Pollo y Queso. Anything. Everything. Get them all.

6. Counter Service – The one thing we didn’t do (and I feel regrettable about) was taking advantage of the in-market food counters. The aromas from the various seafood, tapas and float about the entire market; the sizzle of busy skillets interrupting barter conversations between shopper and stall owner. There was one near the back that was lit with rustic lighting and was serving lobster…I’ve got to get back there some day. It really did seem to good to miss.

Although we did see and do a lot in Barcelona, I felt like the market needed it’s own post. More sites and stories to come!


Speak to you soon!



Shades | Warby Parker

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Recently I’ve been a little too liberal with one of my favorite life philosophies: “TREAT YO SELF,” But after a week of round-the-clock business hours and frequent pilates sessions I felt like today’s splurge was well deserved.

I’ve been paying regular visits to the Warby Parker display in a Nashville store called Imogene and Willie for a few months now. So, when some unexpected dolla-bills (what?) came my way, I decided it was time to take the leap from cheap, low quality sunglasses to the real deal.

Warby Parker glasses are vintage inspired and their frames are handcrafted. They have a “buy a pair, give a pair” business philosophy; similar to the way TOMS gives back, WP gives a pair of glasses (and/or funding)  to a non-profit, like VisionSpring, who then trains low-income men and women to sell affordable glasses to their community. Thus, the people who never thought they would be able to afford glasses are enabled to. The cause alone is something I was excited to get behind.

To check out more of Warby Parker’s eyewear click here. To view the Everett style, that I chose, click here


Speak to you all soon!




2 days to Spain!


Nashville Guide: Farmer’s Markets 2014

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my favorite parts about visiting a new city is visiting its Farmer’s Markets. It’s exciting to me that by visiting one I am completely thrusting myself into the industries and people of its community. You might catch a whiff of the sizzling street food being prepared or the vibrant colors of this season’s produce; the buttery feel of a handmade lotion or the intricacies of a craft; the music of a local performer or the taste of a cheese sample that wins you over from the first bite. By visiting a Farmer’s Market you are supporting a community, and why only do it when you’re away from home?

When I started looking into to the markets in Nashville I was overwhelmed by the answer I got. Nashville has nine Farmer’s Markets in the metro area, each of them offering something unique. There is one in almost every large neighborhood, from Sylvan Park to East Nashville to Franklin. Even better than that, they are put on during different days of the week so it’s easy to make a visit to more than one. Check it out:



Nashville Farmer’s Market – Richland Park:
Where: 4711 Charlotte Avenue
When: Saturdays 9a-12p; May 3-October 25

West End:
Where: 4101 Harding Pike
When: Saturdays 9a-230p; April-November

Nashville Farmer’s Market:
Where: 900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
When: Everyday 8a-5pm; Year Round

Greenwood + Porter:
Where: Corner of Greenwood + Porter Rd, East Nashville
When: Mondays, 3-7p

East Tasty:
Where: 110 Gallatin Ave, In front of East High School
When: Saturdays 10a-2p, Will not be opening for 2014!
Sorry for the misinformation!

East Nashville:
Where: S. 20th St, Shelby Park
When: Wednesdays 330-7p; May 14-Oct 29

12 South:
Where: 3000 Granny White Pike, Sevier Park
When: Tuesdays 330-630p; Beginning May 6

hip Donelson:
Where: 2730 Old Lebanon Rd
When: Fridays 4-7p; Beginning May 9

Where: The Shed @ The Factory; 230 Franklin Road, Franklin TN
When: Saturdays 8a-1p; Year Round

No matter where you live, find out about the Farmer’s Markets in your area. Get excited about your community.


Speak to you all soon!



Consider the Wldflwrs | Nashville TN


“ was created to write + share stories through a variety of mediums while curating a simple and natural aesthetic. It houses considerthewldflwrs – a jewelry line handcrafted in Nashville, Tennessee which seeks to discover wild beauty through the exploration of craft. Each design and collection is uniquely inspired often by travel, natural imperfections + a thirst for discovery. We believe that in exploring our creativity through these crafts and getting lost in art we catch a glimpse of grace. As we continue to grow we hope to pass on this passion for craft and simplicity.” –Mission Statement of Consider the Wldflwrs


TackleBoxFull2Necklaces4I spent this morning bellied up to a work table learning about the art of metal working and chatting about the vision of Consider the Wldflwrs with founder, Emily Howard. With a heart for philanthropy and a creative spirit, she has started growing a brand that not only crafts simple, beautiful jewelry but also one that gives back to the lives of others. Each time a sale is made, 25%  of its proceeds go to a non-profit ministry called “Victory of Heart” for young girls in Tyler, Texas*.

The designs are inspired by nature and by Emily’s personal style. She started off redesigning pieces she would find at flea markets and turning them into one of a kind statement accessories. As Consider the Wldflwrs grew so did the aesthetic and the etsy store. With a few craft fairs under her belt and international orders being filled, the word of the brand is spreading, and it’s easy to see why. Each piece is crafted by hand with care, good materials, and solid methods. I definitely plan on purchasing in the near future; I don’t think I can live without that constellation necklace and at least 100 of those perfectly dainty gold rings. They’re pieces that would be really easy to integrate into any look, and probably never take off after that.

To learn more about Consider the Wldflwrs click here
To get to their store click here

*25% of each sale from considerthewldflwrs jewelry is given to a non-profit ministry called “Victory of Heart” for young girls in Tyler, Texas. Victory of Heart illustrates restoration and hope as they seek to encourage a generation of young women. –via CTWf website


Speak to you all soon!



Recently | IG Catchup

via lacunningham on instagramApril was good to me. April took me on adventures to new places. April allowed me to try new things. April gave me clarity.

I think my favorite thing that I did this month was during my trip home to Little Rock, Arkansas. Saturday morning my mom and I rose with the sun to seek out the best of the city’s Farmer’s Markets. We spent the whole day strolling through aisles of freshly cut flowers and herbs, enveloped in the smells of homemade breads and baked goods. The city was buzzing with people happy to be in the sun; feeling the consoling rays of the morning on my bare shoulders made me forget the harsh winter that has now faded away.

There was also a boisterous, cheerful, older man who convinced me to cradle one of his pet chickens in my arms, but that’s another story for another time.

I hope April was as good to you as it was to me.


Speak to you all soon!