Over the years, Ben & I have grown to truly love living in Richmond. One of the great perks is how close it is to D.C.! This time, in an effort to avoid city traffic & paying for parking, we drove to the end of the blue line at Franconia-Springfield, parked our car there for free, & then rode the metro into the city. If you are entering the city from Virginia, I would highly recommend this trick.
Anyways, we went to D.C. to meet up with Ben’s parents who happened to be in town for work. It’s always great to be able to spend time with family seeing as though none of our family lives in VA (but I’m really pushing for at least some of my family to move out here someday…). We walked along the mall, ate tasty street food, & just got to sit & catch up which is always so refreshing.
After we ate lunch, we walked through stunning floral gardens. We saw roses of every color imaginable. Basically I was in heaven. I wish I had taken more pictures of all the colors, but of course I was drawn to all of the pinks! They were all so lovely & fragrant & effortlessly whimsical & I could have stayed there all day long. But after a long walk in the garden, we made our way over to an area of the city I had never been to…
This area of the city has been so well designed. It’s right on the water & is full of amazing restaurants, cafés, shops, & more. They even had a large bonfire for people to make s’mores at. The thing I loved most about this area though, was how visually pleasing they had made it. It was clean & has fresh pots of gorgeous flowers around every corner. Those little details mean so much & made our experience so delightful. I definitely cannot wait to go back again soon.
A couple years back, I visited Burnside Farms durning the spring for their annual tulip festival. It was gorgeous & I MUST go back again this next year. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to go during their sunflower season because all the pictures I have been seeing on their Instagram have been giving me major FOMO. Yesterday, Ben & I finally got to take a little road trip up to see the gorgeous sunflower fields. To say is was dreamy would be an understatement. Plus, we went on a Tuesday afternoon so there weren’t many people there. We had such a fun time & even got to cut & bring home a few sunflowers as well.
On the drive home, we could not stop talking about how much fun we had in the sunflower fields. We loved walking through the classic sunflower fields & taking photos, but then we also saw some lovely white & burgundy sunflowers as well! Of course, we had to bring home a few of each color. They had chickens & turkeys on site as well which were thoroughly entertaining. I couldn’t help but think that one day when we have kids, we have to bring them back to see this. How much fun will that be?!
This was such a cute outfit to wear to the sunflower fields because the red & white really stand out against the flowers. Yesterday was my first chance to wear this dreamy long white skirt & I already can’t wait to wear it again. You may remember seeing it in a recent Sunday Try On where I mentioned that I had been looking for the perfect long white skirt for such a long time & this one is even better than I was expecting. It’s so light & flowy & is not see through either! An effortless white skirt like this is one is one I know I will wear for many years to come.
Lately, I’ve been craving some beautiful & inspiring scenery. Traveling can be so life-giving, & since I’m staying in Richmond this summer, I’ve been determined to find that same feeling right here at home. There are so many beautiful things that surround us daily & I feel so lucky to live in such a cool city. But regardless of where we live, I’ll bet that if we make it our mission to open our eyes to seek the beauty around us, we just might find it. First stop, visiting a butterfly garden!
When it comes to exploring new places, my favorite travel companion is of course, Ben. Luckily, he had a day off when it wasn’t too terribly hot & it wasn’t raining, so we took a day date to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Our first priority on this trip was to see their “Butterflies LIVE” exhibit, but we also spent hours roaming through the colorful & incredible gardens.
The butterfly garden was totally magical! I saw some of the biggest & brightly colored butterflies I have ever seen. Occasionally, they would land on us which was just one of the coolest things ever! We just stood there, watching, in complete awe of these whimsical creatures flying about, eating, & exploring the garden around them. I was giddy! Since around April I had been wanting to come & experience this place, & it exceeded my expectations for sure.
Dressed For The Occasion
Chicwish very kindly gifted me this dress (which I picked out) & even before receiving it, I knew this was the dress I wanted to wear upon visiting the butterfly garden. It was even better in person & I fell in love (see my initial try on here). The whimsical botanical print is to die for along with the sweet buttons & feminine ruffles, this dress is too cute for words. These earrings matched this dress PERFECTLY!
I decided to go all out with the prints to carry on with my whimsical theme. This cute polka dot scarf tied in a bow on a floral bag…because sometimes more is more!
Halfway through our day trip, Ben & I sat on a bench & we realized that our looks were totally coordinated & were on theme with our surroundings! No doubt, he’s the man of my dreams!
I know, I know…this is not my typical dress or skirt or even trouser look, but I’ve fallen hard for this pair of super affordable denim culottes. They are basically the flowing midi skirt version of jeans. If you, like me, are a lover of feminine fashion & anything with a bit of drama, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with these too. Especially after reading my full review of the jeans of the season, below…
You may think this shape would be a bit unflattering, but let me tell exactly why that’s not true. First of all, these pants are very high waisted. This is one of the very best features about these pants in my opinion because it cinches you in at the most ideal place to create that figure flattering silhouette. These jeans will go perfectly with my spring/summer shirts that are a bit more cropped as well as more flowy & billowing tops that I can wear tucked in. Then the cropped wide leg makes your ankles look skinny & then draws your focus back up to that cinched in waist line.
But Wait, There’s More
You guys, these pants are such a steal! At only $30, your spring wardrobe needs a pair. (Or if you’re like me, you might need two!) They’re flattering, affordable, & oh-so comfortable. I would even travel in them, they’re so comfortable. With so many brands out there coming out with their own version of these pants, I had to let you all know that these are the very best.
I’ve been talking about taking a girl’s trip to Charleston for quite some time now. So when it turned out we had a week off during the spring before it gets too hot down there, I knew we had to go. It was actually perfect because one of my friends has a family home in Folly Beach, which is just outside of Charleston, where we ended up staying for the duration of our trip.
In this post, you’ll find what we did over our 3 full day of exploring & some of the best spots in town to eat.
We had a bit of a slow start, since the day before we had two performances & then drove the 6.5 hours down. Once we finally got all showered, dressed, & ready, we drove into the city to find a cute spot for brunch. Basic Kitchen was just the perfect little spot for our first meal in Charleston. I ordered the avocado toast & a moon milk latte with almond milk, as well as an order of their sweet potato fries served with a delicious cashew ranch sauce on top. Not only was the food good, so was the service & the interior design. Cozy bench seats, fresh walls, green plants, rattan details, & beautiful plates were among my favorite details. Each day we wanted to come back, but decided to explore new places.
Wandering The Streets
After we ate, we were so excited to see some of the lovely homes. We took our time walking down towards The Battery looking at each & every home & its perfectly manicured garden. One of our favorite roads to explore was Tradd St. which I would highly recommend walking down to see some of Charleston’s most gorgeous homes. Seeing these pretty houses gave me so much home & garden inspiration, which I wrote an entire post about, find it here.
We finally made it down to a very chilly Battery Park. Very quickly, we saw the water, the cute pineapple fountain, & of course we had to walk down Rainbow Row. I loved the Caribbean feel of the colorful houses. Just iconic.
For dinner we were so excited to try out a super cool restaurant called 5Church. This restaurant has taken over an old historic church with vaulted ceilings & beautiful stained glass windows. They have really fun cocktails & the food was incredible. Since I was in the Deep South, I decided to order their chili infused honey fried chicken. This dish was served with brussels sprouts, creamy campanelle, & a homemade biscuit. My plate was so big & so full of food, it would have been perfect to split with someone. Instead, I took some of the chicken, campanelle (basically fancy mac & cheese), & the biscuit home to eat over the next few days, which I had no problem doing. The biscuit was perfect for breakfast the next day!
Margaritas & Horses
We woke up to a rainy Charleston, but were surprised to see that it was going to clear up by 11 am! Once we got into the city, we went to Minero for some tasty Mexican food & margaritas. This is one of our favorite things to do together. Mexican food just always sounds good! After filling our bellies, we signed up for a horse drawn carriage tour of the city. It was really fun to hear some of the history & stories of the very streets we had walked the day before. The tour guide was a Charleston native, who gladly answered any & every question we had for her. Even though I was hesitant at first, I would highly recommend taking one of these tours.
After we said goodbye to our horse, Austin, we walked over to the open markets. This is a great spot to find artsy souvenirs or gifts for friends & family. My favorite vendor had the loveliest placemats & table runners. I’m shocked they didn’t make it home with me, but I know if they’re there next time I visit, I won’t be able to resist! The one thing I did leave with was a pink fresh water pearl ring that I’m totally in love with.
Before leaving the markets, I had to stop by Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit for a sweet treat. If you’re wondering what to order, get the cinnamon biscuit with the fresh strawberry jam & some French press coffee with cinnamon. You won’t be disappointed. I’ve been craving it ever since!
This slightly gloomy & overcast day was perfect for some shopping down the famous King Street. This is the same street that scenes of The Notebook were filmed! So cool! Walking down this street you’ll find just about everything. From local boutiques & antique stores, to H&M & Louis Vuitton, there is something here for everyone. We loved walking through the little antique stores to see all the sweet vintage finds. After a few hours of great shopping, we walked back to the car to change clothes for dinner.
About a month prior to our trip, we made reservations to eat a fancy dinner at the luxurious Husk. We loved the idea of getting all dressed up & eating somewhere fancy one night of the trip. When it came down to it, none of us were wanting to spend the money on fancy food. We were cold, tired, & had already spent our money shopping…haha. So we cancelled our reservations & went to the Husk Bar in the the carriage house next door. The snacks & cocktails were good, but I’m gonna be honest, the service was quite bad. Maybe it was an off night, but this is the one thing from our trip that I would not recommend to others.
This was our last full day in Charleston & the weather turned out to be just perfect. The sun was out, it was finally warm, & we were ready to soak it in. Our first stop on this beautiful day was Boone Hall Plantation. Not only is this a historical plantation, but it was Allie’s family home in The Notebook & it’s where Blake Lively & Ryan Reynolds got married! Needless to say, it’s breathtaking. We walked the gardens, toured the home, walked through the homes of the slaves, & listened to the stories passed down through the generations about life as a slave on the property.
I do have one funny story about my love for the blooms on this property. After our tour of the house, we were led to a patio which had an amazing view of the largest azalea bushes I have ever seen in person. I went to them immediately & asked my friends to take some photos of me. My enthusiasm took over & I ended up rubbing my face in the bush full of bright blooms, which seemed cute at the time. In reality, my face broke out so badly over the next few days! Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson: I can enjoy the beautiful flowers without rubbing my face in them…
This was the absolute perfect day for a picnic. So after leaving the plantation, we grabbed food at The Park Café, & made our way to Hampton Park for a lovely afternoon picnic. This was one of my very favorite parts of my trip, so I actually wrote an entire post on it which you can read here. We ate lunch, rode bikes, & enjoyed the warm sunshine.
After spending the afternoon at the park, we had all been craving some Thai food, so we were determined to find some for dinner. We found a great Thai food place called, Basil, right on King Street which was perfect. While eating, I realized that I had not found a present to bring home for Ben! I decided to surprise him by cooking some curry for him the next night when I got home. (He usually does the cooking, so this was a big deal.) If I can do it, you can do it!
Fool-Proof Yellow Curry Recipe
A bottle of Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry sauce
A red bell pepper
Whole salted cashews
Cut them up (as much as you want), throw them in a crockpot (I left mine in on high heat for four hours), & serve over white rice! Amazing as left overs as well!
I Love You, Charleston
Well, there you have it! We had an amazing & super inspiring trip. This is one of those places I know I’ll be back to visit again someday. Until next time…xx
Before visiting Charleston, I thought it would be a beautiful city based on the photos I had seen from other Charleston based bloggers. Let me just say, it’s even more beautiful than I had imagined it to be. It’s so clear that the owners of each home take pride in the care & look of their property & gardens. Just visiting this city has inspired me to step up my game, put in the work, & take pride in my home. In this post I want to share with you all the spaces that gave me major home & garden inspiration in Charleston which I plan on bringing to my home.
Each home in this charming city had its own unique color palette. The houses were painted most commonly in dreamy pastels with doors & shutters painted in colors to perfectly compliment it. There were interesting windows, impressive porches or piazzas – what native Charleston people like to call them, & gardens instead of yards. Each home told a story & had a personality of its own.
This got me thinking. What story does my home tell? Does it give a good & lasting impression? Is it warm & inviting? This year, I want to write a story for my home by putting in work to then let the house do the talking. The colors, the textures, the right amount of whimsy & structure, the sweet city of Charleston has totally inspired me to incorporate these lovely traits into my home right here in RVA.
I could talk about the gardens in Charleston for days! What a dream! You can tell how much thought & care goes into each home’s personal garden. First of all, the window boxes were to die for. They were bursting with the most stunning blooms, in colors that complimented the vibe of the house. I also fell in love with the way they used vines to line steps, grow in a pattern to decorate the side of a house, or to add the perfect amount of texture to a home, making it feel alive. Another garden detail I loved was their use of pots. We saw this when we were on our honeymoon in Italy (see here: 1/2/3), but the way they group pots together & use them to fill & decorate every space is just beautiful. I already know this will be an obsession of mine this season!
Being the dreamer that I am, I’ve recently dreamed some big dreams for our home garden (thanks to Monty Don!). I would love to have an arch of climbing roses to dress our front door & flowers in bloom during each season around the property. Another goal I have for our garden is to create a cozy space for us to sit outside & enjoy the nice weather. How lovely would it be to have a couch outside for Ben & I to cuddle up on or to entertain guest with? I also have a dream to build a back porch (or piazza) under a pergola someday.
One final garden dream I have is to have a garden full of blooms, kind of like a small scale farm. I would not only fill my home with the blooms, but give them to friends & put together flower arrangements either for a side gig or just for fun. Flowers just make me so happy.