breezyandbrazen

Last month over Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, my mom, sister, and I took a girls trip down to New Orleans for a fun little getaway to warmer weather. We decided on New Orleans because none of us had been there yet and I’m always a yes person when it comes to places I haven’t yet been. Plus I was confident in my ability to eat my way through the city.

The weekend forecast was filled with high percentages of rain and clouds. We hoped and prayed for a non-rainy weekend and it ended up being sunny and gorgeous the entire time we were there. The weather was definitely on our side.

We stayed in an Airbnb in Broadmoor, a neighborhood just slightly north of downtown.

new orleans

Day 1:

On our first full day in New Orleans, we kicked things off at Elizabeth’s Restaurant for a Saint Patrick’s Day brunch. We ordered a bottle of champagne for mimosas, praline bacon to share, and all of the great southern cooking you can eat for brunch on a Saturday.

After brunch, we made our way over to the French Quarter to walk around and scope out the scene. I was most excited about seeing the old architecture and history of the city. The streets were adorned with street performers, bright colored beads, marching bands, and puddles of beer and liquor. It was just as I imagined and I loved it. I could’ve stared at the old shotgun houses with colorful shutters forever. We walked around the entire district at least twice after drinking a hand grenade each and were feeling pretty relaxed by late afternoon. 😉

new orleans
new orleans

For dinner, we went to High Hat Cafe in the Freret neighborhood. I ordered house-made strawberry lemonade and catfish. My mom ordered the 1/2 chicken and my sister had the shrimp poboy. It was a nice, relaxing atmosphere with classic Louisiana fare.

Day 2:

On our second day in NOLA, we started the day off in the Garden District. First up was brunch at Another Broken Egg on Magazine Street. It was a gorgeous day so we sat outside on the patio and enjoyed the view of the street as people walked by. The food was amazing. I ordered the biscuits and gravy, my sister had the lobster and brie omelette, and my mom had the waffle sliders.

new orleans

After brunch we continued on down Magazine Street to explore the entire Garden District. This was probably my favorite area that we explored. There were so many adorable boutiques, record stores, salons, and cafes. I could also smell the flowers budding on the trees and plants all over. We made a stop into Sucré, a charming sweet shop with macarons, truffles, ice cream, and iced tea.

new orleans

new orleans

We continued to walk through the garden district for several hours just enjoying the sights and the beautiful weather.
new orleans
Eventually we made our way back over to the French Quarter for the ultimate tourist foodie experience at CafĂ© du Monde. There was no way we’d get make it all the way down to New Orleans without having their famous beignets and chicory coffee. And let me tell you, they lived up to their hype. I wish I could get beignets this good in Nashville.

new orleans
new orleans

new orleans

For dinner we ate at Gumbo Shop for some traditional New Orleans sausage gumbo and a bottle of wine. Another perfect ending to a beautiful day in the south.

Day 3:

On our third day in New Orleans, we began our day with breakfast and lattes at Gracious Bakery. It was a perfect bakery with all the goodies from cinnamon rolls to breakfast sandwiches and savory croissants. I can say with confidence it made its way to one of the top 3 bakeries I’ve been to. The staff was also so lovely and they gave us all kinds of great local recommendations for place to visit. If I lived in New Orleans, this is where I’d spend a lot of my time, no doubt.

new orleans

After breakfast we made our way over to The Outlet Collection at Riverwalk to do some shopping and even paid a visit to the Harrah’s Casino.

new orleans

For lunch, we took the suggestion of the kind lady at the bakery and went to Parkway Tavern (which is Obama’s favorite place to get poboys!) I had the home-cooked hot roast beef with gravy poboy and it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. I also ordered the fried pickles and it was the largest order of fried pickles I’ve seen.

After our big lunch, we felt like going for a little drive around the city. My sister remembered that one Buzzfeed article about the abandoned amusement park outside of New Orleans that was completely wrecked from Hurricane Katrina and it brought back memories of the eerie photos I’d seen online. So we looked up the address of that old Six Flags and took a little trip to see how close we could get. The entrance is blocked off, but we were able to snap a few photos of the park from the highway. It was definitely a bit chilling to see in real life.

new orleans six flags

Because we were so full from a late (and massive) lunch, we skipped dinner and went back to our Airbnb to rest from our big day. After a quick nap, I browsed online for some dessert places since I was having an intense chocolate craving (per usual.) I stumbled upon an article about Shake Therapy and as soon as I saw pictures of their gigantic and ornamental milkshakes, coaxed my mom and sister into going with me even though they weren’t hungry. In my book, there’s always room for dessert. So to Shake Therapy  we went.

shake therapy new orleans

shake therapy new orleans
It was time to head back home on Day 4, but before we went to the airport we made one final breakfast stop. We went to Riccobpno’s Panola Street CafĂ© for some Huevos Rancheros. My mom and sister had a late morning flight, so I was stuck working remotely at the airport for several hours before I caught my flight back to Nashville in the late afternoon.
Our trip to New Orleans was one of my favorites. It was so great to all visit a place none of us had been to and we were thoroughly pleased with the culture, the music, the food, and the people. I highly recommend a vacation to New Orleans if you haven’t been (or even if you have.)

nashville blogger

When a friend recently told me that she was opening up a boutique shop in her small town of Lewisburg, Tennessee, about 50 miles south of Nashville, I knew I’d have to finally pay the town a visit. Her grand opening of the shop was the perfect opportunity to take a little Saturday road trip a few weeks ago. Her shop is named Studio 20 South and it’s located at 104 2nd Ave North in downtown Lewisburg.

lewisburg
lewisburg
Jumpsuit- Forever 21 // Shoes- Vinnie Louise // Bag- Hush Puppies // Jacket- Sparrow Boutique
lewisburg
lewisburg

Studio 20 South has women’s clothing, accessories, skin care, hair care, children’s clothing, and more. The shop’s grand opening featured local vendors including Stamped Ambition, SeaQuest Farm, and more. They make soap and lotion products using goat milk and they even brought a baby goat that was only a day old. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so cute! I loved the small town vibes. lewisburglewisburg

lewisburglewisburg
At Studio 20 South, you can also find a copy of my book Lifestyle Blogging Basics on their tables. How cool is that?! It’s pretty awesome to see your hard work in print form on a table at a local boutique. Supportive friends are the best.
lifestyle blogging basics
lewisburg
lewisburg

While you’re in the area, be sure to take a stroll in the adorable downtown district on Main Street. There were coffeeshops, bakeries, restaurants, and parks. It happened to be perfect weather when we visited, so it was great to spend sometime outside exploring.
lewisburg
If you’re ever happen to find yourself in Lewisburg, be sure to stop in to visit Studio 20 South.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!
nashville blogger

It’s been over a year since my last haul of current beauty faves, so I thought I’d share what I’m currently loving for skincare (and one haircare product.) I’ve been working my way through so many different cleansers, exfoliators, facial oils, and masks to find the ones that work best for my skin and provide the best outcome.

For reference, I have mostly normal skin that can lean a little on the dry side in the winter months. These are the skincare products that I’ve found to be the best for my skin type. So here are my current beauty faves:

current beauty faves

One of my all-time favorite facial oils is the Daily Reviving Concentrate from Kiehl’s. I’ve been obsessed with the Midnight Recovery Oil for years, but just fell in love with the daytime oil this past year. On the days where I don’t wear foundation, I start my morning by washing my face and gently patting a few drops of this onto my skin. It brightens while also moisturizing and freshening. It’s the perfect wake-me-up product in the mornings.

current beauty faves
Next on the list is the SeaRx Micro-Dermabrasion Face & Body Scrub. My skin always feels best after I’m able to exfoliate and wash all the dead skin away, so I had been on the lookout for a paste or scrub that would do just that for my skin. I wanted something more gentle and not too abrasive and this scrub is just that. I mostly use it on my face in the evenings, but sometimes use it on my body in the bathtub to help exfoliate after wearing sunless tanner.

current beauty faves

Speaking of exfoliating, I also have a new crush on this Charcoal Scrub w/ Sea Salt + Roses. Since this contains sugar, I don’t use it on my face. I do, however, use it on my arms, stomach, and legs in the shower and in the bath to also wash away sunless tanner and refresh and rid of dead cells. It smells just like roses, which is an added bonus.

current beauty faves

Just like most women, I have an obsession with everything that Lush makes. Now, thanks to my sister-in-law who gave me this Sleepy body lotion as a Christmas gift, I’m head over heels for this product. This lavender body lotion has the perfect whipped consistency. It’s great as a face cream, body lotion, and foot rub. Since lavender is one my favorite scents, it stays right by my bedside so I can use it before I drift off to sleep.
current beauty faves

Another gift I received recently that has become one of my current beauty faves is this Skin Goo Australia Matcha Face Mask. For a mask, it’s very light weight and creamy with a delightful clean scent. It’s not heavy and doesn’t tighten your face when drying. Instead, it provides nourishment and hydration that leaves your skin feeling soft and pillowy after you wash it off.

current beauty faves

For an absolute STEAL at $4 per bottle, this Rose Oil from Trader Joe’s is a Godsend. It caught me by total surprise when I was browsing through the hygiene section at my favorite grocery shop and saw that they had rose oil for sale. I was even more surprised when I saw the price tag. The best part? This oil is AMAZING and works so well with my skin. Everyone should own a bottle of this miracle oil.
current beauty faves

Lastly, the only hair product I have in today’s haul is this Davines OI All-in-One Milk. In the colder months when my hair is feeling dull and drab, this oil perks it right back into shape and leaves my blonde locks feeling soft and silky. It also keeps it from frizzing and tangling. If your hair needs some added moisture, I highly recommend giving this Davines product a try.
current beauty faves
That’s it for my haul on current beauty faves! I’ll probably be showcasing some of my favorite makeup items in the next month or two, so stay tuned!

current beauty faves
nashville blogger

Print Recipe Blueberry Muffin Bundt Cake Course Dessert Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 60-80 minutes Passive Time 25 minutes Servings Ingredients For the Cake: 1 cup unsalted butter softened2 cups sugar1 tbsp vanilla extract2 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour2 tsp baking poweder1/2 tsp baking soda1/2 tsp salt1 1/3 cup buttermilk2 tbsp lemon zest For the …

Continue reading Blueberry Muffin Bundt Cake

So… BIG NEWS!

I quit the job I’ve loved for over two years.

I quit my job to follow my heart.

For those who know me, you probably know how attached I’ve been to my job. I was a product development manager, a content marketing manager, and a customer success manager all for the same company during my time there. I filled in positions when other employees departed, learned tons of new skills (including Infusionsoft, Web Dev, Hubspot, and more), took numerous online training programs on SEO, Conversion Funnels, Email Marketing, Copywriting, etc., connected with some incredible people in the entrepreneurial atmosphere, worked side-by-side with an amazing team, and had a total blast.

i quit my job

Every single time I considered leaving my job for a different opportunity (and I even declined a few great job offers), I kept telling myself that the grass is greener where I water it. Then I’d stick out the pain of my job a little longer. But I couldn’t do it anymore.

So why did I quit my job?

After spending a few weeks battling with the fact that I have put all of my own goals and ambitions on the back burner for a while now, I decided that I needed to make some tough decisions. Just over a month ago, I transitioned into a job position that no longer felt fulfilling or purposeful. I wasn’t waking up every morning with intention. I was unsatisfied and constantly dealing with negativity. It was taking a major toll on me. I lost sight of my own happiness.

I was losing sleep over figuring out what my next move should be and if I could even fathom leaving a company I’ve been so loyal to. I came to the realization I was sacrificing my happiness completely. I prayed about it for a couple of weeks and one morning I just knew what I had to do. It was time for me to move on. I knew it was the best thing for myself and for the company I was working for.

Although it was never a part of my ‘plan’ to walk away from my job at age 30, I had never felt more confident in a career decision. I let myself choose happiness over an unfulfilling job that no longer promised growth in my future.

i quit my job

Fortunately my husband and I are in a comfortable financial situation where I can afford to step back and recalibrate my lenses and refocus on where I want to go from here. I’m very excited for new opportunities on the horizon. I know this is going to be the start of something truly good for me.

After spending some time weighing the pros and the cons, I reached a lot of conclusions.

Here is a list of signs that it might be time to quit your job:

  1. You’re no longer excited about your job and getting out of bed feels more like a chore.
  2. You’re exhausted all the time. Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.
  3. Your personal goals and mission no longer align with the company’s vision.
  4. You’ve hit the proverbial wall at your job and don’t see any opportunity for growth.
  5. You aren’t being challenged and aren’t learning new things.

i quit my job

Now, I’m not telling anyone to walk into work in the morning and tell your boss you’re through with your job. That is not my intention with sharing this story. The intention is to make you really think about what you want in life. Not just today, not just over the next year, but over the course of your life. What awakens you? What shakes you to your core? Are you settling for mediocrity? I was.

What I am telling you is to sit with your thoughts about what really makes you tick. If you are able to pursue your passion in your current job, then BY ALL MEANS, hold onto that gem of a job and never let go! If your career still gives you enough time and mental bandwidth to work on your side hustle, KEEP GOING. But if you constantly question where you’re going in your job and if you’re even being challenged to grow anymore– just take some time to think about what you really want. You owe it to yourself to live a happy life. It only happens once.

Photos in this post were taken by the lovely and talented Lindsey of lucidlinds.com at a beautiful loft for sale in Printer’s Alley. For sale by Dee Russell.

i quit my job

…So what’s in store for me now? You’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂 That’s a post for another day.

Thanks for indulging me. Now go do what you love.

nashville blogger