Category Archives: Travel

Toasting: Charleston Stay at Zero George

I’m going away, perhaps to Charleston…forever? No, but really.

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Charleston has always been one of my favorite cities to travel to and visit – whether it’s for a wedding, a Bachelorette (like my sister’s last year), the Blog Societies Conference or, of course, “just because”. I have always hoped that someday my life finds me there full (or part) time!

Before I even headed to Charleston on my most recent trip, I was spoiled at Spa Evangeline here in Tampa with a spa pedi and amazing HydraFacial MD®.  I also made sure this freckled Florida girl was perfectly sunkissed with a airbrush tan by my favorite Air Brush Tan by Shan.

Once I was beauty-ready, I was lucky enough to head up there for a long weekend full of reunions, blogging and dining (and wine-ing!) so today’s post will recap some more must-do’s if you’re planning a trip to the Holy City soon too (take me with you, K?).

(PRESS PLAY for my weekend in a nutshell with Jenn!)

Where To Stay

Zero George

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{Photo via}

This was my second stay with Zero George and as one would expect, it did not disappoint. Being greeted with a glass of bubbly upon check-in is my type of place and after being apart from my BFF Jenn for 6+ months, a “cheers” was certainly in order as she arrived from DC.

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Additionally, from the moment you step on property, the most accommodating staff is always present and goes above and beyond to make your stay the best possible. We were also surprised with precious gift bags from our friends at Candlefish with travel candles from their library collection and corresponding matches.

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A European Style Breakfast is provided every morning along with a 24-hour Miele Coffee + Espresso Bar. Every evening from 5pm-6pm, guests enjoy a complimentary “Wine + Cheese Hour” (now you see why I LOVE this place?!). One evening we chose to have our wine and cheese boards brought to our room and enjoyed while we were primping. Another evening, we chose to have it brought our to one of the beautiful verandahs outside.

As it was Super-Summertime-Hot that weekend in Charleston, I opted for white wine (Jenn still enjoyed her red!). We also enjoyed additional bubbles at the bar!

Other amenities at Zero include complimentary mint bicycle rentals (see my attempt in wedges the above video) and gym passes (we skipped the gym this trip!).

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I think that one of the most charming parts about the individual guest rooms rooms is being surprised with which one you get! They’re all so unique and in different “houses” with original architecture. Charming, honestly, does not even begin to describe it, it feels just like you’re at home with beautiful white marble bathrooms and Malin + Goetz toiletries. Not to mention a perfectly curated mini bar with sparkling sodas, bottled water and a Nespresso machine that certainly came in handy for our early conference mornings.

zero george guest room

{Photos by Jenn}

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Snowcation: Salamander Resort & Spa

It seems like just yesterday I was buried in the blizzard up in DC and now I write to you from sunny Florida where I have headed back home for 2016.

I am so excited to be back and share with you all about my #snowcation to the Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Virginia (just an hour outside of DC). I was lucky enough to get a hard hat tour of this amazing 5 start resort a few years back for my old job but I was beyond blown away with my stay last month and it was the perfect way to relax and recharge before I headed back South for my big move after 11 years away!

This luxury resort is set on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and perfectly positioned in Virginia’s famed horse country and beautiful vineyards. They boast a spa, cooking studio, billards room, wine bar and an array of other dining and outdoor acitivites. It was also named in the top 10 best resorts in the South by Condé Nast Traveler (and yours truly).

Of course, it would not be a trip without my traveling partner in crime & fellow Floridian, Cori Sue of Bitches Who Brunch. We dug ourselves out of the snow, packed all the essential winter gear we owned (hey! I wasn’t going to get to wear this for awhile) and hopped in a car (read: uber) out to the Virginia countryside to escape our cabin fever and enjoy one last girls trip before I would be a plane ride away vs. an uber away. If you followed along on snapchat (bannc) and instagram (@bannc), you know we had too much fun and share our moments along the way.

{Outfit Deets: Pom Hat (on SALE!) // Puffer Vest (on SALE!) // Sweater (on SALE!) // Leggings // Sunnies (similar here) // Socks (on SALE!) // Bean Boots // Jewels // Lips (fanfare)} 

We checked into our rooms, which were nothing short of perfection – equestrian details, personalized welcome notes on each tv screen, a bathtub I wanted to take home (more on that later) and of course, a lovely bottle of vino awaiting each of us. No detail was left unnoticed and if you know me, you know this is what matters most. You really feel like you’re inside an old Virginia home and the staff could not be more friendly or accommodating too.

After we settled into our rooms, we hopped downstairs to enjoy lunch at Gold Cup. Two hungry girls quickly filled up on burrata, salads and the delicious garlic fries plus plenty of sparkling water and diet coke (for yours truly). We also had the loveliest view of the winter wonderland that took over the resort and then Cori Sue got to work (#workcation for her) and I headed to the Spa for the first time (naturally) for an express facial. I don’t think my skin has ever looked better than those 24 hours.

Before heading to dinner that evening, we were spoiled at Boxwood Winery. The Salamander has several partnership with local vineyards and wineries in the area and can accommodate your travels to them as well. Boxwood set up a private after-hours tasting for Cori Sue and I with Rachel. They specialize in reds (perfect for the cold weather) but also have a lovely rosé and the most beautiful bottle labels I’ve ever seen.

After trotting through the snow and a lovely happy hour of wine + tour, we left with two bottles and headed to dinner back at Gold Cup Bar but this time, for sushi (and yes, more wine).

{Dinner Outfit: Jeans (on SALE!) // Sweater (on SALE here too!) // Pumps (on SALE!) // Tassel Earrings // Lips (capricious)}

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Toasting: October Fall Looks

So, October is my favorite. No, really. And what’s more so my favorite is all the fall wardrobe options that October brings.

I shared some of my picks last week but after packing in “all things Fall” over the weekend, I’m sharing two looks today that you can layer and wear all season long. What I also love about these two is that you can mix and match and swap them out with the various staples below. What’s even better? Many of these items are 25% OFF through Thursday with J.CREW’s Fall Sale

I spent Saturday at my friend’s farm in Pennsylvania, which was like a page out of Town & Country magazine and a gorgeous day. We explored the grounds, fed the horses, had delicious food, a bonfire, played cornhole and of course, enjoyed spiked cider and wine.

{Flannel Shirt (25% OFF)// Quilted Vest (25% OFF) // Floppy Hat (similar option here) // Sunnies // Jeans // Boots // Crossbody //Jacket (not pictured) // Earrings // Ring // Necklaces: 1 & 2 // Bracelets: 1 & 2 //}

You can also shop the look below!

Sunday, I spent the afternoon (c/o* Reston Limo) at Stone Tower Winery (c/o*) & Greenhill Winery with some of my favorite bloggers. We tasted, tasted some more and enjoyed cheese galore while taking in the gorgeous Virginia vineyard views.

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Charleston Trip Recap

Today I’m back with a recap of my Charleston trip this past summer – my last trip to share with you while I was away on my hiatus. While we were certainly all in our summer’s best, all of these hotels, restaurants and activities are perfect for a Charleston trip any time of the year.

This trip was for the Southern Blog Society annual conference and I was so lucky to attend this year again. Luckily it was in Charleston – one of my favorite cities in this world! (if you haven’t read my sister’s Bachelorette recap series – please do.)

I was also so excited to be traveling with some of my favorite blogger BFFs, Emily from Life with Emily, Ashley from Turquoise and Teale and Jenny from Boho Style File.

I landed and we checked into the charming & historic Mills House in downtown Charleston. We were greeted by the sweetest staff and bottles of vino in our gorgeous hotel room which overlooked the city.

The Mills House is everything Charleston – its pink exterior is enough to make any instagrammer pose out front for a photo (which all of us bloggers did, shocker). The four of us were hosted by welcoming and the most accommodating staff all weekend long. We had coffee at our door each morning and amazing bacon-cheese chips to munch on before heading out each evening.

Also, if you can imagine the amount of bags that 4 bloggers travel with for one weekend – our room was quite the sight to see (including our new matching weekenders from Barrington Gifts).

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{Barrington Gifts: Belmont Cabin Bag c/o}

After we unpacked, Jenny and I then headed on over to Tease for the best blowouts in this world (see more about Tease here) and quickly met up with the other ladies to tour a few local showrooms. We stopped into meet the girls from Escapada Living and do some shopping and then over to II Brunettes to check out their adorable boutique too.

The first night of the conference was spent mingling and cocktail-ing on the rooftop terrace of Charleston Place. We caught up with our fellow southern bloggers from all over.

Below is what I wore with some similar options linked! I loved this little jumpsuit. After cocktails, we headed with group to dinner at Indaco – which is surely a new favorite. I’m told the pizzas were delicious (#glutenfreeproblems) and so was the wine (I can attest to that)!

{Jumpsuit: similar here, here & here // Sunnies // Sandals: similar here // Purse: similar here}

Saturday began super early as the four of us shared one bathroom, matching PJs (see below) and 500 beauty products to get the day started.

{PJs: Lake Pajamas c/o}

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36 Hours in Charlottesville

The summer has surely flown by quickly! Life has been a little busy for me lately but I’m finally back to recap a few of my summer trips.

For all my DC/Virginia area readers – this Charlottesville trip is a perfect getaway for you and super easy to plan with my guide below. If you haven’t visited this gorgeous town full of scenic views and vineyards – I highly suggest you make it your next roadtrip.  I was lucky enough to be hosted twice this summer in Charlottesville – once for a girls weekend with my sister and a few weeks later over the 4th of July for a blogger trip (Heather joined me as well!).

{Sandals: Jack Rogers Lauren + Jack Rogers Lilliana (ON SALE) + Jack Rogers}

Where to Stay: Oakhurst Inn

This charming boutique Inn has modern guest rooms, luxury beauty products and the friendliest staff. The guest rooms are in historic Virginia homes and have a library on each floor – perfect for working remotely (hello, Wifi!) and conveniently stocked with San Pellegrino flavored sodas, waters and a Nespresso machine. The decor varies by room but each one is gorgeous with all white bathrooms.  You also receive freshly baked cookies and branded waters in your room as a part of turn down service each night. What could be better? You’ll feel right at home!

{Romper // Sandals // Purse // Necklace // Sunnies}

It is perfect for wedding groups, a romantic getaway, girls weekend, a UVA alumni weekend or even a solo trip full of relaxation. I stayed twice this summer and am looking forward to going back as soon as I can.

Where To Dine: Red Pump Kitchen & Oakhurst Cafe

{Skirt (similar) // Shirt // Belt (similar) // Sandals // Clutch (ON SALE!) c/o // Sunnies // Necklace // Bracelets }

On both occasions, I had the pleasure of dining at Red Pump Kitchen for dinner. Red Pump is located on the Historic Downtown Mall in Charlottesville and is a must if you’re in town. It is an open kitchen restaurant with a classic burning oven. We were lucky enough to be seated by their large front open windows on a perfect summer evening (not too hot yet!)However, there is also plenty booth & bar seating and an outdoor patio space too.

All of the dishes are made with local Virginian farm ingredients but influences by Mediterranean, Tuscan and Italian cuisines. There is also a full service bar, excellent cocktail menu and a charming wait staff. The attention to detail at Red Pump is impeccable – from the striped cloth napkins to the gorgeous water glasses and dishes. I’m pretty sure between both trips and all us girls, we tried just about everything on the dinner menu too. Some of my personal recommendations would be the Blueberry + Burratto Salad, Beet + Goat Cheese Salad and the Atlantic Grouper – delicious!

For brunch, we dined at Oakhurst Cafe located on the Inn’s property. It is a popular breakfast and brunch spot for hotel guests and locals alike. There is also a coffee and espresso bar for grab and go options.

It is every bit as charming as the Inn – with mix and match cappuccino cups and fresh juices. Everything here is also locally sourced – a very common trend in Charlottesville overall. I would recommend the Baked Local Farm Eggs or the Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal (it comes with avocado and beets!).

What To Do: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

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{Romper (ON SALE!) // Clutch (ON SALE!) // Hat // Sunnies // Bracelets // Earrings }

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