Last July, I moved from my hometown of St Petersburg, FL to Oak Ridge, TN. I embarked on this new adventure with excitement, trepidation, and an open mind. While I expected to miss friends and the routine of my previous life, I didn't intend to miss this small but meaningful tradition. Read about one of my favorite gems in Tampa, FL and get a mini-travel guide for your next visit!
Tucked away from the busy Market Square on the side street Union Ave is Wild Lavender Spa.
You'll often find the shop open but the overhead lights off, a calm mood settling in the space. Sage green walls with original floor tile exposed, wood furniture and a concise color palette envelope you in that sense of calmness. The first time I walked by, it was evening and the shop was closed. I could see through the large picture window that this place was special - it wasn't kitsch, contrived, or adhering to a generic trend. Standing outside, I could tell this place was different.
Read more from my experience at Wild Lavender Spa, including my first facial (ever) and sitting down to chat with the young founder, Hannah Easterly.
A trip to Asheville this time last year completely changed my life. The mountain air, the yoga retreat, the city itself; I came home and jumped into the unknown that brought me all the way to where I am today. Since that time, I've been drawn back to explore with an urgency that brings it up in conversation more often than I care to admit. On Friday, I tagged along with my friend Sophia's already-planned Asheville. In the seven hours we had, this is where we went.
South America hadn't been on my 'list'. That bucket list I write down over and over, things to do, places to go, what to try, who to be. South America just didn't make that list. Scary, dangerous, language barrier, climate, whatever the news was feeding me at the time. It wasn't on my list, but the opportunity arose and I took it.
I'm grateful I did.
This post isn't about the trip. It isn't a travel guide; it certainly isn't about the Olympics, which was happening at the time and which I did attend; it isn't about food or neighborhoods or anything like that. It isn't even about people, truly, though the trip (and Rio by nature) was full of them, touching my life and changing my perspective.
It's about 6 rolls of film that sat on my shelf for a year.
When I learned that Sara Bareilles would be starring Waitress, her broadway musical writing debut, I booked my ticket to NYC. The culmination of being a musical theatre nerd circa my teen-hood, a Sara Bareilles fan as long as iPods have been around, and having never seen a Broadway show before set the stage (ha) for my best trip to New York yet.
In this post, I also share details about my arrival to my friend Mari's lovely home, our journey into NYC, and the slow evening that awaited me at home.
Mari Andrew was instantly my friend when I came across her Instagram account. Every day, she publishes an autobiographic - humorous - relatable illustration by her own hand; a practice to which she's maintained dedication for more than two years. To start the year off with a bang, Mari's book Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood published on March 27.
Erin Slocum is not your modern entrepreneur. Yes, she's started one of the most popular cultural platforms in Knoxville, Tennessee and yes, she's a boss-babe commanding a small creative team with an ambitious project schedule. Erin is also employed by Fox 44, a massive media syndicate in the Eastern US. While it may seem like quitting your job is the only option to pursue a creative vision, Erin took a different route: When the idea came up for her media-baby, Knoxville Weekend, she assembled a team from inside her organization, rallied high-level support, carefully implemented her company's resources, and has created a masterpiece. Erin's story is inspiring for any entrepreneur or hopeful-preneur who isn't interested in leaving the nest, but instead wants to learn to work within the system.
Learn more about Erin and Knoxville Weekend in this latest Women Taking Leaps interview!
Lindsey Tramuta's life in Paris has spawned numerous articles, a blog called Lost in Cheeseland that's been around more than half a decade, and a recently-published book titled: The New Paris. What is the New Paris, you ask? Lindsey moved to Paris to attend college and stayed, despite what you may think you know about American's living in Paris. In the decade since, she's become acquainted with the cultural rhythm of the City of Light, cataloguing its modern renaissance through food, craft, tourism, and beyond. Lindsey's hard work helped her build a massive network, connecting her with creative minds, established pillars, and the change-makers bringing modern flair to her adopted hometown. In The New Paris, Lindsey breaks down the different facets of a changing city, evolving to meet the rapidly globalized culture and reforming its identity beyond what we could have ever romanticized.