Making Spirits Bright: Cocktail Crawls, Christmas Cheer & All Things Chattanoogan

December 2, 2019

It's December, darlings, and that means we're decking the halls, making spirits bright, and basically living our best holiday lives right now. Chattanooga doesn't skimp on the Christmas cheer, either! I'm here to tell you alllllll about the fun activities and not-to-be-missed stops along the way right here in the Scenic City. From pop-up Christmas bars & boozy hot chocolate to where to find the best tree displays, I'm rounding up some of my favorite things to do this holiday season. 

To kickoff the festivities, my girls and I donned our gayest apparel and made things pretty freaking shiny & bright when we got together for a cocktail crawl (a new annual tradition I decided to start). It's essentially the glam version of a Santa pub crawl...but with sequins & a bit more class. I'm by no means above dressing like Buddy the Elf and venturing out into the 40 degree weather to down beers with 500 other Santas and Buddies, but we wanted something a little more sophisticated to kick off the new tradition.

I Love Me: Self Care Steps for Your Well-being

November 18, 2019

I'm a big fan of self care - it's really just routine maintenance for your soul. It helps keep up your energy (& recharge it when you're feeling low) and can improve your overall mental health (as well as your physical, depending on what type of self care you practice). Stress can do some weird and intense things to the body (panic attacks? Yup. I know from experience), so every now and then, I have to unplug & unwind.

As a mom, I'm on 24/7. I wear a lot of hats, and at any given time, I have at a minimum, 10 balls in the air (excuse all my cliche metaphors here, but you get the point). I'm a mom, a wife, a friend, work a full time office job, and I run 2 side businesses (an Etsy shop & my blog). Sometimes, it feels like my world is crashing down around me in slow motion when bad things happen all at once. Other times, I get so busy trying to do so many things at once that I just get completely & utterly drained. Like now for instance. It's been a few weeks since my last blog post - and you know what? That's perfectly ok, because I took some much needed me-time, and a bit of a blogging break to recharge.

There are so many ways to practice self care, and everyone's routine will look a little different. So today, I just wanted to share my personal methods, as well as some of my tips & ideas for self care.

Witch, Please: A Look Back at Some of my Favorite Pop Culture Witches

October 25, 2019

Witchy culture is currently undergoing a bit of a revival and has become pretty prevalent in current pop culture. There have been so many TV shows and movies in the past few years featuring witches, and for that reason (& because I'm obsessed with so many of these shows), I decided October was the perfect time to blog about it.

From the idyllic to the iconic, I'm rounding up some of my favorite pop culture witches & where to find them.

9¾ Places in Chattanooga Muggles can find the Magic of Harry Potter

October 22, 2019

Like Harry Potter? Check out even more Harry Potter themed posts here!
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I'm one of those people that loves to find the magic in everyday life. I'm also an avid Harry Potter fan (Harry Potter basically was 50% of my childhood. The other 50%? Well, it may have been heavily influenced by a certain cartoon mouse). I devoured all of the Potter books growing up, was at every one of the movie premiers, and even a few of the midnight book release parties (back when that was still a thing). I've been to The Wizarding World at Universal a couple of times, and it is one of those places that is completely immersive and magical.

While I don't live in Orlando or London (um, or anywhere even remotely close to the U.K.), I am lucky enough to live in a city that has quite a few spots that invoke that wizarding world and London vibe. And if you're planning a visit during October, you're in for an extra special treat, as Chattanooga is home to a fantastic annual Harry Potter themed event that is truly riddikulus (so keep reading)!

Ready to have your mind obliterated? Alright, let's dive in!

I Put A Spell On You: Favorite Movies for the Halloween Season

October 17, 2019

I'm a big fan of Halloween, but one thing I don't do is horror films. I do enjoy a good thriller/spooky film with a twist (like The Skeleton Key or The Others), but things like Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Blair Witch Project just don't do it for me. I can do without all the blood/guts and terrifying demons that may or may not be living in my house thankyouverymuch (if you want to know what it feels like to be awake for 48 hours straight, go watch Paranormal Activity. You have been warned). I'm much more into the fun & whimsical aspect of Halloween: dressing up, stuffing my face with candy, and anything related to Hocus Pocus. Much like so many others, it's my favorite movie to watch this time of year. It's such a classic, and it really sets the mood for the whole month.

I decided to put together a fall look inspired by the Sanderson sisters and round up some of my favorite (lighter) Halloween movies for the spooky season (so if you're looking for something that will scare you to the core, this isn't it.  #booFelicia).

Not Another Basic Blog Post: Just Kidding. It Totally Is.

October 15, 2019

I love fall (said every female ever). I’m a girl, I’m a millennial, I drink a ton of Starbucks: so yes, fall is deeply embedded in my DNA (my blood type is pumpkin spice). So I decided to fully commit to it & be as ridiculous as possible to bring you some fresh (but still totally overdone) basic fall girl content.

Hold on to your chunky sweaters - it’s about to get REAL (basic) up in here. I give you: the basic fall girl starter pack. Your fall challenge for the duration of this post is to drink every time I say "basic" or "pumpkin." Drink double for "pumpkin spice latte" (warning: this post will get you drunk).

You Best Start Believing in Ghost Stories. You're In One: Texarkana Recap

October 10, 2019

It's October and thus the "official" start of spooky season, though some of us have been celebrating since the end of August (hey, if it can be Christmas in July at Hobby Lobby, I can celebrate Halloween in August)! Since October is the month of all things macabre, I thought I'd kick it off with a recap of my experience in Texarkana, which is quite literally, a ghost town.

The Wilderness Must Be Explored: A Sunrise Hike with Experience Chattanooga

October 8, 2019

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Experience Chattanooga. We received a discounted hike in exchange for exposure, but all thoughts and honest opinions are my own.

You don’t just visit Chattanooga. You  e x p e r i e n c e  it!

This little-big town has grown exponentially since I came here in 2006. There are so many new things popping up every day - restaurants, shops, hotels, & so many activities unique only to Chattanooga that quickly rise to the top of any Nooga must-do list. One of these must-dos is Experience Chattanooga, a company that offers small group guided hiking tours to places you may otherwise only dream of seeing, right here in the scenic city.

Experience Chattanooga offers a variety of tours that range in price from $65 to $175. They have everything from sunrise and sunset hikes to waterfall tours and scenic mountain hikes, and even a tour that includes paddle boarding (HA! Now that would be a hilarious blog post. Shell tries paddle boarding = hilarity ensues)! And if you're super indecisive and have enough trouble picking where to go for dinner (like me), then they even have a "Dealer's Choice" tour, and they will personally curate an experience for you, based on the weather, day of the week, and your interests.

8 Must Do's at Animal Kingdom

September 26, 2019

Ok, I'll admit it. Animal Kingdom used to be my least favorite park (emphasis on the past tense there). I just felt like there wasn't as much there as some of the other parks. I'm still a Magic Kingdom girl through-and-through but Animal Kingdom has definitely grown on me. Maybe it's the fact that I'm a little older, a little wiser, and a lot more observant. 

Animal Kingdom is one of those parks that has so many hidden gems, underrated attractions, & epic photo spots. I used to be able to fly through the park in just a couple of hours, but now, I could probably spend (close to) a full day there if I wanted to - and still probably not see & do everything it has to offer. So that's why I wanted to jump in here & tell you guys the best way (in my opinion) to tour Animal Kingdom & share with you how I spent my day there.

You Stay Weird, Austin: The Good, The Bad, & The Super Weird

September 24, 2019

"Uh, but Shell? This mural is in Dallas." Yeah I know - hold your cattle. I'm getting to that.
Ok, buckle up because this one is going to be a long one. But there's lots of pictures, so stay with me here. Got your coffee (or beer, or wine)? Alright, good.

So Barry & I had a chance to take a vacation just the two of us while Lilly stayed with grandma & grandpa & got spoiled all week. Since my parents live in Memphis, we needed something within driving distance, so we settled on Austin, TX. We'd never been and I had heard really cool things about the city. Dallas was only about 6(ish) hours from Memphis, so we headed out to make a stopover there for a night first, before continuing on the extra 2 hours down to Austin.

But my mind was blown. Everything I thought I knew about Texas was wrong.

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