Chattalocal: High Rail at the Chattanoogan

February 26, 2021

 


I am usually the go-to girl in our friend group who seems to be "in the know" of when new places open up (probably because I'm constantly sifting through Instagram geotags!) so when new bars, restaurants or shops pop up, I'm typically the one to fire off a group text. Just think of me as a less cool version of Bill Hader's SNL character Stefon ("Chattanooga's hottest new club is....."). Except in this case, it's not a club (are those even a thing anymore?), it's a rooftop restaurant & lounge, and goodness knows Chattanooga needs more of those! For a city legit known as the "Scenic City," the restaurant & bar scene around here sure isn't capitalizing on that fact, but we're making some strides.

Guide to Doing Disney in the Pandemic: V. 2021, Part II

February 20, 2021

Looking for Part I? Check out the first part of the post, here!

Picking up right where I last left off: our first park day! The whole reason I had planned our trip for February was to finally check out the Epcot International Festival of the Arts (or - more affectionately known in certain Disney community circles - as iFARTS). Pro tip: If you can plan your trip for January/February when this festival is running, do it. The weather this time of year is pretty great (though ours was a mixed bag: one day it was pretty chilly & the next it was upper 70s and kind of humid), the crowds are low (though that might be more due to covid...), and the Festival of the Arts is in full swing.


I'm a seasoned Epcot festival veteran. I've done Food&Wine more times than I can count, Flower & Garden twice, and the Festival of the Holidays just once. But iFARTS has eluded me since its inaugural year. The timing of this festival just never worked out for me, until now. And I am oh so glad I finally got the chance to go!


Guide to Doing Disney in the Pandemic: V. 2021, Part I

February 17, 2021

 

Looking for more Disney pandemic related information? Check out this guest post, here!

I recently got back from a wonderful 5 day vacation to my home away from home, Disney World. Prior to this trip, the last time I had set foot on Disney property was August 2019, so it's safe to say a lot had changed in the time between that last trip & this one (like, a whole pandemic's worth of changes). We had been holding off our next visit because we just didn't know what to expect: would it be safe to go? Would we be sweltering in our masks? Would my daughter Lilly even wear a mask? Would it still be magical?


The moment we set foot on Disney property, all my worries were alleviated. I will say that it was definitely a different kind of trip (especially with a toddler), but having to do the whole mask thing was surprisingly - a non-issue (mostly). It was still magical and can absolutely be worth it to get your Disney fix in.


So for this guide & trip recap, I'm going to run through how it went, in case you're curious what Disney is really like during the pandemic, beyond the glittering and gilded Instagram posts and highlight reels. Plus, I'm throwing out a lot of pro tips throughout this post, so be on the lookout for those!

End 2020 with Resilience

December 30, 2020

c/o Rawpixel

We all know how much of a dumpster fire this year has been, but even through all the chaos, 2020 has been pivotal. I’ve heard so many others echoing that sentiment as well. This year was a catalyst for change and personal growth, and that’s something truly miraculous that has come out of 2020. Yes, quarantine was terrible. But you know what isn’t? Spending more time with family (or on yourself, for those of us who are separated from family and haven’t seen them for over a year now – hey oooooh); focusing on “the little things”; gratitude – for every aspect of your life. 


We all get to a point around this time of year where we gear up for the following and vow to do better, be better, follow through with goals & promises. Then, inevitably, around the 2-week mark (or 1 month mark for those of you with more willpower), those resolutions tend to lose a bit of their luster, we lose steam, and ultimately fall back into bad habits. I know this because I absolutely was one of those people. But 2020 has changed me, and I’m holding myself accountable by actually putting this down in writing. I’ve never really “published” my New Year’s resolutions, mostly to save myself from the eventual embarrassment & shame around my feeble attempt to “eat healthier” for a few weeks by cutting out Chick-Fil-A french fries and maybe hitting the gym here & there. I think that by actually putting this out into the world and “speaking it into being” (or typing it, rather), holds more weight; there’s power in words.

10 Healthy Habits to Improve Your Sleep

December 2, 2020




We all know that quality sleep is essential for overall wellness & good health, but if you've been having some major trouble in the bedroom (uh, not that kind!) and your sleep has suffered as a result, it can cause a whole myriad of problems - everything from anxiety to issues with your immune system.

Ok, yeah yeah, we get it - we need sleep! But if you're struggling, what can you do about it? Well that's what this post is all about! This year has brought so many new & negative changes that my sleep took a big nose dive a few months ago, but often, "in the deep end is where you grow" (Down to the Roots, by  Saveria - look it up. Inspirational song)!

Through my temporary bought of insanity insomnia, I discovered some very helpful & simple tips to drastically improve sleep. If you're having trouble falling asleep, pick a few of these tips to implement into your nightly routine & I'm sure you'll see an improvement!

Travel Guide to Gatlinburg, TN: When, Where & What

November 20, 2020



If you're native to TN (or its nearby surrounding states), chances are you've heard of a little town called Gatlinburg (or its sister-town, Pigeon Forge). If not, let me paint a really quick picture for you: sprawling Smoky Mountains in golden hues as luminous as the sun (in fall, anyway), a bustling "main strip" filled with tourist traps (but also, kitschy/nostalgic little tucked-away gems), booze on every corner (moonshine, whiskey & wine, oh my!), and OH MY GOD SO MANY BEARS (don't worry - just bear imagery). You'll find bear images, statues, and logos everywhere (but also: real bears, too, if you're remote in a cabin somewhere, so be smart.)


Smoky Mountain Getaway with New Hotel Collection

November 18, 2020





One thing I love about traveling is getting to stay at a hotel (clearly, I am not the camping type). I love being able to sleep in a giant bed, enjoy all of the different amenities hotels offer, and the overall feeling of being in a new place with new things to experience (& bonus, I don't have to clean)! Travel is something that has always fueled me, whether it's a quick weekend trip or a full blown weeklong stay. Just getting away and jumping into new surroundings, with new opportunities to explore is such a thrill for me (one that I hope I get to do more of, very soon)!


Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to partner with New Hotel Collection for their newest property, located in the Great Smoky Mountains. I was already a big fan of the Smoky Mountains to begin with (it's our go-to for fall trips to see the stunning foilage), so I jumped at the chance to stay at their beautiful new property for a weekend getaway!

Good Morning, Sunshine: 3 Quick On-the-Go Breakfasts

November 16, 2020

 


I've never been a huge breakfast person. Usually my mornings were fueled by last minute coffee haphazardly poured into a to-go mug and maybe a quick granola bar. But lately, I've been discovering my love of a good, healthy breakfast, filled with nutritious energy that will last throughout my morning. However, I'm still an on-the-go working mom, often with just 5 or 10 minutes to throw something together before I have to head out the door with my little one in tow for daycare.


So I decided to share my 3 go-to quick breakfasts that I keep coming back to again & again! These are easy ideas you can completely customize to your own palette & whatever ingredients you might have on hand. The best part is all of these options take less than 5 minutes to throw together!

Dealing with Anxiety in the Age of Corona: Part II

November 14, 2020



Looking for Part I? Check out my first round of tips here!


With Covid cases on the rise, and coming off the heels of a heated (& still possibly, questionably ongoing?) election, tensions are high and anxiety can rear its ugly head yet again. Some countries are headed back into lockdown as the second wave (or is it third?) washes over the world, and that's scary. 2020 has been a whirlwind of emotions and events, but if there's one thing this year has taught me, it's how to manage stress and anxiety.


So I'm back with another list of helpful tips, activities, and strategies to grab the rest of 2020 by the ____ (I'll let you fill in the blank), pin it to the ground, and say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" Don't give this year, the media, or the negativity anything else to feed off of. By implementing a few (or all!) of these suggestions, you will be outfitting yourself with some pretty powerful armor that will do wonders for your mental health. So let's jump in!

How To Feel More Beautiful

October 25, 2020



Today we're doing something a little bit different here on Cake After Midnight and I've got a great guest post comin' at ya from my beautiful & lovely friend Emma Johnson of Emma J. Agency. So let's dive in!

Answer me this: When you look in the mirror, how do you see yourself? 


This is not a topic of vanity. 


Research suggests that how we think affects how we feel. This may not be news to you, but do you actually apply this to yourself? It also suggests that having negative thoughts about ourselves can cause us physical and mental harm. 

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