Monday, August 21, 2017

hawaiian honeymoon: top 10 things to do on the big island

if you read often, you know that I've been writing frequently about our hawaiian honeymoon adventures over the past two months. our trip to hawaii was truly amazing and even though I posted a lot about our trip, we experienced even more that I didn't post about, including amazing wildlife such as seals and sea turtles up close in the wild. the aloha spirit is alive and well and revolves strongly around nature, which is why hawaii is so special to me.

if you are planning a trip to kauai, check out my top 5 things to do in kauai. and if you are planning a trip to the big island, you are in the right place! these recommendations are in no order - we experienced all of these firsthand and I've blogged about many of them so you can refer over to the post for more detail.

this was probably the best thing we did on our trip to hawaii... words can't really describe the experience. be sure to book this early in your trip since sometimes the companies cancel due to tides or weather. if you book early, you'll have to likelihood to be able to reschedule.

2. take a day trip to hawai'i volcanoes national park
this national park exceeded our expectations!

we loved checking out the volcano both on land and in the air. dress a little warmer for the helicopter ride since the air can be chilly.

4. visit volcano village
basically I love the name of this town... they have a winery and a really cool fireplace of friendship.

5. check out a black sand beach
worth the hike!

6. go stargazing at mauna kea
admittedly, I don't have the skills for stargazing photography... but how gorgeous is this photo I borrowed? it was COLD up on mauna kea and really a unique experience. be sure to check their calendar to see when their telescopes are available - rookie mistake, we missed the telescopes by a day.

{photo via}

7. find malasadas and other yummy hawaiian foods
be sure to load up on island-style food such as poke and asian-influenced choices

8. visit a kona coffee plantation
we did a coffee plantation tour in kauai and it was awesome! I recommend visiting on both islands if possible.

9. enjoy a golf day or a spa day
I definitely posted about the spa at the fairmont, it was the best spa I've ever been to and I highly recommend taking a day golf/spa day on the big island. the mauna lani course is very well-rated and is close to the spa, you're welcome.

10. do some shopping at the local abc store
ok, this one sounds weird but just trust me. don't you hate when people say that? I actually like when people say that haha! you know I love buying souvenirs, but other than multiple bottles of wine from the volcano winery - we didn't buy too much on our trip. the local abc store [a glorified grocery story] really came in handy for us - we loaded up on chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, lilikoi jelly, kauai cookies, hawaiian locally-made soap, and even wood products like a pineapple shaped bowl.

have you been to the big island? what's your favorite thing to do?

Friday, August 18, 2017

"cheers to junior year" tablescape

hopefully you saw my first tablescape post, earlier this week? if not, be sure to check it out since it features the first way that I styled our table for company. the following day, we hosted a "going away" dinner for my sister as she goes back to college for junior year. since our saturday night tablescape was set for four people, I had to make some changes to fit seven people at our sunday table. I love reworking flowers to make a totally different feel for a different occasion.

Monday, August 14, 2017

a late summer tablescape // two ways

recently we had our friends emily and joseph over for dinner and I was so excited to throw a fancier dinner than usual so we could use our wedding china for the first time. I also bought some amazing floral napkins from pottery barn months ago that I had been dying for an opportunity to use. 

I mixed our formal china and waterford with a burlap runner and jute chargers to modernize and casualize the look. then on sunday, we hosted a family dinner - so I mixed up the blooms and paired with causal china for a totally different vibe.

Friday, August 11, 2017

hawaiian honeymoon: top 5 hawaiian eats and drinks

if you've been following along with my hawaiian honeymoon posts, you know that we definitely explored and were adventurous! what I haven't talked about yet is the food! the food was so good in hawaii, I ate poke non-stop even though I almost never eat it at home. I had poke nachos, poke lox bagel, poke stack.... yum.

I was also on the search for malasadas and had a really hard time finding them - until we found a roadside food truck on the big island. just look at this warm sugary deliciousness below. my best advice - when in hawaii, if offered a flavor choice {such as juice, jelly, malasada filling, etc} make sure to go with anything island-flavored such as lilikoi, guava, and POG {passion fruit, orange, guava}.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

what I read in july

is anyone else in shock that we are now in the month of august? soon we will be starting football season and then it will be christmas. all the craft stores already have halloween stuff out, some already have christmas on display. I am really not ready for christmas. anyway, I love these monthly book linkups even if they do remind me of how quickly this year is going by! linking up with steph and jana, per usual.

somebody I used to know by david bell
when nick hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. she is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, marissa minor, who died in a campus house fire twenty years earlier. but when nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off. the next morning the police arrive at nick’s house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. she’s been found dead, murdered in a local motel, with nick’s name and address on a piece of paper in her pocket. convinced there's a connection between the two women, nick enlists the help of his college friend laurel davidson to investigate the events leading up to the night of marissa’s death. but the young woman’s murder is only the beginning...and the truths nick uncovers may make him wish he never doubted the lies. {}

my take: A-
this book has a unique plot line with lots of different things going on - murder, unplanned pregnancy, assault, good-old-fashioned small town gossip, lust, arson... you name it. it was definitely a page turner for me, I finished it in a couple of days but the ending gets a bit cheesy {the dog rescue} and the dots connect a bit too easily for the story to end like a perfect puzzle. all in all, it was a good summer read.

I got this recommendation from the link up, so thanks again to everyone for sharing awesome books every month and for stopping by!

Friday, August 4, 2017

atlanta home tour: master bedroom reveal

I'm so happy to share our master bedroom reveal today! when we moved into our house a year ago, we needed basically all new everything for our kitchen and living room. we purchased everything new and were super happy with how it all turned out, not to mention - we didn't even have to paint the main level since it is a beautiful cafe au lait color. our master bedroom was a different story. we bought two new night stands and the rest of the furniture was stuff that I'd had since post-grad days. to say I was ready for a refresh would be an understatement!

Monday, July 31, 2017

hawaiian honeymoon: 5 things to do in volcano village

we stayed on the waimea side of the big island and had planned a helicopter tour over in hilo one day. the drive from waimea to hilo is about two hours long and it's an interesting terrain, very earthen and desert-like. we felt like we were driving through mars many times on the big island, rocky lava lines the highways with almost no vegetation. what the island lacks in vegetation, it makes up for in billy goats. seriously, we saw so many goats roaming the lava fields.

I highly recommend taking a day trip over to volcano village and volcano national park if you have the time. we spent a full day in volcano and hit all the stops!

Friday, July 28, 2017

married to the menu

after we got back from the honeymoon, I vowed to be more intentional with dinners at home. with all the wedding planning craziness, we had started to rely all too much on frozen pizza and ravioli. once a week, fine. all week long, not fine. one time we even ate a frozen pizza in the car on the way to dance lessons. I mean, it doesn't get worse than that. don't get me wrong, it tasted good, but not exactly the healthy, intentional meal time I prefer.

you may know that I don't eat meat, but I do eat fish, so it does require some planning to make meals that satisfy my requirements plus fill stephen up. since the wedding, here's a peak into what we've been eating - hopefully these recipes will inspire you to try something new soon!

Monday, July 24, 2017

hawaiian honeymoon: hawai'i volcanoes national park

we happened to check out hawai'i volcanoes national park on memorial day during our honeymoon and I felt so patriotic. wandering around mother nature's beauty and being in a state park really made me feel american. we didn't really know what to expect at the national park and it turned out to be pretty cool.

Friday, July 21, 2017

top 10 things you must do in savannah

y'all, I have always wanted to go to two southern cities: charleston and savannah. last year, my dream came true with our girl's trip to charleston and this year, my dream came true with my 30th birthday trip to savannah. stephen surprised me with the idea and I spent the five-hour drive down from atlanta researching what to do in this gorgeous southern city.