28 May 2015


New Orleans | When I began planning a girls trip to New Orleans a couple months back I began feeling inspired by the Big Easy. I had been to New Orleans before but the city has always captivated my interest. From blues music to black dresses and fedora hats, this past month New Orleans has not been far from my mind. As you read this, I am actually packing for a trip to the bayous of Louisiana, and I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to tell.

Black | I know it's summer, but my obsession with the color black has taken off this year. I've always been a fan of a colorful wardrobe but something has drawn me to buying clothes in the timeless color of black this season. From black shoes to black rompers to black dresses, I've been the girl rocking the color black in the brutal Texas heat!

History Extra Podcasts | I'm entitled to one history related favorite a month, right? After all, I just spent the last year and a half working on a masters degree in history. I first met the editor of BBC History Magazine through a class at the University of Bristol. Public history has been a topic that has fascinated me since I began my history degrees. Being exposed to different platforms of history through this class really opened my mind to the variety of possibilities us as historians have to educated the general public. BBC History Magazine's History Extra podcast have become a favorite of mine and if I can just get one of my readers to get hooked on them like I have I'll be a happy blogger.

24 | I am officially 24! My birthday was yesterday and 24 feels pretty much like 23. So much has changed in the past year. 23 was by far my favorite year ever. Goodbye 23, hello 24!

+ The lovely Christina from Route Bliss has been hanging out on my sidebar this month. Check out Route Bliss here.
+ I know this cover is slightly old, but I've been listening to a lot of Fleetwood Mac lately. Best cover of Dreams ever.
+ Missed all my Nashville posts? Catch up here!
+ This is possibly the most adorable video ever. 

BLOGS I LOVE : Instagrams

Happy end of May! Who else celebrated a birthday this month? I know there are so many May babies likes myself in the blogging world!

Bishop's Palace | Galveston, Texas

25 May 2015

At one time Galveston was the largest city in Texas. Wealthy merchants from around the country flocked to the island to bathe in it's overwhelming success. With southern wealth comes southern living, and mansion upon mansion was built to prove one's fortune. 

Each house in unique, however a mix of Spanish, French, and German architecture is obvious when driving up and down Broadway today. Some of these impressive houses were either lost in the 1900 hurricane or severely damaged during Hurricane Ike in 2008 (a hurricane who's damage dominated the beginning of my senior year at high school). However, some houses faired more than others, Bishops' Palace being one of the lucky ones. 

Bishop's Palace, originally known as Gresham's Castle, was built in 1892 by the Virginian couple Walter and Josephine Gresham. Walter Gresham, a civil war veteran, founded the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe Railroad before becoming a successful Texan politician. By 1923 however, the house had been purchased by the Galveston Catholic Diocese. The bishop called this mansion his home until it was opened to the public in 1963. 

As I have mentioned before, Galveston was one of my favorite day-cation places growing up in the Houston area. Just a short 45 minute drive away lies this beautiful island/city that is frozen in the the early late 19th and early 20th century. If you want to read more on the city's unique history, check out my previous post, An Hour in Galveston, Texas. 

Happy Monday!

Good Eats | Nashville

21 May 2015

I'm a firm believer in the Anti-Diet. 80% of the time I try to eat healthy, while the other 20% is spent eating anything I want with no regrets. It's a lifestyle I began putting more of an effort into when I moved back to America. With oversized portions and everything lathered in an extra layer of fat, I have  to be extra careful when it comes to eating out stateside. That doesn't mean I deprive myself from good food. On the contrary, I enjoy whatever I want within reason. Swapping soda for water, not finishing the entire plate, etc. Small things like that matter. So when I visited Nashville for the weekend I didn't feel guilty about eating out at some of Nashville's best restaurants. Here are a few of my favorites eateries I visited in Nashville! 

FIDO | A cafe, coffee house, restaurant, and all around cool place to hang out, Fido is located Hillsboro Village. You might have to wait in a bit of a line but don't worry. There are plenty of seats and the service is fast fast fast. The overall dog theme of this cafe was quirky, giving it a unique atmosphere. Whether you are there for a coffee, a muffin, or a burger, Fido's will have you covered.
What I Ordered : Huevos Rancheros and the House Latte 

LOCAL TACO | I'm not fussy when it comes to queso. I AM fussy when it comes to salsa however. I like it to be just the right amount of spicy, and the creamer the better. If you give me a good cup of salsa I will be your best friend forever. On my second day in Nashville, Leah and I got a craving for some chips, queso, and salsa (aka a Texan girl's lunch). Leah drove us out to Local Taco where, on the cool covered patio, we had the perfect two hour lunch. I always laugh at myself when I travel somewhere new and end up eating at a TexMex restaurant. More importantly, the salsa was just right. 
What we ordered: Guacamole, queso, and the red salsa.

FROTHY MONKEY | Oh man, this place was a coffee lovers dream. This quirky cafe offers fantastic coffee in a relaxed atmosphere. It reminded me so much of all my favorite little cafes in England. The perfect spot to bring your laptop or a good book, Frothy Monkey was the perfect last meal in Nashville, Tennessee.     
What I ordered: The Frothy Monkey and the House Latte

Looking to indulge yourself in more foodie blog posts? Here are some of my favorite eateries around the world!

Happy Thursday!

"The Tulips Are Dead" | Cheekwood Botanical Gardens

11 May 2015

Out in west Nashville, in one of the prettiest neighborhoods I have ever seen, is a garden that boasts worldly nature with a hint of southern charm. 

After coffee and brunch, Leah and I headed to Cheekwood Botanical Gardens early Saturday morning. It was a beautiful day, and the transition between spring and summer is becoming more and more apparent. The weather was beautiful and we were determined to see some tulips. Having just spent my last spring and summer in England where tulips blossom throughout spring and summer, I forgot that tulips have a short season in America. We had both heard amazing things about the Cheekwood tulips and knew we only had a short amount of time before they would be gone.

Our quest for the Cheekwood tulips took us through a variety of different gardens and habitats. Cheekwood Botanical Gardens is home to an herb garden, a Japanese garden, a perennial garden, and even a swan lake. In the middle of this vast land sits a beautiful Georgian-styled mansion which has been turned into an art museum. As beautiful as everything was, our quest for the tulips was obviously unsuccessful. There was not one in sight.

After spending a couple of hours wandering our beautiful surroundings, we gave of hope on seeing any tulips. Maybe they didn't plant any this year. Maybe we had missed the season. As we slowly walked back to the car we finally stumbled across the tulip garden. As we had suspected, the tulips were dead.

Despite the fact the tulips were dead, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens was a beautiful lesser known spot in Nashville. Amongst the rolling hills the it's hard to believe so many different habitats can be found tucked away on 100 acres. 

Happy Monday!

I Believe In Nashville

07 May 2015

Oh Nashville. Where do I even begin? 
This past weekend I flew to Nashville to visit one of my very best friends, Leah. Remember Leah? Probably not. She appeared on this blog back in March of 2014 when she came to visit me in Bristol. Leah and I are kindred spirits when it comes to travel and wanderlust, so when she moved to Nashville I knew I would love it. I had never been to Nashville before but had this idea in my head of cowboy boots and guitars (funny coming from the Texan but stereotypes never die). I was pleasantly surprised to find a city with character, culture, and rather fantastic coffee. 

My first impression of Nashville began before I even landed. I was boarding the plane in Houston when someone broke out some iPhone speakers and began playing their own track for everyone getting settled into their seats. Yes, that really happened. I was followed by people singing a few rows behind me and someone even strumming a few cords on their guitar. Needless to say I was totally out of my element and I loved it.

When I landed, Leah proceeded to show me around the city. Since I'm not that into country music I was afraid there wasn't going to be too much to do. Boy was I wrong. We visited museums, walked through parks, and even managed to snap a few pics in front of the 'I Believe in Nashville' sign. The weekend was perfect, so expect more posts coming your way sometime soon!

Happy Thursday!

Off the Beaten Track in England's Small Cities

04 May 2015

Last week I introduced you to some of my favorite off the beaten track spots in England's major cities. Things can get overwhelming when visiting London or Manchester so having a few less touristy attractions to visit is always a good idea.

However, when visiting a smaller city in England I find it quite hard to figure out what exactly to do. Yes, most English cities are beautiful in itself and don't need much planning, but what is there to do once you've walked up and down the city's high street? Go to their cathedral? Sometimes I find myself MORE overwhelmed when planning trips to smaller cities because you have to do more research on what is worth seeing.

Most of the attractions on this list were found by complete accident. Towards the end of my time in England I found myself planning less and less and just going with the flow. However, if you do want to visit some of England's smaller cities here are a few off the beaten track attractions definitely worth visiting.

Tewkesbury is possibly one of my favorite places in all of England. Big statement I know, but Tewkesbury is so untouched, so unique, so wonderful. I booked a room in a Tudor-era inn for one night. I ended up having the time of my life. My favorite part of the trip was following the War of the Roses Battle Trail map. The Battle of Tewkesbury was one of the most important battles during the Wars of the Roses and today you can explore the trail which leads you through battlefields, over rivers, and to a 15th century pub. 

Cheddar may be famous for being the home of Cheddar cheese, however there is more to do in this tiny village than expected! Explore the caves, have an afternoon tea, even get a selfie with Britain's oldest complete skeleton! Any trip to Cheddar is not complete without a hike up Jacob's Ladder. 274 up the side of a gorge, Jacob's Ladder give's you amazing views of Britain's largest gorge and the village of Cheddar itself. 

Worcester (a city I will never be able to pronounce correctly) is home to not one royal grave, but two. King John, famous for agreeing to the Magna Carta, is buried just before the high alter in this beautiful cathedral. However, my trip to Worcester was to visit a different royal grave. Prince Arthur's grave to be exact. For anyone with an interest in early Tudor history, Prince Arthur's tomb is beautifully decorated with Tudor symbolism and should be appreciated for it's significance in the history of England.

Stonehenge is cool. If you're visiting England for the first time, Stonehenge is a must. However, the stones are protected (and rightly so) due to years and years of poor preservation. The stones just can't handle the amount of visitors who go on a daily basis. Not too far away lies a very similar stone circle with no admission price, no barriers, and barely any crowds. If you are looking for a more up close and personal experience with a mysterious ancient rock formation, look no further than Avebury!

Happy Monday!