Recipe for a Perfect Friends’ Weekend Getaway!

Here’s the thing…

It is perfectly possible to have a great friends’ getaway weekend! I’m going to help you figure
out how in a minute. Sit tight and don’t fret friend!img_2822
BUT

img_2976And that’s a big ‘ol but… it is also perfectly easy to get it all wrong in the same breath! Ack!  I mean, I don’t mean to be a cynic, but the wrong mix and it could go up in flames *snaps finger* like that! Or there is always the boring as all get-out option…img_2996 img_3054 img_3048

Let’s start to find that middle ground then, shall we?? That perfect mix of fun, sassy, outgoing, chill that meshes the weekend into that perfect extended friend hangout!

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FIRST…

You can have a good, solid plan, but still keep it super chill! Sounds sort of like an oxymoron for sure.  A lot of people are afraid of structure because they think it will kill the chill vibes. While this can totally be true, if it’s done right, it works! Trust me, I am the epitome of “Type-A”, so chill is an art form that I’m so desperately trying to attain! I’ve been working and working to find that fine line that is good structure for everyone, yet doesn’t squelch fun right out of the room.

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You, too, men!
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But of course it always helps to have something for them too…

So, what sort of plan do you need to have in place you ask?? 

Here goes! And I promise it’s totally doable…

  • Make sure everyone is on the same page!

This can includes what type of trip everyone wants to have, if people are wanting to spend money or would rather be as frugal as possible {how many dollar signs they want to see on the restaurant reviews on Yelp (i.e. $ or $$$)}, if they want to wake up at the butt crack of dawn and go all day, or sleep in and relax,img_2827

**REMEMBER, it’s ok, also, to break away from the group sometimes if you want!

  • At least put a little thought into what activities, if any, you would like to do while there!

For example, when we went to Fredericksburg, we knew we wanted to go to at least one winery, and climb Enchanted Rock. Other than that, it was play it by ear. And everyone was great with that plan. img_2776 img_2796

  • Create a food plan before you head out!

A little structure goes a loooong way, y’all! We had 3 couples and  5 meals to be made. Each couple was in charge of planning and preparing for 1 meal. Then, the girls did the same for a meal and the men prepared one meal. We then just charged the food on one card, and split it three ways (Venmo has made life so easy for splitting costs!!). We went out to eat once. But remember, our plan for the weekend was super chill, yours might be different. Maybe you only eat twice at the house and eat a lot out…you, obviously, can adjust it to your trip!

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We took advantage of the fresh produce stands on the side of the highway!

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Where to Stay?

This is simple…

Just make sure you choose a place that is cohesive its your attitude towards the trip. For us, like I’ve been repeating, it was chill. So we found an incredible deal split three ways on a perfect ranch house with the traditional Texas flair, complete with livestock!

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And this country girl is not above hopping fencing to reach the animals!

img_3134img_3133 I feel like I’m constantly talking about AirBnB, but time after time, it never fails, we always find amazing places, like this  ranch house, to stay for incredible deals! If you have never used it, but want to try AirBnB for the first time, using this link will save you $35 on your first stay!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d love to hear about some of your favorite Friend’s Get-Aways! What are some “musts” for you??

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A Blogger’s/Travelers/Adventurer’s Dream Bag!

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So…

For, literally, the past few years, I’ve been searching high and low for the perfect bag. But I had some very high standards and very specific qualifications that would issue that “perfect bag” title.  It needed to be sturdy, leather {preferably}, have that Mary Poppins effect where you can fit everything but the kitchen sink in it but not be too bulky {yes, I know Mary Poppins is fictional and therefore, in reality, these are two contradicting attributes}… It needed to be sophisticated, but versatile to match my ever-changing outfits and style preference of a low-attention span toddler. And to add to that my ever-changing travels…fullsizerender-25

*When I went in to Anthropology with my bag, a woman stopped me and gave me the biggest compliment and said she needed the bag, too!
*When I went in to Anthropology with my bag, a woman stopped me and gave me the biggest compliment and said she needed the bag, too!

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My travels are all over the board to say the least…and that’s how I like it!

After visiting NYC a couple of times over the year, I seriously needed something classic but functional. Oh, hey! A leather backpack would be handy right now! I absolutely love messenger bags, but when I’m in a crowded place, walking non-stop, and brushing up against people incessantly, I could use something strapped down tight and not swinging with every out of rhythm step dodging the next New Yorker not looking where their walking…(I still love you New Yorker friends!)

However…

Like I said, all over the board. This summer alone I was at a Young Life camp for 3 weeks in the Smoky Mountains, at three separate beaches along the east and gulf coast, and walking around several different towns and cities in the south, not to mention coming back home and starting a business from scratch.

*My husband snapped this while I was shooting for an event I was hosting in August.
*My husband snapped this while I was shooting for an event I hosted in August.

V.E.R.S.A.T.I.L.I.T.Y!!!!


I want it, I need it, I got ta have it! 

At the beginning of the summer, I stumbled upon Urban Southern, a.k.a, the bag miracle workers. It was like they heard my wishes and POOF! there it was. Like I said, I actually do love messenger bags! It’s a perfect set up when you need to scramble through your bag at your side while holding a camera, a baby, a drink, a whatever! You’ll never guess what I came across.

A Messenger Backpack!

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fullsizerender-13I’m sorry…a what?! Yep, it’s a convertible! Shut the front door! It’s genuine leather, sturdy, rustic, girly, sophisticated, and…VERSATILE! The straps convert to either backpack or messenger.


And let me tell you…


That Mary Poppins feature we were chatting about earlier?? It does exist! I can fit all my current reads, my lap-top, charger, phone, make-up, pens, and wallet in this baby.

Check out what I’m currently withholding in my beautiful

US Messenger Backpack below.

Current Reads:

  • “Beautiful Outlaw” by John Eldridge. Oh, friend. Do yourself a sweet favor and pick up this book!
  • “Entrusted” study by Beth Moore. Yep, me and Beth go all the way back to college. Picking up one of her’s like having coffee with an old friend. And, oh, all that truth she speaks! Yasss.fullsizerender-27

Basic Necessities:

  • Well, duh. There’s the Mac. Because, life…
  • Mac Charger, because life needs charging
  • Felt tip pens…no explanation neededfullsizerender-28

Other Goodies:

  • Make-up bag
  • wallet
  • Eos
  • Journal
  • Blog notebookfullsizerender-29

But you should really not just take my word for it! Check Urban Southern out for yourself and follow them on Social Media for sure! They do some stellar giveaways and you won’t want to miss them!


Urban Southern on Social Media

Pinterest    Instagram     Facebook ~

Do you already use an Urban Southern bag??? If so, which one, and what do you think? If not, which one would you choose from their collection? They have so many styles to choose from! 

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An Alabaman Bed and Breakfast: Smith-Byrd House

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When we were heading for the Smoky’s this summer, Joel and I wanted to go off the beaten path (even more so) and find a charming bed and breakfast for the night.  We had stayed in one before, actually by accident, and had the best experience! I’m going to be honest, I definitely was pretty skeptical about staying at these places with people I had never met and sharing a breakfast table with strangers. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

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I searched many places to stay in a rather large vicinity in Alabama and Smith-Bird House caught my eye.  This bed and breakfast was one of very few in the area, and the only one of it’s historical kind! It’s found in Prattville, Alabama just north of Montgomery and full of charm and welcome!

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My favorite thing about finding any new small busines is getting to know the people who run it. The home and bed and breakfast is owned by a couple, David and Beth Melling, and two of the most hospitable and kind people I’ve known. They care deeply for their business and every guest that knocks on their door, as well as, the beautiful town they live in.  They take such care in everything from the way they set up the dining room to the food they serve and the rooms they keep. We got to the bed and breakfast in the evening and decided to explore Prattville and grab dinner. When we returned Beth had tea and a variety of homemade cookies ready for us, which were delicious!

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The bedroom we stayed in was absolutely gorgeous, clean, and welcoming, everything we want when we travel and are tired from being in the car or plane all dayFullSizeRender 4

 

 

Beth is an amazing cook! She grew up in the Georgia/Alabama area .andknows how to make some mean southern dishes! However, she and David lived in Northern California for many years and has an incredible, refreshing spin to the traditionally heavy southern foods. We joined them and another guest for breakfast the next morning with a beautiful, warm spread on the table complete with juice, coffee, and more tea.

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Let’s talk about that tea for a second. Y’all, I take my tea seriously. And I’m not FullSizeRender 7talking Earl Grey out of the bag from your local grocer (which I totally don’t have anything against!), we’re talking gourmet combinations that make my nostrils swoon. Okay, maybe I take my tea a little too seriously. I know some of you are thinking about stopping reading. But if you are trying to imagine what flavors you hope you has, then this place if for you. Beth runs a very busy tea house offering basically every tea imaginable. So, enjoy!

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I don’t know about y’all, but fall makes me giddy, and we are so close to that crispy cool feeling. Well, if you live in Houston we are a little further away from that feeling, but I like to pretend.  Take a weekend trip and take a chance on one of these cozy, homey stays.  And if you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Smith-Byrd, you are one lucky human!

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Deep South Tour: Prattville, Alabama

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SO excited to start my tour off with this adorable little picture worthy town! It was actually by total coincidence that we stumbled upon this sweet treasure. I have a serious love for small towns, being a small-town girl myself, and this bit of heaven is the definition of quaint, southern, small town! I really wanted to share with you our <24 hours we spent in Prattville, Alabama.

Prattville is about 15 minutes northwest of Montgomery where the hills begin to roll and anything you see out the car window is gorgeous simply because its bring and luscious green.

We weren’t there for long, but, honestly, I could have spent days and days just enjoying the scenery and southern culture! Prattville had so much to offer, whether you are looking for a small town get away from the city, passing through the area, or even maybe looking to relocate.

Lets start first with it’s incredible downtown! Holy. Cow! It was not what I was expecting, but what I got was a whole lot of scenery from each and every angle of its downtown. DSC_0136 The tiny city is full of history! You can see it all around as you walk the curvy downtown roads or lookout over the dam sitting next to the original and first Alabama cotton gin factory built in the early 1800’s by Daniel Pratt, the town’s namesake.

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There is a garden-edged, lantern-lit greenbelt that leads to the riverside.  It’s such a fabulous place! When we went, there were couples taking walks, families taking their small children down to the river so they could put their feet in, people fishing; it was perfect!

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Ignore my lack of modeling skills, but this red brick wall!!!DSC_0126

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We got their just in time for dinner and snagged a spot at the ultra-busy Uncle Mick’s downtown, just one of the great restaurant options in town.  It was fantastic!! I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a recommendation given to us by a local couple (local recs are our fave!) I was completely impressed.

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Uncle Mick’s brought amazing cajun food to northern Alabama, and it was the boo-uuuhmb! All the food is hot and fresh, home-cooked, and MICK serves it himself. You have to be careful though, it’s small town y’all…get there before everything closes!

We stayed at the most charming bed and breakfast in town.  We found they are few and far between in the immediate area, so we were grateful to find such a great and hospitable place! You will definitely have to check out my feature in the next week for Smith-Byrd House Bed and Breakfast!

Over all, I was in love with this historical piece of heaven! If you are into getting away from the chaos of the city, or looking for a hillcountry weekend in a cutesy downtown, Prattville is just about as good as it gets! You will want to look for their sweet special events calendar before you go.

Enjoy Alabama!

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