A Weekend in Charleston

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A couple of weeks ago, Billy and I hopped in our little Prius and traveled to the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina.  Each year, we dedicate a weekend away to celebrate our anniversary. It’s a sweet tradition we’ve come to look forward to so much.

I had been wanting to go to Charleston for…I don’t know…a really long time! So my little photography-lovin’ heart couldn’t wait to capture all the historic adorableness of Charleston.

We wanted to make this trip all things southern–sweet and simple.  And it was just that! We also wanted to try to keep this getaway as cost-effective as possible, so throughout this little travel diary, I’ll share my budget friendly tips.


Where We Stayed

A huge part of what made this trip so easy on our wallets, was staying at an Airbnb. This was our first time staying at one, so we were a little skeptical.  But we did our research and chose a place with amazing reviews.

I gotta tell you–I am officially hooked on Airbnb. We LOVED our little Charleston home away from home.  It was so relaxing! Bright, airy, minimal, and clean.  And the best part–only $100 a night.

Staying at an Airbnb allowed us to save so much money on food! This was a HUGE bonus.  We had a full kitchen, which enabled us to eat out way less.  We went to the local Publix and stocked our fridge for the weekend.  And I must say—being able to make my nightly cup of green tea made me feel so at home and peaceful. Yet another, wonderful perk.

Oh and I must mention–this Airbnb had a vintage Nintendo! We played Mario Brothers every night and it was a complete blast.  Pretty sure I’ll always remember that. 🙂

Where We Ate

Our favorite restaurant was Poogan’s Porch.  We went there for brunch, and the food was delicious, and the charm! Ah! Adorable.  It’s basically a restaurant that used to be a house.  “Poogan” was a stray dog that used to hang out on the porch. *heart melt*

For breakfast one morning, we ventured to the renowned Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. Oh my. It was just the cutest little hole in the wall. And it was packed! Not hard to tell why–their assortment of biscuits were melt-in-your-mouth amazing! Comfort food at its finest.  Reminded me of a little place in New York.

Now let’s talk coffee.  There’s little that Billy and I enjoy more than a really good coffee shop. You know, the ones that have that perfect balance of aesthetic and warmth. Black Tap Coffee has come to have such a special place in my heart.  It was so relaxing, the atmosphere was really awesome, and the COFFEE! No words. I literally had the BEST latte of my life there. Not exaggerating. The Lavender Latte. *sigh* So smooth and flavorful. We hung out their twice. Can’t wait to go back one day.

My best friend recommended Carmella’s, and oh how happy I am she did! We fell in love with this darling gem.  We selected two mini cakes to go, and enjoyed them at our Airbnb. The cakes were so moist and flavorful! A perfect pairing with our tea!

Where We Shopped

I was immensely impressed with the quality of shopping in Charleston.  There was a delightful balance of big chain stores, as well as local boutiques.  Shopping along King St. could easily take a whole day.  Not complaining… 😉

There are two shops that you absolutely must visit if you go to Charleston.  The first is Candlefish.  It really is the most divinely beautiful candle shop.  They even offer candle making work shops.  The service was exceptional, and the candle library kept you lingering and enjoying all the scents.  Quite the experience indeed.

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My second favorite shop was an adorable boutique called TheSkinnyDip. They had everything from sweet little dresses to darling local souvenirs.  I purchased the cutest coffee mug of my favorite site in Charleston: Rainbow Row! Upstairs, they have a fun coffee/lounge with a co-work space.  A rooftop patio made this place such a memorable stop.  Highly recommend!

What We Saw

The lovely thing about historic places, is that you can just wander. For hours. And wandering is free. But oh the memories you will make!

One of my favorite things about Charleston is how vast it is. The streets keep winding, and every little nook and alley was so picturesque.  Everything was blooming. Cobblestone streets lead to homes with darling shutters, window boxes overflowing with flowers, statement wood doors, and vintage gas lights. It is a lovely feeling knowing that everything your eyes happen upon, has a story.

Here are some pictures from our brick-lined explorations . . .

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It was such a joy celebrating 3 years of marriage with my hubby in Charleston.  It is honestly a new favorite city of mine.  I eagerly can’t wait to return!

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My Road Trip Tips

Ahhh road trips. There’s something about them. Perhaps it’s the slight adventurous edge they have. Or maybe it’s the old fashioned simplicity of being on the road for awhile. The slow change of the scenery. The unexpected memories that are made.

I’m no travel guru. However, over the past few years I’ve come up with some road trip habits that have made traveling so much easier. It being summertime and all,  I thought I’d share them with you! Buckle up-let’s go!

1. Have dinner ready for when you get back.

This can go for any trip you take, but always have a meal in your freezer that you can heat up when you get home. There’s nothing worse than having been in a car for 10 hours and having to figure out what to eat when you get home. I just love knowing that a frozen pizza is waiting for us, no matter how late we get back home.

2. Healthy Food Stops

There’s nothing worse than eating a bunch of greasy fries and sitting in a car all day. Eating healthy is important everyday, but especially on the road. We love a light sandwich/sub on the road. Either pack some in a cooler (Time saver! Hello, rest stop!) or stop by Publix or Jersey Mike’s for a refreshing sub.  If you want to save on time, figure out which Publix you will be near around lunch time, and order your subs online! They’ll be ready for you the second you arrive. Yesssss.

3. Stay comfortable.

By this I mean, wear stretchy material and breathable clothing, pack blankets and pillows, and whatever else keeps you feeling at ease on the road! Since I’m typically the passenger on road trips (thanks, babe!), I love to pack a sleep mask. It helps block the sunlight so I can get some decent beauty rest! Hehe

4. Pack lots of healthy snacks

Making sure you are well stocked on snacks is an easy way to save time. No need to stop for some eats. Here’s a list of my go to snacks on the road that keep me refreshed and full:

  • Apples (My all time favorite road trip snack!)
  • Homemade popcorn (recipe here)
  • Bananas (keep you full)
  • Grapes
  • Granola bars
  • Raisinets (for a little chocolate fix)
  • Hawaiian Rolls
  • Crackers
  • Peanut butter

5. Stay hydrated!

We all love a nice hot cup of joe on a road trip, but coffee can dehydrate you. Make sure you drink plenty of water too! Billy and I love our Swell bottles. They keep our water so cold for up to 24 hours! A road trip must! #refreshing

6. Keep your car well stocked.

Make sure you have everything you may possibly need! Umbrellas. Car phone charger. A portable phone charger. Trash bags. Paper towels. Tylenol. Pepto-Bismol. Tums. Motion sickness medicine. (To help you during the packing process, check out my travel pack-list here!)

7. Leave your house clean for when you return.

Billy and I just returned from Georgia, and let me tell you–coming home to a clean space is well worth it! Our bed was made. Everything was tidy. It makes the return home much more peaceful.

Thanks for reading! I hope you find these tips helpful and enlightening! Where are you headed on your next road trip?

How to Pack for New York City in a Carryon 


I did it. I achieved the impossible. I packed for a 4 day trip to New York City in a carryon.

I just got back from the city last night, and enjoyed every single moment of the experience. I’ll post what we did, where we stayed, and what we ate in a future blog post! 📷🚖

Anyways, back to only bringing a carryon. Why even try to attempt such a thing? Well, I wanted to save money and avoid the hassle of checking in a bag. Plus, it was a personal challenge that I wanted to try.

Whenever I go on a road trip, I usually pack almost everything I own. Like, seriously. I just can never decide what boots to bring or which sweaters I’ll want to wear, so I’ll just bring them all, because I can. So this was definitely a challenge for me!

First, I decided to plan out every outfit I was going to wear. This way, I didn’t pack extra. I packed only ONE extra outfit, just in case I were to spill something on one of the other outfits. This worked out really well. Now, it’s still pretty cold in New York. Therefore, I had to pack bulky sweaters and scarves. If you’re visiting New York in the summer, a carryon will be even easier to achieve!

Secondly, I laid everything flat in my carryon. When I first packed my clothes, I left everything folded, and it just wasn’t working out. Then, I decided to unfold everything and lay it all flat. I couldn’t believe how much space that saved!

Next, I only packed three pairs of shoes (choose wisely and comfortably) and set my Hunter rain boots aside to wear on the plane. (Check the weather before you pack: I knew New York was expecting rain, so that helped me decide what boots to wear.) Always wear your bulkiest items on the plane. So instead of packing my coat, I wore it (or held it) on the plane.

The TSA limits how many liquids you can bring, so this really helped me limit how many toiletries I packed.

You’re also allowed one “personal item” with you on the plane. I recommend bringing a large purse. This way you can fit extra items like a small umbrella, makeup, etc.

Honestly, when I go back to New York one day, I will pack a carryon again. It was actually less stressful bringing fewer things. I love the freeing feeling of simplicity! Next time you fly, I urge you to take my carryon challenge! You might surprise yourself! 😊