George : Coffee + Provisions

When I was in Dallas last week, I spent quite a bit of time working and drinking coffee at George : Coffee + Provisions in Coppell, TX. This coffee-house was opened this summer and since then it has become a hub of activity and place of gathering. George is such a warm, welcoming, and inviting environment for meetings, studying, or just for an awesome cup of coffee. The owners, Christian and Laura, put their heart into everything that represents George and in turn it has becoming the heart of the Coppell community. I was able to take some photos of the coffee-house and couldn’t wait to share them with you. If you are ever in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas–please go by George and support this local business!

Welcome to George

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I think I may have had most of the different latte flavors, cold brew, and house coffee and they are all amazing. The coffee is very rich and full-bodied–so it’s sure to give you the caffeine fix that you need.

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I love the clean, bright, and fresh aesthetic of George! Don’t you just want to hang out there all day?

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There is also plenty of stall seating and a large room in the back, although it was so busy that I couldn’t get any photos without disturbing others. I hope you get the chance to visit George soon and that you love it as much as so many others do!

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Flashback Friday Travels: France

I hope you’ve enjoyed the Flashback Friday Travels posts that I’ve written, because today I’m going to tell you about the trip that started it all–France. My first trip overseas was in the Spring of 2013 and it was to Paris, France. I went with my mom, a few sisters, my brother-in-law, nephew, and niece and had the best time. The getting-to-Paris-part was definitely interesting/memorable/stressful because we were all on different flights, we flew into different cities, and our international phone plan decided to not work. However, looking back, I wouldn’t have changed any part of that experience because it taught me that sometimes you have to be flexible when traveling, that you really have no control, and to remember the experience. I hope you enjoy these photos!

Sacré-Cœur Basilica

View of Paris from Sacré-Cœur

Arc de Triomphe on Champs-Élysées

Versailles–Château de Versailles

One day we took the train to Versailles and spent the day walking the palace gardens. So beautiful!

The Louvre Museum

We didn’t go into the museum but we walked past it every day because our Airbnb apartment was close by.

The Eiffel Tower on Champ de Mars

I love these teal doors! I tried to take a photo each time I saw a unique door.

We loved walking through markets every day–look at all the cheese! There were so many fromageries (cheese shops) and boulangeries (bakeries) that we would buy groceries from, instead of eating out each meal.

 

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Packing for a Long Weekend in One Bag

It’s September–my favorite month of the year!! Today in Oklahoma it is absolutely beautiful and that makes me so happy. I hope you are enjoying the first day of a new month and that you have a wonderful, long Labor Day weekend! A lot of people choose to travel when there are long weekends and I am no exception. I am leaving town to go see some family, who I haven’t seen in years, and I’m looking forward to spending some time with them. Also, because of the specific airline I needed to use to get to my destination, I am only allowed to take one bag, period, on my flight. When I found out that information my first thought was, “challenge accepted.” Today I am going to show you what kind of bag I am taking, how I got all the absolute necessities packed, what I am taking to wear on this trip, and what I decided to leave behind.

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I’m really excited to break in this bag and use it on this trip! I found this canvas duffel bag on Amazon and decided it was a good investment for me because of how much I travel and because some of my other luggage was work out. I like the canvas material, the black detail, and the leather straps. You can also get this bag in other colors, I’ll link it here. This bag is the perfect size for this trip because it does fit everything that I need.

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Sometimes I will use packing cubes to help compact items and I think I found these on GroopDealz a while back. For this trip, I used a small packing cube for my swimsuit, socks, compact raincoat, and a few other things.

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As far as getting everything in, I tried a few different methods to see which worked best. I folded clothes, tried another packing cube, and then found out that it was better to roll all of my shirts and lightweight items. Because my pants are thicker material, I just folded them and set them on top of the smaller packing cube.

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Because I do have limited space, I tried to make everything smaller and only take what I absolutely needed. I am taking a clutch purse that I can easily grab out of the main bag and one that holds the basics (i.e. passport, cash, mints, sunglasses, ear buds, pen, chapstick, protein bar, phone).

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Toiletries are something that I can over-pack because I’m always afraid of forgetting something. However, since I am going to see family members, I skipped all of the shower things like shampoo, conditioner, etc., because I know they will share.

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These shoes have been trusty sidekicks for months now (my Chacos have even lasted me 12 years) and they’re coming with me. These leather sandals and my Chacos are super comfortable and are versatile for wearing with different things. I am wearing a pair of sneakers to the airport and also because they are more bulky than my sandals.

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Makeup is also another thing that I can over-pack but I’m keeping it super simple this time and taking mostly travel-sized, basic products.

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Packing clothes has become so much easier than recent years for a couple of reasons. Number one is because all of my clothing is pretty much neutral and number two is because I actually really like and love wearing the clothes that I have. Aside from the clothes I’ll be wearing at the airport, I’m taking a pair of denim shorts and a pair of black linen pants–both of those can be worn with any of the tops I take. I’m taking a set of pajamas and a shorts for swimming and/or hiking. I’m taking two flannel shirts and a cardigan that can be layered and worn depending on what the weather will be like. All of the t-shirts below can also be worn with anything else that I pack. Making clothing versatile is something that helps to make the packing/traveling process so much easier, at least for me, because you really don’t have to think that much about what you’re going to wear.

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The things that I am leaving behind this trip are my Polaroid camera, extra toiletries, larger medicine bottles, and my regular laptop case. I always take my Polaroid camera with me to document trips but I decided to leave it this time for the sake of space and the fact that I will have my phone with me. The extra toiletries I just didn’t need this time and if I do–I can always go get some or ask a family member if I can use theirs. I put a few medications into a Dramamine tube, put it in the side of my purse, and it didn’t take up any room at all. I took my laptop out of its regular case and put it into a drawstring back that I can wedge in between my rolled clothes.

Ok, so that is how packing went this time! I hope that, if you are traveling this weekend, you have a wonderful time and that these tips have been helpful. What are your plans for Labor Day?

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Flashback Friday Travels: Hawaii

Aloha, happy Friday! September will be here in a few weeks and I’m so excited because it is my favorite month of the year! In preparing for September, I was reminded of a trip I took to Hawaii in 2 years ago in September, actually it happened to be on my 25th birthday, and I wanted to share some of those photos with you. I had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii with one of my sisters, brother-in-law, and youngest niece, at the time, and it will forever be one of my most memorable experiences. Not only was it so special to have some rest, relaxation, and down time, but it was just breathtakingly beautiful! I had always wanted to go to Hawaii because I am a beach/ocean girl at heart, so I felt almost paralyzed by my excitement to finally be able to go. We went to The Big Island and spent about a week there just relaxing, snorkeling, hanging out at the beaches, eating giant avocados and papayas, going to the farmers market, and driving all over the island. My sister and brother-in-law had rented a house with an ocean view and, because it was off-season and the rates were so much lower, the house was way larger than we needed for 3 adults but still so fun to stay in a big house. There was no air conditioner system in the house so we just kept the windows and sliding doors open at night, and you could hear nothing but the ocean. It was so cool and relaxing to fall asleep and wake up to the sound of the ocean everyday! I would go back in a heartbeat and you should too if you want a trip for nothing but rest and relaxation.

The views from my bedroom every morning!

Geckos everywhere!

Lava stone beaches

 

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Washington D.C. Travel Guide #2: Things to See on Your Next Visit

A couple of weeks ago I got the chance to go back to Washington DC for the third time, with a couple of my sisters. We had such a good week, despite the weather being hot and humid, exploring the city, navigating DC transportation, eating good food, and seeing some amazing museums. I thought I would share some photos from the trip with you, in case you’re going soon and need some suggestions of things to see. Make sure to read until the end for my food recommendations!

National Museum of African American History and Culture

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This museum just opened in the last year and it is a very popular attraction. You can get tickets online the day before or you can stand in line each day and wait to see if they have tickets available. We waited in line for about an hour and were able to get in that afternoon. This museum was so worth the wait in line because of all the history inside. We went through about 4 floors of African American history that began in the 1400s and ended in current day. The entrance to this museum is free and you should plan to be there at least a few hours.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

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The Holocaust Museum was incredible but it was also one of the most weighty “tours” that I’ve been through. We spent quite a bit of time at this museum the week we were there and it was evident by all the staff who worked there that this museum was sacred. The history of before, during, and after the holocaust was shocking, because I never realized how long the holocaust had been happening before if “officially” began. It was also very humbling to hear the taped stories from survivors and what their families went through. I can’t even imagine living during that time because no one could be trusted. There was a Hall of Remembrance, at the end of the exhibit, that had candles by every concentration camp and visitors were able to light one of the candles if they wanted. Visiting this museum made me want to learn even more about world history and the things that no one talks about. While there are exhibits specifically for children to go through, I almost wouldn’t recommend taking small children to this museum. Entrance is free and plan to also spend a few hours there.

Folger Shakespeare Library

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The night we got into the city, there was a screening of Antony and Cleopatra at the Folger Shakespeare Library and it was a taped, live performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company. We did have to purchase tickets to see this screening, but it was a fun performance to watch.

Smithsonian National Gallery of Art

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Free art museums! Yay! I’ve been to this museum before but it was nice to go back through and at a different pace. There are several art exhibits consistently on display and plan to spend a few hours there.

Other Smithsonian Museums we visited:

-National Air and Space Museum–We actually watched one of the premiering showtimes of Dunkirk in the IMAX at the museum. The movie was incredible and had such a different focus/tone from other World War 2 movies. It follows 3 different stories from land, sea, and air and over 3 different time spans. While there were loud noises and explosions, there was no blood or gore in this film. I highly recommend the movie!

-National Museum of Natural History–The Hope Diamond is housed in this museum.

-National Museum of American History–Julia Child’s kitchen is in this museum!

-National Zoological Park–go when it’s cooler and you have an entire day.

Library of Congress

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The architecture of this building is just amazing!! We didn’t stay there long but we mainly just walked around, looking up. Entrance is also free at the Library of Congress.

National Archives

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If you want to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other documents, go check out the National Archives! Entrance is free but you will have to stand in line to see the documents. And just take this little bit of advice, do not pull out a water bottle or drink from a water bottle while in the building. You will get yelled at. No, it wasn’t me but it was a loud and tense conversation to witness.

Jefferson Memorial

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United States Capitol

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Washington Monument and The Reflecting Pool on the National Mall

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Lincoln Memorial

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The White House

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Potomac River

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Pitango Gelato

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Pitango was SO good! There were many Boomarangs made here because of how happy/excited we were to be eating such yummy gelato! We kept seeing this place recommended online and decided to give it a try one night. You should definitely try their gelato next time you go to DC. The first photo is Sicilian Almond and Chocolate, the second is Mojito and Crema, and then the third is an Affogato of espresso and Vanilla. So good!!

Founding Farmers

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Founding Farmers is an absolute must place to visit if you’re in DC. The food is locally sourced, fresh, and the wait staff is knowledgeable of gluten free options. I’ve been here once before and really wanted to take my sisters to experience brunch. We ordered traditional breakfast food and it was just what we needed for a long day of exploring. I have had their coffee in the past, also, and it’s delicious!

Rise Bakery

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What do you do when you have 2 sisters with Celiac Disease, a completely gluten-free bakery in DC, and a bunch of Lyft coupons—um you go 3 of the 5 mornings that you’re in the city. Even though the bakery was half way across the city, I can’t even tell you how worth it it was to go as many times as we did. This bakery has gluten free everything–bagels, croissants, eclairs, bread, muffins, cake, cinnamon rolls, brownies, sandwiches, cold brew coffee, etc. If you have Celiac Disease, or eating gluten free is just a personal preference, you HAVE to visit Rise Bakery and eat one of everything. I wonder if they ship to Oklahoma?

I hope you are inspired to go visit DC and that I’ve given you plenty of things to see and eat while you’re there!

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