Browsing Category



My Favorite Places and Things to Do in Jacksonville

March 16, 2015

Before Will and I moved to Tennessee, I made a list of my favorite places and things we did in Jacksonville. We lived in the beaches area for a year and a half and made a lot of great memories with family and friends there. Whether you are a new resident or just visiting, there’s something for everyone on this list.


  • TacoLu // Tacos are a must, try the Grilled Mahi and the Bangin’ Shrimp tacos
  • Zeta Brewing Co. // Great beer, food and atmosphere near the beach
  • The Brix Taphouse // Good spot for nightlife with live music or a DJ most weekends
  • Milano’s on Kernan // This was right around the corner from our condo, go on Thursday for $1 Pizza Night and try the Long Island Iced Tea – the strongest we’ve ever had!
  • Safe Harbor Seafood Market and Restaurant // Mayport is where the best seafood in town is caught and you can go right to the source by shopping and eating at Safe Harbor. Sit inside or outside with an incredible view of the water.
  • Bold Bean Coffee Roasters // I usually went to Starbucks to work, but I found this local coffee brewer in Ponte Vedra before moving and loved it – great coffee served in ceramic mugs and nice atmosphere
  • MOJO Kitchen // Great local BBQ and live music
  • Shim Sham Room // A speakeasy style cocktail lounge in Jacksonville Beach
  • Culhane’s Irish Pub // We were addicted to the chicken tenders here – so crispy!


  • Beaches Town Center // I love this whole street for their unique shops and galleries
  • Bluetique North Florida // This is a curated boutique by Goodwill, great spot to shop for quality secondhand clothing and accessories, including many new items
  • Beaches Green Market // This farm market is every Saturday in the beaches area – purchase local honey, maple syrup, fruits and veggies, seafood, and Kenyan grown coffee
  • St. John’s Town Center
  • Historic Downtown Fernandina Beach // So many cute local shops and restaurants on Centre Street, including antiques, upscale clothing, candy makers, etc – it’s so worth the drive!


  • North Beaches Art Walk // This art walk was the first event I ever attended at the beaches and I loved walking around shopping local arts and crafts
  • Jacksonville Downtown Art Walk // Much like above, but downtown with live music too
  • Driftwood Jacksonville Beach // A family friend co-owns this shop, full of unique coastal finds from Florida artists
  • One Spark Festival // This festival started in Jacksonville and is now known as “The World’s Largest Crowdfunding Festival” for all types of projects, including the arts


  • Atlantic Beach // Our favorite spot to hang on the beach and bring our dog. Dogs are allowed on this beach all day, unlike Jax Beach (which is before 8am, after 5pm)
  • The Golf Club of Amelia Island // This was about 40 minutes from where we lived, but it’s a scenic drive once you get off the highway and the course is beautiful
  • TPC Sawgrass // Will golfed here with his work buddies and it was his favorite of all the courses in town – it’s a pro course so it makes sense! He also went with his sister to The Players Championship tournament
  • Adventure Landing // We went here for the put-put golf and arcade games, but it is mainly a water park in the summer and they have ice skating in winter. Live alligators hang out near the entrance (it’s a fenced-in habitat, of course!)


  • Hawthorn Salon // the coolest salon in town, I just love their branding and decorations. I highly recommend Corrine and Chelsea for cut and color
  • Baptist Primary Care // Dr. Michael Kring took care of me when I broke my toes – he asked about my exercise habits and made sure I knew what I could still do with my injury. Being healthy starts with exercise, so I appreciated his holistic views on medicine.
  • A1A Family Eyecare



Your turn: Have you been to Jacksonville and have a favorite spot I didn’t mention? Tell us about it in the comments!


Goodbye Cincinnati, Hello Jacksonville

September 26, 2013


To explain my long absence here lately, we are now residents of Jacksonville, Florida! I had big plans for posts in August and September, assuming I would have plenty of time for my business plus everything that comes with moving across the country. I couldn’t be more wrong! Between visiting friends and family, scheduling movers, and packing up everything we own, not much happened on the business side of things. I basically left my job at the beginning of August to have a month to prepare to move. It took most of September to get settled in, but I’m starting to get back into a routine.

We are super excited to be in Florida, but also sad to leave behind so many wonderful friends and places in Ohio. I thought it would be fun to list some of my favorite things that we did while we lived there, an Ohio bucket list for you!

Continue Reading…


Across the USA to Alabama

May 24, 2013

Across the USA
{Image Credit : Elembee}

I’m talking my about my favorite places to visit in Alabama for the Across the USA series over at Elembee today! Head on over there for some travel tips from this Bama girl and photos of my favorite state. Kory from A New Journey is joining me to tell about another southern state that I love, Tennessee!

Continue Reading…


Family Trip to Mackinac Island

December 26, 2012

Family Photo
Grand Hotel from the Ferry

As promised, I am back with more info on traveling to Mackinac Island, Michigan. Since this trip happened in June, I wanted to make sure to post about it before the end of the year! This time we went with our sister Cheryl, Aunt Felicia, and cousins Brittany + Rex and their sweet baby, Elliana. We had so much fun! Even though it was rainy for the first couple of days, we still had plenty to do. We split our trip into two cities, so here is the breakdown of activities.

Continue Reading…


Our Honeymoon on Mackinac Island

June 10, 2012

Shepler's Ferry

Two years ago this week, Will and I were still in newly wedded bliss on our honeymoon in Mackinac Island, Michigan. It was a very romantic and secluded, so it was the perfect spot for a honeymoon. The only transportation allowed on the island are bikes and horse-drawn carriages, so we felt as if we had gone back in time. Since our anniversary was last week and we will be returning for the second time this month, I’d like to share some of what we did there, from the fancy honeymoon perspective. When we return from our upcoming family trip, you’ll get to hear more about the cheaper and casual options the island has to offer!

Continue Reading…


Top 5 Paintings to See at The Art Institute of Chicago

February 23, 2011

ChicagoChicago Navy Pier

I just took a weekend trip to Chicago with my husband Will and we had an awesome time! With our circle of friends and family, I’m pretty sure that we were the only ones who had not been yet – of course, when you live about 4 hours away, it’s about time! Our friend Mike was very generous to let us stay in his fully-furnished condo downtown next to the Sears Tower. We had a phenomenal view from the 26th floor! We spent the weekend exploring the city, walking around downtown and discovering the Millenium Park with “The Bean” sculpture/modern art/mirror… whatever, it was cool. We also had a chance to go to Navy Pier and eat at Harry Caray’s Tavern and hang out at Houndstooth Saloon, a bar for University of Alabama alumni!

Of course, seeing famous paintings was definitely a highlight of the trip! The Art Institute is so huge that you have to have a plan for what you want to see before you leave. Here are my picks for the top five paintings to see at The Art Institute of Chicago:

American Gothic

American Gothic, Grant Wood: This was the first famous painting that we found completely by accident. I think Will really likes this one and he is most familiar with it. This is when we realized that we should be searching for the famous paintings instead of wandering aimlessly. The museum has a handy visitors guide that tells you where they are located.


Nighthawks, Edward Hopper: Nighthawks is one of my favorite paintings to study in Art History class. I would love to have a print of it in my house one day, because I find it so interesting. In the museum it is one room over from American Gothic on the second floor so you can easily see them both in a short time.

Bedroom at Arles

Bedroom in Arles, Vincent Van Gogh: Van Gogh was a lot more difficult to find, because this painting is in the old wing of the museum. If you ask for directions from a staff member it will make more sense. It is so exciting to see an actual Van Gogh painting and I remember seeing pictures of this for many years in school books.


Time Transfixed, René Magritte: I really enjoy Surrealism because it transports you to a different dimension and makes you think outside the box. This painting is so strange and intriguing and people love it.


The Old Guitarist, Pablo Picasso: Last, but not least, there is a Picasso in The Art Institute! Once again, it was amazing to see an original painting by one of the Masters. We made sure to see this one before we left to take our hungry souls to Harry Caray’s!

It was really awesome to see these original paintings in person. I have been studying them my whole life, and even Will was familiar with many of them, and he is not usually an art person :) Next time you have a chance to visit Chicago, stop by The Art Institute and see these famous paintings!


Fun Places in Ohio: Fountain Square Outdoor Ice Rink

January 10, 2011

Fountain SquareFountain Square

I am so excited that this was the first new place of the year, because I thought it was only a Christmas thing. To find out that it is open until February makes me happy. Will gave me ice skates for Christmas so of course I was eager to try them out! We’ve been to Fountain Square before and that’s how we knew about the ice rink. It turned out to be cheap fun too… I only paid $2 for the both of us! It was freezing outside, but we had a great time! I got a ton of great pictures, and it was just really nice to go out and do something new.