Grand Canyon in One Day

I flew out to Las Vegas for a four-day getaway and visiting the Grand Canyon was on our list of activities.

The Grand Canyon has always been on my bucket list so naturally, I was pumped. However, none of my family has ever been so we had to do a lot of our own research as far as what to do, where to go, etc. So I wanted to dedicate this post to my Grand Canyon first-timers. 

We arrived in Vegas and spent the first day on the strip, rode the High Roller (open bar option of course) and went to a Cirque de Soleil show. The performers are nothing short of amazing. If you've seen Knocked Up, we went to the same show Ben and Pete see when they're on shrooms LOL (added a link for reference).

The next day, we started our trek to the canyon. Lesson #1: You won't have time to see both the West Rim and the South Rim in one day. The West Rim seems to be more of a tourist trap with the Skywalk, so we headed for the South Rim and stopped at the Hoover Dam on our way. WARNING: the winds can get bad in the spring and that day, they were close to 50 mph. It was terrifying. But the dam is insane and I can't believe humans built that thing. Definitely a site worth seeing. 

From there, it's about a four-hour drive to the South rim. Be prepared with food BEFORE you get too far because the options are veryyyy limited. We finally arrived at our hotel and prepared for our big day ahead. My mom (who is deathly afraid of heights) told me she wanted to do a helicopter ride at the canyon and I was in shock. But also excited. But also nervous af. Every time I thought about it, my feet would get hot. 

If you ever have the chance to ride in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, you should absolutely do it. There are multiple companies that offer helicopter tours, but we went through Maverick. Our pilot was so kind and talked to us the whole time about the various parts of the canyon and made sure we were all very comfortable. And the views. I mean, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. It was definitely one of the coolest things I've ever done. 

After the chopper ride, we went to the GC Village to grab lunch. Overall, the food options aren't the greatest so it's a good idea to have some of your own snacks. We then hopped on the free shuttle bus and stopped at multiple viewing spots to walk around. 

I wish we had more time to explore - it's impossible to see everything in a day. Next time, I want to go more north to see places like Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon. Let me know if you have a favorite canyon spot!

 
 
Emporio Armani Grand Opening

Last week, I was invited to attend Emporio Armani's grand opening event at South Park mall. 

Major YouTube and Insta babes, Natalie and Jessi, hosted the event and both are absolute babes in-person. The spring collection was super dreamy and the live DJ and flowing wine made browsing that much better. I met some amazing influencers in person - some I'd been following for a while and felt like I already knew their life story. Instagram, you crazy.

As soon as I walked in, I was drawn to a table at the front where two artists we creating digital illustrations of guests. Check out mine below! Such a fun event, and I was so honored to be a part. 

 
 
Nashville Travel Guide

Last weekend, I took a road trip over to Nashville. The first time I visited was spent mostly on Broadway so this time around, I was excited to check out more of the fine dining, coffee shops and surrounding neighborhood hot spots.

We had *mostly* great weather and crammed in as much as we could in two and a half days. Luckily, I had a long list of recommendations so we were never short of ideas. If you're gonna go, you gotta do it right. Be sure to add the following to your Nash list:

FOOD

  1. Edley's: Famous BBQ that has a casual vibe. Be prepared for a long line waiting to place your order at the counter. I opted for the brisket tacos and the combination of flavors was just, wow.

  2. Biscuit Love: Again, more lines. We went on a Saturday morning and waited about an hour and 30. I went with the popular East Nasty biscuit (no gravy and added an egg on top). The fried goodness slid off my chicken piece pretty easily but the biscuit itself was divine.

  3. Adele's: You can find this cutsie restaurant in the Gulch, and it features seasonal food sourced from local farms. We went for dinner but it’s open for lunch Friday and Saturdays and now offers a Sunday brunch buffet. I ordered the Mahi Mahi, kale salad and cauliflower. All very good but be prepared for a pricey tab.

COFFEE/JUICE

  1. Franklin Juice Co.: You know I love my raw juice so when we stumbled upon this after dinner, I had to stop in and snag a juice for the next morning. I got the Sweet Beet and it was the perfect start to my day.

  2. Steadfast Coffee: Get the coffee soda and call it a day. A friend recommended I try this and good thing, because I probably wouldn't have ordered it on my own. It's an unlikely combination but it somehow works. Really well.

  3. Frothy Monkey: We had our Easter brunch here and it was the best Easter brunch I could've asked for. This edgy coffee shop is located in the 12th South neighborhood and the menu offers breakfast and brunch + lunch and dinner. They have all the coffee you need as well as craft beer, wine and cocktails. I ordered the California sandwich with a Golden Monkey (added expresso). Everything was DELISH.

DRANKS

  1. LA Jackson: MY NEW FAVORITE SPOT IN NASH. It's a rooftop bar and they have frosé - need I say more? The weather was on point when we went and the music was a freakin' vibe. After two drinks, I was definitely feeling it (and myself). We even went back again with friends the same night.

  2. The Patterson House: You've never seen a cocktail been made to perfection until you go here. This speakeasy plays throwback music, with dim lighting for a moody feel and the bartenders treat every drink like it's their child. We were both mesmerized watching our drinks being made. Definitely put it on your list.

  3. Acme Feed and Seed: If you want a taste of Broadway and drunk peeps, this is your spot. It's great to experience once.

SHOPPING

  1. Uncommon James: This is Kristin Cavallari's new flagship jewelry store. It's super cute, and I highly recommend. And because I'll support anything she does after Laguna Beach/The Hills.

  2. Imogene + Willie: Expensive jeans that I really want but can't afford. Worth to go and try them on while scoping out the amazing décor.

There were still lots of places we wanted to visit but didn't have the time, so I guess this means another trip is in order!

 
 
Apartment Makeover - Part I

For the past year, I've been slowly but surely finding my design aesthetic, updating the apartment decor and replacing some of the accessories around my place.

When Austin and I moved in together, most of our furniture was his from his first apartment or generously handed down from our families. Once we got settled, I started accessorizing with no real plan in mind, and things weren't meshing. Almost everything we had was of a darker hue so I'd buy small things to try and brighten up the apartment – but it wasn't doing the trick.

When I moved into my new place last year, I made it a priority to create a mood board and slowly integrate my vision. First up was the bedroom. I completed my first chalk paint project on the dresser, got new bedding and started updating the bathroom colorway. I think it’s so important to sleep in a space that’s calming and that you actually enjoy spending time in.

I've found some great deals throughout the process and linked a few of my favorite accessories below. I'm far from finished but it's a start! Below is my mood board to show you what I'm going for, with a couple of before and after shots to follow. Interior design has never been my sweet spot but the more I research and shop, the more into interested I become!

What are some of your favorite design inspo sites?

Part II coming soon.

Some of my favorites things:

Velvet pillow shams from Amazon
Wooden tray from Target
Candle from Nest
Coasters from Anthropologie
Faux cow skull from Etsy
Grey plush blanket from Amazon
Brass jewelry tray from Amazon
Globe floor lamp from Target

Decor Mood Board.jpg

A few of my updates... 

Worth 100

On International Women’s Day this year, I celebrated at the "Worth 100" event sponsored by Lulu Lemon.

One of my favorite yoga teachers (and people in general), Jaimis, was hosting a free yoga event for IWD - and anything that involves Jaimis is automatically amazing. The space was packed when we showed up and I was so excited to see the overwhelming support.

The theme was Worth 100. Meaning, it's time to recognize our 100% worth. We started off with a few words from Jaimis and from there, went straight into a light flow/meditation. Afterward, a local yogi and artist spoke about their personal journeys and the value that comes from being truly vulnerable.

I loved being surrounded by the amazing energy and it was a perfect way to celebrate being 100%. 

 
 
Chicago Travel Guide

This month, Austin had a change of scenery from ATL, as his latest work adventures took him to training in Chicago. I've never been so it was the perfect excuse to go explore Chi-Town.

Before the trip, I consulted a few trusted sources for recommendations, so I definitely had a bit of help with this travel guide. Things started off rocky (I almost missed my flight) but I finally made it in Friday evening. PSA: American Airlines requires you to check your bags 45 minutes before takeoff. Needless to say, I cut it too close and they almost didn't let me on the plane. Good thing they did because Austin had dinner reservations at one of the best spots my first night.

I had a three-day weekend to spend and we packed in as much as we could (including food). If you're heading to the Windy City anytime soon, the following spots need to be on your list.

  1. Girl & the Goat: This restaurant has been on the hot spot list for years and it can take booking months in advance to secure a reservation. Luckily, we had the hookup on this occasion and were able to get a table the first night I arrived. The menu is incredible, filled with family-style plates to feast on. I ordered the scallops, Austin got the branzino, and we shared the chickpea fritter, roasted cauliflower and sautéed green beans. Everything was mouth-watering good.
  2. Little Goat: So many goats. This is the sister restaurant to #1 (shock) and we went for brunch the next morning. It's more of a diner vibe but they absolutely killed the brunch menu. Austin ordered one of their most popular items, the Bull’s Eye French Toast, complete with eggs cooked inside sweet onion brioche and crispy chicken topped with BBQ maple syrup. I die.
  3. Giordano's: Chicago-style pizza. That is all you need to know.
  4. Au Cheval: Be prepared to wait in line for the best burger you'll ever have. We knew there would be a wait but we weren't expecting a THREE AND A HALF HOUR wait. But we did it anyway. Luckily, Green Street Meats is right across the street so we had a round of drinks (or five) while building our appetite. I will recommend what I was told to get: the cheeseburger with added bacon and a fried egg. Your stomach will thank you.
  5. Brightwok Kitchen: This veggie-focused, Asian-inspired restaurant was a quick and cheaper stop for fresh bowls. I ordered a delicious brown rice, Thai Basil bowl. Pair things with an iced Masala Chai and you’re set.

In summary, Chicago has some damn good food/drinks and Charlotte needs to step up its game.

As far as the touristy sites, the Bean and Magnificent Mile should definitely be on your list. Be prepared to wait in looooong lines for Skydeck. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the top because of a three hour wait. It was the only sunny day that weekend and everyone came out to play. Guess I’ll just have to go back.

What are your recs for Chicago? Drop a comment if you’ve been and have other spots I should add to the list! xx

 
 
What’s up Doc

You know when you have your mind set on buying something, and it’s only a matter of time before you make the purchase? That was the case with my white Dr. Martens boots.

I have been searching for the perfect pair of Dr. Martens for months. I tried on the black leathers in-store, didn’t like the fit, searched for a different style online but then wasn't sure I’d like them in person. I knew I wanted white ones and when I found the glitter version, I had to pull the trigger.

I shopped around various stores online, including REVOLVE and ASOS. But I ended up finding these on Amazon! And they were about $35 cheaper than regular pricing. I am loving Amazon these days. The boots arrived and were even more beautiful in person.

The only downside, as with any white shoe, is that you have to be extremely careful not to get them dirty. Especially because it's almost impossible to clean a glitter-covered shoe. However, I love them and they were definitely worth the purchase. 

Here's the link to my exact pair from Amazon.  

 
 
Valentine's Day OOTD

I don’t really like Valentine’s Day. Not for any particular reason, it’s just always been one holiday I couldn’t get into. I love celebrating love, but this day always feels forced. 

That being said, what I do love are my new jeans from Urban and this AHHH-mazing jacket from Akira.

Shop the look below:  
Jeans from Urban Outfitters
Jacket from Akira
Booties from Who What Wear x Target
Bodysuit from Missguided

 
 
CLT ClassPass Favorites

I finally hopped on the ClassPass train. I was more or less suckered into it -- the tempting $4 ClassPass trial popped up on my Instagram ads. I've heard all about the app but never took the plunge, so thought now would be the perfect opportunity to try it out.

In typical Christy fashion, I never used my trial classes and forgot to cancel it, so I was charged for the next month. Since I was already locked in, I thought I might as well give it a real try. One month in and ten classes down, and I am loving it. I travel back and forth to Atlanta a lot, so I love that you’re able to switch cities. Here are my Charlotte favorites:

FlyBarre 60 - I had never done any kind of barre class so this one was completely new to me. The instructor Kelley was super helpful in terms of form, enthusiastic, and honestly made the class. Not to mention the music was on point. FULL. BODY. BURNOUT.

Hot VIBE5 - Hot yoga is typically my favorite kind of yoga but Jaimis is the bomb. I had been following her on Instagram and finally took one of her classes at Resident Culture Brewing - needless to say, I knew I wanted more of this chick. She is the sweetest person and I love how she always begins each class with the most perfect intentions.

RockBox Fitness - If you wanna die, take this class. Kidding, but it was probably the toughest one I’ve done yet! There’s boxing, weights, and sprints. I pretty much collapsed at the end but the instructor made it so enjoyable and really made sure I knew what I was doing from start to finish.

MADabolic - I tried this interval-based training class for the first time and left feeling so good. It wasn’t as extreme as I thought, and the instructor did a lovely job of making me feel intimated enough so I wouldn’t dare slack off. Definitely a fan. 

AIR -  Ever heard of aerial yoga? It's a big thing now and yes, it's a little weird but also hard af and awesome. My friend Jamie and I tried the 30-minute ab blast (AIR Core) at the South Park location. All while twisting and hanging in aerial hammocks, this class is a Pilates-inspired ab workout that works every part of your tummy. They usually recommend new clients take at least one AIR Foundation class before advancing to the AIR Core, but it's doable (we survived).  

TITLE Boxing - Ah, TITLE. If you want to unleash the fury for an hour straight, this is your class. Pissed at your ex? TITLE. Stressed from work? TITLE. Can't figure out why, but you need to hit something? You get it. This is one of my favorite boxing classes (I had a membership when I lived in Raleigh) because it's nonstop, guided combos with 15 minutes of core work at the end. And you feel amazing walking out. 

P.S. If you're in the Atlanta area, check out Torq Cycle with my girl Shelby -- you'll feel the burn but in a good way.

Safe to say I’ll continue on my ClassPass ride for a while. Let me know if you have any questions, and please share your class recs in Charlotte or Atlanta! 

 
 
OOTD: Oversized Sweatshirt x Timbs

You never know what you're going to get with Charlotte weather. 

I've lived here for a year and a half now and I still can't figure it out. I used to think Atlanta had crazy weather but I think CLT takes the cake. In a three week span, I've purchased items ranging from swimsuits to oversized sweaters (like this one below). Just want to be prepared, you know??

I love this cozy vibe from Missguided. Pair it with jeans and boots or fun, vinyl leggings and heels. 

Shop the look below:
Sweatshirt by Missguided
Jeans by Articles of Society
Timbs from ASOS
Coat by Kenneth Cole