This past weekend we got to watch Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex AKA Meghan Markle wed Prince Harry and have her "Fairy Tale Ending". This wedding was one that many girls dreamed of (I know I used to be apart of the “I Want to Marry Harry" fan club) and, it ended a little differently then some may have imagined BUT, it did so in THE BEST way possible. The diversity of this wedding was something unheard of for England and from this I realized that the traditional fairy tale doesn’t seem to exist anymore. In it’s place we have Women CEO’s and little girls who can now grow up dreaming that they too can be a Princess one day no matter what color they are.
Meghan Markle is the Ultimate Modern Princess and Game Changer for all the reasons listed below.
A Game Changer for Who A Royal Can Marry - Bluntly put, she’s Mixed with a Black Mom and a Divorcee. This is something the Royal Family and England were not prepared for BUT Meghan Markle is breaking down barriers and giving hope to Black and Brown and Mixed Women - Young and Old, British and Not. I’m sure it can’t be easy to step into a situation where people are judging you and watching your every move but, she’s doing it gracefully and giving HOPE to Britain’s 3% black population and even hope to people like me over in the United States.
You stand strong girl!
A Game Changer Because Even Though She Was Divorced and 36 Someone Thought She Was Good Enough. - This gives us single ladies hope, Prince Harry saw past her age and didn’t judge her for being divorced. I know one of the biggest “Problems” I have with dating is my age, as soon as I hit 30 everything got tougher because of society’s stigmas. This relationship gives me hope that there will be someone out there for me who will not look at me being 31 and automatically have certain connotations in their head about my age and things I want.
Here's to Being Thirty, Flirty, and Thriving!!
A Game Changer Because She Was a Successful Strong Woman Before Her Relationship - Sometimes it can be hard to date as a Successful, Strong, Feminist Female. There have been some shows that touch on this, one of the ones I liked surrounding this situation was the 3rd Season of UnReal. It takes a strong man to be with an even stronger woman AND she found that person.
Here’s to walking our own damn selves down the aisle ladies!
A Game Changer Because She Gives Us Hope - Hope is one of the strongest things you can hold onto in this world. Everything about Meghan Markle’s story gives me HOPE that my Fairy Tale Ending will happen when it’s supposed to. It’s not something we can rush or even plan. We have to continue to stand strong as single women and go after our dreams and goals and know that right now is not our forever. BUT we do need to do everything we can in our right now to better ourselves so that when our “Prince” does come along we’re ready.
Nashville, TN - The Home of Country Music. Some of you may not know but I’m originally a Southern Girl (Jacksonville, FL), so Country Music and Southern Charm will always hold a special place in my heart. So, it wasn’t even a question of if I was going to stop in Nashville on my road trip, just when. Read on below for how I did some of the Best Instagram Spots in Nashville in 24 Hrs.
First Stop: Draper James - 2608 12th Ave S | Nashville, TN 37204
Draper James opens at 10AM and, you should get there right when it opens! Just in case you didn’t know, Draper James is owned by America’s Sweetheart Reese Witherspoon. Everything in this store just exudes SOUTHERN CHARM. When you walk in, they even ask you if you want Sweet Tea!! Isn’t that the ABSOLUTE CUTEST?! And then everything in the store is just ADORABLE. I wanted to buy EVERYTHING!! From Tote Bags to Dresses to the CUTEST Sandals, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your personality.
After you’re finished shopping, make sure you head to the side of their building where you’ll find these Instagrammable spots.
Note: The Rolling Stone Tongue was there for a special exhibit, but their famous blue and white wall is always available for photos.
When your done with these spots, just take a left out of Draper James and head towards Dallas Ave where you’ll take a right to find this Peace Nashville mural by Eastside Murals. When you go, no promises it’ll be the same mural but, you’ll definitely find something Instagram worthy.
After you finish exploring everything 12th Ave has for you to see, head on over to your 2nd Stop in Nashville.
Second Stop: 269 11th Ave South | Nashville, TN 37203 (The Gulch)
The address above will lead you to the parking garage where on the side wall you’ll find Kelsey Montague’s #WhatLiftsYou Wings AND how ADORABLE are those little wings?!
You should check out the Gulch after you get your photos, there are a lot of cute shops, good food, and fun bars in the area! Now onto the next stop.
Third Stop: Barista Parlor - 519 Gallatin Ave B | Nashville, TN 37206
After the first two stops, you’ll be ready for coffee, and Barista Parlor has some of the best you’ve ever tasted. So make sure you grab something to go, snap a quick picture and then get a bite to eat at The Gambling Stick right next door. Hopefully they’re still there when you make it out to Nashville because this Southern BBQ was DELICIOUS!!
After you’re done re-fueling, make your way past the Barista Parlor and look for the pink and white beauty store on the left hand side.
Note: When you walk out of the coffee shop you’ll want to take a left and head to that Beauty Supply Store. DON’T. That’s not THE Beauty Supply Store (Unless you actually want to get some Beauty Supplies, it was nice inside. LOL.).
So, make sure you take a right out of the Barista Parlor and look to the left for this Pretty in Pink (And White) Building. AND when you’re finished taking photos there, make sure to go to the building right next door and take a photo at the East Nashville sign located on the side of the building.
You’re almost DONE. It wouldn’t be a trip to Nashville without taking a trip to the Grand Ole Opry.
Fourth (And Final) Stop: Grand Ole Opry - 2804 Opryland Dr | Nashville TN 37214
Before taking a picture in front of the iconic guitars, make sure to explore the shopping center located right next door. Because when in Nashville, you have to get some boots! AND check out Taylor Swift's Wax figure at Madame Tussauds. AND get some delicious cookie dough from Sam T. Spoonlickers.
Hopefully this helps you get THE BEST Instagram Worthy Photos when you’re in Nashville AND catch a little glimpse of the city. I can’t WAIT to go back to Nashville and do even more exploring., 24 Hrs in this city just isn’t enough!
Thanks to Helene in Between for the inspo for my article, make sure you check out her post called Best Spots in Nashville to Take a Photo.
Have you been to Nashville before? What were some of your favorite spots? I’d LOVE to hear.
P.S. Let me know if you use this guide, hope it’s helpful!
I’ve been wanting to go to New Orleans for awhile. So, when I knew I was going on a road trip adventure, there was no doubt in my mind I was going to stop there. New Orleans DID NOT disappoint, the people and food are amazing! Here’s a quick look at how I spent my time in The Big Easy.
Hotel: The Moxy Hotel in the CBD right outside of the French Quarter
I LOVED this hotel. Not only was the location great and the price just right, BUT it was SUPER CUTE! Let's chat a bit more about location, what I liked about The Moxy Hotel was that we were right by the action without having to be in the action. It was about a 5-minute walk over to Bourbon St and we were near the trolleys, so it was very convenient. They also offered a unique drink list at their bar, (which also serves as their check-in) so while you’re waiting to go out you can mingle with other guests or just relax with a delicious cocktail in their super hip lobby. Upon check-in, they even offer a free drink ticket (which I for some reason did not use, #epicfail). They are also a dog-friendly hotel which is a win for me!
Food: Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar ; Mr. B’s Bistro ; Cafe Du Monde
There are so many good food places to choose from in New Orleans that’s it’s almost overwhelming! I ended up choosing a NOLA staple and then got a recco from a local.
Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar - AMAZING!! The oysters were to die for, I had fried buffalo oysters, classic oysters, fried crawfish, and washed it down with a strawberry beer. I was a very happy and full girl for the rest of the evening. Which is what you need to be to explore Bourbon Street and all it has to offer.
French Market - After Exploring the French Market, don’t forget to take a look at their food stands too! There’s nothing like sitting down and enjoying a Crawfish Po’Boy after exploring all the different vendors the market has to offer.
Mr. B’s Bistro - If you’re looking for authentic Creole food in a “fancy” environment. Mr. B’s Bistro is the spot. It’s always nice when traveling to wear a fancy dress for one night and this was one of those nights. I was not disappointed with my fried green tomatoes appetizer, Mr. B’s Barbecue Shrimp, and a glass of rosé.
Cafe Du Monde - Definitely worth the wait for THE BEST beignets and chicory coffee! This is the perfect after dinner dessert. Make sure you bring cash as they don’t accept cards, but don’t worry this sweet treat won’t break the bank.
Exploring: Bourbon Street ; French Market ; Ghost, Vampire, and Voodoo Tour
Bourbon Street - When in NOLA. Honestly, it’s everything you imagine it to be. Debauchery and Fun Times all rolled into one. There are bars one after another all offering a different vibe - Classic Jazz, Dancing, and even Karaoke. It was fun walking up and down this street and hopping into bars and, the drinks are CHEAP compared to Los Angeles which was definitely a plus. I definitely want to go again with a group of my GFs during Mardi Gras.
French Market - If you’re a fan of flea and farmer’s markets you’ll LOVE the French Market. Lots of masks, art, and gifts unique to New Orleans. I like to support local designers and artists and this is the place to do it. Plus, after you’re done shopping you can grab a bite to eat at one of their many food stands. AND after you grab a bite to eat don’t forget to walk over to Frenchmen St and explore that area with their unique NOLA architecture and jazz bars!
Ghost, Vampire, and Voodoo Tour - Part of NOLAs intrigue are the cemeteries and all that goes with it. I definitely recommend taking a tour when you’re in the big easy to hear a bit of that side of their history and more importantly why they have some of these hauntings. As my tour guide put it, to get a haunting you have to have a pretty tragic death. AND some of these stories come from slaves being treated horribly and people being burned alive in their sleep. I won’t be able to do these stories justice but, if you’re interested check out this site.
This was all I could get in with my two night, one day stay. BUT it was quite a lot and gave me just enough of a taste to know I want to go back.
Who else has been to New Orleans? What were some of your favorite things to do?
I’d love to hear, comment below.
I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was when I heard Mean Girls was coming to Broadway. Better yet, this now 12 time Tony Award Nominated Show including one for Best Musical was opening up around the time of my cross-country road trip. So obviously, it was meant to be! I purchased tickets as soon as I could, saw it on a Wednesday, and of course, I packed my best pink outfit (Because on Wednesday's We Wear Pink). Read on below for my review of Mean Girls on Broadway.
Please Note: If you did not see Mean Girls the Movie I highly suggest watching it before reading below.
The show starts off with narration from Janis and Damian (Cady's friends who help put into motion the whole Mean Girls mess) who keep it going throughout the entire show. The actors who play them Barrett Wilbert Weed and Grey Henson are brilliant! The chemistry between the two of them and their interaction with the audience keep us engaged throughout the entire show. After the setup, we are introduced to our leading lady, Cady Herron, played by Erika Henningsen who opens up the show singing a song called “It Roars” which then flows nicely into the other songs and heart of the show.
As we all know, high school can be a tricky place to be. It’s all about figuring out “Where You Belong” one of the show's songs that lets us know what it’s like to enter hallways and find the right crowd or wrong crowd to fit into AND we all know the infamous “wrong crowd” in this show. The Plastics - Regina George, Gretchen Weiners, and Karen Smith played by Tayler Louderman, Ashley Park and Kate Rockwell, these ladies all bring something new to the show, especially Ashley Park to Gretchen Weiner's character.
The play pretty much follows the flow of the movie but there are some elements (some a little different) that in my mind really stood out in relation to things in today’s society.
Social Media - One of the many things that we have to deal with these days to “fit into society” is portraying a "perfect" image on social media. The show did a great job sharing that especially in small cliques, social media can make or break you. What you put on “the gram” has the power to influence many people beyond yourself and can have a direct impact on someone whether you know it or not. Hopefully in a positive way but, sometimes depending on your content it can touch even the strongest (Such as Regina George) in a not so positive way allowing for an "Apex Predator" (one of the songs in the show) to come out. This play reminds us that words and images are powerful, so choose them wisely.
Insecurities (Practicing Self-Love) - They really added depth to Gretchen Weiner’s character played by Ashley Park. In the movie, it’s noted that Gretchen is smart and she’s a trailblazer (It can't be easy to want to start “That’s So Fetch”) BUT one of the things that we didn’t see too much in the movie that was a focus in the play are her insecurities. The way Regina George treated Gretchen really impacted her ability to flourish. Gretchen knew she could do better and break free and was smarter than the situation she was in but, she didn’t know how to break free. This can happen to many people, at the end of the show she did find herself, but not all do. It’s important to find the strength inside to always love ourselves enough no matter what situation we may be in.
Dumbing Down - We all know that on October 3rd Aaron Samuels asked Cady Heron what day it was and, the rest is Mean Girl’s history. BUT what was really emphasized in the show was how Cady really dumbed herself down to get this guy to notice and pay attention to her. I LOVE how Ms. Norbury played by Kerry Butler (who by the way plays 3 roles in this show, talk about talent!!) does not let it go throughout the entire show that she knows Cady is doing this. As women living in this time where we are taking back our power through movements such as #metoo and #timesup we need to make sure that dumbing down is a thing of the past as well. No longer are we living in the age where we marry the guy in power but we can be that woman in power because of many trailblazers who came before us. So make sure you take back your power ladies, mansplaining is a thing of the past!
And of course, all of this is done through AMAZING set decoration, lighting, choreography, humor, and song. The songs made me feel like I always knew them, a good musical always does. Thank You, Tina Fey, for bringing this to the stage. It made the high school me VERY HAPPY.
And this article ends with the beginning of the show where we’re told this is “A Cautionary Tale”. And it is, there are soo many things relevant to Mean Girls that has allowed it to stay mainstream since it hit the theaters in 2004 (WOW, Soo long ago!). One of which is the truth and honesty of how one can lose their innocence getting lost in the wrong crowd or fighting for more power. Make sure to stay true to yourself always, there’s not enough power in the world that should make someone become a Mean Girl.
And just for fun, who’s your favorite Mean Girl Character?? I’d LOVE to hear, let me know below.
P.S. You should enter this contest to go see Mean Girls on Broadway in NYC. They gift you two tickets to the show, $500 hotel voucher, $750 airfare voucher, $500 gift card to Kenneth Cole, and a $500 gift card to Three Eighty Two. Saw this yesterday in my e-mail from Keep. Talk about perfect timing to share with you! :D
Single. LA Living. Loves: Traveling, Fashion, and Beauty. Has A Really Cute Doggy. Constantly Navigating my Crazy Thoughts on Dating and Men. Ready for the Journey?