Category Archives: Let’s Explore

currently loving home

Currently Loving: Home

Over the past month, much of life has been spent up in the air and on the open road. There’s something about travel. Past the beautiful feeds, you discover different cultures, those who think differently, and adapt a different rhythm. When creating on the road, you adjust to a new groove, one where spaces and places are meant to be discovered. I’m one who always loves travel seasons. There’s bliss to be found in the newness of adventure, the wildness found in road trips, and the energy of urban environments. It resonates deep within and a value I will continue to create margin for in the years to come, regardless of the seasons of life that may come.

More than anything after being away from the familiarities that fill my days, there’s nothing like coming home. Every time I seem to fly out, I find that I land back into a new season. There’s spiritual and physical that always seems to change. On the past month, I’ve found the margin and rhythms of rest my heart has been longing for. More than anything, I’ve become more self-aware as a creative, entrepreneur, and a small business owner. There’s something about living and breathing to serve and love other people. Over the years, stress has lifted and I’m no longer concerned about significance, and influence. Rather I’m more focused on creating things that matter. These are becoming the driving questions behind what I create.

Will it serve and help other people?
How am I making my world a better place? 

If I’m honest, landing and reentry after traveling is always a challenge for me. 

I often try to adapt and answer questions a bit too quickly. My head is filled with questions, “How do I apply the growth I’ve learned? How does this affect the day in and day out operations of my life? What adjustments do I need to make? What do I need to catch up on?”

The past week has been focused on finding my footing. We have large projects in the works that we’re hoping to launch at the beginning of August. (Get ready. Our walls are filled with mood boards and pre-production calendars. Our Evernote is filled with notes unlike any other project thus far. It’s going to be really, really good.) Until then, there’s a bit of joy in laundry, chores, meal planning, and transforming my room into a phenomenal creative workspace and studio. I’ll be bringing the garden back to life and getting in the groove as a prep for a full fall. Much like Dorothy journeying back from the land of Oz, there’s truly no place like home.

 

5 podcasts for a summer road trip

5 Podcasts for A Summer Road Trip

The first week of July is a significant mark for me. I’ve spent the past month traveling, and while fun. It has been an amazing to be back home and not dress out of a suitcase for a few days now. My last adventure of June was a solo road trip north. Our first stop was Portland and then we headed to our final destination, Seattle. It was my first road trip and I wanted to be prepared. After about two hours, music and dancing in the car doesn’t keep me nearly as alert as it should, so I opted to download a few podcasts that seem to do the trick. These are my five favorites and I can’t tell you how enjoyable they made the trip.

Keep reading for our top five favorite podcasts after the jump!

1. The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher

I discovered this podcast through some other creatives. Whether talking social media, systems, or small business, I couldn’t recommend this podcast enough. Each podcast has clear and easy calls to action that you can apply to your business. More than anything, after every episode I feel that I’ve invested my time well.

2. Freakanomics Radio

If you loved the documentary or the book, you will love Freakanomics radio. The relationships and correlations of data they find, humor applied, and nature of the show. After each episode, my curiosities and my mind is heightened in the best of ways.

3. Ted Talks Radio Hour

I love listening to these while I work. Ranging on topics from civic change to design, from wonder and dance, imagination, and innovation, TED Talks always inspire me to innovate, dream, and change the world.

4. Pursuit with Purpose

I’ve loved Melyssa Griffin and her blog for years. She offers so much free content and is ridiculously generous. (If you’re a blogger or creative entrepreneur, run to her website as fast as you can.) In her podcast, she interviews her mentors, business partners, and those she has learned from over the years. Rather than practical tips, she asks about their routines, motivations, and the why behind the businesses they have built. It’s a fascinating look at the processes behind legends in this industry.

5. Serial

If you love This American Life and are looking for something that has fiction and story at the center, try Serial. Each episode is a snippet into a mystery, unfolding and coming to a surprising conclusion at the end of each season. It will keep you on the edge of your toes listening and anyone in your car guessing who did what.

What are some of your favorite podcasts to listen to?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

navigate new york subway

How to Navigate the New York Subway System

Let me begin by stating when I headed to New York I wanted to avoid public transit at all cost. After our first night of walking 5 miles I quickly realized that I was going to need to learn the New York Subway system and fast. I can’t say that I found super helpful resources online, so I wrote this post as a resource and to fill in the gaps.

Keep reading for the full post after the jump!

What kind of pass should I buy?

We were in New York for 6 days and 5 nights. Because of this we opted to purchase an unlimited 7-day pass. At the moment, this pass will cost you $32.00. If you purchase per subway ride you’ll pay $2.75 each way. This means a round trip will cost you $5.50. I knew if we rode the subway 6 times it would pay for itself and then some. As much as we were all over the city, it only made sense to purchase an unlimited pass. If you opt to pay per fare you will need to purchase credit on an MTA pass. These look exactly like the 7-day passes but are loaded with the amount you place on the card. Make sure this balance doesn’t go empty before reloading it as there is a $1.00 service charge every time you add credit to the card.

Navigating the City.

We stayed near Times Square and were in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. Go on ahead and download Google Maps on your phone. This app will serve as a lifeline and will provide you with everything you need to know. (Including rerouting, delays, and pertinent information on the subway system.) Walking throughout the city, you’ll notice entrances to subway platforms marked with two green lights. There will be signage as to the train that catches from that platform and annotation as to the transit station. As you go underground to enter the subway, have your pass ready. Swipe the barcode. You’ll then have an option toward Downtown/Brooklyn and Uptown/Bronx. This is a simple way to navigate North and South quickly. If you aren’t great with remembering directions in North or South, quickly look at your map and look to see if your destination is below or above your current location. (I remembered this by just telling myself Downtown is down, and not thinking about a specific neighborhood.)

Using Google Maps for the Subway

Depending on your destination, there are usually multiple trains that can take you to the same destination. Upon putting your destination into Google Maps, review your options with both route time and when various trains catch. (These will usually have adjustments during rush hour.) Usually you’ll have a bit of walking, booking your subway ride. If the train icons exist inside the > symbol this indicates that any of the listed trains will get you to your destination.

A few helpful tips:

– The New York subway is generally pretty safe. You’ll find a few interesting characters just like anywhere else, but if you’re concerned about getting on the right train, ask a New Yorker. They’re usually pretty kind and know how to point you in the right direction.

– Make sure to load Google Maps before heading underground. Most subway tunnels we found had decent service, but there were other times we found dead zones. I always found it helpful to review the stops, knowing the number of stops and reassuring I was on the correct train.

– Avoid looking lost. Load your walking directions and review them on your subway ride. Also when navigating the city turn on notifications for your walking directions and stick in at least one earbud. This will give you walking directions without having to look at your phone.

– Sometimes your barcode won’t read initially when swiping. Make sure you don’t go to another turnstile. If you do, it will lock your pass. If this happens, go find the nearest MTA officer (there should be one at one entrance to the platform, depending on the side of street) and they will be able to manually resolve the issue with your pass quickly. If not, the pass will reset within 20 minutes giving you the option to go through another turnstile.

– It’s warmer underground and during the summer can be quite hot. Dress in layers to suit your day and traveling both above and below ground.

– Be mindful of the time you’re using the subway. If it’s during rush hour of a morning or evening expect platforms to be crowded and trains to be packed.

We hope you’ve found this post helpful. Are you a resident New Yorker or have traveled the city a lot? Any additional tips to share?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

brooklyn

5 Must See Spots in Brooklyn

Ever since I knew I was going to New York, I knew I wanted to visit Brooklyn. Brooklyn has been thriving over the past decade and is the place to explore. I planned a whole day for a visit and it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. From the beautiful cobblestone streets to James Beard and Michelin star restaurants, enjoy wandering this stunning (and quieter) area of New York.

Keep reading for our 5 Must See Spots in Brooklyn after the jump!


Walking the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge

This is a must-do when visiting NYC. There’s some great options once you walk off the bridge. I would first stop at the famous Grimaldi’s for a delicious slice. (If you’re looking for a less crowded walk, choose to walk across the less crowded, but equally beautiful Manhattan bridge.) For idea photo ops, make sure to traverse back to Manhattan on the Brooklyn Bridge during golden hour.

Here’s how to get there from Manhattan:

Take the subway downtown to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall stop. Cross Park Row and walk across the bridge.


DUMBO Neighborhood and Brooklyn Bridge Park

If you’re here on the weekend, head to the Brooklyn Flea, the Farmer’s Market, and grab brunch in Atrium Dumbo. This restaurant has been nominated for a Michelin Star. Make reservations or expect a long long wait. After getting walking across the bridge make your way to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Here you’ll find a stunning park, shots of the city, and the bridges. (If you’re ever wondering where photographers get shots below the bridge along brick buildings and cobblestone streets, it’s here.)

If Grimaldi’s pizza isn’t your thing and you’re looking to fill your sweet tooth, head to Almondine for some amazing macaroons or the famous Jacque Torres’ shop for some phenomenal cookies or frozen hot chocolate. When on the East Coast, you should always try a lobster roll and we highly recommend Luke’s Seafood. With outdoor seating underneath the bridge, overlooking the bay, making for the perfect lunch spot.

Pressed Juicery

Heading toward Williamsburg, make sure to stop into the Pressed Juicery. (We know they have West Coast locations, but it’s one of our absolutely favorites and decided to stop in.) It’s located right at the 7th street subway terminal. It was a warm day as we crossed the bridge and we were more than ready for a bit of rest and a sweet treat. Keeping things simple we had the matcha freeze and chocolate freeze. The matcha was the favorite and kept things clean with a frozen blended juice of matcha, apple, spinach, kale, lemon, and ginger. It was amazing and we’ll be visiting the locations in Sacramento very soon!

Sea

Located in the heart of Williamsburg this Thai restaurant is unlike any other. With floating pools, lily pads, and beautiful wooden pergolas that separate the space throughout the restaurant, they’ve nailed atmosphere and given nods to Asian interiors and design. We opted for the duck curry and Pad See Ew. Both of our entrees were amazing and hit the spot before we headed back across the bridge.



Mast Chocolate

Most of us have come to know and love the Mast brothers and their story. As entrepreneurs, they’ve introduced us to craft chocolate and helped put Williamsburg on the map. They offer tours of their chocolate making process at their shop in Brooklyn. The cost of the tour includes a $10 credit, so make sure to stock up on their signature Brooklyn flavor and delight in their stunning packaging. (It’s won design and packaging awards over the years so make sure to delight in every editorial detail of their store.)


Do you have any favorite spots in Brooklyn? Any summer travels you’ve been going on? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below!

New York City Guide

NYC City Guide

Being from the West Coast, it was time for a break after a hectic year. Where else would I decide to go other than the thriving metropolis of NYC. Outside of the typical tourist spots, I found some amazing local stops, from coffee to food, to shopping. It was a girls trip through and through. (I think we found as many bakeries and chocolatiers to eat at as we did restaurants.) 

Keep on reading for the full city guide of NYC after the jump!

Explore


The Met & The MoMA

Both of these stops are a must when in NYC. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a phenomenal permanent collection. Tickets for The Met are given on a donation basis, so regardless of your budget it works. I recommend coming here on rainy day and planning to visit Central Park and the Plaza on the same day.

The Plaza Hotel at Central Park West

Eloise explored this stunning hotel and so can you. Enjoy exploring the hotel lobby and the most delicious food court in the basement. The hotel is absolutely gorgeous and you feel like you’re in a movie. Take your time and take it all in.



Central Park

Enjoy Central Park, one of New York’s iconic spaces. Located in the middle of Manhattan, it is massive. Working your way through the park, make sure to walk through the Mall and enjoy the expanse lined with benches and lamps. Go to the boat house, grab a drink or snack. If it’s summer time, rent a rowboat and spend a beautiful day experiencing the city. You can also find Citi Bikes available for rent at the perimeter of the park to enjoy a different way to get around.

The Highline

Located in the Chelsea neighborhood, this is a new park in NYC and is absolutely stunning. A park planted on a former elevated train track, it runs for one and a half miles, revitalizing a rusty spot to a gem in the city. There’s something about lush green space elevated among the highrises of Manhattan.

TKTS and Broadway

When coming to New York, treat yourself by going to a show on Broadway. Make sure to visit a TKTS location throughout the city to find discounted tickets that same day of the performance. It can feel a bit stressful, but it will allow you to stretch your budget for other things on your visit. Not to mention, you’ll be able to scratch seeing a show on Broadway off your bucket list.

Coffee

Joe’s & The Juice

If you’re looking for one of the most divine lattes of your life, head to Joe’s. You’ll find locations throughout the city. This coffee shop is probably one of the most rad I’ve seen in awhile. It doesn’t feel anything like that of a typical coffee shop. Featuring juices, smoothies, and quick bits, their menu has something for everyone.

Culture Espresso

Staying near Times Square I found good coffee hard to find. Culture Espresso was near our hotel and used great coffee. Their service was great and efficient in a moment of town that couldn’t seem to care.

Eat


Village Taverna

Probably the best Greek Food in the city. When dining there we went all out after a day on the road. Starting with appetizers, we ordered the grilled haloumi. This cheese from Cypress was heated throughout while retaining the structure of the cheese and served over a fresh tomato salad. This was served alongside probably some of the best grilled pita consumed in my life. For mains, we ordered the lamb shank and chicken souvlaki. Each was presented incredibly well and was absolutely delicious. While we had great food throughout our trip, this was our favorite meal.


Rubirosa

Located in Nolita, this Italian restaurant is absolutely adorable. Small and quaint they nailed the atmosphere. Most here order pizzas and salad. We opted to go for something more substantial. To start, we ordered a salad with fresh bocconcini, sundried tomatoes, spring mix, and olives. It was absolutely delicious. To finish off our meal we ordered mains of balsamic roasted eggplant and a housemade black linguine with fresh shellfish and a bolognese sauce. I would recommend eating here to anyone who finds themselves in Nolita. It was delicious.

Dean & Deluca

Found in the basement of the New York Times building, make sure to visit Dean and Deluca. This bakery and specialty shop is known for their quick service and delicious food. We stopped in here one night for a quick drink after a few miles of walking. We couldn’t resist purchasing their cookies. These cookies are amazing. We tasted the triple chocolate, the peanut butter, and the salted caramel chocolate chip. The peanut butter were our favorite. You can also find a phenomenal breakfast here as well. On our last morning we stopped in and picked up a classic New York bagel piled with smoked salmon, tomatoes, dill, and red onion. It was the perfect taste to end our trip.

Dig Inn

Taking the bowl restaurant concept to the farm, Dig Inn specializes in healthy and nutritious items to keep any foodie happy. Using locally sourced items, each bowl begins with a base of greens, quinoa, or brown rice. Add two veggies sides and your choice of protein. They offer call in options and take away food as well. I recommend doing take away and going to a nearby park to eat your meal.

Artichoke Pizza

Ditch the typical NY $1 pizza tradition and head to Artichoke Pizza. With various locations throughout the city, I couldn’t recommend their crab pizza more. With both a red and bechamel sauce, it’s rich and one piece could easily fill you up. If you have a bit of time and a group to feed, grab a whole pie and combine their two signatures, artichoke and crab on the same pizza. We went with this option and loved every bite. It was creamy and decadent.

Drink

Beer Authority

With over 90 beers on tap, Beer Authority is located in the heart of Midtown and takes the pub life seriously. Follow the three stories up to the rooftop and enjoy being surrounded by the city lights.


Sky Room

A rooftop lounge 30 floors and seated above the city at sunset. It was picture perfect and the best way to spend our last night in New York. The lounge has a side with a DJ to keep energy up and another side with a bit more laid back vibe. We opted for a chill option as we sipped on a Kentucky mule. The views were phenomenal.

Shop

Everlane Showroom

If you’ve read the blog for any period of time you know that I have a slight obsession with Everlane. With showrooms located in NYC and San Francisco, they carry sample sizes of their complete online inventory and have select pieces available for purchase. You can try on any items and receive free two-day shipping to an address of your choice. Wanting to a wear a new piece to the theater that evening? They also offer 1-hour delivery in NYC, so your item can be awaiting you the same day.


Glossier Showroom

Glossier has been shaking things up in the makeup scene. Known for their natural look and brilliant design, head to their penthouse in New York and pick up some of your favorite Glossier products.

Oculus Building at One World Observatory

As soon I saw the Oculus Building at the One World Observatory, I knew I was in for a treat. Designed by famous architect Santiago Calatrava, this building is stunning in nature looking as if it is ready to take flight from the ground. It was the perfect sentiment to rebuild in this space. I knew I was at home as it was the same architect that designed a bridge in my hometown. Head inside for a subway concourse, stunning shops, and delicious restaurants.



Thanks for joining us on our latest travels! We hope you enjoyed our city guide just as much as we loved exploring this amazing city.