Nashville Trip With Free People + A Magical Backyard Dinner

Nashville Trip With Free People + A Magical Backyard Dinner - offbeat + inspired

So I went to Nashville again! There was a #FPme shoot with Free People, a backyard dinner at my sweet friend Ruthie‘s, and of course, lots of catching up, laughing, dancing, friend-making and photographing — basically the norm on my Tennessee adventures! If you haven’t heard of #FPme, it’s Free People‘s own little social hub where girls from all over the world can upload style pics of themselves, tag the outfits with whatever FP goodies they have on and share it in their gallery. (Here’s a link to mine.) It’s great for outfit inspiration and I love that you can click a photo and it brings you directly to the item listing (because, you know…anything to fill that cart as fast as humanly possible). You can also search the hashtag on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to find all kinds of boho style ideas. (I’ve been posting a ton on my Instagram lately!) Anyway! Free People was heading to Nashville and reached out to a few local #FPme contributors about doing a shoot downtown. I’m clearly not a Nashville local, but Dee, the darling gal I’ve been in contact with about FP styling, knew Lexington was nearby and asked if I’d join in for the day. Um, that’s a huge yes! Ruthie had told me Free People was coming down for a dinner at her place, so I was already attending that which made hopping in on the #FPme shoot even more of a no brainer.

Keep reading!

Lexington Love | Adventuring With Ruthie

Lexington Love | Adventuring With Ruthie - offbeat + inspired

This is the most exciting time of year for me. Especially this year. I’m settled in to the downtown apartment — a gorgeous, old 3-story building on North Limestone. Our little nook is on the third floor above Le Deauville French Bistro, across the street from a blooming school courtyard. The city is popping with color now, which means it’s time to break out the list of springtime shenanigans and start hacking away. One of them was to have my dear friend Ruthie Lindsey come up from Nashville for a visit! If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love this girl. Goofing, laughing, heart-to-hearts, dance parties, music listening and exploring — all part of the typical, wonderful craziness.

When she pulled into town, we only had a vague idea of what the next 3 days were going to look like, but knew we were going to spend one of them shooting everything we possibly could. Ruthie’s personal style is just one of the hugely inspiring things about her, so we decided to show a few of her favorite looks in a few of my favorite Lexington locales. The rest of this post will serve as a photo journal of that day with outfit and location credits. I just love showing off this little city, especially alongside one of my favorite gals!

Keep reading!

Autumn Chowder in Winter

Autumn Chowder 1 - offbeat + inspired

There are certain recipes that are about more than food. They’re scribbled on note cards or written in cookbooks splattered with grease and cake batter. Adjustments and variations have been carefully and thoughtfully squeezed into the margins. They’re the recipes passed between families - from generation to generation, from mother to daughter.

This is one of those recipes - but it’s one that I dare not edit. There’s no tweaking, no adjusting, no making this one my own. It just wouldn’t be the same if I did.

To be honest, I’ve been avoiding sharing this recipe because it’s so near and dear to my heart. Its sounds silly, doesn’t it? It’s just a recipe. But this one more than any others in my repertoire reminds me of my mom.

Keep reading!

Scotch, Sugar + Beer

Scotch, Sugar + Beer - offbeat + inspired

We love learning. It’s why we started blogging. I wanted to make my own soap, which led to late nights on Google, sit-ins at the Barnes & Noble Starbucks with a latte and piles of soapmaking books, and a whole lot of recipe testing until I finally achieved my first successful batch. Once I had it down, the first thing I wanted to do was share what I learned. All of our recipes, DIYs and styling posts are examples of this learning/sharing merry-go-round. We’re not content to broaden our own horizons and leave it at that. We want to help you broaden yours, and be inspired by you to broaden ours even more.

Keep reading!

Adventuring | Tucson, Arizona

I’ve always lived in the northern half of the country, either Illinois or New Jersey, but I absolutely love traveling. Last week my work took me to the Tucson area and my team’s schedule allowed for a bit of site-seeing.

First on the agenda was a hike through the Sonoran Desert. Compared to the fall foliage of Illinois, the desert initially appeared monotone and bare - but I couldn’t have been more wrong. As we soaked in the views of the mountains and studied the cacti, rocks, plants and animals, the colors came alive.

Keep reading!

Watching Them Dance

This past week I had the opportunity to share a snapshot of my parents’ story over at Hearth Magazine. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Hearth’s commitment to storytelling and I’m thankful for the stories my parents have enabled me to tell.

“He picked her up, gently supporting her back with his arm as he balanced them, leading a slow, intentional dance. It was their routine. They were amateur dancers but had danced together as husband and wife for nearly 48 years. Now the dance was different – it was simple but precarious, beautiful though inelegant.”

Read more at Hearth Magazine…

Adventuring | Hiking in Colorado

Flourishing Mountains - offbeat + inspired

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had the chance to visit Colorado for an incredible vacation. Our mornings consisted of sleeping late, drinking coffee and reading books on our hotel deck.

Keep reading!

Adventuring | Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY

Adventuring | Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY - offbeat + inspired

There are so many reasons I love Kentucky, but the biggest one is probably the fact that we’re a stone’s throw away from some of the most beautiful exploring destinations I’ve ever seen. This alone makes it impossible for us to waste a weekend sitting around claiming that there’s nothing to do.

Keep reading!

Adventuring | A Walk On The Beach

Beach 3

There’s something intensely beautiful to me about the ocean. The vastness, the power, the unknown that exists in the midst of those waves - if anything it reminds me how small and frail I am. With one crash, a wave can take me down. Yet there’s incredible beauty and magnificence in that ocean. There’s beauty in something that’s far bigger than me.

Keep reading!

Hiking For Pizza at Miguel’s

Hiking for Pizza at Miguel's - offbeat + inspired

My family (the Jersey crew) has been in town this past week, and showing them around our still new hometown of Lexington, KY has been a lot of fun. I’ve got a few posts about the visit lined up, but first I’d like to share about a wildly successful day trip we took. It involves pizza.

Keep reading!