From East to West

When it rains, it pours. As soon as my personal summer trips were planned, suddenly a work/fun trip to Seattle was added to my summer itinerary, making my head spin. But without boarding Tilly to worry about, I packed my suitcase, downloaded new podcasts, and lived up every minute of my summer travel. June through July I was a country-hopping machine, traveling across DC, Milwaukee, Emerald Isle, and finally Seattle, WA for work.

EAST COAST

Emerald Isle, NC

A few days on the beach in Emerald Isle, NC was  just the relaxing summer getaway I needed. Sam’s family graciously included me on their annual vacation, I was delighted to be back with my toes in the sand.

sam barker tanning

The weather was perfect for sunbathing, I went from pale to “lobster red” on my first day there. The family continued my favorite beach-meal ritual: a low country boil with fresh seafood and served on newspaper. It’s the perfect communal meal for all of the beach house guests to pick at and has something for everyone’s tastes.

emerald isle nc low country seafood boil

After a few days living it up at the beach, I hit the road in order to make a bright and early flight out of DCA early the next morning.

airplane view of west coast

 

WEST COAST

Seattle, WA

Although I was officially born a West Coast baby, I grew up all over the East Coast and in the Midwest. I was beyond excited for an excuse to visit the Pacific Northwest for the first time, thanks to a work conference. Before I went, the folks in Seattle were hard for me to wrap my brain around. I didn’t understand local culture, which seemed more of a Canadian/Alaskan hybrid than anything I knew from my time in Wisconsin, Texas, or DC.

seattle sounders soccer stadium view

Fresh off the plane, we hit up the International District for some phenomenal sushi then walked to CenturyLink Field to watch the Seattle Sounders take on the rival Portland Timbers. Compared to the DC United games I’ve attended, the soccer match was on a whole other level. The crowd of 64,000 were the most spirited and coordinated fans I’ve ever seen, which is a whole lot coming from a SEC Alum.

Seattle lived up to its reputation as a foodie-town. I fell in love with the crab cakes & oysters at Elliott’s Oyster House, right on the water in tourist central. Sorry Maryland, but Seattle won the official “Best Crab Cake of Morgan’s Life” award. Determined to get a bite of every must-taste dish, Anna & I embarked on a food crawl of Pike Place Market. You name it, we tried it: seafood at Jack’s Fish Spot, Three Girls Bakery desserts, Starbucks, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese,

As Starbucks HQ, Seattle is also a coffee town. As tourists who wanted to look like locals, we made the mandatory pilgrimage to Starbuck’s original store from 1971, and waited in a line around the block just to order a Venti Iced Tea. As a proud Starbucks Gold Card member it pains me to say this, but next time we will skip the line and focus on local shops, like Voxx Coffee, a retro and delicious little shop.

pike place gum wall seattle

After the work portion of the trip was over we had a few days to actually see the city. Pike Place Market, despite being extremely dirty and crowded, was wonderful. The famous Gum Wall was bizarre yet beautiful, and not surprisingly minty fresh. A guided boat ride around the harbor was the perfect way to learn about the city and get our bearings on day 1.

A trip to Seattle is not complete without visiting the top of the Space Needle, similar to visitors flocking to the National Mall in DC. The quick ride to the top made for a great view of the neighborhoods, Lake Union, downtown, and the water. Off in the distance you could see 2 giant cruises preparing for trips to Alaska, momentarily tempting me to play hooky and hop aboard. It was crazy to think that just over the mountain range was the Pacific Ocean, Canada, and eventually Alaska.

space needle views seattle wa

After several days downtown, we followed the local’s advice and headed for some nearby neighborhoods. Visiting the nightlife of Capitol Hill was a real hit with the group. The different restaurants and bars were fun to see. Even further out, Fremont, was both quaint and hipster all at once, reminding me of my college town.

troll under fremont wa bridge

We stopped to say hi to the Fremont Troll, then planned on walking to Gas Works Park. But when you’re trying to kill time before your midnight flight and stumble upon Fremont Brewing’s inviting beer garden, you make a detour. Forget the flight of house brewed beers – people watching the techies enjoying post-work brews is worth it alone. The brewery’s outdoor garden was so charming, if they shipped this place to DC, I’d be a regular.

beer flight fremont brewery fremont wa

Gas Works Park, located past an industrial park near Fremont, is a real hidden gem. The panoramic view from atop the hill includes Fremont, Seattle’s skyline with the Space Needle, Lake Union, and a rusty gasification plant, the park’s unique identifying feature.

 

gasworks park seattle wa

seattle gasworks park city view

Watching the sunset over Seattle as seaplanes landed on Lake Union was the most postcard-worthy way to end our trip before taking the redeye home. As happy as I was to return back to DC life, I loved my time in Seattle and look forward to my next trip out West.

Obsessed: Lulie Wallace Floral Paintings

To me, Pinterest is a little messenger from the heavens, playing the role of Cupid for all of my inspiration needs. While searching for art project ideas on Pinterest last week, I stumbled upon a colorful painting of a floral arrangement that popped off the page. The heavens opened above, harps were playing, and I was lead down the Pinterest rabbit hole to Lulie Wallace’s website.

pinterest art inspiration

Based out of Charleston, South Carolina (a girl after my own heart,) Lulie paints fun floral arrangements and landscapes with vivid colors and mixed prints. I was immediately smitten with all of her paintings. You may even recognize some of her famous floral designs, currently gracing the Anthropologie shelves.

lulie wallace logo

Above are a few of my favorite pieces currently available on her website. I cannot wait to make my first purchase and add one of her floral paintings to my collection! To learn more about Lulie and her work for yourself, be sure to visit her website.

Bittersweet Trip Home to Wisconsin

I hadn’t seen my family since the holidays, so a quick summer trip to Milwaukee would have normally been a cause for celebration. But last week’s last minute trip wasn’t all fun and games.  Sadly, due to nonstop complaints from elderly neighbors (including 1 dramatic call to the cops) and threatening emails from the landlord about Tilly’s barking, I was out of options. You named it, I tried it. I was pulling my hair out trying to find a solution.

flying with your small dog

Unfortunately I was forced to make the decision to remove Tilly temporarily from our small and empty apartment in hopes that we could straighten out her separation anxiety. With my pup in tow, I flew home to Wisconsin to drop Tilly off for a tough love “boot camp” summer of dog training with my family. But as the Reid family will teach you, even when a trip has a sad purpose, you can still have the best time.
summer vacation mequon wi
I made it home in time to watch Camryn graduate middle school, meet baby Emerald (so tiny & adorable!), play a few rounds of badminton in the backyard, teach Camryn a driving lesson on 3-point turns, and spend a winery day with Mom in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. I was so happy to be home.

sturgeon bay wi ziplining

We even managed to squeeze in a quick day trip to Door County, Wisconsin for Father’s Day. The family was brave and all went went zip lining in nearby Sturgeon Bay, flying over pastures of farm land and cows.  Total Wisconsin experience for sure. I can check that one off the bucket list now!

lake michigan beach

 

Door County was beautiful in the sunny weather and the water is deep green, tempting you to bravely stick your toes in, despite the chilly weather. The rocky beaches were perfect for climbing and exploring for miles. Once it warms up this summer, I can picture my family making another trip back for more quality beach time. When you live that far north, you have to soak up as much Vitamin D as you can get your hands on.

 

separation anxiety small dog

All in all, I  know Tilly is in great hands. I’m so thankful for family (as far away as they may live) that has my back. And I’m already counting down the days until I can reunite with my (well-behaved) puppy later this summer.

Folly Beach Trip – Photo Diary

It’s become quite the annual tradition. Each Memorial Day, a small group of college friends gather upon Charleston, South Carolina for a long weekend reunion filled with sun, sand, fruity drinks, and pups. It’s a long 8 hour drive from DC, but this South Carolina grad is always happy to be back in the land of sweat tea and “yes mam.”

This Memorial Day we rented a dusty pink beach house in Folly Beach, SC, just steps from the sand. Despite the beach being covered with tourists and construction equipment all weekend, we still managed to spend the majority of the trip floating in the waves or sprawled out on beach towels, slathered head to toe in SPF. We spent a day in downtown Charleston, enjoying the best rooftop happy hour and fresh seafood for dinner. From kayaking among dolphins to feasting upon low country boil, I was in pure heaven. The trip is the perfect combination of naps on the beach relaxation and Cards Against Humanity fun.

After a perfect 2014 Memorial Day reunion weekend, I’m already counting down the days for next year’s trip.

Winery Weekend Getaway = Best Birthdays Ever

The great birthday riddle is solved. 2 wineries + 9 friends + 1 charming old farm house adds up to the recipe for a perfect birthday weekend getaway. After much anticipation and hype, I’m happy to report that the double birthday weekend of celebrations went off without a hitch! 25 is here and treating me well so far.

old farm house for vacation rental scottsville weekend getaway relaxing weekend trip from dc pet friendly house rentals charlottesville, va

It is difficult to fathom another birthday celebration for myself and Sam that will hold such a perfect combination of entertainment and relaxation at once. The historic farm house from the 1700s provided a much-needed off the grid retreat for the long weekend. birthday boy celebrating 25 birthday trip to wine country group trip to charlottesville wineries birthday friends charlottesville winery weekend birthday bumpy van selfie

While Saturday was spent tasting the fine wines at Blenheim and Trump Wineries, the rest of the weekend was spent playing cards in our yoga pants, playing corn hole, grilling large amounts of meat, and exploring the massive plot of land.  charlottesville wine couples weekend girls trip to charlottesville wineries birthday trip to blenheim vineyards group getaway trip to trump vineyards fun weekend getaway from dc tarot card reading at birthday old peddlers house birthday celebrations scottsville va happy birthday morgan reid 25th birthday weekend trips group house rentals charlottesville, virginia tilly reid celebrating birthday boy hat

 

My thanks goes out to my dear friends who made this trip so lovely and turned a blind eye to a *ahem* goofy Morgan. Wine tastings and a birthday can do that to a girl. Sam and I are beyond grateful that our favorite people ventured outside the comforts of city life and trusted our horrible directions when it directed them down frightening and dark dirt roads. We wouldn’t have changed a thing… well, except for the 9×13 pan, filled to the brim with freshly cooked taco meat that spilled on the floor (RIP), covering Tilly’s forehead with orange taco grease…. but that’s a story for another day.

Cheers to 25!

Prints for When You Need a Swift Kick in the Butt

 

Some days you need a little kick in the butt inspiration-wise. Luckily for my cork board, Etsy has the cutest selection of illustrated and inspirational prints and posters.

cork board art prints to cheer you up

if you want to be happy, be

inspiring typography illustrations

good vibes only

inspiring etsy art print

three things in human life are important. the first is to be kind. the second is to be kind. and the third is to be kind.

illustration print etsy

creativity is intelligence having fun

corkboard illustration art

we are here to go all in

typography illustration quotesdon’t sweat the small stuff

Do you have a favorite quote? Help me choose one for my desk by voting for your favorite design below:

Obsessed: jelly nail polish

Not to get all #TBT on you, but this post is for my fellow girls of the 90s. Who remembers the mega cute and oh-so comfortable plastic jelly sandals? From play dates to picnics, I rocked those favorite shoes of mine all summer long.

It has been 20 years since I last sported those beloved jelly sandals, but my heart still fondly remembers my favorite fashion moment from my childhood. Unfortunately as an old lady / working girl, jelly sandals don’t fly these days.

jelly shoes tbt

So imagine my excitement when I discovered I can now rock the same colorful and bright jelly look on my nails. Sally Hansen’s new Triple Shine collection includes 6 summer-ready polishes in the same glossy and colorful shades as my beloved jelly sandals. The translucent polishes let your natural nail shine through while still providing a punch of fruity-color. I am currently wearing the Vitamin D-Light shade, which is the perfect citrusy grapefruit shade for spring (orange polish at bottom right.)

sally hansen jelly nail polish colors

For a couple of bucks at the drugstore, you too can recreate your favorite childhood fashion statements… talk about nostalgia on a budget.