barista steaming coffee while a coffee shop playlist plays in the background

Mix Tape #2: Coffee Shop Tunes

Ever so often, I walk into a coffee shop and think, “Man! Wouldn’t it be cool to work here?” And sometimes, all I mean is wouldn’t it be cool to trade my fluorescent-lit office for the warm, naturally lit, indie-music-playing buzz of my favorite coffee shop? To sit in a little wooden booth wearing whatever I’m feeling at the time—perhaps jeans and a black-and-white flannel button-down like the girl I saw this morning—and tap my fingers on my laptop while coffee grinds and milk steams in the background?

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Morning Coffee (Or What You Should Read This Week)

Few things brighten my day like a steamy cup of coffee and inspirational, thought-provoking reads in the morning. It’s a ritual that I daresay I’ll keep until the day I die, whether I’m curled up on my couch with a book, devouring the Sunday New York Times on a plane, or catching up on my favorite blogs amidst the buzz of my favorite coffee shop.

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get in the best shape of your life

The Best Workouts for Getting in the Best Shape of Your Life

As a former athlete, I have been exercising and working out for nearly two-thirds of my life. Read: I’ve pretty much done it all. I’ve lifted weights, attended exercise classes, run a half-marathon, done high-intensity interval training, swum laps…the list goes on. Two workouts stand head and shoulders above the rest. Do these, and you’ll be on your way to getting in the best shape of your life.

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host a dinner party on a budget

Hostess Essentials: Host a Dinner Party on a Budget of $150

I absolutely love dinner parties. Stories and laughter over wine. Bellies full of homemade meals and hearty company.

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Hiking Mount Cheaha, Alabama’s Highest Point

“Are you ready?”

My dad obviously didn’t think so. But in all fairness, I couldn’t blame him. We hadn’t hiked in over a year, and we were about to tackle one of the most difficult trails in the southernmost Appalachians. One that dropped more than a thousand feet in the first half a mile. My mom (smart woman, it turns out) decided not to join us. Continue reading

people running on a bridge

How to Make Exercise a Habit: 10 Tips for Staying Motivated to Work Out

Making time for exercise is hard.

If you’re like me, much of your day is already spoken for. You work 9-to-5 (or some other shift that takes up an entire third of your day), and you somehow manage to eat/sleep/spend time with family/shop for groceries/manage your finances/clean your house/take care of pets/whoknowswhatelse during the precious time that you have left.

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woman driving in vintage car with the windows rolled down

Mix Tape #1: 70s Summer Playlist

I know that podcasts are the hip new thing, but I have to admit: I just can’t seem to get into them.

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Snapshots from Boulder, Colorado

Nothing beats Colorado in October.

We flew to Denver on Thursday, visited friends in Boulder, and flew back South on Sunday. The weather was perfect—a comfortable 60 degrees in the afternoon, a crisp 40 in the morning, and sunny most of the weekend.

While in Colorado, we admired the Rockies from a distance, and we hiked Boulder’s Flatirons, large rock formations at the edge of the city. The views were absolutely stunning, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Happy Friday!

Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
University of Colorado at Boulder
Maple in Boulder

The Bright Light Social Hour

Band Interview: The Bright Light Social Hour

I first learned about The Bright Light Social Hour a few weeks ago when the Austin-based band was featured on The Huffington Post. Intrigued by their music’s focus on millennials, the South, and social justice, I jumped at the chance to interview them. Despite busy schedules and 700 miles between us, band member Jack O’Brien and I spent an afternoon discussing, over the phone, the band’s recent tour of North America and what came out of it—a powerful sophomore album about struggle, but also dreams and looking ahead. I hope you enjoy, and continue, the conversation.

…read the rest at Literally, Darling.


Weekend at the Farm

Have you ever felt like you were in a book? I have, once, a few Saturdays ago.

Farmhouse Kitchen

We drove about two hours outside of town to our friends’ farmhouse, and although we’ve been there dozens of times, something about this time was different. I felt like I was being guided, almost pulled, by some crafty writer who kept making grasshoppers chirp and laughter bellow and who just couldn’t keep from  jumping and pointing and saying, “Did you know that a place like this could exist? Look! It does! Let me show you.”

Farmhouse Table

I started noticing it that night when I fell asleep to the smell of vanilla, wrapped in fleece and hand-sewn blankets in a room bound by wood and family heirlooms. Sunday morning, it felt like my writer was pleading, “Look! Look at the sunshine streaming through the windows! Look how it makes everything glow! Forget the vanilla. Smell the coffee, the leftover smoke of late-night cigars! Listen to the bacon hit the cast-iron and sizzle!”

Liquor Cabinet

It continued through breakfast. We gathered around the table and drank coffee, black, over 1920s jazz. We ate potatoes fried in bacon grease; cheddar melted over grits; and avocado, bacon, and egg atop toasted sourdough.

Pouring Coffee

I tell you, the farm really is like a house you find in books, the ones that most people dream about but wouldn’t know how to live in even if they had the chance. Our friends, however, have perfected the art, and they make a weekend in the country everything it should be. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be cold enough next time to light the stove.


(And, because I’m sure all that talk about bacon made you hungry, here’s  a recipe. It’s especially great served with hash browns, cheese grits, and fresh bananas.)

Avocado, Bacon, and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Avocado, Bacon, and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 sourdough buns, cut in half
  • 4 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast sourdough halves 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp and brown.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with cold water and eggs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 3-4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, drain, and soak eggs in cold water and ice. Once cool, remove eggshells and slice eggs.
  4. Layer sourdough halves, spicy brown mustard, avocado slices, egg slices, and bacon.