Guest Post: November Printables

I have always loved Thanksgiving. In elementary school, I preferred Thanksgiving over Christmas, which always surprised my Christmas-obsessed friends. Now I love Christmas as much as the next person, but there is just something about Thanksgiving and its farewell to fall and pumpkins coupled with carols and anticipation for Christmas. 

Today I'm introducing the last in a series of prints designed by my friend and Hand Lettering Artist Jill Roy. I feel so blessed to be spending this Thanksgiving at my parent's home in Connecticut and love that this final graphic is all about being thankful. 

Hand Lettering Artist Jill Roy creates beautiful prints for her business called Sharpie Therapy. For custom prints, email her. Check out her website and Instagram (she posts the coolest pictures!). 

Gift & Gather - A Holiday Maker's Market and Supper

On a warm day in August, Tiffanni of Domicile Magazine and I met up at Paul Bakery and chatted about her vision for hosting a holiday maker's market and supper in late November. Her goal was to encourage people to shop locally for Christmas and create a space for people to get to know the makers in their community. When we talked, the holidays seemed soooo far away but we crafted a (partial) plan and agreed to keep in touch. Over the past couple of months, this dream of Tiffanni's has literally sprung to life before our eyes. I've had the privilege of working with Jess of MAKE TRIBE and, of course, Tiffanni of Domicile Magazine to create Gift & Gather. On November 30th, you'll get to see what's been brewing behind the scenes for the past couple of months. Our event is at The Loft at 600 F, which is my favorite DC venue and home to The Gathering Project

This highly curated winter event will feature a market where makers from around the region will showcase home and design products, artisanal foods, handmade goods and local fashion. Your $10 market ticket also includes sips and snacks from some of our favorite DC vendors. In addition to shopping locally, starting at 5pm, you can enjoy a locally sourced family-style supper, where you'll meet makers and local small-business owners alike. Market tickets are on sale and dinner tickets go on sale this weekend.

Photos credit to Jen Trovato. Find more of her work on Instagram

Guest Post: November Printables

Holiday season is upon us and our calendar is almost completely full with dinner parties, events, and family get-togethers. In the midst of our crazy schedules, sometimes it's easy to forget why we're doing all of this in the first place. Jill's graphic for the week is a timely reminder to stop and give thanks for what we have been given. I think I might need to hang this in a prominent spot in my house. 

Hand Lettering Artist Jill Roy creates beautiful prints for her business called Sharpie Therapy. For custom prints, email her. Check out her website and Instagram (she posts the coolest pictures!). Check back here each Monday in November to collect all the prints she designed for my blog!

Guest Post: November Printables

Can you believe it's already November? Over the weekend Ryan and I bundled up and headed into Washington D.C. and were delighted to find that the city has already welcomed Christmas. In Pentagon Row, the trees are decorated with dozens of illuminated snowflakes, an ice skating rink has appeared, and there's a blazing fire for shoppers to take advantage of in between stores. Hot cocoa is quickly becoming my drink of choice and I'm beginning to hear Christmas carols. I even saw wreaths and garlands in the Pentagon City Mall.

In spite of my excitement for the Christmas season, fall isn't over yet and I intend to soak up every last moment of my favorite season. Over the next three weeks, I will be releasing a series of fall and Thanksgiving themed prints from my friend and Hand Lettering Artist Jill Roy. 

Jill creates beautiful prints for her business called Sharpie Therapy. For custom prints, email her. Check out her website and Instagram (she posts the coolest pictures!). Check back here each Monday in November to collect all the prints she designed for my blog!

City Guide: Charlottesville, Virginia

Travel, to me, is thrilling. For a few days I can call a foreign city home, fill my belly with new and exciting foods, and experience the energy pulsing through each place. Although I will happily visit any city, some places stand out by leaving an impression that lasts months (or even years) after the trip is completed. It is to these places I return over and over in my mind, all while mentally planning my next trip there. Charlottesville is one of those cities that contains something a little extra ordinary. 

If you've never been to Charlottesville, picture the rich culture of a sprawling metropolis coupled with small town charm. Home to award-winning chefs, UNESCO World Heritage sites, and UVA students, this city has everything. And as one of my favorite places on earth, I am ridiculously excited to share it with you! 

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Eat:

Charlottesville is earning a name for itself as a foodie town. With an emphasis on locally sourced and seasonal food, it's no wonder its chefs are making their mark in the food world. Spend a weekend noshing your way through Charlottesville, and you'll quickly see why Southern Living listed it as one of the Top Ten Tastiest Towns in the South.

The Ivy Inn Restaurant - This is our favorite place in Charlottesville, perhaps because of its sentimentality. After our wedding, this was the first dinner we had as a married couple, and the restaurant celebrated with us by providing complimentary flutes of champagne and lots of well wishes. The food, however, can perhaps be characterized best by the fact that Chef and Owner Angelo Vangelopoulos was just nominated for an award from the James Beard Foundation. A trip to Charlottesville would not be complete without a stop at the Ivy Inn! 

Petit Pois - This French Bistro located on the downtown mall makes a great lunch stop! With food sourced from nearby farms, friendly staff, and great prices, make sure to give this place a try the next time you're in Charlottesville. Also they offer escargots and their menu is partially in French, so if you're really in the mood for a little bit of France, this is your place. 

Hamiltons' at First & Main - We were first attracted to this place because of the outdoor seating on the downtown mall and the cobalt blue water glasses on the table. Then when this place was recommended to us by multiple people, we really knew we had to give it a try. This contemporary American cuisine offers brunch, lunch, and dinner. 

Carpe Donut - Some places stretch themselves so thin by offering dozens of dishes, and as a result, nothing is really done well. Carpe Donut makes one thing - apple cider doughnuts - and they know how to do it really, really well. They're filling a niche in the doughnut world by providing organic doughnuts - everything from their flour to their eggs to the apple cider is organic. While apple cider might be their only doughnut, they also offer mulled hot cider, coffee, and Italian style hot chocolate. If you love their doughnuts (which, inevitably, you will), it may interest you to know that they have a food truck and make appearances at weddings.

Bodo's Bagels - This is a legendary bagelry. If you don't stop on your trip to Charlottesville, you don't know what you're missing. This place gives other bagels a run for their money (these are the tastiest bagels I have ever had!). There are three locations in Charlottesville. Put this at the top of your list!

Michie Tavern - Don't be fooled by the spelling of the name. Michie is pronounced "Mickey," like the mouse (if you can nail down the pronunciation, you might pass for a local!). Neighboring Monticello, this 1784 tavern served 18th century travelers with food, drinks, lodging, and serves visitors today with Southern hospitality. For $17.50, enjoy a Southern buffet of fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, stewed tomatoes, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and green beans. Do not miss out on ordering the peach cobbler for dessert. It was the best thing we were served at the tavern, and is worth going back just for the cobbler alone. Note: This is a popular destination for tourists and is only open for lunch, so plan on waiting in line awhile before you're seated. We waited outside for over an hour before getting a table - but for us, the experience was well worth it!

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards - Although this is Charlottesville's newest winery, it's developed a reputation for itself as a premiere event venue. Brides.com listed it as one of the 50 most romantic venues in the U.S. In addition to what is possibly the most incredible view in Charlottesville, their tasting offers eight wines (four red, four white) and tasty food plated on slabs of wood and slate. If you go on a weekend, expect to be fighting crowds!

Do:

Charlottesville is perhaps best known for the University of Virginia and Monticello, but as a city bathed in history, culture, and wine, there really is something for everyone. Both UVA and Monticello are UNESCO World Heritage sites, with Monticello being the only private residence to make the UNESCO list. 

Monticello - There's not much I can say about Monticello besides this: If you haven't visited yet, do it. Thomas Jefferson was far ahead of his time, and his forward-thinking is reflected in his beautiful home, decor, and gardens. The visitor center and grounds are pretty spectacular too. You'll want to designate an afternoon in order to fully take advantage of everything Monticello has to offer.  

Ash Lawn-Highland - Although Thomas Jefferson gets all the buzz in Charlottesville, there are plenty of other attractions that are just as worthwhile, like Jefferson's neighbor James Monroe's home. Unlike Monticello, don't expect a jaw-dropping experience, but rather anticipate a cozy three-room house brimming with stories about the large role Monroe played in American history. 

Michie Tavern - Also neighboring Monticello is the Michie Tavern, a Virginia historic landmark which served as the social center of 18th century Charlottesville. If you choose to grab lunch at the southern buffet, take advantage of the discounted $3.00 tickets of the old historic tavern. This self guided tour takes you through the tavern established by Scotsman Wiliam Michie (a docent is also available to answer questions and talk about the history of the tavern). I definitely recommend touring the tavern as it gives a great depiction of Colonial life. While you're at Michie, be sure to visit the The Metal Smith Shop, The Game and Toy Merchant, and the General Store (situated in the Meadow Run Grist Mill from 1797). If you visit on a weekend, be sure to stop by the General Store at the Mill for complimentary wine, beer, and cider tasting! Note: If you plan on visiting Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland, and the Michie Tavern, consider purchasing the Monticello Neighborhood pass, which gives you access to all three for one day for $40.00 (a $4.00 savings). The pass includes the standard tour of Monticello, Ash Lawn-Highland, and the self guided tour of Michie. 

Downtown Mall - After Monticello and UVA, Charlottesville might be best known for its historic downtown mall. With fifty restaurants and boutiques, antique shops, and used book stores, this pedestrian walking mall will be one of the highlights of your time in Charlottesville. My favorite store is Rock Paper Scissors, a paper goods shop. It would be too easy for me to spend hundreds of dollars in that shop and outfit myself with five years worth of unique greeting cards and gift wrap. While you're at the mall catch a show or a movie at one of the theaters. 

City Market - If you're in Charlottesville over the weekend, make sure to spend your Saturday at the City Market. This is the best farmer's market I've encountered in the entire state of Virginia. Open from April to December, the sprawling market is filled with live music, local produce, and lots of free samples. But perhaps the best thing you could do for yourself is this: brave the line and visit the Mexican taco stand for lunch. You will encounter authentic and ridiculously tasty Mexican street food. 

Have you spent time in Charlottesville? I'd love to hear what your favorite places are!