Cupcakes and Sunshine: 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sweet Travels: Athens, Georgia- Ten Things to Do in Athens


Athens, Georgia has so many gems- hidden and not-so-hidden that have made living in this city for the past four years absolutely unforgettable.

I feel like I have really let life get in the way of having a good time and soaking up as much of Athens as I can before I graduate. I'm not going to let that happen anymore!! (Hold me accountable and let's go do some Athens-y things, okay!?) This town holds many stories, the people who have shaped me to be who I am today, and will always hold a special place in my heart. Here are some things you MUST eat, see and do while in Athens, Georgia!



Favorite Hot Spots and Coffee Shops: 

Ike and Jane:


Ike and Jane, I love you. A lot. Thanks for the countless donuts and peanut butter brownies. And for the promise of getting me through finals week. (And for being one of my first blog posts. Haha!)

Jittery Joe's:


Jittery Joe's is Athens very own coffee shop and my go-to meeting place. always. Their Chai Tea Lattes are the best. And of course, you can't go wrong with Jitt Joe's coffee! You can often find me here on a Saturday morning. (or like...everyday. for real)

Hendershots:
Sometimes, I feel Hendershots is way too cool. Like really cool. You know those cool people who sit and sip their coffee and you think...whoah, am I cool enough to be here? One of my good friends, EmilyAnn had a DATE AUCTION here to raise money for her World Race trip a few weeks ago and it was so fun. It's cool. You're cool. So you need to stop by Hendershots when in Athens.

Local Shops: 
Avid Bookshop- perhaps the cutest local book shop EVER. So many fun books and a great place for purchasing gifts. I may have to head that way for some Christmas shopping this year!


Daily Co-op:
http://www.cupcakesandsunshine.com/2014/08/exploring-athens-georgia.html


LOVE this place. So many unique foods and prepared lunches. It's conveniently located near the bookshop^ So hey! Stop for lunch, stay for a good read.

Umano:

Umano is an Athens-born tshirt company that is rocking the world in the best of ways. It has an incredible mission (AND a coffee collab with Jitt Joe's.) You have to check it out!


Local Eats: 
Independent Baking Co.
http://www.cupcakesandsunshine.com/2013/12/independent-baking-co.html

^fresh baked everything. Do I even need to say more?! The whole 5-points area where the bakery is located smells like freshly baked bread and I'm not sad about it. Nope.

Mama's Boy: THE number one breakfast place in Athens. Best of luck finding parking because EVERYONE loves it. and for good reasons too! JUST LOOK AT THIS BISCUIT:



Ideal Bagel:

So ideal. Best bagels. Great atmosphere.

5&10: FAVORITE FAVORITE FAVORITE. Best dining experience in Athens. Incredible meal. You have to go here. I have to go here. Again. Not for those on a college budget, but it's worth eating Ramen noodles and pb&js for a week straight to save up and visit!


Cali N' Titos: There are now two locations in Athens and sometimes I just go for the PLANTAINS. Awesome atmosphere for lunch or dinner. LOVE their outdoor patio and a great place to be on a sunny day!

Big City Bread: Big City Bread, I love your brunch. I love your lunch. You are all kinds of wonderful.


If you are in the area and looking for the best sandwich ever, Big City Bread is your place!! You can even take home a fresh loaf of bread (or two) and lots of baked goods as snacks for the ride home. (I don't know this from experience or anything...)

Things to Do:
Run on Milledge: Running on Milledge is just something you do in Athens if you are looking for a place to be active. But beware of Independent Baking Co. as you're jogging along because it will get ya, friends. #willrunforalltheloavesofbread


Attend a football game: Ahhhh, can you really say you've visited Athens, GA without attending a football game?! Nope, ya can't. Put this one on your list. Thankful for all the memories at Sanford Stadium. #dawgs



Athens Farmer's Market:


LOVE the Farmer's market. Fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables. (& baked goods. can't forget the baked goods)

LOVE this town and all it has to offer! Have you visited Athens? Would love to get some feedback on some of your favorite places to go, do, see and eat! Want to save these suggestions for later? Pin this image below for some ideas:


Want to see some more Sweet Travel's guides? Click below:
Dallas, Texas:
http://www.cupcakesandsunshine.com/2015/11/sweet-travels-dallas-travel-guide.html


Greenville, South Carolina:
http://www.cupcakesandsunshine.com/2015/11/sweet-travels-downtown-greenville-sc.html



Happy Thursday and Sweet Travels, friends!





Monday, November 30, 2015

Sweet Travels: Downtown Greenville, SC Travel Guide- Things to Do in Greenville


Happy, happy Monday! These next few weeks are going to be a bit crazy as school is winding down (AMEN) and so I'm going to be putting together some travel guides for the places I've traveled and some of my very favorite places to visit to keep my mind off of all the endless school to-do's until then. (...in addition to countless cheesy Christmas movies on Netflix, lots of coffee, and chocolate. lots of chocolate)

Last week, we were in Dallas, Texas and this past week, I was in Greenville, SC. Greenville is one of my very favorite cities. It isn't very far from home, so I retreat there sometimes when I need some time to shop and eat and walk and explore.


I actually did a LOT of Black Friday shopping in Greenville this past week. And I still don't know if that was a good or bad idea. (my heart said yes...my wallet said no) HOWEVER, I now I have some cute new booties, scarves, and candles. Winter necessities, ya know?

Shopping: In downtown Greenville, there are so many fun places to shop. In addition to unique boutiques and art galleries, there's Anthropologie...


...which somehow I always end up wandering into and getting lost in. It's not unique to Greenville. But props to you if you can walk by Anthropologie without walking in. 

The Mast General Store has become a Greenville tradition. It has just about everything you can think of- coats, jackets, t-shirts, hiking/camping items, books, cooking mixes, shoes. And the best part? Head to the very back and you will find an old-time candy shop where you can buy any and all types of candy by the pound. (favorite part) We always end up with a few bags of sweets. Always. 

Food: 


WOW....I can't say enough about the great restaurants in Greenville. Tupelo Honey is one of my favorite restaurants. I think any place that brings out hot, homemade biscuits before you even order is automatically a winner.


Roost Restaurant, High Cotton and Smoke on the Water are other great restaurants on my list. 

You must, must visit Chocolate Moose downtown: 


They have THE best cupcakes that they bake fresh each day. 


I try a new cupcake every time. 

Coffee:

Lots of good coffee shops here too. Most of them play live music or have fun events each week.


Sometimes, I'll stop by downtown Greenville (or Whole Foods ten minutes away) and just work on homework and grab a latte. Studying is no fun, but if you gotta do it, you might as well do it in Greenville!

Fun: 


Throughout Main Street, bronze mice are hidden downtown for finding. If you stop by the Mast General Store, you can pick up the sweetest children's book with clues on where to find the mice. It's a fun tradition and we still get really excited when we spot a mouse or two. This is a great activity for kids!

Reedy River: 


The Reedy River passes through downtown, and after all that shopping (& eating), you can stroll along the river. It is actually a really fun place to go for a run downtown.

Greenville is a great city with many things to see and do! Have you visited Greenville, SC? If so, comment below with some of your favorite things to do! (Always down for suggestions!) Haven't visited before?
Pin this pin to save for later:


Sweet Travels and happy Monday Friends!




Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sweet Travels: Dallas Travel Guide, Things to Do in Dallas



And we made it to Dallas! And I love this city so much.We flew into Dallas-Fort Worth airport for a weekend in Dallas and stayed at Hotel Indigo (great place to stay in the city if you are on a budget-see below!), right near the city-center. The weather has been LOVELY for most of our trip but was a bit chilly on our final day. 


***On a side note, why can't I major in traveling and minor in airport food navigation and expertise? 


In Dallas: 

Food You MUST Eat:


Twisted Root Burger Co: This is a very casual and fun place to dine and I think it was a great first-night meal. The burgers were awesome. and the employees were so funny. When you place your order, they give you a card with an actor/actresses name on it and then act it out when it's time to come and grab your burgers off of the counter. I ordered a guacamole turkey burger and it was the bomb.  



Mesomaya: This was BY FAR my FAVORITE restaurant we visited. 


Great service, great food, great atmosphere. I can't say enough about it. Put this one on your list!! We sat on their outside patio and it was beautiful out! 

When we arrived, we were asked if this was our first time dining. The chef brought out their handmade corn tortillas filled with guacamole and told us they bring them to all first time guests. Absolutely incredible. The fluffiest of corn tortillas. Now I'm spoiled and don't know if I can enjoy any other corn tortillas again. 


I ordered the "Lonche Special" which came with lime tortilla soup, a chicken taco, rice and beans. Y'all. So good. 

Stupid Good Coffee: This coffee shop was located in the offices right above our hotel and it was great! 

The coffee was good and the employees told us all the places we needed to visit and see in Dallas. 


And then we just walked right back to our hotel room and enjoyed it there. (only problem- it's not open on Saturdays!) 


Oddfellows: In all honesty, Oddfellows in the Bishop Arts District was a bit ehhhh. It was alright, but very busy and the food was so-so. I ordered the Huevos Rancheros. However, the Bishop Arts District is a place you NEED to visit. See down below :)  


AHHH I WANTED TO SPEND ALL MY MONEY HERE^^^ AND BUY THE ENTIRE STORE. Really I did. Gourmet chocolates, chocolate sauces, chocolate spreads, chocolate bark. Couldn't get over it. I wanted it all.  

Sites You MUST See- We stayed in the city and there were many little parks and fun things to do there and in surrounding areas:

Bishop Arts District: 


Loved this area of Dallas! Probably one of my favorites stops. 


This area is full of fun shops, boutiques and good eats. It's an art district, so there are many eclectic finds and things to do. Make sure to check out this area if you are visiting! 


Dallas Museum of Art:


Many museums in Dallas are free of charge! The Dallas Museum of Art is one of them, so we walked around a bit and viewed many pieces and sculptures. 


Dallas Farmer's Market: 


We walked to the Dallas Farmer's Market (which is open every day!) from our hotel. We were a little disappointed because there were many booths and sellers, but no people or visitors. Maybe it was because it was a chilly day? We still made it out with a few things to take home. 

NorthPark Mall/Shopping: This mall is HUGE. We uber-ed there and shopped around and had dinner there one evening. Great shopping, great time!


Christmas/Holiday Specials: We visited a bit too early in the year for any big holiday happenings, but there are many coming up through December! 


Things I still need to cross off my Dallas list: 

Since we were there for a short time, we weren't able to do it all. So guess this means I'll have to visit again real soon!!! :) and cross the following off the list...


  • Dallas BBQ- we had a lot of good food, but didn't get Texas barbecue!!! Next time for sure.
  • Reunion Tower: would love to do this and have dessert in their revolving restaurant! 
  • Dallas Aquarium 
  • Dallas Zoo 
  • Dallas Botanical Gardens
  • Sixth Floor Museum
  • State Fair of Texas (this happens only a couple weeks of the year. We missed it this time by just a few days)

Dallas on a Budget: 
Hotel Indigo:  

 

When looking for a place to stay, I wanted to make sure I was close enough to the city to be able to walk to most of the places we'd want to visit. The more you walk, the less you pay for travel! Not only was most everything in a walk-able distance, but our hotel offered a shuttle that traveled anywhere in a 3-mile radius. 



Take advantage of these deals, fellow traveling friends on a budget! It made for easy transport around the city.  
Uber
Proud to say we are now professional Uber-ers. Uber is awesome. When we wanted to go further than the few miles our hotel shuttle allotted us, Uber was our go-to. We also learned a lot about the city from our Uber drivers (and they entertained us with stories of previous Uber passengers) during the time we were riding. Most of our drivers were Dallas locals and they suggested many places to visit, stay and eat.  
TexMex
Tacos are a good deal wherever you are. And they just so happen to be incredible in Texas. If you order a plate of tacos, try saving one or two as leftovers to have the next day for a small lunch or snack. A meal saved is money saved. :) 
Use Giftcards: 
When on a budget, take advantage of all gift cards you may have in your possession. (thanks family and friends for these. I save them for important times) Throughout the trip, we were able to have dinner at Seasons 52, coffee at Starbucks and also do some shopping at the mall with gift cards I had. 

Save and pin this Dallas travel guide for later: 



HEY! if you live/have been to Dallas and have some places to suggest, please leave comments below! Would love even more suggestions for the next time we're in the city! 



Sweet Travels, friends!













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