The bakeries and coffee shops in my new neighborhood look straight out of a Hallmark Christmas movie. We all know the plot. It goes something like: Big city girl is dumped right before the holidays, leaves her stressful corporate job, and hops on a plane to visit her grandmother in a snowy small town. Upon arrival girl stumbles into well-decorated bakery to ask for directions to Grandma’s because cell service (always shoddy) or phone (always breaks on plane). Bakery store owner is interested . . .
My Favorite Places to Write (And Eat) In Charleston
For the longest time I had to write on the second story of a building. I have LITERALLY no idea why, but most authors can’t seem to explain their bizarre writing habits. Dan Brown apparently puts on gravity boots and hangs upside down to help him with his focus on his stories. Truman Capote had to write while lying horizontal—and often in the nude. And Maya Angelo would rent hotel rooms (a woman after my own heart!) and write on her bed. Most of Waiting at Hayden’s was written at Tea Chai Te . . .
Tips for Hosting the Happiest Holiday Happy Hour
When I decide to research something, I really like to commit! Thankfully, last week’s research wasn’t hard to commit to. In fact, I may have poured myself a bit too much into it the research (or rather, been poured a bit too much). I visited my favorite restaurant in Newport Beach, Modo Mio, and sampled all the cocktails on their new cocktail menu! I love visiting Modo Mio during the holidays and throughout the rest of year because the staff makes you feel like family. You’re dining out, but . . .
Learning From Love Actually: Embrace Vulnerability
One of my favorite scenes in Love Actually is when Mark (Andrew Lincoln) brings cue cards over to Juliet (Keira Knightly’s) character’s house and confesses how he feels about her on her doorstep. Is it wrong? Most would probably say so. She’s married to his best friend. But it’s brutally honest. And as I was watching the romantic comedy the other night, I couldn’t help but think… why aren’t we all showing up with cue cards at each other’s doorsteps more often? Why do we hold so much of how we . . .
Gifts To Get The Book Lover On Your List
The book lover on your list can be one of the trickiest people to shop for—up there with that relative you haven’t talked to in years or that person you just started dating. While the obvious gift—a novel—might be the first thing that comes to mind, when someone reads several books a week odds are high she might have the book you’re thinking of gifting. So, I’ve compiled a list of reading accessories that the book lover on your list will love receiving in addition to book recommendations . . .
Your Guide To Holiday Festivities In Newport Beach (& Holiday Dresses For Cheap!)
Growing up, my family did something festive every day in December to celebrate the holidays. My mom pinned a homemade advent calendar up on the wall in the living room and each day there was a Christmas activity for all of us to do. Most days the activities were simple like pulling out all the Christmas movies from the attic and watching one, or starting a Christmas puzzle, or taking a family trip to Zoo Lights in downtown Portland. But some days my parents went all out. One year I remember we . . .