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Weekending at Home: 5 Ideas for a Date Night In

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I was quite inspired by my recent Palm Springs stay at the Wexler Fishbowl in Sunmor Estates to bring you some fun ideas for a “date night in”. When we go to Palm Springs and stay at an ACME vacation rental like this, we typically want to stay home as much as possible! Heck, we stay at home as much as possible back home in Charleston, too, but in mid century Palm Springs homes the surroundings are especially dreamy for an at home date night. Some of you gave me your fabulous date night in ideas on this Instagram post, so thank you for the brilliant inspiration! Read on if your date nights have become a little mundane, and know we’re right there with you with far too many Netflix & takeout-filled evenings.

Note: this post is partially in partnership with ACME House Company, but all opinions are my own. The post also contains some affiliate links that earn me a small commission and help keep this blog up and running.

1. Say “Cheese”!

Personally, I find it fun to take photos or videos for no good reason at all! Capturing memories is always a good idea, especially at home since that’s where you likely spend most of your time together. Take turns taking pictures of each other in your element (i.e. I could snap Jonny in the kitchen and he might capture me reading a book in my swing chair). Or perhaps you could interview each other and record that on video (i.e. share 5 things you like about the other person or asking each other about your dreams for the future). We made a private Instagram account that we hope to share with our kids one day, so that’s a great place for these pictures and videos to live!

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2. Get Creative in the Kitchen

Likely one of you does most of the cooking, and thank the Lord that’s my husband in our relationship! The kitchen isn’t a place I enjoy very much if I’m being honest, but there are plenty of ways you can both have fun in the kitchen: find a new recipe to bake and take turn adding ingredients, be your own mixologist with whatever ingredients you have on hand for craft cocktails, or break out one of those wedding registry items you never use (I’m looking at YOU, pasta maker & Kitchen Aid!).

3. Start Your Own Book Club or Game Night for Two

Head to your local bookstore and pick a book together- it could be an old classic, something set in your city, or a book on relationships (I highly recommend the 5 Love Languages!). I loved this idea from the owner of ACME’s Midcentury Deluxe: Take turns reading out loud to each other for 30 minutes each, then individually progress to your agreed upon point by the next read-aloud meeting. You can take a few minutes to discuss something new you learned, or wait until you’re finished the whole thing and chat about the book’s discussion questions.

If friendly competition sounds more exciting, hit the Target aisles or Amazon and find a new game to play, and I bet you have friends or neighbors to swap with. It could be a trivia game, board game, or card game (but I find most card games to be boring with just two people). Heck- you can turn your game into a strip version if you want (I won’t tell you who recommended that one!). Get it on the calendar, and don’t cancel!

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4. Make a Playlist Together

It seems that mix tapes are a thing of the past, so the updated version of that is creating an online playlist! We use Spotify, so it could be fun to take turns adding songs to the list and then listening to it together. Just sitting in each other’s company with background music & no TV on can be so refreshing, and you might even wind up having a living room dance party!

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5. Change Your Scenery

When we’re at home together, we often tend to turn to couch potatoes! While staying at the “Fishbowl”, we were still able to relax while avoiding the couch. Take your cocktails outdoors if you have a fire pit or porch, eat at the dinner table or create a living room picnic, or go for an evening stroll. Mixing up your surroundings can definitely spice things up in your relationship!



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Each Palm Springs trip we’ve been on has given us time to reconnect and made us a lot closer, largely due to the fact we aren’t spending as much time in front of our screens. I hope you’ll treat yourself to a little Palm Springs getaway with your love, too! Use code WeekenderLove to get $100-200 off your stay at any ACME property when you book it in 2018 (valid for any 2018/2019 stay). Click HERE to browse/book (and to see which home I’m dreaming of staying at during my next visit)!

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All images are c/o Nathan Cox Studios for ACME House Company


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Why You Should Plan an Off-Season Palm Springs Vacation

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Sadly enough, the ushering in of fall very slightly makes me start to already dread winter!  By January or February, we East Coasters are just over the winter weather and itching for a sunny escape.  I've always loved heading to sunny Florida or sunny California that time of year, and Palm Springs, CA is definitely one of my destinations of choice.  In the summer months, however, I typically opt for a northeast destination to escape the heat.  Surprisingly, I was VERY pleased to get to learn just how much I also loved Palm Springs in the "off season"- smack dab in the middle of summer!  I joined a few other awesome influencers that ACME House Company hosted to help show our favorite things about the city. The temps were near 100 degrees, but daily dips in the pool & breezy evenings made for the most enjoyable experience nonetheless.  You really can't go wrong visiting this happy city any time of year, but here are a few reasons to consider going in the "off season": 

1. Affordable Rates

Lots of hotels & vacation rentals will drop their rates, so find your favorite and get on their email list so you don't miss it.  If you're wanting to travel with your family or a group, ACME House Company is one of my favorite vacation rental companies (see some of their houses here and here).  I most recently got to stay at their "Beverly Modern" house with my adorable pal Krystine Edwards (see some photos of the adorable pad below).  Keep an eye on ACME via their Instagram, because they often runs specials in the off season.  I just saw they extended their summer rates through September 30th, so there is plenty of time to take advantage of the best deals of the year.

2. Access to Top Rated Restaurants

An off season visit means you'll have your pick of plenty of great restaurants to get into, likely without needing reservations like you would at other times of the year.  I enjoyed getting right in everywhere we tried- which is very different from the experience I've had at other times of the year (such as during Modernism Week). Some of my favorites lately are Azucar, Norma's at The Parker, & Evzin Mediterranean Cuisine (pictured below, what an over the top awesome meal!). 

3. Take Advantage of Great Sales at Shops/Showrooms

Palm Springs has everything from cute wine & cheese shops like On The Mark, to elevated souvenir shops like Destination PSP, and of course plenty of retail stores (both new and vintage).  Visiting a city in the off season just means a higher likelihood you can find some major deals while you're there!  As a store owner, I'm here to tell you that it is TOUGH to be in the retail industry during slow seasons like after Christmas and over the summer, so this is when you're more likely to find things at the best prices and not have to deal with crowded boutiques.

 Our colorful group outside of Destination PSP. I splurged on these   super cute glasses  !

Our colorful group outside of Destination PSP. I splurged on these super cute glasses!

Palm Springs has several superb showrooms for the art & design lovers out there as well.  On part of our #AcmeSummerSocial trip, we got to visit Shag, the most fun gallery you'll ever encounter. How amazing does our group look re-creating a live version of the classic Shag artwork?  

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Christopher Kennedy is another store/showroom combo that you'll love- it's always a must visit whenever I'm in town. Christopher is the designer behind the main show house at Modernism Week, so this is the perfect place to go for trend-spotting any time of year!

 The adorable  Dawn McCoy  and friends, showing off my turkish towels at the Christopher Kennedy store!

The adorable Dawn McCoy and friends, showing off my turkish towels at the Christopher Kennedy store!

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Sure, it's going to be hot if you visit Palm Springs in the summer (it IS the desert, after all)... but I promise it's nothing compared to the East Coast humidity we get.  Even in July, I had some really lovely morning walks and worked poolside (without even schvitzing)!  I can't really say the same about Charleston in July & August- even in the early morning hours you kind of feel like you're stepping straight into a sauna.  
You heard it here first, people: Dry heat just can't be beat.  Plus, unlike Charleston, pools are EVERYWHERE in Palm Springs!
 ACME's Beverly Modern Vacation Rental in Palm Springs, California

ACME's Beverly Modern Vacation Rental in Palm Springs, California

Thanks again to my awesome hosts, Visit Palm Springs & ACME House Company's Beverly Modern House!  P.S. Don't forget to come say hi on Instagram & check out my city guides for more trip ideas & inspiration. 

all images c/o Nathan Cox Studios for ACME House Company

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Best CHS Bachelorette Weekend Ideas

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One of the questions I get DM'd about the most on Instagram is, "What should I do for my bachelorette party in Charleston?"  I've given this one a LOT of thought, so I have a great round-up of ideas that I think you and your girls will love.  Also be sure to get in touch if you want to set up a private sip & shop or workshop at our store, Cannonborough Collective!  

all images c/o Sean Money & Elizabeth Fey


Enjoy a Group Activity

One of the best ways to really create some memories with your bride tribe is with a fun group activity. You can find lots of workshops offered around town, or create your own private event or spa day!  Below are a few of my faves:

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Group Workouts

Bachelorette Yoga with Serenity Tree Yoga

Private Barre Class at Barre South

Pamper Yourselves!

Dry Bar for blow outs or braids

Mylk Bar for Manis/Pedis (cutest nail salon for a group!)

Learn a Little

Flower Crown Class by Petaloso

Candle Making Class at Candlefish

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Wine & Dine

There are SO many restaurants to choose from in this foodie haven of ours!  Here are my recommendations for the best restaurants to accommodate larger groups.  

Harold's Cabin // Rarebit // Miller's All Day // The Watch

Elevé at The Grand Bohemian // Butcher & Bee // Lewis BBQ

 CHS bag available at  Cannonborough Collective  

CHS bag available at Cannonborough Collective 

Shop 'Til You Drop

There are SO many adorable shops around town. You and your best gals will be in Instagram heaven at any of the following spots.  I linked to their Instagram accounts so you can see what I mean ;)

Cannonborough Collective // Toss Designs // The Skinny Dip (get some frosé while you shop!)

Candy Shop Vintage // Mac & Murphy // Candlefish


Don't Forget the BALLOONS!

Call ahead at Cannonborough Collective to line up a balloon pick-up, or shop below for some cute options you can fill yourself with air (the following links are affiliate links which will earn me a small commission). 

Letters for banner (gold or rose gold) // Jumbo Letters // Jumbo Ring // Hot Pink DIY Balloon Garland, Rose Gold DIY Garland // (* do yourself a favor and buy this pump! It makes balloon garland life a breeze)


-Shop This Post-

Andrea, Cayleigh & I have on a floral print that comes in several styles: High Rise Midi, High Rise Cut Out, Matching Bra // The twins' High Rise Track Leggings // Escape bag // Kelsey's Top & Bra


-Photo Credits-

Images by Sean Money + Elizabeth Fey // Yoga led by Melora of Serenity Tree Yoga // Flower crowns by Petaloso // Event Coordination: @CharlestonShopCurator // Yoga apparel gifted by Onzie // Pictured bloggers: @KC_Doubletake, @ThePetalReport, @KelseyJHill

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5 Hotels for the Design Lover

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This post is in partnership with Lark Hotels,but all opinions are mine.

If you're looking to do some US travel where you'd like to relax without breaking the bank, I highly recommend Lark Hotels!   I'm working my way through visiting as many Larks as I can- I just love their colorful vibes, the always relaxing atmosphere, the exceptional breakfast, and friendly staff.  I can only vouch for The Attwater, Summercamp Hotel, & the Whitehall Inn, but I'm dying to check out the rest of the Larks on this list!

1. Whitehall Inn in Camden, Maine

See more from my recent stay on Instagram!

2. Summercamp Hotel in Martha's Vineyard

Find more from our Summercamp visit here

Find more from our Summercamp visit here

3. The Attwater in Newport, RI

4. Field Guide in Stowe, Vermont

5. 21 Broad in Nantucket, MA

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I recently read an inspiring interview with the interior designer behind all of these fabulous hotels, (Rachel Reider).  She talked about working with local artisans in each locale to help develop a "sense of place". That is exactly the term that can make me totally fall in love with a hotel or restaurant, so I'm currently working toward decorating our new home with that same concept in mind.  Why not give each room a fun sense of place with it's own style that makes you happy? I hope you found these locations to be as inspiring as I did, and be sure to follow along on Instagram for more Weekender Travels.

All images c/o Lark Hotels 

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My Go-To Guide for Gifting

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This post is in partnership with Greetabl, but as always all opinions are my own! I'm also a real Greetabl customer, so feel free to ask me any questions you'd like answered honestly via DM on @CharlestonWeekender.

When it comes to gift giving (my main love language), I always tend to try to stick to a few rules of thumb.  Greetabl is a company I very often turn to for a snail-mail option, that also happens to check off all my gift-giving musts.  Of course I still have PLENTY of times where I wind up scrambling to send something to an out of town loved one on the day of said celebration (sorry Dad!), but Greetabl has really become one of my go-tos for birthdays, client thank-you gifts, and SO many other occasions!  Read this until the end so you can see one of the things I'm gifting my fabulous biz parter Mimi (of The Tiny Tassel) for her upcoming birthday.  I'll also give you details on an offer/discount Greetabl let me share with you!  Ok, now for some gifting tips:

- It's All in the Presentation -

I've always been a fan of the above Bree Van de Camp mantra, which also happens to help me appear to be a great hostess despite my lack of cooking skills!  I've always been a proponent of wowing your guests with your presentation- that is all you need to make a memorable evening, am I right?! The same really holds true for gifting.  There is so much to be said for cute wrapping, addressing your envelope in hand lettering (or your attempt at it), etc.  When you send a Greetabl, the packaging is super duper cute and will make the recipient smile in itself!  Your pal will open the box and see an adorable cube in a print you chose for them (like this confetti one I picked for Mimi).  You can also see the Leslie Knope one I've gifted here.  You're basically winning before they even opened it up.

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- Make it Personal -

Greetabl is personalized in more ways than one: pick your gift box print, pick 3 Instagram or camera roll photos to add to the inside, and add a custom message, too!  So even though it doesn't have an ounce of your hand writing or involve you spending your time at the post office (my VERY least favorite thing!), it's got that element of customization that makes everyone feel special.  How cute do these photos of Mimi & I look with the confetti print I picked for her!?

- It's the Thought That Counts -

I would LOVE to just be able to gift all of my friends the fanciest of schmanciest goodies.  However, for most occasions I need to stay in the under $30 price range (especially for client gifts & such).  Check out some of the cute gifts they offer that range from an $8-12 add-on!  All in all, the last few Greetabls I've sent have cost me $20-25 (including shipping & the gift that comes inside). 

So below is the gift I picked for Mimi!  She already sells cute piñatas in ours shop, so I went with the "tiny celebration" confetti of course!  It's not like we don't see an abundance of confetti around our shop, but I mean who can really have too much confetti?!

-So Here's The Deal (Literally)-

1. If you see yourself using Greetabl a ton like I do, I recommend their "Insider" program.  If you sign up before June 30 you'll get: Free shipping for a YEAR, a $20 credit (basically a FREE Greetabl), and a ton of other perks.

2.  If you want to try it out once to make sure you like it, use the code charlestonweekender to get 15% off when you make a purchase here

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Comment or DM me at @CharlestonWeekender to let me know what you think.  Happy gifting, friends!

photos c/o Kim Graham Photography

 

 

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