Charleston Life: Best Coffee Shops

Abby Murphy Photography 

Abby Murphy Photography 

This summer my intern McKay and I made the rounds of some killer coffee shops, both old and new.  When it comes to an ideal hang out or work spot, it’s not just about the espresso.  I love finding a place that also offers great ambiance/decor, and these 4 spots check off all my musts.  Read on to see what McKay has to say about each place (you know those 20-somethings are super in-the-know about what's awesome), as well as each of our picks.

guest post by McKay Norton

-Bad Wolf Coffee-

Bad Wolf Coffee offers all of your favorite classic coffee and espresso drinks. With high top seating and floor-to-ceiling windows, Bad Wolf is the perfect open space to come meet a friend for morning coffee or get some work done. Open til 9pm, Bad Wolf also sells beer, wine, and cocktails that customers can enjoy inside or out in the adjacent courtyard.

Our picks: Liz and I both LOVED the Cold Brew, but their latte art is for sure on point as well.

-Mixson Market-

If you haven’t ventured to North Charleston lately, you definitely need to make a stop at Mixson Market. Besides offering great coffee drinks, Mixson sells breakfast and lunch, a variety of gourmet grocery items, and adorable little gifts. With a cozy neighborhood vibe, Mixson is definitely a hip hidden gem.

Our picks: Liz always orders an iced americano with a scoop of chai powder and the breakfast tacos, and my favorite is definitely the iced latte.

-Collective Coffee-

Any trip into Collective Coffee will give you a quick glance at the hustle and bustle of Charleston. Always packed with customers, Collective has become a local favorite because of their amazing coffee and espresso, but also their great breakfast and lunch offerings. The rustic, homey decor of CC makes it a great place to grab a bite to eat or catch up on some work.

Our picks: Liz and I are both big fans of their Dirty Chai Latte, and I live for their avocado toast.

-The Harbinger Cafe and Bakery-

As soon as you walk into the Harbinger, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped right into a French cafe. With a charming aesthetic, the Harbinger offers a cute and inviting space to enjoy all of their foods and beverages. I was amazed by all of their pastries, especially the variety of cookies on display; they sell nine different flavors at all times.

all images of the Harbinger are by Abby Murphy Photo

all images of the Harbinger are by Abby Murphy Photo

Our picks: I loved the Best Friend (their classic chocolate chip cookie) and Liz recommends the chia pudding with a honey almond milk latte.

Happy coffee drinking, folks!  Check out more fun Charleston ideas in my Charleston Guide and on my Instagram



Weekender Style: Summertime Tees

One of my favorite places to shop for southern-inspired goods is Draper James (Reese Witherspoon's brand).  I first fell in love with her adorable "Totes Y'all" tote, and still love following along to see which cute sayings she will put out next! 

When the gals at Draper James asked me to corral some lovely ladies to sport the latest DJ t-shirts, I knew just who to call. Caycee of Hanging With the Hewitts, Ashley of Sweet Southern Prep, and Kelsey from Chasing Cinderella headed to Rainbow Row with me to get some fun shots with Jennifer Collins Photography.  Balloons make everything more fun, so I brought some giant gold letter balloons from our new shop Cannonborough Collective.  Hopefully Reese will love these shots around Rainbow Row as much as we do!  See more from our shoot on the Love, Reese blog.

The links below are affiliate links that earn me a small commission to help keep this blog up and running. Thanks for shopping with me!

Tees, Please: Tell Me Something' Good, $38 // What Would Dolly Do, $38 (also available in a tote) // Hello Sunshine, $45 // Cherry On Top, $35

If you're wearing a basic like a t-shirt around town,  you better have some fun accessories to go with it for goodness sake!  Here are some of my current favorites that will help spruce up any tee in your closet:

Totes Y'all Tote Bag, $165 // Tassel Earrings, $12 // Kate Spade Keds, on sale for $59.95

Check out more of my favorite summertime shoes in my last post & follow along on Instagram for more Charleston fun!



Weekender Style: Shoes for Summer

Lately I have been digging re-wearing my outfit staples and just sprucing them up with new shoes.  I walk a lot and always go for comfort over fashion, but I have recently found some shoes that accomplish both!  I appreciate you shopping through these affiliate links that help keep this blog up and running.



If you liked my picks, follow me on Instagram for more fun and colorful inspiration!



A Weekend in Martha's Vineyard; Summer Camp Style

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

I'm always inspired by the decor of Lark Hotels, but an entire hotel that's devoted to summer camp?  I knew I had to add that one to my bucket list the minute I saw it!  Summer camp is all about structure mixed with the perfect dose of playtime, relaxation, & living it up in the great outdoors, and Summercamp Hotel transports you there without having to deal with the bugs & bunk beds.  Tying in summer camp elements to decor is a perfect way to evoke the nostalgia of childhood & re-instill a sense of purposeful fun.  Pulling off any type of decor theme is no easy feat, and this one could have easily gone really off track and had the space looking like a kid's birthday party.  Here are some ways Lark's Summer Camp Hotel executed it like a champ.

Signs Everywhere

What better way to catch the eye and also designate your space than with awesome lettering? I'm a sucker for signage, and a wall full of words or eye-catching 3d letters add a little dose of fun to the scene.

Games Galore

Whether as part of the decor or to provide actual entertainment, there are games everywhere you look.  Vintage racquets adorn the walls, and a life size Connect Four game is begging to be played in a beautiful sitting room.  Turf has been spray painted to make it always time for Twister, & the ping pong table is ready for action.

Bring the Outdoors In

Highlighting the best and worst of nature can actually make for some amazing interior design.  Bugs are something we put up with in order to get outside, but here they are celebrated through delightful art.  Having plenty of plants and wooden accents are of course a must, but my favorite outdoor detail was probably the bark wallpaper.

Pop Your Color

Summer camp is no place for all white decor!  Guests feel welcome with this inviting furniture that isn't afraid to be a little more about quirk than high class.

Prioritizing the Porch

You should always treat the porch like another room in your house.  Get a sense of those nights around the campfire but take it up a notch with plenty of pillows, blankets, & comfy seating.  The coziness factor of Summercamp's front porch truly pays homage to cool summer nights around the campfire and makes for happy campers indeed.

Be sure to check out this post if you want some great movies to take you back to the nostalgic days of summer camp, and follow me on Instagram to see where I'm off to next!



Charleston Life: Working (Out) for the Weekend

Image via Andrew Cebulka | Reverb Charleston

Image via Andrew Cebulka | Reverb Charleston

When it comes to working out, I kind of stick with the same routine that can get kind of stale.  Luckily for us, my summer intern McKay Norton is a fitness buff (maybe there is still hope it will rub off on me!).  She just checked out some of the latest and greatest local spots to catch a workout, so here are her thoughts below.  There is a little something for everyone no matter what your preferred means of torture (oops I mean taking care of your body) is, so here is what McKay had to say about the places she tried:

HYLO Fitness

HYLO Fitness, located in the center of Mount Pleasant, has a little something for everyone. The studio offers both High Intensity (HY) and Low Impact (LO) classes throughout the day, each lasting 50 minutes. While HY classes focus on burning fat and building muscle, LO classes focus on building lean muscle through strength and flexibility training. As soon as I walked into HYLO, I was blown away by the chic and modern facility. The staff and instructors are friendly and motivating, which definitely helped me get through the difficult and intense HY class. My favorite HYLO touch, though, would have to be the cold lavender towels handed out at the end of class.

Barre South

Barre South is a locally owned barre studio that has been operating out of Mount Pleasant on Coleman Boulevard since the Spring of 2016.  Barre classes combine yoga, pilates, and ballet to create a low impact, full-body workout. Barre South offers a 60 minute class that works your abs, thighs, and glutes. The friendly and enthusiastic staff at Barre South made me feel welcomed as soon as I stepped through the door.  Even with a full class, the studio still felt spacious and bright.  My abs and legs were shaking throughout the entire class, but the fun music played by instructor and owner Brett Dunevant kept me going the whole hour.

Reverb Charleston

After 13 years of teaching yoga in the area, Ashley Bell opened Reverb Charleston this past April on the upper peninsula beside the new food court, Workshop. Unique to other studios in Charleston, Reverb has the mission of making yoga more accessible to all people.  They offer community classes in different locations across the Peninsula and allow new clients to drop in for a name-your-own-price of $5-$15.  As a newcomer to yoga, I was fearful I would embarrass myself in class, but Ashley made me feel comfortable right away and helped me experiment with different variations and modifications. Reverb’s yoga facility is unlike any other, with 360 degree windows that bring beautiful, natural light into the studio.

image via Andrew Cebulka

image via Andrew Cebulka

Alright, well I guess we better go hit these places up and work on our fitness because it sounds like McKay was happy with all of them!  I would love to hear your recommendations for other enjoyable exercise classes in the comments.  Cheers y'all!