A few months ago I put together a small group of influencers – ones that were open and honest about their faith and I could walk alongside of them in this crazy social media space. One I knew, two I didn’t, and what came out of it was four friends from four different states, one trip and a truly beautiful friendship.
Kendall and I went to high school together, but then lost touch when we both went to college – her, Clemson University and myself, College of Charleston. Over the summer, Kendall decided to start a blog on her own and that became an hour long conversation of 95% life catch up and 5% strategy. That phone call launched us into a reconnecting in which I could not be more thankful. Kendall now lives in Atlanta, but comes home often to Greenville so I can see her!
About a year ago, I did a blog post entitled “Girl Crush” and Chandler was included in that post. Chandler is an incredible person – creative and full of depth. She is wildly talented in her space of graphic design and photography, but also attended seminary which is AMAZING. She is Dallas based, bright blonde, and full of life.
Taylor is a kindred spirit. You look at her incredibly beautiful and stylish feed, to then learn that she works for LSU in Baton Rouge and interacts with athletes all day long. WHAT?! Each time I talk to her I learn more and she is just as feisty as she is gorgeous. She also loves gift giving and finding the perfect present for each recipient. She’s just as much a Buddy the Elf as I am and I love it.
We talk weekly, praying for one another and learning what’s happening in each other’s lives, and then Taylor planned a weekend for us to actually come together in person. Four days in New Orleans were full of fellowship, worship, and forming a friendship built on rock.
We stayed at a VRBO that was perfect for all gathering together. Our street was lined with the cutest New Orleans style homes and I couldn’t get enough of the architecture. It’s like nothing I have seen before – almost Charleston, but so much character I can’t even handle it. We loved our home and our host.
I had the pleasure of meeting other New Orleans influencers at a luncheon planned by Taylor and Doña Paula wines. Our venue was the quaintest Cavan on Magazine Street. The interior decor is exactly what I expected out of New Orleans – old world, French charm.
Photos by Darian Kayce
Magazine Street was by far my favorite area. Boutiques caught my eye with every block, and restaurants were tucked in between gorgeous neighborhoods. I could have stayed in this part of town the entire time if it wasn’t for must-see staples like the Carousel Bar inside of Hotel Monteleone and Café Beignet.
For food and shopping, here is my list of favorites!
Way too many to put them in paragraph form…
Shaya – Modern Israeli cuisine with a hidden garden patio AND a James Beard Award. Yes.
La Petite Grocery – A cute little spot off of Magazine Street with my favorite food item from New Orleans – the Blue Crab Beignet with Malt Vinegar Aioli. Can you tell I’m still thinking about it??
Drip Affogato Bar – Never had Affogato? It’s time. A scoop of flavored ice cream with an expresso pour over is just what you need for an afternoon pick-me-up. Our favorite? Mexican Hot Chocolate.
Photos by Chandler Grace
Pêche – We only went in for a drink, but the atmosphere and the fabulous looking fish dishes coming out of the kitchen have landed this restaurant on my list for a return visit.
Herbsaint – A staple of New Orleans, the pasta did not disappoint in this French style restaurant. (Also a James Beard Award winner for 2017!)
La Boulangerie – The perfect spot for an afternoon coffee while shopping on Magazine! (And maybe an Eggnog éclair.)
Photo by Chandler Grace
Pilot Powell – For South Carolinians, this store reminds me of Hampden Clothing with more of a vintage vibe. Great brands, and the most interesting pieces.
Ashley Longshore Gallery – Outlandishly wonderful and a definite stop-in for all of the crazy art
Rivers Spencer – Beautiful from the inside out, Rivers Spencer is welcoming not only at their brick and mortar location but online as well.
Monomin Shop – Perfect for the clothing minimalist – full of neutrals with interesting structure. Literally tried on half the store.
The French Library – I wasn’t sure what it was at first, but it was cute enough to want to walk inside. And when I went in there were definite tears. The adorable store was full of children’s books entirely in French. I recognized a few from my childhood like Babar, and purchased a few for later. (Hopefully).
Katie Koch Home – Full of designer items for the home, including some funky candles that would be the best conversation pieces
Krewe – A must stop for this New Orleans eyewear brand that is trend worthy and unique.
Petite Peony NOLA – One of the most beautiful children’s stores I have ever seen right down to the outfits made by the same designer for the Australian Ballet
Sunday Shop – I wanted it all, including fur rugs in all colors and my favorite scents by Byredo (like Gypsy Water from my Gift Guide.)
This was all in four days and this city still had me oohing and ahhing around every turn. Needless to say, I’ll be back New Orleans. Non-profit feature coming soon with a very good friend and an incredible cause!