looking for something?

Friday, February 26, 2021

My New Goal

The pandemic has taught me a lot. Like all of us we've learned what is more important to us than anything. And one of the biggest things I've come across is my want of a house. 

Homes have always been important to me. My dad was a realtor my whole childhood and I was constantly at his office, going on home tours and attending open houses. I loved it. My parents bought my childhood home for a steal in a great neighborhood and slowly fixed it up as newlyweds. I ran through the halls of the home my grandparents built for themselves. Like I said, homes are important. 

And as the pandemic raged and I was stuck in my apartment, I realized that buying a house is my next big goal. For so long it was graduate high school, graduate college, get a job, do this program, etc. But now? It's a home....which is exciting, but also terrifying

Because, how the hell am I going to buy a house? And be able to afford one that I want in the city that I want? I have no idea. But I've decided my first step is a financial planner. So, that's my goal for 2021, finding a financial planner that can help me save up for the house while also putting money into a scholarship fund for the future while also being able to eat out and travel. 


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Fort Myers Day Trip

A short while ago I received a DM from someone saying they had read my Fort Myers travel guide and were wondering what I would suggest for a perfect day trip. And as I responded I thought, I should share this on here! So here she is, I hope you enjoy — xoxo darling, Hayden.

Early-Morning: Downtown Walk

Welcome to Fort Myers! Downtown is adorable and feels like it could be the setting of a Hallmark movie...picture this: big city girl comes home, gets a smoothie at Green Cup Cafe and runs head first into a cute boat captain. It could happen! But in the meantime, take a stroll and see the sights along West First Street. Take a photo of the Edison Theatre marquee, pop into Naples Soap Company or see what's happening at the Sidney Berne Davis Art Center. Make sure you head out Hendry Street to walk along the Caloosahatchee River as well, Centennial Park is a central hub of town for good reason. 

Mid-Morning: Edison Ford Winter Estates

While Fort Myers might be known for its beaches, it's also known for being the winter estate of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Their vacation homes are lovingly preserved near downtown and the grounds are gorgeous...as in I took my prom photos there because it's so pretty. Take a audio tour or garden walk to learn more about the two men who revolutionized the world (although I will say, they weren't very good people) and the women who made the area their own. Pick up a native Florida plant on your way out and snap a photo of the epic banyan trees in the parking lot. 

Lunch: Ella Mae's or McGregor Cafe

Ella Mae's is in downtown Fort Myers in the brand new (five-diamond) Luminary Hotel. The interior looks like a classic diner but there's also tons of outdoor seating where you can see the water. They offer breakfast and lunch items all day, so get a hot chicken sandwich or yummy bowl. The diner is named after the late great Dr. Ella Piper, a visionary in the community. Want a more local restaurant? Drive down McGregor Boulevard and take in all of those Royal palms. McGregor Cafe sits under a massive tree with brightly colored umbrellas and massive Ball jars full of homemade lemonade. It's one of my favorite places ever and it's within walking distance of my childhood home. It's the classic ladies-who-lunch spot with great chicken salad (served with a slice of poundcake) and delightful sandwiches. 

Early-Afternoon: Lighthouse Beach

It's time to get on the road and drive out to Sanibel, aka a beautiful island with great beaches. If you're into shelling, do the Sanibel Stoop aka bend down to look for shells on the beach. My personal favorite is Lighthouse Beach, located on the tip of the island it combines the Gulf of Mexico with the bay. Plus, there's a historic lighthouse that's incredibly photogenic. Put your feet in the water, explore the walking paths or just lay in the sand for a while. 

Late Afternoon: Gene's Bookstore

Gene's began as one building (the mystery building that still exists today) and it was packed to the gills with books. Like, a huge fire concern packed. You could barely move in there. They've since expanded across the street to a beautiful new building but there's something about that original location that makes you feel like you're gonna learn something. It's the best bookstore I've probably ever been to. You can find books from Russia, Italy, Japan, the U.K., etc. It's amazing. My dad and I will always check Gene's before buying from Amazon because they usually have what we want (for cheap). Buy some books and support local before making your way to dinner. 

Dinner: Island Cow

My favorite restaurant on the island, Island Cow delivers personality. There will be a wait, so pop a squat on one of the many colorful Adirondack chairs in the yard and people watch. From sunburned midwestern tourists to locals trying to get their hands on the coveted muffins. Once you get a seat in the pastel-colored interior, or out on the front porch, feast on those confetti muffins. They are killer. The menu is massive, kind of feels like a newspaper in fact, but the Kristina's Angel Hair is my absolute favorite (Hannah, the best friend's too). 

Sunset: Tween Waters

The best sunset in Lee County, by far. Park your car at the hotel restaurant, maybe stop in for a horseshoe crab race (yes, truly a thing) before making your way across the street to Tweenies' private beach. You'll get to see the sun touch the water, and maybe see that classic green light. 

Dessert: Pelican's or Fort Myers Brewing

End your day with something a little sweet. Pelican's SnoBalls, not too far from the Sanibel bridge makes the softest ice you'll ever taste. I highly recommend trying one of their specials or ice cream with cream. You'll think you're eating ice cream! Plus, the employees are incredibly sweet and there are lots of Instagram opportunities. Want something a little more adult? Head back out to the interstate and stop into Fort Myers Brewing Co. Located in a classic warehouse, they have a beer for everyone. High 5 IPA is a big hit with my mom where as I like Get Lei'd and Gateway Gold. Grab a picnic bench and get a flight if you can't decide on just one. 

Want more Florida content? 

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Week Re-Cap

Hannah got me this mug for my birthday and I'm obsessed. 

Oh boy, what a week! Yesterday was the culmination of a year's worth of project creation at my job. And it went so well. I was super anxious about presenting in front of our VPs but ya know what? I crushed it. So, now I can chill for a few days. But we did some fun things this weekend. Took a long hike, drank beer in our newly improved carport and ate some good foods. How is your week? — xoxo darling, Hayden

Alligator Bay hike
We made frito pie for the first time and kind of loved it.
Ella Mae's is one of Fort Myers' newest restaurants and the whole family loves it.
Truly a beautiful Saturday morning.
Carport beers!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Winter Neutrals

There is something about winter that makes me want to stick to a three color palate. So, I thought I'd round up some things that may have made their way into my cart recently. What's your favorite? — xoxo darling, Hayden
1. Tote Bag, 2. Blue Stripe Shirt, 3. Tan Sweater, 4. Blue Button Down Shirt, 5. Bandana, 6. Tan Sweater, 7. Double Breasted Blazer, 8. High-Waisted Jeans, 9. Flats, 10. Black Top, 11. Blue Stripe Pants, 12. White Sweater, 13. Black Loafers, 14. Blue Tennis Sweater, 16. Trench Coat

Monday, February 22, 2021

Links from Around the Web


Some interesting things from around the web this week — xoxo darling, Hayden.

Help Austin by donating.

I've always wanted to visit Mexico City.

Pink plants!

Looking for outdoor restaurants in NYC? Look no further!

Black and South Asian Women reflect on Kamala Harris becoming Vice President. 

Looks so good...

A Julia Child series is coming to HBO Max! 

Desperately want to make some of these citrus baked goods.

New national park alert!

Really enjoyed reading Grace's thoughts on her new chapter.

Such a cool service!

Cool Black-owned decor brands.

Florida's historic hotels are getting much needed makeovers.

TBR books for your lists.

Pro-vaccine influencers are absolutely fascinating. 

Have y'all watched this yet?

What rom com couples' apartments would look like.

Would love to move into this Paris apartment asap.

Vanilla tiramisu cake? YES!

Flipping your state blue from the expert Stacey Abrams.

17 Black women making history.

This seems like something I need to start doing.

Finished the last To All The Boys I've Loved Before last week & now I'm ready for this!

Spring screams scarves to me.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Cautiously Optimistic: Spring Finds

While it is freezing in most parts of the country I can see spring around the corner. Which means transitioning out of the heavy sweaters and into lighter/brighter options. I've scoured the internet a bit for a few pieces that are in my cart to buy this spring — xoxo darling, Hayden.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Week Re-Cap

Loved this mural in Hyde Park.

Birthday weekend complete! And now onto panicking about the big project I have due next Thursday. To be honest I'm feeling a bit over it but just need to sit down and write it out. I've never really had to give a presentation to anyone that wasn't my boss/immediate coworkers since I left college and I'm feeling antsy about it but at the same time, my GPA doesn't rely on it nor does the fate of my job since this is an extra project I took on. ANYWAY, it's all gonna be okay and then I'm home free for a bit, which is exciting. I've decided I'm going back to CO in April...not necessarily because I want to but because I have to go do my taxes...we love that energy. How are y'all? — xoxo darling, Hayden

Delicious wings from Brew Bus

Woven Waters Brewing has some amazing art deco pieces.
Tampa is doing these parklets where they take a parking spot and make it into seating & I love it!
Hyde Park is probably my favorite neighborhood in Tampa.
Finally tried the Goody Goody — a Tampa classic — and that 12" pancake is wiiiild.
Hillsborough River State Park is beautiful.
Brunch at The Mill
Great German-style beers at this one.
Tried Front Page Brewing in Bartow and we loved it!
Cute gifts from Hannah
Sweet card from Serena
Fazoli's spoilin' me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Black History Month Reading List

There are so many amazing books out there written by Black authors and about Black people. I thought I would share some of the coolest women I've learned about over the course of making TikToks. Each of these biographies sound amazing and are about some killer women. You should add one of 'em to your February/March reading list because I guarantee you, you didn't read about these women in history class and that is a damn shame. Check 'em out — xoxo darling, Hayden. 
Fannie Barrier Williams, Reaching for the Moon, Mary McLeod Bethune, Freedom's Teacher, With Her Fist Raised, Margaret Murray Washington, An Abolitionist Road, Daisy Bates, Shout Sister Shout, Nannie Hellen Burroughs

Monday, February 15, 2021

Transition Blouse

Let's talk florals for spring. Groundbreaking. But actually, I think this top (or the many versions of this top listed below — all from Old Navy) is ideal for transitioning between the seasons. A warm(er) winter day to transition to spring and as a way for a chilly spring day to feel more like summer. Then, because of its color, a summer into fall evening type deal. Am I crazy? — xoxo darling, Hayden

Friday, February 12, 2021

Twenty Five

Tomorrow is the day I turn 25 and it has been something I've been dreading for a while. I never thought I'd be the person to be apprehensive about a birthday...but then I never thought anything about getting "older" or living in a global pandemic. Maybe covid's gift to all of us is some perspective on our lives. I feel a bit lost at sea in some sense because I thought I had a five year plan but...that has kind of gone out the window. And now I'm just floating, working, doing my thing but I'm unsure where I want to be now. But it's not necessarily a bad thing, it's making me think more. Anyway, enough rambling. 25 is here whether I like it or not. I'm hoping that this birthday sees the end of the pandemic instead of the beginning because 2020 was rough and 2021 is lookin' up. So, I'm going to eat my mom's banana pudding and chill in Florida for a bit longer — xoxo darling, Hayden.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Latest TikToks

 Check out the latest feminist TikToks — xoxo darling, Hayden.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Week Re-Cap


Just finished this book!

Happy Wednesday! I am tired. Had a pretty epic sick day last Friday and I've been feeling tired ever since. But it has been a good week. The big work project (well the one I'm not procrastinating) is almost out of my hands — in a good way! And my birthday is this weekend so we are taking a socially distanced trip to Tampa to drink outside and do some hikes. How are y'all? — xoxo darling, Hayden

Caloosahatchee Creeks walk.
My mom surprised me with the Lady Gaga Oreos — so good!

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Monthly Inspo No. 16

February is one of my favorite months. January is just too long and it feels so refreshing to have a short one after. Plus, it holds my birthday and Valentine's Day (while I hate the economics of this Hallmark holiday) brings joy in the shades of pink and red. Plus, I'm kind of loving the idea of Palentine's Day as a thing now. Let's show the love to our friends (or s/o if you must).  
Images: Pink Seats, Flowers in Sink, Nails, Balloons, Dessert Bomb, Pink BackgroundCake, Pink Flowers, Outfit Drawings

Friday, February 5, 2021

Revisiting: Things To Do While Social Distancing

Back in the beginning of the pandemic I wrote this post. And I thought it was time for a bit of a revisit. How did I do on this list (did I do any of it)? Did any of y'all partake? It's kind of like my 61 in 1001 updates but maybe more interesting. Plus, maybe it will inspire you to do something that you wanted to do last year but then put off (by watching countless seasons of Schitt's Creek over and over again). 

Read some books.

Clean out your closet.

I definitely did this at the beginning. I should probably do it again when I'm back in Denver.

Make a list of restaurants to try around town once COVID-19 is over.

I have so many...I miss eating out so much.

Learn some TikTok dances.

Attempted. Hated.

Reorganize your bathroom.

Didn't do...probably should?

Watch a classic film.

Haven't watched most of these since the beginning of 2020, so I need to get on it!
Netflix: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Goodfellas, Driving Miss Daisy,

Clean out your emails.

Honestly, I need to do this. 

Write some snail mail to friends.

I joined a snail mail club! Currently loving these cards and this one

Organize your important documents.

It's tax season again!!

Learn how to bake something new.

I'm going to attempt (at some point this year): Croquembouche, Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles & something from this baking book.

Cross off some of your 101 in 1001.

I'm working on my 61 in 1001 and I'm doing really well...for a global pandemic! 

Start writing a book.

I didn't know I was going to start my TikTok but now I think it could be a viable book?

Watch a documentary.

Loved: Miss Americana, Fyre, Gaga: Five Foot Two, Building Chernobyl's Megatomb, Homecoming
Still Need to Watch:
Netflix: Oklahoma City, Knock Down the House, Beary Tales, Expedition China
Prime: Generation Wealth, The Red Pill, The True Cost, Iraq's Secret Sex Trade, Bottled Up

Clean out your photos.

So...yeah, have not done and my computer is in desperate need!

Order delivery & tip well.

Basically a constant. 

Watch a foreign film.

My favorites on Netflix: Görümce, Romantik Komedi, Romantik Komedi 2, Isi & Ossi, Roma, Chennai Express

Research doctors/financial planners/therapists.

Definitely want to find a financial planner in 2021. I have some plans for the future that I really want to make happen.

Do some facemasks.

Love these: Aztec Secret Mask & Bliss Mask-A'Peel

Fully develop your skincare routine.

I want to add something to mine. I currently just put on this moisturizer at night and I feel I need something else. 

Work for a political campaign.

I did this and loved it! Probably will do some more for the upcoming November elections. 

Order business cards.

Still need to do. 

Shameless plug — Read some of my favorite blog posts.

Fort Myers Travel Guide, Paris Travel Guide, Colorful Photo Wall (a project you can do while distancing!), London Travel Guide, One Second Every Day of Senior Year, Ultimate Austin Restaurant Guide, Denver Dining Guide, Red Pendleton, Croatia Travel Vlog

Learn how to make a new cocktail.

Well, you can now watch my TikTok series

Donate to a food-bank or other charity.

Binge watch something new.

What I've Loved
Netflix: Virgin River (season 2), The Crown (season 4), Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, The Great British Baking Show (season 8), Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father (season 4), Young Wallander, The West Wing, Teenage Bounty Hunters, Selling Sunset (season 3), Outlander, Supermarket Sweep, Sex Education, Queer Eye (season 5), White Lines, The Windsors (season 3), The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show, 100 Humans, Tiger King
Amazon: The Pale Horse, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Hunters, Grantchester, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Fleabag, The Man in the High Castle, Goliath, Fortitude, The Romanoffs, Tin Star

Clean your room/bathroom.

Have a Harry Potter watch-a-thon.

Did this in the fall and might do it again in the spring.

Paint your nails.

My favorite color.

Workout with Friends.

It has been a while but I do walk every day so...

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Week Re-Cap


Very busy week with lots of deadlines but I thought I'd pop in here to show off a few photos from the past week. I expect to be a bit tired going into the weekend but ya know, it is what it is. Shall keep ya updated — xoxo darling, Hayden.
Joined a bookclub (more on that Friday) and finished the first book — Boom Town. I really liked it but it is very specifically about Oklahoma City so if you aren't intrigued by that dumpster fire city, maybe don't read.

A Saturday hike at Buckingham Trails Preserve.
We had a zoom call with our alum Texas Ladybirds and the current members.
My dad and I just finished this book and we really enjoyed it. It'll have you guessing who the murder is until the end.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

New Fair Isle

When I opened this present on Christmas morning I was thrilled. Not only do I love fair isle sweaters in general but this one just screams me. It says "I ski" without actually having to ski. Fun fact: I will never ski. While it doesn't really work for Fort Myers (we are hitting a high of 59 today) it will be perfect for that chilly Denver spring weather. What do y'all think?  — xoxo darling, Hayden