I think we all reach a point where we take our "here & now" for granted. I've been feeling an overwhelming sense of wanderlust lately, not sure if my soul was pulling me to simply travel or to pack our bags and relocate all together. But it's been something. Strong and fierce.
And while things aren't always that simple, and it makes the most sense for us to be here, now, I needed to take a breath and make the most of the weekend and go on a date with my own city. Sometimes, right where you are can charm you if you let it.
So I picked out an outfit to set the tone for the weekend, packed some snacks for the day in case we couldn't find a safe eatery and we were off!
Mr. Charming was on board to be a part of the day, as weekends are our longest, most wonderful hours together in a week and so we mapped out some places that we'd never been before. (And they were only 20 minutes away!)
In Phoenix, close to downtown, there is an adorable street of shopping known as the Melrose District. Mr. Charming's aunt & cousins actually own a shop down there, Melrose Vintage, that has the CA-UTEST things and vintage shabby chic furniture. If you go, tell them Mandi sent you! Two of our favorite new stops we scoped out were Pearly Mae's (where I found a 1930's Stardust tea set) and Zinnia's at Melrose (where I fell in love with a pair of Ruby Slippers). Mr. Charming and I adore antique shopping so we spent a good couple of hours browsing.
After shopping we were getting hungry and I had heard of a marketplace on Instagram called Luci's Healthy Marketplace. I. Fell. In. Love. Not only did they have a quaint market STOCKED with some of my favorite Paleo & gluten-free products (I stocked up!) they also had a charming retro coffee shop and cafe.
The coffee shop offered an assortment of beverages including almond milk & rice milk lattes! However, having had my pre-natal B-12 smoothie in the morning, I was feeling a buzz and I was in no need of more energy stimulation. So instead I opted to try a new drink. It was carbonated water infused with ginger, vanilla & lime by Sipp. Pure, simple & less than 5 ingredients? I'm in.
Lunch was fresh & delicious. I had a salad topped with fresh turkey & avocado (of course, because avocado goes with EVERYTHING.) And Mr. Charming enjoyed a chicken salad with fresh tomatoes and toast on a bed of greens (which can be made 100% gluten-free! All their items can be!) We finished our meal with a little plate of gluten-free, vegan chocolate chip cookies that we shared as a weekend treat. We decided we are going to make this a date place for sure and come for breakfasts. After this visit I was feeling refreshed and I was already loving my city a little more.
After Luci's we headed to REI and a tactical shop so Mr. Charming could get in some camping shopping. Ladies, remember it's all about give & take. He perused shops with me and dined in my dream of a vintage cafe, so I enjoyed looking for all kinds of cool camping stuff with him for our next outdoor adventure.
After our tummies were fed and we were all shopped out we headed to another nearby shopping district closer to home called City North. We'd driven through it a couple of times and Mr. Charming had had work meetings there before but we wanted to check out a shop I had heard of called Pinspiration.
Yes, Pinspiration. It's a place where you bring your friends, drink champagne and do projects off of Pinterest! I of course bonded with the girl at the shop (she actually stated to Mr. Charming that she believed her and I were practically the same person, haha) and I made a mental note to bring all my girlfriends here with me. Whether they want to come or not. It's happening.
After a long successful outing we came home to play with our fur babies and crack open my newest find, the cookbook, Paleo Takeout by Russ Crandall, which after trying just one meal has pretty much changed my life of me longing for traditional takeout food of the past. The review is forthcoming - once the food coma subsides.
Until then, for those of you lacking a love, or even a like for the city that you call home, schedule a date. Go on Instagram, Pinterest or Google and look for a couple of new places you've never been before that fit into things that interest you. Scope them out, give your city a shot. Worst case, the date goes badly and you have a great story to tell the next city ;)
Do you have any great "date your city" stories? Or do you know of somewhere I need to check out in AZ to keep our relationship going? ;) Seriously, I've lived here a LONG time and haven't been to many places. I usually travel out of state to sight see. Leave it in the comments!
Nosh & Nurture was born of this journey I am on to better the health of myself, my family and those around me. What started as a simple compilation of recipes has grown to a all-around lifestyle journal with ways to incorporate organic products into your home, pantry and beauty cabinet. I also include stories on pregnancy, new motherhood, travel, Proverbs 31 marriage, and spiritual health, as I am a Christian who couldn't do any of this without my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. For more of my story you can click here.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free with a lot of soy-free, grain-free, sugar-free options.