Tequila Nights

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Scout Sixteen - Casa Noble Tequila Mexico Trip Scout Sixteen - Casa Noble Tequila Mexico Trip Scout Sixteen - Casa Noble Tequila Mexico Trip Scout Sixteen - Casa Noble Tequila Mexico Trip Scout Sixteen - Casa Noble Tequila Mexico Trip Scout Sixteen - Casa Noble Tequila Mexico Trip Scout Sixteen - Casa Noble Tequila Mexico Trip

Did you know that tequila can’t actually be called tequila unless it comes from Tequila, Mexico? Neither did I… until I got the most epically amazing lesson from my friends at Casa Noble.

Last month, I had the opportunity to tour Casa Noble’s distillery in Tequila, Mexico. Tucked away in the highlands of Jalisco, Tequila is everything I hoped a town that lends its name to my favorite spirit would be. While a variety of tequilas are born from a few different agave farms; only the fields and distillery of Casa Noble produce the award-winning, ultra-premium (organic!) tequila that much of the world has come to love.

We started our lesson with a walk-through of Casa Noble’s beautiful fields of blue agave. Quirino, the Master Harvester or “Jimador”, showed us how to properly trim the agave and harvest the core. We then took the cores to these enormous brick ovens for steaming and cooking; softening up the piña and making the sugar more easily extractable. After cooking, we milled and centrifuged the agave cores until the sugar and juices were finally extracted.

Now here’s the fun part… during the fermentation process, the sugar turns into alcohol in stainless steel tanks. Once the entire mixture has fermented, it is sent through the triple distillation process where heat and steam pressure seal the deal. While most tequilas are only distilled twice, Casa Noble pushes the process to perfection with a triple distillation process… and let me tell you, it’s so worth it!

After our tour, we had the chance to enjoy a tasting session with Casa Noble’s three hero tequila expression. We readied our palates and dug right in! I can’t thank Casa Noble enough for having me on this adventure. I had the most wonderful time in Mexico and can’t wait to go back and join the Casa Noble team for a well-deserved cheers!

DISCLOSURE: This post was developed in partnership with Casa Noble. All opinions are my own.

London Life

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A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join one of my favorite shoe brands, Hydrogen-1, for a long weekend in London. Along with my pals Saul and Anthony, we took England’s capital by storm, pulling out all the stops while sporting select pieces from Hydrogen-1‘s autumn/winter collection.

We left our days open to leisurely walks around some of London’s famed neighborhoods, which was such a treat since it was my first time in the city. One neighborhood, in particular, really romanced me: Notting Hill. Aside from lending its moniker to my favorite Julia Roberts flick, the neighborhood was a color-hunters dream. Townhouses stood side-by-side in various pastel hues like cheery guardians near one of London’s top tourist spots, Portobello Road.

As most of you know, I’m a voracious foodie so we made sure to hit up some pretty spectacular spots for grub and libations throughout the weekend. Among these spots, I fell head over heels for Hubbard & Bell, which was located on the ground floor of our quaint (but exceptionally trendy) hotel, The Hoxton Holborn. We noshed on local favorites like Shrimp Cocktail in Rose Sauce, Burrata Toast, and Duck Breast in Agrodulce sauce – washed down with three (or four…?) classic Old-Fashioneds.

Needless to say, we had an absolute blast in London and I certainly can’t wait to go back. I can’t thank Hydrogen-1 enough for giving me the opportunity to explore a city that had for years been high on my “Places To Go” list.

In this post, I’m wearing the Brown Leather Wedge Derby and the Minimalist Black Leather Sneaker from Hydrogen-1. Hands down, these shoes are some of the most comfortable I’ve ever owned. Even on days when we walked for 2-3 hours, my feet never hurt – it was incredible. If you’re looking to upgrade your shoe selection for winter, look no further. You can learn more about Hydrogen-1’s epic collection or snag a pair of your own by clicking here.

SHOP: Minimalist Black Leather Sneaker | Dark Brown Leather Wedge Derby


Winter’s Bone

Daily Scout3 Comments

Scout Sixteen - Saks Fifth Avenue Scout Sixteen - Saks Fifth Avenue Scout Sixteen - Saks Fifth Avenue Scout Sixteen - Saks Fifth Avenue Scout Sixteen - Saks Fifth Avenue Scout Sixteen - Saks Fifth Avenue Scout Sixteen - Saks Fifth Avenue

It’s that time of year again – the holidays have crept their way back into our calendars, which means not only will we need to size up our pants after all the holidays feasts (third helpings anyone?) but we’re also diving head first into gifting season (hooray)!

I’m currently home in Tennessee for the Thanksgiving holiday and gearing up for snagging some deals this Friday (and just about any day) from some of my favorite retailers. I recently picked up this look from one of my go-to stores, Saks Fifth Avenue, to jazz up my traditional holiday wardrobe selections. I opted for white Frame Denim (in the slim L’Homme fit) and a black Baldwin sweater, which might possibly be the softest item I’ve worn. I upgraded the neutrals with an incredible camo-print utility jacket from APC… because, let’s be honest, I’m from the south and I’ll forever love camouflage. It’s in my blood.

I thought it would nice to jumpstart your gifting season with a curation of pieces I love from Saks Fifth Avenue’s online shop. Which piece would you wear most?

SHOP: Baldwin Sweater (similar) | Frame Denim | APC Jacket (similar) | Nike Sneakers (similar)

Whether it’s a gift for your sibling, best friend, or maybe just yourself (shh.. it’ll be our little secret), you’ll certainly find a gift for any personality at Saks this holiday season!

This post was sponsored by Shopstyle. All comments and opinions within are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Shopstyle or featured retailers. Happy holidays, y’all!

Time Machine

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Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

I wish I had a time machine. I wish I had a way to revisit all of these beautiful memories swirling in my head. Next spring, I’ll be moving to Los Angeles. I’ll be leaving New York City but not saying goodbye. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared to leave. I’m scared as hell, but a path of new opportunities has romanced me and I need to explore.

Last week, armed with the knowledge that my last few months in New York City must be wrought with joy, sentiments, and the kind of excitement only New York City can provide– I started walking. I walked around my neighborhoods, both current and past. I walked around some of my old haunts. I just walked until I couldn’t walk any more. With blistered feet, I sat down on a bench in Washington Square Park and just cried. I cried for the old memories of New York that I’ll never relive. I cried for the new memories I’ll never be a part of, knowing that this City will inevitably go on without me. I cried because this place has given me its best and its worst and I loved both with all my heart (though I could’ve done without the sewer rats).

I can’t help but reminisce on the places that hold the most weight in my mind. Others may find them random, but these spots are so embedded with emotion that I can’t visit them without dusting off its particular sense memory. I recently partnered with Olympus to share some of a handful of these location-based memories as they are now and paint the picture of how they came to be. While I could’ve easily used my smartphone to capture these places, I wanted to see them with perfect clarity and in pristine quality… and the only brand I trust to exceed those expectations is Olympus.

So, tell me, are you ready to take a trip down memory lane?

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2007

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Memory: It was my first time visiting the Met. I decided to visit my friend Lauren, who worked in the marketing department there. We met up, sat down on this exact bench catching up. It was then she told me she was pregnant. She cried, though I’m still not sure if they were tears of joy or terror.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2011

Where: the F train

Memory: I boarded the train completely exhausted and slightly drunk from a late dinner with coworkers. It was around 2AM. The train stopped abruptly above ground and I split my lip on the seat railing. I still have the scar.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2015

Where: the corner of Waverly & Gay St

Memory: I would stroll down this block at least once a month, it’s just so beautiful. In February I was on this street when I found out my grandfather passed away. I don’t walk down this street any more – it’s too depressing.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2008

Where: Mud Café

Memory: I sat on the bench outside of Mud (which happens to be my favorite coffee and brunch spot) with my then-roommate and best friend Sarah when she told me she was engaged. We screamed so loud, it was embarrassing but I’ll never forget the excitement in that moment.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2012

Where: random East Village stoop

Memory: I found a Yorkshire Terrier walking aimlessly down 2nd Avenue. He wasn’t wearing a collar so I grabbed him and started walking toward my apartment, hoping I could locate his owner through the local animal vet. We only walked about a block before I was stopped in front of this stoop by his distraught owner. Clearly, the pup didn’t get very far.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2011

Where: Veniero’s Bakery

Memory: It’s an East Village institution – the best little desserts you can imagine. My then-roommate Rosa and I would go to yoga class on Sundays and then stop into Veniero’s for something sweet… chowing down on a cache of calories we certainly didn’t deserve.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2007

Where: Lil Frankie’s

Memory: It was the first restaurant I ever ate in in New York City. It’s always been my favorite.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2011

Where: St. Mark’s Place

Memory: On a random Thursday, I found out I had been hired for a position at a company I desperately wanted to work for… it was my dream job. I met up with friends at an apartment in this building where a congratulatory cake was waiting on me. It was red velvet and it was so good that I had three slices.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2014

Where: Café Mogador

Memory: This was my favorite spot to eat brunch with my current roommates and best friends. At one particular brunch, we were sitting outside and a stranger told me I had beautiful eyes. I was so caught off guard that I started choking on my food. It wasn’t my finest moment.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2010

Where: Union Square Greenmarket

Memory: I would wake up early on Saturday mornings to go to the Union Square Greenmarket with my then-roommate and best friend Rosa. We would buy sweet breads, walk around, and spend too long perusing the tables of succulent vendors. I can’t walk through without thinking of her and our cacti obsession.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2008

Where: intersection of 9th Street and 1st Avenue

Memory: A bike messenger ran into me while I was standing in this spot hailing a cab. I broke my finger falling backward. I decided to meet friends for happy hour before heading to the hospital… clearly my priorities were in order.

Scout Sixteen - shot with Olympus PEN E-PL7

Year: 2015

Where: Genuine Superette

Memory: Wandered in here one summer day with my best friend Serena. I had little expectations for the experience but ended up having the best burger ever. Plus, you can’t beat a spot that blasts Heart from a wall-mounted tape player.

This post was sponsored by Olympus and shot exclusively using their Olympus PEN E-PL7 camera with an f/1.8 17mm lens. All content and opinions contained here are my own and do not reflect the opinions of Olympus.

If you’re looking for literally the greatest compact camera, snag an Olympus PEN E-PL7. It is hands-down the most incredible camera I’ve owned and gives me the portability I like in my smartphone but with performance and clarity far beyond anything a smartphone can provide. The PEN E-PL7 graduates my most cherished moments to long-lasting memories with images as crisp and clear as the moment I lived them. Put down the smartphone and pick up an Olympus, your future self will thank you.

Shop it here.

This post is brought to you by Olympus.

Wrap Superstar

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Gifting is, by far, my favorite part of the holiday season. Seeing a loved one’s face light up opening a gift that you thought and energy behind is just… the best. This season, I’m thrilled to partner with Urban Outfitters to share a few of my favorite pieces from their shop (that would make perfect gifts) and unveiling my number one holiday tip (spoiler alert: you’ll feel like a millennial Martha Stewart afterward).

Let’s face it, a bad wrapping job can completely devalue even the most thoughtful of holiday gifts. While it isn’t the most complicated of tasks during the gifting season, it’s a struggle that each of us faces. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a holiday party at the Martha Stewart Living offices. During the party, one of the editors led a gift-wrapping workshop where we learned the perfect techniques… and lucky for you, I’m passing this expert knowledge on to you! You ready?

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Always use boxes. If your product is loose or unboxed, put it in a box. This will make your life much easier and your gifts will look envious.
  • Measure your wrapping paper first and cut off the excess. Use a ribbon to find out how much gift wrap you’ll need. Wrap the length of ribbon around your gift, then place the ribbon on the gift wrap an cut it to the required length.
  • Place your box length-wise on the gift wrap, fold one side, and tape it in the top-center of the box.
  • Fold the other side up and over the taped side so none of the box is showing. The wrapping should be VERY tight. The most important part to wrapping is getting those corners/creases perfectly taut!
  • To fold in the side sections, find the shortest edges and fold in from there. Pinch the creases, and fold down to tape. It should look very clean.
  • Never throw away your cut-offs. They will come in handy when you have unwrappable gifts like wine bottles (hint: make a small card using cut-off gift wrap and tie it to the neck of the wine bottle with ribbon).
  • Finish with any sort of bows or ribbons that suit your personal flair. You want you recipient to immediately know the gift came from you.
  • When decorating a gift, don’t limit yourself to ribbons and bows – add the ‘wow factor’ with craft wire and beads, or stones and gems taken from old, broken pieces of jewelry.

Well, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way – let’s take a look at some of the products my pals at Urban Outfitters that would make spectacular gifts!

My personal must-haves are definitely the Men’s Society Shave Kit and the Publish Thermal Teehint hint to all my friends out there. So, which pieces are your favorite? Which would you choose as the ‘perfect gift’?

FEATURED IN THIS POST: Crosley x UO Portable Record Player | adidas Original Track Pants | O’Hanlon Mills Cardigan | Firefly String Lights (used as a prop in photographing this… held close to camera to give it a “dreamy holiday feel”)

#Conrad135, New York City

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I like being a traveler, not a tourist. One of my biggest pain points about traveling is that I don’t always get to explore off the beaten path and see my destination like a local. In the past, when I’ve signed up for “exploratory group tours” that offer an off-the-grid experience, it’s rarely an experience I’d want to repeat.

Last week, I had the opportunity to test-drive one of the newest initiatives from the always-chic Conrad Hotels & Resorts called Conrad 1/3/5. The initiative, which reinvents the traditional concierge offering with a new approach that goes beyond the obvious cookie cutter travel recommendations, is just brilliant. Conrad 1/3/5 offers a selection of essential experiences for time-strapped travelers in each Conrad destination around the world (like New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc.). It is a complete rethinking of the hotel concierge, with Conrad staff trained worldwide to communicate experiences designed to fit into 1, 3, or 5-hour blocks in a guest’s day, so that travelers can stay inspired even when time is of the essence.

The experiences in each of these cities has been hand-selected by Conrad’s new high-profile Director of Inspiration, Nilou Motamed – and, yes, this is the coolest job ever and, yes, she is as uber-chic as you’d imagine! I had the chance to join Nilou as she guided some of the world’s top media through 48 hours of premium, local experiences in New York City. As a New Yorker, I was eager to see which locations would be highlighted on our excursion. Nilou nailed it with spots that locals love, but tourists rarely get to enjoy. It was so cool seeing my City through an expert’s eyes!

We walked the High Line, noshed at Russ & Daughters, took in million dollar views from the 108th floor of the new Freedom Tower, toured artist studios in DUMBO, and enjoyed a feast of Caribbean flavors at Miss Lily’s in the Lower East Side. As Director of Inspiration, Nilou opened up the “beaten path” with perfect clarity and has given travelers the chance to live like a local, even if just for an hour. Getting to peek into the studios (and lives) of top Brooklyn artists was by far one of my favorite parts of the tour – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never knew how to arrange!

If you’re heading to one of Conrad’s worldwide destinations, I highly encourage you to explore the 1, 3, and/or 5-hour experiences. It was some of the best fun I’ve had in a while. To learn more about the program, visit the Stay Inspired site –or- book yourself a room at the Conrad here.

Thanks Y’all

Daily Scout4 Comments

Scout Sixteen - Express November Scout Sixteen - Express November Scout Sixteen - Express November Scout Sixteen - Express November Scout Sixteen - Express November

Each year as November rolls around, I always find myself making lists of things I’m grateful for. Growing up in my house meant you always knew what mattered most: family, friends, and good health. We were thankful for the air in our lungs and shoulders to cry on. While I’m still thankful for those things (especially being alive, because… obviously) I’m most thankful for you guys. It may not seem like much but your support quite literally changed my life. I’m a better, stronger, happier person than I was three years ago and I owe a vast majority of that to you.

It’s not much but I just want you to know it: you matter to me and I’m so incredibly happy to have you in my life, even if we may never meet face-to-face. Sending you big internet hugs right now – and wishing you all the best things life has to offer. Much love, y’all.

In this post, I’m wearing a lightweight sweater and joggers from EXPRESS. As a fan of neutrals, I opted for a green-and-black combination. Dark colors to slim my frame and cargo joggers to add definition. Certainly thankful to have these in my wardrobe, especially during these “let’s have second or third helpings” holiday dinners!  I’m honestly a bit obsessed with these joggers – they’re a perfect fit… admittedly, I’ve worn them three days in a row! #notsorry

SHOP: EXPRESS Joggers | EXPRESS Sweater | Birkenstock Sandal

Make Your Move

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Scout Sixteen - Merino Wool Woolmark Group Scout Sixteen - Merino Wool Woolmark Group Scout Sixteen - Merino Wool Woolmark Group Scout Sixteen - Merino Wool Woolmark Group Scout Sixteen - Merino Wool Woolmark Group Scout Sixteen - Merino Wool Woolmark Group

I suppose I should mention that I wore a lot of hand-me-down clothing growing up. (It wasn’t that I didn’t love worn-in clothing, I just didn’t like that someone else wore it in). My aunt would come over with winter pieces my cousins had grown out of and I would inevitably get stuck with the chunky wool sweaters.

Here’s the thing – I used to have a love-hate relationship with wool. It was itchy. It was binding. And it smelled an awful lot like my Uncle Leroy. For the next many years, I would avoid wool like the Black Plague. I loved taking risks with my wardrobe, but wool was just too risky. That is, until I discovered Merino wool and my world was turned on its side.

First things first, Merino isn’t your grandmother’s wool. Merino wool doesn’t constrict you, but naturally moves with you. Because it’s sourced from Australian Merino sheep, which grow the finest sheep’s wool on earth, Merino wool is equal parts soft, malleable, and breathable. (The finer the fiber, the softer the garment is going to be and Merino is about as fine as they come.)

Courtesy of the Woolmark Company

In the last fifteen years, manufacturers (like the spinners, knitters and weavers) have made great strides in wool innovation. The next-to-skin products using Merino wool are made with extra fine fibers, spun into very fine yarns making Merino wool garments that are not only extremely soft, but also practical in use. Unlike synthetic fabrics, which have to be chemically treated to absorb moisture, Merino wool can naturally regulate your body temperature by absorbing the moisture vapor between your skin and the fabric, so gone are the days of thick wintry sweaters causing, well, a sweat.

And, most importantly, Merino wool is natural and biodegradable. To raise the Merino sheep, you just need sunshine, rain, and a lot of really good grass. It’s that simple. When you wear Merino wool, you can rest assured you’re narrowing your carbon footprint by being an eco-conscious (but still very stylish) shopper.

I’m so thrilled to show off just how functional Merino wool is as part of my partnership with The Woolmark Company – the marketing, research and development institute of the Australian wool industry. It truly is fashion that moves you, so whether you’re looking to dance, walk, run, decompress, or just plain “be”, you can do it all in Merino wool.

If you’d like to find out more about the wonders of Merino wool, click here. Or take a look at all the amazing brands that use Merino wool in their collections, you’ll certainly see a lot familiar faces.

Look 1: Kitsbow Tee in Red | Kitsbow Denim

Look 2: Nick Wooster x The White Briefs Tee | QOR Running Pants in Black

Look 3: Nike Henley in Blue | Nick Wooster x The White Briefs Raglan Sweater | QOR Trousers in Grey

Look 4: Kitsbow Button-Down Shirt in Plaid | QOR Half-Zip Shirt in Black | QOR Trousers in Black

Look 5: QOR Full-Zip Hoodie in Blue | QOR Trousers in Black

Image Source: Merino sheep image courtesy of The Woolmark Company