A Golden Birthday In Seaside, FL

Late last year, I uprooted my life and moved out to Birmingham, AL, for my dream job. I’m now the Style Editor for Country Living and Veranda magazines, and while I love what I do everyday, I definitely miss all of my friends and family back home in Texas. So for my birthday this year, I decided to plan a trip to catch up with some of my best friends. Lucky for me, Olivia’s birthday is the day after mine, so we decided to make a weekend out of it and invite our friends Natalie, Andy, and Ross to come along for a trip to one of our favorite places on earth - Seaside, FL!

seaside florida carm collins
seaside florida carm collins
the black bear bread co seaside florida
the black bear bread co seaside florida
the black bear bread co seaside florida
the black bear bread co seaside florida

We rented the cutest little condo in this beach house on the edge of Watercolor. It had two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a bunk room (for me!), a spacious living and dining room, and two porches that we spent most of our time on. After a rainy first night, we woke up the next morning, rented bikes, and headed to The Black Bear Bread Co. to get some breakfast. We got biscuit sandwiches, croissants, açai bowls, and lots of coffee.

The weather was perfect all weekend! Not too hot, not too chilly, and sunny skies all day long. I feel like late April is the best time to go to Seaside — right in between the spring break crowd and the summer vacationers. We spent the rest of the day by the beach. Our house came with a beach cart and beach chairs, which was such a lifesaver. Olivia got me this super cute otomi beach float for my birthday, and Natalie and I blew it up all by ourselves! We also ordered these custom birthday cups and loved using them for drinks all weekend.

seaside florida
seaside florida
seaside florida
seaside florida
seaside florida
seaside florida

For my birthday happy hour, we drove out to Rosemary Beach and got drinks and appetizers at The Pearl. It was such a pretty set up with lots of outdoor seating, a fire pit to keep us warm when the sun went down, and yummy summer cocktails. I happened to have a credit from Rent The Runway and ordered this dress to wear for the occasion. Natalie and I are obsessed with Joie and we loved this dress so much that we both wanted to keep it.

the pearl seaside florida
the pearl seaside florida
the pearl seaside florida

The next morning, we biked to Seaside square and stocked up on our favorite t-shirts and sweatshirts from The Seaside Style. I’ve been wearing the same turquoise sweatshirt from them for the past five years, and let me tell you, there were more than a few holes in it! I grabbed a mini donut from Five Daughters Bakery and then we walked around the square as all the shops were opening. There was a farmers market and live music playing all morning too!

Once again, we spent the day by the water and then came back up to the square to get grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch from The Meltdown. They were sooooo good! We couldn’t believe how hungry we were from running around outside all day. Later that night, we got cleaned up and headed out to Rosemary again for dinner at Pescado, where Olivia wanted to celebrate her birthday. We got some fun cocktails and a delicious seafood spread for dinner while overlooking the water.

five daughters bakery seaside florida
shopping in seaside florida

For our last morning in Seaside, Olivia and I wanted to just bike around the town and check out all of the cute houses. We filled up on brunch at The Great Southern Cafe and then let ourselves get lost around Seaside proper. We loved searching for the houses with the most clever names and seeing all the different styles of architecture. We can’t wait to come back someday and have summerhouses of our own in Seaside.

great southern cafe seaside florida
chapel seaside florida
seaside florida
seaside florida
seaside florida
seaside florida

4 Days Exploring NYC With The City's Newest Resident

A couple months ago, my younger sister Adrian moved to Brooklyn, NY! She’s been in the theater world for her entire life, so she decided to give it a go in the best city to become a play actress. We’ve always lived in the same state, but now that she seems so far away, I immediately planned a visit. I wanted to go before it got too cold (I can’t do the snow…) and October was the perfect time of year. Keep reading for photos from my trip and a mini travel guide of the cutest spots in the city!

xo Carm

brooklyn nyc
brooklyn nyc
brooklyn nyc
brooklyn nyc

Day 1

I flew into NYC and took a cab to Adrian’s townhouse in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. She lives on the 3rd floor and her apartment has so much charm and character. It’s got the tiniest kitchen ever, but two of the most beautiful marble fireplaces!

We headed into Manhattan and stopped by the Free People in SoHo where Adrian works before walking to By Chloe, a vegan fast-casual restaurant with the cutest branding. I got the Guac Burger which consisted of a black bean / quinoa / sweet potato patty, guacamole, corn salsa, lettuce, tomato, tortilla strips, and chipotle aioli on a whole grain bun. YUM — I’m craving it again just thinking about it!

After dinner, we walked around the corner to the Glossier showroom. It’s located in the penthouse of a nondescript building and was an explosion of millennial pink. Adrian, who is a self-proclaimed “no makeup” girl, got really into it and ended up trying almost every product and buying two of their new eyeshadows! I stocked up on some Boy Brow and bought a peachy shade of Cloud Paint blush.

glossier nyc
by chloe nyc
glossier nyc

Day 2

We started the day with brunch at the cutest little spot called Egg Shop. I got a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and a morning mule to drink. Adrian got an open-faced sandwich with eggs and ricotta and a negroni to drink. Yummm.

egg shop nyc
egg shop nyc
egg shop nyc
egg shop nyc
egg shop nyc

After brunch, we walked around the shopping area in Williamsburg. I’ve been dying to visit this shop that I follow on Instagram called Leif Shop, so we popped in there and it was so much fun getting to see it in person. From there, we stopped by Aesop — where Adrian bought the best smelling hand lotion — and the Mast chocolate shop where they were literally making chocolate behind the counter! We also stumbled upon the cutest independent book store called McNally Jackson and the coolest ceramics shop called Mociun.

leif shop nyc
aesop nyc
mast chocolate nyc
mcnally jackson books nyc
mociun nyc
mociun nyc

We took a water taxi to the intersection of Washington St and Water St in DUMBO to take photos in front of the quintessential Brooklyn backdrop. I guess word spreads fast because there were about 50 other people there taking photos as well! Afterwards, we stopped by Milk Bar and got a scoop of cereal milk soft serve ice cream. To be honest, it wasn’t quite as delicious as I was expecting, but I am a notoriously picky eater! I will say though, that the dessert itself was as cute as ever.

Adrian got us tickets to see an off Broadway show that evening called “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play,” and it was SO good! It was a super small, all-female cast and they had us laughing and crying the entire time. After the show, we walked to a hot pink-themed, Italian restaurant called Pietro Nolita. It ended up being one of the best meals we had on my entire trip! Adrian got the Violetta to drink — lavender vodka, elderflower, lemon, honey — and I tried the Nolitarita — tequila, mezcal, hibiscus red chili, lime, orange — and the Rosa — vodka, aperol, lemon, orange, prosecco. For dinner, Adrian had the homemade gnocchi with lamb ragu and parmesan and it was AMAZING. I had the spaghetto al pomodoro and we split the grilled brussels sprouts because we couldn’t resist!

dumbo nyc
milk bar nyc
dumbo nyc
milk bar nyc
pietro nolita nyc
pietro nolita nyc

Day 3

We went to one of my favorite places Jack’s Wife Freda for breakfast. I got the eggs benedict that had a hot pink, beet hollandaise sauce and Adrian got a grilled chicken sandwich and french fries. After breakfast, we spent the afternoon in SoHo stopping by different shops. We checked out Artists & Fleas, which is like a marketplace-style shop for local makers and artists in NYC, and stumbled upon the cutest dog store called Wild One. Our treat of the day was grabbing a scoop of edible cookie dough in a cone from Cookie Do. It was SO good, but get a small when you order — I love cookies / cookie dough more than the average girl and even I couldn’t finish it!

jack's wife freda nyc
jack's wife freda nyc

Later that day, I met up with Hillary and we went to Color Factory. She moved to NYC after we graduated college and I haven’t seen her in about two years so we had so much fun catching up. Color Factory is like this experiential museum with little activities, photo opps, and yummy snacks all throughout the way. It was so much fun to explore.

color factory nyc
color factory nyc
color factory nyc
color factory nyc
color factory nyc
color factory nyc
color factory nyc
color factory nyc
color factory nyc

Day 4

Before flying out on my last day in NYC, Adrian and I spent the afternoon walking around the MoMA. My favorite pieces were definitely the Matisse paintings — I especially loved this one called “Goldfish and Sculpture” — but there was also this super cool exhibit of town mockups made out of paper. After lots of walking, we grabbed some fresh pasta before I headed out. It was the perfect way to wrap up my trip to NYC.

moma nyc
moma nyc
moma nyc
moma nyc
moma nyc
moma nyc
moma nyc
moma nyc
moma nyc
moma nyc