Do you ever have that “split personality”-type feeling when you return from vacation? You know, where half of you is totally in the relaxation groove and the other half of you is chomping at the bit to get back to work? If you’re lucky enough to love what you do—like I sure do—then, you know exactly what I’m talking about. 
 
Delta Flight Charleston
Waiting to board our plane in ATL!

Brent and I just returned from our trip to Charleston, South Carolina. It was a great to get away for a few days to rest, to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, and even to do some shopping! 

Charleston Place Hotel

Charleston Place

We stayed at Charleston Place, this great little boutique hotel and spa that was a block off of King Street and a couple blocks from Market Street.

Charleston Place
Highly recommend this hotel. It's right in the middle of everything! No car necessary.

Louis Vuitton at Charleston Place
Of course, my favorite store at Shops at Charleston Place

Shopping On King Street

King Street Charleston
A view of King Street

As you probably know, King Street is like a shopping Mecca, and I rarely miss a Mecca.  Shopping is part of my responsibility as a shop owner, but I don’t consider it work. I enjoy looking at different displays and visiting various boutiques. 

King Street Charleston
So much to do on King Street

Finding Inspiration

And King Street offered plenty. It’s always nice to see what others are doing in the market and to learn from other shopping experiences. To be honest, it’s just as educational in discovering what I don’t want for Bella Vita as it is finding things that I like. 

King Street Displays
Loved this window display. Lots of "display inspiration" in this town!

Plus, it often validates all the hard work and effort we put into making our brand come alive within the walls of our store. We take great care in our customer service and visual displays. (But I digress.)

Carriage Ride Through Cobblestone Streets

Cobblestone Street Charleston
Many streets still have cobblestones. This was picture was taken on Meeting Street.

Carriage Ride Charleston
My first carriage ride. Highly recommended on the first day. It helped us learn our way around the city.

So, we took in the usual sights and relaxed and enjoyed our time on vacation. One afternoon, we took a carriage ride through the cobblestone streets of Charleston to learn about the history of the town. (Like, did you know Charleston boasts the first public college, museum and playhouse in the U.S.?). 

Historic Home Walking Tour

Historic Homes Charleston

Historic Homes Charleston
Porches in Charleston were built facing East to catch the Atlantic breeze.

Historic Homes Charleston

Another day we hoofed it on a five-mile walking tour of historic homes. The antebellum homes were, of course, lovely and quaint and charming and spectacular in all kinds of ways, but that walking part … not much fun. Let’s just say it was hot. And not July in Memphis hot. Try a heat index of 115 degrees! Needless to say, I was thinking more about when this walk would end than what type of shutters were perched upon that old house.

Stephanie in Charleston
I sent this selfie to the girls at the store to see if they liked my new hat!

Oh! And if you’re like me and purchase new outfits for vacation, well I never took the tags off on this trip. The unexpected heat sent me out to purchase much cooler and more breathable attire. So much for my fashion-over-function mantra. 

Quick History Lesson At Fort Sumter

Fort Sumter

Brent Fort Sumter
Brent's a history buff...so this was the favorite part of the trip

Now for more history … there’s a lot in Charleston, as you can imagine. Fort Sumter was at the top of Brent’s agenda, so we went for a visit. There was this battle, and that one, and then infantry and artillery. Amazing stories, mind you, and Brent was in Heaven! Admittedly, war history is not my cup of tea, but I was more than glad to indulge my history buff hubby … even in the heat. I recommend a visit. 

Dining Itinerary

Bike Taxi to Dinner
Take the Bike Taxi everywhere you go, so worth it!

Charleston has so much to offer with incredible home tours, history lessons and shopping inspirations, but the most exciting part for Brent and me was by far the amazing food! We didn't want to get there and figure out that we needed reservations three weeks in advance and miss out on a dining treat, so we planned this itinerary before we left and made reservations at the top spots to eat. So glad we did, because we enjoyed every bite!

Wednesday
Lunch: Fleet Landing
Dinner: Husk

Thursday
Lunch: Jestine's Kitchen
Dinner: Magnolias 

Friday
Lunch: Husk (because it's worth eating there twice)
Dinner: Hank's Seafood Restaurant 

Saturday
Brunch: Poogan's Porch 
Dinner: Slightly North of Broad 

Sunday
Brunch: Eli's Table 
Dinner: Boathouse at Breach Inlet

A Visit To Rewined

Rewined Candles
Rewined Candle HQ. It's all about the candle-making, no frills!

Oh, and before I wrap up, I can’t forget to tell you about our visit to Rewined Candles. If you've never experienced one of these candles, you’re missing out. They are made from re-purposed wine bottles and the scents are based on different wine varietals. It was great to tour the facility, see how the candles are made and meet the owners. Honestly, I was surprised at how big the facility was—7,000 square feet and they ship to 7-10 countries. 

Rewined Candles
Finding out how it's all done

We sell Rewined Candles at Bella Vita, so please come by and check them out. They have a very delicate aroma, and they make great gifts.

Charleston Excursions

Charleston Restaurant
Our gorgeous view while at dinner at Fleet Landing

Sunset Cruise off of Flipp Island
Sunset cruise off of Fripp Island

Overall, our trip to Charleston was just what we needed. Sightseeing, education, fun, food, a little R&R and even a quick excursion to a B&B on the coast. 

Time To Get Back to Bella Vita

Airplane from Charleston
On the plane home - We had so much fun!

Alas, it’s back to the daily grind at the shop, but I’m glad to be home. The staff at Bella Vita kept everything in tip-top shape while we were away—just in time for me to come back all inspired and ready to plan for the fast-approaching holidays. 

One great takeaway from our vacation: we might have discovered a new feature artist for Bella Vita. Stay tuned to see what happens—I can’t wait to share the details! Until next time... 

Posted by Stephanie Singley | Permalink

Bella Notte Bedding

15% Off All Bella Notte, In-Stock & Special Orders

Envelope yourself in comfort and couture with Bella Notte, the world's first easy-care, garment-dyed luxury linens. Dress your bedroom in luscious tones and irresistible textures all at 15% off our in-stock items or special orders this week only!

- The Girls at Bella Vita

Offer valid in-store only Monday, July 22 - Saturday, July 27, 2013 for in-stock items and special orders. Past purchases will not be adjusted. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Additional restrictions may apply, see store for details.

Alyssa & Linen Whisper

Bella Notte Linen Whisper

These very popular linen options pair so nicely together. Alyssa, a linen embellished with cotton velvet ribbon and unhemmed ruffle, offers a great option for a duvet and mixes well with Linen Whisper's softer and more luminous bed skirt. These together offer a nice texture as well as color contrast, while also embodying casual elegance.

Homespun

Bella Notte Homespun

Another customer favorite, Homespun is a heavy linen mesh with a soft feel and classic style. With remarkable details of crochet trim, it offers the perfect touch of romance. Homespun standards or euro pillows are often paired with Alyssa duvet and Linen Whisper bed skirt to create the perfect combination of excitement and charm.

Valentina

Bella Notte Valentina

The newest selection from Bella Notte, Valentina is crafted with breathable charmeuse and offers an ethereal and whimsical texture. Hand sewn with ruffles of translucent silk gauze and pin-tucked detailing, this provides a great accent piece while giving a very feminine touch.

Posted by Stephanie Singley | Permalink

Jul 15 2013

The Perfect Pouch

Sometimes, life gives us a day when a full-sized purse just won't do. It's a common misconception that when you're required to knock out a huge list of to-do's and just can't find the time for a purse, style must take a backseat. Don't fall into that trap, friend! Thanks to one stylish, petite canvas pouch, all of these preconceived notions can be thrown out and a whole new realm of fabulous comes into play.

Petite, Yet Packs a Punch

Rosana Tribal Pouch - Stripes

Though petite in size, this pouch packs the punch of style that every woman requires when taking on a hectic day of errands and obligations. Not sure how to take advantage of its small size? Well you see, this pouch is ideal for holding just the necessities: lip gloss (or stick), keys, ID, credit card and cell phone. It's the perfect way to simplify your life in one realm and enable yourself to give more attention to the small details of your day that insist on pulling you in a million different directions. Ahh, simplicity... sounds lovely, doesn't it? 

Adds Life & Style

Rosana Slate Clutch

The pouch is guaranteed to bring all of the style of a full-sized purse into your favorite ensembles, thanks to the bright colors and fun print options that it presents. Grab it and watch it add life to your most basic jeans and tee attire, and carry it with you as you make pit stops at the mall, the movies, a casual lunch, the grocery store... the possibilities are endless! It's also a great small bag to store your makeup, cash and coins and jewelry in times of travel. Beautiful and versatile? It's a win-win situation.

Lightweight

Rosana Basic Pouch - Ocean

That to-do list has put enough on your plate. There's no need to add the weight of a purse, too. The lesson we're trying to convey? Some days all you need is the perfect pouch!

-The Girls at Bella Vita

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Posted by Stephanie Singley | Permalink


Stephanie

Hi, my name is Stephanie. Like you, I love all things beautiful. The word. The life. The way it makes your soul feel warm and cozy. So curl up with the Girls at Bella Vita as we share our lives with you- our families and friends, our inspirations and ideas, our homes and nests- quite simply, our take on creating a beautiful life.
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