Category Archives: lifestyle

Exploration Post: Abbeville, SC

I’ll be honest. I didn’t expect to come back from Abbeville as inspired as I am. I couldn’t wait to get back home and start on this article. This town may be small, but the memories I brought back were anything but mini. I’ve never brought my mom on one of my explorations before, so I brought her + we met up w/ my friend Janae who just happens to be a local 🙂

It’s rare to go someplace you’ve never been and feel more at home than ever. Everywhere I ventured came with new experiences. HUGE thank you to Renee Smith of the Belmont Inn. I’d also like to thank William Savitz of the Village Grill along with his wife Molly. The Belmont provided us with a complementary stay for my article + the Village Grill gave us a complementary meal. They also did everything they could to give us the best experience possible <3

The history of the Belmont Inn screams from every nook and cranny. I was exploring + I found a large scrapbook. It held pictures of the Belmont Inn’s grand opening in NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR. Why is this hidden gem the perfect place? Because instead of wiping away all the history, the owners kept it updated. You’ll find antiques all over the inn. From typewriters to a gorgeous sleek black piano casually piecing the space together. It’s the cleanest + classiest place. Renee + everyone along with her made sure our stay was exceptional.

“Currently, the Inn has 25 remodeled rooms. Enjoy the dining room, serving freshly prepared food in a casual elegant atmosphere; and the “Tinker’s Alley,” serving a bar menu and libations, now open for business. The Inn also has ample meeting space for corporate retreats, meetings, and seminars, as well as wedding receptions, class, and family reunions. The Belmont Inn offers a perfect getaway for your corporate clients and family with comfortable rooms, meeting space, and exceptional food. Our room was stunning. Drapes swept over the blue walls, christened by the sun. The furniture was perfectly placed from the brown oak desk to the couches by the window. Our view was like no other, staring right out into the square.”

the belmont inn scrapbook

For dinner, we headed out to the Village Grill (110 Trinity Street Abbeville, SC 29620) I discovered this place during my Abbeville research. They’re most popular for their homemade food + incredible service. It was Friday night + packed. Even so, the wait was only 10-15 minutes! We were led into a lovely waiting room covered in love seats. The couple across from us told us all the desserts were to DIE for. They also advised us to check out the specials! As a vegetarian, I was excited to see what options would be available.

A few minutes before our names were called, one of the workers came in to take the trash to the back. As the couple was describing the desserts the lady exasperatingly fell to the ground, expressing how amazing the food was. Y’all it was HILARIOUS + she was so sweet. We later found out she was the owner’s wife Molly!

First we all ordered a house salad. It came with iceberg + leaf lettuce topped with grated Monterey Jack cheese, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, chopped eggs, bacon and almond slivers. My mom also ordered a Ruben sandwich. It was a thin sliced spiced beef brisket topped with swiss cheese and sauerkraut, with spicy mustard and mayo. Served on grilled rye. Janae ordered the Blackened Chicken Fettuccine. The fettuccine was tossed in a rich parmesan cream sauce with cajun spiced chicken, baby spinach and mushrooms. All together I had the salad + an order of their SUPER CRISPY FRIES they were so good. BTW I know some of you guys are vegetarians like me, I asked for no bacon on my salad + it was no problem 🙂

I actually got to sit with Molly for a few minutes! She makes the desserts with REAL marshmallows + graham crackers. Also, I thought it was neat that she never buys cookies, like most restaurants do. When asking what I should order, she said “Each pallet is different, so go with your craving.” Point is, you can’t go wrong 😉

janae <3

For dessert my mom got the cheesecake with raspberry sauce + I ordered the turtle cheesecake. The pecans + caramel/chocolate on the top of my cheesecake made the whole cake extra delicious! *insert heart eyes* lol. I can HONESTLY say it was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had.

Saturday was just as exceptional. Breakfast was SO good. It’s continental + they have all your favorites from oatmeal to fresh orange juice. Literally everything is fresh + the coffee is home brewed. Most of the items are in the breakfast room 24/7, which totally helped my midnight cravings haha! During breakfast I ran into a lady named Beck. I remember her so well because I recall her being incredibly sweet. I believe she said she was the inn’s event planner. Also, I thought it was neat that she was a teacher for over THIRTY years. Every employee in that hotel is so down to earth + truly care about their town + it’s history.

After breakfast I decided to do some thrift shopping. There’s a Goodwill only 20 minutes from the Belmont Inn. On my way out, Renee told me there was live music in the square that night at this place called Natty’s on Trinity! It’s right across from the Village Grill.

I heard the music AS SOON as I pulled onto the street. It was love at first sight. As soon as I walked into Natty’s everything hit me at once. Words nor pictures can do Natty’s justice. I was consumed with positive vibes as creativity poured out of every being around me. Fortunately, we got there just in time for the band to start. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard real music that strong. They bled their hearts out on the stage + I felt every emotion + every pluck. To my left, there was a table covered in food + art supplies. A notebook left open, displayed these INCREDIBLE drawings. I wanted to take a picture but I refrained out of respect for the artist.

In the back of the building there was a table set for chess, which I shamelessly destroyed my mom in. Across from that table there were a set of stairs that led to a loft. You could see the entire restaurant from up there. In the corner was a stand with every record you’ve ever wanted. Like I said, as much as I try words can’t do it justice. Lucky for you guys, I took pictures 😉 Natty’s also has open mic, trivia, karaoke, and more! If you’d like more details on events happening, feel free to call at (864) 366-6288.

Overall, I had an amazing trip. As usual thank you guys for reading + supporting 🙂 see you on my next adventure. xo, mikayla

“When you’re traveling, you are what you are, right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.”
— William Least Heat-Moon

my uncle: wide receiver for the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS.

In honor of the Super Bowl today, I thought I’d do a little bragging 😉 My family are the most important people in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, with my purple Tamagotchi hanging from my backpack, they’ve always encouraged me to be the BEST I can be. It’s been stressed that I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to as long as I put God first. So, the way I see it is I owe them everything + I wanted to do a special article for my uncle: STANLEY MORGAN.

He lives in Tennessee but he & my aunt come to visit as much as they can. I can remember Stanley coming to see my grandma, hands full of football cards. He’d save the best ones for my brother, inked with his signature. School & grades were always  the base of our conversations. I always admired the way he’d focus on us, especially with all the amazing things he’s experienced. Although right now he’s too sick to travel long distances, he stays in touch with us as much as possible.

My dad would tell us stories of how he would watch all the games and meet all the coaches. They’d let him run out with the team & how he got to meet some of the greats. My dad ended up playing football in high school, his entire family fell in love with the sport.

NFL.com notes him as one of the most underrated players of all-time.

“For a long time Morgan was one of the most feared deep threats in football, averaging 19.4 yards per catch for his career. Slot guys today don’t record single catches of 19 yards let alone average that much. His numbers compare favorably with Pro Football Hall of Famers Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. But because he wasn’t flying around in January like those two, he’s not in Canton where he should be.”

Although he played from 1997-1989, he’s still remembered today as one of the best players of all time. Therefore, in 2007 he was inducted into the Patriots Hall Of Fame.

“He hauled in 534 career reception, a franchise record that stood for 17 years. He remains the franchise record holder with 10,352 receiving yards and 67 touchdowns. His career average of 19.2 yards per catch still stands as an NFL record for those with more than 500 career receptions. Morgan also holds the single season receiving record for touchdowns (12 in 1979) and yards (1,491 in 1986). A four-time Pro Bowl honoree, he also was a fine punt returner, ranking among the career leaders in Patriots history. In 2007, Morgan was inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame.”

Even today, Patriot fans are OUTRAGED that Stanley isn’t in the NFL Hall of Fame. The reason he isn’t is because he was humble. He didn’t put focus on getting famous and putting his brand out there. Stanley put everything into the game and his team. As of today, Patriot fans everywhere are fighting to get him admitted. With his talent compared to his stats, the best things are worth waiting for.

thanks for reading guys, next blog post will be an exploration post so stay tuned!! also, make sure to follow me on instagram for faster blog updates @_mikaylahunt_ <3

xo, mikayla

I’M BACK! with a new clothing line :-)

MY APOLOGIES FAMILY. I took a month off to put together something I’ve been dreaming about doing for a very long time. After many long nights & stressful mornings, I finally launched my new line ‘Cinnamon Gray’ on January 29th! *insert heart emoji* haha, I’m absolutely ecstatic to start this journey. I’ve been taking care of myself mentally + physically in anticipation for the new year. Reading more books, working on my relationship with God, eating healthy breakfasts, & coming up with more blog posts ideas for you guys! There’s been some rocky roads along the way, but I can’t express how thankful I am to have you guys with me. If you have any ideas or a topic you’d like me to write about don’t be afraid to let me know! This is a new year for fresh inspiration + I absolutely crave it. Make sure to follow my line on Instagram @cinnamongray! Check it out & tell me what you think! It means the world that you guys have supported me this far. I’m thinking weekly blog posts ? we’ll be in touch 😉 xo, mikayla

“we are all broken, that’s how the lights get in.” -ernest hemingway

5 Ways to Be Blissfully Happy

I feel like I’ve been the worst mood lately. You know it’s bad when you constantly wake up aggravated, haha. I put together a list of stuff I’ve been doing to get myself back on track. Kind of a self-help thing. Hopefully it helps you guys as much as it helps me!


  1. Start doing new things. It seems pretty basic but I’ve found so much relief in exploration. Whether it’s trying a new recipe or discovering a cute little coffee shop. GET OUT OF YOUR EVERYDAY ROUTINE. “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” -Anna Quindlen
  2. Take care of yourself. Buy a new face mask. Get your nails done. As odd as it may sound, it’s so easy to forget the little things. Which brings me to number three-
  3. Appreciate the little things. Whether it’s food, movies (no matter how sappy), animals, or even those favorite pair of fuzzy socks! “Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you are supposed to.” -Susan Cain, Quiet
  4. Forgive. As much as I hate to admit, I have the hardest time showing forgiveness. Until, I realized that if I keep carrying that burden with me, I’m never going to be able to accomplish my goals. It SUCKS, but showing a forgiving spirit in all things totally helps. People are horrible, but it doesn’t mean you have to sink to their level. Before you know it you’ll end up being the one gasping for air. “When you forgive, you heal. When you let go, you grow.”
    MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC. You’d be surprised how much your fav album picks up your mood on a gloomy day. If you want my advice: curl up with a good book or that essay you haven’t finished. It’s the little things 🙂 “You only hear the music, When your heart begins to break.” -My Chemical Romance
  5. The best for last: FRIENDS! I don’t know what I would do in a world without my closest pals. Having incredible people in your life means everything. Especially when you feel like you have nothing.

Thanks for reading guys! see you soon, xo <3 enjoy the poetry except below.

“I think I must’ve been
a traveller of some sort in
some past life I cannot recall.
Because my blood boils and
and my mind drifts,
I yearn to leave this place,
and every place I’ve ever been.I cannot stay.
My soul does not let me.
That can be the only reason as to
why I feel so trapped in your arms,
or caged by this city, stuck in this
maze of people and buildings that
are getting too old.”

my wake up call.

Hey guys, thank you as always for checking out my blog <3

There’s something that’s been bothering me for a while now, and I feel like I should speak out because it’s affecting my relationship with you guys. I feel like it’s affecting how I transpose my feelings into blog posts.

There’s been a lot of people pressuring me to start making more money whether it’s covering events or selling space on my blog, whatever. Lately I’ve felt like I need to push myself harder to make more money, and in the process I’m forgetting why I started this blog in the first place. I love talking to you guys and hearing all about how you enjoy my posts. I love the experiences and adventures I get to go on & I thank God everyday that I’m able to do something I love. I’m so thankful for my close friends and family who’ve supported me in more ways than one. I’m still in awe of how far I’ve come and I owe you guys my best self.

The other night, I was applying for a blogging job online and I haven’t felt that overloaded since I was in high school. They needed essay after essay and research after research. My head was pounding, and I literally felt sick to my stomach because I’d built up so much stress. So, TO EVERYONE PUSHING ME TO BECOME SOMETHING I’M NOT, starting today I’m gonna try and remember why I started blogging in the first place.

Jordan Fisher once told me that, “If you do the things you love, money will come. Focus on your own happiness.” Currently craving the passion to find new fashion statements, defend animal rights, look up amazing art, create new experiences, and try to find meaning in writing again. find myself again <3

xo, mikayla

“The more we associate experiences with cash value, the more we think that money is what we need to live. And the more we associate money with life, the more we convince ourselves that we’re too poor to buy our own freedom.” -Rolf Potts

I GOT SIGNED BY AN AGENCY!!

d95850_351d9f6ba9f646fd965cc745635d5a34-png_srz_318_187_85_22_0-50_1-20_0-00_png_srz

“Hi Mikayla,

We are happy to say we have discussed at the agency your application and we would like to take you on to our agency.

We would like to take you on to our bloggers section.

Tom will be your agent so feel free to put ” For bookings, tom@thebloggeragency.net “ on your social’s.

I am the Director and would like to personally welcome you to The Blogger Agency.
Welcome To The Blogger Agency- Mikayla!

Many Thanks,

Lois
Staffing Director”

Officially the coolest email I have every recieved. FIRST OFF, The Blogger Agency represents models, actors, actresses, kids, animals, and of course: bloggers. I applied months ago, not expecting a response. Honestly, I was feeling down at the time and business was slow. The reason I became a blogger is so I can do volunteer bible work, teaching people about God. of course, I also love what I do 🙂 What the Blogger Agency does is connect brands with social media influencers like me. Such as Google, Pandora, Yahoo, Tumblr, ModCloth, etc. As a full-time blogger, getting jobs can be extremely difficult. The Blogger Agency makes sure you’re connected with the best of the best!

Anyway, when I got this email I had no idea how to react. I grabbed my things and took myself on a date to the Cheesecake Factory. After an entire plate of crab cakes and strange looks from the waiters, I came to a conclusion that I was proud of myself. In this business, everything is unpredictable. Which is actually a huge reason I love it, but this was more than that. My own personal accomplishment.

“I’m not sure what I’ll do, but- well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

shoutout to everyone who’s been with me through this incredible journey 🙂 shoutout to coffee + netflix for all the late night support. shoutout to everyone who kept me company while i was in the hospital. i don’t wanna say names but you guys know who you are. shoutout to everyone who helped me with the endless photoshoots and events and makeup i love you guys endlessly. shoutout to the advice givers, the attitude forgivers, and of course my familyyy. for all the love and support no matter how annoying 😉

“As long as your words survive, then you lived and you mattered and you changed the world and I cannot remember your name.” -Neil Gaiman

 

 

Vlogging: starting my new youtube channel <3

I’m SO EXCITED to start this new adventure with you guys!! I’ve already finished editing my first video which I’ll upload soon. I had the GREATEST time filming it with my friends. Make sure to subscribe! You can click here to be directed straight to it. Thanks so much! (enjoy this quote by oscar wilde) 🙂

“With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”

I’m going on tour?? // how to be truly happy :-)

One city after the next, hotel to hotel, getting to meet your fans all over America. The Jam Tour (also known as the Social Jam Tour) seemed like everything I wanted. It actually WAS everything I wanted. Especially getting to meet you guys. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of you randomly in North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina. As much as I wanna travel to every city and every state FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, I can’t. I was emailing back and forth with the tour manager, Ann, who’s the sweetest woman. This opportunity was everything I’d dreamed of. The Jam Tour has featured stars such as: Taylor Caniff who now has his OWN tour, Sammy Wilk who now spends his weekends with the Kardashians, and LohAnthony who starred on Jimmy Kimmel. The tour was created for young people who got their start on social media whether they’re singing, dancing, or maybe it’s just their presence. Starting in October they’re hitting Florida, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Nashville the list keeps going.

As Ann asked me what cities I was interested in, my mind wandered to what I was ACTUALLY interested in. There’s so many goals I have, like teaching people about the bible. Traveling with my friends and my family. Getting to truly know myself. You get what you put into, so if I knew I wasn’t gonna put 100% into this tour then it wouldn’t be fair to myself to invest in it. As a new graduate I need to take time to expose & explore the world around me right now. It still sucks to see my friends I met online go on tour & getting to do all this cool stuff. Honestly, it was an honor to even be considered. But for future notice, if any of you guys ever wanna check it out I’ll put the link here.

I kinda just wanted to share my real life example for anyone who may be going through the same thing. Even though I don’t plan on spending my entire life in the same place, I know that the time will come but now’s just not that time. There’s gonna be so many things trying to distract you from what you want to do. ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO IN LIFE. All this awesome stuff is gonna happen but if it’s doesn’t go along with what you see in your life & your future, you can’t go along with it. You were blessed with the opportunity to do what ever you put your mind to. I needed someone to tell me that, so hopefully I can be that person for someone else. You are amazing & you are truly one of a kind. It sucks doing life, but it sucks a little less to have things & people in your life that make you genuinely happy.

“YOU ARE NOT STUCK.” -unknown

My Phone Was Stolen in Myrtle Beach!

 

It was spring break 2k16 at the Monatary Bay Suites. Palm trees gently brushed the crisp air. I traveled to Myrtle Beach with an iPhone 5 & came home empty handed.

On the last night my friends Janae, Qieana & I went walking down the boardwalk. There wasn’t a soul on the beach, everyone seemed to be caught up in all the hype. Horns were blaring as we squeezed through the crowds of spring breakers. To my left, four girls jumped out of their car at the red light and started dancing in the street at the beat of the crowd. We proceeded to make a turn into a cute little souvenir shop. Hoodies & t-shirts seemed to swallow us up.

As we trailed down the scattered aisles, we stopped at the messy counter. While my friends were talking to the store employee, I set my phone down & lost focus. As we head out the store, my mind was on the ice cream shop on the corner. Little did I know that as we were leaving, the thieves passed right by us. Five minutes later we raced back to the store to retrieve my phone. It was nowhere to be found. My friends frantically called an employee over. She frightenly said that the guys who came in at the same we left, took it while at the register. All frustration aside, we asked for a description. One had a red hoodie and the other had a black t-shirt. On spring break. In Myrtle Beach. Population: 27,109. After hours of searching, my friends were so supportive. They actually went up to these guys in a group who fit the description PERFECTLY and asked them to empty their pockets. Even though we couldn’t find anything, we only searched the two.

I suddenly remember that we arrived in an Uber! Janae quickly called our driver but sadly, it was nowhere to be found. To be honest, the worst part of the entire experience is having to loose all my memories. When we got back home, a few days later I got an iPhone 6 plus.

As I’m typing this, my phone is laying right beside my keyboard. I’ve still got all my contacts, my notes, and my Candy Crush progress. I lost all my photos/videos. The concerts, the shows, my friends. I felt like a huge part of my life was missing. Then I had a revelation. All my memories swirling around in my head, I usually type up. I don’t need videos. I don’t need a “timeline”. I have ME. I have my writing. I don’t need media to show you guys my experiences, when I can use my words to put you IN them. Yes, I may have lost one of the only good selfies I had. But in the end, I have all I need. Pizza Hut on speed dial. Til’ next time Myrtle Beach!

“Society taught us how to hate. Hate taught us violence. Violence taught us regret. Regret taught us pain. Pain taught us love. Love taught us how to laugh and laughter makes every moment far more beautiful then we could ever imagine.” -Robert M. Drake

Everything I Learned From A Week in NYC

Forget everything you’ve ever heard about the big city. Forget the meaningless stories about found dreams and deserved success. New York City is a dirty, relentless, unforgiving mess. I had the absolute time of my life. Here’s a list of everything I brought back:

  1. This is probably the most basic thing. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. There is not another you in this entire universe and before you know it there won’t be a you at all. So quit it, okay?
  2. The way you dress means everything. Not in a “oh let me grab my chanel” kind of way but in a positive way. You let the world know who you are by what you wear. You’re defining your entire existence, which isn’t something most people realize.
  3. MEAN PEOPLE ARE MEAN BECAUSE THEIR LIVES SUCK SO THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE EVERYONE ELSE’S DOES AS WELL. I had $20 stolen from me one night in Times Square, but you have to realize that people aren’t cruel because they want to be. There’s always a motive. Fast forward ten years, see where they are. Look at reality. You can’t fight every human being that puts your name in their mouth. Outside the small world you’re in is an entire universe. There are two kinds of people. The people who promote peace, and the people that don’t know how. No matter which one you are, grow up. There’s always room to improve. As if our lives aren’t miserable enough, we have to deal with ignorant human beings. I think it’s absolutely hilarious, this world is so messed up that we have to tear each other down. No one wants to admit it, because as a society we’re immune.
  4. Food is God’s gift to us. Stop eating fast food three times a week. Diversity is the most amazing gift. Try sushi, find authentic asian food, be spontaneous. Meanwhile, there’s a kid across the world wondering what in the world a Big Mac is.
  5. Loose yourself. Just walking out into the raw Manhattan streets was breathtaking. It’s not the bright yellow taxis or the limousines that rolled by. It’s the joy of throwing yourself out into the giant puzzle piece we call the city. Thousands of puzzles pieces that will never be put together. No picture could have captured that moment.
  6. Please I beg of you, don’t let that one person destroy you. Don’t let them take you down with them. “Let them criticize who they think you are.” I don’t know about you guys, but I come from a conservative town that has trouble accepting anything new. Ignorance intoxicates everything I aspire to become. And all I did was throw myself into the city, to realize it.

Next stop: Los Angeles, California.

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.”