Backyard Travels with JT Ed. 2 Part 4: Ocracoke, NC


Happy Friday my loves!

I am so sad that this is the last installment of Edition 2 for Backyard Travels with JT. I have had so much fun writing and sharing with you about one of my favorite places to travel, while also being able to look back at all the photos and reminisce. That being said, I’ll just have to start planning more trips to take 🙂 Any suggestions on where I should go?

Now without further ado, my favorite part about going to the OBX…Ocracoke Island!


:: How to get there ::

No matter which direction you’re coming from, the only way to get to Ocracoke is by a ferry. Which personally in my opinion is half the fun. I love being on boats and depending on where you ship out from the ride takes anywhere from 30 min – 1 hour. The ferry is extremely convenient because you can drive right on and off. No worries about transportation once you get to Ocracoke.

There are 3 ports you can go out of to get there.

From the South = Cedar Island

From the West = Swan Quarter

From the North = Hatteras

Here is a link that gives you all the times and and updates on how to get there.

For live feed on delays or change of departure times you can follow them via twitter @NCDOT_FERRY





:: Where to Stay ::

1. Silver Lake Motel Inn (One word…Hammocks!)

2. Ocracoke Harbor Inn

3. The Castle at Silver Lake Bed and Breakfast

4. Blackbeards Lodge (Not on the water, but its safe to say it’s named after a famous Pirate, so it must be awesome, right?)





:: Where to Eat ::

1. Jolly Roger – Fish and Chips all the way! (On Silver Lake)

2. SmacNally’s – Love LOVE Love this place, great burgers, cocktails, and open air! (On Silver Lake)

3. Howard’s Pub & Raw Bar Restaurant

4. The Slushy Stand (Amazing Icecream)

5. Gypsy Juice Stand – It was a hot day and we were in heaven when we found this gem! There is also a ship right next to it called TJ Outfitters hot dog and walking taco boat stand. AMAZING and so cute!


Bag: Sseko (If you don’t know this company yet, click on the link, I promise you’ll be glad you did)











:: What to Do ::

1. Teach’s Hole

Blackbeard Exhibit – If you’re a pirate lover and have little kids, this was fun. It’s a very small exhibit, but the kids will really get a kick out of it and there is also some good true facts for the adults to indulge in. Arghhh Matey!

2. Rent a SUP Board, Kayak, or Learn how to surf from Ride the Wind Surf Shop.

3.Horse Back Riding. There are stories about beautiful wild horses that love to run through the islands wildlife. But if you’re not into taming a wild horse, you can get lessons at Charlie Horse Stables and ride along the beach and in the water. Definitely romantic, and definitely on my list!

4. Rent a Golf cart or bicycle and ride around the island. Ocracoke is very small and everything is condensed. Much easier to get around that way then driving and you can see more.














:: Where to Shop ::

1.Down Creek Gallery (My absolute FAVORITE)

2. Island Ragpicker – I got the most amazing woven rug from there!

3. Ride the Wind Surf Shop – Aside from rentals, this place is awesome for bathing suits, sunglasses, and cute island wear.

4. Village Craftsmen (Tons of handmade goodness)





That is it my loves! I hope that you loved spending time reading and looking at pictures of a vacation destination that is very special to me! Please leave comments if you have any questions about any of the areas or if there are any hidden gems you know about that I didn’t mention. I also need to give a huge shout out to Lori, and my mother, both of whom introduced me to these amazing places and especially to Lori for always welcoming me in her beautiful home.

Till the next adventure!



Backyard Travels with JT Ed. 2 Part 3: Buxton/Frisco/Hatteras


Happy Wednesday my loves!

It’s finally here…Part 3 of Backyard Travels in the OBX. I’ve grouped Buxton, Frisco, and Hatteras all in one post because they are pretty much on the same ‘Island’, but also this is where I have vacationed more than a few times at a family friends beautiful home.  It’s always amazing to me when I go on vacation here because it seems so small, yet there is always something new, fresh, and fun to do. While we were on our travels this time, we had the babies with us and found even more fun things to do that I previously never knew existed. Listen, age is just a number, kids know how to have real fun, and that is exactly what we did. I hope you do to, enjoy!


:: Where to Stay ::

Like I have said in my previous posts, rentals are the way to go when you visit the OBX but these hotels/motels definitely peaked my interest.

1. Lighthouse View (Buxton)

2. Cape Hatteras Motel (Buxton)

3. Inn on Pamlico Sound (Buxton) Great Wedding Spot

4. Ivey Coast (Hatteras)

5. Villas of Hatteras Landing (Hatteras)






:: Where to Eat ::

1. Diamond Shoals Restaurant (Buxton) and they serve SUSHI!!

2. Sandbar & Grill (Buxton) Great for watching the Sunset.

3. Rusty’s Surf and Turf (Buxton)

4. Gingerbread House Bakery (Frisco) Funny combination, but they had amazing pizza and awesome pastries/coffee. Double whammy in my book!

5. Scotch Bonnet Fudge and Gifts (Frisco) As seen on the Food Network and yes it is worth going to for gifts and of course the fudge.

6. The Wreck (Hatteras) Great place to grab a cocktail while you do a little (or a lot) of shopping before hopping on the ferry to Ocracoke.

7. Dinky’s Waterfront Restaurant (Hatteras)

Diamond Shoals







:: What to Do ::

1. Deep Sea Fishing – There are a ton of Marina’s but we went through Hatteras Harbor Marina and fished on the ‘Lucky Chip’ with Captain Neff. I personally love to fish, especially deep sea fishing so it is a must for me when traveling. Its beautiful, relaxing yet exciting, and you get to eat your catch once you’re done. Completely rewarding if you ask me!

2. Mini Golf and Go-Carting – Yes I know, we traveled across country to do something that essentially we could do everyday back home. But let me tell you, we had SO much fun, and it was the perfect outing with all of the little ones.

3. Shopping – Most of the stores around here are gift stores, but I’ve found some of the most eclectic pieces from jewelry, to pottery, and even art. Just drive down Rt. 12 and stop at the first shop that looks interesting. It’s what we always do.

4. Light House Climbs – Research it, you’ll thank me later!

5. Seaworthy Gallery – I have not been here but this is something that is high on my list.













:: Best Beaches ::

1. Cape Point (Hatteras) This is where you can see the famous Light House.

2. Frisco has great 4×4 beach driving and recreation. There is also a spot that is right off Rt. 12 that has a nice bathroom and showers to clean up after all the salt, sand, sun and fun.

3. Right across from this spot in Frisco you have the Pamlico Sound, which as we heard from a local, is the perfect location to go kite-boarding. I’m sure also for SUP boarding and kayaking. However, you will have to rent them beforehand.










Thanks for stopping by, I really really appreciate it 🙂

I hope that you’ve been enjoying this series of Backyard Travels with JT. Traveling is such an important aspect of my life and I hope that I am inspiring others to take that trip they’ve been dreaming about going on. Traveling is more than just a luxury, there’s inspiration to be had, culture to be learned, people to meet, new languages to learn, hearts to be stirred, desires to arise, respect to be gained. But most importantly I think it personally helps us as humans grow…within ourselves, but also with the world and the people we share it with.

I have one more part for my travels in the OBX and that is Ocracoke. Till then…



#MotivationMonday :: Love Yourself


Happy Monday my loves!

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend!!! I definitely did. I just got back from visiting my beautiful Grandmother down in Florida with ALL of my girl cousins. She wasn’t able to come up to Chicago this summer so we decided to go down and surprise her…and oh my gosh, she was soooo surprised. I still can’t believe we pulled it off, it was amazing and beautiful and definitely an experience I am sure none of us will ever forget.

My awesome cousin Amanda took these photos of me and as we were taking them my whole thought process sort of evolved and turned into something completely different. Something more beautiful than the pictures themselves. You see, never in a million years did I think I would be posting photos of myself in a bikini, non the less on a blog for everyone in the world to see. People are so ridiculed these days for merely nothing. Not being skinny enough, wearing to much makeup, not being pretty enough, not being smart enough, saying the wrong thing, it has gotten out of control.

I’ve recently had personal insecurities about my weight, and what I look like. I’ve also recently been guilty of thinking I couldn’t be happy or at peace until I took the weight off, and looked like something else. I was originally taking these photos to showcase one of the new designs for my label I am starting. But while taking these photos I had a moment, a moment while walking down the beach in a bikini posing for photos that I thought, screw this, this post is for the girls out there who are insecure, the ones who don’t feel beautiful and should be told their beautiful everyday. The one’s who have humongous hearts and deserve the world and deserve to be happy and at peace and live with wild abandon and not care about what other people think or say. I know I have lived way to long with that mindset myself, and just looking back at these pictures I know in those moments I felt it. I felt it because I know…I know deep down who I am, what I have, and what I can accomplish. So today I just wanted to say love yourself, be kind to yourself, and celebrate yourself, today and everyday. You are beautiful the way you are right now and if there are things you need to work on, acknowledge them, write them down, work hard at them every single day, but please, don’t let a day go by without recognizing and celebrating your own worth.















LastHat : Eugenia Kim Bathing Suit: Victoria Secret (Old) Coverup: triphahn (coming soon)

Thanks for stopping by. I truly hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any inspiring words or advice, please leave in the comments!