Good Food In Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic Connecticut is such a cute and well known sea-side town.
There are lot of city guides and pinions on where you should shop/eat/visit but today I wanted to share some places that I personally enjoyed going to grab a bite to eat. I love highlighting local businesses who have a passion for putting our quality food & product for those who visit them. I’m also a sucker for places that just feel like a warm hug from a friend & all of these places have that quality.

If you’re visiting the area soon you’ve got to check out these places and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I’m a lover of all types of good food (as most of us are) and these places delivered above and beyond the normal eating experience. Good food is good food!

1 Grass & Bone

This place BLEW ME AWAY.
Being a southerner in the northeast means when I find a diamond in the rough with food that taste like back home I get really excited! Eddie & I went in and got one of their lunch specials which was a ham & cheese sandwich and a bowl of rotisserie chicken & vegetable soup. This wasn’t just any sandwich and soup combination – this was beyond delicious. I actually took a bite of the soup an almost started weeping because it tasted just like my grandmas recipe back home. The sandwich was fresh cut ham, scrumptious cheese, and buttery rye bread. Eddie and I both wanted to take more home with us and eat it for dinner.
The pride themselves on selling locally sourced meats and have a wide array of meat you can get from their shop and I promise that you will regret it if you don’t eat here while in town!
Located: Downtown Mystic
*right photo from their instagram @grassandbonect

2 Jealous Monk

Talk about a cozy place.
The minute we walked in I felt like I was transported back to Europe into a neighborhood pub. They have A TON of draft beers on tap (at least 32!) so if you like to taste different brews you’d be in the right place. I scarfed down a proper burger that was so dang good and their fries – goodness their fries are amazing. I’m so glad we took a recommendation to check them out.
Located: Old Mystic Village
*photos from their instagram @jealousmonkct

3 Bleu Squid

Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t a seafood joint. This place is known for their grilled cheeses and desserts and both are great! Also their breakfast sandwiches and hot lobster roll = SO GOOD.
Located: Old Mystic Village
*photos from their facebook page.

4 M Bar 

This place is the cutest; it’s a restored gas station featuring coffee, wine, spirits and inspired small plates. I met a girl for brunch and coffee at this place and let me tell you – it was so dang good!
Definitely a must-go place for brunch. I haven’t had their dinner but it all looks very tasty!
Located: Right outside of Downtown Mystic
*photos from their facebook page.

5 Karma Kitchen

I stumbled upon this place when looking for more of a clean-eating option and there weren’t many places in the area that offered that. I’ve had their smoothies, bowls, and hot items = all were delicious!
Location: Downtown Mystic
*photos from their facebook page.

6 Sift
I’ve mentioned Sift before but I had to include it in this list.
Their baked goods are SO GOOD (those sea salt chocolate chip cookies are out of this world) and so are their croissants. I’ve gotten their vegetable croissant and it was so filling and delicious and was a great breakfast/lunch option (or even dinner!)
Location: Downtown Mystic

Have you traveled to Mystic, CT before?
What were some of your favorite places you visited to grab some grub?

Birthday Celebration – Essex Steam Train

For my birthday this year Eddie created a Harry Potter day for us to enjoy.
He took me on a Steam Train Ride where we rode through the fall foliage and then hopped on a river boat and road around looking at all the beautiful CT scenery. Since arriving in Connecticut I’ve heard more than a handful of times that the steam train was a fall must; so I was so happy that Eddie surprised me with it. It really did feel like were were in a scene from Harry Potter on our way to Hogwarts for a new semester to start.

I also almost caused us to miss the train because I was taking my sweet time getting ready – I didn’t understand the time schedule apparently 😉 haha.
When we got home that night Eddie made us some Butterbeer (SO GOOD but sooooo sweet) and we binge watched a few Harry Potter movies. In the beginning of our relationship (well the first time before he dumped me!) we watched Harry Potter on repeat together…we may have made out during it a few times to. #honesty

This was also my first birthday being away from family & friends and it felt super, super weird.
Thankfully the day before my birthday I took some engagement pictures for my brother and his fiancé!!! On my actual birthday  Eddie & I were able to attend Orlando & Emilys engagement party in CT with her family and it was so nice to spend time with everyone in celebration of love!

I also received some sweet birthday cards and some presents that blew me out of the water:

+ Dyson V8 Animal Cord-Free Vacuum – The husband got me this and he said he felt like a total tool getting me a vacuum for my birthday; but y’all this gift is SO GOOD. With hardwood floors and cat litter and tobi crawling all over the couches and he is long-haired so I went through so many lint rollers. I made him open the box, put it together (so easy) and charge it so I could use it THAT night #YouKnowYoureAnAdultWhen…

+ Harry Potter Glasses Ring (Alex & Ani) – My brother helped feed my HP love with this ring (in gold); to say I love it would be an understatement! I love wearing all my HP!

+ Time Teepee Necklace – My sweet friend Maria got me this necklace (she had no idea I had been eyeing it for a while either!). We are definitely a tribe! After being roomies for about 7 years you kind of start looking at each other as sisters instead of simply “friend”.

+ Mermaid Hair Don’t Care Tea Towel & Anchor Bracelet – My aunt/uncle/cousins got me a handful of super sweet gifts and the cutest mermaid card ever!

It was so nice to text texts and phone calls throughout my special day.
Birthdays change as you get older and especially when you move way from your hometown; but it’s learning to be thankful in all the little things along the way.

Sift Bake Shop | Mystic, CT

I’m a lover of buying local, especially when it comes to coffee shops and sweets.
Maybe it’s the fact that there is a little extra love put into each cup and bite coming from someone chasing their dreams; I’m not sure, but it just taste better to me.
I stumbled upon Sift when I was in Mystic for a branding photoshoot a few weeks back and completely fell in love. The space is so crisp and clean, the baristas were beyond sweet, the food and drink were delicious, and those pumpkins just made everything a little bit better. I’m not sure about y’all but a warm drink is 10x better in the fall when the air is crisp.

Sometimes I find myself getting lost in thought inside of a coffee shop.
Something about the welcoming atmosphere and people just “being” that makes me take a pause for a moment or two. As I was sipping on my chai tea I found myself really processing all that has happened in the last eight months and how thankful I am. I’ve married the love of my life, moved (twice), seen so many new places, met new people, been tested, found some creativity, etc. It’s humbling to just pause and reflect and sip on something warm.

Where are some of your favorite local hangouts?
I would love to add them to my list in case I’m ever in the area! =)

Sift Bake Shop
Mystic, CT

Whittle’s Willows Farm – Pumpkin Patch

This past week I finally was able to cross off going to a pumpkin patch in New England.
I had asked for a few suggestions in town on which pumpkin patches to go walk through and this little gem only got a few mentions; which kind of broke my heart. After driving through Mystic I am completely floored that more people don’t know about this pumpkin patch AND apple orchard and that more people don’t suggest it! It could simply be that I asked within a Navy wife group and they are all newer to the area as well; because while I was at the stand looking at all of the delicious fruits & veggies so many locals stopped by to pick up produce for their meals! It’s also at the beginning of the season and it was mid-day during the week; so I can’t be too saucy. 😉
This was my first time (that I can recall) walking through an apple orchard and it was really beautiful to see the hanging branches full of such sweet goodness. The apples were HUGE and smelled delightful; I kind of felt like Snow White as I picked through the apples and selected my favorites.

This is my first (and possibly only) New England fall and I have a list about a mile long of all of the places I want to see and things I want to do while I’m here. I have a handful of other pumpkin patches on the list that I’ll be exploring as well as a few orchards, corn mazes, and events! The leaves have already started to change and to say I’m excited could be a huge understatement! I’m not sure if y’all can remember how stoked I was about visiting last year and walking around Salem Massachusetts and if I’m honest things are a little different now this year with being away from my home town and all my decorations. We have a few small pumpkins dusting our kitchen island and a handful of silhouetted bats flying on the walls – but overall the decor is tame (since I left 100% of it in Charleston). Which makes exploring all of the fall places that much more dear to my heart.

Octobers are my favorite.

Whittle’s Willows Spring Farm
Mystic, CT

Stay tuned for more New England Fall Fun! <3

Grounded Coffee Co | Willimantic, CT

Since we’ve been in Connecticut I’ve found myself doing lots and lots of driving.
Finding new towns to explore, state parks to be seen, and some of the most gorgeous sea-side americano towns I’ve ever seen; it’s been an adventure.
Recently I scheduled a photography session in the town of Willimantic (it was a middletown for the two of us) and I had yet to visit it so I planned a day to go explore the area for some great session locations.

I found myself stumbling into Grounded Coffee Co and felt like I had just walked into a friends home. The staff was so sweet and we chatted about all of the things I should see while walking through town (which is where I learned about the drive in movie theater!). I tried a new drink, their honey chai latte, and downed it so fast I felt like ordering another but instead nibbled on a cowboy cookie!

Truth be told I love coffee shops.
There is something completely welcoming about them; I also love trying all the local drinks people carry that you can’t get anywhere else! I’ll actually be sharing my favorite places for chai tea lattes in the area come fall time. Who doesn’t love to hear about new coffee shops?!

Grounded Coffee Co, Willimantic CT
Kamerette Camera Bag

Drive In Movie

When I posted about my updated 30 before 30 list I had no idea I would be able to cross off one so quickly! Just a few days after posting Eddie and I went to the Mansfield Drive-In Movie Theatre to watch Despicable Me 3 and lounge in the back of my car.
I did the best I could to make the small space comfortable with some blankets, oversized pillows, lights, and comfy clothes (and slippers!). We loaded up with some much needed movie snacks: Smart Popcorn, Larabar bites (I legit ate the ENTIRE bag!), banana chips, KIND bars, and some bottles of water to get us through the movie.
It was a chilly night full of snuggles, laughing (the movie is so cute!), and checking something off of my list!
To say I had fun would be an understatement; I’ve already decided that we are going to go back a few more times because not only is it the most amazing experience, but it’s super cheap to see a movie! ((and next time we’re going to take the truck and a blow up air mattress!))

Now, to add a little back story to the scene – because things aren’t always perfect.
The day of the movie Eddie and I were having a little tift, nothing serious and honestly it is mainly just the cycle of being a military couple; yet it set a sour tone for the start of the day. We ended up getting in the car and driving to a location that Eddie surprised me with, Historic Wickford Village Rhode Island, and walked around for a bit. We parked out butts on the edge of the shore and spent some time soaking in the sunshine and throwing rocks into the ocean. Slowly the sourness ebbed away and we were left enjoying each others company and making the best out of our time together.

By the time we got back to the house we were both sleepy and just out of it.
It had been a super long week for Eddie and I was just feeling really run down; and I was kind of dreading having to wait until 8 to go to a movie (we are so old). We ate dinner then I attempted to nap (it didn’t work) and when we got in the car to head out to the drive-in we were both kind of back in that “meh” place. It really put a damper on my emotions – I felt like I couldn’t get past the stupid funk and we not “connecting”…’s amazing how we blow the smallest things out of proportion within a moment. When we settled into the dusty spot, curled up with each other under a blanket, and the movie started – everything was alright again. The previous frustrations were gone and we were back to being present with one another.
So take a moment to be present today; let all of the other fluffy junk go, and just enjoy the moment.