The Eisenhower Suite at Culzean (My Family History)

Family history and heritage is extremely important to me and I believe it’s crucial to preserve and pass on that knowledge for future generations. My father’s family, the Kennedy’s, are a famous Scottish family settled in Ayrshire dating back to the mid-1300s. The country family estate of Culzean Castle and Country Park was completed in 1792, then renovated and improved by Edinburgh architects Wardrop & Reid beginning in 1877. In 1945 the family passed the estate to the National Trust for Scotland and the top floor was converted into a flat for use by General Eisenhower who visited on four occasions, including once during his presidency. Today I want to show you one of my favorite parts of the estate. These photos are of the Eisenhower Suite rooms taken by me and my brother, Nathan.

Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary

Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary Eisenhower Suite // Scotland Travel Diary

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Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

New Year’s Eve for us always ends up being really amazing or really awful! One year we were in Berlin and I seriously remember like 10 minutes of the entire night, while another time we accidentally fell asleep in our pajamas, in our apartment (even though all our friends were only 2 blocks away waiting on us to arrive at our favorite bar!) and missed everything. For this NYE I wanted something romantic and low key that would still feel like a celebration! The only thing that threatened to ruin my “trunk picnic” plan was the immanent rain! Thankfully there was only the lightest of misting here in Nashville on NYE and we were able to enjoy our champagne toast at midnight ❤️

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

I decorated the trunk of my Jeep Latitude with a faux fur rug, disco ball, tinsel strands, a vintage picnic basket, roses, poppers, strawberries, champagne and macarons! I had everything set up so that the tailgate could open and close with everything inside! Watch the video below to see! (There was a LOT of scotch tape involved!) 

While trying to find an alternate route to my office one day I discovered the perfect spot to watch fireworks over Nashville! We had a beautiful cityscape view on NYE, just long enough to catch the midnight barrage of fireworks before the fog set in.

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

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Romantic NYE Trunk Picnic

Even though this was the simplest NYE date ever I think it’s by far my favorite! Back in 2010 we did NYE in Nashville on Broadway, and I have to say, I don’t plan on doing that again! I love the idea of dressing to the nines and sipping champagne in your own living room, or at a quiet spot overlooking the brightly lit city, with those few special people who make life worth living. NYE is a time for reflection, celebration and thankfulness. It doesn’t have to be spent in Times Square, or attending Gorgeous at the Ritz, to feel like it was a successful one!

What’s the best NYE you ever had and what made it special?

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Emeralds & Opals Winter Manicure

A stunning manicure concept inspired by emeralds and opals by my favorite celebrity stylist, Jen Tsourvakas!

We started with a deep green base topped with micro glitter and opalescent paper shards and finished with a natural white base on the ring finger covered in iridescent micro glitter. To book a manicure with Jen, call Parlour 3 in Brentwood, TN and tell them Rachel sent you!

Emerald & Opal manicure by Jen Tsourvakas of Parlour 3

Jen was so incredibly patient with me on this design! I *kind of* (not really) had an idea of what I wanted and she created this look based on my requests for “THE PERFECT green, and some glitter, but maybe like 2-3 different colors and for sure some iridescent paper shards, but I don’t know what shape I want them in, maybe triangles? Maybe like broken glass looking? For sure I want some white too, like to represent snow?” Bless her heart!😂

Emerald & Opal manicure by Jen Tsourvakas of Parlour 3

Emerald & Opal manicure by Jen Tsourvakas of Parlour 3

Emerald & Opal manicure by Jen Tsourvakas of Parlour 3

Emerald & Opal manicure by Jen Tsourvakas of Parlour 3

Emerald & Opal manicure by Jen Tsourvakas of Parlour 3

Emerald & Opal manicure by Jen Tsourvakas of Parlour 3

Do you recognize that gorgeous, sparkly hand bag?! Learn how I made it HERE!

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Southern Sweetheart in Scotland

Simple and sweet blush pink is my favorite Valentine’s Day look! Add a little lace and sparkle and you have the perfect, romantic ensemble. A subtle sweetheart neckline, sequin cardigan, billowy skirt, black flats and demure side pony tail create the vintage vibe of this 1950s inspired outfit.

Somehow my brother always knows just how to make me look good in a photo! I have him to thank for these shots! I wish I could take him on every vacation with me! All photos taken at Culzean Castle in Scotland.

Sweetheart in Scotland

Sweetheart in Scotland

Sweetheart in Scotland

Sweetheart in Scotland

Sweetheart in Scotland

Sweetheart in Scotland

Sweetheart in Scotland

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Sweetheart in Scotland

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DIY Sequin Tinsel Party Hat

DIY Sequin Tinsel Party Hat

I have a vision in my mind of what the perfect party hat looks like but have never found one in real life! My perfect party hat has sequins and tinsel galore and sits, perched on my head, at the perfect jaunty angle without budging! Watch the tutorial below and find out how I created my dream party hat and how you can DIY your own!

Supplies used:

hairband | tinsel | sequin paper

DIY Sequin Tinsel Party Hat

DIY Sequin Tinsel Party Hat

DIY Sequin Tinsel Party Hat

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