Montana Outfit #3 | Outfit Post |Tall, Dark, and Pregnant

Amy West fashion and travel blogger

The third and final look from my Montana media trip with Firehouse Subs was a little more bohemian inspired. I found dark colors were the ideal choice for the Wild West since the winds were whipping and the dark colors hid the trail dust well. Layers also came in handy as the afternoons were warm, but as twilight set the evening got quite chilly. Read on for more details on what I wore... 

5 " Firsts" in Montana

Horse in Montana This spring I dusted off my boots, donned my most western hat, and slid into some denim for a trip out West. My journey this time was the wilds of Montana. I was honored to be invited, along with 9 other journalists, by Firehouse Subs to take part in a multi day press trip full of adventure, good times, and the opportunity to get to know the company from the inside out. This was my first time to Montana, and I have to say, it was the trip of a lifetime. Here were a few "firsts" I experienced along the way....

Best Breakfast Highlights | Amy West Travel on The Chat

Waking up in Jax and looking for the best breakfast in town? I recently reported on my home town for USA Today's 10Best on which breakfast joints in town made the cut for top 10. My recent visit to The Chat daily talk show revealed which 5 stood out as most memorable.

Gypsy Kitchen | Atlanta Foodie Find

Paella at Gypsy Kitchen

A few weeks ago I headed on a little girls trip to Atlanta with my mom. I was there for a weekend workshop with famed LA hosting coach Marki Costello which was intense and amazing. My mom came along as my road warrior buddy for the ride and to hang out with during my off time. Atlanta has evolved into quite the foodie destination as of late. I observe many of my Jacksonville food industry friends post on social media about their research trips to "Hotlanta" all the time. I was pleased to have the opportunity to do a little food exploration for myself. My journey led me to Gypsy Kitchen in Buckhead where the flavors we encountered were out of control!

What I Wore in Montana #2 | Outfit Post | Red, White, and Blue

Amy West maternity picture 22 weeks pregnantLook #2 from my maternity ensemble for Montana was inspired by simplicity. I'm a fan of white (even though it's not the safest color to wear around kids), and my husband loves it on me so I'm always looking to pick up a new classic white piece. This LWD (little white dress) was a perfect pair with my well worn in denim jacket. Throw in my worn out  perfectly distressed red cowgirl boots and top it off with some clean accessories and you have an effortless combination that's perfect for a stroll through the country, or hopping terminals in the airport. Which is exactly what I did. 

5 Unique Wedding Venues in Jax That May Surprise You | Amy on The Chat

Looking for a unique wedding destination in Northeast Florida that's full of "Wow Factor"? These are my top picks for wedding venues that are some of the areas best hidden gems. It's easy to get into a rut when planning a wedding, there is so much to think of. Let these locations inspire you to make your special day even more personal and memorable.

Montana Outfit Post #1 | What I'm Wearing | Denim and Turquoise

Amy West wearing maternity fashion

I'm thrilled to visit Montana for the first time ever on a press trip for Firehouse Subs. There is nothing like wide open spaces to set your heart free. I'm from Kentucky and my dad is a farmer so getting in touch with the land and reconnecting to nature really brings me home. Now that I'm 23 weeks preggo I had to find some outfits that would be fashionable, comfortable, and functional on my travels. Here's where my inspiration led me. 

Pier 2620 Hotel San Francisco | A Millennial Minded Boutique Hotel

Amy West in front of the Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco is a diverse city with quite the story to tell. With a significant role in history and an eye towards the future, this ever evolving "City by the Bay" features plenty of reasons to visit. The question is... where to start? Our recent visit lead us to Pier 2620 Hotel. A chic, millennial minded hotel for the modern traveler, conveniently located in the center of everywhere we wanted to be. Read on for more about our stay in San Francisco. 

10 Tips for Surviving Road Trips with Kids

10 Tips for Surviving Road Trips with Kids

The great American Road Trip! The phrase brings up memories of my own childhood traveling to visit relatives, seeing historical sites with the grandparents, and of course watching family favorites like National Lampoons Vacation. Some trips are perfect and full of memories... others are let's face it... a nightmare we prefer to never repeat again. If there were a formula for the ideal road trip what would it look like? I compiled a list of my own favorite tips, advice from parents I know, and some valuable web research to bring you these valuable tips for your next family road trip.

Explore Sea Ranch Lodge | Embrace the Savage Beauty of California's Coast

Amy West at Sea Ranch Lodge
This spring our travels took us West where the sun meets the sea in the golden hours of the evening, and where life moves at a more refreshing pace. Californian's have a passion for food, enjoying the moment, and embracing the outdoors. Our first destination on our California trip was Sea Ranch Lodge. Situated on the Pacific Coast of Sonoma County, our itenerary lead us on a road trip North up the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to the coastal outskirts of California's famed wine country.

Azurea's Adventurous Palate Review

Amy West experiences Azurea's Adventurous Palate Chef's menu.Just in time for their new spring menu release, I was recently invited to taste The Chef's Adventurous Palate at One Ocean Resort's restaurant, Azurea. Although we had visited Azurea a few times before (once for the filming of my TV show and the other for a review of their delightful Brunch), I had never had the pleasure of enjoying the personalized approach of the Adventurous menu. From start to finish the dinner was exceptional. Three courses of farm fresh fare prepared by some of the city's most talented chefs. Read more for the full dish.

Surviving Disney | How to Navigate the Happiest Place on Earth

How to Survive DisneyAh Disney, the happiest place on earth... or is it? For every few smiling faces you pass, you may observe the unfortunate grimaces of the discontent not exactly having the happiest time. Personally I think this Jim Gaffigan comedy bit kinda nails it. Yes, this place can be the living breathing version of all our fantasies. There is no doubt the staff are doing their best to make that happen. But let's face it, when you put a bunch of parents with their kids all day in a crowded park waiting on mechanical rides and spending lots and lots of money, there are bound to be some melt downs... from the kids too. After our recent trip to Disney (taking our 5 year old daughter for the first time) we learned in all the wrong ways, how to do the right things to survive the Happiest Place on Earth.

6 Amazing Day Trips Just in Time for Spring Break | Amy West on The Chat

A mimosa on the beach

It's getaway season! What's left of winter is on the run and that's got me thinking of suntans, resort wear, and rejuvenation somewhere warm. On behalf of Spring Break, I've compiled a list of my favorite getaways less than a days drive away from my home base in North FL. This list includes my favorite places to stay, where to eat, and what to do, as well as where to discover experiences that deliver iconic local charm.

Travel Beauty Tips | Amy on The Chat

Amy West on the beach at sunrise

We all been there. You plan for your special trip. You buy clothes, makeup, make reservations, and count down the days. But when you arrive at your destination you feel off. And what's worse, instead of looking like Malibu Barbie... you feel like Sasquatch. How can you maintain that fresh feeling you have at home, while away from your usual routine? Here are some trusted travel beauty secrets I've collected over the years.

10 Tips for Flying with Kids

10 Tips for Flying with KidsBefore my husband and I had kids we traveled everywhere. Honeymooned in New Zealand, went on a few tropical Cruises, traveled to Europe and did a few adventures with our friends domestically and abroad. When we got pregnant with our first child we were naively optimistic. "This kid will be one great traveller" we said. "They won't change our lifestyle" we proclaimed. "They will adapt to our life". Well... that's not exactly how things worked out. In reality yes, we have travelled quite a bit with our daughter but things don't always go as smoothly as planned, and ultimately you do what works and care about the lifestyle "adapting" after the fact. Here are some tips we've learned along our journey of traveling with children. 

Passion and Purpose | It's All About the Journey

Vintage Globe

What drives you? What makes you tick? I was recently asked those very questions and as sure as I am of myself and my goals. Those questions gave me pause. How far back should one go to tell the story of where it began? Where the seed of inspiration took root and blossomed into a dream, a message, a passion, a purpose? Perhaps it's not one solid event but a culmination of experiences that leads us to the path we were chosen for. Perhaps, moments that seem coincidental were all apart of a greater plan. This blog post is a bit of a departure from my typical post. It's a moment of reflection. A moment to remember how it all began.

5 Best Kept Dining Secrets in Jax | Amy on The Chat

Amy West Discussing 5 "Best Kept Secrets" in Jax. Love sharing your favorite foodie spots that are publicly under marketed but locally followed to the point of having their own cult? I know me too! That's why this week I shared some of my favorite "Best Kept Secret" spots with the Ladies of The Chat. Find out who made the cut. 

The Ultimate Romance Package Giveaway

Been drooling over all the creative romantic ideas I've been discussing this month but not sure you can afford them all? Get a taste of the best in my "Ultimate Romance Package" giveaway. Up your game in the kitchen with two seats to a demo class at Publix Aprons Cooking School, enjoy an intimate tea time with your sweetie, or experience award winning entertainment while dining in style.   It can be one big date night, or you can space it out and enjoy. The winner will be announced on Valentine's Day so don't miss out, enter now!

Grand Gestures | 6 More Romantic Ideas | Amy West on The Chat

Sunset at sea on Now and Zen private chartersLooking for that grand gesture date night? I'm talking the ideal place to "Pop the Question" type of spot. Or maybe you are celebrating that special anniversary or just want to say I LOVE YOU in a great big way. Check out these great ideas for sweeping that special someone off your feet. A follow up to my "Romantic Ideas for Every Budget". 

Close Up On Stephanie Kantis Jewelry | What I'm Wearing

Amy wearing jewelry by Stephanie Kantis
I confess, I have a new obsession. Stephanie Kantis designer jewelry. Her stunning, wearable pieces of art make a statement as soon as you enter the room and the craftsmanship is top quality. Each piece is sculpted from bronze then dipped in gold or sterling silver. When I travel, what jewelry to bring is always the question. A great piece can make an outfit new, but too much jewelry can get heavy and cumbersome. Stephanie Kantis' luxurious pieces are ideal for travel as they are extremely versatile. Her classic necklace can be worn 15 different ways thanks to her signature "S" hook, turning one piece of jewelry into a wardrobe full of eye-catching inspiration.