A "Carry on Cocktail"? Tell Me More! + Giveaway


Ashley Stevenson is taking the bar to new heights - literally. Her Carry on Cocktail Kits are innovative and have been specially crafted to help you get to your destination in good taste (both literally and figuratively). 

Below she shares with us a few details about herself and her brand, Honey & Soul. Read on!

Thank you so much for taking the time out for Coconut + Concrete! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm originally from Oklahoma and went to college at Southern University in Baton Rouge where I played soccer. That's where I fell in love with food. After almost 10 years there I moved back to Oklahoma. I love food, travel, exploring new cultures and just enjoying life. I own two businesses, work for an awesome airline, and currently reside in Austin, TX.


What gave you the idea for your Carry On Cocktail Kit? I love it!

The kit is actually a collaboration with another company. As I've gotten older, I don't drink to get drunk anymore but more for the appreciation of that particular cocktail. Since I travel a lot and love to start my party early I thought it would be great to have something that's chic and different in terms of how I approach my experience. I believe everything we do should be about the experience and the feeling we get while doing it. The Carry On Cocktail Kit just elevates your experience of travel and drinking.


What is a Foodie Foot Tour? Sounds yummy.

Foodie Foot Tours is actually my first baby. It's a walking food tour I own in Oklahoma City. I started it three years ago and still operate it even though I'm in Austin. Everything is on foot, all the restaurants we visit are locally owned, and we offer history of the areas we tour. When people know the history of a place and connect to it they're more likely to return.

I see a lot of folks becoming vegetarian or vegan these days. As a foodie, is that something you would consider? 

Never! I think anything can be enjoyed in moderation. One of the reasons I started my food tour was because most of the food is locally grown or from a local farm. I try to be cautious of what I eat and where it comes from so being vegan isn't something that is for me. 

I always say, if you love food you should be able to cook it too - Are you a good cook? 

I'd like to think so. My boyfriend might agree as well. I'm definitely not afraid to get in the kitchen and fail until I succeed. I will say that I make a bomb bacon wrapped meatloaf and a killer baked macaroni and cheese.


Well then can I come over for Sunday dinner?! Thanks again to Ashley for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat with us. You can catch her on Instagram at @6footfoodie, @honeyandsoulco and @foodiefoottours.

Win your very own Carry on Cocktail Kit through our Instagram giveaway! For details and how to enter, check out our Instagram page. 

The Love: Turks & Caicos

I immediately fell in love with Turks & Caicos before I even landed. Of all the islands I've been to, the bright turquoise water looked so milky and smooth from my window seat. I had never seen anything like it. I've come to realize that every island I've visited has it's own personal shade of shimmering blue waters. This was just so surreal, I hadn't ever seen anything so beautiful and couldn't wait to dip my toes in it. 

Prior to arriving in Turks I had been nervous about this trip in particular. This would be my first time traveling outside of the states alone. I wouldn't be entirely alone in Turks as I was going as part of a group called Restoration Weekend. There would be other women there; some I already knew and others I would meet. I had booked last minute though and got a pretty good deal on a flight (though it had 2 layovers each going and coming back). I will never sacrifice like that again! I usually don't skimp on comfort but I made an exception for Turks :-)

I spent 4 days and 3 nights on the island in pure bliss. I was six weeks pregnant and this would be my final trip before giving birth. It was a special time for me to reflect on motherhood and how I would soon be fitting into that picture. Restoration Weekend is a spiritually filling one with specially curated workshops dedicated to helping women improve their overall health, spiritual well-being, internal and external beauty (glam session with celebrity hairstylists and makeup artists). During my time in Turks, there was also a love and relationship seminar with Tony Gaskins that was really insightful. 

In addition to all of the above we also got to enjoy a night out on the town at the Thursday night fish fry, a sunset cruise, dinner on the beach and a masquerade banquet with Kelly Price. 

Oh and did I mention the amazing accommodations? We stayed at The Somerset on Grace Bay. I had a huge suite to myself (upon first entering I remember thinking "is this ALL for me?!"); the apartment had a full kitchen, dining area, living room, washer and dryer, 2 bathrooms (one of which was really HUGE), 1 bedroom and 2 balconies, one facing the front of the resort and the other overlooking the gigantic pool and beach. My dining room table invitingly welcomed me with a large bowl of tropical fruit salad. All was very well

I like to refer to these type of trips as "semi-solo" because if you choose to go alone as I did, you sort of feel like you're alone but you really aren't. It also gives you an opportunity to make new friends and find travel buddies. 

This was a milestone trip for me in so many ways and to this day I am very thankful for the experience. Life has been in the way and I haven't been on a Restoration Weekend trip since that one in 2015 but it definitely won't be my last. 

Restoration Weekend occurs every year at the end of September, click here to learn more. 

The Love: Barbados, an Engagement Story

Barbados is another island that holds sentimental value for me. My then-future husband and I visited here in 2010 around the time of our birthdays. It was gorgeous; the weather was perfect and of course the island atmosphere makes everything great. At that time we had been dating about four years. We stayed at the Silver Point Hotel. BEAUTIFUL hotel and location. 

When we first arrived at the hotel, we were given a substandard room (dark, small, parking lot view). My love goes and has a nice chat with the front desk manager (I'm telling you again: Kindness goes a LONG way!). She tells us she will move us the next day to a better room with a better view. As promised, the next day we were moved a lovely bright suite with an ocean view. I couldn't be happier. 

The future husband then tells me to find a nice place for dinner. The day was August 29th; my birthday is August 28th and his is the 30th. At the time I was thinking that if he were going to propose that would be the day to do it (numbers are important to him, especially since our birthdays are so close. Remember: we met on August 31st!). We agreed on a romantic restaurant with outdoor seating overlooking the ocean called Champers

I didn't bring anything elegant or regal enough to wear to a formal restaurant so I did the best with what I had (a fuschia tube dress - to this day I still say I wish I would've packed better clothing options but oh well). At the restaurant we were seated on the large balcony above the ocean, waves crashing below us. My "soon-to-be-fiance-now-husband" leaves the table to go to the bathroom after the waiter takes our orders. He takes a while to get back which now makes me thinks something is up. I was about 95% sure he was going to propose. At that moment, I thought about everything leading up to this moment: his determination to go to Barbados (his dad is from there and he also has family residing on the island), having me select the location for a "special dinner", and now him taking unusually long in the restroom. 

Sure enough he returns* and as he does, he gets down on one knee, takes my hand in his and spills his heart out to me (which I sadly can't remember because I was so blissfully overwhelmed). I just remember being impatient and wishing he would hurry up and finish so I could say "YES!". 

The night was beautiful and unforgettable (though I don't remember what I ordered, I just know the excitement prevented me from finishing it). Five years and one bambino later and we are still very much happy and in love. 

*He took so long in the bathroom because he had tied the ring to the drawstring on his pants and couldn't get it off! 

The Love: St. Lucia

Beyond the award winning views of the pitons, beautiful beaches and lush countryside, St. Lucia means so much more to me than what aesthetically meets the eye. The love of my life is from there and we have a child who also has the beat of St. Lucia running rampantly through his veins. A real true soca baby.

I met my husband on MySpace (remember that?) in 2006. After emailing and chatting for about a month we finally met around our birthdays (mine is August 28th and his is August 30th). From August 31st on, life was never the same for either one of us as we quickly became inseparable.  

Fast forward to 2008. I spent my first Christmas holiday in the islands living locally. We stayed at a family member's quaint and cozy home in the village he grew up in. There was no AC, no hot water, the roosters woke me up at the crack of dawn and I could hear waves crashing somewhere off in the distance. I never felt more at home.

We spent Christmas Day walking along the beach. Coming from the big city this was a new experience for me and I absolutely LOVED it. The beach on Christmas?! Life couldn't get any better!  

We stayed through to New Year's Eve and attended a party at one of the all inclusive resorts nearby. We watched fireworks by the pool at midnight. I was in heaven.

After two years of dating exclusively I knew then in that moment he was definitely the ONE.  

I've been back to St. Lucia countless times since that first visit in '08 and each time I go back I seem to fall deeper and deeper in love with this man who I now call my husband.

Some sun and sand will make everything all right. I'm telling you!