Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Sips with Bonefish Grill + A Giveaway!

I can’t recall the last time I had dinner at a Bonefish Grill Restaurant. My in-laws love it, so we often dine there when visiting them, but it’s been a while since we've been.  However, a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a private event at Bonefish and was quickly reminded of how good it is. I mean, who doesn’t love their signature bang bang shrimp? Today I’m excited to be able to offer you a $50 Bonefish Grill gift card! Keep reading to find out how you can win. 
Photos by: Justin Falk Photography
The bartenders were mixing up fresh watermelon martinis and strawberry rose martinis, which were my favorite.
In addition to the ever so popular bang bang shrimp, there was also ceviche and Ahi tuna sashimi, all of which was delicious. 
Not only were we treated to seafood bites and refreshing cocktails, but also a few of my favorite retailers were there selling some amazing things. 

Bourbon and Boweties had a beautiful table full of arm candy calling my name. 
One of my favorite candle companies – Rewined Candles was there with their new Blanc collection. There isn’t a single candle that doesn’t smell good. But I have to admit, my all-time favorite is Rose!
Aviate was also there with a few fun things, including hard to keep stocked CHS hat!
I had such a great time! It was the perfect excuse to eat, shop and socialize. Thanks to all the vendors and especially to Bonefish Grill hosting such a fun event. 

And now for the good stuff. Head over to my Instagram feed where you can enter to win a $50 gift card to Bonefish Grill! That's plenty enough to get you a few strawberry rose martinis and the bang bang shrimp, of course!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Resort Wear | What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation

As I opened up my computer to put in my vacation request the other day, I took a look at my history for the year and realized I've only taken three days off! This may explain the burnout I'm feeling. Fortunately, I've had a few work trips in various fun places that have helped break up time in the office. But I'm looking forward to some time off this Fall. My husband are planning a trip to the BVI's in October and I can't wait! With that being said, I decided I better get a head start on outfit planning. This sounds silly, but traveling in the fall makes shopping a little more difficult. The transition to fall wardrobes happens and then I'm out of luck when it comes to finding resort attire. Not that I'm looking to purchase a whole new wardrobe, but it's nice to have a few new things to take with me. Here a few pretty things I've rounded up (other than bikinis) that would be perfect for a tropical vacation. 

Shop these and more of my favorites below:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Life Lately | July

Is it just me or did the month of July fly by?! I literally feel like the month ended with the blink of an eye. We spent most of our time outside, soaking up the beautiful (and warm) summer weather we’ve had.

Fourth of July weekend was spent in town celebrating with my husband’s side of the family. About fifty of us gathered together for a long weekend of family time, boat rides, lounging by the pool and a whole lot of eating. We had everything from homemade pizzas to a low country boil as well as an entire pig that was slow roasted throughout the evening, complete with all the southern sides you can imagine. 
I was really excited that my family was able to join us one evening as well.
Enjoyed delicious bloody mary’s made by Whit’s grandfather. 
Soon after the fourth, I was off to New Orleans for both work and pleasure. You can read the full recap, part one and part two. It was such an amazing trip! 
As soon as I stepped foot off of the plane from NOLA, I immediately hit the road to head back home for a surprise birthday party for my brother. We ended the evening in the place my brother loves best — the river. To say I was exhausted would be an understatement, but it was worth the trip to see my family.
We also celebrated one of my favorite times of the year – the Beaufort Water Festival! The festival is 10 days long, with the weekend sandbar being the highlight. We typically only attend the last weekend, but this year we decided to go all in and be there for both weekends.

The weekend typically consists of an entire day on the water, followed by an evening downtown. Hundreds of people make their way to the sandbar by boat and find a spot on the sandbar to anchor for the afternoon. 
This year we were excited to welcome country musician, Pat Cooper who performed on a floating barge. 
Meanwhile, back in Charleston, I finally gave Little Jack’s Tavern a try. 
It's a cute little spot filled with a mixture of vintage decor.
Garlic and herb fries for the table, yes please. How cute are these salt and pepper shakers?
I went with the chopped salad with shrimp, kale, mixed lettuces, cucumber, peas, radish and an avocado ranch, which I later tried to recreate at home. This was my attempt at making healthy choices, but next time I would like to give the burger a try. 
In other restaurant news, an amazing Italian spot called Le Farfalle opened and I was thrilled to be invited to their opening party. I love what they have done with the space. Stay tuned for a more detailed recap. 
I took a yoga class for the first time in about a year. It was so refreshing to change up my regular workout routine with a class like this, not to mention it took place on the rooftop of The Restoration Hotel in downtown Charleston.
With all of the traveling and craziness we’ve had going on, Whit and I decided to spend the last weekend of July together and just enjoy Charleston. We spent an afternoon by the pool, followed by a dinner date at The Darling Oyster Bar.
Oysters were a must.  
I also had the tuna poke bowl, which was delicious, but I had serious dinner envy when Whit's plate came out. I highly recommend the fries smothered in clam chowder. 
 I was excited to finally try this place out; however, I still would like to go back for brunch.
Nothing like a good photo bomb!
You can’t beat a relaxing Sunday afternoon boat cruise with friends...the perfect way to end the month. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Cooking the Books: Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Vinaigrette

Lately I've been in a cooking funk. I love trying new recipes, but not when I get home during the week at 7 pm. It's really hard to get motivated in the kitchen after a long day in the office and a tough workout in the gym. When I get home all I want to do is eat everything in sight. My husband and I decided to take advantage of the past two Sunday afternoons we've had at home and spend our time meal planning for the week. I will admit, a good chunk of time was spent in the kitchen, but it was well worth it to already have dinner prepared for the week. For those of you that don't like leftovers, this may sound like a terrible plan. We don't mind them, so this was a great solution to my cooking dilemma.  
I don't mean to sound negative because I actually do enjoy spending time cooking, when I'm not in a rush or starving. As we were planning our meals for the week, I decided to reach for a cookbook instead of my computer. I have so many books that not only look great on my shelves, but are also full of delicious recipes. I sometimes forget that my decor is also a wonderful resource. The other week I decided to use a recipe out of Hugh Acheson's book, A New Turn in The South. I love this cookbook for many reasons. The recipes all sound delicious, the quirky writing keeps it interesting, and the southern influence provides a sense of comfort. With so many recipes to choose from, I decided to go with something quick, light and easy — brussels sprouts with dijon vinaigrette. 

With that being said, I've decided to start a new monthly series called "cooking the books." hence the title of this post. I will be sharing a different recipe each month adapted from various cookbooks I have at home. I highly recommend that you give this one a try. 

Brussels Sprouts with Dijon Vinaigrette
Ingredients (serves 4)
Recipe adapted from A New Turn in the South
1 ½ cups thinly shaved brussels sprouts
1 cup roasted pecans, slightly broken up
1 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup Dijon vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Sea Salt

1.     Pre heat oven to 350. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 to 10 minutes or until slightly toasted.
2.      Once the pecans are toasted, crush them up into smaller pieces.
3.     In a medium salad bowl, toss the brussels sprouts, pecans, cheese, salt and pepper. I used brussels sprouts already shredded in a bag. I put them in the microwave to soften them a bit and I wanted them to be a little warm.
4.     Toss with Dijon vinaigrette. (Recipe below)

Dijon Vinaigrette
Ingredients (makes ½ cup)
Recipe adapted from A New Turn in the South
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

1.     Add mustard to a small mixing bowl.
2.     Slowly whisk in olive oil to emulsify.
3.     Once mixed well, add lemon juice, vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
*I made my dressing in a small one cup blender. If you have one on hand, I recommend for ease of mixing everything together well. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Popsugar Must Have Box: July

Confession: I think I'm hooked on monthly box subscriptions! It all started with Rocksbox, and then I received a Popsugar Must Have Box. It's kind of like online shopping. You sometimes forget that you ordered something until a box shows up at your door, except in this case, you don't know what's in it. It's a surprise and delight moment, at least that's how I like to justify it. My husband on the other hand, has differing thoughts about all these boxes that keep showing up on our doorstep. 

On to the good stuff. Look at all these fun things that came in the July box!
*POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try
Inspired by summery retro vibes, this box is my favorite so far. Here's a list of the contents:

Sachajuan Hair in the Sun- I always think about sunblock for my skin, but never protection for my hair. Given I'm someone who has colored treated hair, I was excited to see this. I can't wait to give it a try. 

House of Pom Emoji Cocktail Napkins- Can you say obsessed? I love these adorable little cocktail napkins! This set of six, cotton emoji inspired napkins now have a perfect home on my bar. These will come in handy during my next at-home happy hour. 

Michael Stars Porcelain Skinny Scarf - Truthfully, I technically don't need any more scarves. My closet is packed full of them. However, I don't have many thin ones. This one is so light weight, making it the perfect accessory to add to summer tops, without being too warm. 

Pintrill Pineapple Pin- The cutest little pineapple pin. I wish these were earrings, but hey...who doesn't love pineapples. 

Sunnylife® Inflatable Swan Drink Holder- This is such a fun pool float, and it's functional. I will definitely be getting some use out of this before summer is over. 

European Wax Center® Oh My Brow!™ Brow Highlighter in Pearl- I loved receiving this in my box. I don't typically make makeup purchases too often so it's nice to get things like this to experiment with every now and then.

Joe Chips Classic Sea Salt Retro Potato Chips- Potato chips are the way to my heart. I don't need sweets, just give me carbs. 

If you decide that you want to give Popsugar Must Have Boxes a try, use the code SHOP5 for $5 off your first box!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Currently Loving | Happy Hour Snacks

Boat trips, backyard parties, girls nights, you name it, there have been several occasions lately that call for quick summer snacks. It's a little unlike me, but recently I've been picking up quick appetizers from the store instead of making things. I don't normally do that, but I've been short on time and in some instances needed something that would travel well. Here are a few of my favorite things that I've been snacking on. 

I'm officially hooked on these. I've recently tried the roasted red pepper and the chili lime and while both are delicious, I think the chili lime is my favorite. Pick up a bag of pretzel crisps and you've got a perfect guilt free snack.

On a recent visit to Fat Hen for dinner, we had some pre-dinner cocktails at the outdoor bar. I was in the mood for something light and refreshing with just hint of sweetness. I put in my rose order with the bartender and then brought over a can. The bartender felt the need to explain after seeing the puzzled look on my face. I will admit that I was skeptical at first but I'm glad I gave it a try. With hints of strawberry, watermelon and peach, I actually really enjoyed it and have since been on a mission to find it at a local store. As you can see below, there are other options. I'm hoping to give these a try as well. Have you tried any of these?

If you don't like dill pickles, don't bother. I happen to love them and when the flavor is added to popcorn, it's a win-win! It's the perfect balance of flavor without being too over powering. 

Give me all the goat cheese! It's one of my favorite types of cheese and I love trying new flavors. I spotted this cucumber and chive log the other day and decided to give it a try. The refreshing blend of flavors was a nice addition to the other cheeses on our board. 

Sun dried tomatoes have always been a favorite of mine, so when I saw this dip at Publix, I knew I had to give it a try. Sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and roasted red peppers create a great flavor combo in this tasty dip. It pairs nicely with Pita chips and veggies.