A Polished Palate

Living a tasteful life

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Sawyer's First Easter

I find that every holiday is a bit more exciting these days now that we have a little one in the picture. I had to refrain from buying a ridiculous amount of bunny themed items for Sawyer's Easter basket, mostly because he is too young to really understand any of it. But what I couldn't resist was having his photo taken with the Easter bunny. I had all intentions of taking advantage of my day off on Friday to spend some time outdoors with Sawyer and then go see said bunny. The weather ended up being awful and we found ourselves at the Dr.'s office Friday afternoon, all to find out that Sawyer has a double ear infection. So needless to say, things didn't go quite as planned. I wasn't going to give up on the bunny photo though. I knew we somehow had to work in a stop on our way to Myrtle Beach the next day. 
After some serious arm twisting my husband, we made a stop at the mall on our way out of town. Now, I knew going into it that these mall bunnies have a reputation of being creepy and believe me, this one definitely lived up to it. I also knew that it was going to be a rip off but I felt I was doing what I had to do in the moment. We walked into the mall, found the bunny and thankfully there was no line (now I know why). I marched right up to the lady and asked how much. Of course she tried to sell me on the most expensive package for $50 which I politely declined. I had gone through too much to convince my husband to take us there to get this photo so there was no turning back. Against my better judgement, I spent $27 for three printed photos, in only one pose.. I noticed there was a link for the digital downloads on my receipt I went straight to the website and quickly found out that there was another $12 fee do download them...no thank you! I got in the car annoyed but couldn't help but smile at this cute little photo and decided to let it go because it was Sawyer's first Easter after-all. 
I was scrolling through Instagram as we continued on our way out of town when I came across a photo of some children at an Easter egg hunt that appeared to be in our neighborhood. After digging through a few more photos, I found out that not only was the bunny in our neighborhood Saturday morning, but he was also just two doors down from our house. And not only could we have gotten a free photo, but I also could have avoided the great bunny debate with my husband. Next year I will be more prepared....

But in other news, we had a wonderful time in Myrtle Beach. We spent time with family, ate way too much and attended a beautiful church service on Sunday. Sawyer managed to make it through the whole service until about five minutes before the end. I was pretty impressed considering he didn't feel well. 
I assembled this delicious DIY charcuterie board from Lady & Larder.


I was so excited for Sawyer to wear his Easter outfit(s). I bought him a few things at the Charleston Repeats sale when I was pregnant and have been patiently waiting on him to be able to wear them. If you're a first time mom and live in the Charleston area, I highly recommend checking out the sale.
I hope everyone had a Happy Easter!



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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Family Photos: Charleston, SC

February of this year, I had the pleasure of shooting some family photos with not one but SIX amazingly talented photographers who each offered their own unique aesthetic. Although everyone was capturing my little family in the same setting, same clothes, etc. I ended up with tons of great shots that were each slightly different in their own way.

Today I wanted to share a few of these beautiful photos with you and the ladies behind the lens. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with such a wonderful group of women. I also must admit, I now feel the need to have multiple photographers at my next family shoot. It was honestly very helpful to have several sets of hands when you have a baby involved.

I would like to first introduce you to Amy Odom. Based in Austin, TX, Amy provides romantic & timeless wedding photography for joyful couples in love. She's also available for travel wherever your love story takes her. Amy initially reach out to me and organized our shoot. She and the other fabulous ladies mentioned below, all came to Charleston for a girls trip and that's how we connected. And I’m so thankful that we did. 
Amy also made it a point to snap a few photos of just Whit and I, which I love.
I can't wait to print some of these out to hang in the house!

Meet Corey Johnson- Atlanta based photographer who reaches beyond the clutter life throws at us, composing clean, simple portraits by a natural light that highlight the beauty of motherhood using natural textures and a soft color palette to incite warmth and embody real life. Not only is she a wonderful photographer, she was also amazing with Sawyer. She did everything she could to make him laugh, get his attention and keep him warm on the chilly morning in Charleston when we did the shoot. I wanted to be friends with her the minute we met. 
She also captured a few shots in film, which turned out beautiful.

Meet Lindsey Brooks- newborn baby, child and family portrait photographer located in Oklahoma City. Her style is one of simplicity and focuses on the natural connections you share rather than on forced poses and busy backgrounds. I love this shot of Sawyer and I that she captured. 

Meet Shawna Bielat- a Hampton Roads & Virginia Beach fine art portrait and lifestyle photographer who specializes in motherhood, maternity, newborn, and family photography.  She believes the best photographs are created through natural movements and genuine emotion, which are reflected in the photos she captured below. She was truly a pleasure to work with!

Meet Hannah Swain- inspired by motherhood, her goal with photography is to offer you the most unique, natural portrait experience you can imagine. Serving the Hattiesburg, Mississippi area and beyond. She offers maternity and family portraits at her studio in Mississippi. One of my favorite images from her is the last one of us shot through the tree branches. 

Last but not least, meet Lindsey Rogers- a southern girl based out of Crowley, Louisiana specializing in maternity, newborn, and family photography. She values timeless portraits, combined with heartwarming real moments. She captures each child and family authentically to let their own personalities shine.
I love this behind the scenes shot of everyone.

A huge thank you to each of these wonderful women for capturing these special moments we will forever cherish! I hope I have the opportunity to worth with them again!

To view more of their work, check each of them out on Instagram.

@amy_odom
@coreyjohnsonphotography
@lindseybrooksphotography
@shawnabielat
@swainstudio
@lindseyrogers_photography



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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Oh hey friends! It's been a long while since I've posted a recipe around here. Truthfully, I've really missed writing blog posts, but finding time to do so these days is the trouble. We finally spent some time at home last weekend and it was great! I was extra productive and also made it a point to get in the kitchen. I made not one, but three dishes and it was so therapeutic. I'm no culinary trained chef by any means but being in the kitchen makes me happy.  

A colleague of mine shared this particular recipe with me last week and immediately knew I had to make it. It was simple, delicious and the whole family loved it. Whit and I like to  rate each other on the meals we prepare. I usually get 7's but this dish scored a 9.5! I'll take that as a win!

Several of you asked about the recipe which inspired me to share. The original version which is Whole 30, Keto and Paleo can be found here. I'm not following any of those diets but I did like the fact that it's low carb. I tweaked a few things, like using turkey instead of pork and increased the portion of meat to insure my hungry husband was well fed and had leftovers. 

Hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did!

Oh, and I highly recommend serving it with a side of Trader Joe's Pork Gyoza & Chicken Gyoza Potstickers!


Egg Roll in a Bowl
Ingredients
Sesame seed oil
1 bunch of green onions (chopped, whites separated)
½ cup red onion, diced
6 cloves minced garlic
2 pounds ground turkey (99% fat free)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons sriracha hot chile sauce
1 16-ounce bag coleslaw mix
3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
6 tablespoons coconut aminos
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
Sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauce:
¼ cup olive oil mayo
3 tablespoons sriracha hot chile sauce


Instructions
1. In a large skillet set over medium heat, add sesame seed oil. Toss in the white parts of the green onion, diced red onion and minced garlic. Cook until the red onion is soft.
2. Add the turkey into the skillet, ground ginger and 2 tablespoons sriracha hot chile sauce. Sauté the turkey until browned and cooked through.
3. Add coleslaw mix, soy sauce, and coconut aminos.
4. Sauté mixture until coleslaw in tender.
5.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Plate the turkey cabbage mixture and top with green onions, sesame seeds and add a few dollops of Sriracha mayo sauce.

*For the Sriracha Mayo Sauce

In a small bowl, mix olive oil mayo with 3 table spoons of sriracha hot chile sauce (more if you want an extra kick).

Recipe adapted from: 40 Aprons

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Friday, December 21, 2018

Baby Sawyer: 6 Months Old

This baby boy is six months old! How is it that time goes by this fast? Sawyer keeps us on our toes everyday. He now makes new babbling sounds like goo goo and gaga (Whit swears he’s saying Dada) and he also grunts. He turns his head when you say his name and he’s getting much better at sitting up on his own. He tried his first food last night! He’s still trying to decide if he’s a fan of 🥑, but one thing is for sure, he loves his milk! He sticks out his tongue, blows bubbles and is quite the drooler. He loves to jump and bounce in your lap, and really is such a happy baby. And he still hates getting dressed. We love you sweet boy! Oh, and he shares his half birthday with his dad.

Milestones and changes
I feel like so many new things were introduced at six months, including trying food for the first time! Mashed avocado was first on the menu and it didn't go over so well. The first few bites were okay but then all of the sudden did not like what he tasted. He was also intrigued by the spoon, given it was the first interaction he's ever had with one. Since thee avocado, we've also tried mashed bananas, sweet potatoes and scrambled eggs. He's all about bananas and sweet potatoes, but not so much the eggs. Maybe next time... On another note, he can hold his own bottle now, which makes him look so grown up.
                                               

Favorite things
His new Graco bumper jumper. We could tell he was ready for one of these by the way he was always trying to jump in our laps. We celebrated Christmas a little early with Whit's family and they gave him one. It has been quite the hit. He will sit in there and bounce until he falls asleep.
Things I'm looking forward to
Christmas morning! I know he's unaware of the whole Santa and gifts, but it's just seems so much more exciting when you have a child. We went to Celadon and actually met Santa. Sawyer didn't do the normal freak out that you seem in all the funny photos of kids with Santa. I was kind of hoping for one of those photos to be honest, but instead he was just very serious. I don't think he realized someone else was even holding him.
Hardest Moment
Dealing with the frequent mom guilt that slowly creeps in out of nowhere. The mom guilt for working full time and only having an hour or so with him at night. Oh, and taking him to get his six months shots. Those are never fun!

Sweetest Moment
Saturday morning snuggles! We've gotten into a habit of waking up with Sawyer at 7 a.m. and bringing him into our bed so where I can feed him. After he eats, he falls asleep snuggled in my arms, resting on his boppy. He will sleep there for about two hours, sometimes longer if I let him. It's those little moments that I cherish so deeply, because I know they won't last forever. And it's those reminders of those moments that help get me through a hard work week.

Breast Feeding
I can't believe I've made it this far! Six months was a stretch goal of mine and now that I've gotten here, I figured I would try to continue for as close to a year as possible. Although I would by lying if I said I didn't dream of the freedom of not carrying around a pump. I'm currently trying to slowly introduce formula so I can at least have it as back up if needed. The very first time he had a bottle of it, he drank the whole thing! Since then, he's only had it three other times. We will see where this goes.

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Weekend Recap: Holiday Festivities

'Tis the season for holiday parties, festive attire, not counting calories and all the chaos and everything in between that comes with Christmas. I haven't checked in on here in a while but I'm hoping I will find more time in the new year. Most of my spare time is spent with our little one and I wouldn't have it any other way. He was such a trooper this past weekend as we took him along with us every where we went. 

Friday night we celebrated my girlfriends birthday with dinner at Zen Asian Fusion. We were all so busy catching up that we didn't take any photos. Zen is one of my favorite local sushi spots. If you live in Charleston and haven't been, do yourself a favor a pay them a visit. I did manage to snap of pic of my sushi. The West Ashley roll is the way to go!
Saturday mornings are easily my favorite part of the weekend. Whit gets Sawyer out of his crib around 7:30 and brings him in our room. After I feed him we lay in the bed and snuggle. It's so nice to not be in a rush like I am during the week. I slipped out of bed to get some coffee and left these three like this. 
Saturday afternoon we headed to Bluffton to celebrate the engagement of one of my oldest and dearest friends. She's going to make one gorgeous bride! 
 The view was beautiful, especially as the sun started to go down.
Sawyer was along for the ride and did a pretty good job of keeping it together and allowing everyone to pass him around.
The festivities continued on Sunday afternoon with an ornament exchange with the ladies. Sawyer joined in on the fun too. 
Two parties in one afternoon, meant I had to pack several bags to get us through the day. How cute is this plaid canvas tote from Lands' End. It's the perfect size to take to parties and my champagne and appetizers fit perfectly in it. And I love that they can be personalized. 
We headed from one party to the next and joined several friends for more holiday festivities. 
 How sweet is this?! baby Rosie was reaching to hold Sawyer's hand. 
Although there wasn't much downtime this weekend, it was so great to see so many of our friends! Cheers to the holidays!



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