A Polished Palate

Living a tasteful life

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Styles for Spring

Happy Spring my friends! I'm so excited it's finally here. There's something about the time change, fresh blooms and warmer temps in the air that are an instant mood lifter! The new season also leaves me with the urge to shop. I'm trying to refrain due to my growing belly, but I thought I would still share some pretty little things I came across, all perfect for Spring.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Scenes From The Weekend

The weather was kind of playing trick on us this weekend. We had moments of warmth and sunshine followed by afternoon showers and wind that came out of nowhere. But that didn't stop us from making the most of it. I dined at some new places this weekend, well new to me and I wanted to share because they were so good. 
One of my sweet friends from high school came to visit me Sunday, simply just for an afternoon brunch. I made a reservation for us at Grace & Grit, as it's been on my list of places to get to.  I absolutely love their focus on grits. There are so many different flavors to choose from. But if you have trouble deciding like we did, the grit flight is also an option. The flavors consisted of blueberry, peaches and cream, brussels and pesto and pimento cheese. They were all so delicious, but I loved the blueberry and pesto the best. 
When I found out that they served pasteurized eggs, I opted for the eggs benedict special of the day with Canadian bacon, caramelized onions and arugula. It was so delicious! The restaurant was super cute inside, but we chose to dine on the patio since it was so nice out. I will definitely be going back again for brunch and would also like to check out their dinner. A restaurant that has good food, nice atmosphere and parking is a win in my book!
I enjoyed some St. Patrick's Day festivities with the ladies on Saturday at Charles Towne Fermentory, a cute little neighborhood brewery. No green beer for me, but I did enjoy a few samplings of Spanish cuisine that The Castejons were serving up. 
I had the chorizo slider with manchego cheese and roasted peppers. It was the perfect bite size snack. But my favorite was the sauteed mushrooms and garlic served with goat cheese and toasted crostini. This was such a simple and flavorful dish — one that I will definitely be serving the next time I have friends over. 
Whit and I had date night at one of our favorite restaurants, The Obstinate Daughter. There are so many new places in Charleston to check out but we just can't get enough of this one. The food never dissappoints and neither do the cocktails (unless you are preggo and can't have one.) My photos aren't great because it was dark in the restaurant but if only you could taste this first picture. The gnocchi alla romana - Anson Mills semolina, marinara, Batery Park brie is amazing! We were advised when ordering that this wasn't your typical bite size pieces of gnocchi, but more like a cake. It had so much flavor and was the perfect starter to our meal.
And I couldn't resist ordering the pizza. I went with the Moultrie - tomato, mozzarella, pepperoni, Mepkin Abbey shitakes, parmesan.
Whit enjoyed his fancy cocktails...
while I enjoyed a huge slice of this decadent chocolate cake!
It's safe to say that I was well fed this weekend. We fought off the Sunday scaries with a few a quick trip to the beach. We didn't last very long out there due to the wind, but it was nice to put my toes in the sand for the first time this year. I'm looking forward to warmer days ahead!


Monday, March 12, 2018

5 Skincare Products I'm Currently Loving

I love it when I randomly come across skincare products that I really love. I've actually found a few great ones lately and I wanted to share them with you today. I've been trying to pay closer attention to the products I use and the ingredients in them, especially now that I'm pregnant. Products that are comprised of food-based ingredients have been naturally grabbing my attention. Now I'm not saying that these products are as safe as can be, I just like to think they are better alternatives than some of the others out there. Here are five that have found a permanent home on the shelf in my bathroom.

I had never head of this brand until recently. And now I'm wondering what took me so long to discover it. I'm loving these two Elemis products and can't wait to try some others. First up, the superfood facial wash. This particular face wash is green and has a soft gel like texture that easily glides on your face. It gently cleanses and leaves your skin feeling so soft and refreshed. (That sounded like a commercial but it's so true. )It has a heavenly scent to it much like that of a spa. This face wash is composed of a nutrient-dense supergreen complex that consists of Wheatgrass, Kale, Nettle and minerals combined which are suppose to leave the complexion looking luminous. I don't know that I actually look like I'm glowing, but I sure do feel like it after I use it. 

I'm constantly on the search for a good day cream. I've always been one to apply lotion to both my body and face before heading out for the day. It's part of my daily routine and just makes my skin feel better. I love this superfood day cream just as much as I love the face wash. The day cream is light and doesn't suffocate your skin and also moisturizing without leaving that greasy feeling. It contains anti-oxidant and omega-rich superfood lipids such as broccoli, flax seed and daikon radish that help plump and smooth the skin along with additional superfood anti-oxidants including ginger, matcha tea and goji berry that help protect the skin barrier. I love it because it's light enough to put on as base before applying powder. 

I got this tub of lotion in my stocking this year and it wasn't until then did I discover how great it was. I've been using it all winter and it has drastically helped with my dry skin. Paraben free and packed with antioxidants,  this cream truly moisturizes and leaves my skin feeling so soft and smelling like coconut. The scent reminds me of a day at the beach. It absorbs easily and doesn't leave an oily residue on your clothing. 

I did a blog post all about this sugar scrub a while ago and I'm still obsessed. Sometimes my face feels like it just needs a good gentle scrub to remove dull skin. This sugar scrub revives and refreshes my face, leaving feeling silky smooth. Some scrubs are too harsh and dry my skin out more than anything but these fine sugar crystals don't do that at all. The scrub is a naturally derived blend of 3 pure sugars paired with finely ground Acai, nutrient-rich Grapeseed and Monoi Oils. And bonus that it can be used on your lips too!

The first time I ever really used an "oil" on my face was when I tried this product from Jeffrey James Botanicals. I've always been nervous that my face would break out and I just wouldn't like the way it felt. Don't get me wrong, there is a fine line between using this and avoiding the aforementioned. Everything in moderation. I found that this best suited my skin in the winter when my face was very dry. I would apply a small drop or two on my face and gently massage it all over before bed. I would only do this maybe once a week to avoid breakouts and I would also wash my face thoroughly the next morning.  Now that my skin isn't as dry, I will dab a tiny droplet around the corners of my eyes, where you would apply highlighter and in any other places that I may want to achieve that dewy bright look. This is definitely a product that should last a while due to the small amounts I use at a time. 


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Nursery Inspiration + 24 Week Pregnancy Update

Nursery Inspiration

I woke up Wednesday morning and did my normal routine Baby Center app check to see what new updates were in store for me. I'm 24 weeks along and was casually reminded that I have just 112 days to go. That's just 3 1/2 months or 16 weeks in case you're wondering! I feel like time has flown by so far. Our little one will be here before we know it and I'm no where near prepared. I'm a self admitted procrastinator and now is probably a good time to kick that bad habit. I've got to get myself focused within the next few weeks and make some purchases. I mentioned in my last post that I bought a glider which I'm pretty pumped about. But that's about as far as it's gotten on the nursery front. I have an idea in my head of what I would like it to look like, now I just need to bring it all to life. Above is an idea board with some of my inspiration. 

I'm also really starting to show now. This week I've gotten so many comments on my bump and how "you can really see it." People in the gym are now confident enough to approach me and ask me when I'm due, whereas before they weren't sure if I had just had one too many slices of pizza. And I will admit, it's nice to be out of that awkward stage. One thing I find interesting is that some weeks I literally can feel my stomach stretching (or at least that's what it seems like.) Last week it was uncomfortable and eating made me feel like I was going to explode. But this week it just feels as though I stretched just enough for the baby to be comfortable until he grows in length again.

How far along? 24 weeks and 1 day

Baby’s size: This week baby Smith is the size of an ear of corn.

Weight gain: I've gained a total of 10 lbs.

Energy: Energy is still good and I'm so thankful!

Appetite & Food Cravings: The sweet cravings seem to have subsided a bit. Now I find myself reverting back to my old habits of reaching for something salty and crunchy. I'm all about the crunchy stuff. 

Workouts: My routine lately has pretty much consisted of modified Red Zone workouts twice per week mixed with the treadmill. But with the nice weather we've been having lately, I've been trying to make it a point to walk outside more often. I just feel so much better getting some form of physical activity in. 

Sleep: The pillow fort that I've been working so hard to build over the past few weeks is here to stay. I haven't had trouble sleeping but boy have I been having some of the weirdest dreams. And oddly enough, I'm able to recall every single detail when I wake up in the morning. I should start writing these things down. They make no sense at all but are pretty funny.

Movement: I'm now seeing movement on the outside. It's so strange to actually see it happen. It's ever so slight but still really cool.

Wardrobe (Swimsuit help needed!): I just want to say that the maternity jeans I purchased a few weeks ago were a total game changer! I feel so much more comfortable these days. I also took the chance on bathing suit shopping. I found two at target, but I'm not questioning whether or not I should keep them. I bought this one, which may not work for me as I get bigger but it was just too cute. I also picked this one up which was a little big on me, so I'm hoping that it will fit just right as I expand. I'm just not sure if they will still fit by the time it gets really warm here. They didn't have my size in this one buy I loved it. I may still order online. Whit seems to think I should just rock the two piece look, and maybe I will if I find the right one. 

Baby Shopping: I'm super excited to check out the Charleston Repeats, a children's seasonal consignment event that is taking place next week. My mom is coming in town and we are going to the "first time moms" shopping session. Hopefully we will leave with some good stuff.

Doctor's Visits: I have my glucose test scheduled for next week. Fingers crossed that I receive good news! 
24 Weeks
24 Weeks

23 Weeks
23 Weeks

Previous Updates: Pregnancy Announcement | 16 Weeks & Gender Announcement | 18 Weeks | 20 Weeks | 22 Weeks


Monday, March 5, 2018

Charleston Wine + Food Festival

I had a blast at the Charleston Wine & Food Festival this past weekend. The weather was beautiful, with a slight chill in the air but the sun was shining. I spent all of my time in the culinary village which had endless bites to sample and beverages to taste. Although there were no cocktails for me this year, I filled my wine glass up with water and headed straight for the food!
I sampled so many dishes from some amazing and talented chefs from all over. Here were some of my favorites.
I wish I could remember what these yummy little cakes were called but all I know is they reminded me of oatmeal cream pies but better! 
The second thing I got my hands on as soon as I got there was this creamy chocolate chocolate chip ice cream from Republic Ice Cream. My pregnancy cravings took me right to the sweet treats. 
I thought the whole idea of this booth was great. Beer paired with chocolate and cheese, what's not to love about that. I skipped the beer portion but I did enjoy the cheese samples. 
Maybe I'm biased but I think food tastes better when it's prepared in Le Creuset and this dish was delicious. 
A tasty bowl of Pho as the perfect way to warm up as a late afternoon chill moved in. 
My weekend wasn't all play. There was some work thrown in there as well, but the fun kind. Le Creuset had a booth in the Corkyard, showcasing our newest color, Provence. We also sold our new cookbook that launched at the end of last year. 
 I'm loving the new color. It's perfect for Spring and outdoor entertaining. 
We also partnered with Wine & Design as they painted the beautiful fields of lavender which inspired the new color.
The lines were a little longer on day two but that didn't keep us from seeking out the good stuff. 
This asparagus tartine with goat cheese from Chef Matthew Ward of Rutlege Cab Co was so good. I'm determined to recreate these at home for a spring dinner party. 
I may or may not have had two servings of this in less than five minutes. This time I went for the cookies and cream. 
One of my favorite dishes at the festival was this New York Strip from Oak Steakhouse in Atlanta. It was worth the twenty minutes Whit had to wait in line to get a plate. 
Not only was this display from The Harbinger Cafe adorable, the cookies tasted even better than they looked!
La Farm Bakery was in the Artisan Market with a set up fit for the carb lover like me. I couldn't resist buying one of their white chocolate baguettes. These things are dangerously good.
Great food, good weather and even better company! Until next year!
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