Monday, March 27, 2017

Currently Loving

I have a mixed bag of things to share with you today. You may have seen me mention some of these items on my Instagram stories lately. I thought were too good not to share in a blog post!

First up, this little wooden pineapple bowl from Open Door Shop. It's the perfect versatile dish that can be used for things such as a salt cellar (perfect for my favorite salt), jewelry dish, or on the table for small snacks like nuts or olives. Open Door Shop is local retailer selling a collection of beautiful goods for the home. The good news, you can also shop online! They have so many cute things!  

A few months ago I wrote a post sharing my thoughts on Arctic Zero fit frozen desserts. Recently they came out with a new line of flavors for 2017 and I gave them all a try. These frozen desserts satisfy the sweet tooth with out the guilt, plus there's some protein in there which is always an added bonus. Well the verdict is in. While I think that all of their flavors are pretty tasty, they knocked it out of the park with their Peanut Butter Swirl flavor! Of all of the flavors I've tried, including those from last year, this one is hands down my favorite! There are only 300 calories in the whole pint, which is great because I could easily consume the whole things in one sitting.
Last week I went to the Teil Duncan art show at The American Theater and fell in love with all of her pieces. Teil is a local artist painting mostly figurative and non-objective work in the most beautiful array of colors. As I previously mentioned, we are updating our bedroom and I would love to hang one of her beauties in our room. The beach scenes and animals are my favorites.
Remember the recent purchases I mentioned in my recap of our New Orleans trip? These pretties were one of the things  I was referring to! I'm obsessed with the St. Louis matte black sunglasses from Krewe. They are also available in rose gold, but in-store only. I loved them both but decided to go with these!

We recently transitioned from a queen size bed to a king as part of our bedroom makeover. I had no idea what we were missing out on. The additional space is amazing! Here's a look at the bed we purchased. Similar options here, here and here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New Orleans Travel Recap | Part 1

As most of you have probably gathered by now, my husband and I are constantly on the go. So of course when our good friends asked us to join them on a trip to New Orleans, we couldn't say no. My best friend's husband turned thirty and we couldn't think of a better place to get together and celebrate!

I've been asked several times what the highlight of the trip was and of course, aside from spending time with our sweet friends, the food was at the top of my list! I'm also pretty excited about two purchases I made while I was there, but more about that later. I didn't want to overload you with too many photos in one post, so I decided to break up my recap. Be sure to check back later for part two!

We rented a charming little cottage located in the Bywater neighborhood – a trendy, hipster area just five minutes downriver from the French Quarter. Our cottage was so adorable. The outside was bright and colorful as are most of the other cottages in the neighborhood. The inside was beautifully decorated and provided the perfect space for a party of four.

Some interior photos sourced from VRBO.
If you follow along on my Insta stories, you may be aware that Whit and I decided to drive (from South Carolina) instead of fly. The trip wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but needless to say, we were very ready for some good food and cocktails by the time we arrived. 
We headed towards the French Quarter, making our first stop at Pat O'briens for an infamous hurricane. A drink a little too sweet for our liking, so we kept moving.  After a quick google search for the "best po boys near me" we were directed to The Bourbon House, a premier oyster bar and seafood restaurant, offering an extensive selection of bourbon. My assumption is that this place is most likely a tourist spot, the kind that visitors venture to in Charleston. But we were in fact tourists and I'm so glad google led us to this spot. This place had the best charbroiled oysters I've ever tasted. We loved them so much, we ate their twice during our trip. They also had my favorite seasonal beer on draft which was another added bonus.
I'm not a bourbon drinker, but I would assume this list just about covers anything and everything a bourbon lover could want and more. 
We had just the right amount of food to coat our bellies and continue on exploring the city.
The weather was beautiful the entire time we were there. The first day it was 80 degrees- I was ready for it, but my pale skin wasn't. 
We stumbled across the cutest little boutique and I couldn't resist purchasing a blue and white top I spotted on the mannequin. I love shopping at local boutiques when I travel. I always feel like my purchases have a little more meaning. You can see what I purchased in part two of my recap, coming soon. 
Dessert before dinner is totally acceptable when it involves warm powdered sugar covered beignets from the infamous Cafe Du Monde
Enough to tease our tastebuds, we refrained from getting more in order to save room for dinner at La Petite Grocery. Located in the central business district in a quaint cottage that housed a grocery store in the 1800s, La Petite Grocery's Chef Justin Devillier is serving up fabulous Louisiana fare. Here are a few things that crossed our table. 
For starters, we split the ricotta dumplings and the roasted brussels sprouts with cane syrup butter, pecans & smoked bacon.
I decided to go out on a limb and try one of their most popular dishes, turtle bolognese with bucatini, sherry, parsley & fried soft boiled egg. It was a risk I'm glad I took, because my meal was delicious. If you can get past the name, I recommend giving it a try. 
We also tried the gulf shrimp and grits, roasted lamp chops and the LPG cheeseburger. Let me just say this, when a nice restaurant has a cheeseburger on the menu, it must be something special, and this one sure was! Made with house pickles, onion marmalade, arugula, whole grain mustard, aioli & gruyere on a soft bun served with hand cut fries — my husband made an excellent choice.
Check back later for part two of my recap as the food saga continues!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Favorites

Happy first day of Spring! I can't think of a better way to celebrate than by sharing a few favorites, perfect for the season! I'm dying to get my hands on a ruffle sleeve blouse like this baby blue one, a pair of these gorgeous tassel earrings and a fun bag for summer. What are some of your favorite pieces for spring?

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 Charleston Wine & Food Festival Recap | Part 2

In case you didn't get enough food photos in my last post, I thought I would give your eyes something more to feast on. As I mentioned last week, we had a blast at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival
How cute is this Le Creuset photo booth we set up!? Complete with waders and all, we had fun snapping some photos in the USS Shucktown!
Both Friday and Saturday afternoons were spent exploring the culinary village, sampling all of the food and wine we could get our hands on. Or should I say that we were willing to stand in line for. This dish below was the first thing I tried and I can't even tell you what it was. I was so hungry I went for the first thing I saw. 
We spotted what seemed to be a real live scientist whipping up a gin concoction. I'm not a fan of gin, but couldn't pass up at least giving this a try.  His set up was pretty impressive. 
I also discovered that a white pinot noir exists. This white wine from Left Coast Cellers was nice and refreshing and is only available for a limited time. In fact, I don't see it on their website, which is a bummer because I would love to break out a bottle of it at my next dinner party. 
This dish below was actually on the list of top favorite things I sampled during the festival. Roasted sweet potato with pickled golden raisins, ancho chili and yogurt, so many flavors packed into this little bowl. Chef Whitney Otawka of Greyfield Inn does it right! I could have eaten a few of these. 
 There was a beautifully set rosé garden, complete with Whispering Angel Rosé.
And if rosé wasn't of interest, there was a biergarten lined with any and every kind of beer you could want. 
What goes better with beer than chocolate ice cream from Cirsea?! They seriously have some the best flavors. 
I also gave these BBQ snails a try. The thought of snails threw me off at first, but it was actually delicious!
Sloppy Joe Toastadas from Taqeria del Sol
I honestly can't remember what this dish was, but I remember being good. 
And speaking of good, this shrimp roll from Chef Jason Stanhope of FIG was great! You can't beat fresh shrimp in between to buttery toasted pieces of bread. 
There were several meat options served straight off the grill. 
And there were also sous-vide options like these 72-hour seared beef short ribs, served on a bed of truffle polenta with a port wine reduction from Cuisine Solutions. I was impressed with the flavor and how juicy and tender the meat was. This would be a great way to serve a delicious meal for those who don't like to cook. 
Different day, different ice cream. A scoop of chocolate chocolate chip, topped with old fashion strawberry from Republic Ice Cream for the win! As I mentioned, I didn't consume all of this in one afternoon. This was a result of spending two afternoons in the culinary village, which was totally fine by me. 
Once the culinary village closed on Saturday afternoon, I hopped over to the Le Creuset Boutique for a book signing with Colu Henry, author of Back Pocket Pasta. It was a pleasure to have her in our store. 
The Boutique was serving colorful pasta dishes from her cookbook.
Exhausted and running on fumes after a long day at the festival, I pulled myself together for an exciting event I had been really looking forward to. The What the Pho event actually took place at my office. Our parking lot was beautifully transformed into an Asian-inspired, high-energy nighttime experience.
The Veuve Clicquot was flowing. 
And the noodle dishes were endless. A lineup of a dozen local and guest chefs offered their spin on oodles of noodles, accompanied by incredible craft cocktails and complete with beats from DJ Rehab
Excuse the red nose, I was freezing cold and sunburned from earlier in the afternoon. 
This festive event was the perfect way to end a weekend full of wine, food and good times with great friends. Until next year...cheers!