Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Currently Loving

Happy Tuesday! I was one of the fortunate ones that had yesterday off from work. I spent the day enjoying some time outdoors and just relaxed after a busy weekend. If only we got three day weekends more often. I feel recharged and ready to tackle the week! 

It's been a while since I've shared a list of things I'm currently loving and I've got some good ones for you today!

Starting with these Vince Camuto Kade cutout loafers. I purchased them a few weeks ago and debated on whether or not to keep them and I'm so glad I did. They have been on repeat at work. They are just easy slip on shoes that can dress an outfit up or down. And the good news...they are currently on sale!
I'm obsessed with the way this Anderson Lilley Winter in Manhattan Beach Beach Butter Body Cream smells. I apply lotion every day after I get out of the shower, especially in the winter when my skin is dry. This lotion is thick but not suffocating and it smells heavenly. 

I've been on a shoe kick lately (no pun intended.) These Sam Edelman Synthia ankle strap sandals are another one of my latest obsessions. I've been wearing them out at night since the temps have been relativley mild. These will be great in the spring time as well. The chunky heels actually make them more comfortable. They come in a selection of colors but the camel color was my favorite. These are also on sale right now.
I came across this Beach Lunch Lounge long sleeve button down and thought it would be a good staple piece. I couldn't find the exact one I bought because I got it from TJ Maxx. Mine is very similar to the one in the photo except the back of the shirt is a grey, soft cotton material. I thought it would be a great top for the spring with white jeans or jean shorts, but also something that could be worn to the office. I'm really glad I discovered this brand. They have a few other cute and casual pieces I wouldn't mind getting my hands on.

I was on a mission for a while to find the perfect frayed hem jeans. Finding jeans in general that are petite in length is always a challenge. I love the frayed style but I knew I had to find some that wouldn't need altering. After a few failed attempts, I finally found these BLANK NYC frayed hem jeans. They are super soft and comfy and are the perfect length. I originally found them at Nordstrom and they sold out fairly quick but you can get them here as well. 



Instagram outfit details below:

Wool Fedora: Old from Zara, (similar one, two, three, four, five.)
Necklace: Boho Beads (similar)
Anorak Jacket: C. Wonder (similar)
Long Sleeve Top: Old from TJMaxx
Shoes: linked above
Jeans: linked above
Glasses: Channel
Gold Hoop Earrings: Nordstrom (here).


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Outstanding in the Field | An Open-Air Feast

Imagine a beautiful long table stretching for miles, set with white linens and perfectly placed menus, sitting in the middle of a working farm, surrounded by water and scenes of the lowcountry. Are you with me?! I had the pleasure of attending an unforgettable dinner a few weekends ago, one that left me wishing ever Sunday supper looked like this. Outstanding in the Field is more than just dinner, it's an experience. 
Upon arrival, we were welcomed to the farm with cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres, in which we enjoyed while we toured the farm. I must get my hands on the pickled deviled egg recipe, they were so good! We also enjoyed some sweet potato-goat cheese gougères, which were equally as delicious. 
After about an hour into the reception, we were introduced to those that work behind the scenes of these beautiful events, along with the folks that bring Bulls Bay Saltworks to life. Bulls Bay is a local company that hand harvests salt to produce an exclusive line of products that can be found from coast to coast and in many fine restaurants in the south. You may be wondering how all of this ties together. The farm where we had dinner was located just off of Bulls Bay, where the salt is harvested. It was such a pleasure to learn about the process and what happens to those pretty little crystals of salt before they reach your plate. 
After our welcome discussion, we picked up a plate and were escorted to the table where we chose a seat. The plate situation is unique because you may bring your own, or you may opt to use one of theirs. The assortment of different plates creates quite a beautiful display on the table. 
Once we selected our seats at the table, we enjoyed a family style meal prepared in an outdoor kitchen by guest chef Chelsey Conrad of Butcher and Bee. The Anson Mills 'rouge de Bourdeaux' challah served a dual purpose. as both the table decor and the starter to our meal. It was served with benne tahini, Lowcountry Creamery butter and Bulls Bay Saltworks smoked sea salt. There was also a trio of other dips that everyone immediately dove into before there was time to snap a photo.
The first course was a cabbage salad with olive relish, almonds, date chili and pomegrante molasses. It was crunch, light and refreshing— all things that a salad should be.
Next up was a heaping bowl of freekeh porridge with smoked Keegan-Filion Farm chicken, preserved lemons and almonds. This was such a comforting and hearty dish. It reminded me of a sophisticated version of chicken perlo (minus the sausage.) I couldn't resists getting a second serving of this. 
Colorful Lowland Farm veggies were served for a perfect healthy balance. 
The Keegan Farm chicken shawarma, beef belly, and ground lamb was served hot off the grill, kabob style. It was the final bit of protein that pulled the meal all together, leaving just barley enough room for dessert.
No one could say not to this beautiful babka tart with black pepper-mascarpone cream that was almost too pretty to eat. Flaky dough with layers of chocolate and fresh strawberries was the perfect way to end the perfect meal. 
We had such a great time meeting new friends at the table while enjoying Chef Conrad's delicious food and sipping on great wine. I would jump at the opportunity to attend another one of these events. Check the Outstanding in the Field website  for a list of places they will be popping up. I highly recommend reserving a seat at their table if they come to a city near you!
Cheers!

Friday, February 10, 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

I'm wrapping up the last part of my Valentine's Day series with a gift guide for you. These gift guides have been floating around the blog world lately and I've got another one to add to the mix! Whether you're shopping for yourself, a friend, coworker or maybe you just want to share this list with your significant other, (I hope mine is reading) there's still time to make a few purchases. Here are a few things that I thought were too pretty not to share.



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Look # 3 + Recipes for Dinner at Home

Valentine's Day Mini Series No. 3 | Pastels

I wore this dress to work the other day and received a lot of compliments. Most of which were about how "springy" I looked. Maybe I just have warm weather on the brain and it's starting to show through my wardrobe choices. I feel like there is so much that can be done with a simple dress like this. I thought it would work well for a Valentine's Day inspired outfit by pairing it with a red coat and a few other fun accessories. I mentioned yesterday, I'm all about wearing something I already have in my closet and transitioning it into the perfect outfit with the help of some accessories. I love this dress! I think it will be perfect as we approach Spring as well. It's a great casual piece that can be dressed up or down. And the good news, it's on major sale. You can find this dress and more on Tobi
Photos: Jennifer Collins Photography
I added some tassel earrings, a pink lip color, chunky nude heels and a red coat to pull together a casual and fun look for Valentine's Day.
Dress: Tobi Shoes:Sam Edelman Earrings: Shopbop Bracelet: Bourbon and Boweties Scarf: similar
You can definitely make a home cooked meal in a causal dress like this. Plus it's fun to dress up a little, cook a delicious dinner and enjoy a nice evening at home. No reservations required! 

Here are a few recipes perfect for a meal at home with your sweetie one or a Galentine's dinner with the girls. Warning: most of these aren't figure friendly, but you have to splurge every now and then.

Cocktails:

Appetizers:
Bang Bang Shrimp
Creamy Mushroom and Brie Soup
Winter Greek Salad
Pear, Date and Burrata Flatbread with Crispy Sage
The Perfect French Onion Soup
Gouda Cheese Fondue
Parmesan Garlic Knot Hearts
Dinner:
Mini Beef Wellingtons
Spicy California Shrimp Stacks
Brussels Sprouts, Apple and Cheddar Pizza
Pan Seared Scallops with Bacon Cream Sauce
Beef Tenderloin with a Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
Caramelized Figs and Ravioli with Rosemary Brown Butter & Crispy Prosciutto
Beef Short Ribs with Mushroom Risotto
Pan Seared Salmon
Brown Butter Mashed Poatoes

Dessert:
Classic Creme Brulee for Two
Mocha Truffle Bars
Cappuccino Soufflé for Two
Apple Pie Rolls
Boozy Red Velvet Trifles 
Beer Brownies
Chocolate Semifreddo
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce

What are some of your favorite Valentine's Day inspired meals?

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Valentine's Day Look #2 + Free Printables

Valentine's Day Mini Series No. 2 | Pops of pink and red
Photos: Jennifer Collins Photography 
Valentine's Day cards and candy grams...you all remember them, right?!? I recall being in middle school and putting together valentine's day cards for the whole class. I would always make sure to give the extra sweet ones to the cute boys in hopes I would get one in return. Then in highschool, it was all about the candy grams. I vividly remember someone standing in front of the classroom reading out names of those who received a candy gram. It was always an exciting mystery to receive that super sweet heart shaped sucker, with a love message attached, which was way more important than the actual piece of candy. No one cared about the sucker, it only mattered who gave it to you and what the message said. To this day, I still enjoy a sweet little Valentine's Day card, the more grown up versions of course. Today I'm sharing some of my favorite free printables, perfect to give to your loved ones.

But first....

I also wanted to share another little outfit inspiration. This dress is much different than the dressier one I shared yesterday. Today is about getting Valentine's Day ready by wearing a dress that's already in your closet and adding a few pops of pink or red accessories to pull the outfit together. Adding a bright lip color, earrings, bag or simple coat can transition a basic work dress into one that you can wear for the occasion. Whether you have plans for a low key night out or a galentine's brunch, this shift dress from Tobi fits the bill for multiple occasions. Did I mention it has pockets? I don't know what it is about it, but I'm a sucker for any dress that has pockets. It's also loose fitting and really comfortable.
How cute are these free printables?! 
  Love these quirky love cards!


Watercolor Valentine, because watercolors are always so pretty.
These cards provide a good excuse to buy donuts.

These sarcastic v-day cards are perfect for those that don't want to take it too seriously.

I am obsessed with every one of these food and beverage themed cards! These unfortunately aren't free printables, but you can check out the website for ordering.









Monday, February 6, 2017

Valentine's Day Look #1 + Date Night Ideas

Valentine's Day Mini Series No. 1

I know this series may not appeal to all but I promise it's not all sappy love stuff. I want to make it fun and exciting! This week I will be doing a Valentine's Day mini series, sharing all sorts of things from gift guides and sweet recipes to outfit inspiration and free printables.

So whether you're going on a date with your significant other or have galentine's brunch plans, I'm sharing three different Valentine's Day looks this week in addition to some other fun stuff. When I was in college there was always some function or event going on that I felt the need to buy a new outfit for. Needless to say, I ran out of room in my closet and ended up with a lot of pieces that I didn't absolutely love. This post isn't only about a Valentine's Day inspired outfit, but it's also about finding ways to make what you have in your closet work for different occasions...like Valentine's Day. :)

Photos: Jennifer Collins Photography 
I absolutely love this first dress. The lace details are everything. I spring at the opportunity to dress up any chance I get. This is perfect for a fancy evening out to dinner, or attending a formal function. I'm also holding onto this little number for an upcoming spring wedding. Between special occasion dinners, formal events and weddings, I think I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this gorgeous lace dress. And side note, I found it on Tobi.com, which is a great website with tons of cute inexpensive dresses. I think mine may be sold out, but you can find two similar ones here

So find a reason to get dressed up this Valentine's Day and head out for a night on the town! Here are a few date night recommendations!

1. Fine Dining: Ambiance is everything. My husband often chooses restaurants based on the way they look inside. It really sets the tone for the evening. So find a sexy restaurant, make a reservation, get dressed up and indulge in a meal that you wouldn't normally prepare at home.

2. Book a local stay: Stay cations can be a lot of fun, especially if you're like me and are constantly on the go. Book a room at a romantic hotel and enjoy an evening in your home town. Head out for dinner and then have cocktails at the hotel bar. Pretending to be tourists can be fun.

3. Sunset Cruise: We are so fortunate to be surrounded by water in beautiful Charleston, SC. If you live on the coast, book a late afternoon cruise, take in the little views and enjoy the sunset.

4. Attend a show: Whether it's a Broadway show, musical, play or concert, but tickets to see a live show. It's a great way enjoy time together and do something different.

5. Wine Blending: Love vino? Find a place that offers wine blending classes. Learn a little more about it and take home a special bottle the two of you prepared.

What are some of your favorite date night ideas?


Photo Credit: Jennifer Collins Photography 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Ramblings

Image source: Esty

Happy Friday! I thought I would start by sharing some morning inspiration!

I’ve haven’t been posting much lately and I apologize for that. To be honest, I’ve opened up my computer every night and just sat there staring at a blank template. Then I get caught up in answering emails, scrolling through social media and the next thing I know, I can’t keep my eyes open so it’s time for bed. I’ve been lacking inspiration and I don’t want to post something just to post it. I would rather share one good post a week versus five that I’m not 100% happy with. 

With that being said, I’ve been trying to take some time to recharge and come up with some exciting new post ideas. I’ve got some fun things coming to the blog next week that I’m looking forward to sharing with you, including a mini Valentine’s Day series. I hope you all continue to follow along, regardless of how many times I post during the week. 

In other news, I’m super excited for the weekend! We have a lot of fun stuff going on! We are headed to the Corey Smith concert tonight, an oyster roast on Saturday and a special event on Sunday called Outstanding in The Field. I’m super pumped about it! Follow along on my Insta stories for a peek into the weekend!

Oh and in shopping news...currently crushing on this sweater, this top, and these sneakers.  

Have a great weekend!