Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Here's to 2015

I debated on whether or not to post a list of New Year's resolutions, but honestly resolutions sound so serious and despite the good intentions, they have a reputation for not sticking. So instead I thought I would just compile a few of my thoughts for 2015 in the form of pretty images. This is not to imply that I don't have things I would like to accomplish for the New Year because I do. This is more like a year-long to do list.


I have the tendency to look back and sometimes wish I had done certain things, like starting a blog for instance. I thought about it for a while and I'm so glad that I finally did. With that being said, I plan on keeping this quote in the back of my mind.

 
 
I would like to say that I'm pretty faithful when it comes to spending time in the gym. Let's be real though, all of those food pictures on Instagram and recipes on Pinterest intrigue me. I enjoy my fair share of unhealthy food, however I would like to work on a better balance....the kind of balance I had when I was preparing for my wedding.



Guilty. Guilty of clutter and being indecisive, and according to this quote the two go hand in hand. I see some spring cleaning in my future.



I thought this was a nice compilation of things to do.


I'm looking forward to a New Year and these words of encouragement and motivation.



Wishing everyone  a safe, happy and healthy New Year!!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Thumbprint Cookies

My all time favorite cookie to make during the holiday's is a thumbprint cookie. My mom and I make them every year and they are so good! Yesterday I shared with you a picture of all the sweet treats we made last week and today I wanted to share this recipe in particular. I only make them during the holidays, although I'm not sure why that is because they would make a great addition to any party. So go ahead and whip up one more batch of cookies before those New Year's resolutions start creeping in.


First up the dough making process.


For the wet ingredients: Soften butter in medium size bowl, add 1 egg, vanilla, sugar and mix well. Measure out the flour separately in a large bowl.
Add the flour in with the wet ingredients and mix well, making sure all lumps are out.  Place the dough into an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Once the dough has chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Using a ungreased cookie sheet, roll the dough into small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on the cookie sheet, flattening them out just a bit.  Using your thumb, press down in the center of the dough creating a indention.  Fill the indention with strawberry preserves. 

Bake the cookies on 325 for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges become slightly brown. I prefer these cookies to be soft so I don't let the edges get too dark. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool before plating.


Enjoy!


Thumbprint Cookies
Ingredients
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
3 cups of self-rising flour
1 jar of strawberry preserves
Instructions
1.       Preheat oven to 325.
2.       Soften 2 sticks of butter for just a few minutes in the microwave on medium heat.
3.       In a large bowl beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in egg, milk and vanilla.
4.       Combine flour with the wet ingredients, mixing until well blended.
5.       Refrigerate dough for 1 hour, allowing for easier handling.
6.       Once the dough has chilled, remove from refrigerator. Using a tablespoon, scoop out dough and roll into balls(about the size of a golf ball or just a bit smaller).
7.       Flatten the balls slightly and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
8.       Press your thumb in the center creating a small indention.
9.       Fill the indention with the strawberry preserves.
10.   Bake cookies at 350 for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or just until the edges are a very light brown.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Weekend Recap//Christmas

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Whit and I spent a few days with my family back in my home town and then his family came to Charleston to visit us for the weekend. The hardest part about the holidays and being married is splitting up time with everyone. But it was so nice to be able to spend time with both sides of the family.


Christmas Eve my mom and I did our annual holiday baking that I mentioned before. This year we didn't add to many extra cookies to the baking list. However, I'm excited to soon share with you some of our favorite recipes. These are the finished products....

 
 Mom and I spent half the day in the kitchen, but it was totally worth it.


As if we hadn't spent enough time in the kitchen already, Christmas day we prepared (and by we I mean mostly mom) a delicious meal.


We had pan seared salmon with a bĂ©arnaise sauce, collard greens, smoked gouda macaroni and cheese, and bacon wrapped scallops with a bourbon glaze. And for dessert....COOKIES!

Lunch was followed by opening gifts.


Everyone got some really nice things. Whit and I received some beautiful handmade serving pieces from my parents. I can't wait to put them to good use.


I also got some very (large) much needed Samsonite luggage among other things.


The guys got some Georgia Boots....you can see the excitement.
 
 
And Mom got a cute little kayak.
 


We all had a very Merry Christmas!

Skirt (similar), top (similar), scarf (similar)
Saturday afternoon Whit's family arrived in town. We went to the Angel Oak Restaurant.  Unfortunately I didn't snap any photos of my food, however it was delicious. I had half of a veggie sandwich and half of the ham and brie sandwich (we were all sharing).  The veggie sandwich was nothing shy of amazing. Served on a warm croissant, it's packed with so much flavor you don't even miss the meat.  The sweet and savory ham and brie sandwich was just as tasty, with pepper jelly and apple butter to top it off.

After lunch we went back to our house, exchanged gifts, and sat outside to enjoy the nice weather we were having.


We had a great time with both of our families over the holidays. Now we have just a few days left to recharge the batteries before the NYE festivities begin!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Gift Giving Series//Stocking Stuffers

Well my friends, there really isn't much time left to do last minute shopping...unless it's for stocking stuffers that is.  So for all of you procrastinators out there, I'm sharing a few little pretty things that would be fun to pull out the bottom of that Christmas stocking this year.




 
 
 
 
 
 
 


So, for those of you out there that really have waited until the last minute to do the shopping (I'm not judging), make sure to check out my previous posts in my 2014 Gift Giving Series:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The rest of my week is going to consist of baking, spending time with the family and enjoying the holidays. I'm not sure how much blogging will get done; so until the next post, be sure to follow along on Instagram.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all!






Monday, December 22, 2014

Weekend Recap//Life Lately

Life lately has consisted of running around like a crazy person, cleaning house, entertaining, cooking, shopping for Christmas gifts, finding time to wrap said gifts and trying to make a visit or two to the gym....Tis' the Season! That being said, we may be busy but I have no complaints.

Here are few scenes from the past few days and the weekend:

Last week we joined our friends for a little get together and indulged in this delicious spread along with some festive cocktails and a little cards again humanity.

 
 

Friday was our office Christmas party. There were only a few things to nibble on......

 
I made the Cookies & Cream Bars that I shared the recipe for a few weeks ago.
 
 
Friday evening we celebrated my husband's birthday with 21 of our friends at Miyabi Japanese Steakhouse. This is a yearly birthday tradition for him, and always a good time.




Fried rice for days.....


One word: leftovers!


After dinner the celebration continued by the fire at our house.

 
Most of Saturday was spent re-cooperating from Friday and also spending some time with a good friend of mine that was in town visiting. Saturday night we ventured out for some pizza and cocktails. We stopped at Voodoo, a fun, eclectic little bar in the Avondale area of Charleston. Voodoo was recently named best Happy Hour spot in West Ashley listed on the Charleston's 50 Food & Bev Favs by Charleston Magazine
 
 
I love going to this part of town especially when we don't feel like the hassle of making it downtown. If you live in the Charleston area, you should definitely check out the Avondale area. There are a handful of bars and restaurants and a few places to shop too. Our last stop of the evening was The Roost, a neighborhood hangout and sports bar with live music on Saturday's.
 
We had a great weekend spending time with family and friends. Time to recharge for the holiday week ahead!
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Gift Giving Series//Gifts for Him

Let's be real, buying for men isn't always the easiest thing to do and sometimes they get put on the last minute shopping list. It's not that women don't want to buy for men; it's just challenging to find the perfect gift, one that they will actually enjoy. 

With all of the online shopping browsing I've been doing lately, I've come across a few good things that I think most men would enjoy. I thought it would be nice to offer some last minute suggestions to those that are shopping for the husband, brother, father, or whoever the man in your life may be.




A classic plaid shirt is always a good staple piece for a man to have in his closet, along with this
tailored fit quilted coat from Barbour.  Make sure he is on time and smelling good with this stunning watch and a bottle of this woody aromatic Channel cologne. These dress shoes are versatile enough to go from the office to a night out on the town; but if he wants to entertain at  home this speaker is sure to get the party started. A pair of shades good enough for the beach are sure to please. And last but not least, he can travel in style with this personalized masculine toiletry case.

Happy Shopping!








Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Candle-Making Workshop with Candlefish

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of attending a candle-making workshop for local bloggers at one of Charleston's newest stores off of King Street called Candlefish.   This is the cutest shop filled with a nice variety of candles and gifts suitable for women and men.

Lovely group of Charleston Bloggers

We poured a glass of wine to sip on and started off at the scent library, which is a beautiful display of numbered scents. We each had a "library card" and were able to go through and smell several different candles and make notes on our cards in order to remember which ones we liked best.


There were so many great smelling scents to choose from. 
 


After narrowing it down we then located the oil that matched our scent and proceeded with what looked like a school chemistry project.


 Next we measured out just the right amount of wax.


And the candle making began.....


I chose #40 and #60 for my scents. One has more of a floral scent and the other has somewhat of a masculine smell to it.


Once our candles were poured we spent some time browsing around the store.


Candle making the old fashion way
 
 
 
 
Other fun little gifts the store has to offer
 
 And here are the finished products and their beautiful packaging.
 


Great news Charleston friends, if you're interested in signing up for a  candle-making workshop, Candlefish is offering 20% off any class with the coupon code "CHASBLOGGER14" . This code is good for any class in 2014/2015, but you must register by Dec 31st.  Check out the Eventbrite tab on the website for additional information on upcoming classes.

Thanks again to Candlefish for a great candle-making workshop!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday Bubbly

The holiday parties and gatherings are in full swing! Sometimes I like to spice up my cocktail selection and offer something different to my guests other than a typical glass of wine....something pretty and festive like this Southern Belle-ini.  And yes, I made up the name and there is an explanation.


I came across this little concoction when my bridesmaids and I went to pick our their dresses for my wedding. This is a photo with some of the girls at the Gown Boutique of Charleston sipping on this fun champs cocktail while doing some dress shopping.


I loved it so much that I decided I had to have this for my signature drink at our wedding. And that's exactly what I did. A great drink with some meaning behind it and I called it a "Southern Belle-ini."

 

 
This drink is really simple. Take your champagne glasses, lightly dampen the rims with water and roll in sugar. I used red sugar crystals for an extra pop of color.

 
Next fill the champagne glass a little more than halfway full, leaving room for the juice. Add a few splashes (more or less depending on preference) of Ocean Spray White Cranberry Peach Juice.  Add some frozen raspberries or any frozen berry will work such as blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, etc. They not only keep your drink cool, but also add a nice touch.
 
Cheers!!

 
 
 

“Southern Belle-ini”
Ingredients
1 bottle of your favorite champagne
1 bottle of Ocean Spray White Peach Cranberry Juice
1 bag of frozen raspberries
1 bottle of colored sugar crystals
Instructions
1.       Lightly dampen the rims of the champagne glasses with a little bit of water.
2.       Pour color sugar crystals onto a plate and roll the top of the glasses in the sugar coating the rims.
3.       Fill the champagne glasses a little over halfway full.
4.       Add a few splashes of the juice to top them off (more or less depending on preference.)
5.       Finished off the drink by adding a few frozen raspberries.