Living a tasteful life

Friday, July 31, 2015

Charleston Blog Society Event: An Evening at Finicky Filly

A few weeks ago, the Charleston Blog Society hosted a fabulous event at Finicky Filly. We socialized, sipped wine and splurged on some sweet treats. What better venue to mingle in, than a store full of clothes and accessories?
Images courtesy of Gillian Ellis

My blogger friend Megan and I arrived at Finicky Filly and were immediately welcomed with a glass of wine from September Oaks Vineyard. Random side note: I love that they were serving this wine. I grew up around the area where it’s produced. In fact, I went to high school with Lanie, whose family owns the vineyard.

I would have liked to fill my closet with one of everything from the store. Fortunately, Megan and I arrived early enough to be lucky recipients of one of these gorgeous bracelets:

The surprises didn’t stop there  we had some pretty sweet treats to look forward to as well. Pure Fluff was there spinning some sweet sugary goodness. The cotton candy cart was so adorable, and they had so many unique flavors. Side note, today is National Cotton Candy Day!

The shopping, cotton candy and wine weren’t the only highlights of the evening. We also learned about the Brown Box Club, a signature personal shopping experience that brings luxury style to you. After about a minute of hearing about this awesome service, anyone would want to sign up. I mean, handpicked items, delivered right to your door, free shipping and free returns. What more could you ask for? Sounds like the perfect operation to me. You simply fill out a style questionnaire, so the personal stylists can curate the perfect box for you. Style, ship, shop (from home), repeat.

If you’re looking for wardrobe additions at a slightly lower price point, check out Hanger to Home, where they offer the same type of at-home shopping experience from Haute Hanger, the sister company of Finicky Filly. Simply start by filling out their style questionnaire.

Additional information on these two services and how to sign up can be found here:
And for more information on the fabulous stores that offer these services, check out the links below:
Finicky Filly website and Facebook
Haute Hanger website and Facebook
Another great way to follow Brown Box Club and Hanger to Home is through the House Account app, making it simple and easy to stay up-to-date with the latest trending items!
Thanks to all involved for hosting such a fun event!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Closet Addition: Embroidered Envy

Summer isn’t over yet, at least not here in the South anyway. There’s still time to get a few more wears out of your crisp. white, embroidered tops, cover ups, shorts and dresses. There's just something so pretty about a solid white top with detailed, colorful thread work.If you don’t own anything that’s embroidered, it’s not too late. I’ve put together a list of some of fun pieces that I would love to fill my closet with. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Weekend Recap: 2015 Beaufort Water Festival

The Beaufort Water Festival, a highly anticipated social gathering in July, which takes place on the infamous sandbar in the middle of the Beaufort River. I’ve been going to the festival for years now and it’s something I always look forward to. There is much more to the festival than just a day on the water with friends, although that’s my favorite part. The festival is a two week long celebration of the Coastal Lowcountry  and consists of everything from concerts and parades, to raft races and arts and crafts.
This past weekend we joined hundreds of others out on the sandbar for a day of fun in the sun. Here are a few scenes from the weekend.

Until next year!

Friday, July 24, 2015

News Feed Friday

How cute is this outdoor patio area at Taco Boy?

I’m so excited that weekend is finally in sight! It has been a long week and I’m ready for some sunshine and cocktails!

Here are some fun links for you this Friday:

How delicious does this cobbler look?

There’s a healthier way to eat nutella?

Swap your go-to college drinks for these more grown-up cocktails

Bring on the cheese, please!

Speaking of cheese, can someone have this mac and cheese waiting for me when I get home? Yum!

5 way to enjoy summer even if you're stuck at work.

 I'm sure many of us can relate to the labor-intense ways this blogger edits Instagram photos.

There are quite a few things I would like to add to my closet from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, like  this bagthese jeansthese earrings, and these shoes

I found some humor in this. I will admit, I'm guilty of some of the things listed.

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thoughts on Thursday

I’m switching things up a bit today and sharing some things that have been on my mind. I’m often asked what made me want to start blogging. So, I thought I would share with you why I started this little blog and my thoughts behind it, so here goes. 

I’m not a professional food blogger who whips up gourmet cuisine. I’m also not a famous fashion blogger known for stylish posts and stunning photos. Nor am I a journalist, writing magazine-worthy columns. I’m just someone who enjoys sharing my love of food through simple recipes; fashion, through curated lists of pretty things I discover; décor, through inspiration and acquisitions; and last but not least, travels, whether it’s thousands of miles away or to a restaurant down the road. I’m someone who loves to learn about new things, and I hope that I can share something new with you. I started this blog because I enjoy sharing life’s simple pleasures. Experiencing life with those who matter most and documenting it for personal remembrance, while connecting with others in the blogging world, is my goal.  
I spent weeks trying to come up with a name for my blog and narrow down exactly what the one thing was that I wanted to focus on. I soon realized that every post wasn’t going to be just about food or just about fashion. I didn’t want to limit myself to just one topic, but instead set the stage for a wide array of interests. A Polished Palate was created to share my experiences on living a tasteful life, not just through food, but life in general. So thank you to my new readers for following along, and to those who have been there from the beginning. I look forward to continuing the journey!



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Little Black Romper

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I typically do some sort of fashion post once a week (nothing major).  My posts usually consist of things I’ve rounded up that I’m currently lusting over, things that are sitting in my online shopping cart just waiting to be purchased.  Today, I thought I would change it up a bit, and share with you a current wardrobe favorite.  This little number didn’t stand a chance sitting idle in my shopping cart. 

I normally don’t do solo outfits posts, but this romper is too cute not to share the spotlight, plus it’s on major sale right now! I purchased this romper from Loft a few months ago and am so happy that I did. I placed an order for two sizes because it seemed to run a little big. The nice thing about it is the adjustable tie in the back. There is just enough string to be able to adjust to your liking. I’ve worn it with wedges to do a little afternoon shopping around town and also to dinner with black sandals for a dressier look. 

I also want to mention this Kate Spade shoulder bag. It is the perfect neutral shade that goes with everything and it’s also a great size. I was lucky enough to find this beauty at TJ Maxx, but  I’ve provided links below to some similar bags. 

Shop this look below.

Romper//Loft (now 60% off using code HOTSTUFF): here 

Shoes//Steve Madden: similar styles here, herehere, and here.

Bag//Kate Spade: similar herehere, and here.

Bracelet//Michael Kors:  here

Earrings (old): similar here


Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Recap: Bald Head Island, NC

On the east side of Cape Fear in North Carolina is Bald Head Island, a beautiful and remote village only accessible by ferry or private boat. I’ve never visited Bald Head Island until this past weekend. The beauty of the island left me wondering when I can go back, and what took me so long to get there.
Friday after work, my husband Whit and I headed to his hometown of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We went our separate ways for the evening, each off to dinner to catch up with old friends. I met my friend Rachel for dinner at CO, a Vietnamese fusion restaurant in the Market Common. CO has a location in Charleston, but I’ve actually never stepped foot inside. I was happy to check the place out and satisfy my sushi cravings. I had the Wagyu beef roll, and it was delicious!
Rachel and I had after-dinner drinks at Tupelo Honey Cafe, where my friend Erika joined us. I definitely want to make it back to try out the food there. It was a great evening spent catching up with my college girlfriends.
We rolled out of bed early Saturday morning to prepare for the day trip to Bald Head Island. We, along with seven others, went on a friend’s 42-foot Yellowfin boat, which made for a nice comfortable ride. It took us about three hours via the Intracoastal Waterway, and we enjoyed a few stops along the way.
We arrived at Bald Head Island in time to enjoy a late lunch at Mojo's on the Harbor, a casual seafood spot at the Marina that did not disappoint. 

I had the grouper BLT, a delicious fish sandwich on a brioche bun with a jalapeno-mango mayo. I managed to sneak in a few bites of Whit’s grouper sandwich, which was topped with avocado and mango salsa. Is it just me, or is seafood always better when it’s eaten outside with a water view?! 
After a filling lunch, we explored the island by golf cart, cruising the winding pathways surrounded by a semi- tropical maritime forest.  
We made our way to the beach, where beautiful homes stretched for miles along the coastline. We ladies managed to convince the guys to let us stop at a few boutiques and shops along the way. Let’s just say that not one of us left empty-handed.

After a few hours of exploring the island, we loaded back up on the boat to make our way back to Myrtle, this time cruising back on the ocean. The ride back was a little faster and a little bumpier, but still a great time.
I would love to make a trip back to Bald Head in the near future. It’s such a scenic and peaceful little island with hospitable people. The remoteness of the island provides a sense of privacy, and the atmosphere is perfect for relaxing. Although we were only on the island for a few short hours, the time we were able to spend there left me yearning to go back.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Caprese Pasta Salad

My husband and I went to a BBQ with friends last weekend and I was in need of a side dish.  I was looking for a simple and fresh recipe that required little time to prepare. I had a bag full of ripe cherry tomatoes on my counter and a garden full of basil. Naturally, the first thing that came to mind was a caprese salad, however I wanted something more filling, that would feed a crowd. I decided carbs were the answer, so I went straight to the store to buy some pasta, and a few other ingredients. 

I took a little short cut for this recipe with the bacon. I didn’t have time for frying, so I bought some Hormel real crumbled bacon.  This did just the trick given the time crunch I was in. I also decided last minute to add chopped black olives. You can’t see them in the photo, because I literally added them right before I walked out the door.

 I knew that I needed some sort of liquid substance to bring all of this together. I thought about using regular balsamic, but I didn’t want it to be too tangy and I also wanted it to be a bit creamy. I came across the Bolthouse Farms Creamy Balsamic while I was in the grocery store, and decided that’s exactly what I needed. It had the perfect tangy, creamy balance that I was looking for. Side note, I’m obsessed with all of the Bolthouse dressings. They are made with yogurt and are a lot better for you than most dressings. Our fridge always has at least one bottle, and all of my salads are now topped with these healthy and flavorful dressings. Two of my favorites are Ranch and Caesear Parmigiano. They are seriously so good; you won’t even miss those regular high calorie dressings.
It’s simple, quick and delicious! Enjoy!

Caprese Pasta Salad
1 box Farfalle pasta
1 package cherry tomatoes
1 packaged fresh mozzarella pearls
1 handful of fresh basil
1/2 cup of  package of crumbled real bacon bits 
1 small can of chopped black olives (optional)
Bolthouse Farms Creamy Balsamic Dressing
Sea Salt

1.     Cook the entire box of pasta according to the directions.
2.     Once cooked, drain and let cool. Then pour to a large serving bowl.
3.     Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and add to the pasta.
4.     Add the whole package of fresh mozzarella pearls and crumbled bacon.
5.     Chop a handful of fresh basil and add to the pasta. (Save some for garnishing the top.)
6.     Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7.     Top with enough dressing to coat the pasta to your preference and mix well.
8.     Garnish the top with the remaining basil. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Outdoor Spaces

Lately I’ve had the urge to focus my attention on decorating our back deck. Whit and I bought our house about one month before we got married; and needless to say, my focus was not on our new home. Now that we have been homeowners for two years, and the wedding planning is behind us, things are finally starting to come together. Our home had been renovated before we moved in, and fortunately for us, there was little to do other than add a few of our own touches.

Our focus has mainly been on the inside, however recently we've (Whit) been working on sprucing up the landscaping. Now that our yard is shaping up, it seems only fitting to move on to the back deck. There are so many great outdoor pieces that I’m lusting over right now. I would love to create our own relaxing oasis that we can escape to whenever we want to pretend we are at a luxurious hotel. 

I love dining outside, especially when the weather is nice, and all I’m missing is the perfect set-up. We currently have a wooden table and chairs and an outdoor bar on our deck. However, I’m in the market for a more cozy set up, one more suitable for comfortably socializing or peacefully lounging with a book and an ice cold beverage. I'm envisioning a plush sectional couch, accented by colorful pillows, and a coffee table for resting cold beverages, all sitting on top of a neutral rug,  with a fun umbrella nearby for optional shade. Are you with me?

Below are some of my favorite pieces that I think would create the perfect outdoor space.  Now, if only we had a pool!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Weekend Recap: Summer Nights

 It's hard to believe that we are already halfway through July!  I'm just not ready to say goodbye to summer. However, in the South, we don't see cooler whether until around October. I still feel like winter will be here before I know it. So, until then, I plan on enjoying these warm summer nights.

Rewinding to Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the Community United charity dinner at Belmond Charleston Place, raising money for the Emanuel nine.

Auctions items included everything from Grammy Award tickets to this little sweetheart named Addy, from the Charleston Animal Society. 
This was an incredible event. The beautiful ballroom at Belmond Charleston Place was full of hundreds of attendees and 50 plus food and beverage purveyors serving their finest fare, all while the sounds of the Lowcountry Voices gospel filled the room. There was also a number of amazing items to bid on in the silent auction.  However, the evening wasn’t just about the socializing, food and auction items, it was about a community coming together to support one another. As  Rev. Norval Goff said, “ We are stronger together than we are apart.” It was wonderful to attend the such an uplifting charitable event.
Friday evening we met our friends Megan and Brandon downtown for drinks at 492.  This place has the cutest seating area in their outdoor courtyard, perfect for carrying on conversation while sipping on cocktails.
  Saturday we headed to our friend’s house for a BBQ. The evening was spent snacking on some great food,  sipping on a lot of wine, playing a few rounds of cards against humanity and enjoying this beautiful view.

On another note, did anyone watch the Miss USA pageant?  All of the girls looked stunning! Those questions had me sweating! Congrats to Miss Oklahoma, I was happy to see her take the crown.

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