Living a tasteful life

Friday, January 30, 2015

News Feed Friday

http://instagram.com/mryanflowers/

I took this picture one day when I was out and about walking around downtown Charleston. This city really is full of so much charm and beauty! If you aren't from here or if you've never visited, you should definitely make a trip!

How delicious do these one pan chicken burrito bowls look?!?  Here is another recipe for the Pinterest archives (and it's good for you!)

Target will be brightening up their floors in April with this colorful brand!

She may not have taken home the title, but Miss USA sure did look stunning in her fiery red gown at the Miss Universe Pageant last weekend!

I plan on watching this controversial and heavily talked about movie on Netflix this weekend. And speaking of Netflix... for all of you streamers out there, here is the new TV and movie line up beginning in February. 

Bruno Mars' hit "Uptown Funk" may have taken over radios everywhere but have you heard the latest version from the White House?! Don't believe me, just watch.  

Where your heart on your sleeve this Valentine's day with this fun graphic sweatshirt.

I would cook all day every day if I had this dreamy kitchen in my home.

Don't know what to make for the big game this weekend? Well in case you missed it, check out my post from this week with a list of yummy Super Bowl snacks.

Cheers to the weekend!






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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Super Bowl Snacks


Photo Credits from blogs mentioned below

The Super Bowl is right around the corner and now is the time to start making a menu "game plan".  I personally don't care about the game as much as I do about the snacks. With that being said, I've been on the search for the ultimate crowd pleasing appetizers. Below is a list of recipes I've compiled a mix of traditional, sophisticated and creative appetizers from several blogs that are perfect for feasting with friends during the big game.

Hot Pizza Dip | The Girl Who Ate Everything

Baked Camembert with Caramel & Pecans | That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Pigs in a Blanket | Plain Chicken

Football Cookies & Cream Dip | Creative Juice

Cucumber Bites with Herb Cream Cheese & Cherry Tomatoes | 52 Ways to Cook

Bacon Jalapeno Deviled Eggs | Real Housemom

Glazed Kielbasa Pineapple Bite | Jam Hands

Chunky Chicken Salad Cups | Diethood

Antipasto Kabobs | The Hungry Housewife

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Meatballs | Damn Delicious

Buffalo Wings | Saveur

Easy Feta Dip | The Girl Who Ate Everything

Avocado Salsa | Chef in Training

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Dip | Seeded at the Table

Bacon Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes | Selections by Sisters

Chocolate Dipped Clementines with Sea Salt | Comfort Cooking

The Best Fruit Dip Ever | Layers of Happiness



What are some of your favorite game day recipes?










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Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Recap + Sale Alerts

Happy Monday! The weekend has come and gone so quickly yet again.

Here are a few photos from my weekend ramblings.


I started my Friday evening off with a little wine and cheese "Happy Hour" at home. This cheese is soooo delicious!  It's a creamy Toscano cheese soaked in Syrah from Trader Joe's. It has the nutty flavor and texture of an aged parmesan. I highly recommend it!

Saturday evening we went to Edmund's Oast  with some friends of ours that were visiting for the night. I'm no stranger to this place because their food is so delicious. You can read about one of my previous dining experiences here

During this visit we sat outside at their new Bower, which is basically a covered area with a bar and seating (and heaters).  I had my usual pickled shrimp dish as well as the fresh ricotta. I did try one new thing, which was the cornbread. I typically am not a huge cornbread fan, however this is one is like cake. It's soft and moist and served with a sweet honey butter...so good!


http://edmundsoast.com/food/menus/dinner-menu/
Cornbread with Honey Butter from Edmund's Oast

After church on Sunday Whit and I decided to go to one our old favorites for some Mexican food. We used to frequent El Dorado quite a bit as it was close to where we use to live. One of the best things about this place is their lunch time buffet. Yes, you read that right....a buffet full of all the yummy Mexican dishes you would normally order off of the menu and then some! They have everything from enchiladas and quesadillas to tacos and hot wings and enough cheese dip to put you in a queso coma. If your not in the mood to stuff your face with the all you can eat buffet, the regular menu is also available.


Hungry yet?!?

On to other important things.  There are a few good sales going on right now that may be of interest.

Banana Republic is having a nice little sale that is good through tomorrow.

My picks would be this top, this dress, this pencil skirt,  and these earrings.

Don't worry, if you can't find anything you like, there is always Saks Off 5th.


http://www.saksoff5th.com/womens-apparel?start=0&sz=15&srule=New%20Arrivals&sre=51-12115-MHP-HERO10_3

I really like this racerback workout top.

Everyone needs a good pair of black skinny jeans like these

This dress would be perfect fit for a tropical vacation. And this dress would be great for transitioning from a day on the beach to an afternoon lunch at a restaurant.

Gap is also offering some good deals in their Winter Sale now through the 28th.

 
This sweatshirt looks so comfy as well as this tee.

I could seriously go on a major shopping spree...but I will refrain.
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Friday, January 23, 2015

News Feed Friday


http://instagram.com/p/oWqxDNR-y4/?modal=true

The above photo was taken at Georgetown Cupcake when Whit and I went to visit our good friends in NYC last year. The store aesthetics are just as beautiful as their cupcakes. I'm not one to crave sweets, but these little beauties were amazing!
 
Speaking of sweet treats, it's that time of year....time for Girl Scout Cookies. We may or may not have purchased 6 boxes.  Looking for something to wash down those cookies with other than milk, check out these interesting pairings here and here. I may give some of these a try this weekend.
 
Talk about a carb overload, what a mess!  Thank goodness no one was hurt.
 
I made these last night for dinner and really enjoyed them.  The recipe is from Cooking Light's "50 Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes" archive. The good news....if you don't like this recipe, there are 49 other options to choose from! Here is the finished product.
 
How gorgeous is this photo of Gigi Hadid?!? Well let's be real, she's gorgeous and all of her photos are amazing.
 
It was nice to have a beautiful and sunny day in Charleston this week, especially given the rainy forecast for the weekend.
 
I find it easier to get excited about going to the gym when I have something new to wear. I wouldn't mind adding this top to my collection. And maybe this pullover while I'm at it.
 
This list of 45 Life Lessons Written by a "90" Year Old has some good advice...take a moment to check it out.
 
I would be happy to visit any one of these 52 Places To Go in 2015.
 
Happy Weekend!!!
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps

Chips & salsa, warm tortillas, rice and beans oh my! I sure do love a good dinner at a tasty Mexican restaurant. However, those types of dinners may be good, but not necessarily good for the waistline. When I'm home and I'm craving a little Mexican flavor, I turn to this low-carb chicken fajita recipe. I came across this on Pinterest one day, made a tweak or two and my taste buds fell in love.



Simply slice some green bell peppers and an onion. Rinse a package of fresh mushrooms and drain. Cut boneless skinless chicken breasts into small thin pieces and add to a warm skillet coated with olive oil. Toss in the peppers, onions and mushrooms with the chicken and stir in a fajita packet according to the directions. (I will admit...the mushrooms I used in the photo were out of the can, but only because I didn't have fresh ones at the time.) They did the job, but I highly recommend using fresh!


While the chicken mixture is cooking begin working on the avocado cream. Slice open one avocado and take out the pit. Scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl. Add non-fat plain greek yogurt, fresh lime juice, salt to taste and mix well.


Once the chicken has fully cooked, remove from heat. Place a few pieces of butter lettuce on a plate and fill with the chicken fajita mixture. Top with salsa and the avocado cream.


The avocado cream really makes this dish. The flavor of the avocado is there with a sour cream like texture. Between the salsa, the seasonings and the avo cream, I promise you won't miss the tortilla, cheese, beans or rice.


Chicken Fajita Lettuce Wraps
(Serves 2 with 3 lettuce wraps each)
Ingredients
3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Head of Butter Lettuce
2 Green Bell Peppers (sliced)
1 Onion (sliced)
1 Package Fresh Mushrooms
1 Ripe Avocado
1 5.3oz Container of Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt (I use Oikos)
1 Lime
1 Packet of Fajita Seasoning Mix
1 Jar of Salsa
Salt

Instructions
1.       Slice green peppers and an onion into strips.
2.       Rinse fresh mushrooms and drain in a colander.
3.       Slice chicken into long thin strips.
4.       Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add peppers, onion, mushrooms and chicken.
5.       Pour in the packet of Fajita seasoning mix and add ¼ cup of water (according to packet directions.)
6.       Let the mixture simmer until the chicken has cooked fully through.
7.       While the chicken is cooking, slice an avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop out the inside into a mixing bowl.
8.       Add one small cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt to the avocado.
9.       Slice a lime in half and squeeze the juice into the mixing bowl.
10.   Mash the ingredients together until mixed well. (add salt to taste)
11.   Rinse the butter lettuce leaves and plate. Top the lettuce with the chicken mixture, a dollop of avocado cream and a spoonful of salsa.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Beach Essentials

The beach has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. After a weekend at Edisto Beach I'm left dreaming of sunny skies, warm rays of sunshine, bronzed skin and fruity drinks. I am patiently waiting on the arrival of summer and until then, I suppose I will just prepare myself with some beach essentials.
 
 
Click the below links to view featured items:
 
These pretty sunnies need to be added to my beach bag: Ray-ban Highstreet Sunglasses
 
These gold sandals aren't just for the beach: J. Crew Rio Metallic Sandals
 
 
These fun tassels add a nice touch to this white cover-up: Victoria's Secret Tassel-Trim Cover-Up
 
Get that sun kissed look even if you don't have time to make it to the beach:Victoria's Secret Instant Bronzing Tinted Shimmer Lotion
 
I adore this nautical beach tote and its simplicity: SHOPBOP Canvas Beach Tote
 
Shade your face from the sun and look good while doing it:Biltmore & Madewell Panama Hat
 
 
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Desano Pizza Charleston

It's no secret that my love for pizza runs deep. It really is borderline ridiculous. When I was in high school I would order a slice of pizza EVERY SINGLE DAY for lunch and oddly enough I never got sick of it. Unfortunately, now I don't have the option nor metabolism to eat it everyday. I always say that if I had to choose one food to eat the rest of my life pizza would be it. Get the picture now?

The other week I made a trip to Desano for lunch with coworkers. In my head I knew that was the last thing I should be eating given the meals that have been consumed lately, but my stomach won that battle. It was totally worth every bite.
 

Diavola Pizza
 
So let me try to best describe this delicious, tucked away pizza spot.

Restaurant Details:
The restaurant is very low key and has an industrial feel to it.  When you walk in you place your order, pay at the counter and head to the back to choose a seat on one of their high or low top communal tables.  The pizza is cooked in wood burning ovens in the back where the seating is, so you are able to watch it being made. 






Food/Bev:
The pizza has a crispy thin crust with a slight char and is topped with all sorts of deliciousness. The ingredients are all natural and flown in fresh from Napoli and Campania in Italy. The pizza itself is served on a large metal tray for groups, and small personal  pans for individuals. You won't find any plates here, but the brown paper towels will do the job.

There is also a condiment station where you can load up on some extras for your pizza such as fresh garlic, chili oil, parmesan, and olive oil.  As for beverages, take a bottled drink from the front when you pay or pour yourself a glass of water in the back. You can also bring your own wine and there is no corkage fee, which sweetens the deal. No worries if you don't bring your own, they do have a few bottles of wine and beer for purchase. Pizza isn't the only thing they are serving up. Calzones, salads and cannoli's are also on the menu.

We ordered a few different pizzas, all of which were delicious, but my favorite hands down was the Capricciosa which was topped with mushrooms, artichokes, prosciutto, garlic and buffalo mozzarella. I was of course too busy devouring it to get a picture.

Lasagna Pizza


Pomodorini
To sum it all up, Desano's keeps it simple. The ingredients are fresh, the pizza tastes great and the atmosphere is laid back.

What are some of your favorite pizza places?








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Monday, January 19, 2015

Weekend Recap//Edisto Beach

This past weekend was relaxing and quite enjoyable. Friday evening was spent exactly the way I had hoped. Our night consisted of a fire, wine and the couch=perfect end to the week.  Saturday morning we headed out to Edisto Beach to meet up with our friends for the remainder of the weekend.
 
Not long after we arrived we watched this amazing sunset. There is no filter on this photo...just mother nature.


Our evening consisted of cocktails, a low-country boil, card games and a visit to one of the local bars.


Sunday was such a beautiful day! It was a little chilly but not cold enough to stop us from enjoying a walk on the beach.


 
 
 

Being at the beach and getting a taste of warmer weather really made me ready for summer. (Stay tuned this week as I will be sharing items that will leave you dreaming of summer too.)

 It was so hard to say goodbye to that beautiful view.
 
 
On our way back to Charleston we stopped at Angel Oak Restaurant for brunch. Whit and I ate there not too long ago during the holidays with his family for lunch. And as I mentioned in my previous post, I wasn't able to take photos, so this time I made sure to get a few.

 
I had the Croque Madam which was a toasted ham & cheese sandwich, topped with a fried egg and mornay sauce  served with an arugula salad. It was so delicious....I will definitely be ordering it again next time I visit.
 
 
Whit ordered the Low Country Benedict which was fried green tomatoes, on an English muffin topped with crab cakes, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. We split out meals so I was able to try these too, and they did not disappoint!  I recommend checking this place out if you haven't already.
 
Cheers to a great week!
 
 
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Friday, January 16, 2015

News Feed Friday

I often come across many random things throughout the week that seem worthy of sharing but not necessarily enough information to warrant an entire blog post. I've noticed that in the blogging world compiling bits of info at the end of the week is a common thing, so I thought I would join in on the fun.  I present to you "News Feed Friday," a compilation of my causal findings that may be of interest.



I may not be a morning person, but I definitely wake up and allow myself enough time to eat breakfast. When I'm not topping an English muffin with avocado, I find myself enjoying this and not feeling guilty.

If you getting tired of hearing Taylor Swift's song Blank Space over and over, check out this version. There is definitely a different vibe to it.

These (in leopard print)need to be added to my closet like yesterday. Bonus.... there is a great SALE going on as well!

She's everyone's favorite friend and is also on the cover of the February issue of InStyle Magazine, yes I'm talking about Jennifer Aniston. Take a peak at her changing looks over the years.

This yummy kale salad recipe made its way to my pinterest archives this week. Speaking of recipes, are you up for the challenge?

It's nice to finally see the sun today here in Charleston, however I would much rather be soaking in the rays here with one of these in my hands.

My agenda for this evening looks a little something like this.

Happy Weekend!!

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hair Care//Pump Up The Volume

I realize I just did a hair post last week; however this one has been on my mind for some time now. I have always been the type to obsess over my hair. And I say this not because I have great hair or anything close to it, but because I'm always trying to make it appear that I have more than I really do. My hair is super fine and thin...like really thin.  This runs in my family, so needless to say I have spent a lot of time trying out new products to get that thicker, fuller look you see in the commercials.

Years ago my grandmother was the owner of her own hair salon. I remember when we were little we would go visit her and sip on a glass bottle of coke while she did the hair of all the ladies in town.  My cousins and I would get our hair done too. We had a wooden board that we would lay across the arms of the salon chair to raise us up just high enough for her to work her magic. We went through the perm phase, the bob phase, the bangs, you name it we tried it.  
 
My aunt is also a beautician and she is now my go to. She is amazing at what she does and really knows her stuff.  These days I don't step out of my comfort zone much as far as hair styles go. But I am open to trying new products and she is great about suggesting all of the right ones. I have products I use for my daily routine and then those specialty products I use depending on the need.


The gang's all here!

These are just a few of the products that I have tried along the way. Sadly, there are probably several others that I left out of this photo. I'm a big fan of Aveda products, so I wanted to share some that I can't live without. Just to clarify, I don't use all of these at once.

First up a favorite of mine, the  Hair Detoxifier and I'm so sad to say that it's been discontinued. However, it can be found on Ebay and Amazon so I may just have to stock up while I still can. This product is like a facial for your hair. It strips away all of the buildup and brings the color back to life. It's the perfect product to use after you have been swimming in chlorinated water or just to remove buildup from day in and day out product use.  It will dry your hair out if you're not careful. I use this about once a month.



Aveda Hair Detoxifier
 
Next is the color saver, otherwise known as Blue Malva Shampoo for blonde color treated hair. This shampoo helps to return hair to that vibrant state it was in when you left the salon. It neutralizes the hair when it begins to get that brassy look and brings the color back to life. I use this shampoo about 2 or 3 times a week. On the other days I reach for Color Conserve Shampoo which leaves hair soft and silky feeling and helps maintain vibrant hair color longer. 
 
Aveda Blue Malva
 After shampooing and then conditioning creating that silky smooth texture, I have to rough it up a bit.  Given the thin fine hair that I have, adding volume is a must. I start by adding this Volumizing Tonic, which gives my fine hair the lift that it needs.  I spritz this on the top part of my head at the roots while the hair is still damp.
 
Aveda Volumizing Tonic
Once the tonic has been applied, I reach for Pure Abundance Style Prep and spritz at the roots all over the head. The great thing about this product is that it can be used on wet or dry hair and doesn't leave a sticky feeling. It gives hair that extra little boost of volume without adding weight.
 
Pure Abundance Style Prep
Next I add Brilliant Retexturing Gel.  This is the best gel I've ever used...period. It gives hair the perfect texture before styling. The amount I apply depends on how I'm styling my hair. I use a generous amount on the ends when I am planning on curling my hair afterwards. If I'm just blow drying and not doing anything special, I apply a nickel size amount all over the hair.
 
Aveda Retexturing Gel
 
 Last but not least, Chi 44 Iron Guard. It may not be an Aveda product I really do like it. This thermal protection spray helps strengthen and protect hair from the daily use of hot hair tools.  (It also smells really nice.)
 
 
As for all of the other Aveda products in the first picture, that calls for another post another day.  For now I wanted to highlight the ones I just can't live without.
 
If your looking to purchase any of these items, Aveda is offering free shipping on their mobile site. Or there's always Nordstrom which offers free shipping and free returns all the time. They also carry an assortment of Aveda products as well.
 
I leave you with a quote I'm sure many can relate to...
 
#TRUTH
 
 
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Marsala

Marsala: described by Pantone as "a naturally robust and earthy wine red", also known as the color of the year. Whether it's adding elegance to a room or to your closet, marsala is making it's debut and I'm liking it.  Here are a few of my favorite picks in this sophisticated hue.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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