Living a tasteful life

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pool Party Essentials

Summers not over yet! There's still plenty of time to enjoy some fun in the sun. And who doesn't love a good pool party?! I came across a few colorful outdoor essentials that were too cute not to share. Happy Friday!

Shop these fun summer items below:


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Travel | New Orleans: Part 1

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen that I recently took a work trip to New Orleans. This was my first time visiting and I must say, I loved every minute of it. I decided to extend my stay past what was needed for work, so I packed my bags and brought one of my best girlfriends along for the trip. Fortunately for me, my friend had been to New Orleans several times before and shared with me a few places I had to see. With a few recommendations from locals, the rest of our adventures seemed to fall into place. If you’re going to NOLA anytime soon, I’ve got you covered with a few places you don’t want to miss. 

We arrived on a Wednesday evening a little later than planned, thanks to the nature of flying. We headed straight to the Windsor Court Hotel so we could check in and find a place to have a late dinner. The hotel was very chic and beautiful, filled with old Southern charm. I was immediately impressed with the large arrangement of pink roses at the entrance. 
Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted and given a map with recommendations of places to eat within walking distance. I was delighted to discover that Luke, a John Besh restaurant, was nearby — and was even more thrilled when I found out they were still open at that hour. A ten minute walk later, we arrived, hungry and in need of a cocktail. The restaurant staff was so friendly and welcoming, and the food was delicious! Goat cheese-stuffed squash blossoms, shrimp and grits, and a bowl of gumbo found a spot at our table. 
The highlight of the meal was the perfectly cooked jumbo shrimp, swimming in a skillet of creamy jalapeno cheddar grits. I can honestly say that was the best shrimp and grits I’ve ever had. A French 75 was my drink of choice for the evening. The combination of cognac, fresh lemon juice and champagne was very refreshing with a hint of sweetness. 

I mentioned the staff was friendly — so friendly that they brought my friend a table cloth to wrap herself in when they overheard her saying how cold she was. Now that’s customer service. 
After a rich and filling dinner and a long day of travel, we called it a night. 

Thursday morning began with breakfast at the Ruby Slipper, a café in the French Quarter serving New Orleans breakfast and brunch classics. I’m a sucker for a good eggs benedict. I couldn’t resist the most popular one on the menu, the Chicken St. Charles — fried chicken breasts served over a buttermilk biscuit, topped with two poached eggs, and finished with a pork tasso cream sauce. Holy yum!
Taking a walk instead of a cab seemed appropriate after our filling breakfast. We strolled to Jackson Square, a historic park located in the French Quarter, where we also had a chance to stop and admire the beauty of the St. Louis Cathedral

It was extremely warm out so we headed closer to the Riverwalk in hopes of catching a slight breeze. The airflow was much better near the water, offering a little relief from the thick air.
Late Thursday afternoon was game time for me and the main reason for the trip. I facilitated a grand opening event for my company’s newest store location and was very pleased with how everything turned out. It's always a little nerve racking planning events out of state, but I’m happy to report that all went according to plan. 
I was fortunate enough to secure chef Ryan Prewitt of Pêche Seafood Grill for our cooking demonstration that took place during the party. Chef Prewitt had previously cooked for us during an event we hosted at our office in Charleston. I also had the pleasure of sampling his delicious cuisine for a second time at the South Walton Food and Film Festival. Given what I had experienced, I knew I had to take the opportunity to try out his restaurant while we were in town. 

Once the party wrapped up, we headed to Pêche to celebrate a successful event! Luckily we were able to get the scoop on what to order — perks of making friends with the chef. This rustic restaurant, located in the Warehouse district, serves coastal seafood prepared with a modern approach to old world cooking methods. The open kitchen layout allows for a unique eye-level view of the fire where the food is prepared on the open hearth. The only thing missing was natural light needed to take photos that properly represented the amazing food that crossed the table.

If only my photos looked as good as the food tasted. This is the steak tartare, and let me tell you my friends, I’ve been dreaming about this savory steak topped toast since the day I sampled it in our office. I seriously could have ordered a few of these for dinner and would have been completely satisfied. 
We also had the crab salad, golden beets, chanterelle mushroom toast and swordfish, all of which I can’t say enough about. The crab salad was light and refreshing. The chanterelle appetizer was rich and full of layers of amazing flavor, topped with shaved parmesan and a poached egg. It’s not a regular item on the menu, so if you’re there and see it listed, don’t miss out! I’m typically not a huge fan of beets, but these made me change my mind. The swordfish was great as well, although by that point we realized our eyes were clearly bigger than our stomachs, and yet somehow we managed to squeeze in dessert. 

After a well-enjoyed dinner, it was on to the next spot to take in the night life. Numerous people suggested we venture to Frenchmen street, a small music district where the locals hang out and live music can be enjoyed any night of the week. We heard everything from jazz to blues and reggae. There is also a great art market in the midst of things where authentic local arts and crafts can be purchased. I’m kicking myself for not buying a gold bangle I came across made out of cymbals from a local band. I guess I will have to make another trip back. 
The first two evenings in New Orleans were a success. We had quite the itinerary lined up for the next day, so I decided that should be a separate post. If you're still reading, thank you! Stay tuned for part two!


Monday, July 25, 2016

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: My Picks

In case you haven't heard by now, Nordstrom's Anniversary Sale is underway and there are some great deals out there on some good closet staples. Here are some of my picks from the sale. 

Shoes and Accessories

Dresses, Tops and Bottoms

Happy Monday!


Friday, July 22, 2016

News Feed Friday

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback and suggestion on blog post topics. I appreciate the ideas, so stay tuned for new upcoming posts. Speaking of upcoming posts, my recap of my recent trip to New Orleans will be live next week. Don't miss it!

I came across this on Instagram the other day and now I feel inclined to try it. 

Wine Words: Thank you for clarifying!

15 Magical hotels you must visit in your lifetime.

Looking forward to the #Nsale next week. I've got my eyes on a few things. How comfy does this look? And I would really love to splurge on this

The best new books to read this month...if only I could find time. 

I really would like to try and make these at home. 

So glad I came across this blog post.

I'm headed out of town this weekend...again. We will be celebrating round two of the Beaufort Water Festival

Follow along on snapchat @mryanflowers and Instagram

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Question for You...

The past two weeks at work have been pretty tiring. After sitting in front of a computer all day long and then coming home to open up my laptop and stare at the screen again to write a blog post, has been pretty challenging. I'm also at the point where I'm searching for inspiration and newness. I thought now would be a good time to reach out to my readers for feedback. What is it that you would like to know more about? More about travel? More about our home? Any particular recipes that you've been on the search for? Outfit inspiration? Restaurant suggestions? Etc. I'm interested in hearing from my readers and would really appreciate some feedback. So, feel free to leave a comment, send me an email (, Facebook message me, find me on Instagram or send me a snapchat (mryanflowers). I would love to hear from you!


Thursday, July 14, 2016

5 Things I'm Currently Loving

I have a few things that I'm currently loving, so much so that I felt the need to share. I really enjoy reading about what other people are currently obsessing over. What are some of your favorite things you're loving right now?

This was the first box that I've ever received from Popsugar. It was filled with so many fun things. I've only ever signed up for one other box subscription, which you can read about here. I must admit subscription these boxes are kind of addicting. It's fun getting surprises in the mail!
*POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try

I mentioned this in a previous post and since then have discovered the new Limited Edition Pink Bubbly flavor, available only at Walgreens. The next best thing to Rosé is Rosé flavored beauty products. 

I'm a huge fan of Sam Edelman shoes because they come in small sizes. Anyone with petite feet understands the struggle of finding cute shoes that fit. I ordered these shoes  right before I left for Vegas and have been wearing them ever since. They are so comfortable and the golden caramel color goes with almost anything. I'm considering ordering them in black as well. 

I've been on a mission to find these for our guest bathroom. I received some white ones with a gold "S" monogram on the at one of my bridal showers and recently ran out. Surprisingly these aren't as easy to come by as I thought they would be. I stumbled into World Market the other day and found a pretty back of colorful ones that now have a home in our bathroom. They are almost too pretty to use. 

Every time I go to the salon to get my hair done, this fragrant soap is on the counter in the bathroom. I can't stop smelling my hands after I wash them with it. When I read that it doubles as a body wash as well, I knew I had to have it. The lingering organic rosemary and mint scent is so therapeutic and leaves my skin feeling refreshed. 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Life Lately | June: Summer Travels

I mentioned the other day that my absence on the blog has been due to traveling, along with various other commitments and events. It's been a little busier around here than normal, but all in good fun. I actually just returned from an amazing trip to New Orleans, which I plan to share in the near future. I can't believe how fast this summer is flying by! Here's a recap of what the month of June looked like. 
It's nice to have friends who have summer birthdays, especially since mine is in November, when a day on the water is not usually an option. My childhood best friend celebrated her birthday with a dock party in Beaufort, and I was more than happy to help celebrate. A day on the water with friends, is a day well spent!
One of my best girlfriends came in town from New York, so we all got together for a fun girls night out. We started the evening off with dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Edmund's Oast
We pretty much ordered half of the menu. Everything was delicious! The ricotta toast and pickled shrimp are a must!
I also discovered a new rose called Jolie-Laide, which is now a new favorite of mine. How pretty is the watercolor label?
The next day we went to Sullivan's Island and enjoyed some time on the beach, followed by a stop at Home Team BBQ for nachos and game changers. If you haven't experienced either of these, I highly recommend them both. 
I made a second trip to Las Vegas for our annual work conference, where I had a lengthy five night/six day stay at the Paris Hotel. In case you're wondering, six days is more than enough time in sin city. 
The trip was mostly work, however I did find time to see Jennifer Lopez in action! I wish the photos had turned out better. The show was really great. The girl has still got it!
We enjoyed a delicious lunch at Gordon Ramsay Burgr. I went with the Euro Burger, consisting of truffle aioli, goat cheese, arugula and oven roasted tomatoes...yum! You can't go wrong with goat cheese, #amiright!?

One of the other highlights of the trip was having dinner at Lotus of Siam. This little hidden gem is tucked away in a deserted strip mall and serves some incredible Thai food. It has been written about by Saveur, Serious Eats, Travel Channel and more. We ordered so much food, but with a group as large as ours, it was gone before I was able to snap photos. 
Seeing as how this was a company conference, of course there were team building activities involved. And seeing as how we are a cookware company, food had to be incorporated. I must admit, this activity was actually a lot of fun. We were split into 18 teams of 6 and given a envelope with one menu item listed on a sheet of paper. Half of the team had to work together to build a food truck with the cardboard and supplies given to us and the other half had to come up with a recipe for what was in our envelope, using only the ingredients provided. Our team made a edamame and bell pepper salad with goat cheese and avocado dressing. It was surprisingly really good. 
Once the truck was built and our dish was prepared, we had to serve our "customers." Everyone took turns checking out each other's trucks and sampling the food. Lucky Seven was the name of our truck...we were lacking in the creative department compared to others. 
 Here are few of the other food trucks.
One of my favorite parts about the trip was going to see "O," a show paying tribute to the beauty of theater and inspired by water, with everything from world-class acrobats to synchronized swimmers. I had never been to a Cirque Du Soleil show before and was blown away by the shear talent. It truly was amazing. If I ever have the opportunity to see it again, I most certainly will. Unfortunately no photos were allowed.
There was no rest for the weary after Vegas. I made it back to Charleston at midnight on a Friday and was on the road again bright and early the next morning to a birthday party. This sweet little baby turned 1 and I was so happy to be there for it!
Every Tuesday in the month of June a free concert called Party in the Park is held at Mt. Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. It's a nice way to wind down after a long day at work. I'm happy that we were able to go to at least one of the concerts this year. We set up a blanket in the park with a picnic spread and enjoyed songs by David Nail, Drake White and Tucker Beathead. 

Because I didn't get to spend actual Father's Day with my dad, I made the trip back home to visit him the following weekend, which also happened to coincide with the Watermelon Festival — a festival my dad looks forward to every year. A few bites of  greasy fair food and a little dancing in the streets to the local band, and we called it a night. As you can see I have this dress on repeat. 
This story may sound strange to some, but there were tons of tomatoes planted in fields not too far away from our home in Charleston. We were given permission to pick them before they were sprayed with poison, which happens after they have been harvested to go to market.  So, we set out on a rather warm adventure into the tomato fields. A few hours later, we had enough tomatoes to make a lifetime of pies. I decided that wasn't the most figure friendly option, so instead I made tons of fresh marinara/pasta sauce. It was so simple and easy to make. I froze several bags of it and can't wait to use in a tasty pasta dish. The recipe will be coming to the blog soon!

And it was a solid end to the month when my Coastal Carolina Chanticleers took home the title of 2016 National Champions in college baseball! So proud of our team!
Monster was pretty excited as well!

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