Living a tasteful life

Monday, November 28, 2016

Popsugar Must Have Box | November

*POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try
The Popsugar Must Have Box strikes again! I loved the assortment of fun things that came in the November box. Here's a closer look at what I received below.

Kendra Scott Elaina Rose Gold Bracelet in White Pearl 
I love this dainty little Kendra Scott bracelet. I have really small wrists so the sliding closure helps create the perfect fit. 
I'm a sucker for cute party supplies like these star picks from Meri Meri. These would add the perfect flare to a Christmas or New Years Eve party. 
This palette from Stowaway cosmetics not only has a great selection of colors, but the best part is how small it is. The mini size is perfect for traveling. 
Toffee Butter Popcorn, need I say more? All I need is a bag of cheddar popcorn to go with this for a sweet and savory snack. These also make great stocking stuffers!
This runner is great for holiday entertaining. It's the perfect way to add a little something to the dining room table. I personally also love textiles like these to use when I'm taking photos of recipes for the blog. 

To be honest, I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do with this wire bowl just yet, but it would make a great fruit basket. I also think that there may be a way to potentially incorporate this into some holiday decorating. Either way, it makes a great functional and decorative piece. 
If you're interested in signing up for these fun monthly boxes, use this special coupon code SHOP5 to receive $5 off your FIRST Must Have Box!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Appetizers

Can you believe Thanksgiving is this week?! I feel like it came out of nowhere. I'm looking forward to spending time with family and friends and of course eating all of the yummy dishes that are associated with the holiday. Whit and I try to keep things fair with our families and spend Thanksgiving with his and Christmas with mine. Thanksgiving with the Smith/Jones family means no shortage of food, cocktails or laughter, and an emphasis on Clemson football. 

As for the food part, I normally contribute an appetizer as well as make my traditional frozen dessert. The frozen dessert recipe came from my mom and it's so delicious. For some reason we only make it during the holidays. You can find the recipe for it here

If you're looking for some mouthwatering inspiration to bring to the table this year, I've got you covered. Here are a few of my favorite appetizers and also a few I haven't made yet but they sound amazing! What's your go-to appetizer for Thanksgiving?

A recipe inspired by my grandmother and also a favorite of mine

I made these last year and they were quite the hit! I was really just looking for an excuse to use this deviled egg tray
A simple and delicious recipe from my mom. 

Whit's aunt made this last year and I immediately knew I had to save this one in the archives. Who doesn't love a good dip?

Here are a few others I've rounded up from Pinterest that sound amazing! 


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Arctic Zero Fit Frozen Desserts | A Review

As I've mentioned before, I'm not one to really crave sugar. Now don't get me wrong, I do appreciate a good dessert, but I would much prefer to snack on a bag of salt covered, crunchy potato chips. But when I am in the mood for something sweet, ice cream is on the top of the list. I was so thrilled when Arctic Zero wanted to share some of their sweet treats with me! I've never had their ice cream before so I was excited to give a few of their flavors a try. 
I consider myself to be pretty health conscious in my food choices and wouldn't normally reach for a pint of ice cream on a weekday. I mean, after working hard in the gym, the last thing I want to do is blow it all by consuming an excessive amount of calories and sugar. At the same time, I also don't want to completely deprive myself, which is why I was thrilled when I read the label on these different flavored ice creams. Not only are they low in calories, fat and sugar, they are also free from artificial flavors, sweeteners and coloring. The perfect guiltless treat to occasionally reward myself with .
Here are just a few of the flavors they have to choose from. 

Brownie Blast: Only 75 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 8 grams of sugar in 1/2 cup. 
 Cake Batter: This one has only 35 calories, no fat and 5 grams of sugar in 1/2 cup!
 Poppin' Pomegranate: Again, 35 calories, no fat and 5 grams of sugar in 1/2 cup.
 Banana Pudding:75 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 8 grams of sugar in 1/2 cup. 
 Snickerdoodle Dandy: 75 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 8 grams of sugar in 1/2 cup.
I really did enjoy them all, but I think the cake batter was my favorite. It's recommended that they sit out for a few minutes before serving so that they have more of a creamy consistency. I'll be honest, I've had fat free ice creams, sugar free ice creams, low-calorie ice creams, you name it, and most of them seem like they are missing something, but not these. Don't get me wrong, it's not like diving into a pint of Ben and Jerry's cookie dough, but I didn't expect it to be. For an ice cream that prides itself as being a fit frozen dessert, without sacrificing flavor,  Arctic Zero delivers.  
These are great to keep on hand when I want just a quick bite of something sweet and not feel guilty about it. 

Have you tried Arctic Zero before? If so, what are some of your favorite flavors? I would love to give some of the others a try. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Heading Somewhere Warm....

Happy Thursday! I'm jetting setting again today, off to somewhere warm and sunny. Well, hopefully it will be sunny! I'm off to celebrate my birthday with some of my best girlfriends. This is a big one for me, which I shared my thoughts on in a blog post a while back. It was also an excuse to do something fun and out of the ordinary. Follow along on Instagram!


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

U.S. Virgin Islands | Our Trip to St. Thomas & St. John

Warm sunny days, turquoise waters, fruity cocktails, windblown hair and salty skin - all things that I’m currently missing after our wonderful vacation a few weeks ago! The moment we departed the islands to head home, I was immediately ready to go back. We had such an amazing time and I wanted to share with you a glimpse of the first part of our trip!
Whit and I tend to lean toward tropical vacations spots, so this year for our anniversary we decided to head to St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands, both of which neither of us had ever visited.
We were promptly greeted with a cold glass of rum punch upon our arrival at the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas and shuttled to our living quarters for the next few days. Our hotel room had a nice balcony with an ocean view, perfect for sipping on a morning cup of coffee.
This guy was spotted at the resort! I steered clear and let Whit go in for the close up. 

After a long day of travel all we really wanted to do was have a low-key casual dinner, so that’s exactly what we did. Red Hook is a small part of town with restaurants and bars along the water that was accessible via a ten-minute cab ride from the hotel. I had done a little bit of research prior to our trip and came across the mention of a place called Island Time Pub
Not only was this a good spot for pizza, but it was also where many of the locals hang out. We had a delicious first meal and met a few people while we were there. We ended the evening at a quaint little wine bar across the street called XO Bistro. I wanted to go back for a meal, but we didn’t get an opportunity.
Our first full day in St. Thomas was cloudy, but it was nothing that a few fruity cocktails couldn’t fix. We spent most of the day hanging around the resort and enjoying the private beach.
It also happened to be our anniversary that day and I had booked a special dinner for us at Havana Blue, a restaurant that had come highly recommended. We enjoyed a delicious dinner in an open air dining room overlooking the ocean. By the time we arrived it was dark. My only regret was not catching the beautiful view during the day.
The mojito skirt steak was so flavorful, but one of the best parts of this meal was the manchego potato air. This creamy, cheesy mashed potato dish was unlike any other I've ever had. 
The next morning we were up bright and early to catch the ferry to St. John. I was so excited to go explore this island. It’s been on my list of places I’ve always wanted to visit. As soon as we arrived, we immediately hopped on a shuttle headed for Trunk Bay Beach. Note to those of you going to visit this beach, there is nowhere to buy food or drinks, so be sure to pick something up in Cruz Bay before you head that way. That’s where we went wrong. I was so excited to get there, that I got a little ahead of myself. We arrived on empty stomachs, but thankfully had granola bars in our bag and also found a shack that sold potato chips (for $6 a bag) so that is what we had to settle for. Most everyone on the beach had packed a cooler for the day and we were pretty envious.  
Just before the entrance to the beach there is a hut where you can rent beach chairs and snorkel gear. I found a nice spot for my chair in the sand while Whit went swimming with the fish!
This pristine beach erased all thoughts of food (at least for a few hours) and was so relaxing. If we ever make this trip again, we will now know to pack lunch and cold beverages, and plan to stay for the day. A few things to note for those making this trip: The taxi ride from town to the beach is around $20 each, beach access is $5 per person and a beach chair and snorkel gear rental was about $20. While the prices aren't crazy, the day can add up fairly quickly. Also, one of the great things about this beach is that they have showers there so you can freshen up before you leave. We had packed a change of clothes in preparation for exploring the town after the beach so it was nice to leave and not be covered in sand. This was valuable information we learned the night before from some of the locals in St. Thomas. 
Our first stop once we got back into town was a small local hot spot called Woody’s Seafood. A cold beer never tasted so good. We decided to have drinks and small bites in a few different places. We ordered the blackened shrimp, which came with a small side of coleslaw. I was so hungry that these disappeared before I could even think about a photograph. But I do highly recommend them!
Next on our radar was a trendy spot across the street called Umami. I'm really kicking myself for not ordering sushi! However, our food was still really great. I had one of the best cocktails of the whole trip while we were there. It was a lemon grass-infused vodka cocktail, and I could have easily taken down a few of these. 
We filled our bellies with a selection of fried chicken sliders, dumplings and edamame. 
The last stop on our feeding frenzy was Cruz Bay Landing. This was on our way back to the ferry pickup, so it was the perfect spot to end the day.
St. Johns was such a beautiful island bustling with people and full of several bars and restaurants. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting. I think it's definitely an island worth spending more than a few hours on. We caught the ferry back to St. Thomas and headed back to pack up our stuff for our departure to Scrub Island the next morning. 

Stay tuned for a recap of the second half of our trip, which was also my favorite!

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