Friday, February 26, 2016

Off-The-Shoulder Tops and Dresses

I don't know about you, but I'm dying to buy a few new pieces for Spring. The temperatures here in Charleston have been nice lately, giving me a little Spring fever. I've been seeing these off-the-shoulder tops everywhere, and have decided that I need one. Here is a snapshot of some of my favorites. Scroll down below to view more. 



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wadmalaw Wild Ties | A Closer Look



Having grown up in the country, my outlook on wildlife may differ from that of others. My brother and my husband are both avid hunters, frequently bringing dinner to the table. To some, the idea of eating wild game is off-putting. However, I've grown to love it. I've also come to see the beauty in these animals, a beauty I may never have appreciated had I not grown up around hunters. 

Bird feathers are absolutely beautiful and even more so when a good use is found for them.  I was so thrilled when I came across Wadmalaw Wild Ties. A combination of wildlife and men's fashion, I knew this would be right up my husband's alley. 

Wadmalaw Wild Ties creates some of the most stunning bow ties. Their ties are custom ordered and made by hand, from responsibly sourced feathers, including turkey, pheasant, guinea, partridge and duck. They come on an adjustable bow tie base, for a universal fit. Not only do they make the perfect gift for guys, they are also great groomsmen gifts. Imagine how sharp a wedding party would look with a few of these around the guys' necks. My husband browsed through previously-made ties and chose one to serve as inspiration to have his custom-made. This is the good-looking tie that he ended up with.


We both found the colors in this tie to be very eye-catching, even more so when the sunlight hits it. My husband received so many compliments when he wore this to a wedding we went to recently.
The tie just screams "southern gentleman." It was beautifully packaged as well, presented in a ribbon-tied brown box, secured with a piece of burlap, and printed with a compass on the inside. 
You can place a custom order for a tie, or choose from a current on-hand selection available for sale. You can also provide feathers from your own bird if you wish. The owner, Felicia, was so great to work with, and was eager to create our vision. For a look at her current ties available for sale, visit her Etsy store or the Wadmalaw Wild Ties Facebook page. Felicia has recently added a line of equestrian-inspired jewelry made from up-cycled leather, as well as horse bridle and halter pieces.

I'm a huge fan of supporting local businesses, and what better way than having my handsome husband sport one of these one-of-a kind feather bow ties. Thank you Felicia for the stunning hand-crafted tie!


Monday, February 22, 2016

Smoothie Bowls

Maybe it's the health benefits or maybe it's just the colorful aesthetic, but either way,  I'm intrigued by these smoothie bowls I keep seeing everywhere. They inspire me to create my own, however ordering one at a cafe seems much simpler. When I do decide to create one at home, here are a few recipes I'm bookmarking to give a try. 
Lindsay Hunt / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed

Serves 1

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

INGREDIENTS
1 cup frozen strawberries
½ cup yogurt
¼ cup milk
1 Tbsp. maple syrup, plus additional for drizzling
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup cornflakes
5 strawberries, sliced
¼ cup blueberries
2 Tbsp. almonds
1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
1 tsp chia seeds

PREPARATION
Blend the strawberries, yogurt, 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup, and the vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with the cornflakes, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and a drizzle of yogurt.

Lindsay Hunt / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed

Serves 1

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

INGREDIENTS
1 ½ cups frozen mixed berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries)
¼ cup pomegranate juice
¼ cup plain yogurt, plus additional for drizzling
½ cup blueberries
½ peach, sliced
2 Tbsp. dried mulberries
2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds

PREPARATION
Blend the frozen berries, pomegranate juice, and ¼ cup of the yogurt until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with the blueberries, peach, mulberries, pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of yogurt.
Lindsay Hunt / Alice Mongkongllite / Via BuzzFeed
Serves 1

Recipe by Lindsay Hunt

INGREDIENTS
1 cup almond milk
1 large banana, sliced
1 cup ice
2 Tbsp. peanut butter 
1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. cocoa nibs
2 Tbsp. granola
2 Tbsp. chopped peanuts

PREPARATION

Blend the almond milk, ½ the banana, ice, peanut butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and maple syrup until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and top with the cocoa nibs, granola, chopped peanuts, and remaining ½ banana.
Photo: @daniellejacobs

Directions: Blend one cup frozen mango chunks, one banana, one cup almond milk, one tbsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp maca powder. Top with mint leaves, flaxseeds, and pepitas.

Fit Foodie Finds: Lee Hersh
Author: Lee Hersh

Ingredients
1 frozen banana, small
½ cup non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt*
⅔ cup apple sauce, unsweetened
¼ cup rolled oats**
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup almond milk, unsweetened
optional: handful of fresh spinach or kale

Instructions
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth.

Serve with lots of fixings on top!



What are some of your favorite breakfast bowl recipes?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

8 Accessories

Sharing a few accessories today that I'm currently loving and a few I'm coveting. On another note, sorry for the lack of posts lately. Between being out of town and preparing for a baby shower I'm hosting at my home this weekend, computer time has fallen by the wayside.


1. These Vince Camuto beauties are my new favorite addition to my shoe collection. I wore them to a wedding last weekend and, surprisingly my feet didn't hurt. And, they are on major sale right now! Scoop them up while you can!

2. I love the modern, glam look of this pave hinged bangle. It would work perfectly with a LBD. 

3. These  tassel earrings were a super last minute purchase and I'm so glad that I found them. I literally bought them just a few hours before a wedding I attended. I wasn't happy with my current options so I stopped in Target for something cute and cheap. These fit the bill! Btw, this photo does not do them justice.  

4. I have a thing for collar necklaces, and this one is an attention grabber. Dress is down with a simple white blouse, or dress it up with a flowing long gown. 

5. I came so close to getting one of these crossover rings and now I'm wishing I had. I love the uniqueness of the design. It can be worn with just about anything. 

6. This Tory Burch zip wallet was given to me for Christmas and I'm in love! The glossy saffiano leather is so sleek. My favorite part is the wraparound zipper. It's definitely an investment piece, and well worth it.  

7. Another bib necklace for you. This sea glass inspired accessory would look great with a colorful summer maxi. 

8. You can't go wrong with a simple gold bangle. This one is just begging to be someone's arm candy, stacked along side a few others. How cute is the interior engraving?



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Reality Escape Real Estate | Turks and Caicos

So, this is what happens when you spend your time dreaming of vacation and watching too much reality TV. It has left me trying to figure out what I need to do in order to own a piece of paradise. My eyes got lost in the sea of turquoise water. I'm pretty sure I stared so hard I could feel the salty air blowing through my hair and the sun shining through my computer, beaming down on my face. 
I mean seriously, this view is simply breathtaking! 
And those white couches are perfection, with their yellow accent pillows.
The soft hues of this bedroom draw me right in. I could totally take an afternoon nap here. 
This spot would work too. 
Or here for that matter. 
This looks like the perfect place for a morning cup of coffee and some fresh fruit. 
How fun is that bathtub? 
I think I could manage getting ready for the day in either of theses bathrooms.
Bathing outdoors is also an option. 
I wonder if this place comes with a cabana boy?
This outdoor dining area is begging to host a fun crowd for lunch. 
And when the my sun-kissed skin needed a break, this would be the place to go and sip the rest of my frozen cocktail.
When dinner time approaches, this is chic dining table has enough seating for my friends.
Later, we could take the party back outside for some fire pit action.
      The pops of yellow all throughout the property create the perfect resort-like atmosphere. 
*Photo credit and listing: Sotheby's International Realty
                
            This jaw-dropping, 7 bedroom, 12 bathroom, 15,000 thousand square foot home, located in the Turks and Caicos, could be all mine with just a mere $25,000,000. This place includes a gym, tennis court, movie theater and wine cellar. You really don't ever have to leave the house. There is even an outdoor pizza oven...SOLD!

A girl can dream, right?!?

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm apologizing in advance for the mushy post, but it seemed fitting given it's Valentine's Day. I wanted to share a few meaningful photos from an important time in my life. Pictures are meant to bring back memories, and these bring back memories of such a happy love filled time. Here are a few shots from our engagement photo shoot taken almost 3 years ago. I think this quote pretty much sums up my thoughts!

-"The good things in life are better with you!"
  

Happy Valentine's Day!

XOXOXO!


*Photography by The American Photographer

Thursday, February 11, 2016

J. Crew Factory Favorites

I haven't browsed the outlets since Christmas, which is a good thing for my wallet. I tend to walk in places like J. Crew and Banana Republic and leave with several new additions for my closet. This isn't a bad thing, unless you're trying not to spend money on clothes, which is my current situation. I'm at a point where I need to clean out my closet and get ride of some things before I buy anything else. Until then, I will harmlessly "browse" online. Here are few things from J. Crew that I'm loving.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Spinach and Mozzarella Chicken Meatballs


Meatballs aren't something I typically make for dinner. In fact, they aren't something I ever order when I go to dinner either. I like them, I just have never given them much thought, until now. I had some time on my hands one Sunday and decided to get in the kitchen and make a few meals to get us through the work week. Nothing is more frustrating than coming home from the gym in the evenings, and having to prepare dinner when I'm starving. My intention that particular Sunday afternoon was to cook something that would still be good leftover and also satisfy my husband's bottomless pit. These meatballs seemed like the perfect fit. 


They were a little sticky when I first started working with them, but they turned out great. 
The key to the added flavor is browning them all on sides, before you finish them in the oven. 
This was such a good meal. I didn't feel bad about eating either because veggies were involved. It's also a good option if you are trying to cut back on carbs- that is if you can refrain from sopping the sauce up with bread.

Enjoy!


Spinach and Mozzarella Chicken Meatballs
Ingredients
2 lbs. of ground chicken
1 cup of frozen spinach, thawed
1 egg
½ of a large onion, diced
½ cup of whole wheat bread crumbs
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
3 gloves of minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of mozzarella cheese
Olive oil
1 jar of Olive Oil, Basil and Garlic pasta sauce (Bertolli) (24 oz)
½ jar of vodka sauce (12 oz)
Dried basil
Bread for dipping
Instructions
1.      Pre-heat the oven on bake at 400 .
2.      Place the ground chicken in a mixing bowl and add the thawed spinach, egg, diced onion, whole wheat bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.
3.      Roll into individual large meatballs. I was able to get 15 out of this recipe.
4.      Place the meatballs in a large skillet coated with olive oil, on medium heat.
5.      Turn them over as they cook so most of the meat has browned all around, not fully cooking them through.
6.      In a large skillet or braiser, pour the marinara sauce in the bottom of the pan.
7.      Remove the meatballs from the stove and place in the skillet filled with sauce.
8.      Top with mozzarella cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until meatballs are fully cooked through.
9.      Remove from the oven and top with crushed basil and extra cheese.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Life Lately: January | Food with Friends

Is it just me, or did January just fly by?!  Here's a look at what I've been up to lately. If you follow me on Instagram, some of these photos may look familiar. It looks like all I've been doing is eating lately. 

We started the first day of the new year off right with an unhealthy dose of greasy food, rightfully so after an evening of  numerous bottles of champagne. Whit and I finally paid a visit to the Tattooed Moose. We split Mike's Famous Duck Club, the Thanksgiving Sammy and a side of duck fat fries of course.   
Mike's Famous Duck Club
We went to our first oyster roast of the year to celebrate my friend, Megan's birthday. Comfortable and warm clothing was a must. I may or may not have planned my outfit around these new shoes I got for Christmas. They are so comfy!

I was watching the Food Network per my usual Sunday morning routine, and discovered a recipe I had to make. As soon as Ree Drummond finished making her ginger steak salad, I was out the door to purchase the ingredients. I seriously can't wait to make it again. It was that good!

We kicked off the first week of the new year at work with champagne and sweet treats to celebrate our 2015 successes. 

The celebrations continued later in the week with homemade pizzas, cooked on the Kamado Joe and in the oven. 
We've been thoroughly enjoying our fireplace this winter, Monster especially. 

I finally had dinner at Grill 225, and it was amazing! I had one of the most delicious french onion soups I've ever tasted, a ribeye steak, and we shared the fried green tomatoes and brussels sprouts. 
For dessert, we split a chocolate mousse bon bon and panna cotta.  The bon bon won, hands down. 
Photo Credit: Grill 225
We went to a cooking class at Charleston Cooks to celebrate our friend Erica's birthday. I had been wanting to take one of the classes for a while, so I was happy to hear that this is what she wanted to do. I think taking it with a big group is the way to go. We had such a great time. Our menu was Thai based and consisted of hoisen spring rolls, spicy shrimp with noodles in coconut sauce, a chicken dish with lemongrass, basil and peanuts, jasmine rice, and a lime sorbet for dessert. 

My girlfriend from Atlanta came to visit, which turned it into a full-blown girls weekend, since Whit was out of town. 

We enjoyed the nice weather with champs and cheese outside, followed by a few cold beverages at Bay Street Biergarten.


Later that evening, we had dinner at Virginia's on King. This was another first for me, and it won't be my last visit. The food was wonderful. It was restaurant week, so we took full advantage. I had a mouthwatering, cheesy, tomato pie, and the braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts. 



Sadly, we struggled the whole weekend to find someone that was able to take a decent photo of all of us.  This one is about as good as it gets. Regardless of the poor photo opps, we had a great time together. 

I had the opportunity to check out dinner-to-go from Mercantile and Mash. You can read my full review here

Another exciting food highlight from last month was attending a guest chef event with Jenn Louis, author of the cookbook, Pasta by Hand.


I left the class feeling less intimidated by the thought of making pasta at home. I'm a huge fan of pasta, but typically only order it at restaurants when the craving strikes. I'm excited to actually give it a try myself. #futureblogpost 

The small samplings of pasta that we had left me craving it even more. So, we met some friends at Al Di La for Avondale restaurant week a few days later. This place is by far one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Charleston. They have the best gnocchi, hands down. I order it every single time we eat there. If only you could taste these little pillows of heaven in this photo.


I may have gone on a slight Italian binge. I made some spinach and mozzarella chicken meatballs that were quite the hit. Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow. 

We made the most of January with good food with even better friends!