Living a tasteful life

Friday, December 30, 2016

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale | My Picks

My Christmas list was rather short this year. When asked what I wanted, my response was simply money. Whit and I are planning on redoing our bedroom in the coming months so we knew we should start saving. But let's be real here, I had to reserve a little spending money for all of the after Christmas sales. I especially look forward to the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale every year. There are so many things I would love to get my hands on, some of which aren't on sale. I've put together a little wish list of some of my favorite pieces from the sale to share with you today. Get your shop on, this sale ends Monday!


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Life Lately | November

This recap is coming a little later than normal due to the nature of the holidays. November was a blast! I had the opportunity to go to the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America dinner held at the Cigar Factory here in Charleston. It was such a beautiful event, with some very interesting food. The dinner menu was created by Dan Barbar, along with three other local James Beard award winning chefs from Charleston. The theme was food waste and reuse, incorporating underutilized crops and cuts of meat which in turn supports long-term health of the land.
Ready for this lineup?? The first course (not pictured) was emmer gleanings risotto with dried goat and rice bran, which I enjoyed.

Our second course was Calf’s head with leather britches, sweet potato, and oat hull jus created by Sean Brock. It sounds crazy, but once we got past the name and tried it, it was actually pretty good. 
I struggled a bit with this next one to be honest. The third course was meant to be something like a burrito — benne cake and pork blood crêpes with waste ham, coastal rye shoots, and field pea guacamole created by Dan Barber. I think it was the texture of the crêpes that I wasn't a fan of, but it was a really creative dish. 
The dessert course was a sprouted chestnut cake with sorghum foam and orange, created by Katy Keefe of McCrady’s. I'm not a huge sorghum fan, but I at least gave it a try. 
This was unlike any other dinner I've been too, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to experience.
I also attended the Lowcountry Hoedown for the first time. This all-inclusive affair featured samplings from dozens of Southern distilleries, craft breweries & restaurants, plus a wild array of live entertainment. It was the perfect opportunity for a girl’s night out.
We ended the evening with a drink at Cane Ruhm Bar, a super cute and colorful spot off of East Bay Street. I definitely would like to go back and try the food.
I spent quite some time in the kitchen with my girlfriend’s recipe testing for work. Our menu consisted of soup, salad and a savory dessert. I forgot just how much I love French onion soup.
One of the highlights of November was celebrating my 30th birthday. Whit got me a Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee Maker and I'm loving it.  But the excitement didn’t stop there. I packed my bags for a girls trip to Florida for a few days and had a blast. More about our trip coming soon!
A college friend of ours tied the knot. Both the ceremony and reception were at the Island House on John’s Island, which has an amazing view of the Stono River. It was a beautiful evening for a wedding.
I received this cute hoodie from Jarret Bay Clothing Company in the photo below. If you are looking for nautical inspired gifts, check them out. 
I had the pleasure of joining the Cocktail Bandits for happy hour one evening. We had a great time trying out several delicious cocktails from Carmella’s. One of my favorites was the Orange Cremtini.
Thanksgiving was spent with Whit’s family. Everyone gathers at his grandparents house for a few days and then ends the weekend at the Clemson/Carolina game.
We did some restaurant hopping while we were in Florence and had a blast trying out a few local spots with the fam.
Game day!
How cute are Whit's grandparents?! I just adore these two! They know how to host quite the tailgate.
November was packed full of travel and quality time spent with family and friends. So much to be thankful for!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

No Bake Oreo Bars

Happy Wednesday and also a very Happy Birthday to my husband! 

I'm bringing back an old recipe today. I made these for a holiday party last weekend and was quickly reminded how good they are. This is a simple three ingredient recipe that can be made in advance. And that's a win- win in my book! Plus, I love any excuse to make things involve oreos. 
I revised the recipe a little after making them again this year. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! What are some of your favorite things to make for holiday parties?

No Bake Oreo Bars
1 14oz package of Oreos
4 cups of large marshmallows
4 tablespoons of butter
1.       Pour the entire package of Oreos into a food processor and pulse until ground into small pieces.
2.       In a large microwave safe bowl add 4 cups of marshmallows, & microwave on low until soft and gooey.
3.       Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, melt 4 tablespoons of butter.
4.       Note: I find it easier to melt the marshmallows and butter separately given the butter requires a little more heat. But you can also warm the two together as well.
5.       Pour melted butter in with the marshmallows and crushed Oreos, stirring until well mixed.
6.       Lightly grease a shallow baking dish with butter and pour in the mixture, spreading evening in the dish.
7.       Let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for about 15  to 20 minutes. This helps shape them a little better.
8.       Cut into squares and serve. 


Monday, December 19, 2016

Stocking Stuffers

One of my favorite things as a child and still to this day is pulling fun little surprises out of my Christmas stocking. When I was younger there was always an assortment of candy, snacks, gum, little trinkets and various other things. Now there are things like lip gloss, hair products, mini bottles, etc. And the best part about filling a stocking is collecting an assortment of items that don't necessary have to be related. Maybe it's just me, but I have much better luck finding random little items to gift that don't necessary make sense on their own, but make great stocking stuffers. Today I wanted to share some of those fun, random little items that fit perfectly into a stocking...just in time for Christmas!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Our Trip to the Islands| Part 3: Virgin Gorda

Hey guys! I’m back with part three (and the final) recap of our recent trip to the islands. The downside of traveling to celebrate an October anniversary is that there are so many things going on this time of year. So, I apologize for the delay in getting this post up. In case you missed the other posts, you can read part one and part two here. 
Confession — I have a hard time relaxing when I'm on vacation. I feel like I need to make the most of every second and see everything I possibly can. With that being said, Whit and I managed to visit five different islands over the duration of our trip. I felt pretty good about that considering we were only there for seven days. 

The next island on our list to venture to was to Virgin Gorda. It's the third largest island in the BVI's and known for it's natural beauty, specifically The Baths. We have some friends who have visited before and have shared nothing but amazing remarks about the island, especially The Baths. 

We departed Scrub Island on a ferry to Trellis Bay, caught a second ferry to Virgin Gorda, then hopped in a cab to get to our destination. Did I mention if we ever go back, we are renting our own sail boat? Getting around from island to island can be a bit challenging due to the ferry schedules, but worth it.

We arrived at The Baths and began our adventure through the dark caves filled with waist deep water. The Baths seem as if someone dropped off a few enormous boulders on a white sandy beach, encompassed by glistening turquoise water, creating an awe inspiring view. At first it was a little nerve racking, squeezing through the openings, not knowing what was around the next corner, but it was also exciting at the same time. 

Thankfully I was able to keep the camera dry!
And when we made it to the end, this was our breathtaking view…..
This really was one of the highlights of our trip. I felt like we were living inside of a stock photo you would come across on the internet. It truly was amazing.
After our cave exploration, we decided to grab a bite to eat back up at the top of the hill instead of taking a cab into town. Talk about lunch with a view, am I right? We ate at Top of the Baths Restaurant. The jerk chicken sandwich was just what I needed. We pretty much had seen what we intended to and decided to move on after eating. Fortunately, we had gotten the scoop from the co-captain on our boat excursion the day before. She had shared with us a few places we should visit while on Virgin Gorda
Again, we hopped on another ferry which took us to our next stop — Saba Rock. It was the perfect spot to sip a cold beer, relax and take in the beautiful view. Saba Rock is a small island, approximately an acre and a half in size with a cozy hotel, restaurant, bar, and gift shop. And there is a dock is available for day visitors like us. It's located in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda, which is comprised of a small cluster of islands — basically a boaters dream world.
There just so happened to be some sail boat classes going on which made for quite the entertainment. 
There was one last stop we were told we needed to make before heading back to our hotel and that was Bitter End Yatch Club, which could be seen just across the water way from Saba Rock. A ferry shuttled us right over for one last ice cold beverage and dip in the turquoise water.
It was the perfect way to spend our last afternoon on the island. After a successful day of exploring and our share of sun exposure, we headed back to relax and enjoy dinner at our resort.
Creamy Seafood Egg Pasta Pappardelle at Tierra! Tierra! for the win!
And an "unfair" game of checkers to finish off the night. Notice Whit's hand about to pull the board off the table?
It was extremely difficult to leave our beautiful resort the next morning. I made sure to soak up every last minute we had left on the island, starting with breakfast down by the pier. There is a gourmet market and cafe at the marina where you can grab hot breakfast sandwiches, deli meats and cheese for lunch and pizza, as well as a few groceries if needed. This was actually one of our favorite spots to get breakfast. 
I also had to get one last dip in the pool before we said goodbye. 
Another successful anniversary trip in the books! We thoroughly enjoyed our time in both the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. I will admit, just based on our experiences, the British Virgin Islands was our favorite. We look forward to planning a return visit in the near future!

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