Living a tasteful life

Friday, May 27, 2016

10 Memorial Day Recipes

Entertaining is something both my husband and I love to do, especially when it involves food. I love any excuse to fire up the grill and by that I mean my husband. With Memorial Day right around the corner, I figured it was a great time to share a few of my favorite recipes with you, perfect for outdoor entertaining. 

Nothing welcomes summer more than fresh ripe tomatoes. Add them to a pie shell filled with cheese and other goodies, you can't go wrong. 

These are the perfect bite size appetizer for snacking.

The perfect way to add a little kick to your burger. 

No BBQ is complete without potato salad. 

A nice cool side that satisfies the taste buds. 

I seriously look for any excuse to make these. They are so flavorful!

A more exciting way to eat chicken and veggies. 

A fun twist and a nice change from traditional slaw. 

Blueberries are always a good idea, especially when they are in dessert. 

Because eating dessert out of jar seems more fun. 

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!

Follow along with me this weekend on Instagram and Snapchat @mryanflowers!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale | My Picks

Just as I was trying to convince myself not to make any purchases, I realized Norstrom is having their half yearly sale, now through June 5th. I feel like that was my sign to move forward with the things in my cart. Here are a few pretties that caught my eye. And no, I didn't purchase all of these things, although I wish I could have! Click the arrow to the right to view all items.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rocksbox: My Thoughts + 1 Month Free

I'm sure many of you have heard of Rocksbox, but if not, let me introduce you to this brilliant subscription service. I should preface this by saying that the only monthly subscription I ever had was for magazines, never any of the monthly box subscriptions. A few friends of mine use Rocksbox and I've heard nothing but positive things, so I decided to give it a try myself. 

Rocksbox gives you unlimited access to designer and emerging jewelry brands. After signing up, you will get three pieces picked out just for you by a personal jewelry stylist, and then delivered straight to your door. First, you take a survey so they can better understand your style. Then, you may add up to fifteen pieces to your wishlist. Three pieces are then chosen from your list by your stylist for you to enjoy. If you don't like them, they don't fit, or you simply want a different piece, you can send them right back, using the prepaid shipping label. The best part is, you are free to switch out your jewelry as many times as you want per month. And if you decide you can't live without one of the pieces, you have the option to buy as well. What more could you ask for?!

Here is a look at the first pieces I received. 

1. Jenny Bird | Moonsong Cuff in Gold
2. Gorjana Meg | Collar Necklace

3. House of Harlow 1960 | Arrow Affair Ring in Gold

The quality of all three pieces I received was great. I have very small wrists and was concerned about the bracelet fitting, but it's bendable, conforming to perfectly fit my little wrist. I've been wearing the cuff and ring to work daily and I wore all three pieces out to dinner the other night. I love the idea of switching out the pieces as often as you like. I mean who doesn't like a good mail day? Now that I've gotten a few good wears out of these, I will be sending them back this week. I can't wait to see what pieces show up in my mailbox next! 

I'm happy to also share that I'm able to offer my readers 1 month free using the code apolishedpalatexoxo at checkout after signing up. Enjoy!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Spicy California Shrimp Stack

I was shockingly surprised at how well this recipe turned out. Of course I was browsing Pinterest one evening and came across a delicious looking photo of one of these stacks, saved it for later and figured it would end up being one of those recipes that I would never actually get around to making. But, I did and I'm so glad! 

We happened to have some left over shrimp from a low-country boil, which was nice because preparing the shrimp is half the battle. I decided the leftovers were a perfect excuse to make these spicy stacks. I was also looking to satisfy my sushi craving.
 This recipe was easier to make than I thought it would be. I was pretty impressed with the finished product. I made a few substitutions due to the ingredients I had on hand and they turned out great. I recommend two stacks per person, unless you are serving a side, in which case I think edamame would be perfect. These are a way to take your dinner party to the next level, which is exactly what we did the second time around. I went over to my girlfriends house for supper club one evening and we made these using fresh tuna. I highly recommend it! 
 I can't wait to make them again!

Spicy California Shrimp Stacks
1 1/3 cups of cooked quinoa brown rice (I Seeds of Change brand)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
8 ounces cooked shrimp, peeled and tails removed
1 cup diced cucumber
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
½ cup mashed avocado (about 1 large-because I wanted extra)
4 teaspoons sesame seeds
4 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
4 teaspoons of mayonnaise
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
1. Cook rice according to package directions. (90 seconds in the microwave)
2. Cut shrimp into 1-inch cubes. In a small bowl, combine cucumber and chives. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and sriracha sauce.
3. Using a 1 cup dry measuring cup, layer ¼ cup cucumber, then 2 tablespoon of avocado, next ¼ of the shrimp, and then 1/3 cup quinoa brown rice.  Carefully turn the cup upside down to turn the stack out onto a plate, lightly tapping the bottom of the cup if necessary.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle with 1 teaspoon soy sauce. Top with a dollop of sriracha mayonnaise. 
4. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
*Note: Don’t pack the ingredients in the cup too tightly, otherwise they will not come out as easily. Trust me, I made this mistake. 
*Recipe adapted from Skinnytaste.


Friday, May 20, 2016

News Feed Friday

Photo: Tec Petaja
Loving these current summer color trends!

Holy yum

Traveling to New York anytime soon? Check out the top 50 NYC rooftops.

How cute are these rompers? 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Must try this twist on mimosas! 

How pretty are all of these table linens?!

Happy Weekend!!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Outdoor Summer Essentials

There's nothing I love more than sitting outside on my back deck in the summer, a cold glass of white wine in hand, nibbling on appetizers, all while embracing the golden hour. There's just something so relaxing about watching the sun go down after a long day. I've mentioned before that there are several things that I would like to add to our deck as far as decor is concerned.  So, I decided to make wish list filled with outdoor essentials perfect for summer. Here are some of my favorites! (Click the arrow on the right to view more)


Friday, May 13, 2016

News Feed Friday

15 wine slushies perfect for the summer. Need I say more?

Upgraded Avocado Toast Recipes...because avocado toast never gets old. 

Intrigued by this website. 

This tote is my absolute favorite. It's the perfect size and goes with just about anything.

Mouthwatering Instagram feeds to follow. 

Need something to give your bridesmaids? Check out all these cute gift ideas.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I'm heading somewhere fun. Follow along on Instagram and Snapchat @mryanflowers to find out where. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Saks Fifth Avenue Spring Sale

First comes Spring, then comes sales, then comes summer! Although spring isn't over yet, retailers are making room for their summer collections, making it the perfect time to stock up on some of those pieces you may have been holding out on. Saks Fifth Avenue is having their spring sale with up to 40% off and today I'm sharing a few of my favorites, which includes a few great gowns perfect to wear to a wedding.
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Life Lately | April: Home Sweet Home

After several consecutive weekends away from home last month, it was finally nice to spend some time in Charleston. Don't get me wrong, I love traveling and planning fun activities that keep me on the go, but sometimes it feels good to just be home.
Once again, I decided to be a bystander instead of a participant in the Cooper River Bridge Run. I ran it two years ago and it felt great, but it's also just as fun to join friends for the after party (and wear clean clothes). That's exactly what I did this year. We spent the majority of our afternoon at Bay Street Biergarten and had a blast. 

Our good friends had the cutest little Fiesta Birthday party for their sweet 1 year old daughter, Hazel. The theme was so adorable. Both the kids and the adults seemed to equally enjoy themselves. 
Whit and I have never really been able to have lunch together during the work week given the distance in location of our offices. With Whit's new job, we are much closer. I was thrilled to finally have the chance to escape the office and have lunch with my hubby for once. We had delicious sandwiches at The Park Cafe. I highly recommend the smoked chicken salad sandwich. 
I did take one quick road trip in April, and that was to the Food and Film Festival in South Walton Beach, Florida. Attending for both business and pleasure, I found the festival to be so enjoyable. It was nice to visit sunny Florida and spend some time with my mom, who I brought along for the ride. If you missed my recap, you can read about it here
I'm going to take a minute and brag on my husband. He is excellent in the kitchen and even better when it comes to the grill. Marinating and perfectly cooking meats are his specialty. I thoroughly enjoyed this home cooked meal prepared by my other half. 
We spent an afternoon on John's Island with some family a few weeks ago. It was a little too cold to put on a bathing suit, but I have zero complaints when it comes to this view. 
I love spending time outside in the Spring, especially with the nice weather we have been having lately. My girlfriend and I enjoyed a gorgeous Sunday afternoon on the deck and had our own little "healthy" happy hour. 
Happy hour on a Monday doesn't happen often but it did a few weeks ago and it was quite refreshing.
My first Riverdogs game of the season didn't go quite as planned. We were there for about 30 minutes and then the bottom dropped out of the sky. The evening turned into a rainy windy mess, but we still managed to enjoy ourselves. 
An entire day was spent on the boat a few weekends ago and I'm not mad about it. We made it to Morris Island around 1:00 pm, saw the sunset on Shem Creek and continued the evening well past midnight at Red's Ice House.
You may notice that my husband isn't in many of these photos. I have turkey season to thank for that. Every April his weekends are spent in the woods. I guess I can't complain when he brings dinner to the table. I was little skeptical about eating wild turkey, but as I mentioned before, he really knows how to prepare meat, especially wild game. These grilled turkey bites turned out to be delicious!
I checked another restaurant off my list of places to try last week. We had a work meeting at The Westendorff and of course lunch was the highlight. Fried chicken sandwiches, burgers, fried fish, french fries, mac and cheese — not exactly a light lunch. 
Bikini season has just arrived and judging by the food photos from last month, I think it's safe to say a few extra gym sessions might not be a bad idea!

Yay for May!!


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

10 Cinco De Mayo Recipes

I love celebrating Cinco de Mayo! 

In college we would always go to a place called Burro Loco. It was one of our favorite spots for happy hour. The food was good, and cheap, they had free wings, $3 Mexican pizzas and $5 pitchers of beer. No college student can argue with that deal. Happy hour was always fun, but Cinco de Mayo was whole different level of fun. The parking lot would fill with people instead of cars, beer trucks lined the perimeter of the restaurant, and dinner became a second priority. I sure do miss those days. Although I don't celebrate it quite like I use to, I still make sure to enjoy some festive food. 

So, if you're not going out to celebrate and want to do the cooking at home, I've got a great roundup of delicious recipes perfect for your fiesta!

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