Living a tasteful life

Monday, February 27, 2017

Life Lately January | Exploring Charleston

I'm sharing this a little later than normal, but I realized I never did a life lately post from January. After all of the craziness and traveling during the holidays, it was nice to spend some time at home in Charleston. Whit and I are always on the go, but we made a point to stay here and take time to do things around town. Here's a glimpse into what the first month of the new year looked like for us. 
We opted not to cook the traditional New Years day meal, and instead went to Home Team BBQ for bugers and nachos. Of course we had to at least get a side of collards for good fortune.
We're updating our bedroom (as mentioned here) and have been searching for inspiration. I got a little sidetracked at GDC. How pretty is this white couch?! I wanted one of everything in the store!
Some girlfriends and I have been trying to get together every now and then on Monday's to watch The Bachelor. It's a good excuse to hang out, cook dinner and sip on some wine. I'm obsessed with this sweet kale salad kit (no cooking required.)
A sweet friend of mine who use to living in Charleston came into town for a quick visit. It just so happened to be taco Tuesday at The Taco Spot
I made my first scarf at a sewing class hosted by the Charleston Blog Society at Five Eighth Seams. It's a miracle I didn't screw it up!
I debated whether or not to cut several inches off of my hair. It was pretty long as you can see here...well long for me anyway. I got to nervous and ended up only taking 2 inches off.
Met some of my girlfriends at one of my new favorite local coffee shops for a round of vanilla cappuccinos as an attempt to partake in dry January.
Dry January didn't last long...
Dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant, Zen Asian Fusion. The rolls are almost too pretty to eat. 
We finally had dinner at Red Drum. I've always heard great things about the restaurant, so I'm not sure what took us so long to go. The hot shrimp and chorizo toast is a great starter. 
And the fish with lime beurre blanc, mash potatoes and thin green beans with toasted pecans was even better. 
Whit and I went to Myrtle Beach for a night to celebrate the birthday of our good friends little one. 
A company work dinner at Leon's Oyster Shop resulted in me finally getting to try the shrimp roll. Who doesn't love a meal topped with potato chips?!
Added a few new pieces of decor to the house. See how I styled the decorative tray and coral here
We had cocktails with friends at Feathertop. The "favorite white shirt" was great!
Followed by dinner right next door at their sister restaurant, Scarecrow. The chorizo and calmari salad was so unique and delicious. 
But my favorite dish of the evening ironically was dessert. 
We tried something new and went to a beautiful church downtown. The downtown area is so charming, even in the rain. More details about this comfy and versatile shift dress here
Cayce and I finally got to meet our sweet friend Megan's precious little twin baby boys. 
We celebrated a friend's 30th birthday at Prohibition, which is normally just a cocktail spot for us. This was the first time I've had dinner there and was pleasantly surprised. The charred wings and deviled eggs were so good!
I took advantage of a free week of Studio Barre, which was very necessary after the restaurant tour I had been on. It made me realize that I would really like to incorporate this more in my weekly workout routines. 
If you're still reading, thanks for sticking around! January was a busy month!


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Currently Loving

Happy Tuesday! I was one of the fortunate ones that had yesterday off from work. I spent the day enjoying some time outdoors and just relaxed after a busy weekend. If only we got three day weekends more often. I feel recharged and ready to tackle the week! 

It's been a while since I've shared a list of things I'm currently loving and I've got some good ones for you today!

Starting with these Vince Camuto Kade cutout loafers. I purchased them a few weeks ago and debated on whether or not to keep them and I'm so glad I did. They have been on repeat at work. They are just easy slip on shoes that can dress an outfit up or down. And the good news...they are currently on sale!
I'm obsessed with the way this Anderson Lilley Winter in Manhattan Beach Beach Butter Body Cream smells. I apply lotion every day after I get out of the shower, especially in the winter when my skin is dry. This lotion is thick but not suffocating and it smells heavenly. 

I've been on a shoe kick lately (no pun intended.) These Sam Edelman Synthia ankle strap sandals are another one of my latest obsessions. I've been wearing them out at night since the temps have been relativley mild. These will be great in the spring time as well. The chunky heels actually make them more comfortable. They come in a selection of colors but the camel color was my favorite. These are also on sale right now.
I came across this Beach Lunch Lounge long sleeve button down and thought it would be a good staple piece. I couldn't find the exact one I bought because I got it from TJ Maxx. Mine is very similar to the one in the photo except the back of the shirt is a grey, soft cotton material. I thought it would be a great top for the spring with white jeans or jean shorts, but also something that could be worn to the office. I'm really glad I discovered this brand. They have a few other cute and casual pieces I wouldn't mind getting my hands on.

I was on a mission for a while to find the perfect frayed hem jeans. Finding jeans in general that are petite in length is always a challenge. I love the frayed style but I knew I had to find some that wouldn't need altering. After a few failed attempts, I finally found these BLANK NYC frayed hem jeans. They are super soft and comfy and are the perfect length. I originally found them at Nordstrom and they sold out fairly quick but you can get them here as well. 

Instagram outfit details below:

Wool Fedora: Old from Zara, (similar one, two, three, four, five.)
Necklace: Boho Beads (similar)
Anorak Jacket: C. Wonder (similar)
Long Sleeve Top: Old from TJMaxx
Shoes: linked above
Jeans: linked above
Glasses: Channel
Gold Hoop Earrings: Nordstrom (here).


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Outstanding in the Field | An Open-Air Feast

Imagine a beautiful long table stretching for miles, set with white linens and perfectly placed menus, sitting in the middle of a working farm, surrounded by water and scenes of the lowcountry. Are you with me?! I had the pleasure of attending an unforgettable dinner a few weekends ago, one that left me wishing ever Sunday supper looked like this. Outstanding in the Field is more than just dinner, it's an experience. 
Upon arrival, we were welcomed to the farm with cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres, in which we enjoyed while we toured the farm. I must get my hands on the pickled deviled egg recipe, they were so good! We also enjoyed some sweet potato-goat cheese gougères, which were equally as delicious. 
After about an hour into the reception, we were introduced to those that work behind the scenes of these beautiful events, along with the folks that bring Bulls Bay Saltworks to life. Bulls Bay is a local company that hand harvests salt to produce an exclusive line of products that can be found from coast to coast and in many fine restaurants in the south. You may be wondering how all of this ties together. The farm where we had dinner was located just off of Bulls Bay, where the salt is harvested. It was such a pleasure to learn about the process and what happens to those pretty little crystals of salt before they reach your plate. 
After our welcome discussion, we picked up a plate and were escorted to the table where we chose a seat. The plate situation is unique because you may bring your own, or you may opt to use one of theirs. The assortment of different plates creates quite a beautiful display on the table. 
Once we selected our seats at the table, we enjoyed a family style meal prepared in an outdoor kitchen by guest chef Chelsey Conrad of Butcher and Bee. The Anson Mills 'rouge de Bourdeaux' challah served a dual purpose. as both the table decor and the starter to our meal. It was served with benne tahini, Lowcountry Creamery butter and Bulls Bay Saltworks smoked sea salt. There was also a trio of other dips that everyone immediately dove into before there was time to snap a photo.
The first course was a cabbage salad with olive relish, almonds, date chili and pomegrante molasses. It was crunch, light and refreshing— all things that a salad should be.
Next up was a heaping bowl of freekeh porridge with smoked Keegan-Filion Farm chicken, preserved lemons and almonds. This was such a comforting and hearty dish. It reminded me of a sophisticated version of chicken perlo (minus the sausage.) I couldn't resists getting a second serving of this. 
Colorful Lowland Farm veggies were served for a perfect healthy balance. 
The Keegan Farm chicken shawarma, beef belly, and ground lamb was served hot off the grill, kabob style. It was the final bit of protein that pulled the meal all together, leaving just barley enough room for dessert.
No one could say not to this beautiful babka tart with black pepper-mascarpone cream that was almost too pretty to eat. Flaky dough with layers of chocolate and fresh strawberries was the perfect way to end the perfect meal. 
We had such a great time meeting new friends at the table while enjoying Chef Conrad's delicious food and sipping on great wine. I would jump at the opportunity to attend another one of these events. Check the Outstanding in the Field website  for a list of places they will be popping up. I highly recommend reserving a seat at their table if they come to a city near you!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

I'm wrapping up the last part of my Valentine's Day series with a gift guide for you. These gift guides have been floating around the blog world lately and I've got another one to add to the mix! Whether you're shopping for yourself, a friend, coworker or maybe you just want to share this list with your significant other, (I hope mine is reading) there's still time to make a few purchases. Here are a few things that I thought were too pretty not to share.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Look # 3 + Recipes for Dinner at Home

Valentine's Day Mini Series No. 3 | Pastels

I wore this dress to work the other day and received a lot of compliments. Most of which were about how "springy" I looked. Maybe I just have warm weather on the brain and it's starting to show through my wardrobe choices. I feel like there is so much that can be done with a simple dress like this. I thought it would work well for a Valentine's Day inspired outfit by pairing it with a red coat and a few other fun accessories. I mentioned yesterday, I'm all about wearing something I already have in my closet and transitioning it into the perfect outfit with the help of some accessories. I love this dress! I think it will be perfect as we approach Spring as well. It's a great casual piece that can be dressed up or down. And the good news, it's on major sale. You can find this dress and more on Tobi
Photos: Jennifer Collins Photography
I added some tassel earrings, a pink lip color, chunky nude heels and a red coat to pull together a casual and fun look for Valentine's Day.
Dress: Tobi Shoes:Sam Edelman Earrings: Shopbop Bracelet: Bourbon and Boweties Scarf: similar
You can definitely make a home cooked meal in a causal dress like this. Plus it's fun to dress up a little, cook a delicious dinner and enjoy a nice evening at home. No reservations required! 

Here are a few recipes perfect for a meal at home with your sweetie one or a Galentine's dinner with the girls. Warning: most of these aren't figure friendly, but you have to splurge every now and then.


Bang Bang Shrimp
Creamy Mushroom and Brie Soup
Winter Greek Salad
Pear, Date and Burrata Flatbread with Crispy Sage
The Perfect French Onion Soup
Gouda Cheese Fondue
Parmesan Garlic Knot Hearts
Mini Beef Wellingtons
Spicy California Shrimp Stacks
Brussels Sprouts, Apple and Cheddar Pizza
Pan Seared Scallops with Bacon Cream Sauce
Beef Tenderloin with a Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
Caramelized Figs and Ravioli with Rosemary Brown Butter & Crispy Prosciutto
Beef Short Ribs with Mushroom Risotto
Pan Seared Salmon
Brown Butter Mashed Poatoes

Classic Creme Brulee for Two
Mocha Truffle Bars
Cappuccino Soufflé for Two
Apple Pie Rolls
Boozy Red Velvet Trifles 
Beer Brownies
Chocolate Semifreddo
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce

What are some of your favorite Valentine's Day inspired meals?
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