Foodie Friday: Charleston, SC

Sorry for the belated post. We threw a super fun couple’s shower this past Saturday and I’ve been running on high speed since last Wednesday to get everything done. We’ll just play a little catch up this week. I wanted to devote an entire post to the amazing food we had on our Charleston trip. I’m dying to take the Hubs and parentals back with me because they would be in heaven. We tried a little of it all and I can honestly say we didn’t have a bad meal. Settle in because this will be a long post – we ate a lot! Here’s the breakdown:

(1) Magnolias – my friends Geoff and Katy actually recommended this one and after walking by it, I don’t think anyone had to be convinced. We just did lunch here, but the entire menu looked amazing. The atmosphere is beautiful with big magnolia branch centerpieces. The pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes come highly recommended as appetizers. We had the blue crab bisque and a couple of the salads, all of which were delicious. Geoff and Katy went for dinner and said the filet topped with pimento cheese was not to be missed.

(2) FIG – This is one of the hottest restaurants on the Eastern seaboard right now (they even catered Blake Lively’s wedding). The atmosphere is fancy, but inviting with warm yellow and orange walls. The wine and cocktail menus are extensive, and the actual menu is small, but on point, with everything coming from local farms. This was a great dinner for a girl’s night and would make a great date night as well. Their “NBD” prosecco cocktail starts your evening off right as does their cheese plate with fig mustard. Follow up with one of their awesome fish choices or stick to small plates like the delicious gnocchi.

(3) Social Wine Bar – The thing that initially attracted me to this super hip wine bar/restaurant was their $15 wine flight pairings. We had perfect timing and were in Charleston for their Restaurant Week, so I had the three course meal with an awesome wine pairing. My favorite course was the St. Andre Cheese with strawberry tarragon preserves for dessert. I want to come back here and try all of the awesome cheeses and charcuterie on their menu. (Images from Social’s website)

(4) Poogan’s Porch – This was perhaps my favorite meal. Even if the food had been awful I would have loved this place. It is in an old house that is beautifully decorated (and there is even a ghost story to go with it). They seated us upstairs in a big, but quaint room where we could all easily talk to each other. But, the food wasn’t awful, it was amazing. We tried a variety of the appetizers, but the gouda mac ‘n cheese was hands down the best. In true low-county spirit I had the buttermilk fried chicken for my main course and it was even better than I expected. (Second image from Poogan’s website).

(5) Husk – After dinner at Poogan’s Porch we went next door for drinks at Husk. Husk is also an adorable restaurant (and the number one restaurant in Charleston right now) in a huge house, and adjacent to it (in a slightly smaller house), they have a wonderful craft cocktail bar with mixologists that totally look the part. The awesome bartenders also let me sample Jack Rudy’s Small Batch Tonic (finally!) and its amazing – gin and tonic girls, (I’m looking at you, Kathryn) this is a must. Besides the perfectly-made cocktails I also had a delicious banana-flavored craft beer that I would highly recommend (if I could remember the name of it). Garden and Gun was way ahead of us.

(6 & 7) AW Shucks & Charleston Crab HouseWe also got lunch at two great casual seafood chains on Market Street. I took full advantage of our coastal location and got the peel ‘n eat shrimp at both. At Charleston Crab House, Michelle and I split perhaps the best oysters I’ve ever had – they were smothered in garlic butter and topped with Parmesan cheese. These are both great spots for some just down and dirty seafood.

(8) Vendue Inn Patio Bar and Bin 152Since the whole point of the weekend was to celebrate Michelle’s upcoming nuptials, we tracked down a few good watering holes as well. We went to the Vendue Inn’s rooftop patio bar twice because the view was amazing and the drinks were cold. This is where I discovered Palmetto beer, my local brew of choice for the weekend. My favorite bar, however, was Bin 152. If Bin 152 was in Fort Worth, I’m pretty sure I would never go any where else. They have a huge wine selection and amazing cheese plates to go with it. The decor was shabby chic with a huge gallery wall that made me swoon and the woman behind the bar was French. Maybe I should just open one of these in Fort Worth myself…

(9) Kings Pops and Bakehouse – Two other spots worth mentioning (before I starve to death this morning from talking about all this food) were Kings Pops that we came across at the farmer’s market in Marion Square and the Bakehouse where we stopped to rest our tired legs after shopping all day. Kings Pops is a popsicle stand with yummy flavors like blackberry ginger lemonade, chocolate sea salt and watermelon mojito. Bakehouse is a super cute coffee shop/bakery that makes great coffee drinks and thirst quenchers. I mention both of these because you will need a lot of these cool refreshments if you go to Charleston in the summer; even in September it was still hot and humid.

If you missed the previous Charleston post, check it out here.


Interior Inspiration: Teal Walls

I’ve been wanting to post this for weeks, but wanted to wait until I had a picture from the person who really made me take notice of this trend. My ever-stylish friend Kathryn bought a new house about six months ago and it has undergone a complete interior transformation. She told me she was going to paint her living room teal, and to be honest, I was unsure of how it would turn out. Well I should have known. Kathryn’s living room is not only beautiful, but she was ahead of a crazy trend.

The Decorista is obsessed with teal right now. She did a whole post this week on her favorite teal paints and previously showed off a couple of teal-icious rooms. The rest of the blog world has also caught on and the likes of The Aestate and Luxe and Lillies are showing teal some love too.


Talk Like a Pirate

Many of you are probably not aware that today is National Talk Like a Pirate Day. I make note of this, because one of my main man’s (Jon and Candace’s adorable 4-year old) favorite things in the world right now is pirates. We celebrated his birthday earlier this summer which was of course pirate themed. Wyatt fit the part perfectly and Candace had everyone and everything decked out in their best swash-buckling gear. If you have a mini-Jack Sparrow in your midst check out this party inspiration:

  1. Nothing says “aargh” like nautical stripes
  2. This awesome tablescape came from Kara’s Party Ideas, which is one of my favorite blogs. She has several other pirate party ideas including one for girls.
  3. Notable Nest featured a whole host of pirate-y ideas, but my favorite were her awesome invitations:
  4. If that’s not enough check out Design Dazzle who compiled a whole list of super-mom ideas like this “X Marks the Spot” mailbox.
  5. A free “Ahoy” printable
  6. Hostess with the Mostest has the mother load of pirate ideas. It even has a Goonies theme!

Happy Pirate Day, all!

Traveling Tuesdays: Charleston, SC

A couple of weekends ago I took a great four-day girls’ weekend and headed to Charleston, South Carolina, with Michelle and her closest friends. We wined and dined, explored the historic downtown area, and spent some much-needed time with the bride to be. This was one of the best groups I’ve ever traveled with. (I do not know how to end that sentence without a preposition, sorry.) Seriously, no one complained about anything all weekend. As the person making all of the plans for the weekend, I can’t even tell you how nice that is. Not a complaint about the weather, the food, the awkward times trying to figure out what we were going to do next, the transportation, the cost, nothing – I think that is quite a feat for a group of nine women and I would gladly vacation with this fine group of girls anytime. Michelle’s big wedding color is lavender, so I made a couple of banners for the room and Michelle gave us all these cute purple, Charleston-themed favors. (And remember: We chose the lavender version of Minted’s “We Love Michelle” invite with these Charleston stamps from Zazzle.)

We stayed at the John Rutledge House, which was the perfect place for a group of girls. It’s a small charming boutique hotel. The staff is great and the breakfast is wonderful. There are definitely hotels in Charleston that are a little better location-wise, but we could easily walk to King Street and East Bay Street and catch the trolley a block away. That, by the way, is another great part of Charleston; a free trolley will take you all over historic Charleston.

We apparently were also not the only ones who figured out that Charleston was the perfect place for a bachelorette weekend because there were probably 17 bachelorette parties roaming the streets of Charleston Saturday night. Single guy friends, you should vacation here. One reason it is such a great town for a little girl-time is the shopping. There were so many fantastic stores, where I saw tons of the products I’ve been lusting after and several new ones. (I called the Husband on the trip and when I asked him what he was doing he responded with “Ahem…not spending money.”)

One of our stops was a weekly farmers’ market in Marion Square on Saturdays. If I lived in Charleston, I’d be here every week. There were tons of fresh fruits and vegetables, about 10 delicious food vendors (Lindsey B. and I were eying the grilled pimento cheese and gyro stands), art vendors, Rewined candles (good stocking stuffer, Mom)…and so much more. I loved it. (They also had a homemade pasta stand, which was cool because Lindsay L.  just kicked off her new business making and selling her own pasta at farmers’ markets in Louisiana. It was so fun to hear about how she is changing her career path and chasing her passion for food.) We also made the rounds on Market Street and King Street. Market Street is just a big open market with craft vendors, mini-boutique type stores with all kinds of food and knick-knacks. King Street is the home of the upper-scale boutiques and everything from Forever 21 to Kate Spade (where Kerry got Michelle the cute Mrs. necklace to wear at the reception). Here are the few shops I loved:

  • Old Road Mercantile – I went on a month long quest for Jack Rudy’s Small Batch Tonic for a gift for a friend a little while back and saw it in the window of this store the night before. Leah memorized the address and we went back the next day. This store has all sorts of bar compliments and gadgets and a lot of other really cool wares. (King Street)
  • Savannah Bee Company – This is a store totally of honey. It started pouring rain while we were in the store so we spent extra long in it, and after trying several honeys and using all of their cool products I think half of us bought something. I got the cheese honey and can’t wait to try it out on some ricotta toast. (King Street)
  • Lily Charleston – This store’s catch phrase is “Purveyors of life’s little luxuries,” and they aren’t kidding. I was drooling in this store. They carried all my favorite paper and candle brands, had great little gifts from local artists and stores in Charleston, and had a collection of great jewelry. (King Street)

My favorite part of Charleston though, is the architecture and interior design. Checkered floors abounded, beautiful old pastel-colored houses and Palmetto trees lined the streets, intricate wrought iron gates fenced in perfectly-groomed gardens, and amazing big porches invited you stay a while. We took a bus tour around the city and a couple of house tours so we got a good feeling for the city. One of the ladies giving us a house tour said, “This is one of those cases where their home became their obsession.” I almost squealed because I loved that quote so much. It is so true and you can really see it in these old homes.

But, I take that back. My favorite part of Charleston was the food. Check out this coming Friday’s post for a highlight of the DELICIOUS meals we had.

Matrimonial Monday: Byrd and Bleeker

I’ve been meaning to highlight this store for a while now, but was reminded when a girl at work sent me this great Fort Worth city guide from Design Sponge written by Libby, the super stylish owner of Byrd & Bleeker. This is where I ordered my wedding invitations and I was blown away with the selection, professionalism and quality of what I got. I think I really took to the owner because she is a former attorney from New York who followed her passion for paper and opened this cute Fort Worth store on Camp Bowie. I’m a paper freak and spent way too much money on my invitations, but if you are interested in doing the same, this is the place to go. She carries all of the latest designs and if she doesn’t have what you’re looking for, she’ll either track it down or get someone to create it for you. My invitations were from Bell Invito and turned out amazing. They carried over flourishes and fonts so everything matched and Libby ensured my effort was minimal (which is oh-so-nice when you are planning a wedding). Byrd & Bleeker really sealed my loyalty when they sent me a beautiful calendar thank you gift for choosing them six months after my wedding! The store is adorable and has a great gift selection with accessories from the likes of John Adler and other hot designers.

I should also mention my awesome calligrapher, Marilynn. I feel like she is one of Fort Worth’s best-kept secrets. She has been doing this for years, had the best samples and the best prices. Send me a note if you want her contact info. She’s one of the best.

To: Luke

September has brought a lot of good and bad this month. I had a birthday, spent an awesome Labor Day weekend on the lake at my parent’s and celebrated Michelle’s bachelorette party in Charleston. I have so much to share from all of that and the next two months are packed with events and fun.

But, my family got a dark cloud this week – my twenty-year-old little brother was diagnosed with leukemia. It has been a trying week for all of us, but he is a brave, tough and God-fearing man. The only good that comes from hard times like these is the reminder of how great my family and friends are. The support, love and encouragement have been overwhelming and humbling. His prognosis is good and the treatment is already making a difference, but we petition continued prayers as he fights this horrible disease.

I’ve got lots of posts in the hopper for the rest of this month and am anxious to share the things my amazing family and friends are doing, but I want to re-dedicate my blog to Luke for reminding me of why its important to enjoy life, seize the day and appreciate your friendships.

Matrimonial Monday: Bachelorette Invites

Happy Labor Day! I’ve spent a wonderful weekend at my parents. It was not only my birthday, but we also celebrated my sister’s and her fiance’s engagement, which meant looking through lots of wedding magazines and spending lots of time on Pinterest.

I’m also prepping for our Charleston girl’s weekend coming up this week – just making final reservations and planning my outfits. I really enjoyed picking out the invitations for this weekend. I’ll be honest, in the past I have been underwhelmed with the selection of bachelorette invites out there. They were all hot pink and all had the same look and feel. My favorite bachelorette invite I received was one my friend Martha made for our friend Lindsay’s bachelorette. It was hand drawn, thoughtful and very-Lindsay; I loved it! But, I do not have the craftiness of Martha, so for Michelle’s bachelorette party, I began researching some print options and was pleasantly surprised by what’s out there now. We went with the “We Love Michelle” invitation from Minted. I loved this one because it really reminds everyone of why we are celebrating. (Only 3 more days until Charleston!)

Martha’s handmade cuteness

Love the rhyme

Paperless Post’s virtual invitation

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