Monday, March 27, 2017

Charleston Eats: Basil

Would y'all believe this time last year I had never tried Thai food?  I had this ridiculous notion that it was filled with spices I wouldn't like and would be too hot.  Well, I could not have been more wrong.  Thai food is amazing; it's some of the most flavorful and delicious Asian food I've ever had.  While I don't have a lot of other Thai favorites to compare it to, from reading reviews online, I know Basil is the real deal.  The food is so authentic, the location (on King Street - just look for the bicycle on top of the glowing green neon sign) is fantastic, and their happy hour is in my top 5 in Charleston.  
Y'all: check out these deals and prices.  What I love about Basil is that everything during happy hour is full size.  The pineapple mojito and mango martini are both delicious, and it's hard not to order one of everything off the appetizer menu.  

Make sure you get there early, because they don't take reservations and the restaurant is on the smaller side.  The traditional cocktail bar only sits about 6 people, but my favorite bar is along the cooking station where you can watch the chefs at work.  All of the staff at Basil are so welcoming and are happy to answer any question for a newbie like me.  I love the whole atmosphere inside, and there's even a row of tables outside, perfect for people watching along King Street. 
Now for my order: I recommend the Fried Wontons, Stuffed Shrimp, and either the Basil Rolls or Chicken Satay.  Okay, just go ahead and order all four... Mix and match with the dipping sauces, too.  Some are spicy, some are sweet, and they're all super flavorful.  If you're still hungry, the Beef Fried Rice and Pad Thai are delicious.  Don't forget dessert!
Basil has become so popular that they now have four locations: a second over the river in Mount Pleasant, another in Columbia, and a fourth just outside Charlotte.
Okay now... is it time for happy hour yet?!?

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Spring Porch Refresh

Happy Spring!  It seems like the East Coast has been a little confused as to seasons this month, but here's to hoping it warms back up very soon!  To me, spring means time outdoors.  What I love most about our home are all of the different patio spaces.  On the front of our house, we have a Charleston-style double porch.  The top porch was the first "room" we decorated when we moved in, and you can read about what pieces we used here.  In the first floor space, we hung the perfect porch swing, and you can read that full DIY from last week here.
What's funny is that the area where we spend the most outdoor time, our screen porch/breezeway off the living room, is the one that we have yet to really decorate.  The bugs in Charleston can be brutal, plus, we love that the cats can hang out with us with the screen.  At least we have more furniture than we did a few weeks after we moved in, but it's really still a mix-match of furniture we used at our house in Connecticut, IKEA plants I'm trying my hardest not to kill, and a broken rocking chair we found on the side of the road (that I keep swearing I'll fix!).

I finally have some true inspiration for what's also one of our main party spaces.  While I love that the other porches are relaxing, this breezeway will be the perfect accompaniment for grilling, lawn games, and parties after dark.
Let's start with the colors.  Out house is painted Summer Breeze by Valspar, so I thought some pastels, especially pinks and corals would be a great compliment.  How adorable is this wooden "hello" that I found on Etsy to hang on the wall?  I love that it's unfinished so I can choose any color to paint it.  Right now, I'm loving this Coral Peach, also from Valspar.

To add even more color, I definitely want flowers for this space.  Begonias and impatiens are perfect for this shady area since they thrive with very little sun, and I love this planter ladder from IKEA.

Like I mentioned, I already have a bistro set from a few years ago (here's a similar one from Target), so we'll be keeping that for sure and just be adding a few accents.  We chose this set because it doesn't have cushions and has definitely held up over time.  An outdoor rug to put under it, and new pillows to replace our faded ones will be perfect.  Here, here, and here are the three I chose - and they're all at a great price!

Last, but not least, a couple of things for entertaining: string lights for partying into the night and a functional (and movable) beverage cooler.

We can't wait to have our friends over this spring and summer in this new space!  What's your favorite way to entertain?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fashionable Weekending

Happy Spring!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!  Ours started early on Thursday night at Charleston Fashion Week.  Each year, 5 days of shows take over Marion Square downtown.  There are not only collections featuring famous designers but also an emerging designer competition each night as well as a week-long "rock the runway" model competition.
The featured designer show on Thursday was William Rast, Justin Timberlake's denim brand.  Inside the Belk tent was an awesome vending machine where you could tweet with an event hashtag to dispense a Belk gift card or tee shirt.  With the gift cards I got, I will definitely be heading to Belk soon to buy something I saw on the runway.  I love this top, these jeans, and honestly the whole line.
During the intermission, we got to go backstage with our friend who does all the lighting and watch all the models getting ready for the second half shows.  Seeing the designs, makeup, and hair up close were really cool.  It also confirmed that I could never be a model - those ladies and gents are TALL.  How awesome is the message they see on the way out to the runway?
Before heading back to the shows on Friday, we obviously had to get a few green beers for St. Paddy's Day.  We also made sure to wear green (my ankle pants were green, I promise) to celebrate our favorite holiday.  My friend Gillian joined us on Friday night, too, and we had way too much fun in the photo booth.  I've never seen one with such awesome quality before, and if you're looking for something different for an event, definitely check out Massive Booth.  
Saturday was a full day spent on the kickball diamond.  We played in a memorial tournament and made it to the semi-finals.  A nap promptly followed our day in the sun, and when I was wide awake at 10pm, I decided to cook a full (early) Sunday supper of pulled pork sriracha mac and cheese and pepper jack creamed corn.  It was all amazing, and we will be eating all of it for the next week!  I'll also be sharing the recipes soon.
After some Sunday golf and another helping of our delicious Southern feast, we made it to the theater to see Beauty and the Beast.  It was seriously everything I hoped it would be!  The night ended with lots of March Madness, and even though my bracket is pretty busted, the upsets have been really fun to watch.
Linking up with Biana today for Weekending!

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