Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Outfit of the Month: Accessorizing Solids

It might be October tomorrow, but it does not feel like fall yet in Charleston.  It's still in the mid 80s most days, but even more than that, it's HUMID.  I'm trying so hard to make my fall wardrobe work, and a couple of days I've been adventurous and wore ankle pants, but by lunchtime, I was sweating.  Instead, I'm trying to find new ways to spice up my shorts and summer tops.  After you've worn the same things to work for 6 months, you need to do something different, right?  Typically, I don't wear solids on solids and try to put in some type of pattern somewhere, but like I said, I need to try something new.  I equally love these J.Crew shorts and these comfortable v-necks, so I thought it'd be fun to put a spin on them as I keep wearing them through the end of September.  Two things that will make any outfit pop?  Jewels and Jamberry wraps.

Here's what I put together:

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Huddle Up for Fall and Football

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayPizza #CollectiveBias
Football season is in full swing!  Obviously, Mike and I are big professional football fans (another 3-1 week of fantasy!), but we are also definitely growing to like more and more college football living in the South.  Our weekends have changed a bit since the summer; we now try and get our golf and tennis in on weeknights so that we can hang out on the couch all weekend and watch our teams.  Having friends in Charleston who have moved from all over also makes it fun because someone has a horse in the race for just about every game.
Since our teams are spread far and wide, it's not really possible to go to more than one game a season, and more importantly: tailgate.  Instead, we decided to have a little tailgate at our place.  What does every tailgate need?  FOOD.  After seeing this crazy pie chart about football on tv, we went with a pie theme for our party, and Red Baron® Classic Crust was the perfect main dish.
 We went to Walmart to get our pizza and dessert pies, and decorated our apartment with our favorite team's colors.
On our Red Baron pizza package was a promo to enter the Tailgate at Your Place Sweepstakes.  There will be five grand prize winners who will win over $10,000 in prizes and free pizza for the entire football season and instant winners who can win Visa or Fanatics gift cards!  (That could definitely get us to another couple of games for our favorite teams!)
After only 18 minutes, our pizza was ready to go.  It was delicious, with a perfectly satisfying crunch!
And for dessert, the Edward's Hershey Pie was so delicious - the perfect compliment to our "at home" pie-themed tailgate.
  • What's your favorite tailgate food?
  • Have you tried Red Baron pizza before?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pumpkin Ranger Cookies

Last Thursday, I attended another fantastic Charleston Blog Society event.  This time, Gillian planned a Pinterest Potluck at Hannah's house.  The plan was to get together, drink some wine, eat some delicious food, and talk about ways to make our Pinterest pages better!  I definitely learned a lot about analytics, how to create one cohesive "brand," and how to make sure the right keywords are in each pin.  (Shameless plug: I spent part of the weekend working on my own page, so if you want to check it out, here's the link!)
The group: (top row) JacquelynGillianErika, me, Shree, Madison, (bottom row) HannahLanieTiffany, Jeanne, and Kate
My original plan was to make something off of my "need to make it" board, but since it was also the second day of fall, I thought it'd be fun to make something pumpkin-inspired.  So, I came up with the idea to concoct a recipe and then put it on Pinterest afterwards to use all of the fun tips and tricks I would learn at the party!  So, here's the recipe.  It's based on one of my favorite recipes from my mom.  Her Ranger Cookies are so good, and add a can of pumpkin and a few spices and you really have the perfect fall treat!
1 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
15 oz can pumpkin
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup uncooked oats
3/4 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup rice cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cream shortening, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in mixer.
3. Add in eggs and pumpkin.
4. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl.
5. Add dry mixture to wet ingredients a little at a time.
6. Take the cookie mixture off the mixture and stir in oats, coconut, cereal, and chocolate chips.
7. Drop tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
This recipe made a batch of almost 50 cookies, so it was perfect for a large group.  They were so fantastically soft and chewy!  If you make them, definitely let me know what you think!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Keep the Party Going with SNICKERS®

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser.  All opinions are mine alone.  #EatASNICKERS #CollectiveBias
Who doesn't love a good party?  
It's Friday, and that means hopefully you already have something fun planned this weekend!  I have to admit, I really love dancing, but definitely am not exactly the best dancer out there.  It takes a lot of effort for me to simultaneously wear heels and get my groove on.  By the end of any party, I'm exhausted.  Then after the party is the... (you know it).  SNICKERS® to the rescue!  Roasted peanuts, nougat, caramel, milk chocolate? I'm in.  I'm all about letting SNICKERS® handle my hunger so I can keep dancing, and I don't get...
What better way to keep all of your party guests from getting "hangry" than with late-night SNICKERS® favors?!  I've even created an awesome printable for you so that you're well on your way.  All you need to do is:
1. Purchase your SNICKERS® bars at Walmart! 
2. Click here to save the SNICKERS® wrap, and print it on your favorite color paper.
3. Cut out the individual printings and tape them to your SNICKERS® bars.
4. Arrange them in a basket for your guests to take with them as they leave your party!
5. Keep dancing long into the night!
I'm thinking that these will definitely be making an appearance at my birthday party next weekend!

Be sure to check out other fun SNICKERS® tutorials and hunger satisfaction stories here.  How do you enjoy a SNICKERS®?  And then, take the SNICKERS® quiz to see who you are when you're hungry:

  • Who did SNICKERS® say you are when you're hungry?
  • What are your fun plans this weekend?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mercantile and Mash & The Cedar Room Opening

On Wednesday night, I had the opportunity to attend the #opentheredoors opening of the Cigar Factory project here in Charleston with my friend, Gillian.  The Indigo Road hospitality and consultation group has created a fantastic emporium in this historic space.  You might have heard of Indigo Road before as they are the the brains behind fantastic Charleston restaurants like Oak Steakhouse, The Cocktail Club, and O-Ku.
As we arrived, we were greeted with fantastic cocktails made with Four Roses Bourbon.  Their pineapple punch was fantastic, and they guaranteed that it will be on the Bar Mash menu.  We were then guided into Mercantile and Mash's main first floor space which houses a provisions-style retail center, casual eatery, and coffee shop.  They had passed hors d'oeuvres and an amazing charcuterie spread.  I loved getting to watch them make the tortellini (and, of course, get to taste them).  After a few snacks and another drink, we headed back to Mash Bar.  Serving beer, whiskeys, "American-driven" spirits, and fancy bar snacks, has a great atmosphere. They also have an indoor bocce court and 1980s arcade games.
After touring the first floor, we headed back out the main doors and upstairs to their event space.  The Cedar Room is 10,000 square feet and can accommodate a seated dinner for up to 300 guests.  It features historic wood columns, hardwood floors from the original space and rustic elements circa 1880.  There is also a bridal suite, service bar, warming kitchen, and a courtyard and garden with additional space.  We had the chance to try even more food from Mercantile and Mash, and it was all delicious!  Striped Pig Distillery was there, too, making cocktails with their lavender and orange gin.
Our last stop for the evening was back downstairs to the emporium for some dessert.  Their dessert counter looks delicious, and they had a few different passed desserts.  Managing partner and mastermind behind the Cigar Factory, Steve Palmer loves salted caramel (and it was his birthday!), so you know they paid special attention to the chocolate-covered salted caramel tart.  It was delicious!
I was very impressed by the Cigar Factory's space, food, and beverage selection. I will certainly be back soon for lunch and can only hope I'm able to attend another event there soon!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Curl Up with a Good Look

I was compensated for the following post by Irresistible Me, but, as always, all opinions are my own. 
As y'all know, this weekend was our anniversary.  We celebrated a little early with a night out on Kiawah Island the night before our actual anniversary.  I wanted a special and unique look for our anniversary, so I thought back to the year before when I had the most perfect curls under my veil.   My hair is normally pin straight and getting any volume from it has been nearly impossible in the past.  I was so excited when Irresistible Me offered to send me their Sapphire 8-in-1 Curler.  It arrived just in time for our anniversary, and I was excited to try it out on Saturday afternoon.  
The first thing I noticed was how many pieces it contained.  Marketed as an "8-in-1" curler, obviously it had 8 interchangeable barrels and the wand base, but it also came with a heat-resistant glove to help with styling and a stand to keep from burning your countertop (been there, done that - sorry, college dorm room), all in a fantastic heat-proof carrying case.  After choosing a barrel (first the 25/13mm conical shape), I was really impressed with how quickly it heated up - less than 20 seconds to 370 degrees!  I curled two-inch sections at a time, like the manual suggested, and held the curls on the wand for about 8-10 seconds.  I used a little bit of hairspray - the humidity in the Lowcountry is no joke - and I was very impressed with how well the curls stayed in place all night.  
I was also really excited to get to wear my bridal shower outfit again plus a pair of beautiful Tacori earrings Mike gave me right before we went out for our anniversary.  Husband is good at surprises!
Then on Sunday, in between football games, I had some fun with the other barrels to try a couple of different looks.  First was the largest barrel (32mm) for soft, loose curls.  My hair is pretty short right now, but I can definitely see myself wearing this look to work.  (This product will also be a fun incentive to let my hair keep growing and resist the urge to chop it off every time I go to get a "trim.")  It only took about 10 minutes, but after a little practice, I could see myself getting out the door with just over 5 minutes of styling!
After that, I thought it'd be fun to try a little updo with the smallest barrel (13mm).  I put my hair in a low side ponytail, curled the ends, and pinned some of them up.  This whole look took about 15 minutes and was really fun to do.  
 My favorite aspects of the Sapphire 8-in-1 Curler are: the versatility of the wand with the 8 different styling methods, the tourmaline technology with negative ions that keeps hair from becoming frizzy, and the auto shut off feature (sometimes I'm a little forgetful!).
Not only does Irresistible Me's website feature great hair tools like this, they also sell signature hair extensions and hair care products.   See something you like?  First time shoppers can get 20% off their entire first order with the coupon code: GET20OFF.
  • Do you have a favorite hair tool?
  • What's your go-to hair spray? My current can is almost out!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Anniversary Reflections: Year One

Happy first anniversary to my amazing husband, Mike!  It's crazy to think it's already been a year since we said "I do."  This time last year, we were both getting ready and taking photos as the most amazing day of our lives began.  
Since that day, we've had our ups and downs.  Well, almost all ups and one down.  Only ten days after we got married, I came home to a big hug from Mike and words I'll never forget, "You know that part in the vows, 'for rich or for poor, in sickness and in health'? Well, I didn't think we'd be experiencing them this soon, but I got laid off."  The way he has handled the past year since the layoff with positivity, ambition, strength, and sincerity has further showed me what an incredible man he is.  He now works for himself in a job he loves, and I could not be happier for him.  
Now for the many "ups:" honeymoon to the BahamasNew York CityDisney WorldCooperstown, and trips back to New England to see our family.  Even more than that, it was the everyday things: we made our apartment a home, discovered a new love of tennis and kickball, played lots of golf, made amazing new friends, and spent so much time together.  
While we celebrated our "paper" anniversary in a big way last weekend in Atlanta, Mike suggested dinner last night, and of course, I couldn't object!  We went out to Kiawah for drinks and appetizers at The Ocean Course's Ryder Cup Room, then drove over to The Sanctuary for dinner at Jasmine Porch.  Everything was SO GOOD.  In true "us" fashion, we stopped at CVS on the way home to get cards since neither of us had purchased one yet.  He also got in a little bit of trouble for buying me a pair of beautiful Tacori rose amethyst stud earrings to match the bracelet he bought me for our wedding.  Okay, I didn't stay mad for too long... husband did good.  He really is excellent at surprises.  
Thank you for an amazing year one of marriage, Mike; I can't wait to see what the next one has in store for us!  

Thanks so much to Gillian from Coastal Bride for our anniversary photos and a fun afternoon!

Linking up with Macy and Nikki on Wednesday for Wedding Wednesday. 

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