Thursday, December 29, 2016

Charleston's Pounce Cat Cafe

cats + wine + beer + laser pointers

Charleston has officially opened the first cat cafe in the South, and I had the pleasure of attending the VIP Grand Opening party for Pounce Cat Cafe last month.  The ladies who put together this fantastic business of bringing together adoptable felines and boozy beverages are some of the most compassionate and determined people I have ever met.  They are doing so much good with help from the Charleston Animal Society to help make Charleston one of the only no-kill communities in the Southeast.
When the cat cafe opened for the party last month, they had over 21 kittens who were rescued from a kill shelter in Myrtle Beach.  Now, only a month later, 32 adoptions have been finalized, and reservations are filling up fast.  
How it works: head to Pounce Cat Cafe's Reservation Page and book a one-hour time slot.  For $15, you will receive unlimited kitty cuddles and a beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) of your choice.  They also have snacks and pastries for sale.  Don't worry, the food and drinks are served in a separate area than the cats, but you can go back to the kitty side and enjoy everything with your new best friend.  
The Cafe is located on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston, so I love that you can also walk or drive by and see all the cats sunbathing in the front windows.  Since the location serves as a foster home, all of the cats live at Pounce full time, and you can adopt right on the spot.  Each of the kitties has a collar with a number on it.  You can look up the number on the collar in the binder of cats to learn more about that cat and how to adopt it. 
Seriously, how could you not fall in love with all of those little faces?!  They're so much fun to snuggle and play with.  Garfield (below) loved the laser pointer and feather toys!
This little lady, Dixie, was Mike's favorite.  How beautiful are her markings?
Even if you're not in Charleston, you need to follow these little ones on Snapchat or Instagram.  Your heart will melt when you see all the kitty cuddles and playtime!

I received a complimentary invitation the the Pounce Cat Cafe VIP Grand Opening in exchange for exposure as a Charleston blogger.  I choose to further support this cause, and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Gold & Black NYE Look

How was everyone's Christmas??  Ours was wonderful, and while we're enjoying spending time with family this week, I am definitely looking ahead to New Year's Eve.  I love a good excuse to dress up and wear some sparkle.  This skirt is one of my absolute favorites and a simple tank and black pumps really help it stand out.  

Now let's talk jewelry.  I'm so excited to introduce Happiness Boutique to y'all today.  Based in Germany, their collections are classic with a charming vintage touch.  Happiness Boutique sent me this trapeze bar necklace and gold pineapple earrings, and they are the perfect accents for my NYE look!
Want to shop Happiness Boutique for yourself?  They offer free standard shipping worldwide and even have a fantastic reward program.  You earn points for each euro you spend in addition to writing reviews and sharing your photos on social media.  Cash these in for even more beautiful jewelry!
What are your NYE plans?  Are you going dressing up to go out or drinking champagne at home while watching the ball drop?

In exchange for this review, I received the complimentary products listed above.  All opinions of these jewelry pieces are my own.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Ham and Cheddar Quiche

How are we only two days away from Christmas?!  I hope everyone has finished their shopping and just has some wrapping left to do.  Pop in a Christmas movie, make a cup of hot cocoa (with a splash of peppermint schnapps), and I really don't mind wrapping - haha!  When Christmas morning arrives, all that work might disappear quickly, but hopefully there will be something delicious to enjoy afterwards.  I've already shared these amazing rolls and a bacon quiche recipe, but this one is my current favorite.  While it takes 45 minutes to cook (perfect to bake during present-opening), it takes less than 5 minutes to prep.
unbaked pie crust
3 beaten eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh-cracked pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped cooked ham - this product was the perfect or use that leftover Christmas Eve ham
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a pie pan with the uncooked pie crust.
3. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
4. Sprinkle the ham and cheese into the pie crust and top with the egg mixture.
5. Bake quiche for 45 minutes, until set.
Now, take a fantastic husband (in the coolest apron ever - thanks, sister!) and add a giant mimosa - what a perfect morning, right?!  Unfortunately, this awesome apron is sold out online, but how fantastic is this coffee mug or the perfect kitchen addition?  Don't worry, I promise there was plenty of bacon on the side when we enjoyed this quiche!
I hope everyone has a merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 Christmas Cookies

Christmas baking has always been my favorite.  This even came up on my Timehop this morning, so you know there's dedication in my family.  My mom rarely made pies or cakes for Christmas, it was always a dozen types of cookies.  While I love making some of her delicious recipes like shortbread and Italian butter cookies; I can never out-do the original.  I've started making some of my own recipes and wait to have some when I go home.  This year, I made three kinds to give out to neighbors, coworkers, and teammates: mint chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon crunch toffee, and ricotta cookies. 
The bark is super easy to make and takes only 15 minutes. 
The mint chocolate chip cookies are Mike's favorite, and who doesn't love getting to bust out the food coloring?!
And, the ricotta cookies.  YUM.  They're soft and fluffy with the perfect little bit of chocolate.  If you're looking for a last-minute cookie to make this weekend - these are it, for sure!
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter (softened)
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
3. With an electric hand mixer, cream together butter and ricotta.
4. Add in vanilla and gradually mix in sugar.
5. Beat in egg and mix well before slowly adding in dry ingredients.
6. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
7. Drop cookies from a half tablespoon onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
8. Allow cookies to cool and dust with confectioner's sugar.
We packaged them all up and hopefully everyone enjoys them!
A kitty after my own heart - haha!
If you're looking for even more delicious Christmas ideas, you can see my recipe & craft round ups here: 2013, 2014, and 2015.

Monday, December 19, 2016

But The Prettiest Sight To See...

Is the holly that will be
On your new front door.

Happy Monday, everyone.  Hard to believe that Christmas is now in less than a week - how is time flying by so quickly?! I thought it was fitting to finally share all of our outside and inside Christmas decor.  The last two years in the apartment, we weren't able to decorate outside like we did in Connecticut, so we definitely went all out this year.  
 And now for the inside; our tree still just has lights (whoops), but I think it's so cute.  We don't have a fireplace, so stockings on the staircase it is, and, of course, I made sure the cats are nice and festive, too.
throw pillow and pet sweater similar from Target
And last, our Christmas cards.  Of all the options I shared last month, I went with these that double as a moving announcement from Minted with a photo from my sister-in-law's wedding this summer.

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