Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Bucket List Check-In

Well, somehow we are halfway through the summer!  In my mind, summer goes through September (since it's so hot in Charleston), so I'm giving myself more time than just until Labor Day for my summer bucket list.  Looking forward to a few days filled with fun, I thought it'd be cool to see what I've been up to and what I might be able to check off this weekend...

- Start running again: I need to have one more small eye surgery at the beginning of August, but I SWEAR, I'll start after that!  Mike and I did sign up for the Light Side 10k at Disneyland, too. 
- Finish visiting every brewery in Charleston: Freehouse, Tradesman, Oak Road, Frothy Beard, Cooper River Brewing Company, and Ghost Monkey: well, none of those, but I did go to Edmund's Oast, who brews all their own beer, a couple weeks ago!
- Bike ridebikes are still at our apartment on the porch - whoops!
- Meet our neighbors: met a few so far!
- Throw a housewarming party: it'll happen once we're all unpacked - see bullet below.
- Unpack all boxes by September 1st: well, it's not September 1st yet, so I have time!
- Play 3 new golf courses: one down - Crowfield
- Try 5 more new restaurants in Charleston: check - Wasabi, LoLA, Edmund's Oast, Community Pizza House, and 82 Queen (Their jambalaya below...yum! Their she crab is also killer!)
- Expand my wardrobe: rompers (check), off-the-shoulder looks (check), distressed denim, stripes (check), and more white pieces
- Avoid tan lines at all cost through July 30th: I AM SO CLOSE!!
- Plan 3 weekends to new cities to take with our companion pass: Anyone have a suggestion for this??
- Attend a free movie night or event in Charleston: Or a suggestion here?

Did you have a summer bucket list this year?  If so, how's it going?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Watermelon Sangria

This post first appeared on the skirt! Charleston blog.  Head over to see guest posts from members of the Charleston Blog Society contributors each Tuesday!

So, many of y'all know I'm originally from New England, and while I miss the seasons of the Northeast, I have a serious love affair with summer.  It has the best weather, clothes, food, and drinks.  Whether it's by the pool, at the beach, or on the golf course, I could spend every summer day outside.
Shop my look: cover-up (similar) ||| swim suit top and bottom ||| sunnies ||| nail color ||| watermelon pool float
Today, I'm excited to share with y'all the perfect complement to any summer afternoon: fresh watermelon sangria.  This is definitely my go-to party drink; with just a few ingredients, you can have a whole pitcher filled with delicious summer flavors.  Please note that the following recipe is only intended for readers who are 21 years of age and older.
All you need to make your own fresh watermelon sangria are: 2 cups cubed watermelon, 8-10 fresh mint leaves, 2 limes (one sliced, one juiced), 1 bottle of white wine (I used chardonnay), and 1/2 cup of watermelon vodka.
Simply combine all the ingredients in a pitcher, stir it up, let it sit in the fridge for an hour for the flavors to meld, pour it into some plastic glasses, and add a cute straw to enjoy by (or in!) the pool.  I love how refreshing this cocktail is on a hot day, and it has just the right buzz!
Now wouldn't this be the perfect addition to your summer weekend?  Or, you can pin the image below for later!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Weekend Recap: America's Pastime

This weekend, we made our annual pilgrimage to Cooperstown, New York for the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction.  It takes a bit more planning now with flights involved instead of just a 4-hour car ride, but it's worth every minute!

This year, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza were inducted.   It's been so much fun over the last few years to see guys inducted who I grew up watching (and idolizing).  I've had a Ken Griffey, Jr. glove since I was 12, and he was always so exciting to watch on tv.   As a Yankees fan, that Subway World Series in 2000 against the Mets is one of my fondest baseball memories, and those home runs by Mike Piazza always had me on the edge of my seat.
In addition to roaming through the Hall of Fame and Museum each day, we also took trips to Fly Creek Cider Mill, down to the lake to feed the ducks, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown Distillery, and, of course, rode the city trolley.
We also enjoyed all of the traditional weekend events like the Parade of Legends where all the Hall of Famers ride in the back of huge trucks to their Hall of Fame cocktail party on Saturday night, and the induction ceremony on Sunday with almost 50,000 of my closest friends.
By Sunday night, almost everyone had left and the city was quiet again.  It was a fantastic year, and I'm already getting excited for the next few years' of inductee eligibles: Chipper Jones, Mariano Rivera, and, my boy, Derek Jeter in 2020!
Linking up with Biana for Weekending!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Summer Hostess Gift Ideas

Traveling over the next couple weeks, you know there are lots of places to visit and people to see: friends' new house, lake cabin party, girls night, family adventures, and, of course, the occasional couch to crash on.

If there is one thing my mom instilled in me growing up, it's: never go anywhere empty handed.  Bring a dessert, bring a side dish, bring a gift.  Well, I really like cooking and baking, but bouncing from place to place so much while we're in the Northeast might not make those options very feasible.  I also reeeally like shopping, so I decided to round up a few favorites that I'd consider giving (and will be giving) to friends and family this summer as tokens of my appreciation.

With hostess gifts, I always try to purchase things in one of two categories: things that a hostess might not buy for herself or things that include some homemade love.
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First, start with a cute card to expression your appreciation of the invitation!  To me, the more floral the card is, the better!

If it's a dinner party, how about some emoji cocktail napkins?  If you want even more excitement, they also make "naughty or nice" or "emotional roller coaster" sets.

A day at the pool certainly calls for that cute pineapple towel.  What about adding in this fun ice cube tray or a homemade ice cream sandwich maker, too?

Looking for a gift for the whole family?  This s'mores basket is so perfect!  Throw in all the fixin's for s'mores and you have the perfect fireside or camping party!

Everyone loves a bouquet of flowers, so how about something that will last even longer than those traditional blooms?

Last, but not least, don't have time to throw together a basket on your own? The Hostess Box has everything she'll love!

What's your favorite hostess gift to give (or receive)??

Monday, July 18, 2016

Five on... Monday

Well, I meant to have this post go up on Friday for a Five on Friday, obviously, but life got away from me!  We have been packing, driving, unpacking, working, carrying box after box, and we finally got our internet at the new house last week.  We still have some things to move from the apartment, but at least we're now technically living in the new house!  Here's what's been going on over the last week:

1 /// I've joined the contributor team for a local women's magazine, skirt!  They focus on all facets of a woman's life: work, play, fashion, entertaining, and eats.  Each week, a member of the Charleston Blog Society will be posting about something related to that month's topic.  Those range from posts about the current season or an upcoming holiday to inspirational stories about big life events, moments of self-reliance, and dreaming big.  My first post will be going up tomorrow, so I hope y'all will check it out by clicking here!

2 /// Cats are home!  After moving a bunch of our big furniture so it feels like home to them, we finally moved the cats over, too.  They seem to like it so far, especially because they have more room versus in our little apartment.
3 /// See that last photo?  Holy bright room, right?! Yeah, that's our dining room.  We did all of our paint-picking based on those little sample chips - 9 colors to be exact - and this is the only iffy one.  Pretty good success rate, right?! Well, after we get the furniture in there, we'll see if we need to repaint it - haha!

4 /// With all the moving and working outside I did last week (it was a girls golf camp week, so lot's of energy!), my coffee game is STRONG right now.  Current favorites are the vanilla latte at Vintage Coffee in Mount Pleasant, the Buzz from Charleston Coffee Exchange in West Ashley, and a good old caramel macchiato from Starbucks.

5 /// We did our first cooking in the new house this weekend: Korean Beef Bowl on Friday and One-Pan Chicken Lasagna on Saturday.  I have never spent much time cooking on a gas stove before, but so far so good!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

A Floral Bridal Brunch

I love any opportunity to get to link up with Macy and Nikki for Wedding Wednesday, and today is no exception!  About a month ago, family, friends, and I celebrated the bridal shower of my beautiful sister-in-law, Laura.  She gets married in just over 2 weeks, so I figured it was about time to share everything we did that day.  You can check out the post from the first half of the weekend (her bachelorette!) by clicking here.

We decided on a brunch theme and held the shower at a cute little Italian restaurant in central Massachusetts.  With family coming from all over New England, it was the perfect location for everyone.  We focused all of the decorations for the shower around this beautiful Etsy bridal shower invitation suite.
You might not be able to see, but one of the MOH's sisters made this thumb print guest book, and she actually put all of the guests' names as the roots of the tree.  It came out so beautifully!  As additional gifts for the bride, guests were sent blank recipe cards in their invitations and asked to bring a family favorite back to give to the bride.  My fellow bridesmaids and I also gave Laura these matching thank you notes, all stamped and return addressed to make her "thanking" after the shower much easier.

For games, I rounded up all the photos I could find from her dad's house, and we did "How Old Was The Bride?"  Her childhood babysitter won - how sweet is that??
We also reused a lot of the decorations from her bachelorette, since the colors were the same, and made another photo booth - guests loved it! 
Even the cake matched the colors of the decorations.  It had chocolate ganache in the middle, and was SO delicious!  Laura cut the cake with her grandmother before she opened her gifts.  
Not pictured, but another bridesmaid came up with a great game to play during the gift opening that really kept everyone engaged.  She gift wrapped four candles and gave one present to each table.  On the front of the bag was a list of ways the bag could be passed: "pass two to the right if the item is for the kitchen, hand to your neighbor on the left if the gift contains wood, pass across the table if it's something green, etc." Everyone was very intently paying to each gift, and those ladies who won loved their surprise gifts at the end.  

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