Monday, October 30, 2017

Falling for Charleston

Happy almost-Halloween!  This weekend turned into an adventure.  We had a few plans, not a whole lot, but that all changed when Mike went to close our front windows on Friday night/Saturday morning.  It was around 12:15am, and Mike came into our room to ask if I wanted to meet a pup.  Of course I said yes, and there he was, a tiny little dude, smaller than our cats, whimpering outside.  Dog lovers, I'm sorry for the cringing you're about to do reading this, but I lured him into Shadow's harness with some bacon and gave him a blanket and cat food in our garage.  We spent the day on Saturday meeting neighbors, asking if they'd seen this little nugget before, and went for a long walk around the historic downtown to wear him out.  
I always love to see fall decor around town.  It's so adorable and simple and it gives the best little pop of color to these beautiful homes.  If you saw my Instagram on Friday, I am in love with Black Tap Coffee's candy corn lattes right now, and we might have stopped for another one since it's right in the perfect, walkable spot downtown.
And come on, how adorable is this little dude??  As I write this right now, he is on the couch, asleep on one side of me, while Roxy (who is literally 3x his size) is asleep on the other.  She is warming up to him, but I swear, we only brought him in because it's getting into the 30s here tonight!  We cannot keep him (and I'll keep repeating this to myself - haha). 
At our home, I totally jumped on the pumpkin-stacking trend this year and bought these cuties at Publix to go alongside my painted Teal Pumpkin Project pumpkin.  We bought a few pencils and stickers for kids who are participating.  I also have to admit, I didn't take any photos inside our home because our interior decor looks exactly same as last year (and you can click here to see that). 
All day Sunday was spent making posters to hang up at our neighborhood mailboxes to try and find his owner, as well as more golf cart rides.  Little dude, who Mike named Taco, (still not keeping him) loves the golf cart!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Cozy for Fall

Dear autumn, welcome to the South!  It's been beautiful this week, finally turning the A/C off in favor of open windows and wearing oversize hoodies to kickball games.  This was always my favorite time of year in New England, but I like that this is close to as cold as it'll get in the South.  Best of both worlds!  We started to take down some of our fall clothes boxes this week, and of course, it's also the best excuse to go shopping.  I love being comfortable when it's chilly out, and each of these pieces look so soft and perfectly shaded for fall!

Is there anything better than that soft inside of a hoodie before you wash it for the first time?  I have far too many hoodies, but I love the blush color of that Adidas one.  Those leggings and the boots are lined, too.  Uggs were some of my favorite shoes in Connecticut, and I love these new boots because they're warm and waterproof.

Also, this meme makes me laugh every time and is so true!  As you can see, most of these pieces are flowy - my favorite.  And if all else fails, I'll just wear that pajama jumpsuit all fall and winter and be 100% happy!

What looks are you loving this fall?

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Exploring Charleston: Angel Oak

There are so many places in the Charleston area that make this place so special.  Whenever we have friends and family visit, we always visit some of the same stops: a plantation, (Magnolia or Boone Hall), the beach, a few favorite restaurants (I'll just drop this label here for your scrolling pleasure), and Johns Island.  Located Southwest of downtown Charleston, Johns has some of the most natural beauty in the Lowcountry.  Offshoots of Johns Island include Wadmalaw Island (where the Charleston Tea Plantation is) and Kiawah Island (with my favorite views and food at the Ryder Cup Bar).  On the way to either of these spots is the Angel Oak, and if you're in the area, it is definitely worth a stop!
"Woah, that's a big tree."  I don't think I've ever met someone who was let down by the size of this beauty.  You drive down a dirt road and park outside the entrance to the tree before being greeted by this absolute monster with limbs that stretch out in every direction.  Angel Oak is approximated to be 400 years old and towers over 60 feet high.
As you can see above, there are some wires and poles that hold this giant live oak tree together in spots since the weight of each branch can be in the tons.  Since it's so strong, live oak wood was even used to construct the USS Constitution in the late 1700s.  Many branches of Angel Oak also lay on the ground and grow horizontally, with branches stretching out more than 150 feet from the base.  
Can you tell we've been there a few times... and I enjoy taking photos of it?!  If you want the true feel of the Lowcountry, I highly suggest a drive down those live oak-lined Maybank Highway or Bohicket Road to see Angel Oak.    

Monday, October 23, 2017

Learn What You Love: Hand-Lettering

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #MyTasteOfLife #CollectiveBias

Has anyone else heard the mantra that you should have three hobbies in life: one to make money, a second that keeps you in shape, and a third to be creative.  My answers to the first two are blogging and golf, and I've been looking for my third passion for a while.  Around our wedding, I started learning calligraphy for our invitations and place cards, but after some time practicing, I got a little bored with how rigid it felt.  I followed certain shapes and lines from a book for each scripted letter with the specific pens and didn't feel like I could be as creative as I wanted.  Recently, I discovered hand-lettering on Instagram and fell in love.  You can hand-letter on paper, chalkboards, canvas, and with a variety of pens, markers, and paint.
Diet Coke® and Publix have teamed up to offer $2,000 to people from all over the country to help them learn and continue to appreciate their passion.  If I was selected for the grant, I would take hand-lettering classes from one of the very talented creatives here in Charleston as well as purchase supplies to grow my creative ability with more designs and mediums.
Head to Publix for the text to win code to enter the Diet Coke Taste of Life Sweepstakes.  20 winners will receive a $2,000 scholarship to fulfill their dreams and passions.  Sweepstakes ends 11/3.  While you're there, you can save $1 on any one Diet Coke 12-pack, 12-ounce bottle, or any two Diet Coke 2-liter bottles (from now until 10/27). 
On my own, I've had fun making some notes for friends and monograms, but I would love to expand, especially on other mediums such as chalkboards and tea towels like I've seen all over the internet!  All around Charleston, I see so many talented artists sharing their skills, and while I am practicing on my own, I'd love to learn more about hand-lettering!
If you had the opportunity to learn a new language, take an art class, cooking class, try a new sport, what you would do? 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

DIY Indoor Cat Garden

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeowMixatTarget #CollectiveBias 

Today's post is all about my girls: Roxy and Shadow.  For those of you who also have pets, you know how much a part of the family they are.  We've had Roxy for almost 7 years (her adoptiversary is later this month), and Shadow followed me home on Halloween 2013.  They move 1,000 miles with us three years ago, and when we built our house, we made sure to get a screen porch (10% for us and 90% for them), so that they could spend time outside, which is their absolute favorite spot.  From the things we do for them to the food they eat, these cats are spoiled loved.

Now that the weather is getting a little cooler and they spend less time outside, I thought it would be fun to give them a little bit of outdoors inside our home.  I've read about cat gardens before, and there are so many plants out there that can be beneficial to cats.*  These two girls could not be more different, so I made a cat garden with a few different plants to see what they enjoy best.
What you'll need:
- a shallow planter
- 3-5 different varieties of herbs
- potting soil
For our garden, I chose parsley, mint, cat grass, and cat thyme.  Other suggestions could be catnip, valerian, lemon grass, and rosemary.
1. Use the potting soil to make a flat layer on the bottom of the planter.  Make sure you select a planter that's low enough for the cat to access.
2. Place each herb in the planter (I love the herbs that come in biodegradable, plantable pots) and fill in the empty spaces with more potting soil.
3. Thoroughly water the herbs and set in a place your cat enjoys!
So far, Roxy is a little unsure about the cat garden, but Shadow loves it.  By far, her favorites are the cat grass and mint.
Even though Roxy hasn't quite warmed up to the garden yet, one thing the cats definitely agree on is their love for Meow Mix Simple Servings.  In the past, we've mostly fed our cats dry food, but now Meow Mix has come out with an easy-to-open and easy-to-serve wet food: Meow Mix Simple Servings.  There's no mess and no leftovers, and the Seafood Variety (24 pack) I bought at Target is awesome because we can get the assortment with flavors they both like.  10/18 through 11/15, you can get 20% off with the Cartwheel app by clicking here.
Yup, they love it!  If you want to try Simple Servings for your own cat, you can click here to earn points from Dailybreak.

Are your pets members of your family?  Do you have any tips for keeping my herb garden alive through the winter months?

*While I have done research on the best plants for cats, I am not a veterinarian.  Please consult your vet before adding any new supplements or plants into your cat's diet.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Salted Caramel Apple Hand Pies

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ScrubWithDots #CollectiveBias

Dessert is definitely my favorite part of any meal.  Mike always makes fun of me because I say "I'm full," but what I really mean is "I'm tired of eating this, where's dessert?"  I always have room for dessert, and if you have a sweet tooth like me, you know having to share desserts is the worst.  When I eat cake or pie, I usually take a look at all the slices cut and look for the one that's even the slightest bit bigger.  Needless to say, I love individual desserts because I can pick the best-looking one and know it's all mine.  These salted caramel apple hand pies are so delicious!  I used to only make them once or twice each fall because they can get a little messy and clean up would be a pain, but the taste makes them so worth it!  Now, I've made a couple adjustments to my prep, including purchasing store-bought pie crust (seriously, it's so good) and using Sponge Scotch-Brite™ Brand for easy clean up, and I am a baking machine.  Trust me, these hand pies will 'wow' at your next party:
- two store-bought pie crusts
- 1 large granny smith apple
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 8-10 store-bought soft caramels
- 1 egg
- coarse sea salt
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Peel and chop the apple into small cubes.
3. Mix together the apple, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and flour in a bowl and set aside.
4. Roll out each pie crust and use the rim of a drinking glass to cut out 3-4 inch circles of crust.
5. On half of the crust circles, cut in a heart shape and small slits for vents.
6. On the other half of the crusts, spoon in about a tablespoon of apple filling.
7. On top of each apple side, sprinkle one caramel, cut into 6-8 small pieces.
8. Layer a heart crust side on top of each apple side and press the edges together, using egg wash (1 egg and a tablespoon of water) to seal the edges.  Use a fork to crimp around the edges.
9. Place each mini pie on a baking sheet, brush with more egg wash, and sprinkle with the sea salt.
10. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
As you can tell, that cooking sheet gets a bit messy with all the baked-on delicious apple and caramel flavor.  Luckily, my Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Dots Sponge from Dollar General safely cleans all cookware, including everything non-stick.  The non-scratch sponges scrub fast and rinse clean.
For heavy-duty pots, pans, and cookware, there is also Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Dots Sponge that eliminates baked-on messes as well as both Scotch-Brite® Non-Scratch Scrub Dots Dishwand and Scotch-Brite® Heavy Duty Scrub Dots Dishwand.

With all the holiday cooking and baking on the horizon this fall, you can spend more time with family and less time cleaning!
To check out more cleaning ideas, visit the Scotch-Brite™ Brand social hub by clicking here and save $1 on our own purchase of any two Scrub dot items through (10/4-12/31).

Design Poppiness Designs