Friday, May 25, 2018

Charleston Lunch: The Grit Counter

Happy Friday, friends! The Grit Counter might be my absolute favorite lunch spot in Charleston. It's walking distance from my office, and they have so many amazing lunch options.

If you're in Charleston, you might have heard the hype around Grace & Grit in Mount Pleasant last summer. My colleagues and I were so excited to have a new restaurant nearby but were so disappointed when we learned that they wouldn't be open for lunch. The space currently occupied by the Counter (at the back side of the main restaurant) started as a coffee and beer bar for a few months, but when they went out of business this winter, the owners of Grace & Grit jumped in to create this perfect lunch spot.
They opened last month with an array of sandwiches, soups, salads, and the best sweet peach iced tea anywhere, all in the same Lowcountry style as Grace & Grit's dinner menu. Their most popular offering is definitely the grits bowls. I have to admit, I wasn't really a fan of grits before moving to the South (or after, I guess), but they do it right. Those smoked gouda grits could be my favorite thing ever.
On the grit menu, you can choose from signature creations, which is a curated bowl of grits, protein, fixins, and sauce or make your own. If you choose to make your own, here's my go to: smoked gouda grits, grilled shrimp, roasted corn, butterbeans, and red eye tasso gravy. Talk about ultimate comfort food! My other favorites are the pimento grits, fried chicken, house bacon, and southern bbq sauce. 
The whole decor is fantastic, too. Much of it was already decorated by the previous coffee shop, and it's modern, bright, and has the best patio. The Grit Counter added some of their own touches, and it's definitely my happy place.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!  A couple of weeks ago, I stopped at Colonial Lake for a walk before work.  The Peggy Martin Roses on the palmetto trees that line the Rutledge Avenue side of the park were in full bloom and just asking to be photographed!  This time of year in Charleston could not be more colorful and beautiful. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

I'm Loving...

Happy Monday, friends!  I always keep a note in my phone of things I want to blog about, and recently, it's been a running list of everything I'm loving.  To be honest, it's a fun little piece of positively every day to intentionally write down something that makes my day a little brighter.  You'll see, there's definitely a variety from snacks I think you'll enjoy to

These dried apple chips have been my sweet snack of choice recently.  You can buy giant bags at Costco, and admittedly, they only last a few days.  If I'm looking for something salty, I love these vegetable chips (also in giant bags from Costco). 

The weather has been perfect for tennis recently, and I am obsessed with this awesome Panthers vibration dampener Mike got me!
Did you see that you'll be able to shop online soon with Loft Outlet?!  Just take all. my. money.

My favorite makeup staple recently has been the TooFaced Little Black Book of Bronzers that I've been hoarding since they stopped making them a couple of years ago.  It has so many of their best colors in one place: Chocolate Soleil, Pink Leopard, and Sun Bunny.  I love this palette this time of year because I'm definitely not tan yet and love getting a little extra color. 
I still haven't tried a full charcoal mask yet, but I have been loving these Biore charcoal nose strips.  I use them on my chin, too, and they work wonders!

My absolute favorite app right now is 1 Second Everyday.  At the beginning of year, I started recording one second of video each day, and hopefully I'll remember all year.  So far I'm 140 for 140! 

Did you see the sunnies that I highlighted in this post last week?  I absolutely love the tortoise shell, and they go with everything: workout gear to anything dressed up.
And, because it's a Monday, a couple of funnies to start your week on the right foot...

Friday, May 18, 2018

My Go-To Breakfast

...or snack ...or dessert.  Peanut butter is one of my favorite ingredients, especially for breakfast.  The protein helps me stay full all morning and keeps me from snacking before lunch.  This recipe takes 20 seconds in the microwave, and it's so delicious.  You can either enjoy it warm, right out of the bowl (like I do) or put it in a cupcake liner and bring to work.  It will cool into a tasty breakfast bar.
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon honey (plus a little more for drizzling)
1/4 cup Rice Krispies
toppings suggestions: sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, dried cranberries, mini chocolate chips, flaked coconut

1. Microwave the peanut butter for 20 seconds.
2. Stir in the honey, followed by the cereal.
3. Top the mixture with your favorite add-ins.  My current favorite combination is almonds, cranberries, and a few chocolate chips.
4. Finish the bowl off with a drizzle of honey.
There you have it, simple and delicious.  To be honest, you can make these Peanut Butter Breakfast Bowls with any cereal or granola you have on hand.  Do you have a favorite, easy weekday breakfast?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Springtime in Hampton Park

Today I'm excited to share what is probably my favorite spot in all of Charleston this time of year: Hampton Park.  Located on the Charleston peninsula, next to The Citadel and the Ashley River, Hampton Park has some of the best walking/running trails in the city.  The entire park is so well manicured, and the park volunteers take care in curating seasonal displays of flowers in every corner of the park.
This time of year, the main draw is definitely the Confederate Jasmine arch, located near the Southeast corner of the pond.  Seriously, how stunning are these white blooms?!  I wish you could smell them, too.  They're just magical!
Not to be outdone are all of the blossoming magnolia trees and planted annuals between each path.  If you're more of an art fan, the park also has fantastic installations and sculptures across its 60 acres. 
Between March and September, the roads around the park are closed off to traffic on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (6:00-8:00pm) as well as Saturday mornings (8:00am-noon) so that even more people can walk, run, and cycle around the park.
There are parking lots at each entrance of Hampton Park, and if you don't feel like going for a run, bring a lunch to enjoy at the picnic tables scatted around the park, under the live oak trees.
Shop my look: Glade sunglasses in Turquoise Ice ||| workout tank ||| 2-in-1 compression shorts ||| sneakers

No matter what you're in the mood for, Hampton Park has it!

Monday, May 14, 2018

An Afternoon in Beaufort

This weekend, Mike and I visited Hilton Head Island to see my in-laws who were vacationing there, and on the way back, we decided to stop in Beaufort for the afternoon.  Right in the middle of Hilton Head and Charleston, this adorable little city is located just far enough off the beaten path to have its own identity.  
We started our day at Waterfront Park, right on the river.  The swings were so adorable, and it was the perfect place for a walk. 
After the park, we stepped into Scout Southern Market on Bay Street to cool down.  They're famous for their sweet tea floats (iced tea with lemon sorbet), and it was so refreshing!  I seriously wanted to bring everything home in this sweet little store. 
After we left Scout, we walked all up and down Bay Street.  The art galleries in Beaufort are fantastic, and I loved all the shopping. 
Our last stop of the day was for a drink back on Waterfront Park.  Unlike Charleston, I love how much riverfront dining there is, and I even met the sweetest little cat outside.  How adorable is Chester?!
We can't wait to go back to Beaufort to explore even more.  Here are five more things to do in Beaufort, SC that we will definitely be adding to our future travel plans:
- Climb Hunting Island Lighthouse
- Stroll through Point neighborhood
- Indulge at The Chocolate Tree
- Visit the Old Sheldon Church Ruins
- Kayak or paddle board through Beaufort waterways

Friday, May 11, 2018

Weekend Eats: Daps

Happy Friday, friends!  We'll be spending the weekend touring Charleston with Mike's dad, and he liked the place I'm sharing with you today so much last time he was here that I know we'll be back.  Honestly, the only way I could bring myself to share Daps on the blog was when I knew that I would be back there soon.  Seriously, these photos are just making my mouth water.  This food is so delicious, and on top of that, the decor is so fun!
Daps opened on the Westside of Charleston peninsula earlier this year.  The team converted a sweet little historical house into a bright and airy breakfast spot that perfectly fits the neighborhood.  While it's in a pretty residential section, I've honestly never had trouble finding street parking (one of the things Charlestonians will tell you is clutch when going out and about).  While there isn't a parking garage or lot nearby, the spots in front of Daps are not "residential only" as many are in the area.  Plus, it's only a few blocks from Hampton Park, so one of my favorite ways to spend a weekend morning is to park at Hampton, walk down to Daps for brunch, and take a stroll around the park to burn off all those mimosa and pancake calories.
The first time we went to Daps (after following them on Instagram for months) was for brunch on Easter Sunday.  Fruity Pebbles pancakes seemed like a novelty that I had to try, and after giving up sweets for Lent, you know that was at the top of the list.  Well, let me tell you, they absolutely live up to the hype.  They're fluffy, sweet, cooked to perfection, and topped with honey butter - what else could you ask for?!
When you walk into Daps, you first order at the counter, grab your drink of choice, and take a seat with your number to wait for your food.  If you're wondering what to drink, I think the sign outside tells you everything you need to know: Mimosas. On. Tap.  If beer is more your style, they have a great local selection on tap, in addition to a full bar with lots of unique cocktails. 
Okay, now back to the food.  In addition to the pancakes (which I've now had a few times), I'm obsessed with their folded egg sandwiches.  Take a homemade English muffin, and top it with eggs, bacon, and a delicious melted cheese sauce - just yum!  If you're looking for a side to share, the hash is so good and comes in both half and full orders.  Try the "Big Meaty" with bacon, sausage, and country ham!  Honestly, you cannot go wrong at Daps!
Alright, hand me the syrup, I'm digging in!

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