Friday, June 22, 2018

Red, White, and Blue For You

Only ten more shopping days before Independence Day!  When I was little, wearing the brightest red, white, and blue clothes I could find (usually with wildly different patterns for shirts and shorts) was my favorite on the 4th of July.  Not a whole lot has changed, and I always love seeing what fun screen-printed designs stores have for the summer holiday.  I've rounded up a bunch of my favorites, whether you need a colorful tee for the beach or a clutch to match your picnic look!

Meowica tank - If you buy this, you clearly also need the Americat leggings!

Tassel tote - Your perfect beach bag!

Barbie halter - I love this entire Missguided collection (check out the jean dress and swimsuit, too!)


Jack Rogers - These were just released, and they look perfect for the occasion! 

Baseball tee - I don't care if it's a million degrees out, I love comfy baseball tees!  If you aren't a MLB fan, here's this simple striped one, too. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tomato Tortellini Soup & Garlic Bread Grilled Cheese

At least once per week, we have our friends over for dinner.  Sometimes it's to make a Monday better, other times it's on a rainy night when we would have had kickball.  We usually try to keep dinners easy (Korean Beef Bowl, 5-Ingredient Lasagna...) so that we can spending more time playing cards and Mario Kart.  On one of the stormy nights our friends came over, we decided that it was a "grilled cheese and tomato soup kind of night."  I've been making this soup for years.  I was never really a fan of tomato soup, but add tortellini, and I am so in!  The grilled cheese came from an idea our friends had that the soup needed a perfectly Italian pairing, and this is definitely it.
Soup Ingredients (makes soup for 4-6 people):
- 1 family-size bag of cheese tortellini (we use about 20oz of tortellini)
- 4 10.75oz cans of condensed tomato soup
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups half & half
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- garnishing suggestions: parmesan cheese and parsley

Soup Directions:
1. Heat a pot of water to boiling, and follow instructions on the tortellini to cook to al dente.
2. While the tortellini is cooking, combine tomato soup, milk, half & half, and spices into a large pot and heat on medium, stirring frequently.
3. Add the cooked tortellini to the soup and stir to combine.
4. Ladle soup into bowls and top with grated cheese and chopped parsley
Grilled Cheese Ingredients (makes 4 sandwiches):
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
- 8 slices white bread
- 8 slices American cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Grilled Cheese Directions:
1. Press the garlic into a small dish and combine with salt and butter.
2. Melt the garlic butter mixture in the microwave for 15-20 seconds.
3. Add the olive oil and parsley to the garlic butter, and stir to combine.
4. Heat a skillet on low and spread garlic butter onto one side of each piece of bread.
5. Place 4 slices of bread garlic butter-side down in the skillet.
6. Top the bread with one slice of American cheese, 1/4 cup of mozzarella, a second slice of American, and another piece of garlic bread (face up).
7. Heat the grilled cheese (covered) for 2-3 minutes on each side, before flipping and heating for another 2-3 minutes on the other side.
8. Slice in half and serve with soup!
Just look at that cheese; talk about the ultimate Italian comfort food!  If you are only making dinner for a couple of people, note that this soup refrigerates very well, or you can easily cut the recipe in half.
What is your favorite comfort food?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Maxis in May

Yes, I know it's June, but as you can probably tell from the Confederate Jasmine in bloom, these photos are from a couple of weeks ago.  How am I doing, right?!  The morning these were taken (by my lovely friend Priscilla), it was the perfect spring day.  The humidity wasn't too high, and it was just barely overcast.  We're now up to 90+ degrees on the regular in June, and I swear that there have been lightning storms every night for the past 2 weeks - welcome to summertime in Charleston!  
This stroll took us through the South of Broad neighborhood of the peninsula.  I've decided that I want to try and be better about sharing where in Charleston I take photos.  I always see bloggers in their cities at these beautiful locations, and I always wonder where they are (so I can go there, too!).  This walk actually started with a tip from @kristinchambless about the beautiful house you'll see in the last photo of this post, overflowing with Confederate Jasmine.  We started there, around 50 Church Street, zig-zagged down Church, across Water Street and through one of my favorite little courtyards, all the way down to the corner of Atlantic Street to this beautiful home with the exposed brick, window boxes, and hurricane bolts
Now for my dress: if you know me in person, you know that I don't go shopping for clothes often, and when I do, it's typically to Target or the outlets.  I can count on one hand finger how many times I've gone shopping (not online) this year.  My most-recent trip was to the outlets and my favorite spot for maxi dresses: Loft Outlet.  The Ann Inc. brand has the best shopping for petite clothing from Ann Taylor, to Loft, and obviously Loft Outlet.  Did you see that you'll soon be able to shop online with Loft Outlet?  Yup, now I'll never need to "go" shopping! 

Here are my earrings (c/o) and my pineapple sandals.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Grapefruit Beergaritas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Constellation Brands. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CelebratorySips #ModeloSummer #CollectiveBias 

It's officially porch-sitting season. Last week, we washed (all the pollen) off our outdoor furniture and got our second floor porch ready for summer. The weather in the evenings is so beautiful right now, and even in the middle of the summer, when the afternoon thunderstorms roll through, I still love this spot. My absolute favorite thing to do when I get home from work is make myself a drink and sit outside to either read a book or just people watch. Anything citrus is my drink of choice right now, and this adult beverage is perfect to cool off on a summer night.
Grapefruit Beergaritas are the perfect combination of beer + cocktail. The Pilsner-styled Lager that I use for this recipe, Modelo Especial®, delivers a crisp, refreshing taste. Since Modelo celebrates Mexican culture, it only seemed right to pair it with a margarita, but not just your typical margarita, a grapefruit margarita!
Here is what you will need to make two beergaritas:
- ice 
- Himalayan pink sea salt
- 1 lime (half sliced into two wedges, and the other half sliced into thin slices)
- 1 grapefruit (cur in half)
- 2 ounces gold tequila
- 12 ounce Modelo Especial®
- tools: 2 lowball glasses, juicer (preferably one that can double as a salt tray), and a 1 ounce shot glass
How to make your cocktails:
1. Spread the sea salt into the juicer (or onto a plate).
2. Rim the low ball glass with lime by running a wedge of lime all around the rim.
3. Dip the rimmed glass in the sea salt and fill it with ice.
4. Remove the salt from your juicer and juice one half of the grapefruit.
5. Pour one ounce of fresh grapefruit juice into each lowball glass.
6. Use the lime you rimmed the glasses with to squeeze a little lime juice into each glass.
7. Pour 1 ounce of tequila into each lowball glass.
8. Top off each glass with Modelo Especial®.
Cheers!  Modelo® is brewed with a fighting spirit, and did you know that it's the fastest growing import beer in America?  Click here to find Modelo at a store near you!
What's your favorite way to enjoy a summer cocktail?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Weekending in the Sun

Happy Monday! Popping in today for a quick weekend update. We spent as much time in the sun as possible, and it was filled with ALL THE friends time. To start the weekend, we were down at Ridgeland at an amazing new golf course, Congaree. What a perfectly Southern place: the oak-lined drive, the cabins with porch swings, and the haint blue ceilings on every patio!
Friday night included happy hour at two local breweries, and on Saturday, we were up early to meet up with friends and boat out to Kiawah. It rained in every part of the city but on the island - you can see the dark clouds towards the mainland in one direction and perfectly blue skies out to sea.
Summer is definitely here in the Lowcountry!  How was your weekend??

Friday, June 8, 2018

Five on Friday: Spring in Boston

Happy Friday, friends! I think this is our first relaxing weekend in a month, and I am taking full advantage. Being so busy throughout May, it only seems fitting that I would finally get my recap together on a Friday! We spent last weekend in Boston at a wedding, and spring in New England was just magical.

Lamplighter Brewing, Cambridge: This place was on the top of our must-visit breweries.  In absolute Meg fashion, it's half beer, half coffee, and all perfectly modern.  All the spring flowers out front were so pretty, too!
Night Shift Brewing, Everett: This one was at the top of Mike's list for sure.  It was the perfect spring weather to sit outside, play cribbage, and try about 10 different beers.  I absolutely loved the Viva Habanera with agave and habaneros.
Kane's Donuts, Saugus: They had the perfect patio to sit outside with our iced coffee and donuts, and the donuts were sooo good.  I loved the jelly-filled butter crunch and creme brulee!
Willowdale Estate, Topsfield: Our friends had the most beautiful springtime outdoor wedding north of Boston.  The mansion was beautiful, and the bride put together the most amazing details to to make the wedding perfectly them!  We could not have had better weather, too!
Spring Blooms: The streets of Cambridge, Somerville, and Back Bay were just perfect perfection!  The rhododendrons were at absolute peak, roses were in bloom, and we found the brightest pink house ever in Cambridge!

Design Poppiness Designs