In the summertime…

Just sharing some pics from a nice weekend. We spent time with my mom (birthday celebrations) and her sister (my Aunt Jeannie) who was visiting.

I also grabbed some flowers at Trader Joe’s:

And picked some from our yard ☺️

My mom + Maggie = πŸ₯°πŸ₯°πŸ₯°

Mini photo shoot by Ryan πŸ˜„

We also visited the cultural gardens (sneak peak below) which I blogged about here.

^ Maggie chewing eating a stick per usual.

Her gnashing little teeth 🦷🀣.

Enjoying a Lake Erie sunset πŸŒ….

Dinner and delicious drinks at the Fairmount!

Such a fun weekend! Thanks to Ryan for capturing some great pics of the three of us and Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mom! It’s been a great summer so far.

Weekend Guide to Charleston

Hey y’all and Happy Friday! (I can say y’all since we’re talking about Charleston right?)

Today I’m sharing some amazing places to visit and fun things to do in the beautiful Holy City, in the format of a weekend guide! This guide assumes you have 36 hours, but there’s plenty to do if you have more time πŸ˜€.

Day One:

Start your trip off right with brunch at Husk. Ryan and I have gone here multiple times and it is quite simply fantastic cooking. The dishes are unmistakably “southern,” but with a fresh and modern take. We loved the shrimp and grits, fried chicken, cornbread, and pimento cheese starters. The (mayo-free) potato salad is different and to-die-for. Order a delicious drink from their cocktail list to get your weekend off to a kickin’ start! Make sure to book a reservation a couple weeks out.

After you are thoroughly stuffed with some low country cookin’, take a leisurely stroll around historic Charleston. The preservation of architecture and buildings is unparalleled. Check out my previous post here which is totally dedicated to the beauty and architecture of Charleston for some inspiration.

If you want to learn some history along the way, try joining a walking tour! We used this tour group and loved it. Our tour guide went through the entire history of Charleston (well, abbreviated history, we only had 2 hours) pointing out meaningful sites and details we would have never noticed along the way. If you’d rather sit back and relax while learning about Charleston, a carriage tour is for you! Both are wonderful options.

Details from a building on Meeting Street^.

After you’ve strolled down King and Queen Street, relax with a cocktail at the The Vendue. They have a large and spacious rooftop bar with gorgeous views of the city and harbor! Make sure to stroll through the Charleston City Market afterwards. It’s an old market where you can buy anything from sweet grass baskets to local grits/ hand-mixed spice blends, etc.

Dinner time! There are too many good options to name, but I’ll try my best! Try Magnolias or High Cotton for a classy meal with impeccable service (hey you’re on vacation, right?). If you’re looking for seafood, check out 167 Raw. But ~diner~ beware, the wait times at 167 Raw can be very long as they do not take reservations and only have five small tables.

(Ryan and I at Magnolia’s in 2016)

After dinner, it’s time to hit the hay and gear up for another great day!

Day 2:

Venture a little bit outside the city limits to Mount Pleasant and Shem Creek. Mount Pleasant is the neighborhood bordering Charleston and is such an adorable little community.

Grab a bite to eat and an iced latte at Vintage Coffee CafΓ©. The avocado toast and egg sandwiches are not to be missed. Then head over to Nature’s Adventures on Shem Creek for a wonderful kayaking tour!

This was one of our favorite things that we did, and again, so educational. Our guide, Matt, knew anything and everything about the wildlife in the surrounding areas. He pointed out blue crabs, oysters, horseshoe crabs, dolphins, different species of plants, and even explained the difference between a swamp and a marsh. (Swamps have trees, and marshes don’t. Who knew!?) We kayaked peacefully through the saltwater marshes that surround Charleston, and then out into the harbor for a fabulous waterfront view of the city. If you love being outside or kayaking, don’t miss this!

Head back to Charleston for some relaxation or shopping before dinner. King Street has all the big box stores, but also amazing local boutiques and wonderful antique stores as well. I mainly window shopped but it was such a fun experience.

It’s suppah time! Head to Home Team BBQ for a meal that does not disappoint.

(C/o Home Team BBQ, my picture inevitably did NOT turn out like this 🀣)

Once you’ve enjoyed all the brisket, why not wash it down with a cocktail at Proof. We happened upon this little bar and I loved the vibe. Ryan loved the Pappy Van Winkle 🀣 so we were both happy.

It’s late and time to head to bed. Unless you’re still up for more fun! Check out a Charleston ghost tour or just walk along the cobblestone streets and take in the smell of fresh magnolia blooms under the soft light of the gas lamps that line the city.

Day 3

Grab a quick bite to eat at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits. These delectable biscuits will start your day off right. All of the flavors are delicious but I loved the cinnamon, blueberry jam, and bacon cheddar.

Next, head to Charleston waterfront park to check out the pineapple fountain and gorgeous harbor views. If you haven’t walked along East Bay Street, now is the perfect time to do so. East Bay Street is right along the harbor, eventually turning into the Battery. Some of Charleston’s oldest and most beautiful homes line this promenade.

Time to get out of the city again! Head to Magnolia Plantation for stunning gardens and scenery. The grounds are breathtaking and you could easily spend a whole day here. We saw so many gorgeous gardens and beautiful wildlife when we visited. The plantation is a bird sanctuary and very peaceful.

You could also visit Boone Hall plantation to see a more traditional looking house. This plantation was the setting for Allie’s summer home in “The Notebook.”

For your final night in Charleston, dine in one of the city’s most renowned restaurants, the Peninsula Grill. The coconut cake is 15 layers deep and worth every penny.

Looking for something more casual? If you’re up for an adventure, bop over to Folly Beach and grab a table at Chico Feo, a laid back taco joint with live jam sessions and amazing food. This was a random stop for us and ended up being one of our favorite meals our whole trip.

That wraps up 36 hours in Charleston! I’m no expert having only been a handful of times, and there is so much more to explore and see!

Some other options are below:

  • Charleston harbor sunset sail
  • Anyone of the various museums
  • Fort Sumpter and Fort Moultrie
  • Drayton Hall
  • Old Exchange Building
  • Pitt Street Bridge (great for catching a sunset or sunrise)
  • Walk or run the Arthur Ravenel Bridge
  • Free tour of the Unitarian Church
  • Visit Angel Oak tree
  • Stop by the Preservation Society of Charleston
  • Rent bikes and ride to the Morris Island Lighthouse
  • Historic homes guided tour
  • Try SUP (stand up paddle boarding) in the Charleston Harbor
  • Visit Sullivan’s Island Beach or Folly Island for a beach day

Some more pics from our trip:

Sullivan’s Island:

Pitt Street Bridge:

Shem Creek:

Morris Island Lighthouse:

Unitarian Church:

Hope this guide was helpful and enjoyable! Have a great weekend everyone πŸ˜„.

Charleston Architecture Appreciation Post

Ryan and I just got back from an amazing trip to Charleston, SC. We had perfect weather the whole time and it was a great mix of beach days and sightseeing. I want to share some pictures from the walking we did around the historic neighborhood. This is definitely not an all inclusive blog post, but a good starting point with a focus on the city itself.

This post is all things beautiful in historic Charleston! Without further ado….

This picture below might be one of my favorites from my trip.

The curved scrolling iron handrail, the trails of ivy on the steps, magnolia leaves dappled with warm sunlight…. and the red brick driveway of course, all come together in such a charming and classic way.

I love the worn facade below:

Pink and green perfection!!

^notice the chimney between the two homes!

The below photo is another favorite. I love the weathered white exterior and gray shutters with the scalloped roofing. This house is on East Bay Street, overlooking the Charleston Harbor and Fort Sumpter.

The boxwood 😍. Can you imagine how tall the windows are inside? I often found myself wondering if the interiors matched the outside of the homes. Beautiful, majestic, and ancient (for us Americans!).

^The iconic “Rainbow Row. ” Very hard to photograph because there are many cars in front. The colors of the houses dates back to the prohibition era, while the actual structures themselves are much older.

^ a random private courtyard I spotted. I love the salmon door and half moon window above it. It kind of reminds me of an orange slice πŸ™‚.

I guess I have a thing for brick + ivy. Again, I love the windows here.

^One of my absolute favorite homes I saw. I’ll take it! I love the pink door leading to the carriage house on the far left.

Ryan in front of St. Phillips cemetery.

Church steeples dot the entire city skyline (there are no skyscrapers). Charleston is called The Holy City because back in the early 1700s, in order to attract settlers to the (swampy and very muggy) newly formed settlement, the government allowed people to practice whatever religion they chose (vs. adhering to the Church of England). Many different churches belonging to different denominations sprung up because of this.

^ The way the clouds are passing behind the steeple almost makes it look illuminated or glowing! They are really framing the outline of the building quite well!

^ Beautiful live oaks along the harbor.

Me + flowers = pure happiness! Also already dripping in sweat by 11AM if you couldn’t tell🀣.

Details on a building (below). Not sure what this was! But thought it was neat.

^ We had an amazing meal at Husk, a delicious restaurant set inside an old Victorian home on a quiet cobblestone street. The interior is even more stunning, but I forgot to take any photos… I had food on my mind!

That’s about all for this post. I am hoping to put together a more comprehensive weekend travel guide soon!

Have a great week everyone.

St. Augustine Fun

Happy Saturday!

I wanted to share a super quick recap of my trip to St. Augustine, Florida a couple of weeks ago.

We went to St. Augustine for my stepsister’s birthday. It was such a fun getaway and it was so nice to be able to spend some quality time with the ladies in my family.

St. Augustine may seem kind of random (and it kind of was 😁) but we wanted to avoid a big spring break crowd (Mid-March in Florida), and still enjoy some warmer temps. This location worked best for the group (we were flying in from three different cities) and it was such a blast.

St. Augustine is the oldest city in the US, founded in 1565 by Spanish explorers, and it has some amazing architecture and buildings that have survived through the centuries.

The trip was super relaxing. We enjoyed amazing food, drinks, conversation and Publix Key Lime Pie (if ya know, then ya know). I am going to share a few pics below.

These are mainly iPhone photos since my camera died on Day 1 and I forgot the charger 😫.

St. Augustine Light House:

Beautiful old southern live oak trees:

I just love these southern oaks. They look so majestic and the sunlight filters through so beautifully. Plus they just remind me of warmer weather and sunny days πŸ€—.

Boardwalk on the way to the beach in Anastasia State Park:

^ you can see the lighthouse in the distance here!

It was a perfect beach day. I cannot overstate how welcome even a little bit of sunshine is in the depths of a long winter. After this trip I vowed to do another warm weather trip next year!

Had to get a pic with my sista – we were matching in stripes (not planned).

We walked around and explored the historic area of St. Augustine:

^ Group shot! We also enjoyed a wonderful sunset harbor cruise. The captain was personable and informative and we saw dolphins playing 😁 .

We had brunch at a cute Mexican place that reminded me of Tulum. I had chilaquiles and the food was all phenomenal! Definitely recommend a stop here if you ever visit.

More tree pics 🀣:

^ the view from our lunch spot.

On our last day, we visited a local distillery and did a tour. It was very cool (although that tour guides were somewhat bizarre- think SNL sketch within a Distillery). We learned that they source all of their ingredients, materials, and workforce locally. Their alcohol was pretty tasty too, and we got to sample four different drinks. For more information check out their website here: St. Augustine Distillery

We also visited a cute art gallery. One of my favorite souvenirs to get is a piece of artwork from the city I am visiting. This trip was no different and I purchased a beautiful print. I will share it once I get it framed.

All in all, this trip was amazing and so relaxing. It was nice to spend time with family and reconnect. Hope you enjoyed the pics, and if you’re looking for a cute, easy weekend trip, St. Augustine is a perfect option!

Powder Room Renovation

Hi all, and happy Sunday!

Our powder room renovation is finally complete and I wanted to share some pictures from the makeover!

First I need to give some background (and before photos!). Our house was built in 1937 and probably didn’t come with an original powder room (meaning it was added into the existing first floor layout at some point).

It is a very small room, probably smaller than my cube at work or a typical closet. It’s also a very odd shape which presented us with some design challenges.

The before: a lovely bright lilac color 🀣.

Ugh that flooring ^.

We had already ripped out the sink and toilet at this point. The sink was covered in various layers of paint from over the years, and the toilet was so large, you could barely sit down.

My Dad and Ruth helped us with the “demo.” The powder room butts up to a small entry way closet which we wanted to keep for some storage. We took out the walls of the closet (to make the bathroom bigger) and moved them inwards, took out all the trim, and removed all of that lovely laminate flooring.

We enlisted the services of a local contractor to help with rebuilding the walls, putting in new marble tile and hardwood flooring, new light fixtures, and bead-board amongst other things.

The project took much longer than anticipated due to long shipping times for certain items (the tile and toilet). We weren’t in a big hurry but this is definitely something we will keep in mind if we do any other home projects!

Now, time for some after pictures!

We are so happy with how the bathroom turned out. I especially love the tile which was a little bit hard to find. Our contractor also did an amazing job installing the hardwood and staining it to match our kitchen.

^In process pic- new hardwood floor!

We wanted to keep the overall aesthetic in line with the age of the house and therefore didn’t do anything too modern or trendy.

I had hoped to use wallpaper in the powder room, but I literally couldn’t decide which pattern to use! I ordered at least a dozen samples and couldn’t decide on any. When Ryan suggested we use the paint leftover from our guest room it seemed like an easy (and cheap) solution! I absolutely love the color and think it looks perfect and better than any of the wallpaper samples I received.

    • Some other details/ sources for anyone who is interested.
    • Bead-board/baseboard – purchased by our contractor in Amish country
    • Marble tile- 2 inch style, purchased online by our contractor
    • Light fixtures and mirror- Amazon (I know)
    • Paint- Sherwin William’s “Hinting Blue,” we had some leftover from our guest room
    • Faucet- purchased online at Vintage Tub & Bath
    • Sink & Toilet- Home Depot

    Some things to keep in mind if you are embarking on a home improvement project:

    I think a project of this size could be largely DIY if you are at all handy with “home stuff.” Since we were moving walls and installing new drywall and light fixtures in a different part of the drywall, we went with a contractor.

    Any home improvement project will take longer than you expect, for any number of reasons! Items may be on backorder, there may be scheduling conflicts, unforeseen structural issues may come up (hopefully not the case ever). Patience is key in all of this.

    You can get great deals for your home projects if you’re willing to do a little research! We got everything for a steal by planning ahead and having an idea of how we wanted the room to turn out. You can also use some materials you may already have on hand, like we did with the paint.

    Too many choices can hinder progress to meeting your end goal. Just stick with your gut intuition and move forward with your selections. I wasted so much time trying to force myself to like any of the wallpaper samples I had ordered, but it just didn’t end up working for me!

    We worked with a great contractor and couldn’t be happier with the results!

    2018 Recap (three months into 2019)

    Hi friends-

    I thought I’d do a 2018 recap as quickly as possible and also introduce myself to any new blog readers! Welcome πŸ˜„.

    2018 was such an amazing, wonderful, and crazy year. Ryan and I got married (!!!!) back in May ❀️, and closed on our house the week before our wedding (insane is an understatement and I would not recommend this course of action for the faint of heart πŸ˜‚).

    This somewhat absurd timing ended up working out perfectly for us since the previous owners needed to stay through July, allowing us a much needed few weeks to relax after planning for the big day.

    The wedding couldn’t have happened without our amazing family and friends. Everyone involved contributed so much, and I can’t thank them enough. I think about this day all the time and how wonderful it was.

    ^ It was 50 degrees and kind of windy during this picture, but we took our chances because it was torrentially pouring the entire day except for this brief window!

    We hired Kylie Bricker as our photographer and couldn’t have asked for better images to capture our day. Her work is incredible and I love that she carries a digital camera and shoots some images on film too.

    For our honeymoon we went to Thailand (!!). I am going to do a Thailand travel series with our reasoning and some details of our trip, but suffice it to say: Thailand was so incredible and a destination I would recommend to absolutely anyone (young, old, single, with a family, etc).

    Reason #1 is below.

    Reason #2

    Reason #3

    And one more:

    Don’t worry, I have hundreds more “reasons,” to share with you and I can’t wait to work on a Thailand/honeymoon post in the near future πŸ˜„.

    Back to reality. After our honeymoon we got to work on painting our house. We had to do very little “fixing up,” overall, but we did paint every single room in our entire house. This was a family affair and thank goodness we had help from all of our parents and family. I am going to do another blog post on our home improvements and decor because it totally deserves one!

    Below: This picture is right after we finished painting the living room. We used Sherwin Williams paints throughout our home and are really happy with how it all turned out.

    Here is a pic of the living room decorated for Christmas. This picture makes me feel so happy and warm 😁 especially in the middle of winter when it’s cold, gray and everything seems drab. These walls were green with beige trim 😬 before we painted.

    We’ve had that tree for 3 or 4 Christmas’ now and it’s held up great. It’s from Wayfair.

    Our new street in the morning light, covered in a blanket of snow. ^

    We’re finally feeling settled in our new home and loving it. We didn’t need to purchase much furniture (biggest purchase by far was the previously reviewed Crate&Barrel couch!) so it was pretty smooth sailing in that regard.

    Also, as mentioned, Ryan and I both got new jobs! He moved to a different company and I moved to a whole new line of business (we both work in financial services and met at work!). It’s been challenging for us both but ultimately the right decision. We’re both settling in nicely and have our work routines semi- figured out. Does anyone ever really have work totally nailed down? Maybe it’s just me who can never seem to figure it out…

    Anyways, that’s my quick 2018 recap! A lot of it revolved around planning, deadlines, big decisions and was extremely stressful at times. On the other hand, it was also a year filled with love, growth and incredible happiness I’ve never felt before.

    We’re enjoying a slow and wonderful start to 2019 and can’t wait to see where this year takes us!

    Thanks for following along.

    Molly

    Steamboat Springs

    Hi friends and TGIF!

    I wanted to share some pictures from our recent trip to Steamboat Springs, CO. Ryan and I went there for a week to go skiing and visit his family and it was amazing, per usual! This was our 3rd trip together, and Ryan has been going with his family for 15 years+ (his aunt and cousins live in CO).

    We had beautiful weather for almost our entire trip! It snowed 18 inches on the mountain while we there, so the ski conditions were absolutely amazing. We also got days full of beautiful sunshine 🌞.

    Aren’t these views incredible? I couldn’t believe the beautiful lighting and how blue the sky is!

    We enjoyed a beer outside on the balcony in the sunshine after a day of skiing.

    Steamboat is such a beautiful place and I am so grateful to have been introduced to it by Ryan and his family. It’s off the beaten path and it’s about a 3.5 hour drive from Denver, near the Wyoming border. Given its location it has a slightly more western and casual vibe than some of the other big resort towns in Colorado (and I hope it stays that way πŸ˜€).

    We skied the entire mountain, went snowshoeing, ate *amazing* food, and enjoyed hours of relaxation spent by the fire.

    The meals in Steamboat have always been so good (regardless of the fact that it’s a smallish ski town!). Some of our favorites:

    • Mambo Italiano (Italian, obviously 🀣)- Delicious pasta dishes.
    • Low Country Kitchen (Southern comfort food)- Amazing fried chicken and biscuits. Randomly the deviled eggs are also so good! Great cocktails as well.
    • BΓ©same (Tapas/ Latin American food- Spanish, Peruvian, Colombian, etc.)- incredible! This is a new place Ryan and I tried this past trip and everything we got was spectacular. Prawns, potatoes, duck confit, smoked peppers, fresh baked bread with adobo sauce, etc. Okay, now I’m drooling.

    Interior shot of BΓ©same- I’m a sucker for cafΓ© lights or whatever these string lights are called. I love the wide, worn floorboards too.

    • Freshies (casual breakfast and lunch spot with classic and/or healthy options) – I got a roasted butternut squash and quinoa bowl with kale, feta, and scrambled eggs for breakfast one morning- it was so filling and tasty.
    • Truffle Pig (fancy, finer dining at base of mountain)
    • Mahogany Ridge– incredible steaks and beer selection (local too)
    • Lots of little breweries and pubs around town.
    • Lots of good casual Mexican restaurants as well
  • We’ve also heard great things about Mazzola’s and Laundry but haven’t had a chance to check them out. There are a TON of other restaurants we want to try as well. Next time 😁.
  • This year, we went on another snowshoeing adventure at Buffalo Pass (located on a mountain near town). The pictures don’t do it justice but I’m gonna try my darnedest!
  • This trek was nothing short of breathtaking.

    It had snowed three feet or something crazy when we arrived (in addition to existing snowpack).

    ^ This trail sign is about 5 feet high to give you an idea of the height of the snowfall!

    As we got climbed more up the mountain, the views got more and more jaw dropping.

    ^ You can see tiny specks in the center here- those are snowmobiles. The only other humans we saw.

    ^ Our guide Katie leading the way. I love this photograph. She looks like she’s hiking into the clouds. Everything is so pristine and untouched and pure.

    I couldn’t believe my eyes! The scenery was just so beautiful. Needless to say I was lagging behind the group snapping tons of photos.

    ^ The lighting was gorgeous and dramatic. The clouds rolled in, enveloping us and then quickly dissipated, gliding over the ridges and rolling hills, off into the distance.

    It was an experience I’ll never forget. None of these pictures have any filters on them- the lighting and colors were just picture perfect. Our guide said it was one of the most spectacular hikes she had ever done!

    ^ A beautiful Aspen tree.

    It was actually so bright we wore sunglasses almost the whole time.

    I took probably close to 150 pictures! There are so many more beautiful images on my camera but I don’t want to exhaust my readers πŸ˜‚/ how many pictures of mountains does one need to see (#thelimitdoesnotexist). Also, I only really used my camera one or two days of the trip, but still feel like it was totally worth it to bring it.

    After snowshoeing we walked around town. We bought a cute Christmas ornament and mainly just window shopped.

    ^ View of the mountain from Lincoln Avenue- the Main Street in Steamboat.

    A lovely mural outside of Freshies restaurant. The colors are so bright and cheerful.

    This day was actually very low visibility at first and made for difficult skiing. Luckily Ryan is a great ski partner (and encourager) and the skies cleared up beautifully later on!

    ^ The storm clouds moving across the mountain.

    After the clouds cleared πŸ™‚:The weather can change quickly when you’re 10,000 feet up!

    Well, that about sums up our trip. Ryan and I had the best time and can’t wait to go back! We are planning to go in the summer and fall seasons at some point, and I have a feeling I’ll love Steamboat even more. I would love to explore the western United States more and hope I get a chance to do so!The natural world is so incredible and awe inspiring.

    I hope you enjoyed this post and the pictures- I know I enjoyed taking them.

    Do you you have a favorite vacation spot? Let me know in the comments below.