Monday, July 24, 2017

A Complete Guide to Charleston, SC

Today I'm talking alllll the details of my favorite parts of Charleston including where to eat, coffee, what to do, etc. I have spent the day in good ole Chuck at least five times this summer, so I feel like I've become quite the Charleston expert. 


Skinny Dip | This is hands down one of my favorite spots in Charleston! It's a boutique down stairs featuring brands like Sail to Sable and KJP, and upstairs there's gift-y items and a coffee and wine bar! They even have an outdoor patio area with palm leaf pillows and a porch swing! One of my favorite parts about Skinny Dip is that Ashley Brooke Designs makes the sleeves for the coffee cups. (as seen in the pic above)
I recommend: Caramel iced coffee with almond milk.

Black Tap Coffee | This coffee shop is off the beaten path a little bit, but I love the quite and cool atmosphere! The interior is very modern and hipster-y and makes for good instagram/vsco pictures!

Kaminsky's | We have a Kaminsky's in Columbia as well, but it's always one of my favorites especially if there's something to celebrate! This is a coffee and dessert cafe that serves HUGE 3-layer cakes, cheesecakes, milkshakes, and ice cream sundaes all in a dark, candle-lit night time atmosphere. (They also have a full bar, and are famous for their adult milkshakes.) 
I recommend: Brownie sundae, S'mores cheesecake or Death by Chocolate cake and a cappuccino.

Christophe Artisan Chocolatier | This is the cutest little french bakery on Society St (near King St) that serves all kinds of french chocolates and baked goods. I've only been here once, but they have the cutest mini macaroons in every flavor you could ever want in life.

Market Street Sweets | Chances are if you've been anywhere near the old slave market in Charleston, you've walked past this place and instantly smelled the heavenly scent that comes out of Market Street Sweets. This is a candy shop that specializes in candy like fudge and pralines. Stop by and watch them hand make the pralines, and get a free sample!!

Kilwins | Kilwins also specializes in candy and fudge, but I really love their ice cream and homemade waffle bowls!
I recommend: Dark Chocolate ice cream in a waffle bowl.

Belgian Gelato | This is right near Riverfront Park, and is the cutest little french gelato shop with a huge giant cone on the sidewalk! I don't know how belgian gelato is different from other types, but this place serves some of my favorite! 
I recommend: Pistachio gelato in a cone.


Fleet Landing | I eat at this restaurant almost every time I go down to Charleston. It's located right on the water near Waterfront Park and the cruise port, so the view is always awesome! It's a small, local restaurant with local seafood and the best hushpuppies in the whole world! 
I recommend: Lunch: Charleston cobb salad or shrimp po boy. 
Dinner: Shrimp and grits or seafood platter

Water's Edge | This restaurant is in Mt. Pleasant (a suburb of Charleston) and is located on Shem Creek, so there are gorgeous water views here too. This was one of the restaurants we tried on my bday weekend, and it did not disappoint! 
I recommend: Glazed salmon and rice. And sitting outside!

Kickin Chicken | This is definitely a more casual, lunch type restaurant but it never disappoints! Think Zaxby's and Groucho's combined to understand the feel of this restaurant. They have such a big menu, and I've loved everything I've tried here. Above you see the grilled chicken ceaser salad and bobby fries in the first picture. The second picture is the "Kickin Chicken" sand which.
I recommend: Chicken tenders, Bobby fries, fried pickles. 

Jim 'N Nick's BBQ | I used to visit the more casual, sister restaurant of Jim 'N Nick's (which is just called Nick's) on King St. allll the time for the hands down best macaroni and cheese of my LIFE! Sadly, the Nick's King St location had to close because the building was too old (Charleston probs), but there is still a Jim 'N Nick's in Charleston! 

Five Loaves Cafe | This was another one of the restaurants I tried at my bday weekend last month. This is a very low-key little cafe that specializes in local and healthy foods. They have a great menu selection if you are gluten free or vegetarian, as well! There are three locations around the Charleston area, but I have only been to the downtown location on Cannon St. Above, you see the chicken paillard and garlic mashed potatoes. I ordered the tilapia piccata (which was amazing, but didn't photograph very well!) 
I recommend: Tilapia Piccata and Eggplant Fritters (!!!)

Charleston Crab House | This is a semi-touristy place, but they have a great location and offer rooftop dining (my fav!) This restaurant has all of your normal seafood options, and is actually where I tried calamari for the first time! (You may remember that from this post in the spring)
I recommend: BBQ Shrimp and Grits


Waterfront Park | This is usually one of the first places I make my way to when I come to Charleston! Like the name suggests, Waterfront park is right on the water and always has THE best views! There are a couple of different fountains, including the pineapple fountain you see above, that kids love to splash around in during the summer! It also has an extremely long dock that has picnic tables and porch swings to sit and enjoy a Charleston evening! One of my favorite spots in the city, for sure.

King Street | I've mentioned King St. a million times in this post, but this is probably the most well-known street in Charleston. This one-way street runs all through the city and is the perfect place to spend the day shopping. Stores range from local boutiques to Forever 21 to Louis Vuitton, and there are plenty of places to eat/treat along the way.

Cinebarre | This is technically in Mount Pleasant (a suburb of Charleston), but it is worth the trip outside of the city limits for sure! This is a movie theater that offers a full menu during your movie! You can order food/drinks before or during the movie by pressing a button right in front of you, and a waiter will bring you your food, so there's no missing any of the movie! It's such a fun experience if you've never been to a theater like it.

Isle of Palms | This is my favorite beach near Charleston, (Folly Beach is also near by). This is just your typical public beach, but I have such great memories at IOP, so I go whenever I get the chance! There are also good walk-up food options like Island Joe's (where the blue painted wall is above), Windjammer, and Ben & Jerry's.

Horse Carriage tours | I haven't been on one of these tours since I was in elementary school, but they are great if you are interested in learning about/seeing all of the history that makes Charleston what it is. This city has such a rich history and has been preserved in a way that is so special.

Whew! Hello longest post ever! As you can tell, over the past couple of years Charleston has made such a mark on me, and I can definitely see myself living there one day! I feel so lucky to be able to go down for a day trip whenever I can.

Thank you for reading, and check back Wednesday for another post!!
(Also, the giveaway winner will be announced via instagram later today!!)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

GIVEAWAY - Win Our Favorite Things!

Happy hump day everyone! I don't know about anyone else, but this week is going by so slowly for me. My 40 hour work weeks and lack of sleep are starting to catch up with me BIG time! Is this what the real world is like!? Either way, I'm in desperate need of a vacay...

Today I have a short (but exciting!) post allll about all the things you see above and how you can win them! That's right I'm doing another giveaway!!!!!

I have teamed up with my friend Michaela to host a giveaway of all of our fav things! This box includes:
-My favorite blue mirrored sunglasses 
-"Do what you love" journal
-2 "yes to" face masks
-Starbucks giftcard
-The Happy Planner agenda stickers
-Lip Butter
-Lash Paradise mascara

This giveaway started Monday 7/17 and ends this Friday 7/21.
Check my instagram for all of the official rules and how you can enter! I'm so excited to be doing another giveaway, and I'm so thankful for everyone that takes the time to read my ramblings on here!

Also - Michaela's blog is linked here, so go check it out! I love all of her makeup and college advice posts!!

Go to my instagram NOW to enter! Good luck :)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tips for a Girl's Weekend in Charleston

Girls trips are always fun, and what better way to celebrate my 20th birthday than a weekend in Charleston!? Today I thought it would be fun to share some do's and don'ts on planning your next weekend get-a-way with your gals! 

1. Don't make a set schedule | Maybe this is because of my "go with the flow" mentality on life in general, but I never have as much fun on trips where every second of the day is scheduled. For me, all this causes is stress (especially in groups) because there's just no way everything will work out exactly as planned. It will rain when you want to go to the beach, the restaurant will have a long wait,  the movie will be sold out, you get the picture... 

2. Be stubborn | With a big group, you're bound to have many different opinions, so be flexible and willing to compromise when it comes to decisions that ultimately won't matter in the bigger picture. We did a good job of this this past weekend, especially when it came to deciding where to eat :)

1. Find a good location | I knew we wanted to spend our time mainly at Isle of Palms beach as well as downtown Charleston, so I picked a hotel in Mount Pleasant, which is right in between IOP and downtown. This ended up being perfect because our hotel was pretty much exactly 15 min from each!

2. Think of some fun activities beforehand | This may sound contradictory to my above "no schedule" tip, but if you have a general idea of things you want to do (without nailing down exactly when to do them), you will save your group a lot of "idk whatever y'all want to do"'s. (I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about!!) For example, you can plan to see a movie or play mini golf one night of the trip or bring board/card games or movies with you!

3. Going to dinner? Call ahead | Chances are if you're on a girl's trip, you have a semi-big group. Any decent restaurant in a 50 mile radius of Charleston on a weekend is probably going to have some sort of wait especially for a group of 6! This weekend, while were getting ready, we would look up a couple of different restaurants and either make a last minute reservation, or call ahead once we were on the way, and it worked out great!

4. Pack big | This is probably just a "me" thing as well, but I like overpacking so that my friends and I can share clothes, shoes, etc. In the last pic above, 4 of the pairs of shoes are mine, and the last day we were there, I think everything I wore wasn't mine ;) And I, being the last minute packer that I am, ended up forgetting a lot of stuff that I ended up being able to borrow too.

That's all I got! Comment down below if you have any tips/tricks to a weekend get-a-way! 

Also: For specifics on restaurants/things to do in Charleston etc. check back on Monday! I am working on a HUGE Charleston Guide of alllll of my favorite spots in the area! 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 3, 2017

June Favorites

Can I start off by saying June was a very interesting month!? So many good things happened, and a couple of "that's life" situations happened as well. I'm starting to realize this is the age where we (meaning me and my peers) are starting to realize we're growing up and we have to start thinking about the future and get our priorities in check! Scary stuff, people!!! Speaking of growing up.... I'm coming at you live one year older! June was also a great month because I turned 20! My birthday was filled with all things girly and pink and I loved it! 

I haven't done a favorites post in a while, but I actually have a lot of stuff to share (and it's 11:30 at night and I've had three cups of coffee!!) so here I go:

FOOD & DRINK | Two words. coconut la croix. (or is that three words!?) I talked about my obsession with la croix (sparkling water) in the past, but if you haven't tried the coconut flavor you are missing out big time. My starbucks order this month has been an iced coffee with 2 pumps of skinny mocha and coconut milk. Love. I have also been loving chocolate covered espresso beans! My roommate gave me a huge pack for my bday and I've been jacked up on them all week! I've also been making greek yogurt bowls with fruit for breakfast and lunch on the reg. Next week I plan to do a post with some of my favorite yogurt combos so stay tuned.

MUSIC | I find so many great new songs through Spotify's weekly "New Music Friday" playlists. This month's current jams/oldies but goodies include:
- I'm The One by DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne
- Strip that Down by Liam Payne
- Shinin' by DJ Khaled ft. Beyonce, Jay-Z
- Wild Thoughts by DJ Khaled ft. Rihanna
- Slow Hands by Niall Horan
- 2U by David Guetta ft. Justin Bieber
- On and On by Brett Eldredge
- Lights Down Low (Not Your Dope Remix) by MAX ft. Not Your Dope
- Symphony by Clean Bandit, Zara Larson
- Malibu by Miley Cyrus

OTHER MEDIA | Bachelorette is obviously a favorite this month. It's kind of hard to keep up with all of the men on the show because Rachel is sending them home SO fast! #teamPeter #teamDeanforBachelor #nospoilerspls!! Big Brother also just started back up and this will be my second season watching it, so I'm so pumped! I also spent this month getting caught up on the new season of Jane the Virgin and wooo! I won't give anything away for those of you who still haven't taken my advice and watched this show (#fakefriends) but JTV season 3 left me feeling allll types of ways. I love listening to podcasts at work when I run out of music, and I found a good one y'all! The "I Do Declare"podcast in the podcast iPhone app is so. good. The hosts are two sisters that live in Florida and just spend the episodes talking about their lives, pop culture, etc. Their tag line is "southern sisters talk news, netflix, and other nonsense", and that sums it up pretty well! Every episode I listen to feels like I'm just hanging out with my friends hearing their latest problems/gossip, and they're so funny! I look forward to the new episodes every week! I also got the Echo Dot this month as a bday gift from my parents, and I'm not kidding when I say that I get an unhealthy sense of power from bossing Alexa around. There's just something so satisfying about yelling "Alexa, turn up the music" from the next room over and her obeying your every command. 

BEAUTY FAVS | I was sent two Maybelline Super Stay Matte Lip Inks for free from Influenster to test out and they quickly became my favs! (here's the post that I explain what Influenster is.) They really do stay on all day. I'm a fan! I've also been trying out this new Clinique moisturizer with SPF from this kit and it's so good at being hydrating without being greasy. Also, this mascara is like $4 and works wonders, ladies!

LIFE ACTIVITIES | I went to Hilton Head Island for a whole week this month, as well as Isle of Palms for a weekend this month so I've been beachin big time and there's no complaints here! I've also been loving baseball games (Tim Tebow just left our beloved Columbia Fireflies) and going to our weekly farmer's market! I have been spending some time shopping for my new house as well, which I will share here once I'm all moved in!

I think that wraps up this month! This post was super chatty and long, but I like to switch it up every now and then with these types of unfiltered posts if you will. If you enjoy monthly favorites posts, be sure to let me know so I can continue them! Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back Wednesday for a new post!