June 30, 2015

Style: Tassel Shorts & Bike Rides

Bikes are a great way to explore downtown Charleston. The flat landscape, narrow streets, and slight breeze make it a fun way to take in the city. My first ride downtown did not go smoothly (I tried to hope a curb and ended up falling off in front of a lot of tourists), but I have regained my confidence. My husband and I love to bike after dinner once the cool evening air starts to creep in. I'll throw on a pair of linen shorts, like this tasseled pair from J.Crew for easy mobility, and jump on my bike for a quick ride. Plus, I can wear these linen shorts as a beach coverup this weekend making them a great summer steal at under $40. 

J.Crew Linen Embroidered Tassel Shorts // J.Crew Sweater (similar) // Etsy Necklace (similar) // J.Crew Cyprus Sandals 

June 26, 2015

In the Kitchen: Ricotta & Roasted Tomato Crostini

What do I make for dinner at the end of a long week? I toast some bread, slather it with cheese and tomatoes, and call it a night. Crostini are normally reserved for parties or appetizers, but I like to let them shine as the main coarse during the summer when vegetables are at their prime. Paired with a simple salad and a glass of wine, and I am a very happy girl. This is a twist on the classic caprese salad. Ricotta has the same creamy texture as mozzarella, but keeps the crostini from falling apart.

Ricotta & Roasted Tomato Crostini

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 loaf french bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
4 basil leaves, chiffonade

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place halved cherry tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast tomatoes for 10 minutes, turning halfway, until tomatoes begin to burst and give off liquid.

Slice french bread on a diagonal and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle remaining olive oil evenly over bread slices. Toast until slightly brown. Once cool enough to handle, slice the garlic clove in half and rub vigorously over the toasted bread. The garlic will melt into the bread giving it a slight garlic taste.

Spoon ricotta cheese and roasted tomatoes over toasted bread. Top with chiffonade basil. Serve immediately.

June 24, 2015

Cocktails for Two: Grapefruit Radler

Over the last few years I've become more experimental with my beer palate. I started out with the more popular craft beer of choice IPA's, but I now like to try new varieties when I visit breweries or restaurants with a large draft selection. I had my first grapefruit radler the other weekend while out to dinner and immediately declared it my drink for choice for the summer. They are bright and refreshing which is exactly what I want on a hot summer day. Radlers are equal parts citrus juice or soda to beer, making them the german equivalent to a shandy. Since they are to find I decided to make my own. This beverage is a breeze to make, and can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd. I think it would great for a 4th of July party because it is less boozy than your standard beer. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. 

 Grapefruit Radle

1 12 ounce pale ale or wheat beer
1 ounce simple syrup
1 cup grapefruit juice

Divide simple syrup and grapefruit juice between two highball glasses. I strained the juice, but make it to however you would enjoy. Top with beer. Serve cold.

June 23, 2015

10 Summer Essentials

ONE A love cover-ups that also double as dresses. It makes going from the beach to dinner a lot easier. // TWO Wrap-up sandals are a must have item this summer. I love that these are made out of suede so you can wear them into fall. // THREE I bought a pair of Karen Walker sunglasses three years ago, and they are still in great condition. These sunglasses will last through many hot days by the pool. // FOUR This eyelet romper is both playful and sophisticated which make it appropriate for all ages. // FIVE This hairspray is designed to shield hair from heat and humidity. // SIX Every girls needs a striped swimsuit. // SEVEN Upgrade your ratty old beach towel with this striped turkish towel. // EIGHT Look stylish while protecting your skin in this panama hat. // NINE This oil-free sunscreen will help keep breakouts away while providing sun protection. // TEN This waterproof mascara will last all day, even through a dip in the ocean. 

June 22, 2015

Style: Black Maxi Dress

The south is known for moving at a slower pace, and moving to Charleston has been more of an adjustment than I originally expected. My husband found a new balance almost immediately, but my Virginia roots have required more time. I now know that you cannot wear jeans during the summer, or you will feel like you are suffocating within minutes of stepping outside. 

My Charlottesville wardrobe is not built for the southern heat. I now understand the importance of cotton and linen: they will become the staples of your wardrobe due to their ability to breath. I ordered this dress from Madewell at the beginning of the month, but sadly I can no longer wear it during the heat of the day. I now reserve it for cooler evenings. If you live in a cooler climate I highly recommend this dress. At under $40 this cotton maxi dress drapes perfectly. Plus, the black will hide on sweat marks in case the summer heat does catch up with you. 

Madewell Tank Maxi Dress // J.Crew Wide-Brimmed Straw Hat (similar & similar) // J.Crew Malta Sandals // Kate Spade Necklace // J.Crew Clutch (similar)

June 19, 2015

Charleston Shooting

I had an outfit post originally scheduled for today. The photos were taken a few hours before the Charleston shooting, blocks away from Emanuel AME Church. The shooting took place less than a half mile from our apartment. Wednesday evening was terrifying and deeply saddening. We went to bed around ten, followed shortly by the search helicopters circling overhead. I spent the majority of the night awake, in the middle of a manhunt, scanning Twitter for as much information as possible. 

This is the second tragedy we've lived through in the past year. Last fall Hannah Graham, a UVa. student was abducted and killed. Though we had never met him, her murderer lived on our street. On September 19th I walked out of my apartment bombarded by camera crews, the Charlottesville Police Department, and the FBI. I drove away in tears, and went to work that day in fear, afraid to go home. 

But this time is different. The pain is more extreme and the evil is greater. This attack was based on hatred and racism. The shooter chose the oldest African Methodist Episcopal Church in the Southern United States. The shooter picked politicians, community leaders, co-workers, neighbors, parents, and grandparents as his victims. The shooter hoped to incite terror and fear. 

I tried to write a much longer post, but then I deleted it. The only message I can offer is a call to action: now is the time to end our complacency about gun violence and racism in America. If the events of last night cannot serve as a call to action, what will? 

Pray for the grieving families and victims of gun violence, and if you are able, please donate to help cover funeral costs of the victims families. The website is currently under construction, but checks can be mailed to: 

Mother Emanuel Hope Fund 
C/O City of Charleston 
P.O. Box 304 
Charleston, SC 29402

Peace be with you. 

June 18, 2015

Pray For Charleston

It is with a heavy heart that I ask for your thoughts and prayers for the tragic shooting that occurred in downtown Charleston last night.  Please keep the victims, families, and Emanuel AME Church in your mind as the city mourns this tragic loss. 

June 17, 2015

Summer Heatwave Playlist

We're reaching record high temperatures in Charleston. It is so hot, that when the air conditioner broke at Will's office they immediately sent everyone home. Even the tourists are staying off the streets and hiding from the heat in the afternoon. In order to stay cool I'm staying indoors, drinking plenty of water, and jamming to this playlist. So, if you're hiding from the sun like me turn on this upbeat playlist to pass the hot afternoon hours. Hopefully next week will bring some cooler temperatures, until then you can find me by the A.C. 

Breakin' Up // Rilo Kiley 
King Of The Beach // Wavves 
Trying To Be Cool // Phoenix 
Break My Stride // Matthew Wilder
Strangers // The Kinks 
Take It Easy // Surfer Blood 
Oxford Comma // Vampire Weekend 
Young Blood // The Naked And Famous 
Good Vibrations // The Beach Boys
Fake Blues // Real Estate 
Burn Bridges // Dom 
Balance // Future Islands 
The Love You Love // The Walkmen  

June 16, 2015

In the Kitchen: Cold Noodle Salad

People warned me about Charleston summers. They said the heat would be oppressive, like nothing I had felt before. I survived 8 summers in the deep south, and I can now say that the Charleston heat is no joke. Due to the costal factor Charleston is extremely humid, add 95 degree temperatures and the heat is almost unbearable. When walking downtown I dart to the shady side of the street, and for the past few days I've had no desire to turn on the stove. My waistline does not agree with eating out for every meal so simple salads have become my staple. This cold noodle salad requires minimal cooking and packs in a lot of great flavor from the dressing and fresh vegetables. So if you're also suffering through this southern heatwave give this cold noodle salad a try for a simple dinner or lunch. 

Cold Noodle Salad 

6 ounces ramen noodles 
1 watermelon radish, sliced 
3 green onions, sliced 
1/2 hothouse cucumber, sliced 
1 cup sugar snap peas 
1/4 cup cilantro 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil 
pinch red pepper flakes 
1 clove garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon ginger, grated 
1/4 cup 

Cook noodles in a large bot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, run under cold water, and place into a large bowl. 

Whisk together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger. Pour dressing over noodles and toss to combine. Either place noodles on a serving platter and top with vegetables, or toss vegetables with noodles. Serve chilled. 

June 10, 2015

Style: 20 Wedding Guest Dresses

This weekend marks the beginning of my wedding season. My cousin is getting married in Mount Pleasent so I am looking forward to spending some time with my family and showing them around Charleston. When shopping for wedding guest attire I always look for something I can wear again. Pretty dresses are great, but what is the point if you never get to wear them? I wore this dress to my sister-in-law's wedding rehearsal last year, and will most likely be wearing it again this weekend. You expand the lifetime of your dresses, and have great memories to go along with them. Shop my picks below for wedding guest dresses below.

June 9, 2015

In the Kitchen: Purple Hull Pea Salad

During our first week in Charleston we ate at Leon's Oyster Shop. It is a new restaurant located on Upper King known for their raw oysters and fried chicken. The place is stunning, and I think they have one of the nicest patios in town making it perfect Friday night spot. Their black eyed pea salad is so simple and unbelievably good. Pea salads can often be bland and soggy, but this salad is bright and crisp thanks to fresh vegetables and a light vinaigrette. I used fresh purple hull peas, but any similar variety like black eye peas or lady peas can be substitute. Surprise your guests and make this for your next summer picnic or barbecue. 

Purple Hull Pea Salad 

2 cups fresh purple hull peas (or any other pea)
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced bread & butter pickles
1 orange bell pepper diced
2 tablespoons mined red onion
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Bring a pot of boiling water to a boil. Salt water and add purple hull peas. Boil for 20 - 25 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

Combine celery, pickles, and bell pepper in a large mixing boil. Add cooled purple hull peas. In a separate bowl whisk together red onion, lemon, white wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to toast. Pour vinaigrette over peas and stir to combine. Adjust flavoring as needed (may need more lemon). Serve chilled.

June 8, 2015

Stye: Blue Gingham Blouse

Equipment has quickly become one of my favorite brands. They make high quality silk blouses and dresses that can last an entire day without wrinkling. Over the years I've grown my Equipment collection thanks to The Outnet which carries this designer at a discounted price. I ordered this gingham blouse a while back knowing it would be perfect for spring and summer. I love the slightly oversized fit and bright contrasting colors. I dressed it up with a black midi skirt here, but think it would look equally great with a pair of skinny jeans and sandals. Are there any brands you keep going back to? 

 Equipment Gingham-Print Blouse (similar) // Madewell Skirt (similar) // J.Crew Clutch (similar) // Stuart Weitzman Heels 

June 5, 2015

Style: Top 5 Straw Hats for Summer

What is my must have accessory for summer? A good straw hat. They not only provide necessary sun coverage, but also add a little whimsy to my outfits, as seen in this post. I've narrowed down my five favorite straw hats: panama, sun, fedora, wide brim, and boater. I've always worn either sun or wide brimmed hats, but I'm interested in switching it up this season. This boater hat is high on my wish list because of it's wider brim. My sister-in-law is in town this weekend, so I know I'll need by sun hat for an afternoon on Sullivan's Island. What type of straw hat will you be wearing this summer?

Panama // Sun // Fedora // Wide Brim // Boater

June 4, 2015

Style: Striped Linen Dress

There is nothing better than a linen dress on a hot day. The heat and humidity is already picking up in Charleston, so when I spotted this striped linen dress at Anthropologie on Monday I knew I had to take it home. Linen is the quintessential summertime fabric: it breaths easily and if it wrinkles it just adds to the effect. The adjustable tie can be worn a multitude of ways, but I prefer when it sits a littler higher on the body. I slipped into this dress after an morning thunderstorm for a quick trip to King Street, and am looking forward to wearing it the remainder of the summer. 

 Anthropologie Striped Linen Dress // J.Crew Sandals // 3.1 Phillip Lim Bag // Forever 21 Jean Jacket (similar) // Kate Spade Necklace (similar) // Karen Walker Sunglasses (similar

June 3, 2015

Charleston bucket list

There is almost too much to love about Charleston. The food, the views, the history I could talk for days about how much cherish this southern city, but since I am only here for short amount of time I've created a bucket list of things I would like to do while in the Holy City. I know this summer is going to go by quickly so if you have any Charleston recommendations I would love to hear them. 

1. Angel Oak - This is one the largest live oak in the U.S., and is believed to be over 1,500 year old. I would love to pack up a picnic and enjoy an afternoon under this tree on James Island. 

2. Shem Creek - This area is home to many bars and restaurants in Mount Pleasant, but I would love to rent a kayak and explore the marshes.  

3. The Battery - The edge of Charleston's peninsula is home to The Battery. What used to be a defense seawall is now one of Charleston's most recognizable areas. Though I have been here many times before I would love to ride my bike down to the edge to watch the sunset over the Ashely and Cooper rivers.

4. The Vendue - This boutique hotel is known for their rooftop bar. It has one of the best views in top and has a great cocktail list. Watching the sunset over a cocktail would make for a wonderful summer evening. 

5. Ravenel Bridge - This bridge connects Charleston to Mount Pleasant. On the weekends you will see hundreds of people running or biking across the bridge. I doubt I can make it the entire way and back, but I would like to make it to the top. 

6. Hominy Grill - On the weekends, the line for brunch at this Charleston staple can be wrapped around the building. They are known for fluffy biscuits and shrimp and grits. One weekend this summer I am going to wait in line to get my hands on some lowcountry grits. 

7. Boone Hall This plantation located in Mount Pleasant is home to live oak lined streets and functioning farm. The grounds and home are open for tours, and you can pick your own vegetables. 

site design + development by kelly christine studio