July 31, 2015

Cocktails for Two: Piña Colada

We drank a lot of piña coladas on our honeymoon in Jamaica. When I say a lot, I mean multiple piña coladas a day. They are perfect by the pool or the beach, and extremely refreshing on a hot afternoon. We made them on a terribly hot day last week. We do not have a blender in Charleston, so we used crush iced, but if you want to make a more traditional piña colada blend all the ingredients together for a tasty treat. 

Piña Colada

2.5 ounces white rum 
4 ounces pineapple juice 
2 ounces coconut milk 
1/2 ounce heavy whipping cream 
1/2 ounce simple syrup 
1 ounce dark rum 
crushed ice 

Fill two highball glasses with crushed ice. Combine white rum, pineapple juice, coconut milk, heavy whipping cream, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until container freezes over. Pour over crushed ice and top each drink with 1/2 ounce dark rum. Garnish with fresh pineapple and drink immediately. 

July 30, 2015

Style: Feminine Troubadour Dress

Will and I have tried to squeeze in as much Charleston as possible in the last few days. This has meant a few trips to Sullivan's Island, long bike rides, great meals, and walks around our neighborhood. I bought this Troubadour Clothing Dress as a node to Charleston. The full skirt and playful floral print remind me of Charleston; how the city is classically southern with its own unique twist. I know in the future I'll miss our time living here. So, I can put on this dress to remind me of that one really hot summer we lived in Charleston. 

July 29, 2015

10 Beach Essentials

We're headed to the beach next week with my parents, and I already brainstorming what I am going to bring. Of course a swimsuit and sunscreen are making the list, but there are a few other items I am thinking I need. See below for a few of my beach essentials. 

ONE Stay out of the sun in style with this striped beach umbrella. // TWO This straw sun hat will easily fold up in your beach bag. // THREE Get a little sunburned? Use this lotion to sooth your parched skin. // FOUR Protect your skin from damaging rays and breakouts with this oil-free sunscreen. // FIVE These slip-on espadrilles will go from beach to dinner. // SIX This pineapple printed cover-up can double as a blouse once you're back home. // SEVEN Throw on this shorts after a long day at the beach. // EIGHT These clear sunglasses will go with almost everything. // NINE You can never go wrong with a classic black swimsuit. // TEN Store all of your beach essentials in this cute beach tote. 

July 28, 2015

In the Kitchen: Beef Larb

While we were in Mississippi, we stopped and had lunch at our favorite thai restaurant, Thai House. Will and I went on one of our first dates here many years ago, and love to pop in for a bit to eat whenever we are in town. Their red curry is my favorite dish, but this time I stepped out of my comfort zone and ordered the larb. It was an unexpectedly flavorful dish that I knew I had to recreate at home. It is typically made with chicken, but I used ground beef because that is what I had on hand. Serve it over rice for a more filling meal, or in lettuce wraps for a lighter effect. 

Beef Larb

1 pound ground beef
1 shallot, mined
1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 thai chili, thinly sliced
1/4 green onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon basil, minced
1 tablespoon mint, minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1 head boston lettuce

2 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup lime juice

Whisk fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and lime juice in small bowl. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add vegetable oil and saute shallot and lemongrass until translucent (about 4 minutes). Add garlic and thai chili and saute for one minute. Add ground beef and break up meat with a wooden spoon until finely minced. Once ground beef is almost fully cooked and sauce and simmer until sauce is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in fresh herbs. Serve at room temperature over rice or in lettuce cups.

July 27, 2015

Style: Midi Tank

This is our last week in Charleston. I have loved being able to explore this magnificent city and being part of all the beauty if offers. Living close to the water has been a huge treat for Will and I. We've never lived in a costal town, so being a short walk to the water is great after a hot day. After dinner last week, we walked down to the Maritime Center to enjoy some time by the water. This midi tank from Anthropologie has been the perfect piece to get me through these last few weeks in Charleston. It light enough for the hottest days and looks nicer than a basic tank. As we approach cooler temperatures in Charlottesville I plan I wearing it with white jeans as we get closer to fall. What pieces do you gravitate towards on hot summer days? 

 Anthropologie Tiled Midi Tank // J.Crew Skirt (similar) // J.Crew Wide-Brimmed Straw Hat // Zara Sandals (similar) // Kate Spade Bag (similar) // Nars Lip Pencil in Cruella

July 24, 2015

Style: Tortoiseshell Sunglasses

I constantly reach for the same pair of sunglasses by Karen Walker. I bought them as a graduation/first job present to myself three years ago, and still wear them almost daily. I view these sunglasses as an investment piece. Since I wear them so often the amount I paid makes them more reasonable. I would love to buy another pair, and though I feel I should branch out, I have my eyes on tortoiseshell sunglasses. I the coloring looks nice against my fair skin and they go with just about everything. See below for a few of my favorite tortoiseshell sunglasses this season. 

July 23, 2015

In the Kitchen: Shrimp Rolls

When in Charleston, you may notice a surprising amount of lobster rolls on menus. Though they are tasty, the fact that I have never seen local lobster kind of baffles me. In a city that offers such a large variety of local seafood, why eat something shipped in? These shrimp rolls were made with local shrimp caught right off the coast. Roasting the shrimp adds more flavor than traditional boiling, and the cumin and smoked paprika gives this dish a nice depth of flavor. If you're craving a lobster roll I suggest you give this dish a try. Your taste buds and wallet will thank you. 

Shrimp Rolls

1/2 pound shrimp, deveined & shells removed
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, minced
1/8 cup red onion, minced
1/4 cup mayo
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon chives, minced
2 hotdog buns

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss shrimp with olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 3-5 minutes until pink and firm. Set aside.

Place celery and red onion in a medium sized bowl. Cut shrimp in half and place in bowl with celery and red onion. Whisk together mayo, smoked, paprika, celery salt, lemon, and chives. Fold dressing into shrimp mixture.

Toast buns in oven until golden brown, this should take 3-5 minutes. Fill buns with shrimp salad and garnish with chives.

July 22, 2015

Style: Little White Dress

After our weeklong road trip through the Deep South, my husband and I are back in Charleston and trying to get in better shape. We've started running in Hampton Park in the mornings and taking walks in the evening. The park is beautifully landscaped which makes working out a little more tolerable in the July heat. 

We took a walk through the park before dinner on Monday night. This little white dress was perfect for the warm evening. The lightweight cotton kept me cool, while the flutter sleeve added a playful detail. I know I'll wear this dress a few more times this summer in order to survive the hot days ahead. 

July 14, 2015

Style: Printed Shorts

Before this summer I had only worn shorts while working out. Charlottesville doesn't get that hot during the summer so I had never had a reason to wear shorts. But, the Charleston heat really packs a punch, so some days shorts are necessary. I've picked up a few pairs since being here, including this embellished pair from J.Crew being my favorite. There are a ton of great sales going on, so now is the time to add some playful pieces to your wardrobe. See my  picks below, and view my favorite shorts so far this summer here and here.

July 13, 2015

In the Kitchen: Shishito Peppers with Smoked Paprika Mayo

I had shishito peppers for the first time this summer at The Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan's Island. We went in for an afternoon snack and got these peppers and a few other items to nibble on. They are served fried with a paprika aioli. The contrast between the soft blistered pepper and the smoky aioli was addicting. They were so good Will and I knew we had to recreate them at home. They can be hard to find, but we've been lucky that local farmers in Charleston are selling them at the market. These peppers are sweet, but be careful because a few can pack some heat. These peppers were the hottest we've had so far, so I could only eat a handful before I had to stop. My husband can plow through spicy food like a champ, but I am a weakling. If you find shishito peppers at your market give this recipe a try. You will not be disappointed.

Pan Fried Shishito Peppers
2 tablespoons canola oil
4 cups shishito peppers
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat a large skillet over high heat. Add canola oil to pan, making sure the oil ripples over the pan so you know the pan is hot. Cook the peppers, stirring occasionally until peppers are blistered on all sides. This will take 4-5 minutes. Remove peppers from pan and toss with salt. Serve immediately.

Smoked Paprika Mayo
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch cayenne pepper

Combine mayonnaise, smoked paprika, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Serve alongside pan fried peppers.

July 10, 2015

Summer Beauty Essentials

I use the majority of the same products in the year round, but add a few necessities for the summer. Finding products that last through heat and humidity can be hard so I've listed a few of my summer beauty favorites below. Let me know what products you use to keep your skin protected and prepped for summer. 

Neutrogena Beach Defense Sunscreen I've been a devoted Neutrogena sunscreen user since high school. It was the only sunscreen that protected my fair skin while lifeguarding. It has a neutral scent (no coconut/banana smell) and is non-greasy. It can easily be worn under clothing without having to worry about it rubbing off. Plus, I've used it on my face at the beach and have not suffered from any breakouts. 

L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara If I know I'm going to be outside for an extended amount of time I will use this waterproof mascara. It stays put through sweaty afternoons and trips to the beach. It also gives tremendous volume and length to your lashes.

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer I have fair skin so I tend to be leery of most self tanners, afraid that they will make me look orange. This is a self tanner and moisturizer that builds natural looking color. I apply it every other day to add a little warmth to my complexion. I like it because it never streaks and it has fairly subdued scent so you don't smell like fake tanner.

Bumble and Bumble Color Minded UV Protective Styling Balm My hairdresser suggested this styling balm to me a few years ago when Bumble and Bumble first launched the Color Minded line. It helps protect colored hair from fading and ads softness and volume. You can use this product year round, but it is a little heavy for my thin hair so I only use it during the summer to protect my hair from damaging UV rays. 

July 8, 2015

July Favorites

ONE This striped one piece is a sexy throwback with a low back and high cut bottom. // TWO Light colored glasses all the rage this summer, and these would like great with a little white dress. // THREE Keep all of your evening essentials in this structured clutch. // FOUR This Tibi blouse is 65% off and would look with any midi skirt. // FIVE This bright yellow mesh skirt is high on my wishlist. // SIX Serve your summer salads with this minimalist serving set. // SEVEN Keep cool in a simple striped tank. // EIGHT This lip balm offers sheer color and tons of moisture. // NINE Wear these gladiator sandals straight into fall. // TEN Dress up your summer sheath dress with this gold tassel necklace 

July 7, 2015

In the Kitchen: Caprese Panzanella Salad

My husband was originally skeptical of this salad. "Peaches in a savory salad," he asked worrisomely. Thankfully he let me try it, and asked we have it again two days later. I find that peaches and tomatoes have a similar texture and flavor. In the summer when they are both ripe and delicious you cannot go wrong with pairing them together. This salad combines two of my favorite summer meals: caprese and panzanella salads. If you can always omit the peaches for more classic approach, but if you have some on hand please give them a try. 

Caprese Panzanella Salad

2 tomatoes
2 peaches
1/2 loaf french bread
3/4 cup torn fresh mozzarella
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chiffonade basil leaves
1 tablespoon mined mint leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Tear french bread into medium sized pieces and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper until every piece is lightly coated. Toast for 10 - 15 minutes until bread is slightly browned.

Remove the core from the tomatoes and cut into wedges. Place tomatoes in a medium sized bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Allow tomatoes to sit for 15 minutes, this will help remove any excess liquid so the salad does not become soggy. Drain off excess liquid once finished.

Remove pits from peaches and cut into wedges. Place in same bowl as tomatoes. Add torn mozzarella, bread, and herbs.

Whisk together garlic, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour vinaigrette over salad until just moistened. Garnish with basil leaves and serve immediately.

July 6, 2015

Style: Palm Printed Shorts

I did not immediately jump on the palm print trend. It was a little loud for my style and petite frame, but when I saw these printed jogger shorts at Gap I had a change of heart. The muted coloring keeps the print from being overwhelming, and the casual style makes them great from everyday wear. They are easy to throw on when the temperature starts to rise because of their lightweight material. Plus, the tropical print makes you feel like your on vacation, even if you are just lounging around your house. 

 Gap Printed Jogger Shorts // Anthropologie Jersey Swing Tunic // J.Crew Malta Sandals (different color) // J.Crew Wide-Brimmed Straw Hat // 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Mini Messanger Bag // Karen Walker Sunglasses (similar) // Banana Republic Necklace 


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