Colonial Times: Under the Crown

Living History Park entrance in North Augusta, SC
Living History Park freedmans house
Medicinal Garden at the Living History Park
Apothecary at the Living History Park
Apothecary sign
Apothecary herbs drying
Tents at Colonial Times

If you've never heard of Augusta, Georgia then you've most definitely never heard of North Augusta, South Carolina and if you've heard of Augusta then you may be a little confused that North Augusta is across the river in a different state. If you've actually heard of Augusta you may have also heard things little nicknames like "Disgusta" or comments like "There's nothing to do here". Well, I'm here to blog about all the fabulous things we do have to offer, even if that mean giving away all my secrets and tips in the meantime. 

Firewood storage
Town tavern at the Living History Park
Rootbeer at the Town Tavern
Ratcatcher at the Living History Park

One of my favorite events each spring is Colonial Times: Under the Crown. Held annually at the Living History Park (just a few blocks from our house), Colonial Times is a unique way to experience the history of the area by taking a step back in time to the American Revolution. A few times a year the public park is transformed into a trade show and fair filled with reenactors and skilled tradesmen. 

It's so much fun to walk around and see people working with their hands. We've learned so much over the years about musketry, weaving, blacksmithing, and woodworking. You can even purchase goods made by the local artisans throughout the weekend event. Even though we've been attending this event for the past ten or so years, the Old Town Preservation Association still manages to keep it fresh. So many new buildings have been placed in the park to enjoy and there were lots of new reenactors to switch things up a bit! My favorites this year were Timothy the Weaver and Bill Smith the Ratcatcher. 

the Barn at the Living History Park
Greenhouse at the Living History Park

If you've never been to the Living History Park, you can go anytime you want! Unfortunately, there are only a few Colonial Times events throughout the year so you'll have to keep an eye on their calendar. It's worth a visit and the best part is that it's absolutely free to attend!

World Book Day 2017

Closer to the Ground

I'm behind on my Goodreads reading challenge but I'm hoping to finish up my latest book and maybe read another quick read sometime over the next few months to catch up. When we went to Atlanta during the first weekend of April, I picked up this book from the Patagonia store in BuckheadCloser to the Ground is a memoir about one family's journey with fishing and foraging laced with simple, wholesome recipes and tips about how we can all live life a more sustainable life. 

As Alex and I begin to think more about what life with a family of our own might look like, I've found myself more and more concerned with what our planet is going to be like for the next generation. With a President who doesn't believe in climate change, our National Parks in jeopardy, and many science initiatives being underfunded or defunded, I'm frankly a little concerned at how much longer we can continue this downward spiral. This book brings to light ways you can live off the land, take only what you need, share with those around you, and get back to nature. It seems so fitting to share this book with you for World Book Day since yesterday was Earth Day. 

It sounds so cliche, but if we all do our part to make more conscious decisions in regards to the environment, we really can make a difference! I'm about half-way through Closer to the Ground, but one of the major takeaways that I have so far is that I really undervalue the art of slow living. It's something I've been struggling with over the past year. At the same time, I feel like I've taken a few steps in the right direction to really slow down and start living my best life. After being on the go for the past three weekends, it's nice to spend this Sunday afternoon lounging around in my pajamas, reading, working on the laundry, and cooking our Sunday supper. It's okay to take time to just be still (contrary to what my impulses tell me). 

Have you read any books about the environment lately? I'd love your recommendations on what to add to our library.

Weekend Link Roundup - April 21, 2017

My friend Meghann gifted me with this incredible gem magnet and it is so special to me! Meg has meant a lot to me over the past couple of years that we have gotten to know each other. She is an incredible artist and in a lot of ways, she has been a mentor to me. Meghann believes in my skills and took a chance on me this past January by asking me to be her second shooter at a wedding! I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I've had to hone in on my craft and share my own knowledge and experiences thanks to Meg. Meghann recently launched a fine art business venture called Meg Dainty. Her introductory film had me in tears! She's an incredible artist and storyteller which in my opinion stems from her innate ability to not only listen but ask thoughtful and deep questions in an effort to capture raw feelings. It would mean the world to me if you checked out her work!

Speaking of mentors, Brooks wrote a great blog post on how to use mentors to increase your success. This guy is wise beyond his years! I've personally been very lucky to have a few awesome girl bosses in my life who have guided me throughout my career like Alesya, Kristin, and Lacey. It's an incredible feeling to have someone you look up to give you free advice. It's all about community over competition. 

Another friend who has been lifting me up and encouraging me to keep up my blog is Maggie! In her latest blog post over at Margot Bleu, she shared some tips for a weekend in Charlotte, NC. I'm so excited that she'll be moving to the Queen City soon. I know we'll be meeting up because we absolutely love going to see concerts at The Fillmore and making IKEA trips for things we don't really need. 

I also really enjoyed reading James' advice to stop setting goals this week. Lately, I've been taking a more deliberate approach to chasing my dreams. Sometimes you've just got to be more active and aggressive to get what you want and having a system or plan is definitely the way to achieve your goals.

What's inspiring you this week? Leave some links to things I should check out this weekend in the comments!

Easter Sunday Flowers

Tulips for Easter
Easter Tulips

When we were living in Charleston we got in the routine of shopping for our groceries at Trader Joe's on Sunday and picking up a bouquet or a few bunches of flowers. I took a lot of pride in carefully trimming the stems and arranging them on our bar cart to enjoy for the week. Now that we don't have a Trader Joe's for cheap groceries and our trips to the grocery store have become a little less routine, I haven't spent as much time or money on fresh blooms. Since Sunday was Easter, I thought I should pick up a couple bouquets of tulips while I was buying dinner to mark the occasion. I wish they were Easter lilies (because I love the smell and they remind me so much of our wedding), but they're extremely toxic to cats and I didn't feel safe bringing them home. 

We had a really simple Easter Sunday together. The Easter Bunny visited Alex's bedside table in the early morning. We slept in and shared a breakfast of eggs, biscuits and gravy, and grits with cheese and bacon cooked by my great uncle and a dear friend at church. We celebrated Aengus' first birthday outside before going out for a late lunch. Alex was in the mood for a bahn mi but the local Vietnamese restaurant was closed so we ended up having burgers at Red Robin. When I sat down at the table I noticed the name of their salt was "salt of the earth" which was just so, so special to me and another thing that reminds me of our vows to each other. We came home and indulged in a two hour nap together before simmering a veggie curry on the stove and singing along to the Bee Gees special on CBS.

Quiet days like Easter Sunday remind me of how grateful I am to have Alex in my life. He's such a selfless husband and an awesome dad to all our fur babies. There aren't many people who would work all day on a Saturday while you're having a girl's weekend out of town and still offer to make a trip to pick up treats for the pups and start the charcoal grill while the sun is setting. (We had grilled shrimp + pineapple with Mexican street corn, homegrown cilantro, and arroz amarillo on Saturday night after my drive home from Charleston and it was incredible.) 

Being an adult is still a strange feeling sometimes. We don't get into the commercialized aspects of holidays much anymore. I'm sure all of that will change if we have kids but for now I'm just enjoying the time we get to spend together. I'm so grateful for lowkey holidays off work together. 

Tuesday Tunes - April 18, 2017

Phantogram Three
Phantogram Three Album
Phantogram Three Album

I mentioned in yesterday's blog post that I picked up a record for $6 at Urban Outfitters while I was on a mini vacation in Charleston, SC. The store's entire sale section was 40% off and Phantogram's latest album, Three just happened to have an orange sticker on the rack! 

Phantogram has been a favorite band of ours since we were in college. I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this album. I've been listening to "You Don't Get Me High Anymore" plenty on the radio lately but it's probably one of my least favorite songs on the album because of its grungy / mechanical quality. Overall this album is actually quite dreamy and atmospheric. I'm sure it'll be on repeat over the coming weeks. 

How to have an affordable girl's weekend in Charleston, SC

Lodge Alley Inn Fountain
Lodge Alley Inn courtyard
Lodge Alley Inn Bluegreen Resort King Room
Nikon FG film camera

Although we don't live in Charleston anymore, it still feels nice to steal away for a quick weekend trip and call it a staycation. The first time I ever visited the Lodge Alley Inn I was just a wee one. Now I can pretty much say I've stayed in nearly every room type. The Bakers are owners at the Bluegreen Vacation Club. I had been checking for about two weeks almost daily to try to snag a last minute opening and finally on Wednesday afternoon I was able to book a one night stay in a studio. When I arrived we were upgraded to a King room and giggled at how nice our girls weekend spot was going to be! I'm amazed at by how quickly I'm reminded that I miss the cobbled streets, resurrection fern, and moss hanging from the old oak trees. Charleston just feels like how after all these years and I never feel any pressure to do anything to fancy when I visit. 

Olilo salmon bowl
Olilo falafel grain bowl

After Corey finished class on Friday afternoon we grabbed a quick lunch on the College of Charleston's campus at a new cafeteria called Olilo. Iron Chef Cat Cora created the fresh food concept with Aramark and it's the perfect addition to the CofC campus! Thanks to Corey's recommendation, I had the grain bowl with falafel (my favorite food), avocado hummus, tzaziki, chickpea and cucumber tomato salad, pickled onions, and harissa. I had to laugh because later that day CofC posted nearly the same bowl on their social media feeds. It really was tasty and Instagram-worthy!

We went out shopping on King Street and headed over to the Skinny Dip: Charleston Edition to check out the new shop and grab some drinks on the rooftop. It's the cutest little rooftop bar with a great view of the Francis Marion Hotel! I had Westbrook's White Thai witbier and Corey had an iced mocha and we chatted about all the cute things we could never afford in the store. I also took a little time to run over to the Treasurer's office to say hello to my old co-workers!

Little free library in Charleston, SC
Palms in Charleston
The Pink House on Chalmers Street in Charleston, SC is currently for sale.
Pirate's Courtyard in Charleston, SC

Corey had never been to the French Quarter before so I wanted her to take some time to explore before the end of the school year. I took my film camera with me again this weekend so look forward to some of those shots to come in the future! I should be finishing up my roll this coming weekend. We found the sweetest little free library with a guard dog, counted all the Range Rovers we passed by, and looked at some of the more modern infill housing. I love the mix of old and new in Charleston. No one does it more seamlessly. I showed her Alex's old barber spa and we took a peek into Pirate's Courtyard. We passed by St. Philip's Church just in time to hear all the bells ringing for Good Friday. 

After a cheap bite to eat at Taziki's and failing miserably to find a dessert spot without a line down the block, we headed back to our room for popcorn and Netflix! If you ever have the opportunity to book a hotel room "just because", I highly recommend it. It was such a relaxing evening.

Saturday morning we woke up pretty early and watched the sun rise out our window as the cruise ship pulled in. After getting ready we walked over to the Charleston City Market to try out the new Callie's Hot Little Biscuit location. I had the chive biscuit with roasted tomatoes, the country ham biscuit with fiery pimento cheese, and the black pepper bacon biscuit with salt n pepper butter. Corey had the sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit which is a bit more substantial. It's also delicious and the only other thing I've tried from Callie's HLB. I love the new market location because it's easier to find somewhere to sit and eat nearby. 

Sadly, we had to check out of the room shortly after breakfast. I took a little drive around the battery before finding some free weekend parking on the CofC campus. Alex's boss was in town with his family so we met up with them at the farmer's market in Marion Square for a few minutes. I wish that I didn't have a three hour drive home because there were so many delicious looking veggies that I wanted to buy. After adoring all of the sweet puppies in the market, we finally pulled ourselves away and headed back over to King Street to do a little more shopping. I scored a sweet record for $6 from Urban Outfitters (that I'll be featuring on tomorrow's Tuesday Tunes blog) and got a new Anthropologie tee from the Oops Company. 

The rest of the afternoon was pretty lazy. We visited the Halsey Institute to view the student works featured in the Young Contemporaries exhibit and then lounged around Corey's dorm after going into a carb coma at Mama Kim's. It was a short and sweet weekend but I'm grateful that I got to spend part of my Easter weekend with my little sister! I'm looking forward to having her around a little more soon. 

In case you were wondering how we did on our budget weekend, here's my tab:

Hotel -- Free on Points
Parking -- $22
Gas -- $27
Olilo -- $10
Mama Kim's (for two) -- $23
Shopping -- $22
Callie's HLB -- $11
Beer -- $4
Tazikis appetizer + Dinner -- $15

Grand Total : $134

P.S. I've been trying to step out of my comfort zone and work on my public speaking skills by filming myself. It's such a weird concept but if you'd like to take a look at my vlogs from this weekend, you can check out Part I and Part II

Celebrating our first puppy's 1st birthday

I can't believe our first puppy turns one year old today! Happy Birthday, Aengus! Hope your ten other brothers and sisters are celebrating with their happy little families around the country today too.  Alex picked up a few treats for the puppies at Woof Gang Bakery near his shop after work on Saturday evening so we could have a little puppy party at home to celebrate. We actually sang to him at midnight while we were up watching Jimmy Fallon and Harry Styles (!!!) on SNL. I can't get over the photos with icing stuck in Aengus' beard!

Masters Sunday + Green Jacket Salad

Like everyone else in Augusta, I become the biggest golf fan one week out of the year. If you've never heard of a little tournament called The Masters, it's one of the premiere golf events in the world and it's held in my little hometown of Augusta, Georgia! 

Masters 2017 bucket hat and pin
Masters 2017 pin
Masters Pimento Cheese Sandwich from the Augusta National Golf Club
Hole in One Masters Donut from Dunkin Donuts

Alex was lucky enough to get tickets to go on Masters Monday. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate and they ended up suspending play and closing the course shortly after lunch. I was just excited that he finally got to see the tournament for the first time! Being the doll that he is, I was welcomed home with a pimento cheese sandwich and a few goodies from the pro shop. The next day we had the cutest hole in one doughnuts from Dunkin' Donuts for dessert. Alex got in on the fun a little by decorating his sign at work to welcome all the tourists to town! 

Welcome Masters chalk art sign
Bobby Jones golf swing quote
Tea Time at the Masters JLA Cookbook

Masters tournament week is also a great excuse to indulge in everyone's favorite local recipes preserved in the Junior League of Augusta's Tea Time at the Masters Cookbook. We've given this cookbook as a gift a few times. I can't think of anything more quintessentially southern than cooking recipes and sharing dishes together that literally belong to your friends' grandmothers. 

I read an article last week about a couple who has been attending the Masters tournament for over sixty years. In it, this sweet lady describes the Augusta National golf course as the closest to God you can get on earth. It really is a slice of heaven. The lawn is absolutely immaculate (even if the azaleas aren't blooming) and during play it's so quiet you can hear every bird in town chirping in anticipation of the impending roar of the crowd. 

The first full week of May is also the only time you'll see big celebrities like Snoop Dogg and Niall Horan in town. It's also the only time of year you'll get performances by bands like the Flaming Lips. So we all gather together as a community and savor every second of it. The Masters are totally worth the frustration of planning alternate commutes. 

There was something so powerful this year after the passing of Arnold Palmer. Sports don't usually make me very emotional but I found myself in tears more than once watching the patrons adorn their Arnie's Army badges and his wife standing beside the Chairman and an empty chair that had been draped with his Green Jacket. 

Masters Sunday 2017 on TV

Sunday night we watched the last hour or so of the tournament and enjoyed baked salmon with Green Jacket Salad, a recipe I borrowed from my mom who worked at the Green Jacket restaurant in Augusta back in the day. This salad is so simple to make. If you're not in the mood to prepare it, you can still order it at a few restaurants in town. (I would spill the beans on my favorite place to eat it but it's too well hidden to share...)

Greenjacket Salad Recipe

I adjusted this Green Jacket Salad recipe to make a few more servings.

Green Jacket Salad Ingredients:

2 or 3 Roma Tomatoes
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
2 tbsp Seasoned Salt
2 tbsp Oregano
1/3 cup fresh parsley
3-4 Green Onions chopped (just the greens)
1/2 bag of crumbled Pita Chips (I cheated and used storebought)
1 large head of Romaine Lettuce, torn

I start by mixing the spices, oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs to create a marinade for the tomatoes. Just before you're ready to serve your supper, cut up the lettuce and mix thoroughly. Top with as many pita chips you like! I like to top with a little extra green onion as well.

Greenjacket Salad Recipe
Greenjacket Salad Recipe
Greenjacket Salad Recipe
Greenjacket Salad Recipe
Greenjacket Salad Recipe
Greenjacket Salad Recipe
Greenjacket Salad Recipe

What are your favorite Masters traditions?


Tuesday Tunes - April 11, 2017

I thought I'd switch things up this week and share some of my favorite music videos circling the Internet for this week's Tuesday Tunes. What are some of your favorite music videos as of late? 

This Chainsmokers + Coldplay song is so hot right now! It's a little more pop sounding than I'm used to for Coldplay but I absolutely love how this little lyric video is animated! It's so much fun.

This song would have been better without Taylor but their back and forth play makes for one good music video. 

I shared this song on last week's Tuesday Tune's playlist. It's one of my favorites at the moment. I love how she's such a badass in this music video plus the vintage vibes from the coloration and scenery. 

Alex and I saw Little Dragon in concert while we were in college and it was hands down one of the best small shows I've ever been to. This music video is so trippy but it fits the song so well.

It's no secret that we love band of horses. The creature in this video is so weird but I love the stop motion animation!

NSFW Sorry for the language in this song! I love the beat in this song and I think it's absolutely hilarious that they're little kids (or big heads... you decide)!

Okay, so you have to start with this Lumineers video because the song is so good but go back and watch them all. They tell a story! It's blowing my mind. If you figure out the timeline / storyline, let me know in the comments what you think. I'm all about the conspiracy type stories. 

The title of this song says it all. Did Beyonce steal her pregnancy announcement from this video, though?

Pretty much can't get enough of Khalid lately. This music video is a pretty accurate representation of the typical American Teen's weekend!

So there you go! Tuesday Tunes music video edition done!