28 November 2014

A Solid Orange Black Friday

Whew, it's been a whirlwind of a week!

It started with a mother/daughter weekend in Charlotte full of shopping, the Clemson Military Appreciation/Senior Day, a flyover, and some parachuters.






 Then there were three quick days of work, a fast Turkey Trot 8K Thanksgiving morning, a Thanksgiving feast with my family, Mockingjay, absolutely no Black Friday shopping {neither Thursday nor Friday}, and now it's time to hit the road again.






& now it's THE weekend.

{my coworkers are cooler than your coworkers}

The biggest weekend.

The weekend that has us all crossing our fingers because this game could honestly go one way or the other tomorrow.

{roomie + one love}

But I will say this.

The last time that Clemson beat Carolina, we played in Clemson on November 29th at noon.

We play tomorrow, November 29th.

In Clemson.

At noon.

Coincidence?

{& yes, it has been that long since Clemson has won a game in this rivalry}

20 November 2014

Asheville: The Biltmore

I knew that The Biltmore was huge, but I didn't anticipate just how massive the place was and how much there would be to do. There's going to have to be another trip up to Asheville during the warmer months so we can take advantage of the biking trails!


Antler Village was a little disappointing for me. I'm not sure if it is busier during other times of the day/week/year but it was a ghost town when we were there Sunday morning. I was absolutely starving and needed something to eat so... yeah.


I had ice cream.

For breakfast.

Outside.

In 40ish degree weather.

It was delicious and it didn't melt.


Back over by the house was the place to be though. It was so crowded! Plus, they had legitimate breakfast food over there.


We had peaked out a couple of windows the night before and were really curious as to what the grounds behind the house looked like. It was pitch black out so we weren't able to see anything other than Asheville in the distance. I kind of figured it was going to be something beautiful, but again, I underestimated with Biltmore.

I'll let the pictures do the talking...








In addition to a picture of me in a tree, I also needed the typical "Hey! We went to Biltmore!" picture.


& this picture of a creepy fish water feature thing was also necessary.


Until next time, Biltmore {& Asheville}...

19 November 2014

Asheville: The Grove Park Inn & The Biltmore at Night

One thing that was non-negotiable about our trip to Asheville was to visit The Grove Park Inn at sunset. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I've recently become a little bit obsessed with sunsets... and seeing the sunset over the mountains? Yeah. That had to happen.



We couldn't have planned it better if we tried.

We arrived at The Grove Park Inn just as the sun was sinking down over the mountains. It was gorgeous and of course, sunset pictures never really do the sunset justice. Just trust me. You need to go see the sunset at Grove Park at some point in your life. Worth it.



Back inside, we decided that we wanted to grab a drink and a couple of appetizers before heading to The Biltmore. The hostesses sat us in two super comfy chairs directly in front of the fireplace where our waiter took this fantastic picture.



I'm not sure why I handed the waiter my phone rather than my real camera, but oh well. Still a fantastic picture :)


The evening kept getting better though.

They had hush puppies on the menu and they were the best hush puppies I have ever had. I'm big on dipping my hush puppies into butter but butter was not an option here. Instead... they had warm pimento cheese. Pimento cheese?! Heaven on a plate.



There was also a pretzel roll thing with a beer cheese dip, but I was way too focused on the hush puppies to pay that one much attention. I hear it was good though.



We headed from Grove Park to The Biltmore for our candlelight tour.

I'd love to show you pictures from there but it's illegal or something to take pictures inside. It was killing me not to be able to take pictures somewhere but it gave me plenty of time to listen to my audio set and be freaked out by the indoor pool. Pools don't belong inside a house people, they just don't.

The Biltmore is absolutely gorgeous when it is lit up for Christmas! It's spectacular. I attempted to get a picture at the end of the night, using the back of Patrick's truck as a tripod and well... no. That doesn't quite work, especially when Patrick jumps in the picture without me noticing.


It's also pretty fantastic during the day time, too.


... and you'll see more of that tomorrow because apparently it's Asheville week on the blog.

18 November 2014

Asheville: The LAB & Wicked Weed

Downtown Asheville is the place to be on a sunny, cool Saturday. The breweries and shops were filled with people trying to escape the cold weather, including Patrick & me. We started off with a quick lunch at Pack's Tavern which was a great place to watch a football game. But... since we were not in Asheville to watch football, we left there as soon as we had finished our lunch.

Patrick & I shopped around on Broadway Street in whatever store happened to catch our eye. We hit up a few stores before coming across one of the breweries that Patrick wanted to try, The LAB {Lexington Avenue Brewery}.



Patrick enjoyed his beer there, but I was not a fan. They had a limited beer selection and nothing on the menu sounded like something that I wanted to drink. I had seen a beer on their menu called "Can I Get a Wit-Ness" that I wanted to try, but it wasn't available on Saturday. So I sat back with a glass of wine while Patrick tried out two beers {Bar Nun & Hop Burst} that he liked a lot.

I'll give The LAB this though... their food looked and smelled delicious. I wanted to try the french fries so bad each time they came around and I caught another whiff of them.

Eventually, we made our way down to the one brewery that everyone had told us that we had to visit: Wicked Weed. Once inside, we headed straight for the basement bar area to grab a beer.


I have no idea what Patrick had, but my beer was the "Weiss Not?" and it was so amazingly good. It was the perfect beer for me.


We took our beers outside to the sunny, heated patio area to enjoy. You had to walk through part of the brewery area to get out there which meant we had to take a picture or two...



The outside patio area downstairs was nice. There were plenty of long tables where you could sit, there were several cornhole boards, and {most importantly] there were heat things to keep you warm. We found a table right underneath the heat and I was as happy as could be sitting there with my beer.


We had to leave sooner than either one of us would have liked but we had plans to get to the Grove Park Inn before sunset. Don't worry. There was still time to purchase a t-shirt for me and two growlers as we were on the way out the door!

If you go to Asheville, I absolutely recommend that you check out Wicked Weed. Everyone who suggested it to us was right: good beer, great atmosphere. If only they would open up a second location in Charlotte...

17 November 2014

Asheville but Not Really


Travel and I are no stranger to one another. My car and I have experienced so many miles together - up and down 77 to Columbia. Up and down 85 to Clemson. Up and down 26 to Kiawah. It isn't unusual for me to spend 4+ hours in my car each weekend.

But I go to the same places all the time - Columbia, Clemson, Kiawah.

I may "travel" frequently, but in my mind, it doesn't really count as traveling.

A weekend trip to Asheville though? That definitely counts.


It was such an amazing weekend full of walking around, trying beers from local breweries, taking in stunning views at Grove Park Inn & the Biltmore, eating ice cream outside in 35 degree weather, the best hush puppies I've ever had, and not watching football.

& it completely wore me out. So y'all will have to wait another day to hear about our weekend getaway.


14 November 2014

A Southern Twenty-Five on Friday!

Is anyone else excited about the cold weather this weekend or is it just me? I'm pumped. I am breaking out the flannel sheets and my new wool coat for the weekend. Hellooo lows below freezing and highs barely hitting 40.

It is the final football free weekend of the year and we're headed off on a little weekend trip to Asheville. The original plan was to not watch either the Clemson or Carolina football games this weekend. But, both games are on at noon and we'll more than likely be eating lunch at a place with TVs so... GO TIGERS!

{one}
The Fresh Market has opened.



{two}
I repeat. THE FRESH MARKET HAS OPENED!



Now I just need the outdoor living area at my apartment complex to open up so I can get my grillin' game on. But let's be real. I have no idea how to grill. This is going to be fun.

{three}
Ever have one of those moments where you see something as you drive by and have to turn around to take a picture of it? Had that moment yesterday.



Worth it.

{four}
My friend Ashley and I were both back home this past weekend and headed to the mall together on Sunday. We were on a mission to find some new eye liner and mascara for me at Sephora. Ended up with these in my basket:



I'm now obsessed with all of them because they are awesome.

{five}
Papa Pope don't play.
Holy cow.
Also, y'all should probably follow the entire cast of Scandal on Twitter. Hilarity usually ensues every Thursday night.

---

Happy SOLID ORANGE Friday! Go Tigers!

Linking up again this week with April, Darcy, Christina, and Natasha.

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

13 November 2014

Lazy Saturdays & Homemade Pizza

After kicking some major boo-tay in my 8K on Saturday, Patrick and I decided to wander around downtown Columbia for a little bit. We went to First Citizen's Cafe to grab a drink and then realized that the Soda City Market was going on.




We had been to the market once before and hadn't had a chance to go back since. But hey, it was our football free weekend and what else were we going to do with our Saturday morning? So off we went to check it out and boy has it grown in the last year! There were so many more vendors than the last time we stopped by.



One vendor in particular caught our eye, Two Foodies Gluten Free, because they were offering free samples of their gluten/dairy/soy free pizza dough and Patrick and I had plans to make pizza that night. It was perfect timing for us. Plus, the vendors were very cool and talked to us for awhile about their product.







We ended up purchasing a box to test it out.

I'm going to have to apologize here... because the rest of our Saturday consisted of watching football, drinking beer, catching up with my friend Ashley, and eating sausage dip.



All of the excitement put me to sleep on the couch around 8 for about an hour, and by the time I woke up, it was almost too late to make this pizza. But we were determined to have pizza after purchasing all of the ingredients.

Patrick and I made pizza sauce from scratch and it completely stressed me out. I had no idea what he was doing in the kitchen because he was just throwing things into a blender. Eventually, I got caught up in the fun and started to help add in things like garlic, minced onions, salt, sugar, pepper, etc until we were happy with the way it tasted. I would love to share the recipe with you but I have no idea what we did! Oops again?



Once we had our sauce, we started to build our pizza. Patrick rolled out the dough by hand {because rolling pins are overrated} and I added the toppings. Cheese, pepperoni, and green bell peppers.



I was a master pizza maker the summer before & after my freshman year of college, so I took over once it was time to add the toppings to the pizza.



This was the finished product:




& you know what? For being gluten free {except for the flour we used to keep the dough from sticking}, dairy free, and soy free... that pizza was freakin' delicious. I was very impressed with how good it was and I know that we'll be heading back to Soda City at some point in the near future to pick up some more pizza dough mix from Two Foodies Gluten Free.
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