30 November 2016

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

As if this past weekend wasn't already good enough with all of the Thanksgiving and Clemson/Carolina game festivities, Patrick and I squeezed in one last activity to make it a truly perfect weekend.
We went to a local Christmas tree farm to cut down our first Christmas tree!
Columbia friends: Drafts Tree Farm is off of Midway Road in Lexington and our 8.5 foot tree was only $40! Patrick and I also know the family who runs this tree farm so for us, it was nice to be able to support their business.
Some of my favorite memories growing up are of going out to the Christmas tree farm on the morning after Thanksgiving to cut down our tree. We'd go with several families from our church and it was always a blast. I'm glad that I have this goof to make Christmas tree farm memories with now!

We found the perfect Christmas tree for us at the back edge of their property.

But then we started second guessing our decision and had to take another look at all of the trees again. This one ended up being the winner:

Guess who actually helped saw that bad boy down?

I handed the saw over to Patrick after like two minutes and let him finish off the sawing.

Got a tree!

 Pro-tip: measure your ceilings before purchasing a Christmas tree. We got our tree in the stand and in the house only to realize that it was just a tiny bit too tall for our ceilings. Whoops.

An hour {and several Michael Buble Christmas songs later} we had our tree up with lights! Am I a little bit obsessed with it? Yes, yes I am.

I have been waiting for the day when Patrick and I would finally own our own house and be able to decorate it for Christmas. Being able to have a real Christmas tree is the best ever, especially after having a little fake Christmas tree in my apartment for so many years.
Next up: decorate it! And find something to put at the top of the tree because while we have dozens of ornaments that we've collected over the years, a tree topper is something we don't have.

29 November 2016

A Deep Fried Thanksgiving

We survived our first time hosting Thanksgiving!
But I have to give a major shout out to our parents. They brought over so much food and we barely had to do any of the cooking ourselves. The cooking that we did do involved a lot of oil and one turkey...
Our Menu
Deep Fried Turkey
Oven Roasted Ham
Chicken & Dressing
Broccoli Casserole
Squash Casserole
Macaroni & Cheese
Red Skin Mashed Potatoes
Butter Beans
Apple Cake + Ice Cream
There was so much food in our kitchen, y'all, you don't even understand. Our fridge is packed full of leftovers and our families took home plenty with them as well.
We did zero fancy things to our tables. I was just impressed that we had placemats/chairs for everyone and that Patrick agreed to let me bring in "yard debris" {baby pinecones} to fill up a little vase.

 Regardless of total lack of fall decorations {except for the beautiful flowers that showed up with my parents and with my grandmother}, we still had a great Thanksgiving meal. Plenty of family and lots of good food. I even managed to sneak into one picture!

... others managed to sneak in a nap. Priorities.

28 November 2016

Week 13: The Rivalry

The last home football game.


Actually, it's the last football game that we'll attend this season, home or away. Clemson has at least two more games {ACC Championship game & a bowl / CFP game} before their season is over but we'll be watching from afar this year.
It was the perfect weekend to be in Clemson: great weather, awesome friends, a lot of fun tailgating, and an even better game!
We kicked off the weekend in downtown Clemson on Friday night. Want to know the last time that I went downtown Clemson on a Friday night before a football game? My senior year of college, six years ago.

Saturday morning, we were up bright & early to head back to campus to tailgate. We popped into Tiger Town Tavern for a little bit first though before walking over to our tailgate spot.
It was the perfect day to be out tailgating.
It wouldn't be a complete Clemson/Carolina tailgate without this particular picture of the three of us. Taking a serious picture with these two is next to impossible!
& then we were off to the game!
If you were a Clemson fan - you loved every second of that game from the opening kickoff until the final seconds ticked off the clock. Deshaun Watson was flawless. The seniors were making plays left and right to redeem themselves from the Pitt game two weeks prior. Me? I was just trying to behave myself in the stands.
But 56-7? Doesn't get much better than that.
I used to think that 63-17 was my all time favorite Clemson/USC game and while it's still up there in the top 2, this past weekend might just top it. Maybe. Jury is still out on that!
Next up: the ACC Championship Game! I am so sad that we won't be attending this year. I love running the ACC Championship 5K and going to the game in Charlotte was always so much fun.

23 November 2016


I am thankful for...

- a husband who loves a good afternoon of brewery hopping just as much as I do & who makes the best homemade Chicken & Pastry ever

- a mother who loves to tailgate, shop, and drink wine in Clemson with me
- a dad who never says no when I come asking for help with painting yet another wall/ceiling in our house
- a brother who suffered through hours in a polka dotted bowtie for me this summer
- the ability to run 13.1 miles around Kiawah

- a bed made up with freshly washed sheets {bonus points if they're flannel}
- a cute house to call our own that is perfect for hosting both of our families in this Thanksgiving

- sugar cookies from Blue Flour Bakery

- midweek date nights trying out a new {to us} local restaurant

- the Southern Belle Blonde beer cheese soup at Twisted Spur Brewing

- friends who've asked me to photograph their families this Christmas season

& a lot more!
Happy Thanksgiving! Hope y'all enjoy the holiday, time with your families, and a Clemson Tiger win this weekend ;)

Go Tigers! Beat USC!

22 November 2016

A Weekend of All the Things in Kiawah

Kiawah during the summer is fantastic because hello, it's the beach.
But Kiawah in the fall? There's something to be said about that. It's 100x less crowded, you don't get miserably hot biking around the island, and it's so cozy down there. I didn't get to go down there much this fall but I definitely packed as much into my three day weekend down there this past weekend.
First up: the LAST long run of my Kiawah Half training!

I still have a couple more decent length runs mixed in over the next three weeks but the next time I hit double digit mileage will be on race day. It was nice to run a few of the miles on the actual race course, too.

Then it was off to The Sandcastle to prep for the Kiawah Art & Artisans Show. This has been something that I've wanted to participate in for awhile and once things finally calmed down {the move back to Columbia, the wedding planning, the house buying, the actual wedding, etc} I was able to get my act together to participate.

What was I showcasing and selling?
Fun drink coasters with different scenes from around Kiawah. This project actually started last summer when I moved back to Columbia and until this weekend, the coasters have all been gifts to people. Stock the Bar shower gifts, housewarming gifts, hostess thank you gifts, etc.

The show went really well and a lot better than I was expecting! Where does it go from here? I have no idea yet. Stay tuned!
Saturday night, some of our good friends down on Kiawah hosted a wedding shower for my brother Benjamin and his fiancé Jen. I promise that I took pictures but because I'm a good sister, they'll probably stay off the blog ;)
Fun fact: their wedding shower was exactly one weekend after Patrick and I had our Kiawah wedding shower. Who would have ever guessed that both my brother and I would be married within 6 months of one another?
Sunday was spent recovering from the party, brunching, and biking around the island.

It was a gorgeous, cold day but this is as close to the beach as we got. Most of the boardwalks look a little something like this:

Thanks, Hurricane Matthew.

At least all of the roads and trails were still good for biking.

It was a great weekend down on Kiawah. The next time I'll be down there, it'll be time to run the half marathon... 18 days to go!

18 November 2016

Five on Friday: Live from Kiawah

Hello from Kiawah!

Y'all, it's a 3 day weekend for me and I'm pretty excited to be down on the best island ever for it. There are SO many good things going on this weekend that I've been looking forward to and working towards for awhile.

... like running my very last long run in preparation for the Kiawah Half.

& the engagement/wedding shower for my brother & his fiancé Jen.

& officially starting my own little business.

What-the-what?! Told you. So many good things going on this weekend. Linking up for a quick Five on Friday with April.

Patrick and I are hosting our very first Thanksgiving next week... any tip & tricks you want to send our way would be much appreciated {because we have no idea what we're doing!}

With the help of my dad, we finally got our kitchen ceiling painted and the like 5 square feet of wall space painted {adios yellow!]

I knew that I had put this room off for a reason. Although I have loved painting our house {seriously!}, this room was the worst and I am so glad that it's done and that we can check it off our list. I think I owe y'all a house update sometime soon...

I am still so excited about the newest shop that opened up on Main Street this week.

Lunch time visits here might happen on a weekly basis. It's going to be really bad news for my bank account that my favorite cookie shop {Blue Flour} is located right next door to my favorite gift shop {Uptown on Main}. Like, really bad.

One week, y'all. One week.


Did I mention Kiawah?

Because I'm pretty happy to be here, especially since it's a Friday & I'm not at work! I'm also hoping that there's a trip to the Southern Kitchen in my very near future...

Happy Friday! GO TIGERS! Beat Wake!
But for real. Beat Wake. Y'all can handle one loss like a champ but two losses? Let's not go down that road, ok?

17 November 2016

Main Street Just Got More Awesome

There are a few things that are guaranteed to make me happy:
a Clemson football win
a weekend in Kiawah
an afternoon of brewery hopping with my husband
I love me some Blue Flour cookies. They made an appearance at our engagement party, I used them to ask my best girlfriends to be bridesmaids, and they took center stage at our wedding reception. My mom has shown up to work a time or two with a cookie for me {#spoiled, yes I know!} and Patrick has surprised me with their awesome sugar cookies as well.

They're really cute and each cookie comes wrapped in cellophane with a colorful ribbon to tie it off.

The only downside to Blue Flour is that they're in the next town over and it's rare that I'm able to stop by during their regular store hours.
Until now.
Now they've opened up a second shop on Main Street in downtown Columbia.

They've got extended hours at this location, too making it easier to pop in before work, after work, and on Saturdays.
Did I mention that it's less than a 10 minute drive from where I work AND less than 10 minutes from my house?

This is going to be really bad news at some point but for now, I'm celebrating with a cookie. Or five.

They serve more than just cookies here, too. They've got various coffees and teas and there's this grilled pimento cheese with tomato and bacon sandwich that is calling my name. Sounds absolutely delicious, right?
I am so happy that Blue Flour is downtown now. Welcome to the Main Street District, Blue Flour!


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