20 September 2017

Week 3: USC vs Kentucky

Football Saturdays are the best.

Football Saturdays in Clemson are THE best, but the ones spent in Columbia tailgating with our friends here before USC aren't half bad either. Our tailgate before the game this weekend was no exception.



I don't have any fun drink ware for Carolina games like I do Clemson games. Sorry, but even I have my limits when it comes to Carolina related accessories. My mom and I scooped up these fun coozies a couple of seasons ago at Swoozies, and it's my favorite one to bring to a Carolina tailgate.



By the time dusk fell, we were ready for the big game! I'd say 99.9% of the people in the stadium were ready for the game that was about to happen on the field in front of them...



... the other 0.1% of the people in the stadium were more concerned about a game happening several hundred miles away in Louisville, Kentucky. You can count me among the latter group.



You can take a girl to a Carolina game, but you can't actually make her watch the game on the field. Cell reception was spotty for most of the game though, so I was relying on scoreboard updates and text message updates from a friend to keep me up with what was going on. There were a few lucky times where I'd get great reception and was able to watch some of my game on Patrick's phone.

We got back to our tailgate after the game in time to see a good chunk of the 4th quarter of Clemson's game. If I can't be at Clemson's game, at least I can bask in the glow of Williams-Brice stadium while I watch Clemson throttle what was supposed to be one of their biggest threats in the ACC Atlantic this year.



Three weeks, three tailgates & games, and Clemson is currently sitting at #2 in the country with a 3-0 record. I won't get into how ridiculous it is that the undefeated defending National Champion {who is the only school that has already beaten two top-15 teams this season} isn't the #1 team in the country... but it's only the 3rd week of the season. I'll give the rest of y'all a couple more weeks to realize that even though Deshaun Watson {& a bunch of other really good players} left for the NFL, Clemson is still Clemson.

Up next: Clemson vs Boston College in Clemson!

The beginning of the football season is always a little hectic for us with the number of games in a row we end up attending. It hasn't been too bad this season, but I am excited for next weekend because it's a weekend at home, there are fun events happening all over Columbia, and Clemson has a night game. Win, win, win.



15 September 2017

Five on Friday

It's Friday? Already? Seriously? Someone please tell me where in the world this week went... you know, in addition to answering where in the world January - August went and where the first half of September disappeared to.

Just kidding. We all know where this week went: Hurricane Irma, 1. Chesson, 0.

Want to know who else is 1-0 other than Irma? Deshaun Watson. Clemson fans have known for years that he was a once-in-a-generation type of quarterback and that he's exciting to watch. Alabama fans begrudgingly will say the same thing about him. Now the Houston Texans and the NFL world have the chance to see how awesome he is and I LOVE it.



Anyway. Let's get down to another Five on Friday...

{one}
Things I learned this week: I don't do power outages and I'm slightly overdramatic when it comes to not having power.



Thank goodness for Instagram stories, right? Y'all got to be there with me throughout the entire power outage and y'all got to count down the # of outages in our county until we finally had our power restored. I'm so thankful that we didn't have to evacuate our home, that a tree didn't fall on our house, that we had no flood damage, and that the worst we dealt with was 2+ days of no power. People had it much, much worse than we did. But you know what? Being the only street in our neighborhood without power is beyond frustrating.

{two}
That being said, y'all were all just as excited as I was about the fact that our power was restored after 53 hours without.



{three}
Quite a few of y'all sent me a fun link yesterday to a post on The Everygirl. Y'all saw a picture from Clemson's Death Valley and then saw a photo credit below it to Magnolia & Main... and probably got just as excited as I did to see it!


{original post Magnolia & Main here, and on The Everygirl here}

That actually wasn't the first time someone sent me a message this week about stumbling across me and my blog online. I might blog a few times about Clemson football, tailgates, and wine and if you google "Clemson wine tailgating"... uh, you might recognize a few of the pictures. What can I say? I like Clemson football, tailgating, wine, and cute wine glasses.

{four}
Three things signal fall in Columbia:
1. Football Season
2. Columbia's Annual Greek Festival
3. South Carolina State Fair



We're 2 for 3 so far! Football season has begun, and we ventured out to Columbia's Annual Greek Festival last night with our favorite Greek. My mom came along for the fun, and let's be real: we were just there for the fries {and pizza}.

{five}
Y'all, football season is in full swing around here. It's Week 3 and we're off to our third football game of the year: USC vs Kentucky.

Clemson is playing on the road against Louisville and all I can think about is our awesome trip there two seasons ago. We were newly engaged and y'all, that was one of the most fun road trips that I've ever been on. The game was excellent, too, even if it was incredibly stressful up to the final seconds.



Here's hoping that Clemson can escape Louisville with another win and improve to 3-0 on the season.

---

GO TIGERS! Beat Louisville!





11 September 2017

Week 2: Clemson vs Auburn

In the fall, there is no greater place to be on a Saturday than at a tailgate in Clemson. It was a beautiful day for a tailgate, too! It was in the mid-60s when we arrived on campus around noon and never got warmer than about 75. Sunny, cloud-free days on campus are the best.

The game against Auburn wasn't until 7, so we had a day full of tailgating ahead of us.

My mom and I picked up these hand painted wine glasses last weekend at Raspberry Fizz in downtown Clemson. How cute are they?! I'm convinced that we have enough Clemson themed drink ware to go an entire season without repeating.


I was worried about our new tailgating spot this year, and that it wouldn't be as convenient as last year for our friends to stop by and hang out with us. I worried for nothing because we have awesome friends who will always find a way to visit!


Let's talk about the dress that I was wearing at our tailgate during the day. I found it at Handpicked in Charleston this summer, fell in love with it, and had to have it for a Clemson game this year. I was so excited to wear it.

As much as I love it, it is not a game day dress. It's 100% not made for jumping up and down in a stadium and cheering on your team. I kind of expected that to be the case, so I came prepared with an outfit change...


It was a beautiful evening to be in Death Valley!


While Clemson didn't thump Auburn they way that they did Kent State last Saturday, they did come away with the 14-6 victory. Who remembers a time when Clemson beating Auburn 14-6 would be the most amazing thing ever? Now it's kind of expected to beat Auburn {and everyone else ;)} and I'm totally ok with that mentality.



Next up: Clemson at Louisville.

Game Day. 8pm Kickoff. I'm a little nervous about this one to be honest. Clemson hasn't allowed a TD at all this season, but Lamar Jackson can be a touchdown machine when he wants to be.

I'm also busy reminiscing about our trip to Louisville two years ago for the Clemson/Louisville game. We had a blast! From the Louisville Slugger Museum to Churchill Downs and downtown distilleries to Maker's Mark, it was such a good trip with some great friends.

We won't be there this year because we'll be in Columbia for the USC / Kentucky game. Am I more than a little annoyed that our 3:30 kickoff time was moved to 8pm and I'll miss the majority of my game? You bet. The things you give up in a house divided marriage... :)

Happy Monday, friends! Stay safe from Irma!

08 September 2017

Is This Real Life?

Three years ago, when Patrick was giving me reasons every day on why I should move back to Columbia, I told him that there was nowhere in Columbia that I would ever want to work. Nowhere.



But then I heard about this new magazine that was starting up called Fig Columbia. Fig Columbia was going to be a quarterly magazine that would celebrate all things local, and I was immediately enamored with it. I remember telling Patrick that if I could work for Fig, I would move back to Columbia. They weren't hiring {I checked on a regular basis} and I give up on the idea of ever working for them.

Fast forward a couple of years.

I had the opportunity to work with an incredible design company in Columbia when Patrick and I were getting married. It was a company comprised of talented, dedicated, and hardworking women who did incredibly awesome design work and who put together a beautiful wedding invitation suite for us. I ended up staying in touch with this company and following along with them via social media... and when the opportunity to work for them arose, I jumped on it. I knew there was no better place in Columbia for me than with this group of women.


{photo credit to Brynley}

Fast forward to last night.

Last night was a little surreal for me.

Last night, the talented team that I joined four months ago, launched the Fall 2017 Issue of Fig Columbia.



You see, that awesome little design company took on a huge new project at the beginning of the summer this year. We signed on to create and produce Fig Columbia... from the writing and design of the quarterly magazine, to managing all of the social media accounts, and to being the Fig representatives around Columbia.

We launched our first issue of Fig {the 16th overall for Columbia} and it is amazing. I might be a tiny bit biased but seriously, it's such a great issue. It is a product of a lot of hard work, a lot of late nights, a lot of running around, a lot of great concepts/planning/photography/design/writing, and a lot of talent. It is something that I am so, so, so proud of and I can't wait to get started on our next issue.

Y'all, I'm working for a company that I believe in. It's a company where my team members feel like family rather than just the people that I see at work every day. I work with women who are strong, talented, and so great. I'm grateful. I have to sit there sometimes and remind myself that yes, this is my life and this is what I get to do for a living.


{Photo credit to Lindsay}

I get to write. I get to take pictures. I get to run social media accounts. I get to meet some truly special people and companies from all around Columbia and tell their stories. I get to be involved. I get to research all of the fun things going on around town and share what I find with a big audience. I get to do all of this for a living.

Is this real life? Is this my real life?

06 September 2017

Week 1: Clemson vs Kent State

Because it was the first game of the season, a noon game, and a game against a no-name team {Kent State}, my dad and Patrick decided to sit this one out. Totally ok with us! I love getting to road trip up to Clemson and spend the day with my mom in one of our favorite places.

First things first: check out our new parking lot with our brand new Swig wine tumblers.


As soon as I saw these, I knew that we had to have them for our Clemson tailgates. They come in a whole bunch of colors {orange, too!} and you can personalize them any way you want. I bought mine from this seller on Etsy - I highly recommend her! Her shop states that it takes 2-3 days for items to ship but when I told her I was hoping to have them for the first game, she had them ready to ship the day I purchased them.

Our new tailgate spot has us super close to downtown Clemson and Bowman Field... which will be great anytime that Game Day comes to town, on Homecoming, and on days when we want to do a little shopping. This past Saturday was a day that we wanted to do a little shopping... by a little, I mean I probably need to not shop again this football season. Oops.

{PS - any Clemson friends who wander by Bowman Field or downtown this season, we want to see you! Our new lot is Lot 25 and right next to the Alumni Center.}

While we did miss our favorite tailgate friends {they were both in a wedding... who gets married during football season anyway??} we did get to catch up with quite a few other friends.


... and then it was time for the most important part of the day: watching OUR defending National Champions run down the hill!

Y'all.

I've heard Death Valley be loud before but I've never heard it that loud for a noon game against a no-name team like Kent State. Never. I think everyone was incredibly excited to see Clemson take the field again after an amazing 2016 football season.


We made a short game out of things and headed out of the stadium at halftime to get back on the road down to Columbia. It was a great first game back in Clemson though! I'm so excited for this coming weekend.

Clemson vs Auburn at night under the lights in Death Valley.

GO TIGERS!

01 September 2017

Five on Friday

College football is back! It's like Christmas Eve over here and I cannot wait to be back in Clemson tomorrow for my fifteenth straight season of college football. January 9th seems like a lifetime ago and it's high time for another season of the best game.

Linking up with April for a long-overdue edition of Five on Friday.

{one}
I took advantage of the cooler weather earlier this week and managed to squeeze in a quick run after work before it started to rain. This run felt so good after last Saturday's not-so-great race. There's still a long way to go to 13.1 but I'll take any positive run that I can get!



{two}
There have been so many murals popping up around Columbia over the last few months and it's been fun watching the progress of each one of them. I don't make it down to Five Points often, but loved getting to see the latest mural being worked on earlier this week. Can't wait to see it when it's done!



{three}
Our dining room table got a fresh look this week with a new table runner, new placemats, and a new centerpiece.



Next up: new sofa and a completed man cave! The man cave is so close to being done and as soon as it's done, we can shift furniture around in the house, and our new sofa comes home from Westend Interiors.

{four}
I've said it once before but it's worth repeating: if you find this beer in stores anytime soon, buy it! The New Belgium Fat Tire Special Release White Ale is so good.



Also, check out this pretty glass that I bought while we were visiting New Belgium a few weeks ago. Biking and breweries, two of my favorite things combined on one glass.

{five}
One day really soon, I'll share about the job that I started at the beginning of May on this blog. I've never talked about any of my previous jobs on here before but this job is a tiny bit more well known around Columbia.

How well known? Let's just say there's a magazine going out next week to thousands of homes around Columbia and into dozens of shops/restaurants that has my name under "Writer". It's still surreal to think about. This job has given me the opportunity to meet so many people in Columbia and it makes me be involved, which is awesome. I also get to work with an incredible group of women who are all crazy talented, inspiring, and awesome to work with {even if they outnumber me 5:1 when it comes to Clemson and South Carolina...}

---

That's a wrap for today, y'all! Thanks for hanging in there with me this summer while I disappeared and did all of the fun things, but a special thanks to all of y'all who have encouraged me and this blog! As of last week, I've officially been blogging in this space for FOUR years.

Who saw that one coming four years ago? Not me!

Happy SOLID ORANGE Friday! GO TIGERS!

31 August 2017

Welcome, Football Season

It's the best time of the year: football season!


In less than 48 hours I'll be back in Tiger Town and anxiously waiting for the Defending National Champions to run down the hill for the first game in Death Valley. It's going to be so weird to not have DW4 on the field this season but I'm excited to see this Clemson team write their own story.

{Remind me of that later when I'm bemoaning the fact that Deshaun graduated early and is playing as a backup on Sundays these days...}

It's time to bust all of the orange and purple out of the closet.



It's time to pack the coolers, find all of the orange and purple tailgate accessories, and try out new tailgate recipes.



It's time to plan another incredible weekend in Tiger Town with some of our best friends.


It's time to hop from tailgate to tailgate and visit with friends that we haven't seen since last football season {& their newest additions!}


Here's how football season is shaping up for us this year as we embark on season 9 of our house divided relationship.


Week 1: Clemson vs Kent State
Week 2: Clemson vs Auburn
Week 3: USC vs Kentucky
Week 4: Clemson vs Boston College
Week 5: Weekend at Home {essential after 4 straight games!}
Week 6: Clemson vs Wake Forest
Week 7: Weekend at Home
Week 8: Someone thought it'd be a great idea for both Clemson & USC to have the same Bye Week...
Week 9: Clemson vs Georgia Tech
Week 10: USC at UGA
Week 11: Clemson vs Florida State
Week 12: Clemson vs The Citadel
Week 13: Clemson at USC

Thirteen weeks of football, ten games.

Peace out, summer. Bring on football season!

30 August 2017

Stomp the Swamp 5K Recap

Two years ago, I ran the inaugural Stomp the Swamp 5K at River Bluff High School.

I remember exactly three things from that day: running a race, winning 1st place in my age group, and Patrick proposing to me {two years ago today!} It's safe to say that the last event in that sequence thoroughly eclipsed that whole running a race thing. I definitely blocked out the heat and humidity that comes with a late August race {one day I will learn} and I absolutely forgot about those hills.



There's a reason the saying "If you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail" is so popular. It's absolutely true. My running in August this year has been a little... uh, nonexistent. There were a few 1-2 mile runs at the beach but that was pretty much it. Why I thought it was a good idea to tackle this race, I have no idea. I wasn't prepared. I definitely didn't run the way that I know I can {when I've prepared}.

Mile 1
I love how this race starts out inside River Bluff's stadium! Running across a football field will never get old and it makes for a great start/finish to a race. Despite a complete lack of preparation for this race, the first few minutes of it weren't complete torture... until we got to Mt. River Bluff. Mt. River Bluff is an unrelenting mid-grade climb up from the athletic fields to Corley Mill Road and you get the added bonus of seeing everyone ahead of you enjoying the quick, easy run back down the mountain on the other side of the road while you're still suffering up it.

Mt. River Bluff is the worst. I want to say it's worse than the old Governor's Cup 8K Blossom Street hill climb. Almost.

Mile 2
The second mile of the race winds you in and out of the school buildings and up onto a curvy, hilly paved nature trail. I spent most of this mile dodging a couple of little kids who were busy running, then walking, then running, and then walking again. 

Mile 3
The worst part of this mile, for me, was when we ran by the top of the football stadium. We could see down to the scoreboard where they were showing live video of the runners as they finished as well as the time. I ran by, with a solid 0.4 miles left of the race, and saw 28:00 minutes on the clock. It's hard to find motivation when you know that, without a doubt, this is going to be your worst 5K time ever.

Finish
The finish is my favorite part of the Stomp the Swamp 5K. Running across a football field towards a finish line {or any playing field, really} is so much fun. It almost makes you forget about the 3 miles of pain leading up to that moment. Almost.



Yikes.

Final Results
Watch Time - 32:42
Chip Time - 32:46
Pace - 10:23/mile
Age Group - 1... out of 1!
Overall - 156/237



The best part of this race was walking away with first place in my age group. True, it was my very worst race ever but I'll take the CRC Tour de Columbia points any way that I can get them. I'm rockin' first place overall in the 25-29 age group and just added another 10 points to my lead.



Second best part? Getting to see Sarah {& Baby B}! She's the Cross Country coach at River Bluff & since this race benefits the cross country teams there, I love supporting it.



Third best part? It was a good reality check that made me realize that I need to get my booty in gear and get outside and do some actual running. I have a 5K planned for mid-September, a 10K for October, a 5K in November, two December 5Ks, and a December half marathon. Time to lace up my shoes and get some miles in!

23 August 2017

That One (Really Awesome) Summer of Fun

Soo... it's been a little while.

While Magnolia and Main is one thing that I never intended to neglect, it fell to the wayside over the past couple of months. I saw it coming. I embraced it. I convinced Patrick that this should be our "summer of fun" and that we should say yes to all of the things and go on all of the trips.

It was a really, really awesome {exhausting?} summer of fun.


Here's kind of what happened:

- I started a new job!
- Went to Kiawah.
- Hung out on Lake Murray.
- Went to Charlotte for brewery fun & a fundraising event.
- Road tripped to Nags Head for a long weekend & a wedding.



- New job took on a brand new, huge, exciting project that I love... & will share more about very soon.
- Celebrated some new retirees & some awesome dads.
- Bought a couch!
- Went to some Fireflies games.
- Celebrated quite a few pregnancies {... this was the theme of the summer for a lot of friends}
- Played on Kiawah for the 4th of July.



- Had to get my Clemson ring cut off :(
- Celebrated birthday #29!
- Traveled to Charleston for birthday celebrations.
- Popped down to Kiawah for even more birthday celebrations.
- Took a vacation to Edisto with Patrick's family.
- Celebrated our anniversary in Asheville {& toured more breweries!}
- Enjoyed a Mountain Weekend with Patrick's family {& a beautiful wedding}



- Went to Kiawah.
- Spent one final weekend out of town in Charlotte {with breweries, a cute baby, a baby announcement from a friend, and a wedding}


... and in between all of that, we never said no to Fireflies games, drinks out with friends, or mid-week date nights. We were on the go all summer long.

I don't even think that "exhausted" is the right word to use to describe how we feel after three crazy hectic months. Is it bad that we're looking forward to football season because it means that we're only busy one day of the weekend and still have our Sundays at home?

Let's see if I can get back into the swing of this whole blogging thing. I'm looking forward to showing y'all some updates around the house, sharing some new recipes, and telling you about some of my favorite new finds.

Happy Wednesday, friends!

22 August 2017

Totality.

I can't say that I was ever super excited about this whole eclipse thing in the months and weeks leading up to it. It was all that anyone could talk about around here. Eclipse-mania set in hard in Columbia and every. single. thing. circled back to the eclipse in one way or another.

Would it be cool to see it? Yes. Absolutely.

Was I only going to see it because where I live happened to fall in the path of totality? You better believe it.

Did I end up totally nerding out about the eclipse in the days leading up to it and learn everything about it that I could? Yeah, that might have happened.

I'll have to blame two different weekends at the beach for piquing my interest in the night sky and the other things hanging out in space with us. One father-of-the-bride had the International Space Station fly over his daughter's wedding reception. Um, very cool to see that. The other was just two weekends ago when we were invited by some friends at the beach to come down to the boardwalk to see the meteor shower. I learned all about Jupiter, Saturn, the Milky Way, satellites, and space stations, and I was even able to see six meteors during the shower.



All of that prompted me to do my research at the last minute and to be the one that was ready and staring at the sun {from behind my solar eclipse glasses} at exactly 1:13pm today. Sure enough, the tiniest little chunk disappears from the sun.

We watched diligently for the next hour and a half as the moon slowly creeped over the sun and towards totality. As soon as our eclipse glasses went black, we all threw them off to see exactly what this total solar eclipse thing looked like in person.

Y'all, if you weren't in the path of totality, you missed out. I get it now when they say that "close isn't close enough" when it comes to a total solar eclipse. Being able to take off our eclipse glasses for the two and a half minutes was... incredible. Surreal. Awesome. Something I will hopefully never forget.


{Photo from the very talented Joshua of Joshua Aaron Photography in Columbia, SC. See the original post on Facebook here - they are selling prints! Don't be surprised if you see this in our house soon!}

The sheer panic when we all had to scramble to put our glasses back on as the moon continued on it's path is also something I'll probably never forget either!


{this was at 2:42pm during the eclipse}

Everything that they said would happen during the eclipse and totality, happened. From the "diamond ring" to the 360 degree sunset and the temperature drop to the cicadas.

I doubt that I'll be chasing down future eclipses, but y'all, if you ever find the chance to see a total solar eclipse... do it! Just make sure to remember that 99.9% isn't close enough. You've got to find that 100% path of totality or you'll miss out one one of the most awesome things to see.

08 August 2017

Brewing & Touring at New Belgium

Way back in the day, when I was still new to the craft brewery world, I fell in love with two different wheat beers. One was from a former craft brewer {Goose Island} and the other was from a brewery that I'm 100% positive will never sell out: New Belgium.


While I haven't quite forgiven New Belgium for sending my beloved Snapshot Wheat out to pasture this past winter, I've been introduced to a few recently that are doing their part to make up for the absence of that particular wheat beer. I went to New Belgium last year as part of my bachelorette weekend but knew that Patrick and I would have to come back for a visit and a tour.


Y'all.

If you've only got enough time to visit one brewery in Asheville, let it be this one.

Patrick and I rolled into the parking lot just before 11am last Friday and I checked online for tour tickets. We were in luck and we snagged the last two tickets for the 90 minute tour at 11:30am {ps - the tour is FREE!} Tickets secured, we walked inside when the doors opened and headed straight to the bar where we had our first encounter with a guy named Michael. He poured Patrick a beer {first one of the day!} and then asked me what I wanted.

I told him that I wanted the Sunshine Wheat {my favorite beer from my bachelorette weekend & one that I can only find at the brewery} and he said "Well, ok, I'm going to get you to try something else first."


He handed me back a sample of "Fat Tire No. 2" to try. He told me about how this was a brand new beer that had just been released the week prior and that distributors were already clamoring to get on their shelves. This crisp, refreshing, unfiltered white ale was amazing. I abandoned my Sunshine Wheat and went with Michael's suggestion. Honestly, I don't really think that I had a choice when it came to the beer I was getting because I think I was going to be served Fat Tire No. 2 no matter what.

Our tour started promptly at 11:30am under the bicycle archway between the Liquid Center and the brewery and luckily for us, we had encounter number two with Michael. He was our tour guide!


I have never met anyone in my entire life who speaks so passionately about what they do and the company that they work for. This guy lives and breathes everything New Belgium. He was wildly entertaining, too. We learned about his farm {& his bacon seeds}, how he ended up at New Belgium {it involved many years of rejection letters & living out of a truck for a couple of months}, and so much more. Our tour would have been an entirely different experience with any other tour guide.

Did you know? There's a slide! The highlight of the tour for me might have been sliding down this thing. Maybe.


There's also plenty of beer to sample along the tour. We had the Fat Tire, the Belgian Trippel, the Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, and a sour beer that I opted to skip out on.


& crazy murals to take pictures with.


It was seriously such a great tour and experience. It's one that you've got to check out yourself and not just read about ;)

Afterwards, I may have purchased a few anniversary presents to ourselves from the New Belgium shop. It's hard to not want to support this company and all of the owners {since it's a 100% employee owned company} after learning more about it. I only wish that we had more time to sit outside of the Liquid Center, watch paddle boarders on the French Broad River, and enjoy more of the Fat Tire No. 2.


We checked New Belgium off of our never ending list of breweries to visit. 33 down, hundreds more to go!

Happy Tuesday, y'all.
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