Bad News, Good News

Bad News: I haven’t blogged in a while

Good News: I’ve still been taking photos of my clothes everyday, in preparation for this post

While going through the pictures of my outfits, I realized that there were several outfits that I thought looked really cute, but then, they really didn’t. Those photos did not make the cut 🙂

Yellow Jacket: Banana Republic Factory
Glasses: Ralph Lauren RA 7044 in 1143 Spotted Pink

Army Green Jacket/Blouse: NEW! Banana Republic Structured Blazer: CAbi Outlet

White Blouse: Banana Republic Clearance

Printed Pants: Dizzire via TJ Maxx

Sandals: X-Appeal via Rack Room Shoes
Ruffled Blouse: Banana Republic via Greene Street Consignment

This outfit was actually inspired by my friend, Claire. She had on something similar in a recent photo, and I thought I should try to recreate it here 🙂

Pink Sweater: J Crew Factory

Polka-Dotted Ankle Pants: Ann Taylor Factory

3/4 Sleeve Pink Top: Piko

I bought this in Charleston and realized that I needed a whole bunch more. So I bought some online in black, lilac, and white. Stay tuned!Ruffled Button-Down: J Crew Factory

Camel Pencil Skirt: J Crew FactoryThere’s the Weekender Bag in action!!
Long Faux Fur Vest: Almost Famous via Sears!
Navy Blazer: Theory via TJ Maxx. Originally $329, on CLEARANCE for $99.99!!

Ripped Denim: Target

Army Pants: STS Blue via Nordstrom

Black Dress: Express, Similar
Camel Boots: Nine West

Ciao Tee: J Crew Factory (you can read about my obsession here, and here, and here)

Ombre Leggings: Express, Similar

Brocade Dress: H&M

Cranberry Pants: Blue Spice via TJ Maxx

Shoes: Madden Girl

Mint Sweater:  J Crew Factory, Similar

Floral Choker Blouse: Belle Vere via TJ Maxx

White Blouse: Dance & Marvel, Truth be told, this top was found left in a hotel closet on a previous Charleston trip. What a find!

❤

 

Scoring A Weekender Bag

In honor of Superbowl Sunday, I want to talk about a recent score of my own.

I spied this beauty at Homegoods a few weeks before Christmas. She was heavily discounted at $269.99, but I still had a few gifts left on my list, and decided it wasn’t a good time to buy.

img_1750I left, but kept thinking about her. She was the perfect rich evergreen color, she looked luxurious, and most important, she was the perfect size for the weekend. I’m fortunate to have several lovely traveling bags to hold my clothes while I’m jet setting. But they were a little too big for a quick overnight.

Fast forward to December 26. My mom and I did our annual shopping trip to the outlets, and on the way home, I decided to stop at Homegoods “just to see” if she was still there. I visualized seeing her, picking her up, and using her for weekend trips, and then…it happened.img_1907There she was! The LAST one on the shelf. I picked her up, clutched her close, and checked out immediately, using a few gift cards I’ve had for ages, just waiting to be used on the perfect gift. By the time they were totaled up, all I owed was $99.00

TOUCHDOWN!

Here’s the details-Terrida brand, Giorgione collection in Green.

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Where Have You Been?

Well, this past week was QUITE the whirlwind! Lot’s of meeting up with friends, drinking too much, lounging at the beach, and eating myself into oblivion…

Instead of separate posts, this will be one week of nonsense crammed into one!

HANGING OUT AT …39 RUE DE JEAN

WHAT I WORE

My cousin is married to a wonderful girl, Meghan, that we love. Meghan’s spunky sister, Emily, happens to live in Charleston and knows EVERYONE. Lucky me! She has been so sweet and invited me to lots of things, including lunch at 39 Rue de Jean last week. It was INCREDIBLE!!! No photos, we were talking too much 🙂 We shared the Mediterranean Artichoke Ravioli and then I got the Fried Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Chicken. The chicken was so juicy and the goat cheese melted in my mouth! Oh yeah, and some Rose…Emily got the Mesclun Salade with Duck Confit, which she said is what she always gets, so it must be delicious!

Here’s what I wore:

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Top: J Crew Factory (new from June, purchased for my trip!) I’m noticing now that it is slightly see-through. Oooh -la-la (you know, because France…)

Denim: Bass

 

HANGING OUT AT…LOW COUNTRY BISTRO

Next up was a late breakfast on Wednesday at Low Country Bistro for my first ever taste of their Coleman Farms Chicken & Waffle. Let’s just say, I hope it’s not my last! This place was recommended to me by 2 different people, and they were right-it was goooooood! The chicken was so juicy and crispy, the waffle was made of sweet potato cornbread, and the butter was infused with pecans and bourbon.

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I have to admit that I pretty much ate the whole damn thing.

 

HANGING OUT AT…THE COCKTAIL CLUB & HALL’S CHOPHOUSE

WHAT I WORE

During our lunch, Emily said I should come out with her and her friends on Thursday night. When I asked where she wanted to meet, she said, “The Cocktail Club…Everyone goes to The Cocktail Club on Thursdays!”

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I checked out their website ahead of time, and it’s a really cool place. Very rustic and industrial with moody lighting, creative cocktails, and live music 🙂 Here’s what I wore:

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Off-the Shoulder Top: Hummingbird via C’est La Vie. Remember when I posted about it here? I wish it photographed more clearly….

Black Shorts: J Crew Factory

Earrings: Charming Charlie

Clutch: Charming Charlie

I wore nude platforms from Nine West Outlet

Here I am really enjoying myself:

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And here’s what took me over the edge and kept me up all night wishing I had taken it easier…

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Drink courtesy of our second stop, Hall’s Chophouse, and the nachos from across the street, which they hand-delivered to us because we were hungry and their kitchen was closed. That’s why this place is voted among the top 10 Restaurants in the US…

 

HANGING OUT AT…CO & AMEN STREET FISH & RAW BAR

WHAT I WORE

I’ve walked by CO several times and someone told me that they enjoyed it, so I stopped in on Saturday night. It was a little confusing-a long line, but no hostess…I waited a little bit, got some menu recommendations in line, and then had a seat at the bar, where I ordered a Blackberry Cooler/Spritzer? and the ever-safe Pad Thai with Shrimp. It was SO SO good! I’m convinced there is no bad food in this town! A little spicy, with just the right crunch from the peanuts. I would DEFINITELY eat here again.

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Here’s what I wore:

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Dress: Forever21 (that I originally posted about here)

Booties: Madden Girl

And then I came home, sat inside for an hour watching the ID Network, decided I looked too cute to be sitting at home, and went on a mission to find me some key lime pie. Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar delivered.img_0635

Did I feel slightly uncomfortable that I went in by myself, at 10pm, on a Saturday night, sat at the bar, and only ordered pie? The answer is yes. Did the pie make it worth it. Also yes. Are all of my clothes seeming to shrink smaller and smaller as the weeks go by? Sadly, the answer is yes to that too…

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Earlier on Saturday, my new friend, Abbey, joined me at the beach on Sullivan’s Island. It was a slightly impromptu visit, and we had such a great time laughing and talking. She is just so sweet and insightful, and I met her through Emily! I feel so happy and excited that I am making some new friends to help me feel a part of the city 🙂

Sunday was another beach day which included more eating, laughing, talking, and sunning 🙂

 

HANGING OUT AT…SAFFRON CAFE AND BAKERY & THE NOISY OYSTER SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

Emily recommended Saffron Cafe and Bakery to me the other day, and so I took a stroll there this morning. I have been craving hash browns ever since I started thinking about them yesterday. This did not disappoint (see what I mean about no bad food?!)

I got the Eye Opener-2 scrambled eggs with American cheese, hash browns (obviously), and 2 biscuits, but I only ate 1! Yay! Don’t worry, that was the last self-restraint of the day. Eggs were buttery, biscuits were flaky, and hash browns were crispy. Incredible.

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I finished off my binge-fest with a spontaneous stop at The Noisy Oyster Seafood Restaurant. I’m sure any well-seasoned foodie would have said, “Out of all the places in Charleston, why would you stop there?” Well, it was on my walk home from Waterfront Park, all of their garage-style windows were open and I wanted to sit inside and read my book while feeling the breeze. So, there. That’s why. I got the Chopped Salad with Grilled Shrimp. The shrimp was actually really good-nice and pan-crispy. The salad was really flavorful and had a nice little crunch from the toasted almond slivers 🙂 And that’s it. I didn’t want anything else for the whole night. Just a plain old salad.

OK, I had the Old Fashioned Banana Meringue Pudding. Gahhh! Can’t. Stop.Won’t.Stop.

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❤

 

Champagne Taste on a Tap Water Budget

Let me tell you, Charleston has some seriously cute boutiques. I want everything! I mean, I usually feel like that, but the sole purpose of my trip is to explore the city, which means that I have time to shop and all I want to do is buy everything and eat everywhere…

Gahhhh!

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In Philadelphia, anytime I see a sleeveless sweater, I think, “What the hell is this? When it’s cold, you want sleeves!! Why am I the only one understanding this??”

But, I recently realized why they make sleeveless sweaters. Stupidly, since I packed in mid-August, I chose my favorite summer dresses and tops to bring with me. Well, now that the Fall Fashion Season is officially here, I’m feeling silly wearing bright sun dresses, even though it’s hot. Moreover, all of my Fall sweaters and tops are still in Spring colors-pinks, corals, mint greens. What was I thinking???fullsizerenderIt’s like the opposite of my freshman year of college, when I kept thinking I was packing for Fall, so I was forced to wear American Eagle thermal tees at the end of August…How can I even call myself a fashionista?

So in my perusals, I stopped by Madewell (a sister company of J Crew) , which I know is not exclusive to Charleston. But I found myself there and enjoyed the trip. Apparently, I’m not the only one!

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Here was the cutest dress, which was-no pun indented-made well. The thick, heavy fabric and autumnal colors made it fit the season, but since it’s a dress, and had short sleeves, it felt perfect for the location:img_0178

And then there was this dress, which I LOVED, as evident in my smile 🙂img_0179It was a little too small in the top which made me uncomfortable. This is the first (and only) time my chest was “too big” for something! LOL If it had come in one size bigger, it totally would have come home with me, paired with my ancient Charlotte Russe olive jacket and new suede booties:img_9774Madden Girl: Francesca’s, but purchased using a gift card from my bestie, Sue ❤

Then there were these cute shorts, on sale! Also try these, which are ADORABLE!img_0181Too summery for my purpose, but they also came in indigo linen, which I did buy, since they laid really nice and allowed me to wear some of my long sleeve shirts with denim shorts at an appropriate length…And check out the cute peplum tee!img_0180

Also, they had REALLLLLLLY nice work pants, and considering it’s basically impossible for me to find pants that I like and that fit me, this was a home run, except for the fact that they had a kind of weird flare thing going on at the bottom, even though they looked straight leg and were cropped…img_0182img_0183

They were the right kind of tight at the waist, but then had enough room in the thigh (which is ALWAYS the dilemma) I may need to just bite the bullet and get them, and then have them tailored. I can’t tell you how many of my pants end up in the Infamous Pants Graveyard, which is in the back of my closet…

I kept thinking about that first dress, but was not about to spend $138 on 1 item. I know, I know, “quality over quantity”, but I like variation of styles, and maybe I don’t want this dress in 2 years!

I quickly ran into Forever21 tonight, so I could try and find some fall color/summer weather clothes.forever21-logo

Wow, I’m getting too old for that shit. Seriously, the quality was so bad and the styles were so cheap, I was like, “What am I doing in here??” And then I remembered I’m working with a limited budget and limited wardrobe selection, so I allowed myself a small budget and after some serious digging, here’s what I found:img_0194Very similar in “feeling” to the Madewell dress, literally $108 cheaper. Also, very similar to the dress I posted a few weeks ago from Vestique, (which I never bought).IMG_9728

And then this trendy floral romper, that snaps at the v-neck top, so it doesn’t reveal too much cleavage and also shows off my ballerina legs from the Barre classes I’ve been taking while I’m here 🙂img_0193I texted both of these photos to Sue for her opinion. She swiftly approved and even said she liked the Forever21 dress better than the expensive Madewell one. Isn’t she the best? 🙂

❤

 

19 at 3, 30 at 4

What a crazy day I had on Friday!

I worked most of the day, so by the time I got out of the house for the first time, it was already 3:00. I was unshowered, hair in a ponytail, and had on a grey H&M t-shirt that I’ve been wearing around the house for 3 days, some black Express leggings and white Rocket Dog tennis sneakers. No photo is needed to show the manginess of my appearance, but here’s what I’d like to think I looked like…mangy

3:00 pm-I wanted to check out the Barnes and Noble to refresh my book collection, but while walking there, I realized that B&N is the College of Charleston’s bookstore. I have to say, I had a little pep in my step, knowing that, at 30, I still looked like I could pass for one of these 19 year-old kids. (Ugggh, just saying “kids” shows how NOT like them I am …) But I felt great in my little white shoes and ankle leggings strolling the streets, heading to the bookstore, walking home from class, maybe headed to meet some friends at the quad…smh…

I’ve already breezed through 2 books and wasn’t in the mood to start something serious-as in my last book that I brought with me, Dreams of Joy by Lisa See. So, I walked to the section for David Sedaris (who is, like, the absolute best in humor). And interestingly, it was perched on the shelf only 1 book away from the book that I was trying to avoid…unbelievable.

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On my way out, I passed by a backpack that reminded me of my own school days. img_0159I don’t think I’ve thought about that purple Jansport since my sophomore year of high school (so, like 14 4 years ago…)

4:00 pm-Afterwards, I walked around King Street and found this beautiful jewelry store called Croghan’s Jewel Box.croghans source

They advertised antiques and vintage pieces, which I love. Coincidentally, they were having a trunk show of one of the designers, Single Stone. Before I knew it, I was whisked upstairs and entered a room with crystal chandeliers and tea sandwiches and champagne and women in expensive dresses and glittering jewelry, and suddenly, every wonderful feeling I had about passing as a college student disappeared completely, and all I wanted was to appear cultured and fabulous and rich and beautiful and 30*.

Funny how that works, right?

 

*Disclaimer: Lucky for me, when I shower, I do actually feel cultured and fabulous and rich and beautiful and 30 🙂

Hanging Out At…Hyman’s Seafood

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The other night, I went out to Hyman’s Seafood for Restaurant Week. It wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had. I got the Wadmalaw Delight as an appetizer and the Carolina Delight as an entree.

Wadmalaw Delight
Local fried green tomatoes served on creamy grits and topped with Carolina cream sauce, cheese and cajun seasoning.
Carolina Delight
Shrimp and Grits taken up a notch. Our #1 Appetizer! Lightly fried grit cake topped with your choice of shrimp, Salmon croquette or salmon. Covered with a creamy, rich garlic alfredo sauce then sprinkled with a hint of Cajun seasoning. Decadent and delicious!
I should have known that because they were both some kind of “delight”, that they would taste identical. It was just too much of the same flavor and so heavy, I was just over it within the first few bites. The Key Lime Pie for dessert was the best part, which you would know, if you follow me on Insta 🙂
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The service was really good though. The waiter was friendly and the owner came over and said if we had any suggestions about how to make things better, then they wanted to know. I did appreciate that, but it was difficult to describe what could have made it better.  After talking to more locals, I was told it was a touristy spot. But whatever, what you REALLY cared about was what I was wearing, right?
Well, I don’t want to disappoint!
img_0099This cute chevron maxi dress was a gift. I think it was purchased from a shop found from Pinterest (similar). Speaking of Pinterest, a few years ago, I uploaded a photo of me in this dress the first time I wore it, and it ended up being my “Most Pinned Pin” ever, at over 1,000 re-pins! Earrings are from Charming Charlie (similar)

Hanging Out At…Poogan’s Smokehouse

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It’s Restaurant Week in Charleston (hooray!!) So, tonight, I decided to try out Poogan’s Smokehouse. It’s sister restaurant, Poogan’s Porch was a place I visited in April and also happened to undergo a renovation by my Charleston Interior Designer cyber-friend, Deidre at Leaf Interior Design.

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There was a 30 minute wait, so I decided to try this bar down the street. And who should pass by me as I walked in? Southern Charm’s infamous Shep Rose

I sat outside in the most beautiful weather ever and enjoyed the scenery of several drunk Bachelor Parties stumbling down the street…

Let’s start my review with the service. My waiter, Mike, was great! He was super nice and really helped me figure out what to get. He recommended the Smoked Pork Belly and Hash and Rice. I’m not really a fatty meat girl, so I went for the Mac and Cheese, Tennessee Hot Chicken Sandwich (hot sauce on the side) with Hash and Rice, and Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert. Oh, and just so you know, as I’m writing this, I’m still feeling the effects of my Spiced Banshee 🙂

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img_0172img_0173Unfortunately, I had 2 bites of my entree and already needed to box everything up. The beer before dinner really filled me up 😦

But the few bites that I did have were really good. The Mac and Cheese was really flavorful. The chicken sandwich was juicy with just enough spice. The Hash and Rice was really decadent and kind of melted in your mouth. And I didn’t even see my Chocolate Bread Pudding! It’s in the fridge waiting to be devoured tomorrow.

For about 50ish dollars I now have meals for 2 days!

img_0174Definitely worth it!

And as always, here’s what I wore. I call this look Beach Chic, since I took a shower after working out earlier this morning and then ended up at the beach later this afternoon. I quickly rinsed off, but didn’t feel like doing my hair…img_0170Denim Ruffle Dress: Target

Necklace: Francesca’s

❤