Tag Archives: vacation

What I Ate in Charleston

Once again, I am extremely guilty of going MIA from this blog for way too long. I’ve simply been lacking in both both time and inspiration to blog. But today I hope to make it up to you with a fun post about the awesome food and drink I experienced when I visited Charleston, South Carolina for a wedding over Labor Day weekend with my family!

I arrived first out of the five of us, but kept myself plenty entertained by heading to a solo lunch at Butcher & Bee. My coworker went to college in Charleston, so she had sent me a long list of recommendations that I knew I could trust…and this place was on the list. I was sure it was a solid spot the second they served my sparkling wine in a coupe glass – my favorite way to drink bubbles.

I loved that the lunch menu featured an option to try three of their many mezze dishes. I picked the heirloom beans with soft boiled egg, eggplant with olives and green tahini, and whipped feta with fermented honey and cracked black pepper. Everything was absolutely scrumptious!

As you can probably guess, I saved my favorite – the feta – for last.

Some adorable decor at the entrance of Butcher & Bee.

After my family arrived and got settled into our Airbnb, we called an Uber to King Street, Charleston’s bustling downtown area. There we stopped into The Cocktail Club, a place on my must-visit list. My boyfriend Jeff’s good friend and former coworker Tyler is actually a bartender there, so it was great to meet him and try some of his cocktails. My mom and sister were over the moon happy with their Cosmopolitans, my mom calling it the best she’d ever had. My dad and I both went with vodka martinis. We all had a great time chatting with Tyler and taking in the bar scene. I even bought a cigar…yes, they sell them in the restaurant!

After our drinks were gone (long gone), we headed out to The Cocktail Club’s roof deck area to take some pictures before running off to the next stop, a welcome reception for the wedding.

The welcome reception was fun but wine-filled, which left us VERY hungry. Thank goodness for Domino’s. Ordering pizza from there while in Charleston, land of amazing restaurants, may have been a faux pas…but it was also a necessity. And really, it was so nice to hang out with my family and eat pizza while watching Netflix and drinking red wine. Talk about relaxing!

I was right back on the restaurant grind the next morning, though. After swinging by Pure Barre for a really good class, I met my family for brunch at The Rarebit, another spot recommended by my coworker. She said they had the best Moscow Mules in the city, but I’m not a mule girl, so I went with a Southside. This is a refreshing gin cocktail and Rarebit’s version was absolutely the best one I’ve ever had! For my meal I selected a dish on special, a shrimp cake Benedict. I really wish I’d taken a picture of it because it was stellar, but alas, I was too busy hamming it up with the fam to do so. We were all beyond impressed by both the quality and price of the food, though!

Later that night it was wedding time. I once again had an amazing experience using Boston’s in-store dress rental service, Best Dressed. I can’t recommend them enough, and paid for this rental in full (no #sponsored situation here). I know this post is about food and drink, but I had to throw them a shout-out. I will say, though, that the Southern food at the wedding was the best wedding food I’ve ever had, by far. The open bar was also rather enjoyable.

You know you’re a blogger when you’ve trained your mom to take solo pics for you.

The day after the wedding, the whole family was moving a little slowly. My parents and sister opted to spend the day at the beach, but my brother and I both had flights to catch back to New England. (Am I the only one who prefers to leave a “gap day” between a trip and going back to work? I wanted to fly back on Sunday so I’d have Monday to relax at home.) I really wanted to squeeze in one more restaurant though, so I took myself and my book to brunch at another place on King Street, called Prohibition.

I rarely ever order the same drink twice in a row, but the above pictured Charleston Fizz was so good that I had to do just that. It contained Brugal Extra Dry Rum, Tito’s Vodka, lime, cream, egg white, lemon bitters, and seltzer. The cream makes it sound heavy, but it really wasn’t. It was like drinking a key lime cloud.

For brunch I went with the avocado benedict, which consisted of avocado and heirloom tomato on english muffin, topped with a poached egg and dill hollandaise sauce. I wanted to go with something a bit lighter so I wouldn’t be dragging on my flight. I was overall really pleased with my last choice of restaurant to visit while in Charleston, but am also already itching to go back and try MORE places…as well as return to some of these.

Oh, and of course my dinner on the plane ride home consisted of cheese and meat with Stacy’s Pita chips and bad red wine…because, travel.

Have you ever been to Charleston? What are some of your favorite spots?

Did you travel for Labor Day weekend, lay low at home, or a mix of both?

Exploring Plum Island With Maven

I received my Drive Maven experience as well as some of the food in this post free of charge, but opinions of my experiences are 100% my own.

Jeff and I had a great time during our recent trip to Blue Inn in Plum Island, MA. That was thanks in part to our mode of transportation, a red 2016 Cadillac ATS from Maven. Maven is a car-sharing service, similar to ZipCar, that is offered in Boston, LA , Chicago, and other large cities. But the biggest – and best – difference from ZipCar is that, for a limited time, Maven is free to join! Once I heard about that major benefit, I was completely on board when the company offered us a car to take on our weekend getaway.


Maven has nine different vehicle pickup locations in Boston, and we picked the one closest to our Charlestown apartment, the Government Center parking garage. The Maven app actually serves as the keys to your car. Once next to our Cadillac, I was able to use my phone to unlock the vehicle. Jeff also downloaded the app onto his phone and, signed in under my account, had access to unlock and lock the car as well. Which worked out well, since I usually (always) ask him to drive.

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Two Islands, One 4th

I hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend! I first want to start by thanking any readers who gave me positive feedback in response to my recent #TransformationTuesday Instagram. I’ve definitely been feeling some self doubt since getting back from four days in one of my favorite places – Newport, RI. But this summer has been so much fun so far and I’m glad that I’ve embraced every opportunity I’ve been given to enjoy myself…especially given the winter we had.

View from our timeshare deck!

My family has been going to Newport every summer since we moved to New England. And as of a few years ago, I’ve started taking my own trips with friends, because one Newport visit per summer is not enough. Here are some previous Newport posts from this blog:

Recently my parents got a timeshare for the 4th of July week, right in the city’s downtown. It’s awesome to be able to arrive, park the car, and not move it for the entirety of our stay! Newport is the largest city on Aquidneck Island in Narragansett Bay. And on Sunday, my family took the high-speed ferry to Block Island for the day. Hence the title of this post – two islands.

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I’m back, and I don’t just mean back to this blog (sorry about that inadvertent hiatus, guys!), but also back from an amazing vacation with my family. I’m lucky to have parents that love going on fun trips; we went to Mexico last year during my brother’s and sister’s spring breaks (which thankfully fall on the same week). This year we went to Mexico again, but also to Belize, and also to sea…we took our first family cruise!

How did it go? Well, spoiler alert…



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The Most-Needed Trip Ever

Sorry that I’m so late to the game in announcing the winner of my Tuttorosso Tomatoes giveaway! The winner of the prize pack is Amy – thank you for entering and I will be reaching out about getting you your winnings!


It’s been a busy holiday season with no time to blog much…followed by a vacation during which I did not feel like blogging much. Sorry about that! Long-time readers already know that I go to Florida every Christmas season with my family. We use to split our time between my grandma and grandpa’s apartment and hotels, but now we have a condo of our own in the Palm Beach Gardens area.

My grandparents and I

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Long Newport Weekend

Once I got going writing yesterday’s post, I knew this recap of the long July 4th weekend in Newport, RI would have to be a two-parter. So many photos and so much to say! Thankfully I woke up at 5:30AM for no reason this morning, actually feeling quite well rested, so I was able to sneak in a quick run and sit down here to blog before starting my work day. Let’s pick up where we left off:

Sunday 7/6

So I woke up and despite feeling guilty about what I’d eaten/drank the day prior, I also just didn’t feel like going running or doing cardio of any kind. Our timeshare complex had a gym that I walked into and said…wtf? It had three machines, dumbbells that maxed out at 10lbs (not that I’m strong man or anything, but come on!), and not even a space to do abs and no bench. So I basically did arms for 20 minutes, abs from the now-longer-than-30-days ab challenge, and called it a day. I was happy to be able to hightail it to Mokka Coffeehouse down the street to get some work done!

The shop was adorable as you can see from the above photo, and the iced coffee DELICIOUS. I had it a few other days on my trip and definitely recommend this place, though Coffee Grinder is still my favorite coffee place in Newport simply because of the waterfront seating (unfair advantage). After plugging away for a couple of hours I got hungry and found out my family was having lunch at a diner. I just didn’t really feel like eating diner food, and OK I was having anxiety over it, so I decided to take my current read and check out Newport’s newest farm-to-table (this term is, to me, becoming overused) restaurant – Stoneacre Pantry.

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Newport for July 4th!

OK, sitting down to write this post because if I don’t, too much time will pass since last weekend and I’d really like to share the fun I had in Newport for July 4th! Anyone who has been reading my blog for a little while knows that Newport is one of my favorite places in the world. I make sure to go at least once per summer! You can check out past posts here:

Thursday 7/3

I ended up going to Newport a day early, Thursday late afternoon instead of Friday morning. Boston was essentially empty Thursday night, plus I wanted to beat Hurricane Arthur since he was scheduled to visit come Friday. Thankfully I have some great family friends in the form of the Cunninghams. They let me crash in their family’s Newport house Thursday night, and the ride there wasn’t even too awful – only half an hour longer than usual (due to predicted holiday weekend traffic). All I can say is I am glad I wasn’t going to the Cape!

Hit the road with fresh 4th of July nails!

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Marvelous Mexico!

Here I am, back after the longest blogging break I have ever taken, and another year older as well! This is my first blog post published since my vacation to Cancun and also my first as a 25 year old. But instead of separate birthday (it was this past Saturday 3/22) and vacation (it ended on my birthday) posts, I’m just going to roll them into one, because vacations and birthdays are BOTH marvelous.

Whether it’s been one week or one day, you can share your marvelous by linking up with Katie.

Marvelous was…waking up in Mexico on my birthday. Though that was the last day of our trip, I’m going to start with it because birthdays are always exciting. I’d planned to wake up before our flight back to CT and work out, but upon waking I decided to instead take advantage of my last moments of warmth and go walk on the beach. That in itself says a lot about my personal growth over the last year. I definitely had time to work out, and had plans to go out to eat that night too, but instead of doing so I really just wanted to soak up a little more sun, sand, and blue skies before boarding a plane to the land where spring will never seemingly come.

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Getting My Marvelous Priorities Straight

I am blogging today from Mexico and seriously planned for the last week to title this post “Marvelous Mexico”. But I have other stuff on my mind today because I woke up the morning of my departure with yet another illness. Seriously, I never used to get sick and this is the second time in two weeks. Has anyone else ever moved from the suburbs to the city and suddenly found themselves getting sick more often? Let’s hope this isn’t a continuing trend.

Thanks Katie for hosting this link-up every week!

Whenever I go on vacation, I like to work out first thing in the morning so I can feel less guilty about the rest of the day just laying out in the sun, going outside my food/drink box a bit more, and being fairly inactive in general. Some people like to spend their vacations exploring their surroundings and doing outdoor activities. That’s fine, but to be honest I like to sit on my butt in the sun and go out to eat.

i just couldn’t not have a drink with the rest of my family to celebrate our arrival at the hotel, but it definitely knocked me out.

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Best of Each Month in 2013

Thanks for your feedback on yesterday’s post about my 2014 New Year’s resolution! I was hesitant to hit publish because I felt there were a few misconceptions you guys could get from the post. I do not think I’m ugly without makeup or my hair “done up”, and I also didn’t want anyone to think my resolution was vain. But this is my blog and it’s my resolution so I shared, and I’m glad I did. It seems that those who commented get that it’s about how I feel about myself, not how I look to others.

I have been debating for a few weeks now how I would recap 2013 on the blog. Last year I did a top 12 of 2012 but I really think it would be too hard to rank all the great stuff I got to do and the fabulous people I got to see this year. There is so much to look at in the year! So I decided to refine a bit and instead look at each month. I’m going to try my hardest to declare a favorite day/event/occurrence/etc for each and I’ll end up with a list of twelve things, but to be honest I still won’t do an accurate enough job of getting across how grateful I am for each and every person, place, or thing (noun?!) that made 2013 a year to remember.


The Mohegan Sun WineFest was a very special event for me! It was my second time there to help Mohegan promote the festival but this year I got to bring my foodie partner in crime Rachel. She got hooked and is taking her boyfriend back to this year’s event! I also met Kaitlin in person for the first time, and we shared a hug that made her boyfriend (now fiance!) think that we had known each other for year’s. It sure feels like it!

Me, Rachel, and our media passes!

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