Two Days in Charleston SC

I am a planner. I love making lists, highlighting, color coding, and checking things off. As you can imagine everyday list's are real thrill for me, but researching, planning, and creating multiple rough drafts of the perfect list for an upcoming trip? Well I imagine that's the kind of high cocaine addicts feel. Too much? So I had two days off, less than 48 hours, to figure out how to pack all of Charleston's goodness into one trip. Well, I am happy to report all my planning paid off and I officially want to move there. Particularly here. Because it's pink and perfect. Now if only some generous soul would provide that 1.3 mill......Anyway, I'll stop babbling about lists and cocaine now. You can find my trip guide below. Please let me know if you have any other Charleston suggestions in the comments!

*We left our current hometown at about 8:10 and arrived in Charleston at 12:30*

Day One 

Hominy Grill 

Hominy Grill doesn't offer brunch reservations, but we decided to risk it based on all the good reviews. When we left our name we were pleasantly surprised to find an outdoor bar. So we grabbed ourselves a couple of mimosas and enjoyed the afternoon sun. It wasn't more than 30 minutes before we were seated, and considering the crowd, another pleasant surprise. Simple and southern. That is the condensed version of how I would describe the Hominy Grill's atmosphere. Vince ordered the shrimp and grits, and I ordered pumpkin gingerbread with a Charleston nasty biscuit. Our server was awesome and brought out some possibly even more awesome biscuits while we waited. Overall the food was delicious and hit the spot.

King Street

After brunch we hoped right into our car and drove over to King Street. It was pretty crowded due to the tax-free weekend, but still enjoyable. We walked probably a mile down and back. We didn't get to see every shop King Street had to offer, but if your wallet is burning a whole in your pocket, this is the place for you.

Historic Charleston City Market

The perfect place to pick up a quick survivor. A little while ago I started a tradition of picking up a painting wherever I traveled. I don't actually have a wall yet to display all my lovely painting on, but you know technicalities. *We drove here as well. I map-quested everything out while planning, and we easily could have walked here, but because we were short on time driving was our friend. If you are not short on time I 100% recommend walking.

Waterfront Park

After picking up my painting we took a quick stroll over to Waterfront Park. There was a cruise ship docked so not as peaceful as I imagine it typically is, but still nice. There were a few water fountains where kids were cooling off, and plenty of benches for people to sit down and enjoy the view.

The Pink House

We hopped back into our car and drove over to this beauty. It's one of Charleston's oldest buildings. I just loved the feel of this entire street.

Rainbow Row

Another short little drive and we found ourselves on Rainbow Row. Simply pretty to look at.

Town & Country Inn and Suites

We then drove and checked into our hotel. I purposefully planned out this time to shower and get pretty for dinner. Charleston in the summer = sweaty. We stayed at the Town & Country Inn and Suites. It was about a 15 minute drive from downtown. I was presently surprised by how nice the rooms were. Another good reminder to never judge a book by it's cover. *There are so many perfect inns to stay at in downtown, but unfortunately for us most inns require a minimum night stay of at least two and are a little more on the pricey side.

Poogans Porch

If you can, make a reservation and request to sit outside. I was good on the reservation part, but failed on the outside. The inside though was still beautifully decorated.  We started with Mac & Cheese. Honestly, we could have ended with the Mac & Cheese too. It was that insanely good. Vince decided on shellfish and grits as his main meal, while I enjoyed something off the specials menu. For the life of me I can't remember what I got, but again, nothing but goodness. We ended the night with a strawberry shortcake biscuit. It wasn't as sweet as your typical shortcake, but I still enjoyed it.

Day Two

Check out of the hotel

 A short but pleasant stay. 


We made brunch reservations at Husk. Another highly recommended Charleston foodie joint. I made the mistake of not requesting to sit outside again, but fortunately for me I'm dating someone who isn't irrationally terrified at the thought of making someone's day a little harder. Our waiter had to double check, but after a few minutes he came back and seated us outside. Husk does not have a set brunch menu, which I found kind of special. We started the meal with an order of pimento cheese “fritters,” with crispy country ham, and pickled peppers mayo. An A+. For my main meal I ordered wood fired pancakes, with plum syrup, whipped sorghum butter, and honey. Very tasty and huge. And predictable Vince enjoyed an order of shrimp and grits. *If it had been later in the afternoon I would have for sure tried the burger. I've read nothing but good things about it. 

The Battery

Because we had the time we decided to walk to the Battery, and I am so glad we did. So many charming drool worthy houses a long the way. The Battery itself is just insane, in a good way of course. Those house are some kind of ginormous. 

Angel Oak Park

About a 20 minute drive from downtown, but in my opinion worth it. On Sunday's it doesn't open until 1. We arrived about 1:30 and it was already crowded. The tree itself is incredible.

Boxcar Betty's

It was about that time again where we felt the urge to stuff our faces. We decided to go to our trusty friend Yelp this time, and like usual, Yelp did not disappoint. Boxcar Betty's is quick, but delicious. Based on how fast Vince ate everything, I'm pretty certain this was his favorite meal.

Cypress Gardens

After lunch we waddled to the car for our last stop. Cypress Gardens is about a 30 minute drive, but again 100% worth it. It's hard to say what my favorite part of Charleston was, but this was for sure at the top of that list. Honestly no picture will do it justice, so my recommendation: just go! This was the only activity that cost us money. With a military discount it was $18 for the both of us. That allowed us to stroll the gardens and take a boat out. A little tip: Get there before 4 if you want to take a boat out. We were kicked out of the gardens at 5pm and from there headed home.

And that my friends is how you do Charleston in less than 48 hours.

I asked on Instagram, but I'll go ahead and ask here too: I am looking at investing in a new camera. Something high quality, that travels nicely. If you have any recommendations or tips, I am all ears!

That Wrok and Travel Flow

Well it is official, I am a workin' gal. Now I've worked before, but this is the big leagues. Like -went to Raleigh for training, got certified in a few different things, shadowed other employees- kind of serious big leagues. And it's all thanks to finally getting that degree that caused me years and year of headaches, late nights, and a few tears. But we're not going to think about that, only happy thoughts today.

Now, because I work for an organization that's opened 24 hours, 365 days of the year, my schedule isn't a normal 9-5 M-F deal. But because of this, I have already started to be more intentional with my time off.

In the next 6 months I am planning on traveling to: Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Tampa, New York, and......

Everyone spends their hard earned dollars and time on different things. Over these last few years traveling has become so important to me, and while I'm still unwed, with 0 kidos, I've decided to make it a priority.

If you have any tips/advice on things to see and do in any of the places I'm headed please let me know. Also, if you have any tips/advice on how to snag cheap flights, you'll probably be my new best friend.

And now I'm off to make cheapo spaghetti while day-dreaming about Paris.

Au Revoir

Instagram Roundup

You can find me on instagram here 
On July 1st I joined in on my first instagram challenge
Helene is the wiz kid behind the whole thing
While at first I wasn't too sure about the idea
17 days later I'm convinced these challenges are awesome
I have already found so many "friends" to obsess over
If you're looking for a little instagram-spiration join in! 
You'll just be fashionably late and everyone will be jealous

That One Time Birth Control Made Me Crazy

 Disclaimer - I started using birth control about 5 months ago. I made a visit to my dermatologist, completely fed-up with my poor excuse for skin and she prescribed Ortho Tri-Cyclen in the hopes that it would calm it the heck down. No idea if it actually worked on my skin, but it has certainly given me the added bonus of this little known as PMS.

There we were, sitting on the couch, partially watching, but also enjoying, Channing Tatum's sweet dance moves and the ridiculousness of Matthew Mcconaughey, when suddenly I was overcome with this need to do something. Vince has been working some pretty crazy hours - like 12 hours a day, 6 days a week kind of crazy - so when Saturday night rolled around he understandably wanted to stay at home, relax, and go to bed early.


To a sane person.

I started whining.

"Lets do something."
"Entertain me."
"I'm so bored."
"Why don't you love me?!"

I had no idea what I actually wanted to do. It was 10:30 PM in North Carolina - there wasn't anything to do. I had no suggestions, but fully expected Vince to accommodate my boredom. And when he couldn't?

The first stage is pretending like everything is dandy, but the key is to not act like everything is dandy. Aka being as passive aggressive as possible.

The second stage is the silent treatment. I'm really good at this.

The third stage is anger. You can get creative here.

The final stage?

Crying uncontrollably for absolutely no reason.

Poor Vince. He did his best to console me/sedate me with a nice back scratch and the reassurance he still loved me. Naturally, I didn't believe him, and instead went to bed a snotty mess convinced life was just going to be crappy from then on. 

The next day I woke-up in a fog. The full on crazy train that occurred the night before slowly started coming back to me. I headed over to Vince's to sheepishly apologize and thank him for being the best-most-sane-boyfriend there ever was. He graciously forgave me (because he's one of those sane understanding people) and all was right in the world.

.....Until next month.

Weekend Recap

I have officially been a North Carolina resident for a month now, but until this last weekend I really hadn't explored much. Too be fare, where I live there really isn't anywhere to explore, but there is a lovely little town just over an hour away that I was wanting to check out. Lucky for me that happened to be where Vince's parents were staying for 4th of July weekend, and I just happened to be invited to crash their family get together. 

On the first day the weather wasn't cooperating so we all decided to spend the day exploring downtown Wilmington instead of hitting up the beach. Our first stop was food of course. We hit up Chops Deli, where we actually got to meet Chop himself. Not taking into account our celebrity spotting, the food was awesome and I would absolutely recommend if you ever find yourself in the area.

After grabbing a bite we hit the streets. We found an antique shop with a crazy amount of collections, an adorable boutique that I resisted spending any money at, even more adorable houses that caused me to go weak at the knees, a smanzy sporting good store, and several tattoo shops. (No branding, just browsing occurred). After all the walking we indulged in a little bit of ice cream from Kilwins and then wondered over to the USS North Carolina Battleship.

The Battleship was a huge, hot, maze. As soon as we went below deck I knew I would never make it in the navy. Ever heard of this little thing called claustrophobia? No sir. 

That night we decided leaving the hotel for dinner just wasn't in the cards, so he hit up the hotel restaurant instead where I discovered a new found love of blueberry mojito's *insert heart-eyes emoji here. Unfortunately I didn't actually order this drink, I just took a sip of someone else, but next time it's happening. 

On day two, also known as 4th of July, we hit up the beach and did beach things, hit up the pool and did pool things, watched some pretty fantastic fireworks, and then indulged in a little more ice cream (because vacation calories don't count). 4th of July hasn't always been my favorite holiday, mainly because of the crowds and inevitable traffic, so having such a low-key day was absolutely perfect to me.

It was a wonderful weekend spent enjoying the company of some pretty fantastic people, exploring a new city, and eating loads of ice cream. 

*I apologize in advance for the iPhone quality photos. Note to self - This is what you get when you're lazy and don't look for your camera. 

 Drooling a little just looking at this photo

 I literally told Vince the day before this photo was taken that I was so proud my cheapest pair of sunglasses, RonDon's from Tanzania, have lasted me the longest.

  I promise, I do actually like him

And Scout? Well, I think he had a pretty great weekend too.

Whats your favorite summer drink? 
What did you do over 4th of July weekend? 
Could you survive on a ship without passing out?

Happy 4th of July!

We're starting our holiday weekend a little early this week. I hope you all have a ball celebrating our independence!

Currently in July

Drinking Ovaltine. "Be. Sure. To. Drink. Your. Ovaltine. A crummy commercial. That...." *If you can name that movie we'll be best friends*

Appreciating that I am dating a man that lets me order a cheese pizza every Friday night. That's true love.

Reading (almost) The Husbands Secret by Liane Moriarty, One Plus One, and The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes. I just purchased all three and am ready to lay out at the beach and get lost in these fictional worlds.
Craving nothing. I have been super weird about food the last few months. More on that later.  

Watching Gilmore Girls (again) and learning a lot

Going to Wilmington for the weekend. I already have 7 antique stores and 3 dessert places picked out for my visit. It's going to be a grand time.

Planning on getting a lot of DIY projects done this month.

Eating PB&J's. Everyday. I feel like I'm back in high school. And I don't mind it. 

Dreaming of traveling somewhere new. This is an always. 

Waiting for a pool to magically appear in the backyard. I'm winter white right now. Needs to rectified.  
Praying about finding a new church. I'm anxious to get plugged back in again so the search is on! 

Sleeping just O.K. The summer heat + my need for a room to be an ice cube to sleep comfortably don't really mix.  

Working on getting a job. See what I did there? Fingers crossed it happens this month  

Loving eating dinner every night with this guy I know. 

Thankful for a pretty awesome support system. 

What are currently up to?

Serving While Single

I guess I started really thinking about marriage when I was about 19 years old. I can remember sitting in my dorm room with my best friend and planning our dream weddings. (Pintrest is dangerous). She wanted a more white church/country wedding, while I envisioned a winter wonderland. So when I started telling others about my move to Rwanda the question, "do you want to get married?" kind of threw me. I was 21 years old, a single christian woman, and taking a year off to serve. In most christian circles I was what's considered in my "prime" to meet my future husband, so leaving the country for a year seemed a bit crazy to some. Their concerns were genuine and their hearts in the right place, but I knew God was calling me to serve, and I decided right then not make assumptions about my future or God's plans for me, but to follow blindly and faithfully in obedience wherever and whenever He called. 

So four months later when I moved to Rwanda I moved with the assumption I would remain single, and honestly, I was more than OK with that. In fact, I took advantage of it. I grew closer to God, I had crazy adventures, I struggled, I figured things out, I grew up, and it was all kinds of wonderful and hard. Taking that time to work on myself, to make Christ the true center of my life, and figure out what I wanted made everything almost easier when it came time to start dating again. 

I knew I wanted to date with intention from then on. I sat down and wrote out a list of characteristics I wanted my future husband to have. While I knew what I wanted I kind of didn't believe he actually existed. I thought that I would have to settle and let some things slide. I believed for a more than a split second and on several different occasions that my expectations were unrealistic. I didn't know when or even if I would meet him, but I also knew this "list man" was what I desired. And then I started talking to Vince. 

Vince was my "list man." I started talking to him because of Rwanda. We had the opportunity to really build a special foundation being 1000's of miles apart. Vince had the opportunity to travel to Nigeria and have his own kind of wonderful hard experience. And then, after nearly a year and half of cyber talking, God brought us together. I don't doubt for a second Vince and I would not be where we are today had I not been obedient and moved to Rwanda.

In such a short amount of time I went on my first missions trip, chopped my hair off, got pied in the face, lead my first bible study, and was a youth leader. went skydiving, bungee jumping, white water rafting, and on a safari. I traveled to Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya. I moved to another continent, became a pseudo mom to my sweet boy in orphanage, started a business, and met the man of my dreams. That time was filled with more growth, hardships, tears, joy, love, and fulfillment than I ever thought possible. I really felt like I lived life. And not because of all the things I got to do, but because I followed God with my whole heart. I thank God for His plans and for all the ups, and downs obedience to His will has brought I would not change a single thing. 

23 Life Lessons from Gilmore Girls Season 1

The other week I was lucky enough to stumble upon the Gilmore Girls Reunion Panel and then weirdly enough felt the sudden need to watch the whole series again. So I did.

1. Coffee is essential.

2. Happiness usually conicides with sluttiness.

3. But not always.

4. Going commando because you're lacking clean underwear is completely acceptable.


5. It's never a good idea to date your daughters teacher. No matter how good he talks.


6. It's important to clean out your closet every once in awhile. 


7. Shoplifting is completely acceptable as long as you have a good reason.

 8. Fuzzy alarm clocks are not reliable.


9. It's OK to embrace your need for T.V. and movies.

10. Inviting a boy over to watch a movie requires actual effort. Plan accordingly. 

11. It's important to find friends that share common interests.

12. Unless you want your shirts stretched out only loan them to smaller chested friends.


13. A set of twins marrying another set of twins just shouldn't happen.


14.  Deer don't abide by the rules of the road.


15. Avoiding the phone is A.O.K. even if it's your job.


16. It's important to wallow.


17. You should have a break-up box because you never know when you might get back together with them.


18. When you love someone tell them.

19. And if said boy really loves you he'll build you a car from scratch.

20. Even in your 50's your mother-in-law can still drive you to insanity 

21. Bad days happen to the best of us.


 22. Always be BFF's with a chef. The benefits are endless.


23. And finally every girls should get 1,000 flowers at least once in her lifetime.


*Season 2 life lessons coming soon