Thursday Things

  1. Gosh it’s good to be home. I missed my husband and my house and my hound. No amount of cortados from The Village Grind can fill those voids. (Though Lord knows I tried.)
  2. I wasn’t even home for 24 hours before Seth and I hit up a thrift store while out grocery shopping. I picked up an 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup (vintage!) and a gorgeous, watermelon red wool coat (also vintage!).
  3. To answer the questions I know are on everyone’s minds – yes, the cruise was amazing! Yes, we really were on a Golden Girls cruise! Yes, we dressed up and played games and sang songs.
  4. I’ve got a new nephew! He was born early Wednesday morning and is absolutely precious and perfect and looks like Charlie Brown!
  5. While I was gone, Edgar managed to steal an entire pizza off the counter (!!!) and ate half of it before becoming violently ill. He’s not slowing down in his later years.
  6. I haven’t stayed at a hotel in quite some time (like, 2 years?) and didn’t know about this new trend of them offering not only free breakfast, but also free dinner or a cocktail hour. Have you experienced this?
  7. I found some sliced peaches at the bottom of the freezer. First, I was contemplating another round of pavlovas (I desperately want another successful run), but now I’m thinking some homemade jam to welcome in the (possibly) warmer weather.

Thursday Things

  1. Greetings from Greenville! Grandma and I got in yesterday afternoon after two days on the road. It was a very pleasant drive and great spending time with her. If you have the opportunity to travel with your grandparents, please do. You’ll learn a lot.
  2. I’m having lunch with some friends at Pita House today and I’m so ready for falafel and cucumber salad. And to deliver some of that beer up there.
  3. My adorable 14-year-old cousin has the best straight across bangs right now and she’s making me want to cut my hair, but mine will never look as good as hers. Or Leslie’s.
  4. Speaking of Leslie – I disagree with her. Strongly. I actually love calzones. And even made a mini version before leaving!
  5. I’ve got a strategy meeting scheduled with Sam from Frosting and Fettuccine today about joining her Master Class and omg I’m nervous.
  6. Hell yeah, Scotland!
  7. Some dear friends of mine just welcomed a baby girl into their lives. You can bet your bottom dollar that Aunt Amanda is going to be celebrating by bringing them a pan of Melba’s Lasagna when I return from vacation.

Thursday Things

  1. Edgar has enjoyed his first visit to Door County. And even got featured on the Travel Wisconsin Instagram Stories! My baby’s a star! (I’d be such a horrendous stage dog-mom.)
  2. Ya girl knows how to start a fire now! Seth taught me up at the cabin. And it’s a good thing too, because I was freezing when I got up yesterday morning and didn’t want to wake Seth. I managed to get a roaring fire going before he even got up! I’m quite proud of myself.
  3. I’m also proud of myself for this brioche loaf. I haven’t made loaves of bread since my GB&D days so to say I was shocked and amazed is truly an understatement. It was a modified version of the recipe for these buns that I’ll be sharing shortly!
  4. I highly recommend marrying the guy who fixes things at AirBnbs. There hasn’t been a single place Seth and I have stayed in our time together where he hasn’t fixed something. Replacing a porch light, getting a bathroom door back on its tracks, fixing a broken lock (or three). He’s done it all.
  5. I also highly recommend marrying the guy who sneaks up to the AirBnb a day early to leave bouquets of flowers, cards, and gifts around the cabin as an amazing surprise to make a work trip more enjoyable.
  6. Wine tastings have also made this work trip more enjoyable! They’ve been amazing networking and photography opportunities. And have helped us find a few of our new favorite vinos.
  7. It’s time to check horse drawn sleigh ride off my bucket list. Have you ever gone on one? Ours was freezing but fabulous!

Peach Pavlovas (& a video)

Did you see it?

The trailer I made for The 505 West! It’s an absolutely astounding AirBnb located in Princeton, just 30 minutes from where we live.

See, this whole thing started when I found out Matt had created this gorgeous space above his restaurant, Horseradish. I was already obsessed with the restaurant and became equally as enamored with the rental.

It is really and truly one of my favorite places to eat and spend time in the area. It reminds me of any number of trendy places in Chicago or Greenville, without the “trying so hard” feeling I often got in those cities. There’s just a comfort to be found sitting on a stool in the restaurant, looking into the open kitchen or perusing the shelves near the front door. I spend a decent amount of time there (though not enough, IMO). Seth and I go on dates there, I had my bridal shower there, it’s a lovely place for a quick lunch. Originally, we’d tossed around the idea of doing food photography work, as I’ve been making headway in that department (see here and here). But, truly, Matt doesn’t need me. He takes lovely photos on his own. And on his phone! Much to my frustration.

So, it morphed into this. A night in the suite and a day in the kitchen. All documented and (somewhat) perfected and presented. (Although if I’m being honest about it being perfected – this is the second time I’ve uploaded the video. The first time was missing the audio transition and I was so mortified I took it down!)

Matt was so kind to open his doors to us. He introduced us to his friends, Elsah and Roger, owners of a local catering company. They have experience and advice and stories I gobbled up faster than the food they made. We laughed, drank Jack Rabbits, and made marshmallows. I took video of it all, that you’ll see at a later date.

I also took a ton of pictures. Just like I did of these pavlovas!

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Thursday Things

Mardis Gras beads

  1. Those beads right there? Smacked me in the face during a Mardis Gras parade. If you were following along on IG then you already knew that, and if you weren’t, then you missed out!
  2. Because I also met the Pen Pals! Ryan and I shouted “Saga!” as they went by on their float (it’s an inside thing, so you’ll have to just listen to the show). Then we ended up having a drink and chatting with them and it was truly a magical night. Only surpassed by the magic of the first live episode. This felt like a once in a lifetime experience – we were there! I’m still grinning.
  3. It’s flu season and anger season. Emotions are contagious, y’all.
  4. More social media stuff: I’ve turned off the notifications for all my apps and let me tell you – it’s been at once both liberating and illuminating. Even without notifications going off I’m still super addicted to checking my phone. Hello, time suck. I’m truly hoping to get better at that (while also still being engaged and growing my audience so that’s a fun catch 22). Does anyone else did with this? How do you combat the siren call of the screen when you’ve got work to do on these platforms?
  5. Even though Seth and I have only been married for 1 month (OMG), we’ve been bombarded with questions (and suggestions…) about when we’re having kids. This article from Julie pretty much sums up how I feel about that. Thank you, next.
  6. Finally started reading “An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” and I’m in love. I haven’t been this engrossed by a book in ages.
  7. This weekend I’ll be officially moving in with Seth! About time, right? After all of the moving I’ve done in the last three years (including three moves in less than a year), I had kind of been dreading uprooting my happy home but I know that we’re going to be creating a happier home. So everything will be ok.

Vacation Eats – SC Edition

I swear, I tried. I really did. I hauled my camera all the way to SC with every intention of being that annoying person in a restaurant setting up shots and climbing on chairs. But, that didn’t happen. I was too busy enjoying my time with Seth and too self-conscious to really commit to the full “foodie” (ugh, hate that title) obnoxiousness.

Garden Table Green Juice

So, my iphone photos will just have to do. Here’s a partial list of the places we went and the foods we ate on our trip. Mostly in Greenville, and a few fantastic places along the way. After today, I’m officially back to work and things will return to normal around here. For better or for worse.

In GVL

GB&D

Obviously. We got lunch here on our first full day in town and then had an amazing dinner our second to last night (all courses specially prepared by Alex, god bless him). The burger is a must (get a side of burger sauce to go with your fries) and dinner is exceptional – especially dessert! Jen took over the duties when I left and she’s doing a better job than I ever could. We stopped by the morning before we left and she gifted me lemon pound cake with fresh strawberry ice cream.

Golden Brown & Delicious Burger

The Village Grind

Right across the street from GB&D (and owned by the Alex’s sister), we stopped here every morning for a jolt. The space is gorgeous and the friendly faces are even moreso. Plus, they put up with my tedious request of things being “half-caff” (I’m the worst).

Swamp Rabbit Café & Grocery

Another place I used to work! Purveyors of local produce and some of the best scones around. Seth was a huge fan of their stecca (a sort of freeform, Italian baguette). We stocked up on local honey and kombucha before hitting the road. Plus, my former employer, Mary, took this lovely shot of Seth and I <3

Breakfast Sandwich

Tandem

Technically in Travelers Rest, this is one of my absolute favorite breakfast places in all the land! Sweet and savory crepes that are just the ticket after a bottle and a half of wine the night before. Or so I’ve heard.

Pita House

Oh, Pita House, how do I love thee? There’s no better place to get lunch. It’s both affordable and flavorful and the staff are some of the friendliest around. Plus, they make a tahini salad that makes me forget I don’t really like tahini. I’ll say one last thing: BAKLAVA.

Pita House, Greenville SC

The Kennedy, Spartanburg SC

My cousin Maria has started working here recently and while I can’t attest to anything but the deliciousness of their burnt chocolate spoon bread (omg) and the intricacies of their cocktails, the ambiance and décor alone make me want to return!

The Kennedy, Spartanburg SC

In AVL

12 Bones Smokehouse

We were only spending one afternoon in Asheville and I knew we had to lunch here! It had been over two years since I’d had their ribs and truly, they were better than I remembered. I got a half rack of blueberry bbq basted and a half rack of Cheerwine bbq basted. With mac n cheese and a big ol’ slice of cornbread on the side, naturally.

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Summit Coffee Co.

Literally 100 yards from 12 Bones, Seth and I found this amazing coffee shop filled with local artwork and fresh brewed drip coffee that gave us enough energy to finish the final leg of our journey. (Truly, the amount of coffee we consumed on this trip was astounding.)

Summit Coffee Co., Asheville NC

And the rest

Stock & Barrel, Knoxville TN

We made it a point to stop at local, non-fast food places while driving and I’m glad we did! We pulled into Knox jonesing for a burger and ended up finding a really good one here. There happened to be a Vols game at the same time so downtown was packed. But, we were blessed with a parking spot and snagged the last table on the patio. Sure, we had to keep our coats and hats on and my red wine was inadvertently served chilled, but any place I can get onion strings on a burger is good in my book.

Stock & Barrel, Knoxville TN

Munster Donuts, Munster IN

Open 24/7, this place is slinging doonies left, right, and center. The flavors are simple staples but done oh-so-well.  And all less than $1 each!

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Quills Coffee, Indianapolis IN

I’ve heard nothing but good things about Quills from Em over at Today’s Letters so I was over the moon when I found out there was a location within walking distance from our AirBnb. We got there right when it opened and once again the barista put up with my difficulty/decaf nonsense. Plus, they had whole bean decaf for me to take home and an adorable astronaut cat mural across the alleyway.

Quills Coffee, Indy IN

Garden Table, Indianapolis IN

When I worked at a place that did brunch, I was always envious of people who got to have brunch. We more than made up for it on our way back home at Garden Table. Local fare, the freshest (and softest) bread, super quick and friendly service, cold-pressed juices. This place had it all! And it was all presented in the hippest/chicest/trendiest setting. Plus, I had my first oat milk latte and it was a treat! I’m a convert!

Turn-key Sandwich, Garden Table Indy, IN

Until the next time we travel (which will be Europe in March, omg)!