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Your Ultimate Guide to Dining Al Fresco

TheCharlestonWeekender_Ultimate-Dining-Tips-Outdoors.png

It’s finally cooling off and getting to that time of year in Charleston where we can start getting outside more. I basically hibernate all summer in the AC, because the bugs and the instantaneous sweat just don’t make for very delightful outdoor gatherings. Now that the heat isn’t totally intolerable, I recently put together a little al fresco brunch to help inspire you to get outside and entertain this fall. I’ve included a few other small businesses I thought you might enjoy! These wonderful companies partnered with me on my most recent Weekender Wednesday Lowcountry Live TV segment, and you can watch the replay here!

Now, for a few recommendations for your next outdoor soiree:

Rigwa Bowls

These bowls are great for both serving and for storing food; the biggest perk being that they can keep foods cold for up to 12 hours and hot for up to 6! It’s basically a YETI tumbler for your food, brilliant. If you like to serve your guests family style, it’s so nice to be able to make a batch of oatmeal and have it still be hot when everyone goes for seconds! Plus, you won’t need to worry about your acai bowls becoming bowls of soup while our temps are still a little high. Learn more about Rigwa and purchase a bowl at 20% off for a limited time here.

Haand Dinner Ware

Since I’m not the chef in my household, you’re always hearing me talk more about how to decorate than what I cook. These “celadon” colored dishes and bowls are hand made in Burlington, NC, and really dressed up my table beautifully! I paired them with some black and white napkins and platters I had, but think they could work with pastels or navy, too. I’m all about easy clean up, so I love that these are dishwasher safe! You would think porcelain pottery would be too fragile to stick in the dishwasher, but it’s also durable enough to pop into the microwave.

Haand Porcelain POttery

Fresh Florals

The perfect finishing touch for any fete? Flowers! We have florists a plenty in the Holy City, but until recently we did not have a flower truck! Enter Salt + Stem, Charleston’s first flower truck and my new favorite way to shop for flowers. Check out Salt + Stem’s Instagram to find where they are popping up around town most weekends. You’ll walk away with a cute bundle all tied up in brown butcher paper, or you can bring your own vase and the lovely owner, Dani, will make you an arrangement like mine!

salt + stem flower truck in charleston sc

I hope this inspires you to get outside and host your friends, or just head outside to dine in style with your bae or your pup!

-shop my Patio Furniture here: Conversation Set-

all images by Kim Graham Photo

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Weekending in Mount Pleasant: 5 Must-Do Activities

The cottages on Charleston Harbor Charleston Weekender

I’m a downtown dweller, but today I’m coming atcha from just across the bridge in Mount Pleasant so I wanted to share some ideas for what to do if you find yourself in this lovely part of Charleston. This weekend we’re getting treated to the most lovely staycation at The Cottages on Charleston Harbor, and I can’t recommend it enough! My favorite feature of our cottage has got to be the screened in porch where we’ve been sitting and listening to the waves lap against the shore! I’ve basically been alternating between luxuriating in our private hammock and relaxing in one of our many rocking chairs and it’s been so nice to have the TV off and a book in hand (plus a little time with my laptop). There’s also a private pool area that sits right on the harbor, so you get to enjoy the perfect beach/pool combo.

Although our cottage is only about a 5-10 minute drive into downtown, I decided to fully embrace this staycation and explore things to see and do without having to leave Mount Pleasant. Whether you’re also staying at the Cottages for the weekend or just wanting to live like a local and explore Mount Pleasant, I hope you’ll enjoy some of my recommendations!

1. Take a Boat Ride | Charleston Water Taxi or Palmetto Breeze

From The Cottages, you’re just a short walk from the Water Taxi. This is probably the least expensive way to get on the water, and you can enjoy a scenic ride from Patriot’s Point to downtown Charleston. From Shem Creek you can check out a 2 hour sunset sail on the Palmetto Breeze where you’ll likely spot several dolphins!

2. Paddle Board | Shem Creek

Check out Nature Adventures or Coastal Expeditions for paddle board and kayak rentals. You can wind your way through the beautiful marsh waters of Shem Creek or venture out into the harbor.

3. Play/Fish/Swing | The Pier at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park

I was able to make a short bike ride over from the Cottages to get to this gorgeous pier that sits right under the Ravenel Bridge. You can bring your own fishing supplies or rent poles/buy bait, but be careful because you might catch a baby shark like we did! Luckily another fisherman was able to step in and help with that one. There are even events on the pier from time to time, like Shagging on the Cooper & Friday Night Boogie. See the full schedule here.

4. Get a Mani/Pedi | Mylk Bar

If you’re on vacation or wanting to just give yourself an extra little treat, be sure to check out Mylk Bar for a nail service or even a mini facial. This is a luxe non toxic salon that is super adorable inside, and as an added bonus they’ll give you complimentary wine while you get your nails done!

5. Yoga by the sea | Serenity Tree Yoga

From The Cottages, you’re super close to the Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina, which is the setting for one of my favorite yoga classes! Serenity Tree meets all around town for beach yoga and yoga in the park, and at Patriot’s Point they hold classes on the man made beach so you can enjoy a waterfront view while you downward dog. Serenity Tree offers pay what you want pop up classes on Monday evenings and Sunday mornings at Patriot’s Point, or they can set up a private yoga session if you’re in town for a bachelorette or Birthday gathering with your girl gang. See the full calendar of classes at Patriot’s Point and all around Charleston here.

The Cottages on Charleston Harbor Charleston Weekender

While in Mount Pleasant, you’re also a short drive from my favorite local beach, Sullivan’s Island. It’s home to many of my favorite restaurants; Home Team BBQ, Poe’s Tavern, and Obstinate Daughter. Other Mount Pleasant restaurants I recommend are Five Loaves or Vintage Coffee Cafe for lunch/brunch and Red Drum, Langdon’s, or Grace & Grit for dinner.

If you’re in need of your own staycation or looking for a gorgeous waterfront destination for your next Charleston visit, I hope you’ll consider staying at The Cottages on Charleston Harbor. They’ve been so great to us, and it’s even dog friendly! By the way, they have a 20% off special for October for all remaining available dates. I loved everything about our visit and will definitely be back again soon!

all images c/o The Cottages on Charleston Harbor

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Send Me Back to Palm Springs!

alt summit palm springs 2020 speaker

One of the highlights of my career so far was most definitely getting to be part of the Alt Summit conference in March 2019. I was a roundtable speaker at the same conference where Joanna Gaines spoke. Life. Made! You definitely want to check out Alt Summit if you’re an entrepreneur/blogger (or aspire to be)!

As you can see from the photo above, Palm Springs just brings out my most extra self and I’m dying to get back there for Alt Summit in 2020. Here’s where I could really use YOUR help! I sent a pitch to try to speak on 3 different topics, and I’d love if you would throw me a vote (or 3)! Voting ends 9/25. Thank you! Send me a DM on Instagram if you’re also submitting to speak so I can vote for you, too.

Click any of these photos to vote:

Alt is just the most magical conference and is taking place March 1-6, 2020. Right now tickets are $699 and they will likely keep going up each month. At this year’s conference I learned a ton about Pinterest, marketing, & more- plus we met some amazing women from around the country! Hope to see you there, and thank you so much for helping me out with your vote!

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Weekender Wardrobe: Target's 20 Years of Design for All

Isaac Mizrahi for Target collection 20th anniversary

I very rarely get on the train of promoting the big box store sales like you see all the fashion bloggers out there do; those stylish gals should be your go-to for sales like Lilly Pulitzer and Nordstrom. I just don’t really shop at those places that often, so I’m not the best resource. However, I LOVE me some Target; especially because most of the special collections they release also include home decor items. Lately I’ve been getting very excited about the upcoming Target collection, “20 Years of Design For All”.! Target is bringing back some great brands like Isaac Mizrahi, Marimekko, and Lilly Pulitzer. Hunter Boots, Zac Posen, and Anna Sui are also making an appearance along with 20 total designers!

Click the photos below or the links to shop my favorites from 3 of the designer collections I’m most excited for (once it goes live 9/14). Please note these are affiliate links, which earn me a very tiny commission that helps support my blog! Scroll to the bottom for more details & tips about shopping at our local stores.


Notice a familiar face in there? Local Charlestonian, Venita Aspen, got to model for this campaign (second from right)! Pretty neat huh?!


North Charleston

Lilly Pulitzer, Hunter, Missoni, Isaac Mizrahi, Harijuku mini

Mount Pleasant | Open at 8am

They are getting all 20 collections! I’m guessing this will be the most crowded store if it’s anything like the Lilly sale of 2015 (people started lining up at 4am)!

Citadel Mall | Open at 8am

They *think* they will be getting all 20 collections, but couldn’t confirm.

FAQ/About the Sale:

Pricing: Ranges from $7 to $160, with most items under $50.

Sizes: Available sizes are below. All women’s apparel will be offered in plus sizing but will vary by store.
Women: XS–3X
Men: S–XXL
Kids: XS–XL
Toddlers and babies: 0–3M to 5T

Online Shopping Start Time: I couldn’t find any info about this, but the website says September 14th, so I’m guessing that means at 12:01am tonight!

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Weekender Home Tour: Riverland Terrace Retreat

Charleston Weekender Charleston Home Tours

I first discovered this house thanks to good old Instagram, via a local realtor I follow, Gentry Todd. Gentry has a free app that I use to browse local home prices and see what’s on the market; it’s like Zillow but up to date in real time. This house is owned by another local realtor, Jennifer Vail. Her (former) home is a waterfront property with a pool; the Lowcountry’s Holy Grail of real estate! Let’s have a look:

Charleston Weekender Charleston Home Tour: Riverland Terrace

A few quick facts about this home:

Year built: 2018
Part of town: Riverland Terrace on James Island...minutes to downtown Charleston.

Riverland Terrace Charleston Home Tour via Charleston Weekender

Who lives here?

Our family of 4-Patrick and I and our two teenage daughters Ellen (18) and Grace (16) and our 4 legged friends Isabel and Rosie. Patrick is in medical sales and I am in real estate with Daniel Ravenel Sothebys International Realty. We love boating and the lowcountry water lifestyle. My nephew is at the Citadel so we are home to lots of Citadel boys every weekend as well!

Charleston Weekender Charleston Home Tour Riverland Terrace

What is your favorite feature of this house?

I’d have to say the views of the Stono River from every single room, as well as the backyard space with 1000 sf patio leading to saltwater pool/hot tub and outdoor kitchen for entertaining.

Tell us about the design- did you have help from a designer or how did that all happen? Did you do it all at once or take your time decorating?

Our architect, Neal Van Dalen, is incredible and has amazing vision. He was on site every day during the build and specified many of the interior finish details. I did the colors, fixtures and decorating myself. We have built several homes, and as a realtor with resale in mind, I always try to keep a neutral pallet with clean lines and a minimalist style. Decorating took some time because the ceilings are 12 ft and higher t/o and the rooms are open and expansive. Finding furniture to scale in these large bright spaces was a great opportunity to acquire some large pieces.

What are some must-haves that help make your space functional while also being such a design lovers dream?

The three sets of 10ft tall sliding glass doors are architecturally beautiful while functioning to create seamless flow from indoor to outdoor spaces.

We entertain frequently and enjoy cooking so the kitchen had to be the "Hub" of the home, which Neal captured perfectly. The spacious kitchen is the center of the great room and it is anchored with a 10ft x 5ft island for gathering, professional appliances and a 4ft galley ledge kitchen sink. It is so fun to cook in this kitchen and it is sized and spaced perfectly to handle lots of people at the same time.

It’s also great to have a main floor master for the ease of one floor living down the road, yet it is privately situated from main living. It is quietly romantic with the soaring ceilings and 20 ft wall of windows, accented with cedar beams and a huge iron chandelier. The master bathroom is white marble throughout and a great mix of metals in the fixtures all adding to the subtle serene feeling.

4) Can you share some of the sources you used to decorate?

Celadon, Lyndon and Leigh, & Restoration Hardware

5) Where can we see more?

Here’s the link to the listing, and you can find Jennifer on Instagram here!

Charleston Weekender Charleston Home Tour Riverland Terrace

-all images by Ellis Creek Photography-


Thank you so much to Jennifer for letting us peek inside this lovely Charleston home! I’m blown away by how gorgeous it is, but then again I never met a water view I didn’t like. Come over to Instagram to tell me hi, and head here for more Charleston home tours. Don’t forget to make every day feel like the weekend!

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