Exploring the SC Coast - Folly Beach & Botany Bay

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
South Carolina has some of the most interesting coastline I've ever seen.
Rocky shores, white sand beaches, and even dead trees.
It's wild.

Last weekend when we were down in Charleston we decided to drive to Folly Beach and then on to Botany Bay; a secret little gem tucked away in the jungle. It's one of those places where you start to drive down an unpaved road and question whether or not you should keep going...

Let's start with Folly Beach.
This place is more public and well-known than Botany Bay. But still a peaceful retreat to explore and get some quality beach time in.

Look at those storm clouds moving out.
Hello Heaven.

 A walk along this beach will provide plenty of views of cute beach front homes, shrimp boats, weddings, and lots of purple starfish.

Parking was free right along the beach. It was great.

So after sitting in the back of my SUV and having cupcakes for lunch, we made the split decision to drive an hour down to Edisto Island and check out Botany Bay.
The best trips are always unplanned.

I found this wonderland by following a lot of talented photographers on Instagram that are based out of SC.
The sunrise photos they take on this beach are phenomenal.

We were here as the sun was setting so the lighting for photos wasn't the best.
Either way,  check this place out.....

Chock-full of dead trees and seashells, this place was like stepping back in the dinosaur age.
Land before time style.

One of my favorite things about this beach was that all who wandered here seemed to leave their mark by hanging one of the thousands of shells on the dead palms.
So of course I had to join in.

To get to this beach you have to drive down a long unpaved road. Then you drive up to what seems to be someone's private small farm, but there's a parking area to walk to the beach. You will walk about a quarter mile through a couple of marshes and finally reach the ocean.
The walk itself was beautiful...

Word on the street is there are more of these 'dead trees' beaches here in SC.
I can't wait to track them down and share them with you!

My mom is coming down next week for a long Mother's day weekend... I think her and I are going back to the Lowcountry to possibly stay at a cute bed & breakfast right on the ocean.
Maybe explore some plantations and new beaches.. I can't wait! Stay tuned for that.

Oh and guess what?
Come mid-June we will be renting a not-even-built-yet 2 bedroom apartment!!
Bring on the hardwood floors.

Although we often talk about getting up and moving to a different part of the country again, our new apartment is still in the same town.
Because, well....

Earth Day 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015
I think one of the best things I've ever done for my mental health was learn to truly appreciate nature.
To get back to what makes me genuinely happy.
To see every cloud, every blade of grass, with eyes of wonderment and pure fascination.
To have the utmost respect for every living creature on this planet.

When I was a kid growing up in Southern Indiana my life was the outdoors.
Some of my most fondest memories are running through cornfields with cousins, building forts with my big brother, and climbing trees by myself.

Like most people do, as I grew into my teenage years life became all about socialization, fitting in, and surviving school. I totally lost touch with what's real in life.

But as college started to come to a close I began reconnecting to my old ways; spending all of my free time outdoors. During the short New England summers there wasn't a weekend I wasn't out fishing in the kayak.

Flash forward to today, 26 and learnin' new tricks, I spend my evenings outside at our local greenway
every. single. day.
Just walking. Alone. Stopping to admire everything like it's new to me. Just like when I was a child.
I'm meditating and reviving my spirit without even trying.

Compared to my teenage years / early 20's, I'm a lot more calm. I handle intense situations a lot better. I can lasso my over thinking mind and tame my anxiety. Bad news rolls off my back.

What I'm trying to get at here is that nature is reviving. This planet provides us with everything we need to live a happy, healthy life. A pet peeve of mine is when people label me a 'hippy, hipster, crunchy, wacko' you name it. I'm not any of those things.

I'm a human.

Happy Earth day friends. 
Remember: the best things in life aren't things.

Dining in Charleston

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
I'm back from Charleston!

The trip was awesome. Got to catch up with friends, try out lots of new restaurants, and the weather was just perfect:

I say that in the most sarcastic tone possible. At least the weather part. Our friends from NH came down hoping to escape the cold but all they got was rain. Heavy, non-stop, pouring down rain.
Every. Single. Day.

"You can plan a pretty picnic but you can't predict the weather"

So what's there to do in the South when it's raining outside?

Hush puppies for the win!
Which brings me to the point of this post. If you ever plan on visiting Charleston in the future, bookmark this page. I'm going to let you in on the best food & drinks downtown Charleston has to offer!

So you're in Charleston. You wake up to the sun shining (use your imagination) and you're ready to start the day with some delicious iced coffee.
First stop:

The Pinterest-famous Sugar Bakeshop!

This small business is awesome. When you walk in you will be greeted by the most beautiful mint green decorations, staff all wearing big smiles, and sweets on sweets on sweets!

Real talk, we may or may not have gotten one of everything.
Gotta love using vacation as an excuse to eat whatever you want :)
But let's talk caffeine. Their iced coffee is super strong and they use frozen coffee cubes for ice...

I mean, it's no coconut coffee but it definitely hit the spot ;-)

This little sweet-shop is located in a packed residential area, so snagging a spot in front of the store is not likely to happen. So to ensure you don't drive around the block 15 times like we did, park at the Charleston Visitors Center garage a few blocks up the road. It's a short walk and parking is only $2 an hour!

 Lunch time.
If you're looking to grab a light, organic snack paired with a classic Southern iced tea, my favorite place is East Bay Meeting House.  A small restaurant in the heart of downtown with a relaxed environment.
Never had food or a drink I didn't like here! Their tomato bisque is delicious.

To access this place on busy East Bay St., park just a block up the road in the East Bay parking garage. It's only $2/hour as well.

Now for dinner.
My friend Shane recommended we check out a great restaurant that he's seen on TV called Husk. This place requires reservations and is usually booked months in advance. So while we didn't make it for dinner, we had a delicious lunch our last day in Charleston.
we made our reservations last month and just barely got in for lunch. That's how good this place is.
Plan ahead!

Husk is classic, old-time Southern both inside and out. You can swing on the front porch while you wait for your table and the inside is like you're walking into someone's home.
I will definitely be returning next time I'm in town.

FYI: There is a parking garage right across the street from Husk, so parking is a breeze.


I'm not big on nightlife, but we did go out Friday night and found a really great bar. It's called the Gin Joint and the drinks were the best! They take pride in the quality of their drinks and put real effort into them. No pre-made sour mix here. For people like me who don't have a go-to drink, they have a section on their menu that just lists descriptive words like 'Fruity, Fizzy, Sour, Strong' etc, and they have you pick 2 words from the list then they make a surprise drink for you --How clever!
I can't wait to bring more friends and family here!

And of course what's a trip to the lowcountry without exploring new areas...

On Saturday evening Mitch and I set out to do what we do best - explore wild places. We found the coolest 'Secret beach' and I can't wait to share. It's truly like nothing we've ever seen.

More on that later this week - Stay tuned!

Coconut Coffee

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
What better time to share a recipe for a delicious, healthy cup of coffee than on a rainy Tuesday morning.

For a couple of months now Mitch has been making us Bulletproof Coffee
It's simply a mixture of coffee and unsalted grassfed butter.
We add our own twist to it and throw in a slab of coconut oil for both flavor and nutrients.

Word on the street is it speeds up your metabolism and greatly improves cognitive function!
Mitch has actually lost over 10lbs since he started drinking it :)

In case you're new to the health food game, let's start with the basics.

What is grassfed butter? How is it different than regular butter?
Simply put, grassfed butter is butter made out of cream that comes from cows who eat nothing but organic grass. Very simple, right? So what's the big deal?

Mass produced butter is made out of cream that comes from cow's who have an all grain/corn diet.
Cows aren't made to eat that stuff! Just try to picture it. A cow roaming through a cornfield, chowing down on the corn stalks. Uhhh, no.

Google 'Cow eating' and there will be nothing but photos like this:

Source: Google images

And this is how cow's eat corn:

Source: Google images

So which cow do you want to eat butter from?

Ok, got a little off topic. But it's very important to know and a key component to making this coffee healthy.

So let's get to it!
Here's what you'll need:

  • 1-2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil  preferably unrefined (Means it's straight out of the coconut, untouched by machines)
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Organic Coffee 
  • 2 Tablespoons Grassfed Butter 
  • 2 1/2 cups boiling water

  • French Press 
  • Blender

    This recipe will yield one mason jar full of coffee.

    Step 1:  Pour 2 tablespoons of organic coffee grounds into the French Press.

    Step 2: Add 2 1/2 cups of boiling water. We use a tea kettle

    Step 3:  Let the coffee brew for 4-5 minutes. While it's brewing, begin making the coconut oil/butter mixture. Add roughly 2 tablespoons of butter and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil to your blender.
    Do not blend yet!
    *If you want to taste the coconut, add 2 tablespoons. If you don't, add only 1.

    Step 4:  Pour the brewed coffee into the coconut oil/butter mixture.

    Step 5: Blend the coffee/butter/coconut oil mixture for 1 minute

    Step 6: Pour, Serve, and enjoy your enhanced cognitive abilities :)

    If you're used to drinking sweet coffee, this taste will definitely have to be acquired.
    It isn't sweet but it's very creamy. Which kind of compensates for the lack of sugar.
    As for the coconut, it's so subtle that you hardly know it's in there. If you want more of that coconut taste simply add another spoonful of coconut oil!

    I know this process might seem a little daunting if you're used to pressing a button and having your coffee made for you by a machine every morning.
    But I promise, it's worth the investment in your health.
    It becomes routine after a few tries!
    Plus it helps your body burn fat all day.

    Wishing you a happy, healthy week ahead!
    We have friends from New Hampshire coming down tomorrow and I'm so excited!
    A couple days off work AND a trip to Charleston?

Moving On

Friday, April 10, 2015
Happy Friday!

Maybe it's the newness of Spring and the excitement of changes to come, but there's been nothing but good energy in our world down here in SC.

While we spend our days working desk jobs, our afternoons are relaxing, peaceful, and full of nature. It's been hot and humid (LOVE IT) this past week, AND we even had a thunderstorm. I can't explain the level of excitement I had when I felt that gush of wind and heard the crackling of thunder while walking in the peach trees...

South Carolina is such a wonder. I really love it down here. Not sure if we will make it our permanent home, but at this point, I wouldn't be mad if we stayed here a few more years.

Speaking of 'home' - we have been actively looking at new places to live. Our lease is up in June and we decided that as much as we love our current little apartment, its time to move up and on! Tears will be shed when we close our front door one last time at our 'first place'...I can feel it now. But, it's time to upgrade to something bigger. While I want to travel every other week, I'm finally taming my wanderlust and settling down for a bit to save for a new place. We'll see how long that lasts. 
We will be renting again because we just aren't sure if we're ready to buy here in the Carolinas.

So, I've been actively pinning inspiration on Pinterest for new home decor! When we first moved down here we had nothing. Like, not even a mattress. Or a job. Soo needless to say a lot of our furniture is from the dirt cheap section at Ikea. I am so ready to 'grow up' and buy furniture that will last and keep for years.

I consider my home design taste to be a minimalist. If I don't use it, I don't see the point of it.
Here's some of my inspiration for our 'new' place:

This dining table setup. Obsessed with the chairs. I read somewhere that for good Feng Shui, you should always have a round dining table. That way everyone can see everyone's face. They say it creates more harmony and better conversations.
Makes sense to me.

A clean, bright white kitchen with a serious pop of color. The Midwest soul in me wanted to accomplish this with an old school, country-style rag rug. So, I bought This one! We'll see how it fits in the new place :)
**Update: Got my rug and it's nothing like the picture. It's all grey with no colors at all. Kind of weird. Returned it!

I'm also fascinated with retro style kitchen appliances, so I've got THIS on my radar! And I just have to get THIS.

Did I mention I'm big into plants too? I straight up want my house to feel like a forest.
I mean, look what we're currently growing in the living room...

Yes, this is a baby version of a California Redwood tree. You know, the trees that in a thousand years turn into this:


Have a happy weekend!
Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design