Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Embracing all that is Fall

I love all that is summer and sun and beach..but I also have been in love with the fall for quite some time. It's a tough competition. Fall for me used to always be associated with soccer; Friday night games, weekend road trips, post-game tailgating, and having to start to wear sweatshirts and cozy work out gear. Obviously my soccer life has somewhat stopped (even though we have been playing a co-ed league this fall!) but fall almost always feels like a renewal period again. Even down in Charleston we have been starting to feel the crisp air! We've been having our windows open, burning cozy candles, slowing down a bit (at least trying), and cooking warm, fall seasonal fair.

We were able to make a trip back to New Jersey a few weekends ago, and October in New Jersey may even been better than October in Charleston. We had a whirlwind of a weekend, but were able to catch up at dinner with our best friends, go apple picking with my parents, spend a cozy night with a bonfire and a good meal for my Mom's birthday, and head to a end of season beach wedding with our closest high school friends. It was such a busy weekend but also felt so normal and refreshing at the same time. We love our new home but also miss our home town friends and it made us happy to see everyone again.


Since it's fall, I am pretty much loving everything pumpkin, squash or spiced related. I don't care if it's cliche, it is for reason because it's so good! I've been reading about the changes of seasons affecting our bodies and our transitioning diets as well. My friend also mentioned how her yoga friend was telling her about how to treat your body for the cooling weather and season transition. Fall is  the start of Vata season, which comes from cold, light, dry, clear and moving. As long as these qualities are in balance, you will stay healthy, creative and exuberant. All body types are vulnerable to Vata derangement during autumn and winter. Some tips to stay balanced during these months:

  • Eat foods that are warming -- as I said, winter squash, soups, pumpkin baked things or oatmeals have been a staple in my house
  • Drink lots of warming liquids like hot water and herbal teas
  • Wear more comfy clothing made of soft fabrics, covering your chest and neck (and i think transitioning to close covered shoes with cozy socks)
  • Get plenty of sleep and rest
  • I've also been trying to do more yoga and take more soaking baths.

I've been working a lot the past few weeks, but looking forward to this weekend when we will be doing a 5K to raise money for healthy food for Kyle's school, and then attending a Mac and Cheese festival (kind of opposites..haha). Looking forward to doing some things in Charleston! Hope you've been having a great fall! xoxo

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

August Rush..Literally

Whew, August was a whirlwind month. So many new changes occurred and we had so many visitors down in Charleston. We love having guests to our home. Having a guest bedroom was such a big thing for me, and I pinterest-ed and searched stores for details to make our place feel homey for those coming down. Being so far away from our home, when we have so many visitors, we don't even feel far at all. Except I would say the few weeks after people leave, does remind us that we are no longer a car drive away. 

This past August we hosted my close childhood friend and kids, my mom and godmother, Kyle's mom, and my college girlfriends down. It was a month filled of weekends off, lots of restaurants, water activities, beaching and downtown exploring. We had such a good time showing everyone around, cooking in our home and making fun memories.

Some yoga SUP!
Sandy with Luna

Dinner in Folly with the Cohen family. Adorable!
Best Friend is back and so happy to see her!
Some of my favorite times were taking Luna to the beach with the Grand-moms, paddling boarding (AND seeing a sea turtle up close in the wild for the first time), a southern cooking class, dinner nights in downtown Charleston, and catching up with my people. :)

Cooking class with my ladies

Lehigh loves!
Some of my friends down here think we have visitors every weekend, which is not actually true but we do have our visitors come in waves, and August was no exception. We also get asked if we take people to the same places. I usually try to show my friend and family what we love about Charleston- which is so much! We usually spend some time down in Folly Beach and some time downtown. I love paddle boarding and people coming down usually want to do something on the water, so I do feel like we do that a lot. I don't feel like we go to the same restaurants most of the time, because there are so many great places to try! We also usually try to do some new things that we don't get to do often either - like visit a plantation, brewery, or try a cooking class. There are usually special events that we try to attend to. Basically, we try to incorporate people in our lives down here and it works out that everyone has a great time!

Now that summer is winding down (although the weather doesn't feel like it is yet!) we are looking forward to a quieter fall - with football, lazy Sundays, farmers markets, and a lot of DIY's around the house. We are going back up to Jersey in October, which we are SO excited about. We're going to our good friend's wedding but also are planning on doing a lot of true fall activities like apple picking or heading to a pumpkin patch! Can't wait to see our Jersey friends again! XoXo

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Luna - Luney Tooney

Our family has grown by one -- a four legged pup! Luna joined our home at the end of June and we love her! Kyle and I had been talking for a while about getting/wanting a dog. Both of us grew up with dogs in our home and really always thought of ourselves as "dog people" before we got Tuck. It was just never a good time before now to get one of our own -- apartments that didn't allow pets, moving around, and too busy of work schedules. Once Kyle was off a couple of weeks this summer our dog talks became more and more frequent until we found ourselves at the local animal shelter.

Luna! Pretty new when we got her here :)
Luna is a golden retriever and black lab mix. We both never really pictured ourselves with a lab, but she's awesome! She is such a quick learner and literally lives to please us. She also hits the check box of all things we did want in a dog -- sweet, could eventually run with me, good with kids/people, and loves to swim.  One of our favorite things to do with her now is bring her to the beach, she loves it and is starting to really love the water!

Our sweet pup!

Beach day!
Charleston is such a dog community. Where we grew up, we had our dogs at home and would walk the around the neighborhood or play in the backyard. Down in Charleston, dogs come with you everywhere! We take her out to eat, to dog parks, to outdoor bars, downtown and the beach. I feel like we have our own social dog scene and it's so much fun.

Pet wars on a daily basis.

Bath time
Luna has brought a lot of smiles and happiness into our home. It's such a great feeling to be greeted at the door every day with a happy puppy waging the tail, no matter how your day was. We love her and love having everyone meeting her!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

California Dreamin'

So wow. It's been about 4 months since I've posted. What the heck happened?? A lot has happened I guess. First of all, it's summer time! Kyle is off of school, I'm now an upper level resident, and we have a puppy!! Throw in a lot of visitors, a lot of work, another set of boards and a vacation, and that's what's been going on with us.

I know it feels like we just took a vacation - because my Naples post was only a few back- but we felt like we needed another one. Let's be honest, usually once a month I'm dreaming of a vacation. I love my job and love where we live, but I'm such a wanderlust that I can't help but always dream of new trips and adventures together. We decided to go out to California because 1. Cali is awesome and who doesn't want to visit, and 2. my brother and sister-in-law just moved out there. Now that Kyle is a teacher, we basically have limited options (although not that limited) of when we can get away- re spring break and summer. Fine with me!

We went out to San Francisco for a full week. After a night of sleeping in JFK (yup, right on the floor), we were so excited to begin our West Coast adventures. This was probably the opposite of our Naples vacation, which included waking up, walking (or golf carting) to the beach, taking naps, afternoon cocktail, go out to dinner, sleep, repeat. While in Cali we had so much we wanted to see, we spent out days traveling, exploring, also afternoon cocktail-ing, and just overall on the go.

We spent the first two days in San Fran. It's such a beautiful city, surrounded by so much water. The temperature is rarely over 80 degrees and it's the perfect city to walk around and explore. We rented bikes and did a full day of biking and site seeing. We stopped several times for snacks, pictures, small hikes, and made our way to the Golden Gate Bridge. It's just so cool! Seeing the ocean on one side of the bridge and watching the fog literally roll in is pretty cool. It's also crazy how one minute you are hot wearing an tank top, and then next freezing and need a sweater! After seeing the bridge, we biked back down to the beach. After stopping for a much needed late lunch and drinks, we decided the 17 miles home would be a little much (we already biked 23!) and shoved our bikes in a cab. Such a great day!

The next several days we went up to wine country, particularly Sonoma, which was my planned and most anticipated part of the trip! We stayed in Petaluma and explored three of the Sonoma wineries one day, as well as downtown Sonoma - which is dreamy. The next day we went up the the Russian River Valley and did a few wineries up there before making out way to the Russian River Brewery (a dream for the guys). I will say I thought it may be hard to get up and drink wine for more than a few days in a row...but what I am I saying - it is NOT difficult to get up and drink wine every day in beautiful settings meeting awesome people. It's actually pretty easy.

The last part of our trip we drove the scenic route 1 highway down to Santa Cruz. The drive was so much fun in itself- driving around on the winding cliffs over looking the Pacific Ocean..sigh. We even saw whales!! One of my favorite things was when we pulled over to just get out of the car and look at the stars - it was so dark with no one around, you could see SO much! Amazing. Santa Cruz itself was a dream. It's literally a town built around the ocean and surfing. Adults of all ages, kids, even dogs were out on their surfboards or walking around town in wetsuits. Amy dreams of living in a bungalow there one day and I hope she does so we can come visit. It was California living to a T!

We had such a great vacation, needed a few days to recover from all our adventures and jet lag. It made me realize though how much I miss my brother and Amy. We have such a good time together, I wish it could happen more often. Good thing we're lucky enough to have good jobs so we can fly to see each other, and we always have Skype!

Anyone else have any fun summer adventures? xoxo Our other (furry) summer adventure will be my next post!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sunshine and Tacos

The warmer weather and sunshine makes me so happy. I'm such a beach soul and I'm forever grateful to my parents for instilling in me at such a young age my love and admiration for the ocean. Growing up at the Jersey Shore was amazing, and it has planted a huge desire in my heart to live near the ocean for the rest of my life- hence why we also love Charleston so much!

As soon as the hint of summer rolls around with salty air, sun-kissed skin and sandy toes, I also immediately start craving fish tacos. I really don't think there is a better combo out there. Now that we've been in Charleston for almost a year, we definitely have tried out a taco or two and have our go to spots.  So here are a few of our favorites to try out if you're ever in the Charleston area!

Fuel: This former gas station turned restaurant that has an open air concept including an indoor/outdoor bar and huge outdoor patio. If you're downtown, this hip spot has great brunch vibes. We love their Bloody Mary's, grilled tuna tacos, the mahi-mahi tacos, and if you're not into fish, the braised pork tacos are awesome too!

Zia Taqueria: This was our very first spot we got fish tacos at when we were looking for houses on James Island. It has a very modern Mexican vibe and is an order at the counter casual place. Their baja fish tacos are incredible but I also love the grilled fish taco if wanting to feel lighter. They also have great margaritas and chips/salsa. We like to go here now if we plan on going to the movies, because it's in the same cute plaza as a very hip and quaint movie theater. 

Taco Boy: The last and probably now our favorite place is Taco Boy! They have a location downtown (which we have yet to go to) but we usually go to the one down in Folly Beach. We love that you can come off the beach and hit the bar for an awesome spicy margarita and guacamole. We LOVE their Mexican street corn here, and have tried so many of the tacos it's hard to narrow down a favorite. I always love the classic fish taco, but the kimchi beef and tempura avocado tacos are also amazing.

 Hopefully the weather holds up, as we are planning on having our first beach day tomorrow with a stop at Taco Boy on our way home. Hooray for sweet summertime!


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Vacation Bliss

A few weeks ago, Kyle and I took a vacation to Naples, Florida for an entire week of R&R. Now that he is teaching, he always has a spring break, which is a great time for me to also take some time off work and get away after those winter months! Even before he landed his teaching job I had requested off for his potential spring break- I guess I just knew he would get it! And after having such an amazing time relaxing on the beach in Florida, we already decided that a spring break getaway needs to be in our plans yearly. (Wahoo, spring break doesn't have to end with college !!)

While we initially had big plans for an adventurous escape to possibly Europe, we ended up deciding to stick to a more budget friendly trip that allowed us to do a whole lot of nothing. We both have such demanding work schedules right now that sitting on a beach all seemed like pure bliss.

My godparents were generous enough to invite us to stay that their beach condo which is located on a very high end and beautiful beach like resort- meaning pool, golf carts to drive you round if you please, people to set up your umbrellas and chairs, and a restaurant a bar right on the beach for food and drinks.

Orange Bliss -my new favorite beach cocktail.

What I love the most about Naples is that is on the west coast of Florida, so one of the few areas on the East Coast to get a true beach sunset- something we ended up making our plans around so that we could enjoy a cocktail and the sunset nightly.

Cheers! Life's simple pleasures.

My favorite guy!

We read lots of books (only pleasure reading!), took lots of naps, drank lots of cocktails, and soaked in as much sun as possible. Our evenings alternated between cooking out at the grill poolside and going out to dinner in downtown Naples. I even managed to slip in a day of paddle boarding which is my favorite!!

The beach reader at work

A great Mexican dinner!

Overall we had a GREAT week, and truly felt recharged and rejuvenated when we got back home. I'm still carrying that vacation and summer feel with me and its been two weeks since our trip :). I guess it doesn't hurt that the weather in Charleston has been 75-80s and it feels like summer is creeping up here.

Pura Vida and Namaste. xoxoxo

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Southern Romance..(+the flu)

Well we are back from our weekend away in Savannah. Both of us are home from work, sick with the flu. I'm actually surprised I have enough energy right now to sit at my desk and write this. What's ironic is that I've had so many patients with the flu over the past month and I never even caught so much as a sniffle, and then Kyle gets sick and we're both down for the count. I didn't start to feel sick until we were home on Sunday evening, but the poor hubby was sick since we pulled up to our hotel on Friday night, so basically for our entire trip.

Savannah is such a romantic city! I loved it there. We stayed at this adorable Bed and Breakfast, and the staff there was so amazing. Booking our rooms there a while back, I wasn't too sure of it's location in terms of how far the heart of the city was from it, but it was in a perfect location. What we realized very quickly is that Savannah is actually not that big and the blocks are very small, so it is very deceiving to look at a map versus walking around. Anywhere you want to go in the city is super accessible by foot. We didn't have to use our car once. :)

Friday night we got to the hotel around 8pm. It was a little drizzly out but we were very hungry and so walked to a street a few blocks from our hotel that was packed with restaurants and shops. We really weren't very picky about what we wanted for dinner, so after looking around for about 5 seconds we decided on this quaint, dimly lit, modern seafood place called Chive.  It was very cute, romantic, and the food was delicious. We were both very satisfied with our meals but had to get back to the hotel quickly because the Mr. was starting to go downhill quickly.

The following morning we had an amazing breakfast at the B&B, but Kyle wasn't looking too good. He needed some more time back in the room before he was able to venture out. So I took my big tourist camera and walked around the city in the early morning. It was a little misty and foggy at first in the morning. The streets were so quiet and the atmosphere with the old Spanish moss and giant southern oak trees gave the city such a beautiful feel! I really enjoyed just moseying about the city before it was awake for the day. I also discovered this amazing little shop called the Paris Market. It had some house things, some soaps, jewelery and a mini coffee and macaroon bar. Everything was old fashioned and Parisian and it was such a delight browsing this store, I was in love. And of course I had a little chai tea latte which was delicious!

Kyle was finally able to get out of bed (let's be honest, I kind of dragged him) and we went to get some lunch. We went to this little brunch place called Collins Corner. It was super cute, loved the atmosphere and decor. We were able to get a table for two outside, and enjoyed some brunch-y food while people watching. I also got a bloody mary, because why not. They also have an outdoor window for their coffees and teas. I didn't notice until after, but they had this espresso drink that had dark chocolate, espresso, and fresh sounded so amazing! And Savannah has no open container law, so I got a nice cider for walking the street after lunch- just because.

The rest of the afternoon was spent just walking around Savannah. Like it said, it is such a beautiful and romantic city. The history, architecture, and quiet streets are something that we could just get lost in walking around all day. I love that they have so many squares throughout the city. And around every corner you head the clip clapping of the horse drawn carriages. It was just so relaxing and blissful. We got some ice cream at the famous Leopolds to cap off our day.

Overall, some of out plans got canceled because of the flu, but we went away for a relaxing weekend and we got just that. I would definitely go back down to Savannah again for some more southern charm!