Thursday, September 27, 2012

Charleston Ch. 2: The restaurants on Bay...The Ansonborough Inn and what's kid friendly & what's not

(sorry in advance for the poor photos...I unfortunately took few pics when in SC...due to almost dying from a cold)

So, when we went to Charleston, SC a few weeks ago I was 11 weeks pregnant and hungry.  Can I tell you how excited I was to check out all the restaurants and eat 'til my heart's content with no guilt what-so-ever?  I literally counted down the days and did some pretty thorough research before we left on the places to hit.  Sadly, I became so sick with a terrible cold the third day into our trip that I could barely taste anything and even when I did try to eat, it was pretty uncomfortable given I couldn't breathe through my nose....a lovely image indeed, I know. 

But, a pregnant girl's gotta eat, right?  And, that we still did...

Our hotel was great....we stayed at The Ansonborough Inn.  Awesome, especially if you have kids.  It was large, with huge vaulted ceilings, kitchen, separate bedroom....this was my view a lot of the time as I would lay on the couch begging God to help me breathe again:

The Ansonborough Inn is walking distance to everything and we walked.  A lot...
Probably our very favorite place to eat was Magnolia's....AMAZING!  It was so kid friendly, we actually ate in twice and got take out another time.  They knew Leila by the end of it.  Make reservations...go for Sunday brunch and order whatever kind of fritter poppers they are offering under the appetizers...we had the peach fritters, to die for.  Great atmosphere, awesome art work, friendly staff...a must.....
(image via Magnolias)
If you need a sandwich quick, like if you are starving when you finally get to Charleston....go to the East Bay Deli....SO good, huge menu, friendly...we ate here a few times.
  Location Picture
image via

Poor picture, but Slightly North of Broad was a place we at one day after walking a few miles.  We had worked up an appetite and we waited outside until they opened their doors for lunch.  While very good, not kid friendly....sadly.  Exposed kitchen, quaint bar...very upscale.  Go here for dinner with your other half....

Believe it or not, one of our other favorite restaurants was a place I never got to husband did though and said it was really nice inside.  Several nights I couldn't leave the hotel because of being sick, so we ended up getting take out and Cru Cafe was delicious....the food was amazing!  Order the Mac and Cheese.......the Thai seafood was also really good, spicy, but good!

image via:

The last night we were in Charleston we had an early dinner at High Cotton.  We each had their filet and it was delicious....and fast!  I couldn't believe how fast they served us.  They are only open for dinner....make reservations and order their grits!  SO good.  Leila had a meltdown during dinner so we had to rush things.  A lot...but thankfully before we left, an old friend of mine who moved to Charleston 8 years ago met us there for a quick visit....

And, while my hubby brought Leila back to the hotel, Helen took me to the Market Pavilion Hotel's rooftop restaurant/bar which overlooks Charleston. It features a pool, amazing atmosphere....etc....a great end to an interesting week, seriously:

Photo via:

These were just a few places that stuck out to me....Charleston has incredible food, no doubt! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

easy diy cupcake toppers

Getting ready for our girl's 2nd birthday party this coming weekend, can't believe she is already 2, crazy!  And, I put the hubby to work on football Sunday:

So easy....I ended up using odds and ends I had on my craft shelf:  scrapbook paper for the hats and bright buttons and embellishments for the toppers.  Should be cute, especially with 40 cupcakes and 40 big smiles staring back...what's not to love?

Meanwhile, we have actually been potty training our little girl.  So far, the hardest thing I have done in parenthood.  And, I know it may seem too early, but she has shown serious signs of wanting to be diaper free...letting us know when she needs to go potty, (As Grover says, Don't Wait!), waking up in the mornings with a dry diaper and when we are at home, she pretty much roams bottomless with very few accidents. 

But, I am not brave enough to leave the house regularly without her diaper on.  I fear the obvious, that we will be in the middle of the grocery store and all of a sudden I will see (or feel) liquid dropping from her body onto the floor.

Anyway, we do the happy dance and I sing "Go Leila, go Leila, it's your went pee pee in the potty..." etc.  And, Leila thinks it is quite fun....chanting back to me "Go Leila, go Leila...." but she can't quite say the rest :)

Never knew before kids how extremely excited I would be for someone to go's the little things :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ginger & Spice...and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Photo: Just love everything about our sign!  BB Home in the house today! Stop by and say hi!

                                           photo via Ginger & Spice Marketplace

I took a drive out to Ginger & Spice in Walkersville today (such a sweet shop!) since I have finally caved and decided I have to try this Annie Sloan chalk paint I keep hearing and reading about.  G & S is one of the few places I was able to find in the area that carries it. 

Anyway, I am eager to get started!  You might remember the Hecht chest I found at Goodwill a few months ago.  It has been staring back at me angrily as if to say, "you brought me all the way home now what are you going to do with me?"  It desperately needs new life to be breathed back into it.  This guy is going to be my pioneer piece....wish me luck!  eeeekkk...

I ended up going with the traditional Old White to start out with and then buying the Dark Wax which is apparently tricky to use but gives your piece a great aged look.  Will post pics when done!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Amazing vintage treasures and our baby's very first gift

My grandmother, "Mackie" as we call her, is probably one of the most hip, yet incredibly traditional grandmothers I have ever known.  She is one of those people you have to either know extremely well or be related to, to understand.  And even then, she still keeps you guessing.  I feel very fortunate to have her in my life, and now in her late 80's she still has incredible taste and views on issues that she does not hold back on.  She's one in a million.
( here we are in Hawaii many years in my very favorite "Hawaii" shirt...)
She sends my sister and me packages often that are filled with all kinds of unexpected things.  I happened to come home the other day to one sitting on my door step and I was jumping up and down with excitement as I unwrapped these little treasures.
demitasse sterling silver spoons
A vintage pillbox which was her mothers (Nana's)...and was given to Mackie in 1967...can only imagine how old it is.
A sterling silver bell, which according to Mackie, is to be used when I have a formal dinner and need to call on a servant (um, really???)  I think I will opt to use this when I am close to my due date and unable to get out of bed or bend over to tie my shoes.

And, the cherry on top of these amazing vintage pieces came this morning when I had my friend Beth over for coffee.  She mentioned she had some old, vintage postcards in her basement that she had been holding onto and she thought I might like:

Here is one of them...this poor kid is about to get whacked with a shoe!
But, the real gem is this incredibly darling 1940's baby book which she surprised me with (and has NEVER been used) for our little nugget.....I about died and went to heaven when she gave it to me....
Beth, thank you SO, SO much!



How sweet are these illustrations? 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

a baby bump revealed & Charleston Ch 1: The Mansions on King

We may have missed Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Bette (sigh....) but there certainly is no shortage of drama in historic Charleston, SC.  I have the pictures to prove it below.
In the blog I posted right before we left I mentioned needing some R & R during our trip down south.  The weeks leading up to Charleston have been filled with anxiety, morning sickness, exhaustion, Thai food & soda fountain cravings (weird!), a husband running out to the store at the drop of a hat, an expanding waist line....and our little girl figuring out she is going to be a big sister come the end of March...our little nugget is due to arrive on or around the 23rd :)
And, as excited as I am to be breaking out my Fall decor and Halloween figurines at the moment...I was even more excited to remember I can officially start using my bump mug (heck yeah!)  It's the little things during a pregnancy that help you get through the symptoms and worry any mom has during those nine months. 
We are thrilled!
While we had little R & R during our trip (more on that in the next chapter) there was PLENTY of inspiration.  I came home with my mind exhausted from all the ideas I have for paintings.  Charleston is an amazing with art, history, southern food at its finest....and classic, quintessential southern architecture...

In a town where bicyclists and stone streets are standard, the mansions on and around King Street are grand and even more common.  We spent one morning walking several miles through King Street, Battery Park and then back up to our hotel along the water then through downtown. 

Charleston is considered a "sleepy town" so it was incredibly peaceful and quiet that morning. 

So lovely...


These mansions overlook the water.......


sweet cottages (at several million a pop!) are sprinkled throughout downtown


So many houses have these gorgeous window boxes....

More to come....