Recent Favorites — Summer Edition

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Free People Basic Tanks:  I have always been a basics kinda girl when it comes to buying new clothes.  I love to fill my closet with neutral easy pieces that I can dress up or down, and wear with different types of accessories.  These Free People tanks have become a favorite of mine this year.  (I usually buy new tanks from Target each Summer and I still swear by them, however, these new tanks may take their place).  They are so light weight and great quality.

Free People Seamless Tank (The red is on sale for $15!)

Racer Back Cropped Tank (I want this in pink now)

 

Starbs Passion Tea and Egg Bites:  I don’t know what took me so long to order this tea. It is SO good and refreshing. It does not need sugar, so I order it without. I’ll take a venti please 🙋🏼‍♀️.  Also, the egg white egg bites are delicious and healthy.  When I don’t have time in the middle of the day for lunch, I grab them with my tea and they hold me over for a while! Definitely worth trying! (And perhaps they are keto-friendly for my keto folks out there?)

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Albums I’ve had on repeat:

 

 

 

Dove Body Polish: I picked this up before heading to the beach this past weekend because I like to use an exfoliator in the shower to remove excess sunscreen, and y’all, I think this is my fav body exfoliator I’ve ever used! I really hope that they do not discontinue this product. I specifically got the macadamia and rice milk scent, and it smells amazing.  The texture in my opinion is perfect. (Not super rough, but also gritty enough to remove sunscreen, excess self-tan, dry skin, etc. )

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Body Polish

 

Hair Scarves and Head Bands:  I wear my hair up a lot in the Summer, so hair accessories that dress up a ponytail or second day hair are definitely a go-to for me rececntly. And, they go great with basic pieces. 🙂 Both of these are from @Pink_Magnolia_Boutique !

Zuchini / Squash Recipes:  Okay, this one is a bit random. I guess all of these have been pretty random lol. We have a garden that Jordan and my brother, Dale, have worked so hard on, and one thing we have had an abundance of is zucchini and yellow squash! We have been cooking it different ways every single night for dinner. 🤣 I’ll link some recipes that we have tried and loved below.

Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats (I used Trader Joe’s enchilada sauce instead of salsa.)

Zucchini Lasagna (I used ground turkey instead for this recipe)

Fried Squash (These are OMG so yummy.). Thanks, Julie for the recipe. ☺️

 

I hope you enjoyed this random list of favorites of mine for the Summer!  Let me know what y’all have been loving recently, and if you enjoy posts like this!

Talk to you soon,

Olivia

 

 

Youtubers That I Love To Watch!

 

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Recently, I’ve seen women sharing accounts they follow simply as an appreciation to that person’s content, and I love that!  I  love following certain people who I can truly see that they love and enjoy what they do.  I decided to share about 3 different YouTubers that I have followed for years and trust their opinions on products. Their recommendations have certainly brought value to me. Read about some of my very favorite items and brands I have discovered based off of their YouTube channels below. I’ll link all of their channels at the end of the post. 🙂

Shelbey Wison:

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This girl is so different from other beauty Youtubers. Her looks are always realistic and natural (looks that any woman at any age can wear on the daily).  She provides videos with makeup tips and tutorials, and they are never too complicated.  Personally, my favorite videos of hers are her powder foundation tips and tricks! Some products that I continuously purchase because of her are the Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue, and Ardell Demi Wispy lashes (I wore these on my wedding day and regularly for Pink Magnolia shoots).

Naomi Boyer:

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I follow Naomi mainly for her tips on styling work and casual outfits.  She keeps outfits chic and classy, and she also tells you where to find everything from basics to accessories.  Some of my favorite videos of hers are her tips to looking put together and where to find closet basics like camis, blazers, dress pants, and jeans!

Stephanie Ledda:

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Such a sweet and glamorous lady! I have purchased countless items based off of her recommendations.  Also, she introduced me to Lulu’s and Miranda Frye, which I have purchased several items from over the years now.  If you read my self tanning blog, then you already know about the Tan Luxe drops that I use–I can thank Stephanie for sharing these on her channel a couple years ago! Also, the Tarte eyeshadow palette that I have used everyday for the past 2 years was a wonderful recommendation from her. 🙂

 

Let me know of someone that you truly love to follow and brings you value! I would love to check them out!

Cheers,

Olivia

Here are the YouTube channels for the ladies listed above if you’d like to check them out!

Shelbey Wilson

Naomi Boyer

Stephanie Ledda

Good Habits I’m Keeping Lately

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((Make yourself a priority.))

We often get caught up in the chaos life brings us, and it’s important to take time for our mental and physical health. Here are a few ways I’m reducing stress and improving my overall well being.

Hot Lemon Water –Hydrate before you Caffeinate (Thanks Shona Vertue).  I have been drinking hot lemon water every single morning for the past month before drinking any coffee. I have read about the benefits of drinking lemon water in so many blogs, and I thought I would give it a try.  It is a great way to get a jumpstart on your hydration for the day. It’ll also boost your vitamin C intake, aid in digestion, and provide other health benefits.

Sign up for work-out classes.   I use an app on my phone called ClassPass to sign up for Pure Barre classes.  I recently completed my 10th class, and I’m loving it! Scheduling a class on this app makes you have more of a commitment to working out, because you are penalized for skipping them or canceling less that 12 hours prior.  You are always more likely to to follow through when you plan ahead! If you are interested in this app or pure barre, feel free to message me! I can invite you through the app for a free class. 🙂

Only drink alcohol on the weekends. Okay, so I don’t always follow this rule. BUT, if I do drink a glass of wine during the week, I drink one glass of FITVINE. This company makes wine that has significantly less sugar, carbs, and calories than your typical glass of wine. (A solution to all of our problems, right 😆).  I’ll link their website here.  Definitely worth trying!

Exercise your mind. — It’s easy to get home from work and sit on the couch watching meaningless T.V. and scrolling through social media until it’s time for bed.  Try reading something productive, listening to a podcast, or write in a journal instead. Personally, I love reading other people’s blogs who are self-employed. I also like to read more specific real estate related books that help to further my knowledge in my career.

We all need a reminder to take care of ourselves sometimes.   I hope you enjoyed reading!

 

Cheers,

Olivia

 

 

Trader Joe’s Must-Haves

Hey y’all 👋🏼, Trader Joe’s regular over here. I used to not understand the craze over this place, and now I’m there at least once every other week 🤣. Several items from there have become staples in our home! I know that there are countless items to try, so I thought I would share about the things that I have tried and continuously buy over and over. I’m always looking for good recommendations, so let me know your favorites too on my last Instagram post!

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Fresh Flowers! :  With Mother’s Day coming up, I figured this would be very appropriate! TJ’s has great prices on flowers. I love having fresh flowers around the house during the Spring/Summer, and I don’t want to pay a lot for them.  Definitely the best priced flowers out of our other local grocery stores.

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Chocolate Almond Granola:  I sprinkle this on top of plain whole wheat cereal every morning! It is so so delicious.  I hate running out of this stuff. I have gone to TJ’s two days in a row once because it was sold out, and now I buy two boxes at a time. 🤷🏼‍♀️Problem solved!

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Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce: Better than any other store-bought brand sauce.  I cook this for a couple hours and add ground turkey and red pepper flakes–For sure a regular dinner item for us.

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Tortellini: Also a really easy dinner item, and much cheaper than other tortellini brands. Pair with the marinara sauce above for quick and easy dinner!

 

Frozen Sides:  My two favorite frozen side items have to be the roasted potatoes and peppers and veggie fried rice.  They are ready in minutes and go perfectly with so many things.

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Turkey Corn Dogs:  Yes, sometimes I eat like a 5 year old. 🙈 So easy and yummy! Perfect for a quick snack and a healthier alternative to normal corn dogs.

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Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup:  I usually eat this more in the colder months, but it is so good, so I’m going to share it too.  Just put it in the microwave, and I add a bit of cayenne pepper–anddd done.  Also wonderful with grilled cheese.

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Dark Chocolate Almonds: No other brand tops these.  I have tried buying chocolate covered almonds from other stores/brands, and none are as good as these in my opinion.  Trader Joe’s has a special rich and unique taste to their dark chocolate, and the almonds are always crispy!

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Dark Chocolate PB Cups:  Also a really great option if you are into dark chocolate. (They have a milk chocolate version as well.) I keep these in the fridge and have a couple for dessert pretty regularly.

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Joe-Joe’s:  These are special because they have actual vanilla bean paste in them–Which is so much better IMO.  Also, I think they are more crunchy than oreos (another plus).

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Seasoning:  I buy several different seasonings, but the two that I constantly have to restock on are the everything bagel seasoning and the chili lime seasoning. My favorite way to use the everything bagel seasoning is on top of eggs or roasted veggies!  We use the chili lime seasoning on chicken for chicken tacos allll the time.

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Laundry Detergent: Made with built in soy-based softeners and lavender oil, so no need to purchase an additional fabric softener.  This product is also more natural and much cheaper than name brand detergents.

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PB Banana Dog Treats:  For all the dog owners out there–these are so great and all natural.  Josie loves them! Great for training.

That wraps up my top picks! I hope y’all got some ideas for your next TJ visit!

Cheers,

Olivia

 

 

No Sugar, No Butter, Banana Bread

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I will get straight to the point on this one so that y’all don’t have to scroll forever to get to the recipe! 😉 Bottom line is this is the yummiest banana bread I have ever tasted, and it’s not bad for you (yay!).  I have made this recipe based off of another recipe I found on pinterest, and this is my perfected version! I hope that you all enjoy! (Blue and white plate linked here. + similar cutting board here.)

What you will need:

  •  1/3 c melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 c pure maple syrup or honey (I use both–1/4 c syrup, 1/4 c honey)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/4 c of milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus additional for swirl on top
  • 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 9×5 in loaf pan –Link to my loaf pan here (the best!)

Optional:

  •  peanut butter chips (I love this addition, I add about 1/4 c. Can be found in baking aisle), or dark chocolate chips
  • chopped pecans, walnuts, or slivered almonds on top!

Instructions:

  •  Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, spray your loaf pan with non-stick spray (I use coconut oil spray.)
  • Melt your coconut oil in the microwave in 20 second increments until liquified, whisk honey/syrup with the oil thoroughly. Add eggs and beat until combined.
  • Next, add mashed bananas and milk, mix.
  • Mix in baking soda, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon.
  • Lastly, with a large spoon, stir in the flour. Also, if you are adding chocolate chips or nuts, mix those now as well.
  • Pour batter into your loaf pan, and sprinkle some more cinnamon on top. To add a swirl effect, run a fork across the top in a swirled pattern.
  • Bake for 55-60 min. (I like mine to be not as done, so I take it out at 55.)
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Swirl before oven!

**Note that this bread is very moist, so after a few days of sitting at room temperature, I recommend you put it in the fridge. If you’re like me, and the whole loaf is gone after a few days, this shouldn’t be an issue. 😋

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Eat as a side, snack, or dessert!

 

Be sure to tag me if you decide to make it–I wanna see! 🍌🍞🍯

Cheers,

Olivia

 

5 Items I ALWAYS Travel With

Hey Y’all! I haven’t written a blog post in quite some time, and I’m happy to be back! Thanks for stopping by to hang out for a bit. 🙂  In the total chaos of getting ready for our next trip (Leaving for Germany/Switzerland today!), I thought of this blog topic.  Also–I find writing to be therapeutic, and it was nice to sit down for a few minutes to talk to y’all. I always enjoy hearing your feedback, so let me know in the comments of this post or my Instagram post of your must have items when you travel!   If you are interested in hearing about mine, just keep reading!

Impressions Vanity Mirror:  This little light-up mirror is so convenient–fits right in your makeup bag! It has both a regular mirror and magnified mirror on the other side.  I actually received this as a Christmas gift in my stocking this past year (Thanks Mom!), and it goes with me on every trip! I don’t have to worry about sharing the bathroom mirror with someone, poor lighting, etc.  I just sit wherever and whenever to put my makeup on with this handy little thing!

Travel Mirror (currently on sale too)

Nexxus Hair Masque:  First of all, I love Nexxus hair masques.  I always use a hair masque in place of regular conditioner, and this one is so moisturizing.  Secondly, this takes up barely any space in your suitcase! Depending on how long my trip is, I will pack a couple of these (one pack usually lasts me a couple washes, and I have very thick hair.).  If you care to hear more about hair products I love, I’ll link that here. 🙂

Nexxus Hair Mask

Perfect Bar: The BEST protein bar I have ever tasted hands down (with really great ingredients too).  And let me tell you, I’ve tried a ton of protein bars.  You can find these in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores including Aldi and Target.  These can be out of the refrigerator for up to a week and can either be a meal replacement or a snack depending on the person.  Breakfast is super important to me, so I always have these just in case something prevents me from making time for breakfast when traveling!  For example, I know I will be on the plane for 9+ hours here shortly, so having these bars on hand has me covered.

Perfect Bar

Silk/Satin Pillowcase:  This may seem like a “diva” item as my mom would say.  However, if you know me, you know that I am a terrible sleeper!  I started sleeping on a satin pillowcase last year, and recently splurged on a pure silk one.  There are so many benefits of sleeping on silk, and I will not go into all the details.  The bottom line is I sleep so much better with this, and I make sure I’m never without it!  No one has time for sleep deprivation when traveling the world!  I’ll link both the satin and silk pillowcases.

Satin Pillowcase (more affordable option)

Pure Silk Pillowcase

Travel Wet Wipes:  Some of y’all are laughing at this one, that’s okay! Hey, I don’t like germs.  If I’m going to spend enough time on an airplane to eat/sleep/relax, you can bet I’m wiping down my arm rests, tray table, etc. before getting too comfortable!  No one has time to pick up nasty germs when traveling the world either, right??

Travel Wipes

 

I hope that you find some of these items helpful for your next trip!  Stay tuned for a flood of photos for the next 10+ days of our trip to Germany/Switzerland! If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, my handle is oliviaccgreen.

Cheers,

Olivia

 

 

Flourless Almond Butter Cookies

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Hello friends!  I hope that everyone had a wonderful Super-Bowl weekend filled with all of your favorite yummy foods– I know we did for sure.  That’s why I was so glad to get my butt to the grocery store today to buy all the healthy foods I could find. The recipe I’m sharing with you is one that will cure your sweet tooth, and you don’t have to be guilty about it!  I have tried sooo many “healthy” cookie recipes, and this by far is the best I have tasted.  My friends have made theses cookies and love them too!

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The recipe came from Emily Didonato, and I’ll link her video here.  She is such an adorable person to follow, so if you’ve never checked out her youtube channel, I recommend that you do!

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Anyways, here is the wonderful recipe 🙂

  •  1 cup all natural creamy almond butter
  •  1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  •  1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  •  1 egg
  •  1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  •  1/2 tsp baking soda
  •  1/2 tsp sea salt     ( this is super important IMO, do not skip!)
  •  1 bar of dark chocolate chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all together in a mixing bowl. No need to refrigerate, I scooped the batter right onto the cookie sheet (My cookies were larger, and it made about 10).  Cook for 10 minutes! Enjoy!

 

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I hope that y’all enjoy this recipe.  Let me know if you are interested in other healthy recipes that I use every day, and also if you try this one! I’d love to hear from you.  Cheers y’all. 🙂

 -Olivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 (very) Random Things About Me

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  1. The first thing I ever learned how to drive was a tractor! (I grew up on a farm).
  2. I eat cereal every single morning for breakfast–It’s my fav.
  3. I met my husband in high school.  (10 years together now.)
  4. The first time I flew on a plane was when I was 22, and I was absolutely terrified! Now, I have flown so many different places, and I love to travel!
  5. I’m a terrible sleeper. I take melatonin and sometimes wear ear plugs (until recently b/c ear infection, yikes).
  6. My favorite food is Mexican food. My favorite Mexican restaurant in the area is Mi Cancun! $5 Margs on Saturdays, you’re welcome.
  7. I cannot stand ketchup–It’s the worst.
  8. My favorite show is F.R.I.E.N.D.S. I’m embarrassed at how many times I have seen every single episode.
  9. There are streets all over my hometown named after my family–My maiden name is Carpenter! We have so much family history here in Cary.
  10. I love to bake.
  11. I do not watch The Bachelor lol.
  12. I have never lived outside of NC.
  13. Country music is my favorite (Particularly, Alan Jackson and older stuff)
  14. I have a doberman named Josie, whom I am obsessed with. Clearly.
  15. Coffee of choice: Iced almond milk latte or cold brew no matter what the season is.
  16. Wine of choice: Sauvignon Blanc or Cabernet!
  17. Coke > Pepsi
  18. My favorite city to visit is Charleston.
  19. I’m going to Europe for the first time in just a couple months! (Switzerland and Germany.)
  20. I dyed my hair brown one time in high school, and it turned orange–FAIL.
  21. I didn’t know how to pronounce “acai” bowl until about 3 months ago. Also, Ive never had one until today!
  22. Favorite season: Fall
  23. I didn’t have braces as a kid, but I got invisalign when I was 20–best decision ever!
  24. I’ve never been in a tanning bed.
  25. A quote that I love: “Experience is the teacher of all things.” I can’t wait to see what experiences and knowledge year 25 brings!

As always, thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed learning some very random things about me! Maybe let me know in a comment below something random about yourself lol. 🙂 I love to hear from y’all!

Cheers,

Olivia

Charleston Recommendations

Alright y’all, this will be a longer post.  Grab a snack, and stay a while. 🙂 I know that there are so many wonderful options of where to eat and what to do in Charleston, so I hope you enjoy reading about my personal favs! I had the pleasure of bringing my Meme to Charleston for her 70th bday, and showing her around–She absolutely adored it!  This is my favorite blog post yet, mainly because I am so in love with this wonderful place. I hope you enjoy my recommendations!

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Where to stay:

We stayed at the Francis Marion, the oldest hotel in Charleston, located on King Street. This was such an elegant, vintage hotel. You can feel that you are in a historic building the moment you walk in.  The grand lobby with crystal chandeliers, marble floors, and antique blue carpet was decorated in the classiest Christmas decor. (We enjoyed hanging out in the lobby in the mornings drinking coffee before our adventures!) Our hotel room had the same antique-feel as the lobby–It was lovely. 🙂

 

 

Another really great historic hotel is the Mills House–My mom and dad love to stay here when they come to Charleston. This is a smaller hotel than Francis Marion with a beautiful lobby as well.  It is pink on the outside with a gorgeous wrought iron balcony!

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We also got a tour of The Vendue, a more modern hotel. I am for sure staying here when I come back to Charleston with Jordan.  It is so chic and classy.  The rooms have exposed brick and lots of windows, which I love!  Also– There is live music in the “drawing room” at night.   The staff is also so wonderful, and we were treated like queens while we hung out there!

 

 

What to See:

Rainbow Row:  This is pretty much a given when coming to Charleston.  It is the most iconic and colorful street to walk down. The whole street of houses is just so charming to look at.

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The Battery: If you are going to walk down Rainbow Row, you may as well walk down the battery too–it is very close by! The Battery is a defensive sea wall, and also a landmark that stretches along the lower shores of Charleston.  Also a gorgeous scene with grande antebellum homes to view along the way.

 

 

 

King Street: The ultimate street for shopping! Tons of high end shops, and simply another  very pleasant street to walk down.  There really is no avoiding King Street when going to Charleston.

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The Historic City Market: Make sure to walk through the city market as well! (Another historic building of course).  Mostly open on the weekends–not sure about during the week.  So many local vendors come to the city market to sell their goods (paintings, historic tiles, snacks, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, etc). Even if you don’t plan on buying anything, it’s a neat part of Charleston to see.

Rooftop bars:  For sure go to a rooftop around sunset to get a view of the city!  My two favorite rooftop bars are the rooftop at the Market Pavilion Hotel (you can still go to this rooftop if you aren’t a guest at the hotel) and The Vendue Rooftop!

 

 

Plantation home:  I loveeee plantation homes, and I highly recommend going to see one if you have time while you are visiting.  My favorite one to visit is Boone Hall–The oak trees are so incredible to look at, and its a lovely spot for pictures! (It’s actually America’s most photographed plantation and featured as the backdrop in several movies).

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Okay, finally, where to eat!!

Breakfast/Lunch:

Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit: You’ll eat a lot of biscuits in Charleston, but these are unique and a must.  It’s the cutest little shop on King Street, and always has a line out the door.  Since the place is so small, there is pretty much only standing room during peak season. I recommend grabbing some biscuits, and then walking down King Street to shop!

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Poogan’s Porch: Located in an old historic home. As classic as a southern breakfast gets. Biscuits, whipped honey butter, eggs, home fries (fried in duck fat), bacon, sausage, grits, and mimosas :).

Dinner:

Magnolias:  Very southern, charming upscale restaurant.  It’s a calm and quiet place to dine.  Order the down south egg roll and brussel sprout salad!

82 Queen: Lowcountry cuisine. This place felt the most private of any place that we ate at–wonderful for a special date night. Also the best filet I have ever had (a very bold statement, I know). You will not regret ordering it.

Revival: This place is only 5 months old!! It used to be a coffee shop, but now is a very modern restaurant (but still southern).  The only place that did not feed us biscuits before the meal lol! They serve an “edible terrarium” instead (olive paste base with an assortment of veggies to dip), which was delicious! See picture below. Order the lowcountry pirlou.  The service here is wonderful–We were served complimentary champagne and a custom dessert from the chef for Meme’s bday.

 

 

Husk Bar:  This bar also serves food, and it is such a cool place to have a few drinks after dinner as well–Go upstairs! Super cozy-feel, brick barn-looking building.  We walked over here from 82 queen to have a few drinks after dinner.

 

I hope that y’all try some of these places when you visit Charleston next! Let me know what you think of them! 🙂

Cheers,

Olivia

 

 

 

Local Date Night Spots

Hey there! I love talking about my favorite local spots, so here are a few of my favorite places for date night or for those nights that you simply want to get dressed up and grab a glass of wine and a great meal with the girls! I’ll be honest, Jordan and I don’t get dressed up for “date night” often, but we do enjoy the places below when we are wanting to escape to something a little more romantic and elegant.

 

MaytonInn

 

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MaytonInn9(dress linked at the bottom of my post)

 

The Verandah

I’ll start with The Verandah, since that is where this first photo was taken!  This is located inside of the Mayton Inn in downtown Cary. First of all, The Mayton Inn is gorgeous, so of course the restaurant inside is also just as elegant.  Plus, it has a wonderful outdoor brick patio for those cool evenings that we are all waiting for here in the south lol.  The bar is also calm and classy if you want to pop in just for a drink. Order the truffle fries!

 

Peak City Grill

I personally love this place because of the history.  My family owns and runs a feed store that has been in business since 1885, so historic buildings are so special to me.  The building Peak City Grill is in has been all sorts of things in the past like a hardware and feed store as well.  This is a wonderful spot for a quiet, relaxed evening in downtown Apex.  I just love the interior brick walls and antique lighting.  It is for sure my kind of atmosphere.

 

Daniels

This is absolutely a local Italian favorite. Fun Fact: this building actually used to be a BBQ joint manyyy years ago! It has certainly changed, and they are booked up every single night pretty much. So, be sure to make a reservation! My favorite item on the menu is penne a la casa with shrimp, but honestly, I could eat the bread and marinara for my whole meal–it’s that good.

 

The Angus Barn

Okay, I HAD to include this (I did get married there after all).  There is honestly nothing that beats the atmosphere, service, experience, and food in my opinion.  There is simply no place else like The Angus Barn.  My family has always celebrated our most special events in life there.  This will always be my most favorite place to go.  If you have never been around Christmas time, make sure you go–They have the most incredible Christmas decor!

 

I could talk on and on about these places, but I prefer to keep my posts short and sweet! If you haven’t tried these places, I hope you are now inspired to do so!

As always, thanks for reading,

Olivia

 

Lulu’s Red Lace Dress (also comes in blue!)