Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Our Man in Charleston {review}

 As a former history major and current Charleston dweller, I was excited to finally get my hands on this book. The book centers around Robert Bunch who was the British consul in Charleston before and during the Civil War. I had never heard of Bunch and even looked him up in the back of a celebrated Civil War book and found no mention. Bunch, however, deserves mention and his story is an interesting one.

I thought the book was well laid out and didn't jump around or cause confusion. The amount of research that went into this book is quite amazing. I loved reading about areas I have traveled through and seeing names of people who are now immortalized by street names (Alfred Huger, for example). 

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in history or Charleston as it is a fascinating read. 

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

America's Best Breakfasts {review}

I really wanted to love this book because I love food and I especially love breakfast foods. There are some recipes that do not require a ton of ingredients but the majority of them do. A lot of the recipes are also very involved. I personally like quick and easy recipes in the morning. While these may be some of the best breakfasts, they're ones I'd rather just go to the restaurant and have there. I'd think it would be much better tasting and cheaper (especially the ones with tons of ingredients...I don't need a $50 grocery trip for a $15 meal).

I did like that there were other restaurants mentioned for those who want to take a culinary road trip like the cookbook authors. It was nice seeing pictures of the restaurants, food and chefs. I also liked learning about the inspiration behind dishes. 
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5
 Also, my Charleston peeps, Hominy Grill's Shrimp and Grits recipe is on page 115 :)
I received a copy of this book compliments of Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 15, 2016

This Is Your Brain on Sports {Review}

I was really excited to start  this book, having just finished another sports book (see review here), but this one was much easier to put down and walk away from than the other. 

There are lots of interesting facts and studies referenced throughout the book but I didn't find it as exciting as the back cover blurbs made it out to be. With all the studies and papers mentioned, it seemed more like a really long college term paper. My favorite part of the book was the witty chapter titles and learning about  Thuzio is where you can pay to have interactions with sports celebs. For $15,000 you can apparently have Gronk show up to your BBQ. If I ever win the lottery, there's gonna be a Patriots party at my house! There are also athletes who will make a video greeting for you to give as a gift for around $100. Pretty cool, huh?

I think this book would be a good read for someone who is interested not only in sports but in science and psychology, otherwise it might be a bit of bore.

I received this book courtesy of Blogging for Books to review. All opinions are my own.


Friday, February 26, 2016

The Restoration Grand Reopening

Last night my husband and I attended the Grand Reopening of The Restoration hotel. They were formerly known as The Restoration on King but they've dropped the "on King" part.

We had never been to the hotel so had no idea what to expect. Let me just say, this place is freaking awesome.

We started off in the lobby where we were handed a glass of champagne and then directed to The Rise coffee bar.

We sampled a coffee/vodka mix which was delish. 

We then headed into The Library. 
 Another amazing space that I could live in.
 Inside the Amethyst Spa
 Sunset view from the rooftop pool
 Obsessed with these white cruisers outside The Rise.
 Inside the hotel's retail shop The Port Mercantile.

We also took a tour of their Signature Suite which was huge and checked out The Watch,which is a rooftop kitchen and bar. The view were absolutely amazing from all the balconies and windows. If you are in the area, I definitely recommend checking out the hotel!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The QB {a Review}

I just finished The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks by Bruce Feldman. I received the complimentary book to review through the Blogging for Books program. 

I have always been a fan of football. I went to high school in Texas where football is pretty much life and I have a family member who coaches the sport. This book grabbed my attention because it's about the "high-stakes private quarterback-coach business". The book mainly focuses on Trent Dilfer and his Elite 11 program, among others. It also follows the private QB coach of Johnny Manziel (George Whitfield), who has been all over the media lately for domestic violence accusations and his problems during the season with the Cleveland Browns. I've honestly never been a fan of Johnny Football despite ties to Texas A&M. I was super curious to see if getting an insider look into his training and his coach would make me like him just a little bit. He pops up throughout the book and, quite honestly, it was just more red flags after red flags.

But this books isn't all about Manziel. It's about so many other prospects who are now in the NFL or are playing NCAA football. I found myself stopping to Google different names to see if they were still playing (the book follow peoples in 2013-14 with some updates in 2015 in the afterword). I loved learning about all the different ways these kids are being trained, physically and mentally. It's amazing how a tweak to one little thing can change the way someone throws and  can, in turn, get them on the college football recruiting radar. I was also shocked at the number of kids whose parents start them with high dollar coaches when they are 8 or 9 years old.

I found this book incredibly informative and was always reading something aloud to my husband or texting him things from it... to which he responded, 'I want to read it when you're done...stop texting me stuff!!" Haha! Bruce Feldman did a really great job with this subject matter. I thought it flowed and captured this world of private quarterback-coaches and elite quarterbacks amazingly well.


Friday, February 5, 2016


Last weekend I met up with professional and amateur photographers from around Charleston for a fun Instagram meet-up. We were treated to a walking tour around parts of the city that I'd never explored before so it was really cool. 
Here are some of the pics I snapped using my cellphone:

Have you ever been on an Instagram meet-up? Where? 


Friday, January 8, 2016

{Book Review}: salsas and moles

photo by me

I'm originally from California and my husband is from Texas so we love our Mexican and Tex-Mex foods.  When I saw that salsas and moles: Fresh and Authentic Recipes for Pico de Gallo, Mole Poblano, Chimichurri, Guacamole, and More by Deborah Schneider was available for review on Blogging for Books, I jumped at the chance to check it out.

The first thing I look at when it comes to cookbooks are the pictures. Maren Caruso's photographs are really pretty, though I still don't understand the trend in leaving crumbs and stuff in pictures. (I noticed this in my last cookbook review of Citrus).
I love the guide to chiles at the front of the book because I do not have a ton of knowledge of chiles, especially the dried ones. I also enjoyed reading the section, "Working with Chiles" because it explained how to choose dried chiles and how to clean them (the author suggests that you always wear disposable gloves).

I enjoyed Chapter 4 the most since it was all about taco salsas. Chapter 5 was were I finally found some fruit salsas. I was honestly hoping for some more of these as I've had some strawberry salsas and others before that have been spectacular. I am really looking forward to trying the pineapple-cucumber salsa though!

I thought this was a neat cookbook overall. It would be a great addition to a gift basket for someone who loves salsas- just add some fresh ingredients, tortilla chips and cute dip bowls!

Do you have any favorite salsa recipes?! Have you checked out this cookbook?