Sorry for no updates lately. Work has been crazy, life has been slightly hectic, and all the other excuses I can throw in this sentence to make you believe I wasn't neglecting my blog. Anyways, I say life has been hectic, but really nothing big has been going on. The biggest adventure we have gone on as of late was a Labor Day weekend trip to NYC/Brooklyn. I had been looking forward to this trip since we came back from Europe. I love NYC. This was my 6th trip in 10 years. My 4th trip in three years.
I was super excited to see my best friend, Elizabeth, but this was also a "Moore Family Vaycay" as my in-laws were in town for a wedding that we all attended that weekend. Anyways, our trip started super early on a Friday (seriously I think we took the first flight out of CHS). We got into JFK a little after 8. Took the train (my first time taking the train from the airport) to our hotel. It saved us a load of money. Since our hotel was right in South Brooklyn, there was a subway station less than a quarter of a mile away. I would advise to really study the train system from JFK because it got quite confusing fast (and that was after I had already had the route planned). Anyways, we got in and were able to check into our hotel early. We stayed at the brand new Hilton Brooklyn. The hotel was quite nice, and it was one of the cheaper options (outside of a crappy Hampton Inn we were originally supposed to stay at in Manhattan).
Anyways, after checking into our hotel we hopped a train to downtown Manhattan. We were starved, since we had been up since 4 am. I spotted a Shake Shack at Fulton Station and hightailed it over there. I got to enjoy my first Shake Shack experience and it was worth every penny and more. After, we finished our breakfast/brunch, we tried unsuccessfully to meet up with my in laws. Finally, we were able to track them down and head up to One World Trade Center Observatory.
Let's be honest, I hate heights. HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE them. Anyways, my palms were sweaty, as we shot up 100 floors in 60 seconds. They played a movie in the elevator, which would have been cool, had I not been having a slight panic attack. Anyways, we reached the top floor, and omg, it was amazing. The views were indescribable. You could see every borough of New York, Jersey, the Statue of Liberty. Everything. I realized my fear of heights is only if I look down and not out. My mother in law made reservations at the restaurant on top of One World Trade Center. One of my favorite memories, is seeing my husband's face after ordering two Amstel LIghts and the bill was $30 before tip. You definitely are paying for the views.
Anyways, after lunch, we wandered back to the hotel, napped, and got ready for the Yankees vs Red Sox game. We met up with my friend, Elizabeth, at a little dive bar on the Upper East Side. We had a couple drinks before wandering to her place of work (she's a bartender, I didn't wander my drunk self into a random place of business.) We had a few more drinks and off we went to Yankee Stadium.
I would say the game was quite memorable, but that would be a lie. Let's just say I pre-gamed a baseball game a little too hard. It was fun, and awesome to go. I remember most of the game, and it went by fast. We pretty much just hung around the bars in the stadium. We bought a hat to show proof that we were there.
After the game, we went back to the Upper East Side and after a pit stop of buying dumplings at a random Chinese restaurant because I had to pee in their bathroom, we made it back to the bar we started at. After a few more drinks that I don't recall, we headed back to Brooklyn.
Saturday, I woke up feeling rough, but managed to throw on some Lululemon leggings and a tank and head to breakfast with my in laws at Tavern on the Green. That restaurant was breathtaking. Dinner at Tavern on the Green is now on my bucket list.
After breakfast, I prayed to God and everything holy to make me feel like a human again. He responded after a nap and a heavy dose of Tylenol. We headed to our friends wedding in Brooklyn. The wedding was a TON of fun. Great music, awesome food and drink. Overall (and I'm pretty tough on weddings, I only give my own a B+), I gave this one an A. After the wedding, we headed to the after party at a speak easy. We decided we were starving, and desperately wanted some NYC pizza, so we headed next door to a pizza joint, called Sizzle. OMG OMG OMG so good, and so needed. I finally felt human after going through the worst hangover of my life.
Sunday was a quiet day, met up with the newlyweds at a local Brooklyn bar, grabbed a bite, and jetted home. It wqs a fast trip, but VERY memorable (from everything that I can remember). Here are some pictures from the trip.
I'll admit, I was a bit critical initially of the eclipse. Unlike many others, I started hearing about the eclipse last November while working at my previous agency. We were doing 2017 planning and it came up in conversation. We knew then it was going to be a big deal. I remember the date distinctly because August 22nd was my second wedding anniversary and I remember the eclipse being the day before. (I also kicked myself and said why didn't we do a four year engagement and get married on eclipse day?!...haha).
Anyways, as the months passed and word spread, I started to care a little bit less about it. I felt cool knowing about it so early on, but as everyone else knew, I didn't feel like it was a hot secret. Then the panic phase of the eclipse hit where everyone started to buy the glasses and then only certain ones were approved. Initially I was against buying the glasses because I saw it as a big conspiracy for people to turn a quick buck. (I'm in marketing and should support that, but I don't like schemes). I opted to not get involved in the hoopla and thus missed out on buying the glasses before it became totally impossible to find certified glasses.
Because the next day was our anniversary and we are going out to dinner, we opted to just stay home, work, and enjoy the eclipse. I went out to get the mail when the partial eclipse started. I looked up for a brief second and saw the partial eclipse and that's when the realness/ coolness really hit me. I then wished I had the glasses so I could look longer. My neighbor was laying across the street on the lawn with glasses, camera, and tripod in tow. I opted to join him and saw the last bit of the partial eclipse before totality.
Totality hit and you could hear people from Charlestown Landing and across the neighborhood cheering. It was truly an awe-some experience. (I was literally in awe the whole time). I instantly regretted all the crappy things I said about the eclipse and realized why people travel hundreds of miles for two minutes. The neighborhood went dark. The temperature dropped. The craziest thing about it was how cloudy it was just prior to the eclipse. It was as if God opened up the skies just in time. Once totality ended, rain clouds followed and storm followed suit. I remembered what I heard on tv (and what was reiterated when I was in the Sistine Chapel), take pictures with your mind and not your phone. I tried to put my phone down for a while and just enjoy it. (Hence my crappy photos below). I wanted to live in that moment, since I will never get that moment back. It was truly an experience I will never forget and the fact that I got to experience at my own home, in my own neighborhood, made it that much better.
September marks my five year anniversary in Charleston. Five years and four apartments/condos/houses later. Some days it seems like the time has flown, and some days I think back to five years ago and feel like that was forever ago. Anyways, in my five years of living here, I've never really had a "night out" on Folly. I've spent many-a-beach days on Folly and have dined and partook in many-a-drinks at the restaurant and bars around Folly during daylight hours. I had never ventured to Folly at night just because (except for NYE which was a for a house party).
This past Saturday, on a whim, my husband and I decided to go to Folly. We wanted something different, outside of our usual West Ashley joints. We act like Folly is so far away, when it reality it's less than a 20 minute drive. We decided we wanted it to be a low key night so we threw on our shorts and t-shirts and headed over to Woody's on Folly. We were those people who brought our computer to a bar/restaurant since we wanted to stream the Crossfit Games (this is the Super Bowl for us Crossfitters). Woody's was just the spot for that.
Woody's is this little pizza joint a block from Folly Beach. It is a dive, by all definitions. It has plenty of outdoor picnic tables on their deck. It was shaded, and you could feel the ocean breeze. What I was amazed about Woody's was how cheap the food and beer was. I've long complained that in the five years I've lived here, I've seen Charleston go from a reasonably affordable drinking town, to an upperclass, expensive city. I was fascinated to see Woody's had Bud Light on draft for $2.75 regular price (non-happy hour). You can also get bottled domestic beer for $2.95. I couldn't tell you another Charleston restaurant/bar where you can get a bottle of Mich Ultra for under $3. The pizza was good (it's not gourmet), but for $2.50 a slice (and a decent size slice at that), it's a worth it. (They also deliver to houses on Folly, which we found out on NYE). We ended up with a salad, three slices of pizza, and like five beers (between the two of us) and got out of there for less than $40.
After Woody's we decided to venture over to Snapper Jack's and take in their rooftop deck. This was my first time on top of Snapper Jack's. It was nice to feel the ocean breeze from the top deck. I was surprised to see that Snapper Jack's and the Irish Bar across the street, turns into quite a party spot on a Saturday night. Again, I was surprised at the how cheap the drinks were for a beach bar. I paid $4 for a vodka soda. I will say I'm not one to write negatively about a place, but the bartender had quite the attitude and it took me 10 minutes to flag her down after she intentionally skipped past me multiple times and to attend to people who had just walked up to the bar. (My husband and I joke that I am maven of bad service!).
Overall, it was a nice cheap night out. It was a break from our norm. When you live this close to the beach, you sometimes get spoiled and forget to sit back and take it all in.
This time last week I was soaking up the sun at the Marriott Resort at Hilton Head Island. I joined my mom and my grandmother there for a few days while my mom attended the Municipal Association of South Carolina's Annual Conference. (For those that don't know, my mom is a Cayce, SC Councilwoman and is also President of the Lexington County Municipal Association. Yeah, she's kinda a big deal!) Anyways, I spent last Wednesday-Saturday taking a much needed break, while enjoying time with my family. Here is a recap of my little vaycay.
I arrived Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday night we had a pre-planned dinner with the City of Cayce and some additional colleagues at Red Fish in Hilton Head. Red Fish was amazing! First you walk in and you are surrounded by wine, which makes the wine-o in me very happy. We started by ordering some cocktails and apps for the table. My mom got to experience her first Moscow Mule (which I think she enjoyed). I also ordered the Moscow Mule and it was delicious. To eat, I ordered the Bronzed Mahi Mahi. It was perfectly cooked. Very light. The perfect meal for those looking to indulge, but still fit in their bikini the next day. For dessert, my grandmother and I shared the Creme Brulee and OMG it was probably the best dessert I've ever eaten. If I wasn't in public, I would have licked the bowl dry. After dinner, we went back to the hotel bar and enjoyed some cocktails before calling it a night.
Thursday my mom was in meetings all day so I hung by the pool and the beach. The resort is nice, but not my favorite. It could definitely use a facelift. (A little nip and tuck every now and then never hurt anyone). The pool was large and open. I loved that they had poolside food and drink service. The drinks were a bit pricey, but I guess you are paying for the location, not the alcohol. What I thoroughly loved about the resort is being to bounce from the pool to the beach with ease. The beach was right next to the pool. Only a few steps away and you were enjoying the white sandy Hilton Head beach. l loved that the resort was bit secluded so the beach wasn't overly crowded. I must admit, as much I love Charleston, the beaches at Hilton Head have our beaches beat. They are so much wider and sandier. Anyways, after spending the day in the sun, my mom, grandmother, and myself had a low key dinner at a restaurant near the resort.
Friday was kind of a lazy day. We all went to a luncheon hosted by the Municipal Association at the resort. The speaker was probably one of the funniest men I've ever met. He had me almost peeing in my pants at times. After the luncheon, we enjoyed sometime by the pool and then got ready for dinner. MPA Strategies and LandPlan Group hosted a wonderful Lowcountry Boil (aka Frogmore Stew aka Beaufort Stew) at Skull Creek Boathouse. The views from the restaurant were amazing. The food was just as good. From the BLT sandwiches and pimento cheese appetizers, to the Lowcountry Boil, mac and cheese, and the rest of the fixin's it was a beyond delicious. It was truly the perfect way to end this little mini vaycay. I enjoyed the sunset and called it a night. I was excited to head back to Charleston to visit with some friends who were in from NYC.
Anyways, here are some snaps from the trip. Hilton Head Island was a great little getaway. It was only a two hour drive from Charleston. It was nice to experience the beach life outside of Charleston and just relax and renew my mind and body for a few days.
The 4th of July has come and gone....sigh. I love the 4th of July. It's the middle of the summer when the temperatures go up and the tourists go down. When you can go to the beach, without sitting in hours worth of traffic. (But prepared to sweat your buns off). Anyways. what an amazing 5 day weekend we had. We started our weekend by celebrating a friends' birthday at Hall's. We got to do things we haven't ever done including tubing down the Edisto River, had a pool day, enjoyed Sullivan's Island on the 4th and Fireworks at a friend's house on James Island after.
Tubing the Edisto
If you're a local and haven't had a chance to tube down the Edisto River, I highly recommend it. It is fun, long day. We packed the car and tubes (deflated of course) and headed to Givhan's Ferry State Park. Being rookies, we made a lot of rookie mistakes. We were initially supposed to meet some other people who would be our second car, but didn't realize how far out the park and the other people didn't make it in time. So with our one car, we ventured out.
We went out of our way to find an ATM because we thought the park admittance of $5/person was cash only. We learned two things about this. First, there is a gas station right there, so you do not need to go out of your way to find one. Second, the park accepts debit cards.
Once we arrived and parked we had the mission of blowing up all of our floats. We brought a bicycle pump thinking that would be efficient. Lesson learned, it is worth the couple extra bucks to buy an electric pump. Luckily, some kind people camping at the park let us borrow theirs. It still took a good 20 minutes to fully inflate our tubes with the electric pump.
Once we got on the river, all was well. It was actually quite peaceful. There were other groups floating as well. One house left the music on really loud so we had some jams. We cracked open some beers as soon as we hit the water. (You can't drink at the park). The float lasted a good 3-4 hours. The river moved pretty fast (for the Edisto atleast). The water levels were high due to recent rainfall. We stopped at a beach, which we thought was close the end. DNR was out in full force, so we decided just go on with our float. We ended up paddling a good bit to get to the end, just because we were tired, a bit sunburnt, and needed to ensure there were people at the boat landing (the finish point) who could take us back.
We managed to find a ride, deflate our floats, and head home. I am absolutely looking forward to doing it again before the end of the summer. The bigger the group the better! So grab your friends and let's go!
Working from home is great. I don't miss office life at all. BUT I do miss people. When you work from home you have to make a conscious effort to get out the house and be a productive member of society. Thankfully I have my gym friends, so that usually gets me out the house for an hour a day. Some days, I crave more than just an hour of civilization. I like a good happy hour, but some days I don't feel like drinking. That is where the coffee shop comes in handy.
I have to admit, I am bit of Starbucks junkie. Gold card member since 2015. There is literally a Starbucks right across the street from my house. As much as I love Starbucks, it gets noisy, and crowded. It's also not a local business. I realized there are so many other local coffee shops that I was missing out on. So I went on a journey to discover all the local coffee shops in Charleston. Here's where I went.
Sojourn is a quaint little coffee shop located across from the Starbucks near my house. Sojourn is not your modern/techie coffee shop. It is family owned and provides a very nice atmosphere. The coffee is good. I like that their ice coffee comes with the "good" crushed up ice. Their breakfast sandwiches are to die for. Literally, my favorite breakfast sandwich. The pricing is relatively close to Starbuck's pricing ($4 or so for the sandwich, $3-4 for coffee). It serves as a central gathering spot for politicians and those involved in the West Ashley community. It can get quite noisy when they are having their roundtable discussions.
Vintage Coffee is located across the bridge from me in Mt. Pleasant. I really like Vintage Coffee's outdoor space. I decided to venture to Vintage Coffee on a nice day to get out the house. I had my roof of my Jeep so I wanted to drive a bit and ended up there. It was a weekday early afternoon when I went. I was taken back by how crowded it was. It wasn't even lunch time or a prime time. The parking lot was full and I had to park next to the shopping center next door. All the picnic tables were full, so I grabbed my iced coffee and sat outside. The coffee was okay, nothing remarkable, but as I looked around me, people were ordering food. The food looked amazing. I have had their avocado toast there in the past and it was great. I enjoyed sitting on the porch looking out at people and cars passing by. It is definitely a family friendly place, so if you have kids, I would recommend taking them there. (They have a playground out back). I would definitely go back. (Maybe when the weather is a little cooler, with a laptop it can get quite hot outside and feels like my laptop is literally baking).
Collective Coffee was probably my least favorite coffee shop, although I hit it right before it closed for the day. I ordered an iced green tea. It was okay. I've heard the food there is fantastic, but haven't had a chance to try it out. The inside is a little quiet and stiff. If you are truly looking for a place to hunker down and study or churn out some work, then this is the place. They have a couple tables outside. I met a friend there and it was nice to be able to sit outside and chat for a bit.
Black Tap Coffee
Out of all of my coffee ventures, Black Tap was probably my favorite. The only downside is the lack of parking right there. I did the park and pray and at a meter with no change. I managed to get away with parking for two hours with no ticket. Anyways, the space inside is small. The day I went it was raining so everyone was inside. There was a small outdoor place to sit. I grabbed a latte. I typically don't drink hot drinks in the summer, but I was wet from the rain and it was a bit chilly, inside so I went with it. I found a small little spot with my own table. I liked how the crowd was diverse. You had working professionals (like myself) and some college aged kids (it is downtown, so that makes sense, although college was out at that time). The latte was AMAZING. Probably the best cup of coffee I have ever had. I slurped it down and debated getting another. I was able to work for a few hours from Black Tap. It did get a little loud and crowded at times, with people literally sitting on top of each other. Other than that, I HIGHLY recommend.
Other Honorable Mentions
Although, I did not visit these places during my coffee journey, I have visited both Kudu and Normandy Farms on Broad Street. Kudu is a great spot to grab coffee and a beer. It is on a highly trafficked area of King Street, so it's not ideal for parking. If you are within walking distance, I highly recommend going.
Normandy Farms also deserves an honorable mention. When I worked at the Brandon Agency on Broad Street, I would walk to Normandy pretty much every day and get a shot of espresso or an Iced Coffee. The sandwiches there are to die for. I would highly recommend it for a grab and go spot, but not necessarily one to sit and stay for a while. Although, there is a group of older gentleman who gather their daily and chat about politics and current events.
So I've been doing Crossfit for about year now (I started late July of last year). Crossfit has transformed my body (hello traps and lats). However, I have hit a point with Crossfit that I'm realizing working out alone isn't going to help me achieve my goals. I desperately want to be able to lift heavier and just have more endurance and strength throughout workouts. I knew my diet was a major factor holding me back from this. Let's get real personal, I'm 5'2". I weighed 110 pounds up until my 26th birthday. In 2016, I switched some medication and gained 10 pounds. I've been weighing roughly 120 pounds since then. When I arrived back from Rome, I realized I had dropped nearly seven pounds, and felt incredibly weak. This was when I realized, I needed to supplement my workouts with an adequate diet. I want to be strong, and fit. Being lean isn't necessarily my main focus.
I looked around for the "perfect" diet for me. I didn't want to lose weight, I wanted to gain, but healthy mass, not fat. My gym started an RP Challenge in April. I knew would be traveling in May and wasn't quite ready to commit to this diet. What is RP, you ask?
RP, stands for Renaissance Periodization. This diet is from what I can tell, relatively new. It's highly promoted in the Crossfit/Weightlifting industry. RP is an individualized diet/exercise program designed to help you "cut" (or lean out) or "mass" (gain muscle/mass). It works in conjunction to your workout program. To get started with RP, you buy a template online. Each template is specifically designed for your body and your goals. RP is designed to be no less than a 90 program, with new "cuts" or cycles occurring every few weeks. RP is very stringent. You have to eat certain foods at certain times of day. It's designed to give you optimal fuel for your workouts. RP is a pretty serious commitment, but can bring you great results if you stick to it. Our gym has divided up into teams and are competing against each other for prizes and bragging rights. I am still learning to "clean" up my diet (getting rid of fast foods and processed foods), so I wasn't quite ready for RP. I hope to be able to do it later in the year and document my results.
Paleo is probably the most popular "Crossfit" diet. Paleo is essentially the "Caveman" diet. It is designed to rid your life of processed foods and eat foods straight from the Earth. One of the pioneers of the Paleo diet is Dr. Lane Sebring, The Paleo diet includes lean meats (even those of wild animals), nuts, fish, eggs, fruits, and root vegetables. The Paleo diet excludes dairy (a staple in my life, unfortunately), salt, processed oils, processed grains, and refined sugar. I've wanted to go Paleo for a while, but I am not sure I can go cold turkey excluding those foods from my diet.
Growing up my mom was a single mom. Between baseball games and practices with my brother and cheerleading with me, our diet was more grab and go. We were not healthy eaters growing up. Most everything we ate was processed. (I loved me some Beanie Weenies out the can...haha). Trying to transform my diet to a more mature, whole diet has been hard. My current goal is just to try and avoid as much processed food as possible.
Whole30 seems to be the latest craze in dieting and healthy eating. Whole30 is similar to the Paleo diet, with more food restrictions. With Whole30 you cannot eat or drink: sugar, alcohol (a major game changer for me!), grains, legumes, dairy, carrageenan, MSG, or sulfites, You also can't recreate "junk" food with healthy ingredients. Whole30 is designed to be done for 30 straight days. It is not designed for as a weight loss program, however, most people I know who do the program and do it right experience some type of weight loss. Whole30 is not for me, at least at this point in my life. I enjoy eating out every now and then, and having a drink or two. Being that restrictive on my diet, may not be the best fit for me mentally. Whole30 can cause some people to experience some psychological and mood problems due to the restrictive nature of the diet. Unlike RP, with Paleo and RP you do not have to weigh or count your food.
Recently, I started tracking my macros. I used Macro Calculator on IIFYM.com (IIFYM stands for it If It Fits in Your Macros). This calculator gave me the amount of Fat, Carbs, and Protein I should eat each day based on my goals and how much you work out. It is referred to as Reverse Dieting, because you can essentially eat what you want as long as it fits within your Macros (Carbs, Protein, Fat) for the day. It is very similar to RP, with RP being more targeted as to what you can eat and when you eat it throughout the day.
I've been tracking my Macros for about 10 days. I've noticed it's impossible to track on the weekends, if you go out to dinner or have a couple drinks. However, for me, I want to focus on controlling what I eat Monday-Friday for now. Obviously, you can tell I am not hyper-intensive about diet. My philosophy on it all is balance. Eat well and enjoy life. I will say I have noticed a change in my workouts since I have begun tracking my Macros and thus eating more. I haven't jumped on a scale lately so I do not know my weight, however, last week we tested out on some of our lifts and I PR'ed or tied my PR with all of my lifts. I am noticing I am stronger and have more endurance throughout my workouts. Below are some photos of when we tested out these lifts.
Overall, I think you should chose a program that fits within your lifestyle. Even if it is not an actual diet program, but rather just cutting out processed foods, eating less fast food, or dining out less. I think there is a happy medium out there. I think you truly can enjoy being healthier.
If you know me, you probably are well aware that I am not a girly girl. Most days I leave the house with little to no make up on, in gym clothes. (Yes I am a Lululemon snob, so I can be a little materialistic!). Now that I work from home, it's an exciting day when I actually have plans and have to put on regular clothes and make up. Anyways, one of my best friends got married Memorial Day Weekend and I wanted to make sure that I didn't look like the gym rat in her wedding. I decided to splurge (yes, for me it was a splurge) and buy a good foundation. I needed something that I knew would last the whole wedding. I had read a lot about Veer Cosmetics' Foundation, so I decided to order it.
I ordered it a week prior to the wedding. I wasn't super hopeful it would arrive on time, but figured, I already use drug store make up and could make due with that if I needed to. Anyways, to my surprise, the product arrived six days later. It cost about $18, which is well over the $1 I spend on make up at the Dollar Store (don't judge, the Dollar Store make up has served me well!).
I ordered the "natural" shade, which was the second lightest shade. I have pretty olive skin, but my face is always lighter because I love to wear hats and I try to keep it out of the sun as much as possible. I knew that if the shade didn't match my skin, I could ship it back and exchange it free of charge. I decided it was safe to test out the shade prior to using it for the wedding.
The foundation matched my skin perfectly. (Like I couldn't tell you the last time I found a foundation to match so well!). I guess I learned my Dollar Store BB Cream wasn't as good after all, because it would go on super light and I would have to cake on bronzer to blend it. Two pumps of the Veer Foundation covered my whole face. It went on light and didn't feel cakey at all. I did use some bronzer just to blend with the rest of my skin, but I didn't have to use a lot of heavy bronzer. (I actually used the lighter of the two bronzers I have). I had some blemishes under my eye and on my chin, and the foundation seemed to cover them well, without the use of additional concealer. (I typically have to use a foundation + concealer to cover my blemishes).
Overall, I was very, very pleased with the foundation. It worked well with some of the rest of my drug store, dollar store, and Ipsy make up. Hopefully, this bottle will last me a while (since I am not an everyday make up wearer). Check out my (unedited) video below of my Veer Experience/My Overall Make Up Routine. Also, check out these photos from the wedding.
The foundation worked wonders at the wedding. It stayed all day (and night). I also used it for the rehearsal dinner, which was outside in the heat, and it survived the sweat and didn't just drip off.
You could probably drink at a different Charleston Brewery for a month and still not hit them all, it seems. Every day you hear about a new brewery opening, moving locations, or hosting a new festival or event. I've had the opportunity to go to several Charleston Breweries since moving here five years ago. Five years ago, due to state laws that limited the servings breweries could provide patrons, there were only a few breweries. The main three I can remember from that time are Westbrook, Palmetto, and Holy City. Now there are dozens! Below are a list of the ones I've gone to and my thoughts on each.
Holy City is one of the originals and is probably the first brewery I went to in Charleston. The first time I went to Holy City I was nervous. It is not necessarily in the "nicest" area of town, and it is hard to find because it is behind a building off the main road. What I like about Holy City is the indoor/outdoor feel. It is a great spot in the spring and fall when it's not scorching out and it's not chilly. Holy City is probably my favorite brewery when it comes to actual beer. I love their Holy City Washout Wheat and their Pluff Mud Porter. I will say the last time we went to Holy City (probably about three or four months ago), it was the first "hotter" day of the year and the bugs were out in full force. Also, it wreaks of garbage and rot because they keep all their brewery supplies outside.
I've only gone to Palmetto once or twice since being Charleston. I like the fact it is downtown and it had a nice feel inside. I honestly don't have a strong opinion on the brewery because it didn't leave a lasting impression. I remember their being live music outside, but it was a chilly night. I don't recall off the top of my head what I drank or how I liked it. I know Palmetto beers are in a lot of other bars (their tap is made of Palmetto leaves and is pretty eyecatching), however, I don't typically gravitate to their beers for some unknown reason.
Revelry is probably one of my favorite breweries since they have added their rooftop space. It is pretty easy to get to from my house (literally a 5 minute drive on 26). There is typically plenty of parking and you can walk to Home Team BBQ, Edmund's Oast, and a few other downtown spots as well. The Rooftop is a cool space to hang out. It gets pretty crowded on a nice day. The overall crowd is younger. They do have a few sandwiches and food items on site, which is great. Revelry's beers are okay. They have a pretty decent wheat beer (in case you can't tell, I'm a huge wheat/light beer fan.) The downstairs and picnic table area is nice too. Again, they have a great indoor/outdoor feel .
When it was announced a year ago that Frothy Beard was moving from North Charleston to a shopping center right across the street from us, we were ecstatic. What made it even better was they were partnering with one of our all time favorite food trucks, Zombie Bob's Pizza. We were so excited about Frothy Beard's opening that we went the first day they opened. Overall, I like the space, but since it also draws a lot of people because of Zombie Bob's it gets really crowded with the tables and people sitting down and eating pizza. We've gone back several times and each time had an issue. The bar space is really tight, so there is not a good place to come up and grab a beer from the bartender. You have to wait in line to get a beer, order food, or just close out your tab. It's quite frustrating when the line is long. The lines have since died down a little and it isn't so bad. The first couple times we went we would order a slice or a whole pizza with no issue.
About a month or so ago, my husband and I decided to stop in for a beer and a slice before heading to the Riverdogs game. We were meeting a friend who had our tickets at the gate of the stadium so we were on a tight schedule. We had an hour to kill so we decided to just go ahead and grab a bite and a beer. When we got there we went to the bar and ordered a beer and our food. My husband ordered a slice of pizza with some toppings, I ordered just a cheese slice. We sat down, enjoyed our beer. After about 20 minutes we were starting to wonder where our food was. We had about 30 minutes until we had to leave for the game. We didn't want to be "those" people so we just continued to wait. After about 30 minutes, we went up to the kitchen and inquired. They said it was coming right up. My husband's slice came out about 5 minutes later, and my very basic slice didn't. I waited another 10 minutes for my slice before following up again. They said they just put it in the oven. Five minutes later we had to go. I asked if they could wrap my slice up to go. We waited and still no pizza! We ended up asking for a refund for my slice (since I never received it). The fact that we had to ask to be refunded and they didn't offer, infuriated me. I am not a difficult customer, but some customer service skills go a long way with me. Anyways, we went to the bar where they "supposedly" refunded our money to our card. The refund never came through.
After that horrible experience I had no desire to go back, but since it was right near the house other friends of ours liked it, we decided to go back a few weeks later. My husband got there before I did (about 10 minutes or so), and ordered our food knowing it may take a while. Again, I ordered just a cheese slice. Again, we waited 30 plus minutes for our food, with our breadsticks coming out after our food. From what I gathered, if you order a cheese slice, you apparently get pushed to the back of the line. We went back to Frothy Beard this weekend (because again it's like .25 miles from our house). This time we ordered a whole pie to split with four people and breadsticks. Surprisingly the food came out pretty quick. Lesson learned, always order a whole pie, even if you want the slice. My biggest complaint from this past weekend was that they were out of pretty much all of their beers. I ended up with the Low Tide (a guest tap) Wheat. It was really, really good. (Side note, the manager of Zombie Bob's reached out to me. He was quite nice and apologized profusely. A little apology goes a long way with me!)
Low Tide Brewery
A few weeks back, after a few drinks in West Ashley, we decided to meet some friends over at Low Tide Brewery on Johns Island. Other than the brewery being quite the haul from our house, I really liked it. It had the traditional/industrial brewery feel. I felt like I was at a legit brewery and not a restaurant. They had a lot of picnic tables inside with corn hole boards inside as well. I don't recall what I drank, however, as I mentioned above, I really liked their Wheat beer. I would definitely love to go back, it's just so far away from us.
We went to Twisted Cypress a few Saturday's ago after attending a Derby party. It was a group of about five of us. The brewery is right around the corner from our gym so we were eager to try it out. Surprisingly the place was dead for a Saturday. I could tell the place has a more laid back vibe (not trying to be as trendy as Frothy Beard). They had some good live music, but again there was no one there. We played corn hole outside, however, the corn hole boards were next to a fence and if you (drunkenly) overthrow the beanbag, it lands it someones yard and is hard to retrieve. The beer was good. Again, I'm not sure what I had. I just wish the place had a more lively vibe. I wish it was a happy medium between dead and Frothy Beard. I would love and try it again.
My Favorite Place
My favorite place to grab a local brew is a place called Craft Conundrum. Craft, as we call it, has a ton (not sure the exact number but thinking like 50+) brews on tap. Most of their beer is local. The owners are amazing and treat you like family. We have been going to Craft since they opened three or so years ago. The owner used to operate the Beer Garden in the old Piggly Wiggly (grocery store) next door. When the Pig closed, he renovated the space next door. Originally it was more a retail space, but over time it became more a bar scene. Craft, unfortunately, doesn't have a really vibrant outdoor space, like some of the other spots, but that's what makes it such a great winter bar. I love going to Craft and trying out all the local brews. They typically have food trucks on the weekend. One of my husband and I's favorite things to do is go across the street and get sushi at our favorite sushi restaurant (Zen), then head over to Craft and have a couple beers. They also have Cards Against Humanity and some other games, so it's fun to go with friends, grab some beers, and play some games.
If you know me, then you probably know that I can be the most ADD individual sometimes. My mind wanders and quickly conversations turn from "How is Your Day?" to "Oh my gosh! Look at what my dog is doing!". I am very much a proponent of solving problems without the use of prescription drugs, which is why I have fallen in love with my Comfort Cube.
What is Comfort Cube?
Comfort Cube is a highly addictive fidget cube that is designed to relieve stress and help you focus. It can be used at work, at school, and even at home. Since I work from home, I keep my Comfort Cube on my coffee table and use it while I work. I particularly find use for it when I am brainstorming solutions for my clients or needing to think outside of the box. It is a more mature version of the new kid-crazed fidget spinner.
The Comfort Cube has six sides that you can fidget with when the need arises. The sides include Click (which is similar to clicking a pen), Flip (which is similar to flipping a switch repetitively), Roll (which includes a rollable ball and three gears), Breathe (which is similar to a worry stone and helps relieve stress), Glide (which is similar to a gaming joystick), and Spin (which is similar to a dial, that you can continually spin). If you have ever sat through a meeting with me then you probably know which side is my favorite, Click. I am always clicking pens to their breaking point. This Comfort Cube has helped saved me numerous pens while helping me generate useful ideas and solutions for my clients.
I particularly like the Breathe side when I am stressed and needing to relax. On my recent trip to Italy I brought my Comfort Cube along. The Breathe side particularly came in handy to help soothe my anxiety prior to boarding our nine hour flight to Rome. (I'll admit, once I boarded, I did have to take half a Xanax to help knock me out for the duration of the flight.) Anyways, as my palms were sweaty, my mind was racing, and my stomach was uneasy, I simply pulled out my Comfort Cube and utilize the Breathe side to help relieve some of these pre-flight jitters.
Where to Buy Comfort Cube?
Again, if you know me, you know I very rarely buy anything from the store anymore. I recently started subscribing to Hello Fresh so I don't even get groceries from the store! Comfort Cube is pretty easy to purchase and can be bought directly from their website, www.getcomfortcube.com. There's no real hoops to jump through to order the product. It's even easier to order then Hello Fresh.
Another cool thing about Comfort Cube is that they come in a bunch of different colors. You can even buy his and hers Comfort Cubes. I like the white and pink one for me and the blue and white for my husband. With most things in life, the more Comfort Cubes you buy the cheaper they are (so it's more affordable to buy his and hers instead of just buying his or hers).
The two pack of Comfort Cube's is considered the "best value" with a two pack costing $25.00 per cube and including free shipping for both cubes. If you want more Comfort Cubes then you can go with their "most popular" package which includes three Comfort Cubes costing $20.00 per cube and including free shipping. If you still aren't sure about Comfort Cube and just want to buy one for now, you can purchase one Comfort Cube at $29.00 plus $4.95 in shipping and handling fees.
Shipping is pretty fast. I ordered my Comfort Cube and got in the same week. This product has been a godsend on my productivity and focus. They also make great gifts and prizes for employees! Why not reward your employees with a Comfort Cube for their next achievement. Obviously, I am not a very "salesy" person, but this product was so awesome that I just wanted to spread the word!
Haley Parler Moore
A girl with who overthinks everything and made a blog to put all of her excessive thoughts on. 20 something. Charleston resident. Marketer. Work out junkie. Bulldog mommy. Wife. Gamecock fan. Lover of football and Lululemon.