I wouldn't necessarily call myself a "foodie" (so cliche nowadays anyways), but I would call myself someone who loves a good meal with good company. After a very rough week (to say the least) that ended with a Friday the 13th, my husband and I were trying to decide where we wanted to go to dinner. His birthday was the next day, so I wanted to take him somewhere special. We bounced around ideas for hours. It amazes me that we live in a city with so many restaurants new and old, but still do the whole "Where do you wanna go?" "I don't know, where do you wanna go?" thing for hours on end. I'll admit. I love Charleston and I love Charleston food. What I don't love is it seems like you spend well over $100 for a decent date night in Charleston. The cost of food and booze just amazes me. So on Friday the 13th, after endless rounds of back and forth, we decided on the OD, or the Obstinate Daughter on Sullivan's Island. We have been there once before and were very very pleased. I tried to make reservations, but knew that would most likely be impossible because it books up weeks at a time. My husband and I love to go places (even the nicest of restaurants) and sit at the bar and just chat with the bartenders. (After all, if I wanted to just sit there and have a quiet night just the two of us, we would eat dinner at home).
So alas, we get to Obstinate Daughter. It was crowded, there were no tables. What I really liked was that they have a waiting list for the bar seats. I like that you don't have to elbow your way into a bar stool. Also, you can grab and drink and take it outside. The weather was beautiful on Friday so we definitely didn't mind having a drink outside. It only took about 10 minutes and we were able to be seated at the bar. We looked to the left of us and there Darius Rucker was in all his glory celebrating his 50th birthday. I've seen Darius a few times before around town. He definitely holds a special place in my heart being a girl from Columbia and growing up on Hootie and the Blowfish. Also, our first dance was to his song at our wedding. The first time I actually saw him was two days before the wedding and knew somehow it was fate. Trying to act cool and like I'm at total local, I've never approached him, however, it was cool for my husband to share his birthday weekend with Darius.
Anyways, back to dinner. We sat at the bar, enjoyed a few drinks, including one very good Moscow Mule. Bantered with the bartenders (told them they reminded us of an old married couple). We started off with two appetizers. The first was a flatbread with butter bean puree. This was probably one of the best things I have ever eaten, seriously, no exaggeration. The flatbread was buttery and the butterbean puree had a nice touch of lime. It reminded me a lot of guacamole. We also enjoyed some mushrooms with sauteed spinach, topped with fresh parmesan cheese. Anyone who knows me knows I DO NOT LIKE CHEESE. However, this fresh parm was fantastic. These two apps had us full already, but we had to order a pizza. The last time we were there we had the Ranger. Since the mushrooms were topped with an egg, I didn't want a pizza topped with egg too, so we decided for the Moultrie. It was a mushroom and pepperoni pizza (my two favorite pizza toppings). It was as good as ever. We finished the meal with a piece of red velvet cake accompanied with a candle and some birthday wishes for the birthday boy. The bartenders also bought a shot of limoncello (my first time having it, and it was good). As we were leaving, they brought Darius' birthday cake out. I was in awe that everyone seemed to let him be normal. It wasn't like the whole restaurant stared at him or didn't let him enjoy his meal.
We left OD fat and happy (and really not that broke, our bill was only $100 for several rounds of drinks and all that food). However, I wasn't ready to leave Sullivan's just yet. The sun was setting and there was a calmness in the air. My husband and I decided to walk down to the beach. We passed Sullivan's Island Elementary School and couldn't believe how nice the school was. We got to the beach right as the sun was dipping below and the night sky was setting in. We were right in front of the lighthouse. We sat there and just stared out for what seemed like forever. There was something so peaceful about that night. Maybe it was all setting in how bad of a week we had and how much we had gone through. I sat there with tears streaming down my face, with my emotions as raw as the scenery. It was just a horrible, no good week, and I knew in that moment it was over. I was happy to put that week away and start a new fresh chapter. It was the perfect ending to a bad chapter.
I think I can file this as one of the best date nights we have ever had and hopefully one of the best birthdays he has ever had. I thank Obstinate Daughter and Sullivan's Island for making me truly remember why I love this city and why I chose to call it home everyday.
PS Sorry for the lack of photos, I thought I saved my Snapchat story and I didn't :(
As the days start to get longer and summer is very slowly approaching (I mean why is still 40 degrees in April?) my anticipation for our upcoming Mexican Honeymoon grows. My husband and I chose to postpone a honeymoon right after our wedding due to lack of vacation time at work, and other factors. (Mainly, we couldn't agree on where to go, he wanted Europe, I wanted a relaxing tropical destination). Fast forward 8 months later, we finally decided on the perfect destination, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. After working 18 hour days for three months straight (including weekends) I think he finally valued a relaxing vacation.
Why Puerto Vallarta?
We decided on PV because mainly it was one of two easily accessible destinations with all inclusive Hilton Resorts. We both saved up our Hilton Honors points from credit card purchases and from business travel, so basically our trip (minus the flights) would be pretty much FREE. It was between that or Montego Bay, Jamaica. Being that he is from South Florida and we both have been to the Caribbean, we wanted something a little farther away and more exotic. Plus the Hilton Puerto Vallarta Resort has an adults only rooftop pool with a sushi bar. (How can you pass that up?!). We also both love tequila and with PV being the Tequila Capital of the World, again it was a no brainer!
This will be the first time we have been out of the country together. This will only be my third trip outside the US. (Second trip, if you don't count a cruise to the Bahamas when I was 16). Luckily my passport was still valid from my trip to Spain in college. Unlucky for my husband, his passport expired the month we got married. Now, we just have to cross our fingers and hope his passport makes it to us in time. (Lesson learned, don't put off getting a new passport, the Government doesn't care about your upcoming trip as much as you do).
Our trip is officially 38 days away and I couldn't be more excited. Stay tuned in June for a full recap of the vacation. If you haven't already, follow me and my antics on instagram @parlerh. I am sure I will be Instagramming the hell out this trip. Already thinking of hashtags as we speak.
Check out these photos courtesy of Hilton Puerto Vallarta's Facebook Page.
It's officially spring and I couldn't be happier. The city of Charleston officially awakens from the dead of winter. The first real "kickoff" to spring in Charleston is the Charleston Wine and Food Festival. This is the first year I participated in the three day bougie event. I volunteered Friday night at Chicken Shit Bingo. Chicken Shit Bingo brought out the inner redneck in even the bougiest of people. Basically chickens were put in a cage and literally shit on a number and if you had the number you won. The food consisted on several local barbeque chefs and was amazing. I sampled a brisket slider that was to die for.
On Sunday, we got to experience the main tasting tents. I understand why this is first a wine festival. Booze was a plenty. Lines were too. There was not much food to be seen. I ended up drunkingly devouring a pizza when I got home. Some cops did offer us a dozen donuts from Glazed as we left. (Didn't help with my stereotype that all cops do is sit around and eat donuts). Next year I think I'll save the money on the tasting tents and go to some of the other events. Overall, a good first experience.
Another reason why March ranks up there in my top three months of the year is St. Patrick's Day. Since I've met my husband, we've always found a way and place to celebrate our not-so-Irish heritage. (He's Greek, so about as far from a short, red-headed Leprechaun as they come). While I was in college, we would always go to 5 Points in Columbia. 5 Points is great in college, by great I mean if you like to be elbowed, pushed around, and watch drunk college kids vomiting by noon. Since we've moved to Charleston, we have been going to the Annual Park Circle Block Party. This year was our third year. Somehow this always turns into a rambunctious event, but at least around a more mature audience.
This year my husband surprised me with an early "birthday" gift, my best friends. He flew my best friend from New York down and my other best friend came down from Columbia. We had the absolute best weekend. After drinking all day at St. Patrick's Day, we went out Downtown. We went to Warehouse for apps and drinks, then had drinks at Macintosh served by my friend's fake "ex-husband" from college. We somehow stumbled upon a Bachelor party (minus the Bachelor, who apparently was sleeping off his day drinking). The Bachelor party soon turned into a tequila-fest. I can honestly say, I have never drank so many shots of tequila back to back. The Bachelor party insisted on going to O'Malley's. After we repeated a hundred times, that O'Malley's didn't exist and it was a new bar, we just went with it and took them to "O'Malley's". The rest of the night is a blur. I forgot the time changed and woke up at 10 am the next morning (really 9 am) confused as hell. The next day, I double brunched. Did my regular Triangle Char and Bar brunch with the husband, then went to Stereo 8 on James Island to meet the girls for brunch. I took my friend to a brief (due to the hangover) Second Sunday experience on King. Overall, the weekend was one for the books, however, my liver was glad to take the next few weekends off.
Here's a recap in photos of the month.
So everyone has been raving about Blue Apron, so I thought I would give it a try. With the help of a gracious friend of a friend, who sent me a free week, I was able to give it a shot. Let it be noted, that I am NOT a chef. I like to cook, but due to my ADD, I am easily distracted and get stressed out really easily (usually this ends with me storming out of the kitchen, leaving my husband to finish off the meal). I am proud to say that with Blue Apron this did not happen. (Well, it happened for a second when I sliced my finger cutting an onion, but after the bleeding stopped, I recovered and was able to finish the meal). Here is my Good, Bad, and Ugly of Blue Apron.
Below are a few pictures of some of the dishes I made. The Chicken and Sage Pot Pie was by far my favorite meal. The Pineapple Fried rice was probably the easiest to make. It was great, but without a zester, my lime zest was inedible and I had to pick it out of the dish before eating. The last meal (not pictured) was Italian Beef Grinders with aged cheddar sauce and baked potato wedges. The potato wedges (which I've cooked many times before) were great. I added chili powder to them to give them more flavor. The cheddar sauce was not very good. I'm not a huge cheese fan, but this cheese had no flavor. I also think the ratio of cheese to flour to wet ingredients were off. I ended up having to add more flour to it, which in turn made it too thick.
Anyways, that's my take. I will definitely try it again. $50/week to experiment in the kitchen is worth it. May not do it every week, but it is worth trying again.
Let's all admit, January in Charleston is boring. There is literally nothing to do. It's cold, most of the time, and the Holiday's are over. The tourist have pretty much left. Other than sit at home and watch Netflix, there is literally nothing to do. With that in mind, I started browsing flights to go visit my best friend, Elizabeth, in NYC. Thanks to JetBlue (and the awesome renovated terminal at CHS), I was able to getaway for the weekend. Ten days earlier, knowing I had a $180 JetBlue credit to use, I started browsing flights. I came across two direct flights, one leaving Friday night (so I wouldn't miss work at all), and one coming back late Sunday afternoon. A perfect amount of time for a weekend getaway! The flight was $200 or so, and I figured with my credit it would only be $20. I went home and talked to my husband about it. He agreed that we should book it. I went to book it the next morning and the flight dropped to $116 roundtrip. How awesome is that!
After an eventful start to the trip, which included me leaving my credit card at the Charleston airport, I had arrived in the city to be reunited with my best friend. We had a great night Friday night going around Midtown to a couple different bars. My friend is in the Food and Bev industry so her hours are totally opposite of mine (meaning she didn't go to bed Friday morning until 7:30 am and I was up Friday at 7 am for work). At about 3 am I hit a wall, after being up for nearly 24 hours, and we called it a night.
Saturday she took me to brunch to her favorite place in Astoria. We enjoyed a few, or several :) mimosas there and headed back into the city to meet another friend of hers who was bartending at a country bar called the Waylon in Midtown. Didn't realize this was a Packer's bar. So we watched the Packer's playoff game. The environment was sooooo exciting. I didn't have a horse in the race, so of course I pulled for the Packers. After several PBR's we began cruising through Midtown again. The night ended at about 4 am at a diner called the Galaxy Diner, where I enjoyed a lovely hamburger and fries (for like $5 at that!) to soak up my alcohol for the day.
Sunday was a quiet day. We woke up late. Went to a restaurant in Astoria again to get a bite, however, I ordered my food and it didn't come after 30 minutes, and I was stretched for time, so I had to jump in a cab and go to the airport. Security was backed up, so I was left sprinting through the airport, and never got to eat. As I was walking to the airport, it started to snow. The plane was stuck at the gate for an hour and half to de-ice, and by this point I was hangry. All was well, when I FINALLY got a bag of chips mid-flight. When I got home my lovely husband had pizza waiting on me!
I absolutely loved my spontaneous getaway. I was so excited to see my best friend. Now that I know you can get direct flights with JetBlue for next to nothing, I will definitely be returning on the reg.
Here are some photos of my getaway.
Happy New Year!! I am so excited to embark on this new year. 2015 was great, don't get me wrong, but something about a fresh start is amazing. And by fresh, I mean, really fresh. Last week, I started a new job working as an Internet Marketing Specialist with a great local marketing agency here in Charleston. I am excited to get back to doing what I love! I am still learning and adjusting to the trends in the online world (a lot has changed in two years!), but am definitely already seeing that was a great move for me both professionally and personally.
I've also been hitting the gym hard. I am proud to say I never missed more than a week working out in 2015. I set my goal as to work out 4-5 times/week and have succeeded. I trained for the first 9 months one-one-one with my kick ass personal trainer, Tiffany Dennis. After the wedding and my work schedule got wacky, I decided to scale back a bit. I am looking forward to jumpstarting my training again! For the last 18 months or so, as I really started to notice changes in my body, I documented progress pictures. It wasn't really until last year, that I started sharing them. Below is a progress picture from one year to date. I am so much stronger physically and mentally. A year ago if you were to tell me to do a pull up, or run the entire bridge both ways (5 miles) without stopping, I would have laughed at you and said IMPOSSIBLE. It's crazy to think I can do this, without even a blink now.
Lastly, this New Year, I am focusing on being a better wife to my overworked husband. I have started experimenting in the kitchen, and really starting to make our new house of six months, into a home. I absolutely love our house and our neighborhood and am excited to watch my family grow in that house. I keep nagging my husband for another dog, so fingers crossed that comes this year!
I hope everyone else's 2016 is off to as great of a start as mine. Let's make this year our year. #lovetoall
How is Christmas only 10 days away? Where has the time gone? I'm starting to sound like my grandmother, when she used to say it "seems like just yesterday..." because now everything seems like just yesterday. The days pass in such a hurry, that sometimes you miss out on enjoying life. What I love about the Holiday season is people take time to slow down. Surviving the Holiday Season is only has hard as you make it. I can be quite the Grinch at times and have to remind myself that family and friends are what it is truly all about. Here are 5 tips from a newlywed, 20 something on surviving the season.
1. Don't procrastinate. (Easier said than done). To be honest I have bought maybe 50% of my Christmas gifts at most and have done absolutely no wrapping. Bah Hum Bug I'm stuck again in a holiday rush (Thank God for Amazon Prime!). Also, make a list of what you want to buy everyone .I spent three hours on Saturday walking around trying to get ideas and all I bought was a Red Bull. Once the credit card started swiping though, there was no stopping. BTW Anthropologie is my new favorite store.
2. Get rid of the Ugly Sweater Parties. They are way overdone. Yes, I have a great homemade ugly sweater that I wore last year and was amazing, but I'd much rather this year go buy myself a nice cocktail dress and nice heels. I wear jeans and tops year round, give me an excuse to dress up. Nowadays, you are going to spend just as much on an Ugly Sweater off Amazon, as you would a cute cocktail dress from H&M.
3. Find one staple food item and take it to all your functions. Everyone wants to throw a holiday party, and with the invite it typically says bring an app or a dish to share. Find that one item that you love, that's easy to make, and that works with even the pickiest of eaters and bring it. Even if you run into the same people at several parties, if your dish is good enough, they will want it again. My favorite dish is my MIL's Bacon Dip. It's so easy to make that even your kid could make it.
4. Buy gifts that people want or use. I would much rather you buy me a $15 bottle of wine than spend $50 on some gadget that is just going to collect dust or better yet, get re-gifted. You can never go wrong with buying people booze (unless they are an alcoholic, then you can really, really wrong) or a gift basket with an assortment of food and snacks. Whole Foods has great gift baskets.
5. Learn to negotiate. Let's face it, you can't be in two places at one time, unless you Facetime yourself from one party to the next, but that would just be weird. Something I learned a long time ago when I was first dating my husband, was to negotiate the holidays with our family. If we spend Christmas with one family one year, we will spend the next year with the other family, or rotate spending time with family at Thanksgiving and then at Christmas. Coming from parent's who are divorced, I learned how to divide and conquer well.
I'm no expert at Holidays, in fact, I'm more of a novice. Hopefully you will be able to survive this Holiday Season. If all else fails, just drink a lot of wine!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! #lovetoall
How do you start a first post? I'm not sure, but I am sure that hitting the backspace button 1029430 times isn't the way. (Believe me, I've already given it a try.) After meeting several bloggers, I've decided to give this a try. After all, I love to write. So here goes nothing...or everything...however you want to look at it. I've decided to dedicate my first post to the city I call home, Charleston, and to the year that is wrapping up, 2015.
Twenty fifteen has been a year of more downs then ups for this city, but through it all, we have persevered, We have literally been through hell and high water. We have rallied together, held strangers hands, and dried out our boots. We've learned the meaning of true love, and seen what hate looks like. We've seen months of rain, and danced at the first sight of sunlight. We even elected a new mayor for the first time in four decades. (We will miss you, Joe!). This year has been extraordinary. As the saying goes, "If you can't put up with me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best." I think that quote sums up the year we've had in Charleston. We have gone through the worst and seen the best. We've literally ridden out the storm. I am looking forward to closing this chapter and moving onward and upward to 2016
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.