There’s no doubt that Charleston is one of the most romantic cities in the world. It’s easy to get enchanted by it’s old world charm and beauty. I recently did a Valentine’s Day gift idea segment on Lowcountry Live and I discovered some local businesses that would contribute to a romantic experience whether your a local or visiting town.
Wonder what’s it’s like to live in a beach house on Folly or Isle of Palms, or a beautifully restored home downtown? Luxury Simplified Retreats offers posh accommodations by way of grand homes, villas, and condos. One of their properties is this historical house on Spring Street downtown that was formerly owned by Thomas Mayhem Pinckney. He was a notable African-American craftsman who played an integral part in the preservation development in Charleston.
The top that I’m wearing is actually a layered 2 piece sold together at Maris DeHart. It’s got that 90’s vibe with a modern day twist. You can always find emerging accessory brands at Maris DeHart, and this watch and earrings are no exception. The watch is by Berg & Betts, and they make their leather straps out of scraps repurposed from luxury accessory brands. The earrings are by Larissa Loden who also upcycles unwanted pieces to create something new. With average prices of $35, it’s a no brainer to scoop up something for you or as a gift for someone special.
This beautiful bouquet by Frampton’s Flowers will light up any room. The 50-year old business is getting a new life by offering special arrangements for weddings and events. Who doesn’t love fresh flowers?
Top by English Factory, Watch by Berg & Betts $148, earrings by Larissa Loden $48 //Jeans by Ellison Apparel from House of Sage // Custom wedding bands by Ash Hoffman // Intentionally Blank lace up heels $58.50 from Nasty Gal // RMS Beauty nail polish in Diabolique $15 from Anthropologie // Bouquet by Frampton’s Flowers
Photography by Clifford Pate
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A couple of months ago I met Kathy Williams, the owner and designer of Simply Whimsical, a kitchen accessory company that is based in Charleston. I fell in love with her retro inspired aprons and her story is incredible. Her humble beginnings and dedication to her dream has catapulted her brand into nationwide stores and online shops like Nordstrom Rack, Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Zulily, as well as privately owned boutiques all over the country.
Kathy was inspired by her grandmother and growing up in the kitchen. She started in 2008 making aprons for family and friends, and selling out at local boutiques. Kathy couldn’t keep up with the orders on her own so she recruited women from her church to sew with her. 8 years later with a bigger manufacturer and growing accounts, Simply Whimsical has gown into an apron empire while adding gloves, dish towels, and wine charms into the mix. Her aprons and accessories are the perfect hostess gifts for the holidays. Scoop up one for yourself or a friend before they sell out!
We had such a blast on our 1st photo shoot together. I loved getting my retro look on while I helped with gathering all of the clothes and props and Libby Williams of Plate South did the food styling and photography to pull everything together. Stay tuned for more fun collaborations with Simply Whimsical in 2017!
Black Damask Diva Apron $32 from Simply Whimsical // Dress from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall // Earrings from Groove Girl // Lacey heels $75 from Dandy Boutique // Metallic banded glassware $8.99, Mixing Pitcher + Strainer $29 from West Elm
Holly Apron from Simply Whimsical // Theo Darling Shift Dress $88, Gold tassel earrings by The Tiny Tassel, and Lola heels $74 from Dandy Boutique // Kitchen accessories and platters from Terrace Oaks Antique Mall
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A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of touring the new Dewberry Hotel with Skirt! Mag. It was so much fun meeting with some of my favorite girls – Holly McGetrick of Dandy Boutique, Liz Martin of The Charleston Weekender, Libby Williams of Plate South, and Jenny Dennis the publisher of Skirt! Mag. Located on Meeting Street across Marion Square, the former federal building that sat vacant for many years is now transformed into a mid-century modern luxury hotel.
We met Mr. John Dewberry himself, who went in great detail how is love for modern architecture and preservation of southern influences were important elements to the design of the hotel. After the tour we sampled the menu at their retro French inspired brasserie, Henrietta’s. The traditional dishes with a contemporary twist hit the spot, and the presentation and service was on point!
Mr. Dewberry commissioned WORSTEAD to design the interiors, lighting and furniture throughout the hotel. The New York–Charleston based company also incorporated some vintage furniture to keep the look authentic. Some of the original elements of the building such as the marble walls and floors were maintained, melding perfectly with the new design. Original art work by one of the South Carolina’s most prolific modern artists, William Halsey, can be seen throughout the lobby and bar area.
There is even a place to shop at The Fieldshop, which carries a curated selection of goods by Garden and Gun Magazine. Croghan’s Jewel Box also has their fine jewelry and Goldbugs on display in a beautiful vitrine as you walk towards the lounge area. The Charleston Weekender, aka Liz Martin, and I can’t pass up a good photo op, especially when it’s in front of the coolest maps of Charleston.
As Charleston keeps on making it to the Top 10 list of places to live and visit on planet Earth, we have raised the bar on stylish accommodations in the South. Whether your looking for a staycation that makes you feel like you’ve totally escaped to another world, or your just looking for a chic place to grab a drink and eat, you have to check out The Dewberry!
Wearing a stretch knit jacuard sheath dress by Leo & Sage $395 // 14k pearl marquis hoop earrings $575, 18k diamond cluster ring by Singlestone $13,500, Reto Goldbug link bracelet $350, 14k .03ct diamond tahition pearl cuff $1,370, gold plated topaz Niko ring by Elizabeth & James $150 from Croghan’s Jewel Box // Louis Vuitton handbag and Chanel booties from The Trunk Show // Sunglasses from See Eyewear // Elwood Grid watch by Christian Paul $199
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Kid and parent friendly restaurants can be tough to find downtown, but Parlor Deluxe is one of those exceptions. Known for their gourmet hot dogs, fancy tater tots and artisanal ice cream, this place is a hit with both kids and adults. Right before school started Libby Williams of Plate South invited me and my boys for a lunch date. The retro cool spot on the corner of Spring and St. Phillip is the perfect place to go if you need some delicious food on the fly. As you parents know, getting food quick for your kids is necessary.
I was excited to sport my new favorite skirt made out of African wax print by Francis & Benedict. They’re a local company that supports the community of Togo, Africa by giving women jobs as seamstresses so they can support their families. I’ve been sporting my Yas Kween necklace pretty much everyday and it’s made by local jewelry designer Natalie Clapp of Silkbone Jewels. I always get a laugh or a smile when people see me wear it. I never knew how much I needed a pair of navy shoes until I got these BC Footwear lace up heels. They’ll be making lots of appearances on my blog in the next few months.
Since I don’t eat real hotdogs I opted for the “Not Dog” which is a cooked carrot topped with a mushroom chili, cheese, and a green garnish. This little number always hits the spot! My boys got regular dogs, but the bun they serve it on is anything but ordinary. Mateo and Sebastian got the Cookie Monster ice cream which had Oreos and cookie dough in it. Pretty much a home run with any kid if they like cookies and ice cream.
I don’t know where I find the room, but I went for the Blackberry + Poppyseed and Fig + Lemongrass ice cream. So worth it!
No food shoot would be complete without some behind the scenes pics with my phone. This fun iphone case is by Stone by Stone at Dandy Boutique.
I’m one of those boring people where once I find my dish on the menu, I have to order it every time I go back. I’m looking forward to having my carrot dog again soon but I might venture out and have the Cookie Monster ice cream for myself at Parlor Deluxe.
Tank top from Shirtini // African wax print skirt $68 by Francis & Benedict // Gudli beaded necklace $35 from Roberta Roller Rabbit // Yas Kween custom necklace $40 by Silkbone Jewels // Beaded bracelet by Chavez for Charity $11 from Henry & Eva // Elwood Grid watch by Christian Paul$199 // Custom diamond rings by Ash Hoffman // Bar Ring $150 and Triangle Ring $150 by Naked Eyes Jewelry // Rae earrings by Half United $35 from Be the Change Boutique // Vivacious Dress Pump in Indigo $28.46 by BC Footwear from Amazon // Sunglasses $18 and Stone by Stone iphone case $85 from Dandy Boutique // Lipstick in Some Like it Hot by ABP makeup $22
Photography by Libby Williams
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True love is not bound by skin color, gender, beliefs, or background. These two beauties, Abigail Marie (right) and Natalie Rodriguez (left,) are madly in love with each other and are proud to share it with the world. Both creative souls, these women share their passion for life and never take for granted the endearing love that they have found.
They are the perfect symbols of love to represent this bridal story. Wearing one of a kind gowns by One Love Design by Rachel Gordon, these ethereal goddesses happily posed in front of Southern Smoke Cigars super swanky airstream at Holy City Brewing Company.
To learn more about Abigail and Natalie’s story and admiration for one another view more.
Host and Floral: The Event Cooperative, Photography: Nickie Cutrona, Fashion Stylist: Andrea Serrano, Hairstylist: Mac Does Hair, Makeup: Bellelina Skincare and Makeup Studio, Location: Holy City Brewing Company, Airstream by Southern Smoke Cigars
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It seems like a new store pops up every other week in Charleston these days. What makes this new store Redefined so different is that they specialize in designer consignment and vintage. Owners Heather Martinez and Jamie Boehmer opened up their Church Street location just a few weeks ago and are enjoying their off the beaten path location. Located in the French Quarter area the shop is nestled just above Broad Street.
Some of their featured brands are Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Chanel, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Pucci, and Armani. These labels are surprisingly hard to find in Charleston and now you can scoop them up at Redefined for a fraction of the cost.
They are also carrying one of a kind jewelry by Ash Hoffman who is based in Myrtle Beach and was the winner of Jtv’s Rockstar Designer competition. Her collection of hammered silver accessories combine an organic and modern vibe.
Join me this Saturday, April 9th 6-8pm for the Grand Opening of Redefined boutique at 113 Church Street. Fashion Illustrator Daniel Velasco will be there as well painting his whimsical custom portraits, and drinks and light bites will be served.
Pink Chanel boucle jacket, Vintage Neiman Marcus black leather pants, St. John coin belt worn as a necklace, Camilla Skovgaard sandals, Tom Ford sunglasses
Photography by Clifford Pate
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In just a few days is The Charleston Wine and Food Fest, a celebration of the culinary scene here and beyond. With cooking demos to extravagant soirees all over town, this is a foodie paradise. My fellow blogger Venita Aspen and I wanted to highlight some of the participants who work tirelessly in their field to give us the best dining and drinking experience that Charleston is known for. These people are usually seen and photographed in their apron, chef jacket, crocs, and the women with their hair pulled back. We wanted to work with these participants and enhance their already great style. Cannon Green graciously let us shoot in their beautiful restaurant and we ended up having a fun day of fashion and made some new friends.
Carrie Morey of Callie’s Biscuits is pretty much a household name in Charleston. Her buttery biscuits are sold nationwide in most major grocery stores and even in the Caribbean. With the best media coverage you could ask for – NBC Today Show, The Martha Stewart Show, Saveur, Food & Wine, Southern Living, The New York Times, The Food Network, and even Oprah has been loving on her southern staple. If you want a piece of Callie’s to go with toppings that change daily, then Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit on Upper King is biscuit heaven.
Carrie wears a top and pants and ring by Elizabeth & James from Beckett Boutique // Cuff by Elizabeth & James from Croghan’s Jewel Box // Earrings by Heather Key Tiller at Filigree // Golf bar ring by Christina Jervey
Vinson Petrillo who is the head chef at Zero George Cafe + Bar begun his culinary training at Johnson and Wales in Charleston and continued his career at some of the top restaurants in New York. No stranger with brushes of fame, he has appeared on Chopped, Top Chef Masters, and recently cooked up a meal so good for Bill Murray that he sat on Vinson’s lap and snuggled with the chef post meal. Specializing in fine dining, Vinson always keeps local and seasonal ingredients in mind when he’s cooking up one of his works of art.
Vonda Freeman, the beverage director of Indigo Road Group is one busy woman. The sommelier juggles her schedule between their six restaurants/bars – Oak Steakhouse, O-Ku, The Macintosh, The Cocktail Club, Indaco, and Bar Mash. Vonda will be sharing her vast knowledge of wine pairings at Wine + Food this year. She’ll be demonstrating the art of wine and food pairings at Wine + Food alongside Jessica Little, Co-Owner of Sweet Grass Dairy for a WINE + CHEESE + CHARCUTERIE seminar.
Chef BJ Dennis brings the flavors of his roots to every tasty dish he prepares. Scroll through his Instagram and you’ll start salivating over all of the Gullah Geechee fare he’s cooking up. He’s worked at some of Charleston’s award winning restaurants including Carolinas, Anson’s, Oak Steakhouse, Hank’s Seafood, and 82 Queen, and is now focusing on his catering and personal chef services.
Amalia Scatena is the executive chef at Cannon Green and loves cooking up her local fare dishes with a Mediterranean twist. She started her impressive journey graduating with Head Chef honors from the Culinary Institute in Florence, Italy. Her training and commitment has given her award winning status, cooking at some of the top fine dining restaurants in the U.S. The rustic and romantic Cannon Green is the perfect setting for her to present her farm to table cuisine.
Dantera Richardson of Swank Desserts can satisfy the most insatiable sweet tooth. Her background started at Magnolia’s then moving on to the Ocean Course Clubhouse at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Finding her passion in sweets more than savory, the chef started Swank Desserts in 2015. Her delectable desserts include brownies with nutella, & salty caramel fudge, Lucky Charms Cookie Sandwiches with whisky marshmallow fluff, and out of this world flavors for her macarons and cupcakes.
Danetra wears a dress by JLinSnider at Holy City Haven // Slip from 7 Gypsy // Tusk necklace by Empire State Finery from Beckett Boutique // Druzy necklace by Mickey Lynn from Mosa Boutique // Cuff by Elizabeth & James from Croghan’s Jewel Box
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