Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Local Taco

This week Mr. T and I tried a new Greenville joint, The Local Taco.  The Local Taco has three other locations. Two in Tennessee and one in  Lexington, Kentucky.  This week they expanded their business into South Carolina when their newest addition opened in Greenville on December 17.

For years I've been saying that one of the restaurants Greenville is lacking is a nicer Mexican place.  People love margaritas and street-style tacos, and they will pay money for quality ingredients.  (The other restaurant we need is an oyster bar that serves quality oysters, but I'll keep dreamin' on that one)

Mr T. started of with a margarita on the rocks.  The margaritas were great.  It's obvious that they make their own mix. They are made the traditional way with agave nectar, not simple syrup, or heaven forbid high fructose corn syrup. I had the Tequila Mockingbird, a combination of Hornitos Reposado Tequila, St. Germain Elder flower liqueur with a splash of orange and cranberry juices.  Very good.  I'll order anything with St. Germain, it's one of those trigger ingredients for me.

For an appetizer we ordered the trio of salsas.  Roasted Corn and Black Bean, Pico De Gallo, and Salsa Verde.  All three and bottomless chips for $4.00, not bad. 

The tacos are $3.25 each a la carte and we each got three.  I had Spicy Shrimp, Korean BBQ, and Smoked Brisket.  All three were really good but the Spicy Shrimp was the star.  Shrimp was cooked to perfection and  the jalapeno cole slaw on it was a perfect accompaniment. I was excited about the pickled onions (aka cebollas curidas) on the smoked brisket but I must admit, the ones I make are better.  Not to toot my horn or anything...

And then we went for round two with the margs because they were just so darn good.  Overall we were really pleased with the quality of food and drinks.  The service was great, too.  Something hard to come by with a brand new restaurant.  Looks like Greenville has another winner!

The Local Taco
15 Conestee Avenue
Greenville, SC 29605
(864) 509-1081

The Local Taco on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wedding Wednesday

I thought I'd switch it up a bit and have Wedding Wednesday feature someone else's wedding rather than my own.  This weekend Mr. T and I attended the wedding and rehearsal dinner party for one of my best friends.  The rehearsal dinner party was held at City Art in downtown Columbia.  

The ceremony on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous.  Churches seem to look the best around Christmas time, and this one was not an exception. The reception was held at the Columbia Museum of Art in downtown Columbia, a perfect spot for the art enthusiast bride.  This was the first winter time wedding Mr. T and I have been to in a while.  I loved seeing everyone in their holiday sequins and furs.

The Bride and her Bridesmaids gettin' down
Serenading the bride

Best wishes to the Bride and Groom!  Hope y'all are having an absolute blast on your Argentinian honeymoon!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Silence and Support for Sandy Hook

Today is your day to pay it forward.  Take a few minutes and donate to honor the victims' families.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Pinteresting Recipes

Making a Pinterest recipe for the first time is always a little scary.  We've all pulled that recipe off of Pinterest that claims to be the best thing you've ever tasted, has some dumb name like OMG Chicken, or my (and my Mom's) favorite "the new crack"- as if that is supposed to be a good thing?  While I've had a few duds recently, I've also found some new favorite recipes that I'd love to share with you.

Personal Potato Gratin Stacks

The thing I like about these recipes is that they actually look like they do in the Pinterest pictures.  There's nothing more disappointing than seeing that beautiful picture in the recipe and then looking at the ugly attempt at recreation that you just made.  That alone can ruin a recipe for me.

All of these recipes came from my Pinterest board Brown Food Tastes Good because, well, it always does! I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bridesmaid Gifts

Well better late than never.  I've been busy wrapping presents that were fulfilled by all of our Instagram friends through my company's InstaClaus project.  Thank you again to everyone for all of your help!  There are so many children in Greenville, New York, and Detroit that will have gifts to open thanks to you and your smartphones.

I thought I'd jump on the Wedding Wednesday train and update you on some other details of my wedding.  I was reading Megan's post on Fried Green Pickles today.  She's in the process of deciding what she will get her bridesmaids for their gift, so I wanted to share what I gave to my bridal party.

I decided to get monogrammed robes for my bridesmaids.  Yes, maybe a little overdone, but something that everyone can use. I love the idea of getting something personalized for your bridal party, it just adds a little extra special touch to the gift.  They looked great in pictures too, I think it made our getting ready pictures look even better with all of us in the same robes. 

What did you give or what are you planning on giving to your bridesmaids?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


I don't like being one of those people that boasts about how cool their jobs are, but just for this post I may be a little braggy.  I've been working for an advertising agency, Erwin Penland,  for the last eight months and it has been absolutely amazing.  EP always makes it a priority to give back to the local community, and this Christmas they are doing just that.

This year, Erwin Penland has created a program called InstaClaus. It's a great way to share your pictures and spread holiday cheer. Just by uploading your pictures with the specific hashtags, a child in need will get the Christmas gift they've wished for.

Here's how it works:
There are over 100 requests from real children from the three cities where Erwin Penland has offices: Greenville, New York, and Detroit.  Each request is listed, and you can help these children to receive their gifts by posting relevant pictures to Instagram.  There are two requested hashtags for each gift.  Just post your pictures with those hashtags and they will add it to the workshop.  Once a gift has five related photos, they will move it to the InstaClaus bag for delivery.  Your Instagram handle is even added to the gift tag so that child knows exactly who their present is coming from.

For example, I posted this picture this afternoon. 

Ryan, 13, wants a Spalding basketball. I posted this picture on Instagram with the two requested hashtags #round and #instaclaus.  Once three more people  upload their pictures of round objects, than Ryan gets his ball!

 How amazing is this idea?

Leave a comment if you post a picture and let me know which ones you posted.  I'd love to see if my blog post makes an impact! Check out a better description and the actual site here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was the first weekend that really felt like Christmas time.  Despite the 70 degree temperatures, we really started to get in the holiday spirit.  We spent Friday night with our supper club group, and wrapped up the night with s'mores by the fire pit.

Our host, Amanda, went all out and even made her own marshmallows.  They were so much better than the store bought kind.  They tasted more fresh and even seemed to brown better over the fire. Rather than just going up in a huge blue flame and charring the entire outside, these actually seemed to normally brown on the outside and get nice and gooey in the middle. I will be making this recipe for sure.

Saturday afternoon was devoted to Christmas shopping and wrapping gifts. I was able to knock out a good bit of stocking stuffers, and picked up some ribbon and wrapping paper as well.   I had originally planned on going with the classic brown paper and plaid ribbon, but couldn't resist the ornate gold paper and leopard. 

Mr. T and I went out on Saturday night to watch the Clemson basketball game with friends,  but before we did we enjoyed a glass of wine by the Christmas tree.

I somehow managed to go through the entire weekend without taking a single picture of myself, but at least you can see how my weekend looked through my eyes.  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merry Christmas From the Family

I've never been much of a Christmas card giver, but this year I finally gave in.  I gave in mainly because I pretty much had no excuse.  Since we got married this year we had over a thousand professional photos to choose from, and I have a newly updated spreadsheet with every friend and family member's address.

I stumbled upon Minted through a few other blogs that I regularly read and loved their selection.  I also loved the fact that I saved $25 on my first purchase just for being a new member and $25 more from a Christmas deal they were having.  After a few hours of deliberation I narrowed it down to two cards.  I couldn't pick a favorite out of the two, so I decided to order both. 

This black and white went to our family members and close family friends.  They are note cards with envelopes so I was able to stick a few family photos from the wedding in each as well. 

This colorful postcard went out to all our friends. I was so pleased with how these turned out that I think I may just have to do Christmas cards again next year.  Have you ordered yours yet?  It's not too late!

Get your $25 towards by signing up here.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Recipe: Mexican Cebollas Curidas

As the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, I've become more and more in denial that winter is approaching.  I've been craving the warmth in the air and the light fresh fare of summertime.

 I've especially been craving some of the foods we enjoyed on our honeymoon to Mexico in September. One of my favorite Mexican condiments is cebollas curidas, or pickled onions.

I could put them on anything, especially tacos. 

our fish tacos earlier this week

I searched around for some recipes online and took bits and pieces from each to come up with this recipe: 

  • 1 beet (trimmed peeled and coarsely grated)
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 lb red onion (peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 2/3 cup grapefruit juice
  • salt 
  • 1 jalapeno or habanero roughly chopped (optional)

 1. Put beets in medium saucepan and add garlic, bay leaves, jalapeno (or habanero), vinegar and 4 cups water.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Put onions in a medium bowl. Strain hot beet cooking liquid over onions and set aside to rest until onions soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
4. Drain onions and return to bowl. Add sour orange juice (or lime juice, lime zest and grapefruit juice) and salt to taste and toss well.
5. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours before serving.

These will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.

They are so good, you've got to try them!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wedding Recap: What I Wore

I've had difficulty deciding what I'd share with you first about our wedding, but I guess it makes the most sense to start at the very beginning with what I wore.  My search for a wedding dress was not an easy task.  I was one of those girls who knew exactly what I wanted, which actually  made it even more difficult on me.  About 100 dresses later I finally found it- well the main part of it.  

I had my heart set on a lace dress with cap sleeves and a keyhole back, but could not find one that was flattering on me.  So, we found a strapless dress that I loved, ordered extra lace, and had a jacket made to give it the effect of what I wanted.  

Dress: Allure

I really wanted a special hanger for wedding dress pictures, but really didn't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money for a customized hanger I'd only use once.  I got this one from Etsy for $5.00, and I'll be able to pass it down or lend it to friends in the future.

 As for my shoes, I wore ones that I already had. I thought about splurging for some really expensive or crazy colored shoes, but I'm so glad I wore ones that I had already.  They were broken in and saved me a lot of money.  While they were originally quite expensive, I found them 85% off at the end of the summer the week we got engaged.

For my getaway dress, I chose this white scalloped peplum dress from Urban Outfitters.  It was very bridal looking, but casual enough to wear on the honeymoon, too.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wedding Pictures Are In!

The time has finally come!  My wedding pictures are in!  I'm planning on sharing them with you gradually so I can focus on different aspects of our wedding day, but I'm so pleased with the ones I've gotten so far that I wanted to share! 

Beautiful Bridesmaids

First Look


Sister In Law

First Look with Dad


Thank you Courtney Dox Photography for such amazing pictures!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Swamp Rabbit Saturday

This weekend was the second weekend Mr. T and I have had free since we got married.  The past two months have been filled with football games, family gatherings, and who knows what else.  It was so nice to have a weekend to spend with each other and do exactly what we wanted to to.  Saturday morning we woke up early and headed downtown to pick up bikes that we rented through Reedy Rides.  We have done this once before and loved it.  See my post about that day here.  This time we decided to go a little further, and go all the way to Traveler's Rest. 

The Swamp Rabbit Trail  is 14.5 mile former rail line that has been paved for walking, running, and biking. It connects the quaint town of Traveler's Rest to downtown Greenville.  It's about 10 miles from downtown Greenville to TR, and it took us about an hour and a half to get there.  We arrived around lunch time and saw several great places to eat along the way.  After some Googling of good places to go, Siri led us to the Barker Bar.  

 The Barker Bar is a dog friendly pub on Main Street.  They used to only be open in the evenings, but just started opening at noon on Saturdays.  They have great microbrews on draught and in the bottle and offer a small lunch menu.  I'm not kidding here, it's really small.  There's actually not even a menu.  We got BBQ sandwiches with slaw and baked beans.  And I'm pretty sure that's your only option.  BUT, I think they've got something great going on here.  The food was amazing!  So amazing I forgot to take a picture. They have a porch out back complete with hooks for dog leashes and a large pen outside where you can let your dogs play with others.  At night they have bands and you can bring your own food in from other restaurants. We were the only patrons in the restaurant, but I'm hoping this is something that catches on soon.  I think once all the people that use the Swamp Rabbit Trail hear about this place, there will be a line out of the door.

After our yummy lunch and stroll around downtown TR, we hopped back on our bikes and rode the 10 miles back to Greenville.  My legs were Jell-O by the time we finished our trip, but it was so worth it.  

Thanks again Reedy Rides!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Shopping Coup

Coup [koo]
 noun, plural coups [kooz; Fr. koo] 
1. a highly successful, unexpected stroke, act, or move; a clever action or accomplishment.

This word seems very underused, but has so many applications. In my family we refer to a great shopping experience as a shopping coup.  I'm not talking about saving an extra 20% or anything here.  I'm talking about one of those experiences where you almost feel guilty for paying such a low price.  Where the store may or may not be losing money on the deal.  These expreriences don't happen often, but when they do you feel great about yourself and your new purchase.  

I felt so good about my latest coup that I felt the need to share!  I scooped up these Loeffler Randal sandals for a mere $35 this afternoon, 90% off of their original MSRP.  Now that's a coup. 

Whaddya think?

Here are a few other styles that I loved. 

Esther Hidden Platform Pump in Bottle Green $450 $135

Lidia Side Zip Knee High Boot in Cognac $525 $263

Willow Flat in Natural/Snake $275 $96

I'm already ready for the weather to get warm again so I can break them out!  Who knows,  with this South Carolina weather it may be warm enough to wear them next week.  Check out other great deals from Loeffler Randall on MyHabit's website here

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Weekend in the Mountains

Last weekend Mr. T and I went to the mountains of North Carolina to celebrate my brother in law's birthday.  It was the perfect weekend to be up there.  The air was crisp and cool and the leaves were just starting to change.  Friday night was pretty laid back, the boys made chili and we sat around and talked.  We got up on Saturday morning and went for a hike to Beacon Ridge.  

Later that afternoon we went to Sugar Mountain for their annual Oktoberfest celebration.  I must say, this is the closest I've felt to Germany since I was there several years ago.  Spaten on draft, bratwurst, big soft pretzels, and people walking around in lederhosen- yes people really wear that stuff over there.  

The birthday boy Ian, Casey, and Mr. T

My sister April and me

Later that night we made our way to downtown Boone, and stopped into Boone Saloon for drinks before dinner. 

 We enjoyed two or maybe three pitchers of our favorite beer, Bell's Two Hearted Ale, and headed to dinner.  The next day T and I explored a little bit and found some beautiful spots around the mountain house.  

What a great way to welcome fall! 
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