Friday, April 26, 2013

friday five.

1. I bought a big bottle of Hendrick's Gin at duty free on the way back from Mexico and I can't wait to use it in some cocktails! I've got a big rosemary plant in my front yard, too.
2. This BaubleBar necklace is sadly sold out, but the site has plenty of other affordable jewels to choose from. The problem is whittling down your wish list. 
3. I'm obsessed with cacti lately. Every time I go to Lowes I want to buy another because they're so cute and cheap.
4. Berry season.
5. This bedroom is a little more formal than my usual style, but it really appeals to me.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ode to hampton park.

I've written about my love of Hampton Park before, but I really can't say enough about one of my favorite places in Charleston. Now that it's a block from my house, I stroll over with the pup several times a week. It's the perfect way to end a long day.

A lot of people don't know about the park — even people who grew up here — so it feels a bit like a hidden gem. That said, more and more people seem to be discovering its charms, and it's so nice to see the grounds full of runners, picnic-ers, cyclists, and people walking their dogs.

I rarely see them at work, but the park's volunteers do an amazing job with the gardens — they always seem to be in bloom. In the early spring, the azaleas and camellias flood the park with vibrant pinks and reds. Later in the summer, the hydrangeas explode with bright blue and purple blooms (I'm always tempted to steal a few stems!), and the magnolias fill the park with their fragrance. Right now the roses are peaking — stop by soon and take a sniff, and maybe scramble up a sprawling live oak while you're at it.

photos taken with my iPhone.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

mexico withdrawal.

It's been more than a week since we returned from Mexico, but I still wake up expecting to see the sun rising over the ocean outside my window. That's how I started every day, uncharacteristically waking up at 6 a.m. to slide open the balcony doors and let the salty breeze in, then calling room service for a big breakfast to be delivered to our room. We drank Mexican coffee and ate pastries in fluffy robes. I've never been so spoiled in my life.

We stayed at an all-inclusive resort just outside of the fishing village of Puerto Morelos. I researched resorts obsessively before buying the tickets. My criteria: Oceanfront, infinity pools, multiple dining options, swim-up bar, good reviews. The Now Jade Resort delivered on most fronts, though the food was sometimes lacking.

We rented a car, which I'd highly recommend. It cost $60 for the week, less than the price most shuttles will charge just to take you to your hotel. This allowed us to go where we wanted when we wanted. No waiting on cabs, no packing into tour buses with a bunch of drunk Canadians. The roads were clearly marked, and we felt very safe, even when we drove down a dirt road to a remote spa in the jungle.

Highlights of the trip: Massages at said spa, exploring the ruins at Tulum, fish tacos and margaritas on the beach in Puerto Morelos, bargaining for beautiful Mexican blankets at the market, and paddling around the stunning Siete Bocas cenote on the Cenote Trail. Although it was great just hanging out by the pool, I'm so glad we left the resort and got to know the Riviera Maya.

If you're planning a trip to Mexico and you have questions, please feel free to ask!

Mayan ruins at Tulum

More Tulum

 These monstrous lizards were everywhere!

I ate a lot of fish and shrimp tacos. A lot.

Deep thoughts with Todd: Beach or pool? Rum runner or mojito?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

spring break.


I don't think I've ever deserved a vacation more than I do this one. March was brutal, complete with endless special issues at the paper, demanding freelance projects, and a sinus infection to boot. I may only be going to Mexico for five days, but I'm going to milk it for all it's worth. And by that I mean hanging in a hammock over an infinity pool sipping mojitos until I turn into a raisin. I'm also secretly happy that the resort doesn't have Wi-Fi so Todd and I will be forced to unplug for the first time in a long, long time.

What are your spring break must-haves? I'm making sure to pack plenty of magazines, serious sunblock, and the kind of glam poolside attire I probably couldn't get away with on little Sullivan's Island.