What’s it all about?

Told in two parts, The Marsh and The Swamp, this novel follows the story of Catherine Danielle Clark, nicknamed Kya. At just six years old (in 1952), she sees her mother abandon her and her family. Hopelessly, she waits for her mother to return, but realizes she’s never coming back. One by one, she also sees her older siblings, Missy, Murph, Mandy and Jodie all leave home too because of their father’s drinking and physical abuse.

“If anyone would understand loneliness, the moon would.”

Being the only child left at home, her father briefly gives up drinking and instead turns his attention to bonding with his youngest daughter. He teaches her how to fish and gives her a collection of shells and feathers. Whilst she cannot read or write, she can paint and she enjoys painting the landscapes, birds and coastlines immensely.

“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”

One day, she stumbles upon a letter in their mailbox written by her mother. She leaves it on the table for her father to find but when he reads it he is infuriated and burns it immediately. While the fire is going, he also burns her clothes and canvases too. Her father quickly spirals back into alcoholism and also takes long trips out for gambling. One evening, he fails to return home at all, leaving her completely alone and isolated on the marsh. Kya has to learn self-resilience quickly in order to survive on her own. She learns gardening and trading in fresh mussels and smoked fish for money for gas from Jumpin’. Jumpin’, who runs the local gasoline station and ‘five and dime store’, quickly befriends Kya, with Mabel helping to collect clothing donations for her.

Kya faced many prejudices from the people of Barkley Cove throughout her early life. Calling her the ‘Marsh Girl,’ she was laughed at by schoolchildren, called nasty and filthy by the pastor’s wife. The one person who does become friendly with her is Tate Walker. As an old friend of Jodie, he is arguably one of the few nicest people to her. When she gets lost one day, it is Tate who leads her home in his boat.

Time progresses and he starts to leave her feathers from rare birds because he knows she will like them and teacher her how to read and write. The intimacy between the two increases and they have a relationship until Tate leaves for college. He promises to return, yet realises Kya cannot possibly live in this more civilized world because of her wildness and independence. He leaves without saying goodbye, leaving Kya // and //.

Part Two begins with Kya in 1965 when she is 19. Chase Andrews (their star quarterback and playboy) invited her to a picnic where he tries to have sex with her. He later apologizes and the two embark on a relationship together. He takes her to the abandoned fire tower and she gives him a gift of a shell necklace. She doesn’t trust him entirely, although she wants to, but she has doubts. However, she believes that he will marry her so the two consummate their relationship. Unfortunately, whilst shopping for groceries she stumbles across a newspaper where she sees that he is already engaged to another woman. She ends the relationship, leaving her a tarnished woman.

“Female fireflies draw in strange males with dishonest signals and eat them; mantis females devour their own mates. Female insects, Kya thought, know how to deal with their lovers.”

Meanwhile, Tate returns from college having since graduated and apologizes relentless for leaving her. He confesses his love for her but Kya, still hurting from his actions and her previous revelation, rejects him. What she does do, however, is allowed him inside her shack and he is impressed by her collected, now much expanded, of seashells.

He persuades her to publish a reference book on seashells. At the age of 22, she achieves this and publishes her own book on seashells and then in seabirds. Following the success of this and the royalties she hires someone to install running water, a water heater, tub, sink, flushing toilets and kitchen cabinets. She also orders soft furnishings to make her place more homely.

Jodie also returns expressing regret that he too, left her. He also tells her that their mother suffered from mental illness and died two years ago from leukemia.

“Go as far as you can—way out yonder where the crawdads sing.”

Chase also makes an appearance but ends up as an argument where Kya is attacked. He beats her and attempts to rape her. Kya manages to defend herself and manages to escape. Two men witness the attack too… Kya knows that reporting will be futile because everyone will naturally blame her. She decides to leave it.

Kya has the opportunity to meet her publisher in Greenville and gracefully accepts. Whilst she’s away, Chase is found dead beneath the fire tower. The sheriff, Ed Jackson, believes it to be a murder on the basis of having no tracks or fingerprints. To make matters more complicated, the statements he receives are all conflicting too. One thing he does learn is that the shell necklace he was wearing the night before was no longer on his body. Evidence does seem to pin Kya there but is it to be believed?

There’s a trial. There’s a verdict. Lives continue to be lived. By the end of the novel, Kya is with Tate in a loving relationship knowing that they were the ones for each other. Kya passes away at 64 in her boat leaving behind a wealth of secrets and stories.

“Some parts of us will always be what we were, what we had to be to survive…”


I loved this book so, so much. Although it did have a slower start, I was drawn in with the story line from the very beginning. This is a book I’ll be recommending to friends and family as well. It absolutely deserves the accolades it received and is a stunning read.



Hi y’all and welcome back to Alex in Asheville! It’s been a while since you’ve been a while since you’ve seen me on the blog, but I haven’t gone anywhere!

Without further ado, let me introduce to you my favorite thing ever – Scentsy! Are you looking at a loss as to what to get those hard to shop for people in your life? Look no further! I have you covered! Scentsy is your answer!


Scentsy is a direct selling company and international leader in home and personal fragrance, offering stylish, innovative and customizable products designed to Warm the Heart, Enliven the Senses and Inspire the Soul. Scentsy products are sold by a network of Scentsy Consultants in 11 countries.


The Scentsy Diffuser instantly fills the air with world-class fragrant all-natural and essential Scentsy Oils, while Scentsy’s flagship product line of scented, wax Scentsy Bars heated in handcrafted warmers provides a safe, personal alternative to traditional candles. Additional product lines include on-the-go fragrances, laundry care, inventive cleaning solutions and luxurious personal care products for women, men and kids — all featuring exclusive Scentsy fragrance.


A wickless candle is a highly fragrant wax bar that is warmed to release fragrance into the air. Because the wax is gently warmed rather than burned, it can hold more fragrance oil than a traditional candle. And because there is no flame, there is no smoke or soot. Scentsy wickless candles — Scentsy Bars — are a safer alternative to traditional candles.


To place an order or host a party, contact your Scentsy Consultant. If you don’t have a Consultant, click the “Find a Consultant” link at the top of the page to locate one near you! The best way to shop Scentsy products is by hosting a party. Your Consultant brings fragrance testers, display products and everything else you need. You just invite your friends over to experience Scentsy and have some fun! The best part? As the Host, you can earn Host Rewards — free and half-price products — for the sales placed at your party.

Scentsy has so much more than wax warmers and melts, which are all amazing, btw. There are essential oils and diffusers, Scentsy Go & Pods, a Scentsy Body line, Scentsy Buddies, Scentsy Clean and Scentsy Laundry. These gifts make the BEST hostess gifts, teacher gifts or a just-because for yourself! Check out my website below and see for yourself! Also, you get the option to shop from your couch and to beat the mall crowds. It’s a win-win for me!




YES, you’ve might’ve guessed correctly by the title! I am stepping out in faith to be more proactive in marketing myself in the photography world. A camera has been close to my hip since I can remember. I was on my middle school yearbook squad and LOVED every second of it! Since then, my camera has been attached to my hip on vacations, sorority functions and random outings with family shooting those “ordinary” moments.

With that being said, I have booked my first mini photo shoot for this Fall and I am ecstatic, excited and a bundle of nerves.

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

Elliott Erwitt

If you would like to follow along with me on this journey, please check out my website here and subscribe by entering your email on the right hand side of the homepage. It would really mean a lot! My website is still a work in progress, but it is still a step in the right direction!

If you are consider yourself an “amateur” or professional photographer, please feel free to reach out and send me any links, tips or tricks that have helped you along the way. I would LOVE to hear about what has helped you tick and help your business flourish. If you are also in the greater CLT area, I would also love to hear from you! Let’s get together and shoot!





I vividly remember the day I met Lauren my freshman year at UofSC. I was this shy and quiet honestly, overwhelmed, freshman and Lauren, so kindly, reached out to see if I needed a date for the Halloween function that fall semester. From that initial meeting, I knew how important this girl would mean to me. Over the next few years together in college, she was the calm, easy-going and patient friend I knew would stick with me in the good, bad, // or ugly. She was an listening ear, steady presence and a trustworthy person who I could talk about anything with.

During college, Lauren was my go-to Toy Story fanatic, fellow Honey Boo-Boo watcher, hockey enthusiast and Gamecock football cheerleader. She was openly willing to house me for two weeks during sorority recruitment before my dorm had opened up for the semester my sophomore year. We’ve explored Emerald Isle together, been through sorority recruitment as Pi Chi’s (+ countless functions) and many other adventures along the way.

Lauren stood by my side as a bridesmaid in my wedding and we’ll be in switching places in a few short months! Through navigating adult-life living many, many miles away, I am SO excited to have both recently landed in Charlotte, NC together!


Thank you for who you are as a person, friend, sorority sister and confidant. Your steadfastness over the past decade (wow!) have been nothing short of a blessing. I am grateful for your presence in my life and for being such a reliable, trustworthy and calming personality. I am so excited to finally be living in the same city again and for the many memories we will make in CLT. Get ready for many double-dates and lots of exploring our new town together! You mean the world to me!

P.S. – I can’t wait to officially celebrate with you and Alex in September!




Is there anything more stressful than moving, other than maybe wedding day? I feel like a pros at the whole (not so fun) process by now, so I thought we’d share some tried and true moving tips that will save you valuable time and money. We could all use more of both, right?!


Before you start haphazardly start throwing items in boxes at the eleventh hour, let’s think things through. Ideally, it’s a good idea to start planning your move a few weeks ahead of time. These tips will help you navigate the planning phase like a boss:

  • Purge Before You Pack – We don’t know who needs to hear this, but you know that pair of pleather pants you’ve been holding onto since middle school? Yeah, you’re never going to wear those again. So, before you start packing up all your belongings, take inventory, and be honest with yourself. Many movers charge by the pound, so it pays to purge what you’re not using. Make a sell pile and donate pile, then you know what to do!
  • Schedule Your Move for a Weekday – If your schedule is flexible, move on a weekday. It’s much cheaper to rent a truck on a Tuesday or Wednesday. And the sooner you book, the better the rate. Don’t forget to check online for promo codes or coupons! 
  • Create a Moving Master Doc – Avoid moving-day mishaps by planning ahead. Start a quick spreadsheet in Google and document all the essential details of your move. Jot down important reminders, contacts for utilities, etc. When things get stressful, it’s easy to let minor details slip.  
  • Look for Free Boxes – Boxes can be pretty dang expensive to buy, so go treasure hunting. Check Nextdoor, Craigslist, or the Facebook Marketplace for freebies! You can also find boxes behind shopping centers and grocery stores. I was lucky enough to get fry boxes from work, which was such a blessing!

Pro Tip: If you can’t find enough free boxes, buy them from Uhaul! After your move, take the boxes and receipt to them, and they will buy them back.


Alright, now that the planning is behind you, it’s time for the hard part: packing! But don’t worry; you’ve got this! These tips and tricks will help make packing less of a pain:

  • Organize Your Supplies –  “Honey, where’s the tape?” are four of the most dreaded words for anyone who’s eyeballs deep in a box fort. Save yourself some frustration (and avoid a few arguments) by keeping all your moving supplies in one spot. Grab some tape, markers, scissors, and tools, and put them in a handy bin that can travel with you from room to room. 
  • Skip the Bubble Wrap – You don’t need to shell out money for bubble wrap! Use what you’ve got to wrap dishes and other fragile items. You already have to pack towels, linens, and clothes, so why not use them to safeguard your stuff?! Papers work well, too!
  • Label Your Boxes Well – Do not — we repeat — do not skip this step! Labeling boxes may take a little effort and planning, but it pays off big-time. On each box, note where it should go and list out the main contents. You will be SO glad you did! And you’ll save yourself from having to waste money buying items you can’t find after the move. 
  • Pack an “Open Me First Box” – Think through all the things you’ll need on night one in your new home, and throw them a box that will go on the moving truck last. Be sure to include toilet paper, soap, trash bags, paper towels, bath towels, a shower curtain, paper plates, cups, and utensils.

Now you’re ready for the big day! Will it be exhausting? Yes. But does it have to be stressful and expensive? Nope! We’ve got even more tips to survive moving day and live to tell the tale. 


It’s time for the moment you’ve been waiting for: moving day is here! Have a filling breakfast, lace up your sneakers, and let’s get moving. These tips will help you minimize moving day mishaps:

  • Pack one Suitcase Per Family Member – Don’t forget phone chargers, toothbrushes, and PJs! Pack whatever you need to survive for the first week or so when you’ll likely still be digging out of boxes. Don’t forget some entertainment for the kiddos! Check out my video and see how I lived out of one suitcase for two weeks during my most recent move!
  • Make Labels for the New House – Grab some poster board and make a sign for each new room of your house. Make sure those signs match the labels on your boxes. (Ex: Living Room, Bedroom #2, etc.) Tape the signs up outside each room before you start unloading. It makes things go so much more smoothly!
  • Try this Bed Linens Hack – The morning of the big move, take the sheets off your bed, fold them up, and place them in a dresser drawer. Put your pillows in a drawer, too. Then, either wrap your dresser in heavy-duty plastic or use a little tape to keep those drawers shut. When you get ready for bed, your sheets will be right where you need them!
  • Make-Ahead Meals & Snacks – Moving works up an appetite, so make sure you have plenty of snacks at the ready! Try one of these no-cook dinners for your first night in your new home. Or, pull a freezer meal out so it’s ready to cook with ease. 

Pro Tip: If you’re having friends help you move (which is another great way to save money), it’s nice to order a few pizzas and have plenty of drinks for everyone. Check out Little Ceasar’s. It’s our go-to pizza place for feeding a crowd affordably.


I hope these tips take some of the stress out of your next move. If you follow this advice, you will stay organized, feel more prepared and complete your move without breaking the bank. 

You probably have a few tricks up your sleeve, too. So, spill the deets! Leave a comment below and share your best moving tip, trick, or hack.

I also want to give a big shout-out to my parents and in-laws for helping us ensure a seamless moving process! WE SERIOUSLY COULD NOT HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU GUYS!




In the Lowcountry of South Carolina nestled between Hilton Head and Charleston is Edisto Island. Time has virtually stood still on this small, barrier island. You won’t find any high-rises or hotels. The island has a handful of restaurants, a few beach shops, a single grocery store, one seafood market and one farm stand. The only big brand name on the island is Wyndham, which runs time-share condominiums and a golf course.

The two-lane, Route 174 is the only way on and off the island. Traffic lights don’t exist and golf carts are allowed on the main road. Bike lanes abound. The drive along the main road is flanked by acres of marshland with tall grass growing and the occasional egrets hidden in the grass. Massive live oak trees adorned by Spanish moss line the roads creating a welcoming canopy of branches overhead.

You will find is a quiet island with a fabulous beach, stretching from the ocean to around the horn to the sound. It’s a place where the popular mode of transportation is not a car, but a golf cart or bicycle. Kids can roam around unaccompanied on their bikes, go for ice cream or just walk around without worry. We have been coming to Edisto for the past six+ years (other than the exception of HHI) and have loved every second of it.



Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, SeaCow Eatery is exactly the sort of relaxed restaurant that you want for your beach vacation. No matter what time of the day you come, you’ll leave full of simple, fresh, and delicious diner food, with plenty of seafood ready for your enjoyment. You’ll find the widest variety of seafood at dinner, when the choices range from fresh, Edisto-caught shrimp that you get to peel yourself to Mahi Mahi, flounder and crab cakes. Don’t forget to save room for dessert, the pies, brownies, cookies, and cheesecakes are all baked on-site from time-tested recipes.


McConkey’s Jungle Shack has all the basics down, burgers, hot dogs, fried seafood, and so on, but their menu also offers some exciting other options if you’re looking for something a little different. The Mexican section of their menu is a sure bet, especially with their fish tacos, a favorite around town. However, you won’t just be coming to McConkey’s for the food. They also have a great beer menu, which includes both a number of ubiquitous brews (Bud Light for the novice, Sierra Nevada or Harpoon IPA for the seasoned beer drinker) and a featured brewery, usually one nearby, with an ever-changing menu of drinks.


Briny Swine is a fabulous mix of smokehouse genius and chilly oyster bar delights! A perfect mash up of traditional Lowcountry culinary arts! Enjoy an amazing view and great food!


E&O Taco is one of Edisto’s two Mexican Restaurants. Located inside Wyndham next to Ella & Ollie’, E&O Taco is open for lunch only until 4pm. Serving tacos, chime changes and fresh margaritas, you can finally get your Mexican fix on Edisto!

“There is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it is sent away.”




Beach days are 90% of the reason why we love Edisto. The shoreline at Edisto is never busy and there are shells that abound. EB is a quiet stretch of beach that hosts families with kids, older couples and everything in-between.

If you are unsure of what all to pack in your beach bag, check out my “Beach Day Essentials” post for some of my favorites that are always a must!


The Botany Bay Plantation is a wildlife and heritage preserve located right outside of Edisto Beach, on the Island. Although most of the original plantation structures are long-gone, it is definitely worth a visit. Originally the area was used for farming and cotton growing; it is now a wildlife sanctuary with a 6-mile, self-guided tour.  

Upon entering the preserve, you drive under massive live oaks, arching over the road. At the first parking lot, you stopped at a small stand with information about the area and a driving guide that we took along with us for the journey. The guide is numbered with descriptions and history of what you will see at each location. The entire drive takes only 15-20 minutes. The pleasant drive provides plenty to see, including the massive live oaks, plenty of birds, and some of the original plantation structures.


For as long as the island has been around has been bingo (only kidding, but it feels like it). Bingo is at the Edisto Beach Lions Club every Thursday during the summer and doors open 5:30 p.m. with games beginning promptly at 6:00 p.m. Make sure to go early to reserve your space, because people will


For those of you who know, you know. You could spend a week in the Holy City alone, but my mom spent a morning and afternoon in Charleston.

*Check out my Travel Guide to Charleston blog for some of my recommendations on my favorite things to in Chucktown.


Y’all… The Farmer’s Market is probably one of my top three things to do on the island. The Farmer’s Market is every Wednesday morning + afternoon from 9am-3pm. They have lots of local vendors who sell a variety of different goods; from amazing pork rinds, to sweet water grass baskets, paintings and even yard art.


We stumbled upon this Market on our way to Edisto Beach. They are located on the main street that takes you into Edisto, and they have signs in front that you can’t miss. What really made us stop was their sign about Key Lime Pie.

This small market is well stocked with all different dry staple items: jars of pickled vegetables; jars of jelly, jam and honey; jars of chow chow; different kinds of grits; cornbread mix; several varieties of specialty bagged rice, and many more dry staple and jarred foods.

There is also a great selection of fresh, refrigerated and frozen foods: flowers; herbs; produce; fruits; local beef; eggs; dips and spreads; soups; salads; sandwiches; casseroles/meals; baked goods; desserts; ice cream; etc.

They also sell merchandise, like baskets, postcards, t-shirts, and other small items.

This is a great stop to stock if you are staying at one of the rentals on the island and then stop on your way back home to take their amazing products with you…you will crave them!

ADDRESS: 2559 SC-174, Edisto Island, SC 29438

Sorry again for being in MIA here lately! I was at Edisto for a week and then moved to Charlotte, NC with my husband all within two weeks!

For those of you who vacation at Edisto or around the area, what are some of the top things on your vacation?




Just when Asheville was feeling like our long-term home and I was feeling like a “local,” the Lord had bigger plans for the Bridges bunch! With that being said,

Asheville has seen 90% of mine and Chandler’s marriage, including our first anniversary. We moved here just four months after we got married and have not looked back!

In Asheville, we adopted our kitten, Belmont!
In Asheville, I bought a new car and is where we “survived” a global pandemic.

In Asheville is where I grew individually, spiritually and mentally, but also felt closer to Chandler in ways unexplainable.
In Asheville, I accomplished things my younger self would’ve never thought possible.

After all, Asheville is where I put myself out there and started this blog. P.S. – Thank you all for following along with my many ramblings along the way!

Asheville has seen a lot growth, challenge and change for us both – individually and as a couple. It has brought me lifetime friends and a lifetime of precious memories. I wouldn’t have traded this time for the world and selfishly wish it would’ve lasted a little longer!

Our time in Asheville was short, but oh so sweet!

With that being said, I have learned through this move that sometimes less is more. A home, as I stare at some of these empty rooms and walls, is made of the people inside. I am so grateful for my little crew and the life we created here, but more excited for the next chapter.


As sad as I am to be leaving Asheville, home is wherever I am with you. You are the best start to my morning and the greatest end to each day. Asheville has been such an amazing ride and you are to thank for that. We’ve made countless memories here and as hard as it is to be thinking about another city, the Lord knows what He’s doing. Thank you for being a great provider for our little family!

Home sweet, you and me
Ain’t got much, but we got all we need
Wherever the wind blows, wherever this life goes
Baby, all I know, ain’t nothin’ like, nothin’ like
Home sweet
You and me


Thank you to all of our family and friends who are willing and able to help us make the move from Asheville and Charlotte. I couldn’t have imagined doing it without you guys and we are so grateful for your willingness to be the hands and feet, quite literally, to move lots and lots boxes. Y’all are life savers! THANK YOU!

Choosing to say goodbye to this little life we’ve built wasn’t an easy decision to make, but we’re excited for this next season and all of the adventures it’ll bring! The memories are long, the happiness we shared here was endless and the //. Here’s to the next chapter, bittersweet as it might be!

If you are ever in need of any recommendations to do in the Asheville or Hendersonville area, please feel free to reach out! I would love to share some of favorite places around town!

We are loosely familiar with the greater Charlotte area, but we’d love to hear from y’all about favorite coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, etc! Drop your recommendations below!




This pie recipe is made with only six ingredients, including sweetened condensed milk to to make a smooth and creamy filling. Bake in a homemade graham cracker crust to create this easy key lime pie that is zesty + delicious!

You can’t go wrong with homemade pie! This classic pie is a refreshing dessert to make for friends and family, especially if you have a husband like mine who LOVES anything Key Lime! This classic pie is a refreshing dessert to make for friends and family. It’s made with only six ingredients and no eggs.

Fresh lime juice is the key to the best pie. Yes, it requires a little extra work, but fresh lime juice creates the best flavor.


Key limes contain more concentrated aromatic juices, which gives the pie more flavor. They are also more yellow and smaller than regular limes.

Because key limes are small, this recipe calls for a lot of them. I use around 50 key limes to make 3/4 fresh squeezed juice. Use a citrus squeezer to make the process quick and easy. You can use regular limes in place of key limes but it won’t taste like an authentic key lime pie. Substitute the same amount juice for regular time juice.

The classic recipe includes a homemade graham cracker pie crust! The buttery sweetness and crunchy texture compliments the citrus filling perfectly. The pie crust only requires three ingredients (graham crackers, sugar and melted butter) with the remaining three ingredients for the pie filling (condensed milk, sour cream, limes).


  • This pie should be refrigerated. Keep it for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Cover loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Use a store-bought graham cracker pie crust to save time.
  • Try to use key limes for authentic color and flavor. Fresh limes are preferred but you can use store bought lime juice if needed.
  • This recipe does not use eggs. The recipe sets by baking and then chilling in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Do not skip the chilling.
  • Serve the pie with whipped cream or meringue.
  • Garnish with additional lime zest for more color and flavor.


  1. For the best flavor, juice your own key limes or buy a bottle of key lime juice from the store. It is usually located with the regular lime juice and lemon juice. The Nellie & Joe’s key lime juice brand is the one I like.
  • Keep it for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Cover loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

What are some of your favorite takes on key lime pie? Do you have any other favorite summer desserts? I’d love to hear from you!



I constantly have something on my mind, and I feel like I’m not always enjoying the fun moments or the now. This is because I’m always thinking about other things and distracting myself with everything that happens in life. I’m often guilty of rushing through everything, and many times, I feel like I am a very impatient person. I’m guilty of running through life too quickly and not stopping to really enjoy it.

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”


Life goes by so fast, and I’m sure many of you are wondering how it’s already 2021. Your children are growing up, you may be finishing college, you may be feeling older, and so on. Life just goes by so quickly, y’all! My parents always said to embrace the day as it comes, but I didn’t realize the impact of their saying until I hit my early twenties.

Because of that, I just want to make sure I get to experience more of this beautiful world that we live in. I want to start enjoying it instead of being preoccupied by the things that are holding me back. I often catch myself looking for something else or something better, but why?


Matthew 6

Are we constantly struggling because this moment is so present, so close and so commonplace? The present moment is so always here that we don’t notice it at all. The present moment is as familiar as faded wallpaper and as taken for granted as the ground beneath our feet.

Thoughts of yesterday can be full of excitement when we recall good events or our successes. Dreams of tomorrow contain the promise of future excitement when we look forward to only our future successes. By comparison, today is just so ordinary, so “just now.” Yet amazingly, the now is the miracle point in time where we exist and live. The now is where we move and have our very being. And still we get bored with the now.


In the quiet moments, I can be comfortable that I am where I’m supposed to be.
In the raw moments, I can be honest with myself and learn more about who I am currently and who I am becoming.
In the hard moments, I can know that things will be okay and to trust the process.
In the God moments, I can be reassured that He is on my side always.

We all know how hard, mundane or boring life can be sometimes, but my goal this year is to be present. To be more present in the present means to be thankful for the life I have now. I think it’s okay to dream about the future and to remember where the past has brought us, but to truly love the present is enjoy what season you’re in now.

ways to stay in the moment:


Minimalism forces you to live in the present. Removing items associated with past memories frees you and allows you to stop living in the past. Once the past no longer has power, you can begin to live in the moment. I consider myself a minimalist in that I feel like I am constantly going through my closets, cleaning out my phone of old pictures or contacts and clearing my head of empty //. I think that it is okay to //, but to de-clutter your space or your mind really goes a long way.


Soak in as much of today as you possibly can – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions, the triumph and the sorrow. These are in our daily lives but we often forget to take them in and truly appreciate them.


Keeping a gratitude journal slightly goes hand in hand with #2, but I love keeping a journal for that very reason. Often times, we go about our day and forget even the things that happened two hours ago. With that being said, keep a writing list of things you are grateful for. Be mindful of things that are both big and small, like a house over your head, a coffee on the way to work or a nice glass of wine at the end of the day.


If you just “survive” the workweek constantly waiting for the next weekend “to get here,” you are wasting 71% of your life (5/7 days.) There are two solutions: find a new job that you actually enjoy, or find something that you appreciate about your current career.


Dream big. Set goals and plans for the future. Working hard today is always the first step towards realizing your dreams tomorrow. Don’t allow dreaming about tomorrow to replace living in the moment. Dreaming about the future is only productive when combined with action taken today.


You can’t fully appreciate today if you worry too much about tomorrow. Realize that tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. Since worry has never accomplished anything for anybody, redirect your mental energy elsewhere.


Our world is changing so fast that most of yesterday’s solutions are no longer the right answers today. Don’t get locked into a “but that’s how we’ve always done it” mentality. Yesterday’s solutions are not today’s solutions and they are certainly not tomorrow’s solutions.


Taking pictures for me has always been a way to live in the moments. I am able to look back on the day [or week] and have a mental picture of the small things that made my day so wonderful. I know there is a fine line of constantly having your //, but take pictures before those memories fade.

What ways do you feel the most present? How do you find yourself grounded in the moment? I would love to hear from you in the comments!




A brief stop in Charleston for my brother-in-law’s graduation from the College was the ultimate 24-hour getaway weekend! Growing up in the upstate of SC, I remember always looking forward to our summer trips to CHS every year. Charleston is steeped (and I mean steeped) in deep, well-presevered history on every street corner! BTW, I am no expert on Charleston by any means, but I have created a comprehensive list for those of you who have never been or who are looking to try new things! There is no way you’ll be able to do all of these things in one weekend unless you are some magician, but please feel free to try and check as many off as possible!



The CODfather is the only place in town to get proper fish and chips. Our WORLD FAMOUS fish and chips are hand made the traditional British way. HUGE 8oz North Atlantic Cod fillets dipped in our own recipe wet batter and cooked until golden brown. Chippy chips hand are cut daily from only premium crop potatoes and cooked twice for perfection.


Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar is Charleston’s Best Waterfront Dining with a focus on local and sustainable produce and seafood. Housed in a 1940s retired naval building on the east side of the Charleston peninsula, Fleet Landing features a fusion of classic and contemporary Southern seafood fare in a setting that celebrates the area’s waterfront heritage.

Make reservations here.


Grace & Grit is a local family-run restaurant with a passion for local food and southern hospitality. At Grace & Grit, they offer a casual upscale dining experience inspired by our home here in the Lowcountry. Chef-driven, their restaurant features quality Southern and lowcountry-influenced cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, locally caught seafood and big flavors. Relax indoors among interior details that thoughtfully come together to pay tribute to their coastal home or outdoors on their dog-friendly patio, shaded by grand live oaks. Whether local or visiting from afar, Grace & Grit looks forward to welcoming you in for a taste of home!”



Hall’s is another Southern “fine dining” spot that is a downtown staple! It’s also a great brunch spot if you don’t want to splurge for dinner, but treat yourself for dinner. I, personally, would highly recommend the steak and hot pepper martini!

Make reservations here.


Mama Kim’s is located in the heart of downtown Charleston and is some of the best (and I mean best) hibachi in the country. Many locals and travelers alike know Mama Kim and she has the memory of a computer. She also has hundreds of pictures of passerby’s hung in her restaurant! (Chandler made the board his freshman year!)

Bill Murray also loves this place and she has a picture with the legend himself.


Post House is a coastal tavern and inn offering seasonal fare, classic cocktails, seven cozy hotel rooms and a bit of salty air. Situated in the heart of the Old Village, Mt Pleasant, Post House is a home away from home for staycationers and travelers alike as a charming respite from the day-to-day hustle. Take the weekend or the week and settle into Village Life. 

Built in 1896, 101 Pitt Street has a longstanding history as the neighborhood hub. Some hundred years and many iterations later, Post House now presents a contemporary take on the neighborhood landmark, still bringing people together, in celebration, over good food and with a few drinks in tow.

Between their menu and cocktails menu, you are in for a treat! The red curry was out of this world and the The Birds + the Bees cocktail was to die for.


Five Loaves cafe is a favorite lunch spot in Mount Pleasant – and there’s a location downtown, too! I love their sandwiches and soups, as well as their brunch, and they have so many gluten free options!


Nestled on the banks of historical Shem Creek sits Mount Pleasant Seafood, one of the oldest businesses in the Lowcountry. Locally owned and operated for more than 75 years, their fourth generation family business is known as the locals choice for fresh local seafood served with a side of southern hospitality.



The cafe, located at 159 Church Street, Bitty & Beau’s Coffee is more than just a place to grab a cup of coffee – it’s an experience. While the shop is run by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and the customers love the products, they really come in for the unique customer service experience.

From the minute you step into this coffee shop, you are treated like a queen (or king). You get the highest service and are always greeted with a smiling face!


If you aren’t in the South and have never had Jeni’s, you MUST! There is a shop on King Street that is breathtaking – and you literally can’t go wrong with any flavor! My favorites are the “Gooey Butter Cake” (it’s GF!) and “Brown Butter Almond Brittle!” Try as many as you can while you’re there!


Kaminsky’s entices visitors into its cozy atmosphere with a rotating selection of delectable desserts made in-house daily, in addition to heaping milkshakes, specialty coffees, and cold beverage creations. Delight in over-the-top varieties of classic childhood desserts, signature hot spirited specialties, dessert martinis and hot toddies. A full beer, wine, and liquor selection are also available.


Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer is locally owned, operated, and located in the heart of downtown Charleston, SC. Kudu’s focus is to offer their guests a high quality beverage experience here in their café or outside in our lovely courtyard. They roast their own specialty coffee on a Diedrich IR-12 at our roasting facility located at 708 King Street and offer a rotating list of single origin coffees as well as espresso.


Pounce Cat Cafe + Wine Bar is a place where you can hang out with furry felines, sip on your favorite beverage and snack on a delicious pastry.

They’ve also teamed up with Charleston Animal Society to provide our cats, so if at the end of your visit you’ve fallen in love with your new feline friend, you can take them home with you!

Book your visit here.



Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co. is a craft brewery, taproom, and restaurant located at 1505 King Street, Charleston, SC in the Pacific Box & Crate development. Their moto, “Quality first. The rest will follow” is 100% true.


Their is nothing better than sunshine and Spanish moss, mixed with salt air and sweet tea. At Firefly, they are all about good times with friends (two-legged and four). During the summer months, they have concerts and an // to park your // chairs.


The Gin Joint has been offering an expansive list of classics along side a rotating seasonal menu since 2010. Alongside their large spirit collection, they also have amazing a curated bar bites menu!

If you don’t know where to start, they suggest a “Bartender’s Choice.” Simply pick two adjectives that suit your fancy and they’ll craft something to satisfy your taste buds. How neat?!



The Holy City story is about a team of four guys dedicated to craft beer and their community, aiming to bring more of one to the other. If you have time in your schedule, I highly recommend HCB. It’s such a neat place to kick up your feet to enjoy your beer and enjoy your friend’s (or families) company.



Located at 188 Meeting Street, the market is an AMAZING central location that features dozens of local artists, shops and vendors who sell their products here each day! It is such a cool experience to walk through the market and see all of the products, and it’s bordered by a few of the restaurants + candy shops I’ve mentioned in this post (like 5 Church, Market Pavilion + a popular candy shop for pralines)!


This is the main strip of shopping + eating downtown Charleston! It’s where you will find the majority of the popular shops and eateries – and it’s also just a gorgeous street to walk up and down to take in the views! All of the high end and regular shops but some really cute boutiques as well and the prices were surprisingly good. I would have bought some cute shirts or a dress or jacket if I had more room in my bag, but I was traveling with just a carry on!



The Ravenel Bridge is the most iconic bridge in the Southeast, which spans over the Cooper River and connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. The bridge has a main span of 1,546 feet, making it the third longest among cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere.

The Cooper River Bridge run is also run over the Ravenel every year, which is always a really popular event every year!

࿏ THE BEACHES (duh…)

There are so many beach options surrounding Charleston, including beaches on Folly Beach, James Island, John’s Island, Sullivan’s and Isle of Palms! Personally, we love going to Isle of Palms most – but Folly Beach is a much more “tourist-friendly” and party vibe if that’s what you’re looking for!


Some of the classic “Notebook” movie was filmed here! Boone Hall is another beautiful and super popular plantation, and known as the #1 plantation to visit in Charleston, SC! The Spanish moss and lowcountry smells truly can’t be beat!

You can buy tickets here.


The Charleston Riverdogs are part of the Low-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. Grab a beer, a hot dog and enjoy a baseball game overlooking the pretty marshlands.
FUN FACT: The Riverdogs are also co-owned by Bill Murray. How neat?!

You can buy tickets here.


Rainbow Row is one of the most iconic spots in Charleston! This area is located at 83 E Bay Street and includes multiples blocks of gorgeous, colorful historic homes! I could photograph portraits here every single day and never get tired of it. It’s the perfect place to get all of the iconic Charleston pictures!


One of my family’s favorite plantations to visit – Magnolia is absolutely gorgeous! It is known for the gorgeous gardens and Spanish moss, and is the perfect spot to get lunch and walk around or do some tours of the property! You can also grab a picnic packet and find the perfect spot to plop down for some great company and great views.

You can buy tickets here.


The Ashley and Cooper Rivers come together at the seawall known as The Battery, popular with visitors because of the antebellum homes along the stroll. The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality + the perfect spot for some girls’ weekend photo memories and to rest your feet after all the shopping.

Charleston is the perfect weekend (or week, to be perfectly honest) getaway for a girlfriends get-together, family trip or bachelorette excursion. I actually went for my own bachelorette weekend in Aug. 2019. It’s so incredible easy to walk around and to see the history etched streets.

OTHER MISC. RECS: Butcher + Bee, Candlefish, Hottle Little Biscuit, Sugar Bakeshop, The Citadel, The College of Charleston

OTHER SIDE NOTE: If you are also looking for ways to donate to a good cause in the Charleston area, then check out my other blog post about Charleston Hope’s mission.

Are you a fan of Chucktown? What are some of your go-to’s while in town? Let’s chat about some of your favorites in the comments below!