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charleston

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Best. Tuesday. Ever.

Earlier this year, Dylan and I tied the knot on the most perfect Tuesday there ever was. We eloped in the Charleston courthouse, and spent the rest of the day enjoying this amazing city we are fortunate enough to call home. 

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The day truly felt like magic: we got a parking spot right out front on Broad, we were cheered on by throngs of elementary students who stumbled upon our photo session, we were gifted a bottle of champs by our friends at Chez Nous (and drank the whole thing on the spot), and temperatures rose to above 70. I am so PUMPED we had local photographer, Lizzy Ervin, with us to capture several of these memories (I also sprinkled in some personal photos, please don't confuse my iPhone pics with her perfect photography). 

our "first look" outside our home in Riverland Terrance before driving to the courthouse (photo by sister Tracy)

our "first look" outside our home in Riverland Terrance before driving to the courthouse (photo by sister Tracy)

celebratory champs at Chez Nous (photo by husband Dylan)

celebratory champs at Chez Nous (photo by husband Dylan)

oyster love from our last stop of the day at 167 raw

oyster love from our last stop of the day at 167 raw

We are crazy animal parents, so it was very important to both of us to celebrate with the babes immediately after our vows. They waited patiently in our car while we made things official, and afterwards we spent time walking around the French Quarter neighborhood as a very happy family. 

Love that there is still ice lingering on the church's roof from the Charleston snow day

Love that there is still ice lingering on the church's roof from the Charleston snow day

Dylan recently enherited this beautiful Jeep from his late grandfather. It made the perfect "getaway" car

Dylan recently enherited this beautiful Jeep from his late grandfather. It made the perfect "getaway" car

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The following weekend, our closest friends threw us an incredible dinner party and celebration. Dylan and I had NOTHING to do with any planning, we just showed up where and when we were told... and it was perfection.

too  much fun at the Gardner's

too  much fun at the Gardner's

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We started the night in a ridiculously fun party bus that took us to our friends' downtown home where we celebrated with champagne, "Dylan" & "Julia" cocktails, and the most beautiful wedding cake. We then made our way to Restaurant Tu and had an amazing meal in the Disco Room. We were blown away by all the thoughtful and special touches throughout the evening, we are truly lucky to have such generous friends. 

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LOVE these amazing women (and the selfie bathroom at Tu)

LOVE these amazing women (and the selfie bathroom at Tu)

Getting married and celebrating in this way was perfect for us. We were able to appreciate the love we have for each other, the home and family we have created here in Charleston. No distractions, just pure joy, love and appreciation. The icing on the cake is having mini celebrations every time we get together with family and friends we havent seen yet. The moral of the story: elope so you can celebrate all year round. 

and we live happily, messily, crazily, ever after 

and we live happily, messily, crazily, ever after 

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CHS Pop Up Shop at Candlefish

I'm so excited and grateful to have Candlefish hosting the first Charleston Hospitality Series Pop Up Shop! This new collection has been so much fun to begin and I hope to be working on Charleston food & bev staples for years to come. These first few pieces are all near and dear to my heart, and Candlefish is the perfect place to release them into the wild!

QSG is my favorite neighborhood spot. Not only do they serve up amazing crepes and sandwiches, but they also support local artists by displaying and selling their work.  This is one of the very first places to exhibit some of my pieces, and it is the home of my favorite smoothie.

As I have mentioned before, the restaurant culture here in Charleston truly inspires me. I believe it is an art form in its self and I wanted to celebrate this industry that helps make our gorgeous city so special and welcoming. Seriously talented people are serving up some truly delicious food and drinks and I am so appreciative of the special experiences they are creating.

167 Raw is crushing it right now. It's probably because they employ a very handsome staff in a town with a large female population... oh and their food is consistently amazing as well. 

My Charleston Hospitality Series will be released and available for purchase beginning with a kick-off pop up shop at Candlefish. I have made special edition prints of a few pieces and the original works will be available for purchase as well. I have even made special edition note card packages, perfect for any occasion! I hope you will join us for a complementary happy hour from 5-8pm on Friday, June 3rd.

Xiao Bao Biscuit makes The. Best. Asian. Food. EVER.  We've been known to dine here multiple times a week.  We also order one (or two) of everything on the menu. Every time. 

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Adulting

I have officially become a real adult and bought my first home.  The process was terrifying, exciting, and draining, but the end result is more that worth it.  

My own little slice of heaven in Riverland Terrace

Words are unable to express how amazing it feels to own my home. For the first time in my life I have some real roots and sense of permanence.  When I was growing up, I was always bopping between my parents homes, and then there were college dorms and shared apartments. I've had landlords and roommates, and never any control over the paint or nails on my walls.  I am now simultaneously free and grounded and it feels incredible.

My boyfriend and I feel like we have won the real estate lottery.  We own our dream home in our dream neighborhood and I keep waiting to wake up back in our old apartment.  We couldn't afford to buy on the Charleston peninsula, but Riverland Terrace is far from a compromise.  We can still walk and bike to some of our favorite spots, and downtown is merely two miles away.  

Our pet silhouettes fit perfectly into the new living room.

Our fur babies are especially pleased with the new yard. Our Carolina Dog, Tico, can now spend all of his time outside, and my lady, DaniGirl, is queen of the castle.  Even our kitten rescue, Monty, seems to really like the new digs. He enjoys surveying the yard from the safely of our screened in porch.

from left to right: Monty being curious about outside, Tico and his bestie having a mischievous backyard play-date, and the community garden that's around the corner :)

My sweet DaniGirl is right at home

Spring is the perfect time of year to settle into a new place.  I cant wait to start planting herbs and flowers, hopefully I don't find gardening too challenging.  Luckily I've teamed with the Horticultural Society this year so I should be able to get some great insider tips.  Plus Plantasia is just around the corner, so I'll have access to some amazing plants!

Now that we've settled in, I am back to business as usual.  I will be sharing more Charleston Hospitality progress, and stay tuned for the official pop-up show announcement!  

 

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Charleston Hospitality

Charleston is a food and beverage paradise, and dining here is a beautiful experience. This city is home to very talented chefs, bar tenders, bakers, coffee roasters, brewers, and more.  These professionals take their craft seriously, and I fully enjoy reaping the rewards of their labor :)  Whether you're going out for a fancy seafood dinner, or grabbing some casual drinks with friends, Charleston's service industry will treat you very well.  

Just a few CHS dining highlights.  Front left to right: The Belmont boys, Armando the mascot of Bin 152 and Chez Nous, and the perfect Okonomiyaki at XBB

The service industry is one I admire, respect and appreciate. During my childhood, my father owned and operated several restaurants and I learned first hand how much thought and effort goes into a customer's experience. I also come from a family of serious eaters and chefs.  My mother's side of the family is Argentinian, so I had the good fortune of growing up among delicious, traditional and homemade meals.  Food means family, friendship, tradition, comfort, and community. All of my best memories and experiences revolve around coming together to share a meal or raise a toast. This is a big reason why I feel Charleston is the perfect city for me to call home; it's restaurant industry is a labor of love and work of art.

The Farias girls making homemade empanadas from Aunt Lisa's delicious recipe

I grew up in Annapolis, MD where my father owned a few restaurants. This is a picture of "Annapolis First Light" by artist Richard Bollinger

I grew up in Annapolis, MD where my father owned a few restaurants. This is a picture of "Annapolis First Light" by artist Richard Bollinger

My new Charleston Hospitality series honors the outstanding job this city does of treating its community with exceptional service. I feel very fortunate to live here and I try to never take for granted the wonderful culinary experiences I am able to have on a regular basis. I wanted to create portraits of these impressive establishments where so many are able to gather, share a meal or drink, and make new memories together. My pieces are a way to bring these experiences home, and recall them over and over.

"The Belmont" 24x30 oil on canvas and "Xiao Bao Biscuit" 30x30 oil on canvas

I have finished the first few pieces in the series, and plan on doing many more.  I am truly connected to this series, and am so excited to share it.  I will be making prints and special edition note cards so that everyone can enjoy their favorite Charleston staples. Stay tuned for details on my Charleston Hospitality Pop-Up Show hosted by Candlefish this summer. Thank you to the men and women who keep me well fed and in good spirits, this one's for you!

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