College Girl’s 1st Apartment

I can’t think of anything more exciting as a young woman than to move into her first apartment.  This is her time to shine and finally get to express her own decorating personality without much of momma’s influence.

MacKenzie has thoroughly enjoyed her experience this year as she moved into an apartment with three other girls off of South Carolina’s campus this year.  I loved the already furnished set-up:  four bedrooms each with their own full bath and oversized closet, a common living room, laundry closet, kitchen and breakfast nook.  This kind of set-up allows each of the girls to decorate their own space to fit their personalities!

How cool is that?!

While working forty hours a week all summer, MacKenzie planned and saved to make her space entirely hers or at least as much as the rules for an apartment rental will allow.  I love her choices and thought I would give you a peak at my college girl’s budget friendly decorating skills.


On move-in day, MacKenzie put her Dad and I to work immediately with rearranging furniture.  She had a vision already in mind as she took notes while on her tour before signing the lease back in the spring.  Each bedroom contained a bed, nightstand, desk and 2 dressers that could be stacked if desired.  She wanted her dressers side-by-side in the closet for the duel purpose of clothing storage and a shoe rack.  The addition of wire shelving worked perfectly for storing jeans, blankets and towels.


Bedding was her largest purchased.  As an avid on-line shopper, MacKenzie scoured website after website and settled on this feminine set from JC Penney.  Gone are the neon colors of high school and onto something a little more mature, like pink and grey paisley.


Grey curtains were chosen as to coordinate with the spread and were purchased at Target.

For decorating, MacKenzie went with a lot of personal touches like framed pictures, including a college she put together on of those closest to her.


The rustic touches were found at Target.  She chose a motivational sign to go over her bed with coordinating storage to hang beside her desk to help keep her organized.


“Do What Makes You Oh-So Happy”


The cute little print beside the desk came from Steve McKenzie’s Lifestyle Store in Atlanta.


“I Love You a Bushel and a Peck and a Hug Around the Neck”

{You HAVE to visit sometime!  Steve McKenzie’s carries the most wonderful everything for your home!  And most of the items are from local/southern artists!}

Audley took care of hanging curtain rods and pictures, adding anchors where needed so keep heavy things from falling. We left her a picture hanging kit and a few necessary tools like screwdrivers and a hammer for when she is ready to add to her walls.

Getting all dressed up is an essential part of a young woman’s routine, so MacKenzie created her a little nook for getting ready each day.  Lights around a full-length mirror (propped up on a crate that’s been painted with chalk paint and waxed) add the perfect touch of whimsy.


Her cute little cart was her first ever flea market purchase after a visit to Scott’s Antique Market in Atlanta. Displaying her cosmetics and jewelry, this little cart was such a handy addition to the space.


We used decorative glass vases from Hobby Lobby to hold cosmetic essentials such as brushes, liners and mascaras, and plenty of lipstick.  Another painted crate (smaller than the one holding her mirror) holds her eye shadows, foundations and blushes, then slides inside the larger crate to keep an organized space.


When you have an artsy sister, decor for the bath and living room came easy.  Madeline painted a gorgeous Lily Pulitzer inspired canvas to brighten MacKenzie’s bath, which was also decorated in pink (towels & accessories) and grey (shower curtain & rugs).


Madeline then painted a monogram piece for each of the roomies to hang in the living room.


I loved watching MacKenzie reveal her own decorating style in her space.


These sisters really do love each other!

If she can organize and pull together a small space so nicely I can’t wait to see what she can do with a larger space!


Snowpocalypse 2014

We don’t see much snow at all in the south. And one thing I have learned in the two years we have lived in South Carolina, we don’t really get snow at all.
Until the last two weeks when our kids were out of school for two days for a dusting.
From 2 weeks ago.  Yes, that’s sled in our front yard…. a teenager can hope.

When I refer to a dusting, I really mean like the dust on a table, not a dusting Northerners refer to.

The lake across from our house
We just can’t handle snow.
We really can’t handle ice.
The two are combining this week & has us buckled down for a Snowpocalypse.
Go ahead and laugh.
I laugh too.
I also bought an extra tank of gas for our grill loaded up on extra firewood, bought extra lighters, stocked up on bottle water, soup ingredients, healthy snacks, hot chocolate, candles, blankets, nonperishable foods like peanut butter, popcorn, etc…. & , kitty litter & cat food for our four legged babies.
I’m not going to be caught in this mess unprepared!
I’ve also pulled out some of our favorite “snow day” movies to curl up and watch with the kiddos in front of a fire over the next several days.  With the winter Olympics going on as well right now, combining the two themes will make for some great entertainment!
Here are some of our favorites:

Do have a favorite snow day/ Olympic flick?  How do you prepare for crazy winter weather where you are?
Here’s hoping that being prepared will chase just a bit of this winter weather away!
Have a great Monday!

A Glimpse of Our South Carolina Autumn

We are so fortunate to have enjoyed a simply gorgeous fall this year.  I guess all of the rain from the summer months did some good after all because the color on the trees this year have been more vivid than I ever remember.

God has definitely been showing His majesty this season!
I first visited this area when I was in college several years ago.  We were on chorus tour that took us through Asheville (where I first saw and fell in love with the Biltmore house) into Greenville.  At the time I didn’t think there was much to this area.  A few small colleges, but nothing really attracted me or many people I knew at the time.

Then we moved here with Audley’s job.  

Greenville has changed so much over the last (dare I say it?….) 20 years!  They have completely revitalized the downtown, restoring buildings, bringing in business, creating parks and are competing to claim the title of the destination of Foodies everywhere.
{There are some amazing places to dine here!}   
But one of the highlights of the downtown area is a gorgeous park in the midst of everything.  The Park at Reedy Falls has bike and running trails, areas for picnics, waterfalls, and attaches to the old cotton warehouse that has been revamped in to shops, and the amazing High Cotton restaurant.
{You dress up to eat here!}
It’s just a great place to go and relax, an escape from the Urban life, right in the middle of the city!

Over the weekend we enjoyed a little family downtime by spending the afternoon at the falls goofing off together and taking pictures.  It was a relaxing time for us all and we were truly able to enjoy some of our South Carolina autumn.

One of the last hydrangeas of the season.  I love the look of them at this stage.

The mood of my teenagers reflected the beauty and casualness of the day.  It was like we didn’t have a care in the world.

Couldn’t we all use more days like this?!

Even Audley & I got in on the fun during the day.

Honestly it has been too long since our family has enjoyed such down time.  With the hectic schedules of work, school, youth group and sports we tend to forget how important it is to have this time.  With a cold front moving in this week I don’t see too many more days like this showing up in the next couple of months.  It was so nice to get out and enjoy a bit of our area without really having to drive far.  And it was even more enjoyable to have this time with my precious family.

I hope you are having a beautiful autumn where you are!

Myrtle Beach’s Chestnut Hill Restaurant

Over the weekend Audley and I were chauffeurs unofficial chaperones for some of the youth group as they attended a conference in Myrtle Beach.  We could not have asked for a more picture perfect weekend as the company, weather, conference, and even the food was absolutely perfect!
Some of our group
My family on the beach
Audley and I slipped away for a date on Saturday evening while the kids were at a pizza party.  Earlier while he had been out and about he had discovered a sweet little restaurant that is well-known by the locals for having the best fresh seafood in the area.

Built into a lake, Chestnut Hill is about a mile off of the Atlantic Ocean and is locally owned and operated by a family whose history of Myrtle Beach restaurants spans 60+ years!  This isn’t one of those fly by night seafood buffets advertised with banners tied to the back of airplanes that fly over the beach.  This is fresh seafood in a beautiful setting that is quite enjoyable.

***I will apologize for the pictures in advance as they are from my phone.

The foyer as you walk inside Chestnut Hill

The decor inside the restaurant reminded me of Old Southern charm.  A mix of antiques (like a primitive buffet where tea & water was served from) with elegantly set tables, all with a view of the water and it’s natural habitat of turtles, alligators and snakes.
One of the tables with a waterfront view.
In the dining room

We were seated quickly (because we went to supper early), and immediately poured ice cold water with lemon.  Our waitress was super friendly, very knowledgeable of the menu and evening specials, and attentive to the needs of her customers.  She also brought us a basket filled with fresh French bread with Parmesan cheese, yummy cheddar biscuits and corn muffins which my husband declared perfect.
The view over the lake was so peaceful.  As the sun was setting there was a glow over the water and the wildlife was settling down for the night.  Watching the turtles was quite interesting as was watching a sea snake swim around and pop his head up every few minutes to look around like a periscope.
Being on the Atlantic coast, seafood is obviously the speciality of the house, but steaks, chicken and pasta are prepared as well for those who are not a fan of seafood.  When discussing the menu with our waitress, she lead us know that the chef would work with dietary restrictions/ allergies also.  
I really dig a place that puts a customer’s needs first.
And since I have special dietary needs, I was very happy to know it wouldn’t be a burden at accommodate those.  
Audley ordered Oyster’s Rockerfeller for his starter.  It looked really good and he seemed very happy with it.

I really wanted to try it, but Bearnaise sauce is not really the healthiest of choices, even though it was so difficult to pass up!

We had salads as part of our dinner that were topped with a delicious house (honey-lime) dressing.  It wasn’t thick like a ranch dressing or as thin as a vinaigrette, but a perfect cross between the two.
For Audley’s entree he ordered broiled scallops and I choose a seafood platter with broiled flounder, scallops and shrimp.

Audley’s Scallops
 Because broiling usually involves a lot of butter I asked for little to no butter and was very happy that my food wasn’t swimming in fat when it arrived.  Everything was cooked perfectly!  The chef even sent word that my vegetables were sautéed in olive oil instead of butter.  
I was one satisfied customer. 

My own seafood platter of scallops, shrimp and flounder… not floating in butter, just as I ordered it.

We chose to skip dessert (I couldn’t even finish my supper!), but from what I could see around us, there were some fine options to choose; from southern pecan pie to chocolate mousse.

Very, Very tempting indeed.

Before we left we enjoyed the view from outside that everyone enjoy’s while dining.  It was so peaceful and pretty.
Don’t you just love moss hanging from the trees?  So southern!

Audley and I really enjoyed our dinner out and I know when we return to Myrtle Beach next summer that Chestnut Hill will definitely be on our agenda.