Pura Vida Charleston

Holiday Gift Guide: For Mamas

Holiday Gift GuideMegan WhitsonComment

My mama has always been such a wonderful gift giver - it is sometimes a challenge as an adult to try to get her equally awesome presents…but like all mama’s, all she really wants for Christmas is to have her babies home (even if we are all grown).

I can’t wait to graduate and start getting a “big girl” paycheck again because I’ll be able to get my mama some awesome Christmas presents next year! Not that she wants that from me at all - like I said, she is just super happy to have her children home…but I just love gifting her bc she has given so, so much (far more than presents) to me. <3 Mamas are simply the best and I’ve been blessed with an amazing one.

So here is a gift guide for all the mamas, aunts, grandmamas and other special women who love and influence us in our lives <3

1. I just love this hand mixer - and it comes in so many fun colors! My mama is an amazing baker and passed along that love to me too. — $29.99

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2. What a beautiful gardening set! This gift comes with the promise of spring for all the gardening mama’s out there :) — $75

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3. Barefoot Dreams Cozy Throw Blanket: Y’all. I have been eyeing this blanket for literally YEARS. Barefoot Dreams blankets are SO incredibly soft and last forever. A perfect gift for your mama — $147

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4. I think ANY coffee lover would die to have this Nespresso maker, not just mama’s. In fact, I think it would look pretty good sitting on my own kitchen counter one day ;) It also comes in black and cream (just like coffee haha) — $246

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5. I don’t know about y’all…but my sweet mama is a BIG lover of cozy pjs - just like these cute Print Joggers in Modal from GAP. I feel like most mama’s buy their kiddos cute Christmas pjs, why not return the favor this year? :) — $40

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6. How beautiful are these handblown glass pitchers. Sold on Food52 and part of the Shelter Collection, these pitchers were designed in Charleston, SC; and then, created in Star, North Carolina. After the closing of a factory in Star left a large portion of the town unemployed, nonprofit STARworks used the vacant building to start a full-scale ceramics and glassblowing studio, reviving the community economy by drawing artisans and craftspeople from all over the world. The Shelter Collection is a testament to the power of art in rebuilding communities. LOVE THIS Y’ALL. (The blue is my favorite!) — $84

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7. I am a big believer in essential oils and I love Plant Therapy on Amazon. I used to use Young Living but unfortunately that’s a little too much for me on a student budget…Plant Therapy USDA certified organic line that I’ve really loved. Give your Mama the gift of wellness <3 — $30

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8. May I Come In? : This gorgeous book showcases over 75 unique private homes; ‘an irresistible visual record of the art of living by one of its most penetrating observers,’ Wendy Goodman. — $50

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9. Tickets to her favorite off-Broadway show - to go see with YOU! :) This will give her something fun to look forward to in 2019. PS: if anyone wants to buy me tickets to Hamilton for Christmas, I will truly be your best friend for.ever. ;)

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And if you’re like me and just don’t have much of a budget right now…just know that your mama will be so happy just to have you home for the holidays if you’re able to be there <3 Get up early one morning - make the coffee, cook her breakfast, enjoy a cozy morning together. If you can’t be there, mail her a card and tell her how much you love her and how thankful you for her. It’s the little things.

Happy Friday loves! I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be out playing in the snow with my sister - woohoo! Headed to Sundance today :)

Big Love & Pura Vida

Tuesday Things & Sorry for Being MIA

Tuesday ThingsMegan WhitsonComment

Hello! Whew…I took an unintentional week off from blogging when I decided to battle some weird bug for almost all of last week and then spiked a crazy fever on Friday - so I decided to just lay low and recover for the rest of the weekend. I was feeling a lot better by Sunday but still didn’t want to over do it so I mostly stayed inside and did some reading, meal prepping and general relaxing. I’m finally feeling almost back to 100%. THANK GOD. Being sick is the worst…especially when you’re far away from your mama ;) and it’s cold outside!

Anyway, how goes it? Are you guys on the East Coast surviving the winter storm that came through this weekend? It’s so crazy how different parts of the country react to snow…we got 4-5” in SLC last weekend and it didn’t phase anyone a damn bit - that would SHUT DOWN Charleston for a week haha.

I’ll keep plugging away at gift guides and finishing up the Colorado recap but for now…Tuesday Things - super random version…

1. One of the “pros” of being cooped up in the house for most of the weekend is that I got to try several awesome new-to-me recipes :) I made these skinny banana bread muffins (I also added in some ripe avocado that I had!) and they are DELICIOUS…you get just the right amount of sweetness. I’m enjoying them with my morning coffee all week <3

 GLORIOUS…highly recommend this recipe AND adding in a bit of avocado - which practically makes it a salad :)

GLORIOUS…highly recommend this recipe AND adding in a bit of avocado - which practically makes it a salad :)

2. Brace yourselves…this chili definitely lived up to the blog world hype! :) Crafted by the lovely Taralynn (who writes one of my favorite lifestyle blogs - check her out) - I mostly stuck to the recipe but added in some jalapeños, roasted the sweet potatoes in chili lime seasoning from TJ’s and added in black beans as well. I also sautéed all the veggies and turkey on the stove top and transferred everything to the crockpot to meld into chili-goodness together. If you’re looking for a new chili recipe, please give this one a try — and let me know what you think!

3. Okay…last recipe y’all. Sorry but I found some amazing ones this weekend and I just have to share :) Sara (my PT school friend and current roomie) and I whipped up some super yummy, SUPER easy pumpkin baked oatmeal from Kath at Kerf (another favorite food and lifestyle blog). I’ve been following her blog for 8ish years and I’ve never tried one of her recipes that I didn’t like :) She also recently shared a variation of this baked oatmeal with eggnog spices…I might have to try that one next!

4. I promise no more recipes…but I am going to share one more food find with you. If you are ever in SLC, you must must must try The Pie Pizzeria (they have several SLC locations). I consider myself a bit of a pizza connoisseur/snob ;) … and this pizza blew my mind. It was SO good. It had a medium thickness crust (which I’m not usually a fan of) but they crushed it. Sara and I ordered takeout pizza from here on Sunday night and we will most definitely be back! The service was also great and the employees were really friendly and joked around with us while we were picking up our order.

We split the Holy Shiitake Pie (Basil Pesto Sauce, Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, Fresh Shiitake and Champignon Mushrooms, Sicilian Spiced Tomatoes, Whole Roasted Garlic Cloves, Mozzarella Cheese and finished with a light drizzle of Truffle Oil), the Wise Guy Pie (hand tossed dough layered with a creamy mixture of whipped Cream Cheese, Fresh Spinach leaves, Artichoke Hearts, Chicken Breast, Mozzarella Cheese and a touch of tangy Marinara - Baked and topped with diced Tomatoes, fresh-cut Basil and a drizzle of sweet Balsamic reduction) and a chicken caesar salad. Um this was mouth orgasm worthy y’all. In fact maybe you should visit SLC just for this pizza ;)

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5. And to finish off my recipes and food talk, it’s only appropriate to throw out a beer recommendation (I mean duh. Are you surprised? No? Exactly.) I’ve had a few of Deschutes beers now and they’ve all been homeruns so far. Not sure why I’ve never had them until SLC…maybe they don’t distribute in the Carolina’s. Anyway, their Jubelale is my new favorite winter ale. I only bought one but I will definitely be grabbing a 6-pack the next time I’m at the liquor store … don’t get me started on Utah’s weird beer laws/only selling wine and beer over 4% in liquor stores/etc. *insert eye roll* ^^^See pic above for da cool bottle^^^

6. Let’s talk NYE plans…what are you doing?? I’m headed to Denver for a 3 night show run with my lover (Will) and my best lady (Dana) and I cannot wait! I’ve always wanted to be at a show on NYE and I’ll finally have my chance to be with 2 of my favorite people in one of my favorite cities <3 I’ll be seeing String Cheese Incident on 12/29 and 12/31 and STS9 on 12/30…it is going to be an epic 3 days of music y'all :)

7. I’m thinking of purchasing this cool neck “pillow” for my upcoming travels. The reviews are awesome and I like that it is so much more compact than a regular neck pillow. I’ll let you know if I pull the trigger and purchase it :)

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8. If you haven’t heard about it - please check out the Humane Society’s 13 Days of Giving <— this is the link for Utah but I think they are doing it nationwide. SUCH a cool way to give back this holiday season <3 I’m going to make a Costco run this weekend and then take supplies to our local Humane Society here in SLC…and of course, I’ll spend another hour ogling over all the sweet dogs and cats. I miss having a dog SOOO much. Evidence of cute (but pure hellion) dog below: Daisy is my sister’s pup but I feel like she’s halfway mine too since Kels and I lived together for so long. I miss her so much!

PS - Daisy has excellent taste in both music and brews ;)

9. And my MOST FAVORITE Tuesday Thing is…Daisy’s mama (aka my “baby” sister!) will be here in less than 48 hours!!! I cannot wait for a sister reunion and I can’t wait to show Kels all the reasons that I am already in love with Utah. My sister is truly one of my best friends and living in opposite parts of the country from one another has been a huge adjustment (we lived together for 2.5 years in Charleston). She has had my back through literally everything in life - she is my ride or die, my constant … … … can.not.wait. PS - she is literally the cutest, most gorgeous human being on the planet.

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That’s it friends…super random. Sorry again for ghosting - but I am on the mend and working on content all this week!

QUESTIONS…

What are YOU doing for New Years??

What are your travel must-haves?

What recipe have you tried and loved recently?

Happy Tuesday dears. Big Love & Pura Vida <3

Colorado Day 2 + A New Coffee Shop

Road Trip, Brewery GuideMegan WhitsonComment

Good morning friends! Happy Saturday :) This is my first Saturday morning in SLC where there have been literally no real “plans” on the agenda and it’s been nice just having a chill morning. I want to share our 2nd day in Colorado with you but FIRST…I have to tell you guys about the cool little coffee shop I went to this morning with my friends Cindy and Ben. It’s called Alpha Coffee and it’s at the base of Big Cottonwood Canyon. I had the Dawn Patrol which is their breakfast blend and it was glorious. Cindy got the Double Barrel Black Midnight Blend which I also tasted and it was so rich and luxurious. The service was excellent and the vibe was very laid-back with an awesome view of the mountains. Definitely check it out for a pre or post-ski cup of coffee. Also, give the blueberry muffins a try ;)

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Another cool aspect of Alpha Coffee is that it was co-founded by military veterans and one of its primary missions is to give back and support our troops. Each portion of every batch of coffee is shipped to deployed troops. To learn more, check out their coffee for troops page.

Alrighty…Colorado Day #2! Let’s go!

Will and I spent our morning hiking around the Flatirons and it was really solid easy-to-moderate hiking. We took the trails to the First and Second Flatirons from the Chautauqua Park trailhead. I was definitely wishing that I had my climbing shoes, chalk bag and a crash pad on my back as we hiked through some of the boulders…it looks to be some GOOD climbing and I definitely want to go back with gear.

PS - if you are reading on a tablet or phone, you can click on the pictures to see them bigger bc I don’t think they show up as well as they do in the desktop format - just FYI. At the top of the main trail that we took, there were some “couches” set up so that you could sit back and really take in the view. It was beautiful. A morning well spent for sure. I definitely would like to spend some more time out there the next time we are in Boulder.

It makes my heart happy just looking back at these pictures…the mountains always feel like home to me, no matter where I am. We took the Enchanged Mesa Trail back down and it was equally beautiful. It felt so serene and the trees just seem wise to me - I don’t know if that makes sense…but that’s what my hippie heart feels ;)

Will did manage to get a few shots of my mountain goat escapades…despite not having my climbing gear haha

I actually was able to “climb” a decent ways further up on this too…just out of camera sight ;) Like I said, I look forward to coming back and doing some actual climbing. The rocks were pristine. After our hiking, we were starving and headed into downtown Boulder looking for good beer and good food - which we 100% found at The Post Brewing Co.

I had the Townie Ale which was really good and Will had the Ski Tan. For food, Will had their fried chicken sandwich which was probably the BEST fried chicken sandwich I have ever had…and that is saying something y’all because I am from the SOUTH haha. I had the spicy chicken and potato soup with a buttermilk cheddar biscuit and it hit the spot. We both agreed that we would recommend this restaurant/brewery to anyone - huge Yelp win :)

After showers at our Airbnb, we stopped by The Boulder Recyler on our way to Avery Brewing. I was able to get a long puffy coat and some ski pants for super cheap (compared to new in-stores pricing). Its a great way to find high quality consignment outdoor gear if you are in need and in the Boulder area!

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Our evening stop was at Avery Brewing Co. and we were both HUGE fans of the beer. I have to mention that we were rather spoiled at a lot of the breweries we went to and had some of the friendliest beertenders of anywhere I have ever been…but this was not so much the case at Avery. The service was a little slow and not nearly as friendly as what we had become accustomed to in our other dining/beer-drinking experiences but it was still a great brewery stop. Avery had some of the best beer of the trip and I’m sad that it’s not sold in SC. We did talk to a very friendly girl in the merch room who gave us some great Avery beer recommendations, as well as some other brewery recommendations for us to check out the next day :) Will and I also split the cheese board and gumbo which were both excellent. The food was a little pricey but worth it.

Our last stop of the day was at Sanitas Brewing Co. where Will and I split a “night cap” flight. It was just okay. The brewing itself was a cool spot but the beer was nothing to write home about. If you're in the area and happen upon it, pop in…but I wouldn’t go out of my way to check it out. I did really like this US map of breweries that they had - I even spotted our Charleston breweries - shoutout to SC! <3

Sorry the pics a little blurry ;) And that wraps up our 2nd day in Colorado…Will and I both really enjoyed Boulder and were impressed with how friendly so many of the people we came into contact with were. Meeting kind and genuine humans is one of my favorite parts of traveling :) More recaps to come…including more delicious food, beer and hiking…shocking, right?

Have a wonderful Saturday - and good luck to your football team if they are playing! I’ll be checking in on the Tigers score on my phone while I’m at the Utes hockey game tonight! It’s my first ever hockey game so should be fun :)

Big Love & Pura Vida, y’all <3

Holiday Gift Guide: For Your Favorite Fella

Holiday Gift GuideMegan WhitsonComment

Soooo…gift giving is kinda my love language and I absolutely LOVE picking out presents for Will every year for his birthday and Christmas…and sometimes just because ;) We’ve decided not to do gifts for each other this year though since he will be flying out to visit me several times in UT and we want to save our money for flights and our experiences together. BUT if I were going to be showering him with presents - these are few that would make the list!

These are also great ideas for dads, brothers, cousins, partners, best guy friends, co-workers, etc…

Who is your favorite fella to gift on Christmas? Let me know what you think! <3

1. A fun gradient puzzle: perfect for a date night in and pretty enough to frame if you want! — $20

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2. For a BBQ lovin’ fella: Martin’s Bar-B-Que Sauce Bucket has 5 small batch specialty sauces featuring all of the South’s favorite regionals. — $49.95

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3. A truffle burger kit for your favorite grill master! These burgers are made from short rib, brisket, chuck and blended with Italian Urbani black summer truffles…how glorious does that sound! It also comes with speciality truffle ketchup and mustards. — $62

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4. Have a stylin’ fella OR a fella that needs some stylin’ … give them a gift subscription to Trunk Club. All trunks start with a $25 styling fee (from a personalized stylist) and each piece starts at $25 or higher. Whatever your guy keeps, the $25 styling fee will go towards :) It’s a great gift for dudes who don’t want to be bothered with shopping or styling themselves! — varied prices

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5. Speaking of subscriptions…is your man a coffee lover? How about a coffee club subscription that delivers fresh coffee from all over the world?? Atlas Coffee Club does just that! Each month includes a 1/2 bag up to 2 full bags of coffee, a postcard and description from the country of origin, along with tasting notes and brewing tips - HOW COOL. — $9 to $60

 BONUS…they are running a holiday special offering $10 off your first order!

BONUS…they are running a holiday special offering $10 off your first order!

6. An essential oil diffuser is a great gift for any guy - and sometimes one that they might not think to buy for themselves. Aromatherapy is IN y’all…and for good reason :) My fella loves his essential oil diffusers; he has one for his bedroom AND his office. I love this one and this one from Amazon (currently on sale too)! — $30

7. Amazon Smart Plugs work with Alexa and can be used for any outlet in your love’s space…instead of fighting over who has to get up to turn off the lights, just ask Alexa to do it instead ;) There are also options that work with Google Home! — $17 to $25

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8. Fun and funky bourbon glasses are always a win in my book. You can also include a bottle of your man’s favorite bourbon or whiskey with the glass set! — $35

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9. Speaking of adult beverages…maybe your fella isn’t a whiskey drinker but a craft beer lover? Check out this states beer cap map! Fun, right?! Available for 50 states. — $36

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10. How about a super soft, vintage-inspired tee or hoodie from his alma mater (or just favorite college team)…AE’s new line offers shirts/hoodies for over 46 colleges. I think this Clemson hoodie might go to Will this year, just so I can steal it ;) — starting at $32 (all apparel is currently 25-50% off!)

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That’s it for now guys! I hope this gave you some ideas for your favorite dude. I’ll probably have at least one more “fella gifts” post coming soon for you.

Big Love & Pura Vida! Have an awesome Thursday tomorrow! <3

Tuesday Things & Colorado Day #1

Road Trip, Tuesday ThingsMegan WhitsonComment

Hi friends. Happy Tuesday! Sooo I just wrote about half of this post and then somehow managed to delete it! Sigh…major bummer. So here we go again haha. How has your week been so far? Mine has been busy but great (other than previously mentioned deletion of half my blog post). I am continuing to love my rotation. I absolutely love all of my patients and feel like I am learning so much…and hopefully making a positive impact on their lives <3

I took advantage of the CyberMonday deals on Amazon yesterday and ordered a ski jacket, mittens and a vest…now I just need to actually LEARN to ski haha. I’m researching the best “beginning” ski deals in the area currently - if you know of some good ones, let me know! It is a little overwhelming.

This will be a short Tuesday Things and then I’m recapping my first day in Colorado for you guys - along with some hiking and brewery recommendations :) Sorry I’m a little late on my recap posts!

1. These are the mittens I ordered last night and I’m super excited about them haha…just had to share ;)

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2. I went snowshoeing for the first time on Sunday afternoon up at Alta and it was BREATHTAKING. I literally felt like I was walking around in a snow globe. It was a pretty good workout too! I was amazed at some of the backcountry skiers I saw…holy cow, those guys are IN SHAPE! Big thanks to my new friend Ben for loaning me snowshoes and showing me the ropes :)

3. Now that Thanksgiving is over…it’s time to start thinking about one of the BEST parts of Christmas - cookies! Jessica’s Holiday Baking List will not steer you wrong. I’m going to attempt the chewy chai snickerdoodles this weekend :)

4. Have you guys heard of the AllTrails app?? I think I am super late to the game on this one but I downloaded it this past weekend and it is such a great resource for any and all hiking wherever you may be. I’m planning to do Mount Van Cott this weekend.

5. I recently tried FourSigmatic’s hot cacao mix and really loved it. It isn’t too sweet which I like. AND it is infused with reishi elixir so it is a perfect drink to help you wind down before bed :)

6. Chelsea shared THIS recipe for sweet potato chili and it looks so delicious (the recipe is towards the bottom of her post). I love that it includes regular sweet potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes and purple sweet potatoes. I’ll be giving this a shot for my Sunday meal prep!

7. We went to check out the lights at Temple Square on Friday night and despite the rain, it was beautiful. I highly recommend checking them out if you are in the SLC area <3 We also grabbed a drink at Beerhive Pub afterwards in downtown Salt Lake and it was a great experience. They have an extensive, varied beer list and the food was really yummy :)

The Honey Hips Ale by Latitude 33 (above) was delicious; it had just a hint of sweetness from the honey. Definitely recommend!

Alright…better late than never! Colorado Adventures Day #1 : Boulder!

Will and I got into Boulder around 5:30pm that Tuesday (we left from Charlotte on Monday AM, stopped in St. Louis, then drove to Boulder all day Tuesday). We checked into our Airbnb which was super cute and very affordable. I highly recommend staying with Kyle & Lisa if you are ever in the area; they are excellent hosts. Their private studio was so cozy and just a short drive from downtown Boulder. They also had chickens and ducks which made me super happy :)

We went to Under the Sun Eatery & Pizzeria on Tuesday night upon recommendation from Kyle and Lisa. I had one of the best salads I have ever eaten…seriously, it was insane. It was the Power Flower and it had “organic mixed greens, roasted cauliflower, bacon, pickled onion, aged white cheddar, and lemon caper vinaigrette” - the roasted cauliflower was the star. Will and I also split The Wild Boom pizza (roasted Hazel Dell mushrooms, woodfired onions, sundried tomatoes, fontina, Grana Padano, fresh parsley) and had a few beers. It was a perfect, laid-back first night in Boulder.

We also went into a little beer and wine shop in the shopping center that Under the Sun was in - I didn’t take any pictures though and I cannot remember the name…BUT, if you are ever in the area, pop around the corner and check it out! They had a huge, well-rounded beer selection and the staff were super knowledgeable and so friendly. I wish I could remember the name to give them a shout out! We rounded out our first CO night with a beer in our cozy little bungalow and then crashed super hard. Why does driving wear you out so much but all you’re doing is sitting?? Then we were up with the sun the next morning to start our first hike…to be continued ;)

But just a little sneak preview of the Flatirons…

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Hope you have an awesome hump day! I’ll talk to you soon :)

Big Love & Pura Vida!

Inaugural Holiday Gift Guide: Best Friend Edition

Holiday Gift GuideMegan WhitsonComment

Happy Sunday friends! And happy “thank god for stretchy pants” weekend - haha! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with lots of delicious food, drinks and people you love. I had to work on Thursday but we got out a little bit early so I made it back for my first SLC Thanksgiving dinner. I missed my family but I was so thankful to spend Thanksgiving new friends and old - big shoutout to my two roommates who hosted, Cindy and Tasha. It was the perfect experience for my first EVER Thanksgiving away from my family. I’ve been super blessed to always be home on the holidays.

Anyways…now that Thanksgiving over, it is time for the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR - Christmas! I’m so excited to share my holiday gift guides with y’all this year…I decided to start with a girl’s gift guide for your best friend. Without further ado, enjoy! Let me know what you think or if you have other awesome gift ideas for your girlfriends.

  1. Mini Initial Necklace by ABLE: I have the “M” necklace and wear it every single day…not only is it classic and beautiful but it also supports an incredible organization focused on ending generational poverty through providing economic opportunities for women. WIN-WIN y’all. — $48

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2. A beautiful mug by The Parks Apparel: a durable mug to travel with your bestie everywhere. AND every purchase supports wildlife conservation projects <3 — $27

3. If your best girl (or guy) loves to bake…SPRINKLES - especially when they are beach glass themed. I absolutely adore these :) — $12

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4. OH MY you guys…I may have to gift myself this La Chatelaine hand cream set (Utah winters are DRY). This is perfect if you have a lotion lover bestie - one for her purse, one for the car, one for her other purse, you get the picture ;) — $54.40

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4. A Jade roller: I’ve just started learning about this beautiful beauty tool that is supposed to help smooth and brighten your face. I really want to try one and I think it would be a great gift for your best friend too! — $36

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5. You Had Me at Tequila Candy Bento Box: for your best gal who loves tequila AND candy ;) — $28

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6. Candles always make a great gift and I absolutely love the Holiday Candle by NEST. It would make a great stocking stuffer too! — $16

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7. Several of my best friends are total avocado lovers…they will each be getting avocado huggers as part of their Christmas gift this year. What a cute AND practical gift :) — $8

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8. I love Drunk Elephant skin care but it can be pretty pricey. Gift your BFF with The Littles so she can try several of the products with none of the cost ;) — $90

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That’s it for now…I may do a 2nd BFF Gift Guide because there’s so much good stuff :) Be on the lookout for Gift Guides for your significant other, mama, sisters, fitness loves and more!

I’ll also be back this week with some Colorado and Utah posts with lots of hiking and brewery recommendations. Happy Sunday friends! I hope you have a wonderful week!

Pura Vida <3

Tuesday Things ... and hello from SLC!

Tuesday ThingsMegan WhitsonComment

Hello, hello! Long time, no see. Sorry for the extend absence! I’ve spent the past two weeks road tripping across the country with my lover, hiking and brewery hopping my way through Colorado and finally getting settled into my new home in Salt Lake City…and starting my third clinical rotation at the University of Utah Hospital (which means I am one step closer to graduation!).

It has been a wonderful, wild whirlwind and I am loving every second of it … but I’m also a wee bit exhausted so we are going to stick with Tuesday Things for now. I promise to photo edit and write my heart out soon to get more “legit” posts up for you guys.

PS - I have already fall in love with Salt Lake City and I never, ever want to leave <3

 I got my first taste of snow hiking to Dog Lake in Millwood Canyon on Saturday…

I got my first taste of snow hiking to Dog Lake in Millwood Canyon on Saturday…

Now…onto Tuesday Things!

  1. I just finished up the last book in the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas, Kingdom of Ash. I started it on our road trip and could not put it down - this series gripped me from beginning to end. Imagine Game of Thrones meets Lord of the Rings with a little bit of extra magic and romance sprinkled in…SO GOOD. Start with the first book, Throne of Glass. You will not regret it. Anyone else finished the series? :)

  2. Also, Dana (best friend & Sunday sista) lent me Girl, Wash Your Face right before I left Charlotte. I’m pretty sure this book has broken the internet with how quotable, relatable and inspiring it is. I can’t wait to start reading it!

  3. What are you making for Thanksgiving dinner?? How beautiful is this autumn bruschetta board - it would make the PERFECT starter. Jessica always makes the most beautiful AND tasty recipes :)

  4. I also rounded up a few Thanksgiving dessert ideas from my favorite bloggers…

    1. Chocolate Pecan Pie Cookie Cobbler by Juli of paleOMG … HOLY YUM y’all.

    2. This Bourbon Brule Pumpkin Pie by Jessica. I’m sorry WHAT - amazing. AND you can get all the ingredients from Aldi! Win :)

    3. This “oldie but goodie” from Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers —> Pumpkin Icebox Cake. Yesss!

    4. These Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice White Chocolate Chip Cookies by Tina. That is a mouthful to say haha! These are definitely going on my “must make” list! White chocolate + pumpkin … glorious <3

  5. Is anyone running in a Thanksgiving day turkey trot? I think there are a few going on in SLC but I will be worked so sadly I won’t get to participate :(

  6. I recently added a few new listings to my Poshmark page…like this, Mighty Lite III Vest by Columbia and this, Alison Andrews Striped Ruffle Sleeve Shirt. I haven’t done a great job of keeping up with my “store” over the past few weeks but I’m slowly re-integrating it back into my daily life :)

  7. My Patagonia puffy has SAVED my life these past few weeks (I have it in Ikat Purple), along with this beanie by Columbia - I bought it at a cute little outdoor shop in my last mountain weekend in NC :)

  8. And for #8…my first SLC recommendation: Shades Brewery is only 5 minutes from my house and it has some absolutely glorious Belgian brews. We went to the Freeheel Fall Ball there on Saturday night and had a blast. AND I WON MY FIRST RAFFLE! It only took me 31 years haha…I won a beanie, tank top and two lift passes for Powder Mountain. I am SO PUMPED.

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That’s it for now friends. Thanks for being patient with me while I “ghosted” for awhile. I can’t wait to share my road trip/Colorado adventures with you soon … and I cannot wait to experience (and share) all that Utah has to offer!

Happy Tuesday & Pura Vida <3

Good morning from the road...

Road TripMegan WhitsonComment

Good morning from St. Louis, Missouri! Or just outside of it…we’ve been on the road for about an hour now. Sorry for the radio silence over the past week - it was crazy busy finishing up the last week of my rotation in Beaufort, unpacking/repacking for SLC and enjoying a jam-packed weekend of football and friends :) Will and I left from Charlotte around 7:00am yesterday and arrived in St. Louis ~11 hours later. We hit the road again around 6:20 this morning and we have a 12.5 hour day of driving ahead until we hit Boulder! Several long days in the car but it will be worth it for us to have 4 days in Colorado until we continue on to SLC.

Anyway, I hope you’ve had a wonderful past week and had a fantastic Halloween :) I may do a “Tuesday Things” post later today but for now I’ll just share a few photos from this past week with you guys.

 Sunrise in Beaufort on my last morning :)

Sunrise in Beaufort on my last morning :)

I came home on Friday night and got to spend some good time with my parents. I hadn’t gotten to see them in about 6 weeks so it was awesome to just have some quality time with them before I head out again until February. I know some people don’t see their parents very often at all but I’ve gotten pretty spoiled over the past few years. My parents only live about 3.5 hours away from Charleston so it’s been pretty easy to see them a decent amount; even going 6 weeks without seeing them recently seemed like a really long time for me. There’s also a very strong chance that they will be selling their house before I get back from SLC which is CRAZY to think about. It’s the house that I grew up in (they built it when I was 3) so it was a little weird thinking that this might be the last weekend that I’m ever in that house. BUT a house is just a thing, a structure made of wood and brick, etc…my home is my family and that never changes no matter where they go or I go, no matter where we live.

On Saturday, Will and I went to the Clemson/Louisville game and it was AWESOME. We got to see and spend time with so many of our good friends. The game was great but the people and fellowship was better. I left with a super full heart…and a Tiger win was pretty good too ;)

Those two lovely ladies at the top and I go WAY back. Hayley and I declared ourselves best friends in 2nd grade and Lindsay moved to our town in 4th or 5th grade. We all went to middle school, high school and then Clemson together. It’s pretty crazy having friends that you’ve known and loved for 25 years. I made Hayley awkwardly take a photo by herself bc I was in love with her fall/Clemson outfit…I’ll link to the clothes ASAP :)

Also…Will and I kinda struggle with taking non-awkward, flattering photos sometimes haha ;) I’ll also link back to my jeans, boots, tee and necklace as well for anyone interested - once I’m not on the road and have a better internet connection.

Don’t you love Laura’s “power pose” with the unicorn and rainbow beer?? Haha…love it. I think that beer is from Resident Culture in Charlotte (one of my favorite CLT breweries). It was so good to spend time with so many of my favorite people all in one day <3

And onto Sunday…Will’s family has season tickets for the Panthers so we went to the Panthers/Buccaneers game. Holy cow you guys - the Panthers set a record for points scored in the first half! It was 35-7 at halftime. What a great game and we had perfect football weather :) Good football, craft beer and a brat…I was a happy girl.

After the game, we went to spend some time with my friend Dana at her house in Madison Park. She made a delicious dinner (as always!) and it was the perfect cap off to a weekend filled with friends. Have I mentioned how much I just love Charlotte? :)

We were in St. Louis for less than 12 hours but we made sure to check out a cool brewery for dinner - 4 Hands Brewing Company was fantastic. I got a flight and loved 3 of the 4 beers (my faves were the Pumpkin CMS, Superflare Brett IPA and Divided Sky Rye IPA. Beer was great, atmosphere and vibe was chill and the food was delicious. Will’s favorite part was the free skee ball ;) We stayed at a super cute Airbnb in downtown St. Louis too. I’ll go back in and include links for everything later today or tomorrow when I have better internet.

Thanks for checking in friends. Send us safe travel vibes…and Boulder recommendations!

Big Love & Pura Vida <3

Tuesday Things

Tuesday ThingsMegan Whitson4 Comments

Hey-oh! Happy Tuesday friends! Oh my goodness…only 3 more days left in Beaufort - I can’t believe it. This 10 weeks has moved by as slowly as molasses uphill in the winter time AND flown by all at once. I am so beyond excited for this next adventure. Will and I booked our Colorado Airbnb’s last night! We’ll be staying 2 nights in Boulder and 2 nights in Fort Collins - I know they are only about an hour away from each other but I absolutely LOVE this area of CO and I want just spend 4 days straight in these towns soaking it all in…and hopefully convincing Will that a year or two out there wouldn’t be the worst ever ;)

Alrighty…onto Tuesday Things…a few of my favorite things in real life and internet life. Without further ado:

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1. Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum: Will actually bought this for me on my birthday this past year and I LOVED it. My skin felt so smooth and glowy (it’s a word…or it is now). I was reminded of it when Jessica Hopper talked about it on her Forever35 Podcast interview that I mentioned last week. If you’re looking for a natural, affordable Vitamin C serum that WORKS, this is the one :) I just ordered another bottle!

2. Speaking of Forever35 (sorry guys, I’m kind of obsessed with this podcast) - they interviewed Rebecca Traister last week, the author of Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger. Her interview is incredible and is a must listen for my lady loves. I’m looking forward to reading the book!

3. In honor of Halloween tomorrow, let’s talk about something truly scary: STUDENT DEBT. Holy sh*t you guys…I will be graduating in May with 6 figures worth of debt! Paco de Leon helps layout a practical game plan for tackling debt here. Thanks for sharing, Cup of Jo!

4. I am totally digging this JOHNNYSWIM version of I Won’t Back Down. Listen to it, love it and share it :)

5. Penguins are getting progressive in Australia - this same-sex penguin couple just adopted a chick! Not kidding :) Love this.

6. “How pleasant to walk over beds of these fresh, crisp, and rustling fallen leaves…. How beautiful they go to their graves!” —Thoreau, October 12, 1853 This beautifully written article highlights some of Henry David Thoreau’s most notable quotes on the falling of leaves and how we relate it to our own mortality.

7. I had someone ask me about my outfit from apple picking so I wanted to share with you in case anyone else was interested (ya know…like all 5 of my readers ;) Hi Mom!)

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| Vest: Patagonia (similar) | Tee: Madewell (similar) via Poshmark | Jeans: Express | Boots: Naturalizer (similar) | Earrings: Francesca’s |

PS - The Express jeans are 50% off TODAY ONLY! :) None of these are affiliate links…I’m not quite big enough for that yet but they are just brands that I love <3

Thank you for reading friends. HAPPY (almost) HALLOWEEN!

Weekend Recap

Weekend AdventuresMegan WhitsonComment

Hey, hey. Can you guys believe that it is almost the end of October?! How the heck did that happen? October is my favorite month of the year and I’m a little bummed that it’s almost over…BUT that means that it’s almost time to spend some time out West! Onward and upward :)

I had a fairly low-key weekend up in Greenville with Will and some friends. Will took me on a surprise date to The Trappe Door, a Belgian restaurant in downtown Greenville. It was sooo good and I loved the vibe of the place. It is below street level so you feel like you’re in an old world tavern. Very cool…and by far the best Moscow mule I have ever had in my life! They brew their own ginger beer in house :)

The lighting was not ideal for professional level iPhone photos, obviously ;) Will and I split the Wild Mushroom Vol Au Vont (seasonal wild mushrooms cooked in a white wine and garlic cream sauce served in a puff pastry boat) to start. Then he ordered the steak frites and I had the mariniere moules frites - aka mussels in a white wine broth and fries; it may sound elementary but it was absolutely delicious.

The Trappe Door is now in my Top 10 Greenville restaurant experiences <3

Saturday was spent photo styling, picture taking and editing for my Posh page…that will eventually be included as part of this site…one day haha. We also watched the Tigers CRUSH Florida State which was incredibly satisfying (I remember the days when we lost to them on the reg very well haha). I was on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster all day because of the stress of the upcoming move and because hormones are a real b*tch sometimes…I’m blessed with a very patient fella ;)

We had a fun game night with friends that night, including Settlers of Catan, ping pong and darts. It was a perfect chill evening. PS - if you have never played Settlers of Catan, it is my favorite board game of all time and I highly recommend it :) We’ve been known to play 3-4 games in a row before.

We went up to Hendersonville, NC, on Sunday to go to Grandad’s Apple Orchard. On the way there, we stopped at HenDough Chicken & Donuts for brunch. Will and I split a pumpkin spice donut to start (are you surprised? haha). The food was what brunch dreams are made of and the biscuits lived up the hype. I really loved the upstairs area too…there were lots of windows - I’m a sucker for natural light :) Some of their decorations included coffee bags from Costa Rica too…obviously I was a big fan!

Everyone enjoyed some good ole redneck fun shooting the apple gun at the orchard ;) I also got some cider spice donuts (oh my gosh…heavenly) and apple cider to take to Cat and Dave. After the orchard, Will and our friends headed back to Greenville and I left for Charleston. Another lovely Sunday evening with Catherine and Dave, enjoying the crispness in the air on the back patio with bourbon and apple cider :) We’re also almost done with The Haunting of Hill House - one episode left!

I hope you have a wonderful last few days of October…I’m planning on having at least one more pumpkin spice latte ;)

Questions…

Pumpkin spice lattes…yay or nay?

Yay. Obvi.

Are you dressing up for Halloween? What are you going to be?

No costumes this year unfortunately :(

Any Colorado hiking or brewery recommendations? :)

Happy Friday & Fave Podcasts/Driving Tunes

Happy FridayMegan WhitsonComment

FRIYAY!!! Happy Friday friends! This week flew by for me and I’m so excited to be one step closer to Salt Lake City and my inpatient neuro rehab rotation *insert nerdy glasses smiley emoji*

Since I am forever and always on the road for 3-5 hours at a time (especially on Friday afternoons), I thought I would share some of my recent favorite podcasts and road tunes. I would LOVE any of your recommendations of podcasts, music or books-on-tape to check out! Will and I are going to be spending quite a lot of time in the car when we head for SLC.

 Bay Street, Beaufort, South Carolina

Bay Street, Beaufort, South Carolina

Joe Rogan Podcast: It took awhile for Joe Rogan to grow on me and I still tend to “cherry pick” through his podcasts but I can officially say that I am now a BIG Rogan fan. He is a great interviewer and I love the variety of guests and topics he covers. A few of my recent faves are Dr. Rhonda Patrick and Alex Honnold <—Alex’s just came out yesterday and it is AWESOME. Alex has always been one of my favorite climbers (I’ve been following him for over 10 years) and he recently free soloed El Cap in Yosemite; he has a new movie out about it called Free Solo. I’m hoping to see it soon! Alex is a chill, down to earth guy and his passion for climbing is infectious :)

Forever 35: This has been a fave for awhile now; Kate & Doree describe themselves as “two friends who love to talk about serums,” but they are MUCH more than that. They are funny, relatable and incredibly endearing. You feel like you’re sitting with 2 of your favorite girlfriends sharing a bottle of wine and enjoying real conversation. I’ve also loved every one of their guests. My recent favorite is their episode with Jessica Hopper. This chick is BADASS you guys. She is a music critic and writer. Her interview is real and raw but also filled with light and power. All my lady friends - check this out. ALSO, please check out her new book: Night Moves … I’ve already ordered it :)

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Dr. Death: O.M.G. you guys, this series was SO good and also terrifying. This is a 6-part series covering what happens when our healthcare system fails at “do no harm.” Dr. Death, aka Dr. Christopher Duntch, was a neurosurgeon in Texas who operated on and seriously maimed more than 30 patients. He left several severely paralyzed and two patients died as a direct result of him. This is true crime meets medical thriller and will grip you from episode one.

I could go on all day about podcasts but I’ll just start with those three :) Recently, I’ve been listening to my Sunny Summer Jams playlist on Spotify…I know, it’s not summer anymore but they are feel good tunes and I needed some of that this week. Give it a listen if you’re looking for some good driving music!

Questions…

Please share any music, podcast or books-on-tape recommendations :)

What are your weekend plans?

We are going on a “surprise” date night, packing for SLC and hopefully fitting in some apple picking!

Do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail for Friday happy hour?

I rarely have liquor but I will never turn down a glass of wine or craft beer. I’m thinking tonight will be a red wine night though <3

 Wren Bistro &amp; Bar, Beaufort, SC

Wren Bistro & Bar, Beaufort, SC

As always, thank you for reading. I’m hoping to get more consistent with my posting as I get used to this platform and develop more content. I’ve got a Fall Fashion Favorites post coming up early next week - featuring some of my favorite bloggers :)

Have a wonderful weekend loves <3

We are all just walking each other home...

Megan WhitsonComment

“I hope they take the National Guard down there and shoot them all.”

I heard these words today in regards to the “migrant caravan” making its way through Central America. I heard multiple variations of this same sentiment today. Spoken by well-educated, kind people. Hate, spewed carelessly and arrogantly. Words and animosity thrown out flippantly about PEOPLE. HUMANS…just like US. Men, women, children, old people, young people. People with families. People who are scared and are hurting. People who are trying to escape evils that most of us cannot begin to imagine.

And we stand arrogantly and proudly and wish DEATH on them. This blows my mind and breaks my heart. I don’t care where you fall politically, I don’t care where you stand on immigration, I don’t care whether you think we should open our country to others or not. I DO care about fighting hate with love. I DO care about combatting ignorance with compassion. Before you speak, THINK friends. Think and consider the impact of your words, the impact of the energy that you are putting out into the world. Take a moment to reflect on what your life would be like if you had not been born in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Place yourself in someone else’s shoes, marinate in it, walk in them. Feel the fear. Feel their hurt and hopelessness. Ruminate on a darkness and hardness that most of us have never come close to experiencing. ONLY THEN, after careful consideration of our fellow people, after remembering that we are all citizens of humanity, only then – speak. 

I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know the solution. That is not the point that I am arguing or trying to make. I am pleading for us to remember kindness, compassion, love and empathy. For us to remember, as Ram Dass so eloquently put it, we are all just walking each other home.

All of us. Together. Regardless of where we are born, regardless of our color, regardless of our religion or of our political leanings. We are all children on this Earth together, walking one another home.

Remember that the next time, before you decide to condemn someone to death with your words. Let us never be so arrogant that we believe we can make ourselves judge and executioner. Pause and empathize, take time to consider and choose love.  

If you read this far, thank you. This is not meant as an attack on anyone; my heart is just broken by the carelessness of words and hatred that I heard today.

 Sunset in Costa Rica this past May…one of my favorite Central American countries.

Sunset in Costa Rica this past May…one of my favorite Central American countries.

Tuesday Things...

Tuesday ThingsMegan WhitsonComment

Hi friends! Happy Tuesday :) The weather has been slightly chillier this week and I have been LOVING it. I had an awesome weekend filled with friends - Will and I spent the first half of the weekend in Myrtle Beach at my friend Zach’s beach house in North Myrtle. Then we headed back down the coast to spend Sunday afternoon and evening with Cat & Dave. I’ll be posting more pictures of our weekend fun soon!

But for now…onto Tuesday Things!

  1. I am a little late to the game but I recently started using a Yeti tumbler and now I know why people have been talking about them for YEARS. The benefit of the Yeti tumbler over my Hydroflask is that it is tapered at the bottom so it fits in my car cupholder :)

  2. I’ve found a new Trader Joe’s LOVE recently! Their Mexican Style Roasted Corn with Cojita Cheese is AMAZING and cooks in literally 5 minutes. I’ve had it as a side with homemade tacos and as a topper for my lunchtime salads.

  3. A Year of Magical Thanking - loved this inspiring post on Cup of Jo; small acts of thankfulness can make someone’s day <3

  4. I had the most glorious kombucha beer this weekend at the beach! Lucid Dreamer is a “komfusion” by Fortnight Brewing Company; I have never been to their brewery in Cary, NC, but it is now on my list!

  5. I recently splurged and finally bought a Patagonia puffy jacket and I’m already getting my money’s worth this week! This is the one I have :) My Patagonia love just grows stronger and stronger.

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6. I’m going to try this Hearty Vegetable Bolognese this weekend that I found on Julie’s blog; I’ll report back next week! It feels like the perfect dinner for a chilly night.

7. I have a few new fall pieces on my Poshmark shop - these are a few of my favorites: Vera Bradley Scarf, Madewell Anthem Long Sleeve Tee, Ann Taylor Blouse, LOFT cardigan and this Vince Camuto Luck Tote. <—my FAVE!

Thanks for stopping by and for reading. I hope you have a WONDERFUL Wednesday tomorrow!

In the spirit of Hulaween...

SC TravelMegan WhitsonComment

Hi friends! Happy Saturday to you! How was your week? Any fun weekend plans?

My week was fairly uneventful but I did check out two new-to-me restaurants in Beaufort. On Wednesday night, it was my sweet friend Jenny’s last day of her rotation here in Beaufort - she is a 3rd year DPT student at Duke and our rotations overlapped. We’re both lovers of the outdoors along with delicious food and wine so we became friends immediately. To celebrate her last day, we caught the sunset near the Broad River Bridge and went to Old Bull Tavern in downtown Beaufort — HOLY YUM you guys. These wine & dine experiences in Beaufort just keep getting better and better. Sadly, I only remembered to take pictures of our first course. Old Bull Tavern in a gastropub that has an ever-changing menu (almost daily!) of whatever is seasonally available and inspires their chefs. They describe their fare as a mixture of European and American comfort foods. I’m hoping to go back a little earlier in the day sometime soon so that I can show you guys more pictures of the inside of the restaurant and bar area. Add this to your Beaufort list <3

On Thursday, it was my friend Drasti’s birthday. Drasti is one of my roommates and is a 2nd year PT student at MUSC (the same school that I go to). We are both on rotations in Beaufort right now. I am surrounded by super smart, super kind people y’all :) We went to Fat Pattie’s - a cool burgers & beer joint in the Beaufort/Port Royal area. It was delicious with a laid-back vibe and awesome beer menu. I got the Frenchi (Brie, rosemary mustard, crisp apples and caramelized onions) on a turkey burger - so good. Fat Pattie’s offers 6 different types of burgers so there is something for everyone, you can choose from: grass fed beef, chicken breast, beef & bacon, ground turkey, shrimp or black bean. Drasti and our other roommate Niraali got black bean burgers and said they were great. All the burgers came with rosemary fries - insert heart eyes emoji. Fat Pattie’s also offers beers from Salt Marsh Brewing Company, a brewery located just down the road in Old Town Bluffton. I tried their Oktoberfest and the Slo-Country Session IPA - they were both AWESOME. I’m hoping to make it to the actual brewery in Bluffon sometime before I leave. I’ll keep you guys posted :)

Thanks for letting me share my food and friendships with you. I hope you’ll check out these awesome finds if you’re ever in the Beaufort area :)

Next weekend is probably one of my favorite weekends out of the entire year - it is almost time for HULAWEEN at Suwannee Music Park in Live Oak, FL. This is hands down my favorite festival ever. Sadly, I will not be able to attend this year but I’m helping my friends make their banner for their campsite this weekend - so at least a little of my artistic handiwork will be on display at Hula ;) I thought I would share a few pictures from Hulaween last year with you guys because it is a truly magical place. I can’t wait to return next year. Enjoy!

I’m so sad that I will be missing out on this incredible experience but I’m so excited for my Hula fam that will be there. You leave exhausted but filled with so much light and love. Hula changes you in the best way. It gives you hope and fosters a love for all people.

Have a wonderful weekend you guys! I’m off to spend beach time with some of my good friends from school :) See ya next week!

Tuesday Things...One Day Late

Tuesday ThingsMegan WhitsonComment

Hi friends! Tuesday Things is happening on Wednesday this week because I was spending the night back in Charleston last night and enjoying every minute of it :) I spent the night with my best friend Catherine and her husband Dave (who’s also a dear, dear friend) and it was so nice to be back in my home and with my tribe <3 Also, Dave-o made an awesome stir fry loaded with chicken & veggies - which was a much needed improvement from my popcorn dinner that I had the previous 2 nights ;)

 The tribe on one last date night a few months ago before I left for Beaufort :)

The tribe on one last date night a few months ago before I left for Beaufort :)


So moving on to Tuesday (Wednesday) Things…

  1. I cannot wait to make THIS as part of my meal prep on Sunday. Another blog reader mentioned it in the comments on Janae’s blog and it sounded like savory breakfast perfection. I’ll let you know how it is!

  2. Loved this post on Cup of Joe - 11 Wedding Do’s and Don’t’s. Beautiful pictures too!

  3. Have you guys heard of Four Sigmatic? I’ve been using their Lion’s Mane and Chaga Mushroom Coffee and Reishi Mushroom Elixir for several months now and they are AWESOME. I’m going to do a whole post in November on the incredible health benefits of mushrooms :) I use Lion’s Mane and Chaga in the morning for energy/focus and the Reishi at night for relaxation and peaceful sleep.

  4. I bought this cardigan by Prana over the weekend at the Frugal Backpacker in Asheville. It is sooo soft and cozy. I’ll be wearing it a lot this fall <3

  5. HOLY. COW. Have you seen the new Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House??? I watched the first 3 episodes with Cat and Dave last night and we are hooked! The cinematography is incredible and it is so well written.

  6. I had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the season this morning and it. was. glorious. I know it probably has all sorts of additives, sugar and other not-so-great-for-you stuff…but you only live once and it’s not truly fall without a PSL from Starbucks at least once ;)

  7. Speaking of PSL’s: Brittany posted this at-home, healthier alternative pumpkin spice latte on her blog recently and I’m going to try recreating it using my Four Sigmatic instant mushroom coffee blend :)

  8. Will and I are in the process of planning our SLC road trip and we definitely want to spend a few days in Colorado. What are you recommendations of hikes, camping, breweries and other must-sees??

 Can’t wait to be stuck in a car with this fella for a week ;)

Can’t wait to be stuck in a car with this fella for a week ;)

PS - this picture is from a month-ish ago when we checked out The Tasting Room in Traveler’s Rest, SC. Be on the lookout for a “TR” post coming soon!

Happy Hump Day friends! Just a few more days till the weekend <3

Mountain Weekend Recap...

Weekend AdventuresMegan WhitsonComment

Hi friends! Happy Monday - I hope you had a wonderful, restful weekend and enjoyed some cooler weather!

I had a perfect mountain weekend up on Bald Mountain near Weaverville, NC - we were about 45 minutes outside of Asheville. The fella and I met one of our favorite “couple friends” at a gorgeous mountain house that our friend Tracy’s family graciously allowed us to enjoy for the weekend :) Matt is one of my good friends from PT school and Tracy is his wife - and significantly better half…just kidding, Matt…mostly ;) Matt and Tracy are who actually first got me interested in triathlons! We share a love of all things active, outdoor adventures and delicious food, wine and craft beer with them…essentially all of their favorite things are our favorite things too :) It makes for a fun weekend.

I’ll let the pictures mostly speak for themselves. If you are looking for a new location for a weekend mountain adventure though, I highly recommend finding a cabin or Airbnb near Weaverville, NC. Their downtown area is adorable with lots of fun, quirky shops, an amazing bakery, two breweries and a pizza shop with some to-die-for thin crust, wood-fired pizzas <3 There is awesome hiking along the AT with spectacular views. AND it is totally still feasible to take a day trip into Asheville! That is a win-win. Hopefully we’ll be back sooner than later!

Matt and I met at his parent’s house on our way up and rode the rest of the way together. Will beat us there by an hour or so and he and Tracy greeted us with a glass of wine :) Can you tell we like wine justttt a little? ;)

We all slept in a little later than initially planned on Saturday morning because we stayed up late catching up the night before. Tracy made us breakfast the next morning: hash browns, sauted greens, scrambled eggs and sliced avocado (Trader Joe’s EBTB seasoning was my contribution…bc I’m obsessed and travel with it everywhere —> super cool kid over here you guys). It was perfect fuel for our morning hike…

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 Misty mountain morning views from the deck…

Misty mountain morning views from the deck…

And by hike…I mean, semi-casual 2 mile stroll through the woods. We were all still moving a little slow from staying up so late and from more than a few glasses of wine ;) Totally worth it though. This was a meandering nature trail close to the mountain house in Wolf Laurel. I would definitely like to come back to do some trail running here!

Next up: Weaverville! We decided to venture into Weaverville on Saturday afternoon after our morning hike. We walked around in some SUPER cute shops and I had to remind myself that I am (essentially) living out of my car until May so I do NOT need to buy all the super cute knick-knacks…sigh. I did buy a felt, crafted yellow bird that I’ll hang on our Christmas tree one day and some specialty popcorn - so glorious. I am a sucker for anything that I can turn into a Christmas ornament and coffee mugs when I’m traveling. So then when you are choosing a mug in the morning or when you’re decorating your Christmas tree, every piece has a story and a memory behind it :)

After strolling around and taking in downtown, we popped into the two new-to-us breweries: Zebulon Artisan Ales and Eluvium Brewing Co. They were both innovative, small batch brewing companies and I definitely recommend checking them both out if you are in the area and enjoy craft beer <3

We rounded out our afternoon with a late lunch at Blue Mountain Pizza & Brew Pub. Y’ALL. Yes, we already had a few craft beers so we were primed for some pizza but this pizza 100% delivered - no pun intended ;) Will and I split the caesar salad (romaine, shaved parmesan, herbed croutons, Caesar dressing, diced tomato & candied bacon) and the Pesto Perfection (parmesan crust, pesto sauce, grilled chicken, artichoke hearts, feta). It. was. glorious.

Will, Matt and I all tried their house craft beer as well - we all ended up getting an 8 oz. pour of the Captain Trips Ale, a 9.5% Belgian Tripel…hence, the 8 oz. pour ;) If you are in Weaverville, please check this local spot out - they have nailed the beer AND pizza game.

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 Hi beautiful friend :)

Hi beautiful friend :)

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 A picture of a lone slice bc I may or may not have already devoured the rest of the pizza before I remembered to take a picture…

A picture of a lone slice bc I may or may not have already devoured the rest of the pizza before I remembered to take a picture…

The rest of Saturday afternoon was devoted to another short 2 mile hike up to Bald Mountain where we burned off approximately 1 slice of pizza and half a beer for our efforts ;) Bald Mountain is part of the Appalachian Trail and we were able to take in 360’ mountain views. There is something about the mountains that just humbles and inspires me - it can make me feel so small yet so connected to this land I get to call home. Beautiful views with beautiful friends…life does not get much sweeter.

That second to last picture of the boys cracks me up…they were making fun of me and Tracy for taking a “holding hands with mountains in the distance” picture ;) Also, I love that Rocky (Tracy and Matt’s dog) joined in for the last boy’s picture.

My favorite part of the day was when we got back to the house. We sat on the back porch overlooking the Blue Ridge and took in a magnificent sunset. As the day faded into night, I was overwhelmed by the love and sweet friendship of these 3 people. We bundled up in our warmest, coziest clothes and stayed up far too late sitting on the porch, drinking yummy pumpkin beers and enjoying wonderful conversation. My heart is so full and I feel so lucky to be able to do life with these guys…and Rocky, of course ;)

 This is my FAVORITE pumpkin beer :)

This is my FAVORITE pumpkin beer :)

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Sunday morning was spent in a mild state of sadness as we prepared to leave this beautiful place. I’m so happy for the time that we had though and look forward to even more adventures in the future. Matt and I rode back to his parents and watched the last half of the Panthers/Redskins game - he’s a Redskins fan and I’m a Panthers fan…sad day for me. Then it was time to get on the road back to Beaufort. The weekend was far too short but it sure was sweet.

Only 3 more weeks in the low country and then I’ll be headed out west to Salt Lake City. Send me your recommendations! Happy Monday loves. I hope you have a wonderful, joy-filled week <3

Currently... (and Happy First Friday)

CurrentlyMegan WhitsonComment

Hi friends! Happy First Friday!

Two semesters ago in PT school, our class schedule worked out to where we didn’t have class on Friday’s so we (my classmates and professors) started calling Thursday our “First Friday” and it stuck! And makes me smile happily bc it reminds me of 62 wonderful, talented friends that are all across the country right now kicking ass on clinicals :)

 Pro tip: if you want to see beautiful men with their shirts off on the reg, go to PT school ;)

Pro tip: if you want to see beautiful men with their shirts off on the reg, go to PT school ;)

Anywho…how has your week been? Flying by? Dragging slowly and painfully? Whatever the answer…put a pep in your step bc tomorrow is the REAL Friday! I’m heading up to the mountains with some dear friends and my fella for a few days of hiking, farmer’s marketing, craft beer drinking, board game playing and yummy food eating - cannot wait! I think I am most excited about the 60’ weather YESSS. We are rocking a balmy 81’ today here in Beaufort with 1000% humidity. Needless to say, I am slightly ecstatic for some fall weather - even if only for a weekend.

Alright moving onto today’s post which will be a monthly (maybe weekly, we shall see) topic on what is going on “currently.” I’m borrowing this idea from Tracy at Shutterbean because I think everything she does is absolutely amaze-balls (I know I hate myself for using that word too. I am a closet frat bro apparently). I kind of want to be just like her when I grow up and I love her Currently posts. I actually started using the same format in my journal this year so I’m carrying it on over to the blog-o-sphere (God, sorry. My verbage is truly bro today and I can’t seem to stop it…must be those First Friday vibes).

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Good Vibes Only

Folly Beach, SC

CURRENTLY …

INSPIRED BY: Strong women (check out this podcast episode with Sophia Bush - I want to be her best friend), men who support and respect strong women, my patients who keep fighting against incredibly odds — I am humbled to get to walk alongside them <3

WATCHING: Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (RIP - still so sad over his loss), Ozark (Anyone else watching?? Jason Bateman is incredible!)

READING: The Throne of Glass series (Holy cow…I just finished this series a few weeks ago. I literally did nothing other than eat, sleep, go to work and READ for about 2 weeks while I flew through this book series. I have not been that obsessed with a series since Harry Potter. HIGHLY RECOMMEND)

THINKING ABOUT: Salt Lake City (where I will be in less than a month for my next rotation!), thinking of and sending prayers for those affected by the hurricanes recently, how to become more disciplined in my yoga practice (I have been soooo slack recently)

LISTENING TO: Podcasts like crazy recently - a few of my current favorites: Unspoken with Sean Brock, Joe Rogan with Morgan Fallon, Dr. Death (seriously terrifying) and Oprah with Pico Iyer (so inspiring); and I’ve had my YOGA playlist on repeat at night recently

DREAM LIFE: Crazy dreams recently - I’ve been taking 5-HTP to help me sleep and it is wonderful but it also gives me some super out there, lucid dreams; I’ll try to remember some of them to share next time ;)

GRATEFUL FOR: the opportunity to start this blog…it has seriously been a dream for a long time and I’m thankful for everyone who takes the time to read and comment. Thanks guys <3

 I will be on this porch looking at this view in less than 24 hours &lt;3

I will be on this porch looking at this view in less than 24 hours <3


Questions…

Any Salt Lake City must see/do recommendations? Or recommendations of things to see/places to stop on the way out there?

What are you reading right now? What do you recommend?

What are your weekend plans?!

Tuesday Things ...

Tuesday ThingsMegan WhitsonComment
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Hi friends!

Just popping in to share a few Tuesday things with you today :)

  1. In case you didn’t realize it yesterday, I absolutely love Charlotte and it’s up at the top of my list for areas I’d like to live after I graduate. I took the above picture when I was visiting Dana for a much needed respite after completing my first semester of PT school!

  2. Have you guys heard of megababe?! I am newly obsessed with it’s founder: Katie Sturino (highlyyy recommend giving her an Insta follow - she is so REAL and stylish as hell. Love it). Anyone tried the chafing stick (any fellow runners)? I want to give all these products a try!

  3. It is misty and cool out in Beaufort today and I finally feel ready to play some Avett Brothers because they are my FALL music. I just feel like driving through the mountains as the leaves are changing when I hear them <3

  4. How glorious is this chai-spiced apple skillet??? I see this being made in my very near future!

  5. I feel like I need this hat for fall you guys … I’m so scared of ordering hats online though bc I have a MEGADOME for a head haha. Seriously, I think I wear a large in dude’s hats ;)

  6. What’s everyone’s favorite pumpkin recipes they’ve made so far?? I am way behind on my pumpkin recipe creations but it’s been a little hard to feel like it’s fall when it has still consistently been in the high 80’s here in the lowcountry. Come on fall!

  7. I did try the Pumpkin Spice Rx Bar and it was glorious! I am about to splurge and order one of the boxes from Amazon.

  8. Fall TV shows…also way behind the times. What is everyone watching?? I just finished The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon and it was so, so, so well done! I was so sad when I realized there was only one season … but rumor has it that season 2 will be out soon!

Thanks for reading loves. Leave me all your TV show and fall/pumpkin recipe recommendations! Pura Vida <3

 One more wedding pic from Saturday bc I love this dress and this man &lt;3

One more wedding pic from Saturday bc I love this dress and this man <3

PS…if you love this dress too, you can purchase it here :)

A perfect Charlotte weekend ...

Charlotte, WeddingsMegan WhitsonComment

Hi friends!

I spent a lovely weekend up in the Charlotte, NC, area. My boyfriend’s sister, Katie, got married to her sweetheart of 6 years, Tony. It was a beautiful wedding and had so many crafty, personal touches that really showcased Katie’s creativity. She made an absolutely stunning bride and I can’t wait to see the professional pictures!

But rewind to the beginning of the weekend! I used the wedding location as the perfect excuse to catch up with one of my best friends in Charlotte - Dana! Dana and I met on a random Sunday afternoon at brunch when we each had our pups with us - best friend love is always best built over puppies and mimosas. We are a match made in Sunday heaven and she’s been my sister ever since.

Anyway, she now lives in Charlotte and I miss her like CRAZY so it was wonderful to share a little time with her! She took me to a new-to-me pizza place called Inizio. Y’all. I consider myself a bit of a pizza snob and this was some DAMN GOOD pizza. Holy yum…we split two thin crust specialty pies: the Margherita (San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Buffalo Mozzarella, Basil, Garlic, Pecorino) and the Maria (Seasonal Mushroom Blend, Truffle Crema, Roasted Garlic, Buffalo Mozzarella, Sea Salt, Pecorino) … and of course, wine <3 This was a home run spot with a perfect outdoor seating area with string lights (which are my love language). If you’re looking for reasonably priced pizza and wine with a chill vibe, please check out this spot next time you're in Charlotte.

We finished off the night with a glass of wine on her back porch, catching up on life and enjoying this slightlyyy cooler weather. I don’t think life gets much better than back porch nights with good friends, good music, good wine and good conversation.

Dana went to an Orangetheory class on Saturday morning (this is on my bucket list to try soon!) while I worked on some styling, picture taking and photo editing for Poshmark. Then, I met Dana for lunch at YAFO Kitchen. She picked some winners for food this weekend because this was equally amazing (and I had my leftovers for lunch today! Win!). YAFO pairs the simplicity of Mediterranean fare with bold Middle-Eastern flavors. Imagine a Moe’s/Chipotle set-up but Mediterranean style with sooo many yummy options - I had a hard time reigning myself in! I forgot to take pictures but believe me, it was delicious. Another recommendation if you’re in the Charlotte area and looking for a quick, reasonably priced lunch spot :) Finally, we did a true girlfriend date and got pedicures … and kept it super classy by bringing our own mimosas in water bottles ;) Then it was time for me to get wedding ready and head to Rock Hill.

 We didn’t take any pictures this weekend but here is an oldy but goody from an Alabama Shakes concert in Charleston with my Sunday Sista

We didn’t take any pictures this weekend but here is an oldy but goody from an Alabama Shakes concert in Charleston with my Sunday Sista

I already said a little about the wedding but bear with me while I gush just a tad more. Katie picked an awesome venue in Rock Hill, SC (about 35 minutes outside of Charlotte) called Tipsy Goat Estate. The venue featured a beautiful plantation-style home and carriage house where the bride, groom and the wedding party all got ready. The actual ceremony took place right beside the creek under a huge oak tree and was just perfect. Katie and Tony wrote their own vows and it was such a beautiful, yet simple ceremony. I loved it. They had a cocktail hour out on the patio beside the house while the wedding party took pictures and then we all moved to the large barn on the estate for the reception.

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THE FOOD. Oh my goodness. They decided to again go for simplicity and served pulled pork BBQ, mac-n-cheese, coleslaw and baked beans. What a great idea for a wedding! It is easy, no fuss and who doesn’t love BBQ?! They also had “craft donuts” and I may or may not have had 2 or 3 of the pumpkin spice ones. No shame in this white girl game ;) The cake was gorgeous and elegant but I sadly did not get a picture. Maybe Katie will let me share some of the professional shots with you guys in a later post :) This was a fun night filled with lots of love and sweet times with family. All the light and love to Katie and Tony as they begin this next journey in life together <3

 We snuck out of the reception for some sunset pictures. Love this man &lt;3

We snuck out of the reception for some sunset pictures. Love this man <3

Sunday was a mix of work and rest. Will and I helped his parents clean up some last odds and ends back at the venue and I continued to drool over the house and estate - did I mention they have peacocks?! Put those on the (long) list of future pets I want. I think I’m going to need a farm :) After we cleaned up, we enjoyed leftovers from the night before - BBQ and more cake! Will and I watched the Panthers game with his parents and just enjoyed relaxing together. How about the Panthers win?! Gano!!! 63 year field goal - HOLY COW. He was the hero of the game for sure :)

As always Monday morning came too soon and I was on the road back to Beaufort at the lovely time of 4:00AM. GROSS.

It was a wonderful weekend and I’m so thankful for sweet times like these with family and friends.

Happy Monday loves. I hope you have a sunshine-filled week!