Jul 112015

I have decided to start a new weekly feature called South Carolina Saturday.  I will try to feature a South Carolina attraction – such as a museum, park or town, or a great place to eat!  South Carolina is so full of amazing places, and I’d love to share them all with you.

I have written about Charleston a few times already, so I will focus on something local to me that is a place I love to eat!


Located in Five Points at 827 Harden Street, Pawley’s has been voted Best Hamburger in Columbia by The Free Times newspaper.   There is also a location down near the coast in Mount Pleasant (near Charleston).  

They have a variety of hamburgers, salads, fish tacos and wraps.  The burgers are named after towns across South Carolina, such as the Beaufort (topped with Franks Red Hot onion rings, fried egg, apple cured ham, cheddar cheese) or the Wadlamaw (topped with chipotle barbeque sauce, fried pickle chips, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese).   For most burgers you get to pick your choice of bun (traditional Sesame Kaiser, Multi Grain, Ciabatta, or Pretzel) and a side.  They have fries (of course!), onion rings and these to die for sweet potato fries with cinnamon sugar.  My personal favorite though is the Isle of Palms Burger on a pretzel bun.  It comes topped with pimento cheese and jalapeno bacon.  Oh yes…can’t get much more southern that pimento cheese!

They also have daily specials, ranging from “kids eat for $1″ on Mondays to “student discount sundays” (since it is located adjacent to USC, giving students a 20% discount is pretty awesome!)

Next time you are in Columbia, be sure to check this gem out!

Jun 262015

Hey everyone — Swag Code Alert! Here’s the new Swag Code available on Swagbucks.com:

  • Swag Code: JustSpinIt
  • Amount: 3 SB
  • Time: Fri, June 26th from 12pm PDT – 1pm PDT (3pm EDT - 4pm EDT)
  • Available: US only

Make sure to go to Swagbucks on your computer or Mobile app to get your free SB before time runs out! If you don’t know about Swagbucks yet, it’s the largest rewards website that gives people free gift cards for the things they do online.

In addition to earning SB through the Search engine, playing Games, Watching videos, taking Surveys & more, they also like to give out Swag Codes for bonus SB! Redeem these limited-time-only Swag Codes whenever you see them and you’ll get your gift cards even faster!

Swagbucks is how I paid for most all the Christmas gifts I brought last year!  





Sign up today and get the Swag Code while it lasts!!

Jun 262015

For today’s edition of Five 4 Friday, I thought I would share some of the places that I love in this state.


Falls Park – Greenville, SC.  

Greenville is such an amazing example of a city putting money into their city to make it pedestrian friendly, and driving businesses downtown (vs. the burbs).   Their main street is so alive with shops, bars & restaurants and hotels.  The park is beautiful, with swings and benches all around.  This is one of our favorite shops in Greenville!
Hunting Island State Park, St. Helena, SC

Hands down one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever been to.  The Hunting Island lighthouse overlooks the Atlantic at this state park just between Charleston and Savannah, east of Beaufort.  The waves may have broken and battered its tree-lined coast, but it makes it all the more haunting and beautiful.

Beaufort, SC

Otherwise known as Beaufort by the Sea.  This beautiful, quaint little southern town is a place I was blessed to call home for 3.5 years, from February 2002-July 2005.   Shops like the Craftseller & The Chocolate Tree and amazing restaurants like Dockside and Saltus make this a must for a weekend trip.
North Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC

One of mine and Patrick’s absolute favorite places to visit.  So much history, so many beautiful homes, and so much yummy food.  We love the waterfront park with the swings, and walking the battery (seen above).  We enjoyed a trip there in March for our 2nd anniversary and hit up several beaches too while we were down there.



Williams Brice Stadium – Columbia, SC

Did you think this wouldn’t make the list?  There is little in this world that is more amazing than to hear the opening of 2001, and screaming your head off with 82,000 of your closest friends.  I love everything about it (except maybe the 100* temps we have some game days).  From 2001, to the band forming the iconic gates, to Sandstorm.  This place holds a very special place in my heart.  Go Gamecocks!

Jun 232015

So far this month we have finished the last days of school, went to vacation bible school, had movie nights, had sleepovers and generally have enjoyed the first few weeks of summer vacation!  Here’s what we’ve been up to lately.

Reading Lately:

The kids and I both joined the summer reading program at the library.  They are doing great with their weekly reading goals, and love going to check out books & movies.  Jonathan has been getting the giant Lego books and then trying to build the things he sees in the book.   Natalee will read anything she can get her hands on.  I also have read a handful of books and when I dropped my entries into the bucket the other day I noticed that there are not many.  Good chances I’ll win something?  Maybe!  Books I have read lately (you can see all the books I have read on my GoodReads page).



Cooking Lately:

The kids are enjoying summer break with the regular menu of pizza, chicken nuggets, and other quick foods.  They attended VBS last week, so our dinner menu was a little wacky.  Getting off at 5, and getting them to VBS by 6 was a challenge, but, my kids are troopers!  


I also recently made an incredible cheesy-chicken rice bake that had the kids begging for more.  They finished off an entire 9×13 pan – crazy.  I will admit it was delicious, and I was able to snag some for lunch earlier this week.  It was super easy, and I will be making it again soon!   I found the recipe on pinterest, originally posted by:  Mom on TimeOut    

I did tweak the recipe a bit to fit our needs.  I didn’t measure exactly on the mayo, or the corn flakes that made the crunky topping.  As Trish mentioned in her blog, her family loved the crunchy topping – and so did my kids.  The more the better!   I did follow her directions of thawing the broccoli, although I think I need to break it up more into smaller pieces next time.  

She has a ton of recipes I will for sure be using in the future!





rizzoli-and-isles-5I was insanely excited to see that my library carried the 4th & 5th seasons of Rizzoli & Isles.   So I immediately jumped on them.  I am in line to get season 5, which is fine because it allows me to catch up on season 4.    Katie has been getting many of the Marvel comics movies from the library and watching with her siblings.  She also recently went with her best friend Alex to see Jurassic World, in 3D of course.  They were happy and giggly teenage girls when I picked them up from the theater by our house.   The kids have been watching various movies they get from the library, like Lego Batman and Scooby Doo!



What’s everyone else doing on their summer break?  Anything exciting?




Jun 182015

Columbia is full of wonderful museums like The State Museum, EdVenture and the Columbia Museum of Museum - BUT…did you know that the University of South Carolina also has a museum – and its FREE?!?!?!   Say wwwhhhaaa??

The McKissick Museum, located at the end of the historic Horseshoe (which we will discuss in another post) is home to the visitors center for the University of South Carolina, as well as some admissions offices.  But, what many people don’t know is that the 2nd & 3rd floors are home to permanent and traveling galleries showcasing our state and our university.

rudyMy kids and I have ventured to the museum early in my career at UofSC, along with my mom.  The kids loved the hands on exhibits in the Natural Curiosity exhibit on the 3rd floor.  From a large lion Allison lovingly named Rudy (seen to the left), to a very cool collection of glow in the dark rocks – they have so many neat things on display.  

Currently, they have an exhibit on  called Traditions, Change, and Celebration showcasing Native American art.  They even have a dug-out canoe (that’s hands on!!!).   The very ornate costumes are absolutely beautiful, and photos of them do not do them justice at all!    This exhibit is scheduled to be open through July 15th.

Stop by and visit them, and see what kind of fun things you can spot!



Jun 172015

This is a post about nothing, I mean really – nothing.  Its summertime, which means blogging slump!   This past few months its been harder and harder for me to come up with great content for everyone.  Which, of course makes me super sad!  I have tried to pick up a few blog meme’s here and there, but even those come and go like the wind.  I feel like I start to write a post, and then I feel like this….


So….I will do my best though over the next few weeks to highlight some local favorites here in Columbia from food to outdoorsy type stuff.

We have some stuff on the horizon – a trip to my moms to drop the kids off for Camp Grandma, Brayden’s world series trip to MB, a trip to GG’s at least once and hopefully hitting Folly Beach for the day.  

For now, I leave you with this….

 The Squirrels at USC have their own twitter feed, full of trash can sneaking shenanigans and proclaiming their everlasting love for Chick-Fil-A.  Click on the squirrel to visit their twitter feed.





Jun 112015

So I saw these questions on facebook the other day making the rounds, and I thought it would be fun to do with Patrick.   I was fair, and also answered the questions verbally, and it was fun to laugh about over dinner.  I love doing stuff like this, and I love that he willingly also plays along with my blog ideas.  Thanks babe!   My commentary is in parenthesis.  =)

1. What is something your girlfriend always says to you?
– seriously?  (yes, I do say that a lot!)

2. What makes your girlfriend happy?
   - making other people happy 

3. What makes your girlfriend sad?
   - missed phone calls

4. How does your girlfriend make you laugh?
   - crazy work stories

5. What was your girlfriend like as a child?
   - he refused to answer this

6. How old is your girlfriend?

7. How tall is your girlfriend?
   - 5’7″   (good try, but I’m 5’6″)

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
   - read books

9. What does your girlfriend do when you’re not around?
   - read books

10. If your girlfriend becomes famous, what will it be for?
   - inventing a new planner/calendar thing

11. What is your girlfriend really good at? 
   - organizing, reminding me of stuff, taking care of me

12. What is your girlfriend not very good at?
   - going with the flow  (in my defense, I’m getting better about this!)

13. What does your girlfriend do for a job?
- Assistant to the Dean of the History Department, but I honestly have no idea what you actually do all day.    (in reality, I don’t even know what I do all day sometimes!)

14.What is your girlfriend ‘s favorite food?
   - avocados   (close, I love seafood more than any other food!)

15.What makes you proud of your girlfriend?
 -  her commitment to family

16. If your girlfriend were a character, who would she be?
  – Ariel (like the little mermaid?), Yes, because ever since you read that question that’s what popped in my head.

17. What do you and your girlfriend do together?
   - Stuff-n-things (that’s your go to answer, can you elaborate?).  Go to baseball games, go out riding around.

18. How are you and your girlfriend the same?
   - we are both parents

19. How are you and your girlfriend different?
   - She wants to plan everything, I want to plan nothing.

20. How do you know your girlfriend loves you?
   - she tells me all the time, and the way she treats me.

21. What does your girlfriend like most about you?
  – me being me

22. Where is your girlfriends favorite place to go? 
   - “home” or to her parents house.

I would say he knows me pretty well.  I plan on doing these same questions with my kids, just changing “girlfriend” to “mom” obviously!


Jun 042015

 Natalee’s first day of kindergarten and his last day of kindergarten.



Jonathan’s first day of 2nd grade and his last day of 2nd grade.



Katie’s first day of 8th grade, and close to her last day of 8th grade.