Charming Charleston Guide


 {Charleston colors}

You’ve probably figured this out already but I love to travel. I also love to find cool spots to grab a bite to eat, to sip on a cocktail and to join in on activities during my adventures. I’ve visited Charleston about three or four times now and each time I go, I find this cute little city more and more charming. It really is the absolute cutest. Everyone is so kind, the cocktails are on point and the food is simply outstanding.

I thought I’d share a few of my favorite places I’ve been to so far in Charleston and a few “to do’s” I’ve really enjoyed. Have you ever visited Charleston? Any favorite, awesome spots that I should try next time I go?!

Cocktails:

The Bar at Husk // A historic brick covered bar with an amazing menu full of concoctions. Tip – there is an upstairs part of the bar with tables and seating where you can order apps!

Market Pavilion Rooftop Bar // Located at the top of the Market Pavilion hotel, this bar has a view of the Charleston water scene and a beautiful pool right in the middle. Tip – It can get windy up there so bring a shawl or a sweater!

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{Hidden alley near King Street}
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{Beautiful Spanish moss trees}

Food:

Slightly North of Broad {SNOB} // Southern family oriented restaurant with historic chandeliers and decorations known for the shrimp and grits. Great for lunch! Tip – Make reservations far in advance or be prepared for a long wait!

Magnolias // Modern, southern, extremely delicious meals that are presented beautifully. Great service and great for dinner. Tip – It’s an amazing menu, try something you wouldn’t normally try!

Cypress // Owned by the same owners as Magnolias but the atmosphere is a bit different – it’s a larger space with a vast wine selection and impressive wine cellar. Tip – Get there early and have a drink at their beautiful bar, it’s worth it!

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{Husk Restaurant – a favorite}

To Do: 

Walk along King Street and shop! // My two favorite boutiques that I can spend hours are Worthwhile and Candlefish. I found these candles called Rewined candles at Candlefish and I bought the Pinot Grigio flavored one, it’s amazing! I wish I bought so many more!

Flea Market // Really fun place to wander through, there are so many different stands where you can buy and look at all of the handmade crafts made by local artisans.

Walk along the Waterfront Park //  You’ll get to see a beautiful view of the Charleston bridge, the main fountain in the middle of the park and all of the greenery that surrounds the city.

Carriage Ride // I actually haven’t done this YET but it’s on my number one things to do next time I go down there. Has anyone done a carriage ride in Charleston before? I’ve heard the tours are great and every time I see one of the carriages passing through I just want to hop on! 

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{Fountain by the park}

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{Historic horse carriage rides}

This is a very short list of things to try in Charleston because the city is full of amazing places and things to do. Next time I go back, I’ll post an updated version of this list with many more of my favorites!

PS. Have you seen my Kiawah post yet?

Home away from home

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetThere are currently two places in the whole wide world where I feel most relaxed and most myself – South Carolina and Greece. To be fair, I’ve only spent just a few weekends in Kiawah, South Carolina but it has definitely made my list of top two places, along with Greece, that I would choose to escape to at any point in time.

This past long weekend away solidified that feeling for me. I was introduced to Kiawah by the boyfriend who has been summering on the island for the past 20 years. This is the place where he learned how to swim, where he learned how to play golf, where he learned how to canoe – this is where he spent special moments with his closest friends. I have grown to love it and appreciate it just as much as he does.  

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IMG_0561My special place is Greece and it always has been. Ever since I was a little girl, it was really important for my parents to show me where I came from. My roots, my families past, my fathers small village, my culture, my language, my family – they always wanted me to be a part of it all as much as possible. From the history of Sparta, to the ancient ruins of Athens, to the unbelievable island views, Greece has it all. I feel the most beautiful, the most confident and the most relaxed when I’m there. I feel perfectly tanned, perfectly fed, and perfectly in my own world.
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Just like running gives me this rush of being on my own and independent, spending time in these two places gives me a similar sort of feeling. I can let go, relax, breath in and out, and feel calm. Having moved five or so times throughout my childhood, people have asked me, “well where do you consider home?” I may never really know where “home” truly was growing up – London, Italy, India, Connecticut, New Jersey, because all of those “homes” shaped the person I am today. But one thing I do know is that at this moment in time I feel most at home in Greece and in Kiawah – and I think that means just as much.
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*all pictures were taken in Kiawah this past weekend. See more snaps on c’est moi natasha’s Instagram!

PS. More c’est moi natasha travel posts, here and here!

Homemade Apple Pie

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I love simple recipes. If I can whip something up that’s straight forward with just a few steps but that also tastes delicious then I know I have a winning dessert. This is my mom’s homemade apple pie recipe and it hits just the right sweet tooth spot. Paired with chocolate or vanilla ice cream and you have a perfect combination of flavors. I brought this apple pie as one of the desserts for the mother’s day BBQ and it ended up being a huge hit. Top the sliced apples up with a bit of cinnamon & sugar and voila, it’s ready to go!

Ingredients:

  • 4 big apples
  • 1 pie crust
  • sugar & cinnamon
  • 1/4 stick of butter

Oven Temperature: 350 degrees

Cooking Time: 35 – 40 minutes (or until golden)

How to:

Place pie crust into a rounded pan

Poke holes with a fork into the pie crust

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Thinly slice apples and start placing them into a rounded formation one slice on top of another
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Once completed all the way around the pan, add a spoon of cinnamon and sugar
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Place drops of butter onto the apples for flavor

Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown

Let it cool and serve with any flavored ice cream – enjoy!

PS. Have you seen this delicious chocolate mouse recipe or this amazing chocolate covered strawberries recipe?

One Piece

On my “what I want” list for this summer is to buy a super cute one piece bathing suit. I looked into buying one last year but I never ended up pulling the trigger. This year, it’s one of those definite need items. I am venturing off on a weekend getaway to South Carolina for MDW (follow my Instagram for pics of the trip!) and it’s supposed to be 80s and sunny so you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be laying out by the pool and the beach. I don’t think I’ll be choosing a one piece in time for this particular trip but the trip did trigger a strong desire to buy the perfect one piece for this summer.

One of my good friends Michelle, swears by this site for bathing suits and recommended that I look into a few options. I took a look at the site today and it does have some prettyyy good picks laid out that I may need to snatch up. Here are my favorite one pieces from the site, which one do you love the most?!

{Billabong Tiles // $84.95}

{Flower Fields // $94.00}

{Volcom Dawn // $105.95}

{Swell Sofia Plunge // $64.95}

{Saha Miriti Plunge // On Sale $43.64}

PS. Have you seen my picks of espadrille shoes and black tie dresses yet?

Polka Dots


Summer nights are here in full swing! I spent this past weekend in New Jersey and I ate a whole lot of sushi. If you ever find yourself in the North Jersey Madison area, you should defintiely try Blue Wazabi, they have amazing sushi and amazing sushi pizza. Friday and Saturday night I went out with friends and all I wanted to throw on were skinny jeans, cute summer tops and wedges. This Madewell Polka Dot top is super comfortable and was perfect for a night out on the town. Hope you had an amazing weekend!




 

Madewell Polka Dot Top (on sale $24.99!) // Zara Jeans (similar here and here) //  Vince Camuto Wedges (similar here)

PS. I’m really loving stripes for the summer too, check out my new JCrew skirt (on sale too)!

Run

IMG_0284My feet lightly touch the ground one by one – my mind becomes clearer and I’m in my own world. All of the stress and everyday worries that consume my mind slowly fades away after each breath I take. The music in my ears encourages me to keep going, to keep my pace to the beat. I feel my body getting stronger and my mind getting sharper. Running has always been an escape for me. It’s been an important part of my life and transitioning into adulthood, it’s become a necessity. It’s a time where I can peacefully self reflect and just do me. I’m in my own zone and I’m allowed to be. Nobody can bother me.

I typically like being alone and I’ve learned over the years that counting on myself and being comfortable with being by myself is really important. I was teased at an early age for being a little different than everyone else. I moved from India where I had a very unique upbringing and childhood to Connecticut suburbia and a little after that New Jersey suburbia. In India, I would run around in dessert like areas and every year the international schools would have track races where we would all compete against each other. It was my all time favorite event (see picture above!).

When I moved to the US of A, I definitely dressed differently in my collard shirts, longer skirts and Ked shoes. I didn’t play all of the “normal” sports that girls my age were playing – soccer, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey etc. I started playing soccer and basketball at around 12 years old when everyone around me had started as soon as they could walk. I was not very technically gifted but one thing I could do well was run. And there was a sense of comfort knowing that I could at least do that.

This week, I signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon in October and the Kiawah Marathon in December. I’ve run a half marathon before (the Brooklyn Half Marathon) but I’ve been dreaming about running a full marathon for a while. I kept going back and forth, afraid to commit to something as scary as 26.2 miles but I finally pulled the trigger. Wish me luck! And maybe, just maybe, I will run the Athens Marathon one day…..

PS. I talk a bit more about my childhood in this post, check it out!

Chocolate Chocolate Mousse

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Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablets 200 grams bitter sweet chocolate
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 12 eggs
  • 12 tablespoons of sugar
  • raspberries

** recipe should be made the night before

How to:

Melt butter and chocolate in belle marie

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Separate the whites and the yellow of the eggs into two different bowls
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Beat the yellow of the egg for five minutes until very light yellow colored

Add 12 tablespoons of sugar to the light yellow eggs. Beat for another 5 minutes

Beat egg whites separately until firm

When chocolate is melted, add the chocolate into the yellow egg mixture very slowly (so that the egg doesn’t cook)

When eggs whites are beaten, add it to the yellow mixture very slowly. Do not stir the two together, instead, fold the white part of the eggs into the yellow eggs and chocolate

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Once finished mixing, pour mixture into a nice crystal bowl

Let chocolate mousse sit in the fridge over night

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Top the mousse off with a few raspberries and voila – a little bite of chocolate to start off the week!

PS. Check out more sweets and treats c’est moi natasha recipes here, and here!

Stripes

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetI had a wonderful mother’s day on Sunday. I don’t want to gush/humble brag too much about it, especially since I’ve already gushed about how unstoppable my mom is, but it was an amazing time. My boyfriend and I joined our two families together and everything went even better than I could have ever imagined. Family comes first for both of us so the timing was perfect as we celebrated all of the beautiful mamas in our lives.

We ate the tastiest 13 pound pork shoulder, enjoyed the gorgeous warm weather, played with the cutest little ones there ever was (he has the most adorable niece and nephew) and drank beautiful wine from New Zealand. I recently snagged this skirt and these shoes (as seen on my Insta) from JCrew and I couldn’t wait to wear them to this perfect family gathering. I also can’t wait to wear both pieces a million different times in a million different ways this spring/summer. Hope you had fabulous weekend!

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Outfit Details: JCrew Skirt (on sale!) // Mink Pink Top (similar here and here) // JCrew Mules (on sale!)

PS. See more recent outfits here, here and here!

Happy Mama’s Day

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{c’est moi natasha’s mama back in the 80’s}

Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! Tiny pieces of everything you are define every part of me. Today, I celebrate everything you are. Amazing, brave, talented, beautiful, selfless, caring, wonderful, intelligent, and the list goes on to infinity. You are my best friend and my number one person.  I look up to you in so many ways. I am so grateful and lucky to call you my mother. To me you are perfect – the perfect wife and the perfect mother. I hope to be as great as you are one day. I love you way too much to write it all down but I am so happy to call myself your daughter.

Happy Mother’s day to all of the amazing moms out there!

XOXO