Five Favorite Restaurants in Charleston

There are hundreds of restaurants in Charleston and the surrounding towns, and more being added all the time with the growing population. We have been in Charleston for a little over a year and have been to only a handful. However, there are places that have become some of our favorites and today I’m sharing about five of them.

Five Favorite Restaurants in Charleston

  1. Hall’s Chophouse – We have loved going to this restaurant for special occasions like my birthday and Cody’s birthday last year! Why we like it? The steaks are delicious (and from the Midwest), you can’t beat their sides, and the atmosphere they create is amazing!
    Hall's Chophouse
  2. 5Church – We have only been here once, a couple of weeks ago with some friends, but it left us speechless. The food on their menu is different but delicious. The drinks are excellent. And the fact that they’ve turned a historic church into a restaurant is super cool!
  3. Page’s Okra Grill – This Mt. Pleasant restaurant is the #1 breakfast place on TripAdvisor and for good reason. We’ve been there a couple of times when our parents are in town and it always leaves us wanting to come back. Their flavors and mix of classics with trends are delectable. And their portions for the price do not disappoint!
    Page's Okra Grill
  4. Smoky Oak – There are SO many BBQ choices to pick from, and as much as I’ve talked about Jim n Nicks in the past, I let this one be husband’s choice. I’ve only been to Smoky Oak once last fall, but Cody has been back again and stands by their meat being the best! I especially love their smoked sausage and pork. There is a new BBQ place in town, so we’ll see if it gives Smoky Oak a run for its money.
    Smoky Oak
  5. Yamato – This Japanese restaurant has been enjoyable every time we go and never leaves us hungry! I love hibachi grills because they provide entertainment, give you multiple courses of yummy food, and usually leave you with leftovers. I really like this grill because they even include sherbet for dessert with their meals 🙂

Bonus for Dessert… Carmella’s! I love their desserts for sure! It is comparable to Kaminsky’s but we’ve been here more. We’ve tried a few different desserts and they are all delicious!

Question for You:
If you live in or have visited Charleston, where is your favorite place to eat??

5 Punta Cana Resorts to Consider for Your Next Trip

Saturday we will be heading to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon! We have been excited for this adventure since we booked it back in February. We had some trouble choosing our honeymoon spot at first; we originally wanted to do Italy but it did not fit into our budget right now, so we have to hold off on that trip for now. BUT, I still wanted to leave the country for our honeymoon.

After we decided to go somewhere in the Caribbean and an all-inclusive resort, we had to decide which island to visit. I didn’t want to do Mexico or Jamaica because they are more common. Then as we discussed our options, we agreed on the Dominican Republic!


Now, we had to choose which resort we wanted to stay at. We did some of our own research using Expedia but it is a big search, so we enlisted the help of a travel agent to narrow the search. Here are the top five resorts we decided between and the reason behind our decision.

  1. Iberostar – This one was in our budget but not exactly what we were looking for.
    Resort 2 Iberostar
  2. Excellence – We really liked this one, the quality of the resort and its amenities were impeccable, but their price was overbudget.
    Resort 3 Excellence
  3. Now Larimar – This resort was nice but also out of our budget.
    Resort 4 Now Larimar
  4. Hotel Riu Palace – This resort was around our budget but I don’t remember it being exclusively adults only.
    Resort 6 Hotel Riu Palace
  5. Catalonia Royal Bavaro – OUR CHOICE! We loved the amenities offered, the style of the resort, the price was at budget, and the reviews and ratings were outstanding! I’m excited to do a review after we return.
    Resort 5 Catalonia Royal Bavaro
    Questions for you:
    How do you decide your accommodations for a trip?
    Have you ever been to the Caribbean? What was your favorite part?
    Where did you go/would you go on your honeymoon?

Top 10 Places on my Travel Wishlist

I have always had a serious case of the travel bug. One of the things on my bucket list is to visit all 50 states. However, my wanderlust has grown past the borders of the United States; I want to see the world. Here are my top 10 places on my travel wishlist.

  1. Italy – Rome and Venice would be my ideal cities to visit. Being a social studies teacher, I am in love with all the historical and cultural aspects of the world. I would love to tour the Colosseum, throw a coin into the Trevi fountain, and eat lots of pasta and gelato. Venice is known for their gondola rides and it would be fun to ride one.
  2. Ireland – I love the countryside here and would like to visit some of the bigger cities like Dublin and Cork.
  3. England – I know London is known to be dirty but there are so many iconic sights to see.
  4. Peru – Machu Picchu is one of my favorite wonders of the world!
    machu picchu
  5. New York City – This is one of the big cities of the U.S. I haven’t visited and need to experience.
  6. Canada – I have been told Toronto is a great city to visit and I also want to visit Niagara Falls from the Canada side (I’ve heard it’s better!)
    home-torontoniagara falls
  7. Iceland – Reykjavik is the capital and most well-known town in Iceland. Plus, the hot springs are a must visit! If you want a great road trip around the coast of Iceland, check out this post from Hej Doll. I hope to use this trip some day.
  8. South Africa – I want to go on an African safari and I know there are some good ones in this country.
    south africa safari
  9. Norway – I love Norway’s geography with all of their fjords! It would be great to hike or boat through them.
  10. Alaska – I have never gone on a cruise, and I think an Alaska cruise would be a great way to experience both!alaska

Also, here are two places I have been that I look forward to visiting again.

  1. Santorini – I visited back in 2012 for a college class.
  2. New Zealand – I visited in 2008 as part of the People-to-People program.
    new zealand

    Where is on your travel wishlist?

For other places that have caught my eye and maybe yours, check out my travel Pinterest board.

Weekend Recap + Food & Fitness #35

Hope everyone had a good weekend and Monday. I’ve officially started my summer and it’s great! We spent this past weekend in Atlanta and had a great time!


We decided to stay in an AirBnB instead of doing a hotel, which saved us some money. It ended up being nice and not far from big attractions. We arrived late that night so we headed out to Joystick, a video game bar, then grabbed some food afterwards.


Saturday we went to breakfast at the Flying Biscuit, which had a healthy, hippie feel to it.


After breakfast, we toured the World of Coca-Cola. That was really cool! I loved the tasting room where you can try Coke products from all over the world.


After the tour, we headed to Covington to meet Cooper, our pug puppy! It was great to spend some time with him and build that bond. He is so sweet and curious and little. Later this week, I’ll share his photo in a different post.

On our way back into Atlanta, we stopped at Chick-Fil-A for some lunch.


Saturday evening we did some relaxing before going to Maggiano’s for supper. They have so many great choices for pasta but I knew I wanted to do something lighter and went with their flatbread and a glass of sangria.


After supper we went back to Joystick before turning in for the night.

Sunday we headed into Midtown for breakfast at Cafe Intermezzo. Cody and I shared a chicken sausage panini, which was delicious!


The last thing we did before we headed back home was Cody’s pick. We visited the College Football Hall of Fame. Their set-up was really great because your access pass was connected with the school you attended, so all of the modules and exhibits could be tailored to you.

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I love visiting Atlanta and Cody enjoyed his first time there as well!

If you’ve visited Atlanta, what is your favorite thing to do there?

I am officially in my fifth week of my Bikini Bootcamp and I’m feeling great!

Here is my meal plan for this week:

Sunday – Leftovers

Monday – Italian Cheesy Shells with Ground Turkey

Tuesday – Small Group (Potluck, bringing Swedish meatballs)

Wednesday – Grilled chicken with baked potatoes and green beans

Thursday – Breakfast for supper

Friday – Pasta or Paninis

Saturday – Grill out (burgers, turkey dogs, corn, etc.)

As for fitness, my workout schedule is the same as it’s been for the past month. We just started our last phase today and my arms felt like jello afterwards, so I know my muscles are still kept guessing while they are getting stronger.

Viva Las Vegas

Hey y’all! I can’t believe it’s already August… where has the summer and year gone?!

I just spent the last week in Las Vegas! It was my first time visiting the city and I had a blast! I was able to see my best friend Marci, who ended up being my little tour guide as she goes out there a couple times a year to visit her grandparents 🙂 I now understand why she loves the city so much!

Instead of doing a wordy recap, I’m going to do a caption per picture.

I missed my early morning flight to Vegas and had to go standby for the later and last flight out of Charleston; thank the Lord because I received the last seat on that later flight.

Vegas Vacation >>>>>>>>>>>> Vegas Vacation

My first day in Vegas was a surprise day that started out with breakfast and coffee at this vegan place called Sunrise Coffee House.

Vegas Vacation

After breakfast, we spent the next several hours at the Springs Preserve, which displays the area’s natural habitat, a dinosaur exhibit, and state museum.

Vegas Vacation

The Springs Preserve is also home to a energy-efficient house that won 2nd place in a global competition!

Vegas Vacation

The last major surprise for the day was a trip to the Mob Museum! This is something Marci has talked about visiting in the past and it definitely did not disappoint; I love this time era and the mystery of the mafia.

Vegas Vacation Vegas Vacation

With Marci being vegan, this was a place she had been too several times and I’m glad she introduced me. Not only do they service those who are vegans but also gluten free, vegetarian, and just regular ole eaters like myself 🙂

Vegas Vacation

Day 2 consisted of Red Rocks and Spring Mountain – God’s work is simply breathtaking!

Vegas Vacation

Marci and I went hiking on Spring Mountain (don’t worry… it was an easy trail) and only got a little lost once. Luckily, her deductive reasoning skills and my observation skills got us to where we needed to go!

Vegas Vacation

After our hike, we ate at my first Vegas buffet and it did NOT disappoint! There were so many choices of food and everything was so good!

Vegas Vacation

Later that night we got all dressed up and went to a variety show, which was both funny and unbelievable!

Vegas Vacation

After the show, we walked up the strip to see the Bellagio fountains and the Chandelier at the Cosmopolitan. The strip is gorgeous at night!

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Vegas Vacation

While we were at the Cosmopolitan, we stopped at another bar and had the BEST cosmo ever!

We ended the night at the Aria to watch a musician that Marci knows. Patrick has definite skill on the guitar and piano while also adding his own style to his music.

Vegas Vacation Vegas Vacation

While on the strip, we walked through many of the hotel/casinos to see their special features!

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Vegas Vacation

Especially the delicious-looking chocolate fountain!

Vegas Vacation

We also got to see a sky view of the strip from the High Roller, the new world’s tallest ferris wheel!

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Later that night we hit up a couple of bars. One was a surprise! A surprise that included fur coats, gloves, cold toes, and lots of ice!

Vegas Vacation

We also hit up a Sinatra inspired bar that was playing Motown-style music.

Vegas Vacation

My last full day in Vegas started with THE BEST burger I’ve ever had plus some delicious skinny fries from the Yard House.

Vegas Vacation

And ended with some California Pizza Kitchen and Charming Charlie! I found a Panama-style hat for the beach for only $5!

Vegas Vacation Vegas Vacation

It ended up being a great week! Now back to wrapping up the summer and getting ready for the school year.