The Chic List: Charleston, Olympics, Dating and Real Heroes


What to Do, Eat, Read, Watch and Listen To The Chic List features the best things to do, eat, read, watch and listen to this month.


CHARLESTON FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL FEBRUARY 28 – MARCH 4, 2018: The Charleston Food and Wine Festival is an annual celebration of the Lowcountry’s best food and wine. The four-day culinary event began in 2006. The festival is considered one of the top food and wine celebrations in the United States and attracts chefs, food professionals and winemakers from across the country.

Here are a few of my recommendations if you visit Charleston.

SPERO: My favorite restaurant in Charleston is Spero. The chef is always accommodating and prepares a gluten-free meal for me. If you don’t have celiac disease, you’ll want to try the chicken fat biscuits. The dessert menu includes homemade ice cream. I usually order the lamb minus the bread with European slaw and sweet potatoes.

BLACK TAP COFFEE: Black Tap Coffee is my favorite coffee shop in Charleston.

SUGAR BAKESHOP: This is a cute bakery on Cannon Street in Charleston. Locals line up to buy the cupcakes. They do offer some gluten-free items.

CARRIAGE RIDE: No visit to Charleston would be complete without a carriage ride.

HOTEL BENNETT: This amazing hotel opens this summer.


Jennifer’s Way Kitchen: Easy Allergen-Free, Anti-Inflammatory Recipes for a Delicious Life: Jennifer Esposito is an actress that owned a gluten-free bakery in New York City until just recently. She has celiac disease. This cookbook includes most of her recipes from the bakery. If you have celiac disease or food intolerances or feel better on a gluten-free or paleo diet, I recommend this book. The recipes have been relatively easy to follow and only need a few minor adjustments for baking time. Some of my favorites include the butternut squash lasagna, grain free bread, banana bread, and grain free carrot cake.


SINGLE, DATING, ENGAGED, MARRIED: NAVIGATING LIFE AND LOVE IN THE MODERN AGE: I’ve read my fair share of dating books, and this has been the best one. The author is Ben Stuart and he spent a longer season being single. I think this gives him a greater sense of understanding that other authors didn’t necessarily experience.


THE 15:17 TO PARIS: On Aug. 21, 2015, the three young American friends were on a backpacking trip through Europe when they thwarted a terror attack on a high-speed Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris, tackling and subduing Moroccan-born Ayoub El Khazzani. He was armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, a 9mm pistol and other weapons. Their bravery made headlines around the world and earned France’s Legion of Honour, various military awards and a visit to the White House. Now, in the latest improbable twist, the three are playing themselves in a Clint Eastwood-directed film about the event opening Feb. 9.

BLACK PANTHER: There is a whole lot to like about Marvel’s $200 million Black Panther.

Black Panther is set in the fictional Wakanda, an idyllic country hidden in the heart Africa thanks to an alien metal called vibranium. This resource not only gives Wakanda the ability to disguise itself as a third-world country but to enjoy an extraordinary standard of living through the miracles of technology and science.

The story follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Chilla is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.

WINTER OLYMPICS: The Winter Olympics opening ceremony is Friday, February 9, 2018. The closing ceremony is Sunday, February 25, 2018.

For a full network schedule, go to the NBC Sports website. If you’re at work or anywhere with access to a computer will be streaming the Games live, in their entirety. If you’re on a tablet or a smart phone, the NBC Sports mobile app will carry the same content as the website. For more help, read this article which details your Winter Olympics viewing options.


Say Something Justin Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton: My favorite song on Justin Timberlake’s new release Man of the Woods is Say Something featuring Chris Stapleton. Timberlake’s signature pop sound meets guest Chris Stapleton’s rich country voice, and their harmonies are a match made in music heaven.

THE PORCH PODCAST VICE AND VIRTUE SERIES: Are you struggling to let go of hurts? If you think you aren’t, are you sure? Bitterness weighs us down and anger is unproductive. When the offense seems too big to forgive, when anger seems justified, we can remember this story of undeserved forgiveness. The entire series is worth a listen.

If you have some recommendations, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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The Chic List: HGTV’s Home Town, D.C. Hot Spots, How to Be a Better Cook

The Chic ListThe best things to do, eat, read, watch and listen to this week.


MUSEUM OF THE BIBLE: The Museum of the Bible recently opened in Washington, DC. It was named one of the top 10 attractions in the U.S. for 2017. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s incredible. Tickets are free and can be reserved online. The museum also features a restaurant called Manna and a coffee shop named Milk & Honey.

The museum is close to the National Mall and within walking distance to the Smithsonian museums and the U.S. Capitol.

DOWNTON ABBEY: THE EXHIBITION: If you are a fan of the hit television show Downton Abbey, you may want to plan a trip to NYC soon.  Some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six-season run are on display. Visit the exhibit in New York City now through April 2, 2018.


BETH BIUNDO SWEETS: I could not recommend a good bakery in New Orleans until now. Beth sells a variety of sweets and baked goods, including cakes, cupcakes, cookies, tarts, and ice cream at her beautifully designed store. The shop is located on Baronne St. and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

LITTLE PEARL DC: The cute café is a coffee shop during the day and a wine bar at night. My favorite drink is the coconut nutmeg latte. The menu also includes breakfast pastries, salads, and a Japanese chicken sandwich. The evening menu includes an organic orange wine from Italy. There’s even a gluten-free menu. The new hot spot is the latest opening for James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Aaron Silverman. Aaron’s other restaurants are Rose’s Luxury and Pineapple and Pearls.


SALT, FAT, ACID, HEAT: MASTERING THE ELEMENTS OF GOOD COOKING: Chef, teacher, and author Samin Nosrat believes anyone can cook great food as long as they have an understanding of salt, fat, acid, and heat.

Check out Samin’s interview on the Bon Appetite Podcast Episode 124.

TREATING PEOPLE WELL: THE EXTRAORDINARY POWER OF CIVILITY AT WORK AND IN LIFE: A guide to personal and professional empowerment through civility and social skills, written by former White House social secretaries Lea Berman, who worked for George and Laura Bush, and Jeremy Bernard, who worked for Michelle and Barack Obama.


HOME TOWN HGTV: I am so excited about the premier of season 2 of Home Town on Monday, January 8 at 9 p.m.|8c. This is my favorite show on HGTV. The show focuses on Ben and Erin Napier, a woodworker and artist living in Laurel, Mississippi, who are passionate about restoring local homes and restoring their charming small town back to its heyday. During each episode, Ben and Erin help newcomers to town find and renovate their historic turn-of-the-century dream home.

I recently visited Laurel with my mom. We stopped at The Laurel Mercantile co-owned by Erin and Ben. Everything sold in the shop is made in America. If you live in the South, I recommend a road trip to Laurel.

I also fell in love with Erin’s blog, where she documents the good things that happen every single day of her life.


I, TONYA: Based on the unbelievable but true events, I, TONYA is a darkly comedic tale of American figure skater, Tonya Harding, and one of the most sensational scandals in sports history. Though Harding was the first American woman to complete a triple axel in competition, her legacy was forever defined by her association with an infamous, ill-conceived, and even more poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic competitor Nancy Kerrigan.


THE GREATEST SHOWMAN SOUNDTRACK: The soundtrack from the original motion picture movie is a celebration of imagination. “This Is Me” is one of my favorite songs on the album. The soundtrack is currently no. 1 on the billboard charts.

SARAH R. BAGLEY PODCAST EP. 232 REBEKAH GREGORY ON TAKING HER LIFE BACK AFTER THE BOSTON BOMBING:  On April 15, 2013, Rebekah Gregory and her 5-year-old son waited at the finish line of the Boston Marathon to support a friend who was running. When the blasts of the bombs went off just three feet away from her, Gregory’s legs took the brunt of the blast, protecting her son from certain death. 18 surgeries and 65 procedures later, Rebekah’s left leg was amputated.

In her book, Taking My Life Back, Rebekah vividly recounts her horrifying experience on the day of the bombing, her desperate desire to locate her son, and her extensive injuries, recovery and eventual amputation.

In this podcast episode, Rebekah talks about her faith and how it has sustained her through various challenges in her life, her experience during the bombing and the details of her injuries and recovery, surviving the aftermath and her eventual marriage to her college sweetheart and miracle baby, and what it’s like to live with a prosthetic leg.

If you have some recommendations, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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Fall To-Do List

Fall To-Do LIst

I put together a fall to-do list with some ideas for the upcoming season. I’m also sharing some of the fun things I’d love to do this fall. I hope it inspires you to put together a list of your own to celebrate this time of year.

If you are a list maker like me, try the 52 Lists Project Journal. It’s divided into seasons and then weeks. Each week you are asked to list something. At the bottom of the page, there is a “take action” suggestion. There’s also space to make your own lists. You can print out a sample collection of the lists here to help you get started.

I also love using a Bullet Journal. The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all the above. Here’s how to get started using a Bullet Journal. Watch this great video for more details too. Find out why it’s such a great journal here.
Continue reading “Fall To-Do List”