Shrimp & Grits

I haven’t posted in a hot minute (moving, traveling, and crazy work weeks will do that to you). But I finally got the chance to make a real good mess in my new kitchen and wanted to share the recipe and my tabletop accessories with y’all.

I love to cook and set a table, even if it’s a tiny table (like the one I’ve got now). In my last apartment, my kitchen was more like a closet, and I had not made a fun meal in months. I wanted my first dinner in my new place to be extra special. I knew I’d need a little backup from some of my favorite foods from home to achieve that.

One of my most loved chefs and restauranteurs, John Currence, has some incredible spots in Oxford, but Big Bad Breakfast and City Grocery always take the cake for me. It would have been a disservice to him and myself to make his famous Shrimp and Grits recipe without his tasty Tabasco-cured bacon, which was created just for BBB, as we all lovingly call it. Thankfully, they can ship it anywhere in the world within a day or so. It is melt in your mouth good!

I also have a girlfriend that hand-makes and packages her own stone-ground corn grits. She’s available in gourmet stores and restaurants around the nation, but there was something about buying her product at a store at home that felt right! I am still doing keto, but of course I had to sample the Delta Grind grits to make sure they tasted right 😏 Once I started, it was hard to stop… they are that yummy!

If you can’t get your hands on these brands, that’s okay. Use your favorites instead! This recipe is meant to be simple and I think great for weeknight cooking. Its also perfect to make when you are having company, because it doesn’t require a ton of skill. As long as you don’t burn the bacon or the grits (which could technically both be made ahead of time), it’s pretty hard to mess up. The end result is a spicy, warm, and comforting dish that will definitely leave you nice and full.

I went casual with my table because I felt like it matched the meal. Shrimp and grits is certainly not fancy, but it is still pretty, and it’s got everything you need right there in the bowl. In fact, you only really need a pot and a pan to make this entire meal. It makes me love this dish even more 😍 (I HATE cleanup)

A link to the recipe for City Grocery’s Shrimp and Grits is posted below, as well as links to the items I used for my table. Traditionally they serve it with spicy corn muffins and lots of butter (nom nom). If you try out this meal, let me know how it goes!

**To stay in ketosis, I substituted a pre-made (read: microwaveable) cauliflower Parmesan risotto for the spicy cheddar/parm grits for myself. Unfortunately, it was no close second. Next time, I may try to recreate the grits using cauliflower 🙃**

Table is from Pier1, dishes , wine glasses , and small votive holders are from Crate & Barrel, chargers, napkins and napkin rings (now sold out– may be able to find them in-store) are from Pottery Barn, tortoise glasses and ice bucket are Impulse!, and bamboo silverware is vintage.

Link to recipe: http://joelmcneece.com/2016/05/23/city-grocerys-shrimp-grits/

And last but not least, a very special shout out to Liz at BBB for getting this bacon to me on time! XX Hannah

Searching for Something

Today’s post is about the joys of moving, among other things. I should be a pro at it now, because I seem to subject myself to it more often than most. If you didn’t know already, I am a certified gypsy!

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My friends and family know that I’m usually on the move once every year/ couple of years. It’s no secret! Is this ideal? Absolutely not. Would I like to find a place that feels like home? Of course. Does it make for a great excuse to do a closet-clean out? YES! For whatever reason, despite all of the stress it causes, I keep changing it up.

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My mom was recently in town for a girls weekend / pre-packing party and she asked me something that really made me stop and think. She asked me what I was looking for. She said that it seems like I’m always searching for something, but what it is, she isn’t sure. And she didn’t know if I would find it here in Florida.

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I’ve been thinking about that conversation for days now. What am I looking for? I don’t know. Or maybe I do, and I just don’t want to give it life 😐 What I do know is that I’ve always been an extremely curious person, somewhat of a ‘free spirit,’ someone who longs to travel and have experiences in different places, wanting a life that is full of moments both good and bad: perspective, I suppose you could call it.

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I’ve fallen in love with both people and places, had my heart and trust broken, felt abandoned, lonely, and sad. But I’ve also had extreme highs: made irreplaceable memories with friends, seen places that are achingly beautiful, and taken chances that paid off in the end. I can’t say I regret much, even though there are things I’m proud that I did and things I’m not so proud of. You live and you learn.

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Despite the ups and downs (these past couple of years have been the definition of a roller-coaster ride), I try to remain positive. No matter how many times I feel like I could give up on a few things, there’s some sort of hope that makes me hang on to them. At the end of the day, I don’t think I could fully appreciate one without the other. It is sort of a romantic way of looking at life, but for me, it holds true.

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I’m hoping that whatever I’m looking for will stop me in my tracks sooner rather than later (if you’re out there, this is your sign!) I’m open to it now, I swear! 🙂 And I think the curious part of me–the part that likes to live in the moment, be present, meet new people, learn new things, see new places, indulge in spontaneity, and live out these so-called ‘life experiences’–will always exist. And that’s not a bad thing.

But in what I’m sure is a relief to my parents (and some of my friends), I am starting to realize those experiences don’t have to define you; you can define your own life, all by considering what YOU really want out of it.

Be honest with yourself; when is the last time you were honest with yourself? It’s a tough one to answer, but I’m finding it more of a necessity now than ever.

As for what I’m looking for, I truthfully am still figuring it out. It’s now a goal of mine this year to answer that question. So let me think on that for a bit (while having a little fun) and I’ll get back with you! 😉

XX Hannah

Jumpsuit: Finders Keepers

Earrings are older, sold-out, but can find the same or similar online: J.Crew 

Bag: Zara, also appears to be sold-out, but can find similar: Cult Gaia

Shoes: Schutz, also appear to be sold-out, but similar style here (and on sale!): Schutz

Havana Chic in St. Pete

When Sandra agrees that letting ourselves into an abandoned building is a good idea, you know you’ve found the one! 🙂

The old YMCA building in downtown St. Petersburg caught my eye one day. And I was determined to get in there, somehow, someway!

Luckily we met a friend inside, and he was happy to show us around the property. It is currently being renovated for residential use.

Everywhere you look there are stunning architectural designs and unbelievable historical details dating back to its construction in 1926. It felt worlds away from the modern buildings downtown that surround it.

The Mediterranean Revival building is five stories and features a beautiful tiled-courtyard, balconies, bell-towers; even a basement with a swimming pool. I was in heaven!

This dress and mostly all accessories can also be found in St. Pete, at my favorite boutique in the Bay, Canvas Fashion Gallery.

This dress is pure romance and the color is just beautiful. The shade was identical to the main wall paint inside of the building…funny how that happens, right?!

I chose gold accessories and these delicate hoops to compliment the dress. The straw backpack was perfect for exploring this hidden gem.

No layered-look is complete without my Scorpio necklace! For all you other signs out there, no worries, Canvas is an equal-opportunist for the whole zodiac 😉

I am excited to see the development (and cleaning up) of this building and I hope someday soon Sandra and I can take another tour when it is complete.

One more shot of this balcony, those columns, and that dress… 😍

As always, big thanks to Sandra Morlet Photography and Canvas!

xx Hannah

Coffee & Cream

Coffee…how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: cappuccinos with cinnamon, iced hazelnut lattes, and of course, espresso martinis (this recipe is my fave).

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I’ve only been in a serious relationship with coffee for a few years now, but I don’t know how I ever lived without it. I crave it every morning and most evenings. When I’m not making it myself, I have an affinity for pour overs #fancyAF. But at home I use a Keurig for convenience sake (not a morning person here).

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You can expect Starbucks Blonde Roast if you come over for a cup. I also have Blonde cold-brew in my fridge…I practically keep it on tap! It has nearly twice the caffeine than most other coffees and its so smooth, I sip it sans sweetener. Coffee doesn’t have to taste like s***, you know! 🤣

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Moving on to cream. Oh how I love cream–the color and the condiment. It is one of my favorite indulgences. I have a preferred brand (is anyone really surprised 🙃) that I can only find at home. Kleinpeter Farms from Louisiana produces the thickest, golden-hued heavy cream that I’ve ever had. They also treat their herd humanely and do not use growth hormones! It is truly decadence without the guilt ❤️

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This jumpsuit is the same rich vanilla color as Kleinpeter’s cream. However, it’s anything but heavy 😉 The linen-blend fabric is light and airy, and the wide cut pants seem to float over your legs. The cinched waist is flattering and wearing this piece feels effortless. **Spoiler alert: you may notice that I am a sucker for sweetheart necklines, cut outs and tie-fronts for spring and summer. And when a piece features all three, I’m on cloud nine.**

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Now for this bag. Its also cream (although it says white on the website) and pearlescent…major heart eyes. It just happens to match my fave pair of sunnies right now, too 😎 #thelittlethings

Special thanks to Buddy Brew for letting Sandra Morlet Photography and me pop in during prime business time on a Saturday morning and enjoy some very good coffee.

Cheers!

xx Hannah

My Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

Below is the really simple and really delicious variation of bulletproof coffee that I drink almost every morning. You will need a blender to make it, however. This “rocket fuel” recipe was taken from Healthful Pursuit.

I have found this version keeps me fuller longer and tastes better! You can get the ingredients almost anywhere, including Amazon 🙂 I prefer Starbucks Blonde Roast (very light and allows the cacao flavor to stand out), powdered MCT oil, and Swerve sweetener in my BPC– a little bit of Swerve goes a long way. I also add a splash of pure vanilla extract and heavy cream because it just enhances everything and makes this such a treat! You can also top with cinnamon, my favorite anti-inflammatory spice! Enjoy!

Ingredients

• 8 oz. brewed decaf or regular coffee or your favorite tea

• 1 tablespoon liquid MCT oil or powdered MCT oil or coconut oil

• 1 tablespoon cacao butter

• 1 tablespoon hemp hearts or your choice of nut/seed butter

• 2-4 drops alcohol-free stevia, optional

• 1 tablespoon grass-fed collagen

• 1 splash pure vanilla extract

• heavy cream or cream

Instructions

Brew coffee, add to the jug of your high-powered blender along with MCT oil, cacao butter, hemp hearts, stevia, vanilla, and cream. Blend on high for 1 minute. During the last 10 seconds, add collagen. Transfer to a cup and enjoy.

Emoji Girl Goals

I’ll admit it: I don’t wear red as much as I should (currently working on this). But when I laid eyes on this vibrant off-the-shoulder gown, I realized it was my chance to pay homage to my favorite emoji of all time: the salsa girl! 💃🏽

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This Badgley Mischka creation is composed of chiffon layers and tiered ruffles that are made for dancing. This dress deserves some action 😉 The more movement, the merrier! Disclaimer: I don’t actually know how to salsa, but I tried my best. Any one want to take some lessons with me?!

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I love getting to try some not-so-practical pieces that I wouldn’t wear in everyday life, which is why I enjoy my membership at Rent the Runway so much. If you still like to ‘play dress-up’ like I do, then you should give RTR a try!

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Speaking of being impractical: I have to remind myself sometimes that fashion should simply be fun. And wearing this dress is just that! I had the song “Havana” on repeat and kept dancing and singing, despite the sweltering temps and people passing by. It was a great reminder to not take myself too seriously!

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Even with the heat and risking my two front teeth to climb down these stairs while looking the other way (multitasking at its finest), this has been one of my favorite looks to date.

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Thanks to Sara at The Studio Magnolia for putting up with my caffeine induced craziness.

And last but not least, links to this dress and similar pieces if you’re feeling the emoji girl vibes:

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Badgley Mishcka “Red Off Shoulder Ruffle Gown”
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Alice + Olivia “Eloisa Off Shoulder Ruffle Gown”

 

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Marchesa Notte “Off Shoulder Gown”