Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Good Eats: Columbia Edition

The cruise was awesome and I'll get ya a good update soon, beginning the house hunt for my move in a few weeks is consuming almost every minute right now. However, I still need to consume some fuel myself and have set out to try as many local places in Columbia as possible that I haven't hit in my two years here.

I absolutely love local food places and will choose them over a chain any day of the week. I've had my fair share while here in Columbia, SC but have also realized I've missed a few. I'm beginning a list of places to consume my final Columbia meals at!

Please comment and let me know what else I should add to the list, and not just food--but any cool places to visit or be sure to see before I leave town as well!

Rockaway Athletic Club 5/29
Garden Bistro 5/30
Cellar on Greene
Diane's on Devine
Gervais & Vine 6/12
No Name Deli 6/13

...need some help with this one!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bon Voyage!

Setting sail for our cruise today! Hope that everyone has an enjoyable week, I'll think of you while I'm sipping tropical beverages in the sunny Bahamas :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Snapshot Series

Last night I was thumbing through my phone and realized that I take so many pictures on it each week that it's ridiculous. I like to snap random things throughout the day, cool things, things that make me happy and typically a lot of food (duh). A lot of these either get deleted or moved into a folder on my computer and then I had a brilliant moment, ah-ha! Something quick & easy to share on the blog that really does capture my week. I think I'll start sharing these snapshots on Saturdays to re-cap the week, but since I'll be on vacation this weekend I figured I'd give y'all the first taste of my snapshot series!

This was snapped on Monday as I realized that it's been a full year since I arrived at TCU for my internship last summer. It's really crazy how time flies and I can't believe how much things have changed. I thought more about it this morning as it's also the anniversary of the Joplin tornado which was a result of an awful storm that we felt in the Ft. Worth/Dallas area and one of the first time I saw hail.

Last weekend I traveled to Raleigh for a shower for my friend Whitney who's getting married in just a few weeks! Her shower was very much to her personality complete with Mexican food, sangria and themed favors. I cannot wait to stand by her side in a few weeks when she marries her love!

Summer quinoa salad! I definitely owe y'all my recipe, or at least loose instructions, on this awesome dish. I love pasta salads, and so figured I'd experiment with quinoa and lots of veggies. It was awesome and I inhaled the entire dish in just a few days.

Can you see that? $3.06!! Yes, that's how much I paid for gas yesterday. Thank you Bi-Lo for $0.25 off per gallon. I always forget to use those rewards and so they had racked up. 

Hope y'all have a fabulous Tuesday and that you take time to enjoy the little things and simple pleasures in life. I always love going through and looking at photos on my phone to remind me of just how blessed I am!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Clam Linguine

Reasons why I love Mr. Charming:

besides this lovely picture...

Yesterday afternoon (4:30pm-ish) I am at work trying to keep myself focused on an assessment project that has had me staring at the computer since 10:00am. I hear my phone buzz and momentarily stop to read these text messages...

"I have a mission for us."

Within the next few months we'll be moving to a new city, moving in together and doing lots of crazy things so I immediately became intrigued about what this mission would possibly be. Then I receive the rest of his thoughts.

"I have wanted clam linguine for like 2 years now. I looked at a recipe and it's too complicated for me."
"I say we team it up."

Upon reading the string of messages I cracked up out loud in my cubicle, which was probably the most noise in the office all day now that the academic year is done. I replied that we could definitely try it to which MC was extremely pleased. He cracks me up and I am grateful that he always does it when I need it most, I love that he loves the simple things in life, and I'm looking forward to adding a new 52 in 52 recipe with clam linguine. I looked up the Pioneer Woman's version which looks pretty dang good. Anyone out there have a fave recipe for the dish?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Shopaholic Goes to Sea

After saving up some money from my blog sale, items sold on Re-Lilly, and graduation, I decided a shopping trip was in order! I'm getting ready for a cruise next week with Mr. Charming and two other friends and wanted to splurge on some fun items. We are going on a five day cruise to the Bahamas porting at Nassau and Freeport and I couldn't be more excited for a vacation with great people, sunshine, and a phone that will have no service :)

I have tons of bathing suits already (though I left myself get just one more!) and so was looking for more sundress/cover up type items.

Here are some of my great finds:
Coral & White Patterned Sundress
I really wanted a dress with capped sleeves for one day while we're ported so my shoulders don't fry in the sun!
Lemon Lime Beach Tote
I was so excited to find this! I've always used an old canvas tote and found this little guy who is so bright & perfect for the beach.

Bold Stripe Maxi Dress
Takes me forever to find maxis that I like so I had to snatch this up and can't wait to wear it in a tropical location!

Polka Dot Swimsuit
It was love at first sight :)

First rule in the sun is sunscreen! This stuff has always been my fave, has the best scent and is not too greasy. I got the 30 lotion & 50 spray. I have some face stuff at home but can't seem to find more anywhere.

Gold Beachy Old Navy Flip Flops
Didn't purchase these, but just got them as a sweet gift my friend Morgan sent when she asked me to be her bridesmaid (their wedding is in Key West, hence the beach theme). They are too perfect for the cruise, I own no rubber flip flops so they came just in time!

I'm still working on making a list of what to pack. I know that this really isn't too intense and I need bathing suits, dresses, shorts & tanks, flip flops, etc. but I still always hate preparing for something I haven't yet experienced. As someone who needs to always be prepared it definitely stresses me out. I've got the big purple suitcase out and am beginning to fill it with what I've rallied up so far.

We set sail next Thursday out of Charleston and I absolutely cannot wait!!

Have you been on a cruise before? Any tips on what to pack, or what to wear when we port? Any other general tips, or information on Nassau or Freeport? I'd love to hear any advice!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Separated at Birth

I may have met my long lost twin this weekend. Her name is Jesi Parker and she's me...but from Michigan!

This past weekend I went to Tri Sigma's Dunham Women of Character Institute in Chicago where I served as a mentor for a group of emerging leaders from our chapters across the country. Each group had two mentors, and I was excited to be paired with Miss Parker. We chatted before arriving, already racking up the similarities between us. It became creepier and creepier as the weekend went by...

Reasons why we were separated at birth
-Short brown hair
-AND glasses (of similar-ish style)
-We love cats
-We both joined Tri Sigma in Fall '05
-We're both sleep talkers
-We're in short-distance relationships with significant others about an hour away
-These relationships both began in 2011
-In grad school our roommates were Sigma Kappas
-They were also both GAs for Greek Life
-We love arts and crafts (she has a cool Etsy shop--check it out!)
-We both recently received our masters in higher education
-We're also still both job searching (hire us please?)
-Our resumes are an almost identical format
-We like to sleep in cold hotel rooms
-We need coffee to function, lots of coffee
-We like to challenge AND support
-Revenge is one of our favorite shows

There is probably more that I may be forgetting now, but as I said creeeeeeepy! We had a blast leading the awesome group 5 throughout the institute, aren't they just adorable?

It was so refreshing to re-charge my Sigma batteries this weekend. There was definitely something special about this experience working with so many younger Tri Sigmas who for the most part were in Chicago by themselves for the event. They were so excited to be there, eager to learn, and had great things to share. I'm excited to keep in touch with these ladies and looking forward to seeing the wonderful things they'll do in their respective chapters.

I am so grateful to be a part of this organization and have loved so much to see how far it's grown in my seven years of membership. I cannot even fathom what she will continue to do in the future. This experience was such a treat for these women and if our chapters had been strong before these leadership programs were in place...they will now be unstoppable!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Anna's Closet

It's spring cleaning time again, and I've got lots to clean out! Losing a bit of weight this year has been great...except that now I have a bunch of clothes that don't fit. I am selling the following items to anyone who is interested and am planning to save this money to use for new clothes that fit better. I have tried to describe each item as best as possible and even found some pics of me in them to assist. I have loved all of these, but they no longer fit, or I no longer care for them. Send a link to my blog on to anyone you think may be interested!

Additionally, if you're in Columbia and interested just let me know and you're welcome to try on/see any and all items you're interested in!

Here are the rules:
1. The amount listed for each item includes shipping, feel free to try and bargain however I do feel I priced everything rather reasonably for what I originally paid and the wear of each item
2. If you're interested email me at anna.m.todaro [at] gmail [dot] com with the name of the item that you're interested
3. I will send you an invoice via PayPal (so you must have, or create, an account) for the item if it hasn't already sold
4. Upon receiving your payment I will get it in the mail to you, hopefully within 3 days

J.Crew Navy Dress-Medium; $15 shipped
This is a very flowy and loose dress, though it's an M it would easily fit up to an XL. I have typically worn it belted around the waist for some shape. The top is now a bit too loose for me and it will not stay up well so I'd encourage to think of it more as an L or XL. 

 "Tweed" Tan Seersucker Jacket-Size 10; $25 shipped
This is a cute jacket to wear over a solid dress or with a shell and pants. It's a tan color and has three large buttons, the top button is covered in fabric and the other two buttons are not exposed. Excellent condition only worn once or twice.
Lilly Pulitzer Top-Size 10; $25 shipped
I love this top! It has a zip on the side and small accordion stretch on the back to fit well. Unfortunately this is too big now or I'd love to keep it. Flowers are embroidered. 
*This is strapless but is just hanging from the hanger straps
Lilly Pulitzer Les Monkey Dress-Size 10; $15 shipped
An adorable dress that unfortunately no longer fits. I hadn't worn it in over year by the time I tried it on to find out it didn't fit. The zipper needs to be fixed, it has a small gap once you put it on but that's why I've marked it down so low.
Lilly Pulitzer Fruit Dress, Minnies Size 8; $25 shipped
I was on Ebay late at night and accidentally bought a children's dress. Yes, that actually happened. I know there probably aren't too many mothers reading this, so if you know someone who may be interested please pass this along! It's a cotton dress with a fruit print, tie around the waist in excellent condition.

Alyn Paige White & Black Sundress-Size 13/14; $15 shipped
So this says 13/14 on the tag but I'd say it fits like a 10/12 and probably closer to a 12. Worn five times or less, stay is poking out a tiny bit on one side of the dress. Very comfortable and good for many different occasions, in great condition.

Old Navy Black & White Striped Sundress, Size L; $15 shipped
I used to live in this dress! It's ridiculously comfortable and makes your chest look great thanks to the adjustable straps and cut of the front. It's flowy and loose for summer and a comfortable cotton that isn't too clingy.

Charlotte Russe Sundress, Size L; $15 shipped
Comfortable cotton sun dress with a fun print and tie in the back. It zips up the side but has no hook & eye so I've always used a safety pin to ensure it doesn't unzip itself while I've worn it! Great condition only worn a handful of times throughout college. 

American Eagle Green Paisley Sundress-Size 12; $15 shipped
Bought this and I think I've actually never worn it, potentially once but I think I've mainly tried it on a lot to never actually wear it out of the house. It's in excellent condition except that the string strap to "hold" the fabric belt has come undone on one side. You could easily re-attach it, but it's not really needed to wear the belt. Buttons down the chest are only for show. Accordion stretch on back to fit comfortably. I'd say it fits more like a 10 than a 12, or really like a size L.

Donna Ricco Red Flower Sundress-Size 10; $20 shipped
I bought this dress when it was a bit too small and re-discovered it in my closet when it was a bit too big, so I've never actually worn it. The stays on one side are poking out a bit at the top from trying it on multiple times, this could be easily fixed. Has a tie on the back, and is in excellent condition.
Old Navy Brown Tweed Shorts-Size 12; $13 shipped
Wish these babies still fit, I always got the best compliments when wearing them! Super comfy brown tweed shorts, as you can see sometimes the fold doesn't stay as well in the back (because you constantly sit on it) but I've found ironing it down helps a lot, and have even used beauty tape to ensure it sticks. These are in good condition.
AB Studio Teal Dot Dress-Size 10; $20 shipped
I've only worn this dress a handful of times. In addition, can be worn well as a jumper with black tights and a long sleeve white shirt for winter time, very versatile! Extremely comfortable and flattering dress in great condition.

Jonathan Martin Red Dress-Size 10; $20 shipped
Pains my heart to do this...I absolutely love this dress and have gotten great use out of it. Originally bought it for a sorority formal and it has been a great cocktail dress since. Light gauzy material, and makes your chest look great ;) Dress has been worn a handful of times and is in good condition.

Forever 21 Yellow Dress-Size L; $20 Shipped
Have worn this dress one, and a friend has borrowed it once so it's in excellent condition but unfortunately no longer fits. Very cute design and a great dress for Spring/Summer weddings. Has a small side zip.

Ana Brown Leather Flats-Size 8.5; $15 shipped
One of those pairs of shoes I didn't walk around in enough at the store. Though i typically wear an 8-9 in shoes I have very wide feet and these just didn't do it for me. I think I've worn these maybe twice since purchasing in 2008.
Restricted Red Flats-Size 8; $20 shipped
Same as the brown flats, they just don't quite fit. These shoes are too adorable and I've worn them once or twice for just a few hours.
Target Mossimo Tan Kitten Heels-Size 8; $15 shipped
See a trend with me not properly trying on shoes before I buy them? Yea, I have problems...
Again, these are too cute I just wish they fit better!

Lilly Pulitzer Tote Bag; $15 shipped
This item definitely has some wear as it was a well loved tote that carried me through college and many weekends at the beach. Despite it's loving history it would make a great beach or gym bag.