Hilton Head Island 2017

Our annual trip to Hilton Head Island is here!  Every year since 2002 our family has been coming out to Palmetto Dunes to relax for a few days and enjoy the beach together.  This year we decided to invite the guys to come – I guess it was about time, right?

With a variety of house things going on for all of us, we all needed the trip to unwind some over the Memorial Day weekend and we were especially looking forward to the weekend with family.

We got to the Marriott in the afternoon and met the family down by the pool to have a drink and chill before dinner. This is also when things started going poorly with our house closing, but enough of that  because it has a happy ending and how beautiful is the view from the room?While the girls were finishing getting ready for dinner, the guys headed down to the just finished that afternoon, newly renovated hotel bar for a flight of bourbon.  We met them down there and checked out the new space then headed to dinner.We have our favorite places to eat on the island, so we don’t always try new places… however, Lauren & Darren ate a place called Porter & Pig on a previous trip and we heard the food was good and the beer was great so we checked it out.

It’s in the back of a strip mall, but lived up to the hype on food and delicious beers.  We ordered a bunch of appetizers to share like the BBQ nachos, tuna poke and a charcuterie tray.  We quickly finished all of those and we’ll be back another year to eat more!Every morning the guys played golf while my mom, sister and I would grab a breakfast sandwich at the general store and go for a walk around Palmetto Dunes. Okay, I admit I slept through one morning and house news ruined another morning… but I enjoyed the walk on Monday!

The rest of our morning and afternoons were filled with reading under the umbrellas and walks on the beach.Saturday night was the annual hush puppy and wine dinner at Old Oyster Factory.  We took the normal photos outside, then ate on the deck which was the perfect spot to watch the sunset.  Hunter won the hush puppy eating contest and we all left stuffed, per usual. Sunday we headed over to Shelter Cove for a Mexican lunch at San Miguel’s.  The blood orange margarita and chicken enchilada were just what I needed and it was one of the best enchiladas I’ve ever had!

Mom and I stayed to walk through the arts festival that was going on that weekend.  There were some really cute booths setup with art, jewelry and goods.
Sadly we had to go our separate ways on Monday, but we had a great lunch at Hudson’s before leaving the island. I want to go back and eat at Skull Creek Boathouse too which is right next door.All in all it was a great long weekend with my family (despite the house drama)! And maybe we’ll let the boys come back next year…


Framed Trophy Plates for Granddad

This past Friday my Granddad passed away.  His heart has been broken ever since Grandmom passed away 2 years ago, and he has wanted to be with her ever since.  Our family is happier knowing that he went peacefully with family at his side, and is reunited with his true love that he missed so much.

Back when we visited my aunt and uncle in Florida, my aunt Beth gave me a bunch of trophy plates from some of my Granddad’s golf trophies.  When he moved from their house to an apartment, my mom & aunt spent lots of time going through everything in the house and cleaning it out.  While all of the trophies didn’t make the move, they removed the trophy plates to keep the memories, just like I did back in 2014 with my soccer trophies for my sports display projects.  This was the perfect time to do something with them and honor him.

Framed Trophy Plates, pt. 2

What you’ll need:

  • 16″x20″ frame
  • 8″x10″ frame mat
  • 8″x10″ photo
  • Trophy plates
  • Windex
  • Glue
  • Cricut Explore Air
  • Black vinyl
  • Transfer paper
  • 1 felt pad

All of the trophy plates were from various golf tournaments & trips my Granddad participated in, so I decided I wanted to put a picture of my Granddad playing golf in the middle, and the trophy plates around.

When mom came in town for SEWE she brought the cutest picture of Granddad playing golf to use.  I had the photo blown up to be 8″x10″, we found a mat for an 8″x10″ photo with plenty of room for the trophy plates around it and then a 16″x20″ frame for the mat at Hobby Lobby.

gdad-frame-01gdad-frame-05 First, I needed to get the trophy plates in shape.  We used a rubber mallet on a piece of wood to flatten some of the plates that were bent.  Hunter put a hard back book on top of the trophy plate when using the rubber mallet for some to help remove the wrinkles on the softer plates.gdad-frame-02When the plates were mostly flat, I used Windex and a paper towel to clean them all off.  One was even from 1971 (and needed a nice polish)!  Then I placed the picture on top of the mat and arranged the plates around the photo to figure out the layout.  I left some room at the top & bottom to add his name and a quote.gdad-frame-03To make sure I was accounting for the frame overlapping the mat, I took the glass out of the frame, taped the picture to the mat, and put it in the frame.  Then I arranged the plates back on the mat where I wanted, and glued them down in place.gdad-frame-04It’s no secret I have terrible handwriting, so I was definitely using my Cricut to cut out letters on vinyl instead of trying to write the name and quote myself – for everyone’s sake.

I found a quote by Arnold Palmer that embodied Granddad: “Success in golf depends less on strength of body than upon strength of mind and character.” I mocked up the quote and his name in Design Space, cut everything on some black vinyl, then weeded it.gdad-frame-06Then I put the transfer paper on top of the quote / name, pulled away the backing, and applied the letters to the frame mat.gdad-frame-07Because the trophy plates are thicker and I didn’t want the glass right on top of them, I decided to use a felt pad to help.  I cut the pad into several smaller pieces and added 6 to the edge of the mat so the glass would sit on them and leave a lil space to protect the plates.gdad-frame-08I put the glass back in the frame, added the mat (with everything on it) and was done!

We lay Granddad to rest this week and his golf frame will be at the reception afterwards.  Life won’t be the same without him, but I know the Jack & Nancy show is going strong in heaven 🙂


Rollene’s Sweet Rolls

This month’s skirt! magazine is focused on memorable meals & recipes.  You can find my original post on their blog here.


The majority of my favorite childhood memories include food in some way – BBQ on Christmas Eve, a specific restaurant on Hilton Head each family vacation, magic muffins at volleyball tournaments, the same meal on my birthday for years, etc..

Isn’t it funny how later in life those meals are no longer a dish, but have a memory associated to them? Making spaghetti reminds me of my Grandmom and all our meals in their kitchen over the years, boiled peanuts make me think of Hunter’s North Carolina family, and so on.

I love sharing some of our family recipes and this is definitely a favorite! My grandma, Rollene, makes these delicious sweet rolls that we just devour.  It makes me think about being at home in my pajamas eating breakfast with my mom and sister.  They will fill you with warmth (or maybe that’s the sugar high) and are a sweet start to your day!


Rollene’s Sweet Rolls


  • 1 package Fleishman original yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water, separated into 2 fourths
  • 1 t and 1/4 C sugar, separated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 C King Arthur bread flour
  • 1/3 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/3 C brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar, sifted
  • Milk

Mix 1 package of yeast with 1/4 cup warm water in a liquid measuring cup.  Add 1 teaspoon sugar and let stand while it rises.

In a big bowl, beat 2 eggs.  Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 c vegetable oil, and 1/4 cup warm water to the eggs.  Add your yeast mixture and 2 1/2 cups flour to the big bowl and mix well.  Let it sit and rise to double in size, ~ 1 hour.

Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Roll out the dough (not too thin!) and spread with melted butter, then sprinkle the brown sugar / cinnamon mixture on top.  Roll into a long log, and slice into 18-20 individual rolls, using a bread knife for ease.

Place the rolls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let the dough rise another hour.  Bake at 400 degrees for ~10-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your rolls.  Watch the oven to make sure you don’t overcook them!

After rolls have baked are are still warm, mix ~1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar and just enough milk to make it pourable.  Brush the tops of the rolls with leftover melted butter, then spoon the powdered sugar icing over rolls, and enjoy!

sweet-rolls-10 Tip: You can wrap up the rolls individually and freeze them in a large bag, so it’s easy to just reheat one (or more) for breakfast each morning.  It might not be healthy, but it sure is delicious!


I’m so happy I have these recipes from my Grandma, and family, to cherish for years to come and eventually pass down to another generation.  I hope you enjoy these as much as our family does!


My plan was to make these rolls to use for my November post on skirt! magazine’s blog, but naturally I gave myself barely enough time to get it done before the post was due.  The first time I made the rolls I rolled them too thin, and baked them too long and ultimately had to throw them all out.  I was bummed.

Rollene sent me the pan she uses to bake hers (complete with a piece of parchment already in it) and on my second attempt, I succeeded!  I left them a lil thicker, watched the time as they baked, but I think it was the pan that made the difference 😉


Hilton Head 2016

Another June, another Hilton Head trip in the books!  This year mom planned the trip during the week to make it easier for Lauren and I to join for a few days.  They headed down on Tuesday, and I joined Thursday morning after a busy Wednesday at work.  We stayed at the Marriott in Palmetto Dunes again — for the 12th time?

Technically I was working Thursday and Friday mornings.  I started on the room’s patio, then moved and worked on the beach, laptop & all!  No sand in keyboard issues either which was a plus.  I will say it’s pretty easy to work when this is your view:

HHI 2016_05

HHI 2016_08

In the afternoon I swapped out my mac air for the new Dorothea Benton Frank book.  I managed to finish that one over the weekend and start a Karen White one.  Thanks Rollene for all the beach reading!

HHI 2016_01

Thursday night we headed to Old Oyster Factory for our annual Trimbach & hush puppies meal (we do eat other things, but those are the constant).  Of course we needed the yearly picture by the marsh before our feast.HHI 2016_07We ended up sitting on their deck out back which included beautiful views of the water, and the temperature wasn’t bad at all.  I think we only ate 2 bowls of hush puppies, as to not ruin our appetite.  And every year we get a bottle of Trimbach, to remind us of our trip to the Alsace (and because it’s so delicious).  I also switched it up and ordered the fried catfish with bacon & cheese grits, collards and a cajun cream sauce instead of the normal salmon. My gamble paid off and this dish was delicious!
HHI 2016_03HHI 2016_02HHI 2016_04 As the sun was setting toward the end of dinner Mom got a great picture of the sunset reflection on the water.
HHI 2016_06

After dinner we enjoyed another drink and watched the USA mens soccer team beat Ecuador in Copa America to advance to the semis, and the Cavs take game 6.  I headed back home Friday after lunch, so it was a short, but sweet trip — I’m lucky to live so close!  I got caught in the crazy storms on my drive back to Charleston.  It was unreal watching the clouds roll in and the temperature drop from 103 to 72.  Plus there was debris everywhere on Saturday and Sunday!


Now back to the grind for a few days before our trip up to Maine..

Family Recipe Tea Towels

Now that Christmas is over, I can share one of my favorite gifts I made for my mom and grandma!  My sister and I saw an idea to put a family recipe on a flour sack towel as a gift, and loved that.  We have lots of family recipes that are special to our family, so this seemed like a great, thoughtful gift.  The only problem was the price… I still had some leftover tea towels from the other two projects I did this year, so we went with the homemade method!

Family Recipe Tea Towel

What you’ll need:

  • Tea towel
  • Fabric paint
  • Family recipe

This is very straight forward, and requires few supplies, that you might even have on hand.  I got my tea towel out and ironed it to make sure all of the creases were out.  Then I grabbed my fabric paint, which has a thin tip, and started writing out the recipe.

I mimicked the bombshell pro font for the title, spaced out the ingredients in 2 columns, and wrote the directions below.  It’s not too difficult to do, but I have bad handwriting, so this was tedious for me.  It probably took about 30 minutes to write everything out, and make sure it was straight.

The final product turned out better than I imagined, and Rollene loved it!  Mama was my great-grandmother, and made these tea cakes all the time, in all sorts of shapes.  We still eat them now, and I always think of her when I do 🙂

tea towel_01

I also made one for my mom, with my Grandmom’s spaghetti recipe on it that we both love so much.  This was extra special because it was our first Christmas without her, so I wanted to give mom something that would remind her of Grandmom.  Of course, I forgot to take a picture of hers in the Christmas packing rush…

I can’t wait to see how this looks in Rollene’s kitchen, and where mom puts hers!  And now here’s the cookie recipe, because I can’t leave you hanging…

Mama’s Tea Cakes


  • 1/2 C shortening
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t vinegar
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 t vanilla
Cream shortening and sugar until creamy.  Add egg and beat well.  Add baking soda dissolved in vinegar, salt and vanilla.  Gradually add flour to make a stiff batter.  Chill in refrigerator then roll thin and cut out with cookie cutter.  Place on greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes until brown around the edges.