Rappahannock Oyster Bar

Last Thursday our girls supper club was back in action at Rappahannock Oyster Bar! Our club took a bit of a hiatus through the holidays, but we’re back and with a new strategy: less stress on hosts and more trying all the new restaurants in the area.  We went to Pancito and Lefty in March and will be mixing in easy appetizer nights at home other months to keep it easy on everyone.  Plus it gives us a way to keep up with the growing list of new restaurants!

Photo: Open Table

Well, we made reservations at Rappahannock Oyster Bar which is in the Cigar Factory off East Bay for April’s night. I was really looking forward to seeing the space because I’ve only been to the Cedar Room over there.

First impressions as we walked in: well decorated, small actual dining room & large bar.  The bar itself was made of copper (swoon) with a live bar on one side that had fresh ice dropping out from the ceiling into the bar.  It was also huge and seats 40.

The bar area is definitely the focus point and the biggest space.  You walk through the dining area to get to the bar area and it had a few booths and maybe 6 other tables so smaller than I expected.

We sat down and started looking at the drink menu.  After trying Lauren’s cocktail, I ordered the same then we switched to rosé.  I started with the fish dip as an appetizer (basically the only appetizer I could eat considering my shellfish allergy) and it was delicious! I’m not sure I’ve ever had a fish dip before so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but it was loaded with fish and the other flavors were a good complement to eat on crackers.

Other girls had oysters, chowder, the bread flight and caviar as appetizers.  We all passed around our plates to try everything (except me), but I did try the caviar!  This was the trout roe and came with a little spread and wafers.  I love the lil pop of flavor as you eat it.

You might be wondering what a shellfish allergy orders for dinner at an oyster company… Unfortunately my first choice did have shellfish in it, but they had the option of steak that isn’t listed on the menu – yay!

I thought it was cooked really well with a bit of char on the outside and enjoyed the style of potatoes too.  Plus the leftovers were great as sliders for lunch.

Other entrees included crab cakes, more oysters, and crabs.  Our table was a plethora of the sea!Overall we enjoyed a delicious dinner at a cute new spot!  I want to come back and sit at that bar next time… and order the steak again.


Oyster Shell + Sweetgrass Napkin Rings

If you think of materials that represent Charleston then sweetgrass and oyster shells are probably on the top of that list.  When I was at dinner a few weeks ago I thought about how cool it would be to mix the 2 together some way (I was totally inspired by Haley’s necklaces & earrings she made with sweetgrass for SEWE).  I thought that napkin rings could be such a simple way to add a lowcountry touch to a dinner and started planning…

Oyster Shell + Sweetgrass Napkin Rings

What you’ll need:

  • 2 small oyster shells
  • Clear sealer spray
  • 2 Sweetgrass napkin rings
  • Goop

This is a fairly straight forward and easy craft to put together and I had mine done in just a few minutes after work.  I bought my 2 sweetgrass napkin rings at a antique shop in Charleston with Taylor a few years ago, but you can find them all around the area.  I picked out 2 of the smallest shells I had in my shell inventory, which were leftover from the NYE oyster roast.  Flat shells are key for this so there are multiple points of contact between the shell & napkin ring for the liquid cement to attach to.First things first, I wanted to seal in the tops of my shells and give them a glossy finish, so I sprayed my clear sealer on top.  I really like the inside of oyster shells and wanted that side up,  so that’s the side of the shells that I sealed.  You could definitely do the other side too!  I also love the look of natural things, which is why I didn’t paint anything, but you could also customize by painting the shells.

Let the shells dry, then bring them back inside.  Now all you have to do is attach the shell to the napkin ring.  Figure out where you want the shell to be placed and apply a good amount of Goop to the napkin ring – enough to securely hold the shell, but not too much where it’s coming off the sides.

Press the oyster shell on top, then let the cement harden.  Repeat for your other napkin ring.  I leaned the napkin rings up against the side of my Cricut while the glue was drying so the shell stayed upright and wouldn’t shift around.Once they’re dry and the shell is securely in place, you’re done!  Just put a napkin in it and set your table! I’m really excited about how these turned out and can’t wait to make more when I get my hands on more sweetgrass napkin rings.  I imagine a huge dinner table set with these out and it makes me happy! It’s the little things, haha.

Did I mention this was totally free? Yup – this cost me $0.  I had everything on hand, and it only took ~10 minutes total for a cute project. Those are the best kind of crafts in my opinion..

Oyster Roasts

It’s prime oyster season and although I can’t eat oysters, I’ve attended and hosted my share of oyster roasts.  Are you going to an oyster roast and you’re not sure what to do?  I’ve got you covered.  There are a few things you might want to know beforehand…

Oysters only in the trash

Most oyster tables have a big hole in the middle with a trash can underneath.  That trash can is made for spent oyster shells, not the trash (bottles, paper towels, etc), so put the cans in the recycling bin and keep the shells alone in their trash can so they can be recycled too.


Bring a knife and glove

Let’s be serious, most people in the lowcountry have their own oyster knives,  and will bring them to an oyster roast.  If you don’t own one, look to your local food store or online.  I bought these wooden ones from Amazon, and personalized them using black vinyl and my Cricut Explore Air™ 2.  Now we won’t lose them, and they’ve already made it through 2 roasts!

PS – If you’re a newbie, you only wear 1 glove on your non-dominant hand when shucking to protect it from being cut by the sharp edges of the shell.  If you’re hosting, it’s great to have them on hand because this will be the #1 thing that people don’t bring.



Unless it’s a big, public oyster roast that has a bar, bring your own beer or wine.  I’m sure the host will provide some, but let’s be serious, it’s rude to show up empty handed.  Champagne really complements oysters, FYI…oysters-05

Eat early if you’re not an oyster fan

Fun fact: I’m allergic to shellfish which means, yup, I can’t eat oysters.  Funny considering I love to craft with the shells, right?  Well even if you’re allergic, oyster roasts are such a big part of lowcountry life in the winter and they’re still fun!

Roasts typically include some other food like chili or BBQ (or a nacho bar if you’re cool like my friend Michelle), but if you’re not sure, eat before so you won’t go hungry!  Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way.

Last tip – if you have an oyster shell loving friend, save the shells for them!  They can be cleaned and crafted with, and I’ve got plenty of oyster shell crafts.   Otherwise like tip #1, let them be recycled and put back in the beds!

Now enjoy the oyster roast!  I promise they’re fun, even if you don’t get to eat the main course.oysters-01

This post includes affiliate links, so I get a lil kickback if you buy from them.


Christmas Oyster Pillow

It wouldn’t be the holidays if I didn’t make a Christmas pillow, right?? Well my friend Meg gave me some inspiration from Maine, and I made it one week night.  Naturally I opted for a coastal vibe…

DIY Christmas Oyster Pillow

What you’ll need:

  • White pillow cover
  • Cricut Explore Air
  • Silver HTV
  • Navy blue HTV
  • Gold glitter HTV
  • Cricut weeder tool
  • Iron

Alright, since this is made with the Cricut – you’ve gotta open Design Space first.  I put together a design using oyster shells, a star fish and ‘Merry Christmas.’  It’s important to “attach” all of the oyster shells together so they will cut the same way you design them.  Since I was cutting the star fish, oysters and words in different colors, I didn’t need to attach them together too.


Cut each of the pieces out the using your Cricut.  I opted for silver oysters, navy blue text & gold glitter star fish for the top, so each was cut on different HTV.  Like always, remember to “mirror” the design before cutting so it will iron on the pillow cover correctly.


Once everything is cut, you’ll weed out the extra from the design using the weeder tool.christmas-oyster-pillow-05christmas-oyster-pillow-02

When all of the pieces are weeded, you’re ready to iron!  Put the pieces together (right side up) on your pillow cover.
christmas-oyster-pillow-03Use your iron – on the cotton setting, or high heat – to apply the HTV to the pillow cover.  I’ve said it before, but every iron is different so apply heat for short periods of time until all parts of the design are applied without pulling up.christmas-oyster-pillow-04Add an insert, and you’ve got yourself a coastal Christmas pillow!

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This was totally a selfish design – one I came up with and knew I wanted on our couch during December.  Maybe next year I’ll list these in the shop, but until then it’s just for me… and sharing with you!


CK on Lowcountry Live

I have some exciting news – some of my Coastal Kelder products were on our local morning show, Lowcountry Live!

My friend Liz, of Charleston Weekender, does segments with them and reached out to me to be part of the oyster themed segment this past week.  I was thrilled to be part of it, and have my products on tv (!!!!!) so did a lot of pre-work to get ready for this past Wednesday morning.

Wednesday morning I headed to the station (in my seashell shirt), and arranged my oyster things on the table.  We were going to be first, so it gave us plenty of time to set up before the show started, and take some pictures.img_9877fullsizerender-22

Jennifer (from Zags Life), and I stood behind scenes and watched as Erin & Tom recorded the promo pieces, started the show and then moved over to our area for the piece with Liz.
img_9870 img_9871 To finish the segment they gave away a package from Oyster House and then an Instagram giveaway of my ‘The World is your Oyster’ shatterproof wine glass + oyster shell ornaments & a Zags oyster printed sun wrap.img_9838


You can watch the whole segment below:

Cheers to the impossible actually happening!