The Blessed Beard – Grooming products for the modern man

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to The Blessed Beard, a business created and managed by David Pendergrass. The Blessed Beard came about by David’s own desire to cultivate a stronger, healthier beard, and the results were too great not to share.

pomade

Looking for some natural hold for your luscious locks? Look no further than The Blessed Beard’s pomade. PC: The Blessed Beard

David began The Blessed Beard as a way to deal with his own beard care needs, but also as a second source of income when his wife was on maternity leave in 2016. Fast-forward to 2018, and David is bursting with new product ideas, with his wife and parents helping out with branding, packaging, running events, and more. It’s definitely become a family business!

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David clearly labels all the ingredients in his products. Check out all those natural, nutrient-rich oils! PC: The Blessed Beard

The Blessed Beard certainly has a wide variety of products for beard care, but they offer many other products for general body care. Conditioning balm, conditioning oil, body wash, hair pomade, aftershave tonic, and more are all available.

styling spray

Here’s something you don’t see every day: styling clay spray. Great for a strong hold, without all the chemical gunk in commercial hairspray. PC: The Blessed Beard

The Blessed Beard’s products stand out not only for their effectiveness, but for the unique blend of scents David develops. Looking for a “symphonic” fusion of different aromas, David blends essential oils (anywhere between seven to twenty different oils!) with a variety of base oils (all selected carefully for their skin-healing benefits) to create the perfect scent.

conditioning oil

“Using the product consistently infuses your skin with fatty amino acids, vitamins (A, E, D) and other proteins and nourishing factors that keep your skin healthy,” David explains. PC: The Blessed Beard

While men are an obvious target clientele for The Blessed Beard, David encourages women to try his products as well. The scents are appealing to both masculine and feminine preferences, and the benefits apply to everyone. “This is why I say my oils are ‘conditioning oils’ and not ‘beard oils’—ANYONE can use these products: men, women, or children!” David explains.

body wash

I have The Blessed Beard’s natural wash in David’s “Refresh” scent (think citrus and mint), and I love it. I’m eager to try all his other scents! PC: The Blessed Beard

David’s an active participant in local markets and vendor events in Upstate South Carolina. In fact, he runs a group called GVL Makers & Artisans, which “exists to help other small businesses grow and flourish.” This group shares information about events and offers encouragement to one another as fellow craftsmen and business owners. Be sure to follow The Blessed Beard on social media (Instagram and Facebook) so you can learn more about David’s journey as a maker, and join the events he hosts and attends!

Psalm 91 Studio – Meaningful jewelry

I never get tired of discovering new jewelry makers. It’s hard to plant your stake in the bling market, but there’s something a little different and unique about each shop, and Psalm 91 Studio is set apart in more ways than one.

bead bracelets

Plenty of stackable bracelets! PC- Psalm 91 Studio

Psalm 91 Studio owner Cheryl first began making jewelry to fund a Christian mentorship program she organized for young women in her life. 100% of the money Cheryl made through her jewelry pieces went back into the lives of the girls she was mentoring. But when Cheryl and her husband had to move in 2016, she found that she didn’t want to stop making jewelry. This season of change sparked new creativity in Cheryl and she opened Psalm 91 Studio on Etsy that fall.

leather detail

Elegant stony beads with leather and a dainty charm detail. Classic, versatile style. PC: Psalm 91 Studio

Cheryl’s gifts of encouragement and exhortation are magnified in her jewelry; she prays over every piece of jewelry, and often incorporates Christian symbols and Scriptural references in her designs. The mantra behind Psalm 91 Studio is “Inspired to live creative, with a passion to do good and share the love of Christ, Psalm 91 products are hand-crafted with love to encourage, inspire, and give back.”

earrings

Cheryl recently began introducing earrings, and how gorgeous are these leather tassels? PC: Psalm 91 Studio

Psalm 91 Studio is perhaps most well-known for its variety of beautiful, stackable bracelets. Colors of seafoam green, sky blue, soft gray, and marbled black and white are a recognizable palette of Psalm 91 Studio jewelry, so many of the pieces coordinate beautifully together. Cheryl’s line of antler necklaces and essential oil diffuser jewelry are also very popular.

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Cheryl often incorporates charms like this one, referencing Scriptures or worship music. PC: Psalm 91 Studio

While Cheryl’s jewelry speaks for itself, what I really think sets Psalm 91 Studio apart is Cheryl’s commitment to community. She shows compassion toward each customer, but she also takes a percentage of each sale and donates directly to various ministries, such as anti-human trafficking organizations and local charities. Definitely browse through Psalm 91 Studio’s Etsy shop, and also follow on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with Cheryl’s creative process and business mission.

Five Loves Handmade – Where functional meets stylish

If you’re a fan of functional + stylish, then get ready for Five Loves Handmade to become your new favorite small business. Stacy began crafting her rope bags and baskets four years ago after the birth of her fifth child (hence, “Five Loves”), and she quickly discovered that she wasn’t the only one who valued the combo of practicality and style.

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Stacy’s big, roomy tote bags are perfect for holding ALL the goodies. Ideal for tucking away books, journals, tablets, etc. for a day at the coffee shop. PC: Five Loves Handmade

Stacy hand-dyes the colored ropes she uses, gravitating toward earthy color pallets that reflect the natural resources she uses in her products (cotton rope, leather, wood, etc.). The concepts behind the bags are simple, tasteful, and timeless—a product that can be used for any occasion or décor, and will remain stylish for years to come. And Stacy’s products are made to last—she uses durable materials, blending in that function element alongside the beauty.

green bowl

The darling AYLA bowls are Stacy’s most popular — they come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. They make the perfect “catch-all” for keys, wallets, spare change… PC: Five Loves Handmade

Stacy’s favorite part about running a small business? The freedom and flexibility to work at her own pace. With (now six!) children in hand, Stacy loves that she has the freedom to either slow down and focus on family, or ramp up production for an extra income boost, which Stacy describes as “really empowering for me!”

leather straps

Sturdy yet elegant, Five Loves Handmade baskets make beautiful home accents. PC: Five Loves Handmade

You’ll find a variety of products at Five Loves Handmade, from rope baskets and bags to leather clutches and macrame artwork. Stacy intentionally designs each piece to complement the materials, which is apparent in the gorgeous textures and tasteful simplicity of each piece. Her baskets make the perfect, versatile home accent piece, and her totes and clutches are great to accessorize any outfit. If you gravitate toward her stylish HOPE bag, then you can feel extra good about your purchase: Stacy annually selects a ministry focusing on rescuing sex traffic victims to receive all proceeds from her HOPE bag sales.

hope bag

The oh-so-chic HOPE bag. It’s easy to see why this bag is popular. PC: Five Loves Handmade

Stacy is always designing new styles and experimenting with colors and details. Be sure to follow her on Instagram for sales announcements and shop updates, and also follow her on Facebook and shop on her website!

Asheville Anniversary Trip

Better late than never, right? Benjamin and I had a short but peaceful weekend getaway to Asheville, NC for our anniversary in May, and we visited some really excellent small businesses while there. With Asheville so close to Greenville, it’s a great day trip destination, and these places are certainly worth visiting.

Corner Kitchen

Nestled right on the cobblestone sidewalks of the Biltmore Village, this home-turned-restaurant is a charming dinner destination. While the atmosphere is cozy and intimate, you’ll find the food to be unexpected and perfectly prepared.

ramen

Unexpected, indeed, to find this mind-blowing bowl of ramen in the cottage-like atmosphere of Corner Kitchen. The broth was rich and flavorful, and the pork belly was perfection itself.

For the thirsty, there is an impressive wine and beer menu, along with many signature cocktails. Corner Kitchen is casual enough for a laid-back lunch, but is certainly special enough for a fancier occasion.

souffle

For dessert: a fresh raspberry souffle with lemon and cream sauce. To DIE for.

 

Malaprop’s Bookstore

You can tell a lot about a town by the quality of its small bookstores, and Malaprop’s Bookstore represents Asheville with good taste and plenty of charm. Something I appreciate in a bookstore: good organization. Malaprop’s offers a wide variety of books, and they’re all labeled and organized. Such a pleasant shopping experience.

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Malaprop’s had an excellent collection of regional books and authors.

Curate

One of the most exciting experiences we had in Asheville was at Curate…and, we got so wrapped up in enjoying the food and atmosphere that we forgot to take photos altogether (face palm). As one of the hottest restaurants in Asheville at the moment, we were lucky to get a table—literally grabbed the last lunch reservation, and we were reserving a week in advance! There’s a reason Curate is so popular, though: the Spanish-style tapas cuisine is not only delicious, but unique and unexpected. We ordered a variety of dishes, from a tomato bruschetta (very simple, but so flavorful), preserved white asparagus with lemon vinaigrette, shrimp with sherry, and fried eggplant with rosemary and honey. It was unbelievably scrumptious, and I would return in a heartbeat (and take pictures, next time!)

French Broad Chocolates

The place I probably wanted to visit the most in Asheville was French Broad Chocolates, the ultimate Mecca for any chocolate lover. They offer hand-crafted chocolates (anything from truffles, chocolate bars, hot cocoa mixes, and more), baked goods, coffees, ice creams, and more. I tried their legendary liquid truffle while there (I can’t describe how decadent and delicious it was), then we returned for a box of truffles, which were an incredible experience.

truffles

Smoked salt, raspberry, strawberry & balsamic, earl grey…just some of the flavors we picked out for our box of truffles. French Broad Chocolates has a wide variety of flavors, including seasonal  themed collections.

There are dozens of other restaurants, bakeries, shops, and more that we could have explored, but we were so pleased with the taste of Asheville we experienced. It’s a beautiful vacation spot with lots of fun activities, not least of which is, of course, the spectacular Biltmore house. Give these spots a try, and let me know how you like them!

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Celebrating one excellent first year of marriage with Benjamin. What a great weekend!

Chasing Rabbits Tea – A refreshing change from coffee

People who know me quickly find out that I am a tea fanatic. While I enjoy coffee, I’ve often been disappointed by the few options and poor quality of teas offered in cafes and coffee shops. You can imagine my joy, then, when I discovered Chasing Rabbits Tea in downtown Greenville, only a couple short blocks from my workplace.

green tea

Order a refreshing tea in-store, or take a bag of loose leaf tea home with you! PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

Chasing Rabbits Tea is owned by Tracie and Allie Combs, a mother-daughter team who both have a passion for tea. When Allie discovered that regularly drinking green rooibos tea healed her skin issues, she and her mother both dove into research about other teas and their health benefits. They soon discovered that tea offers a wide range of benefits, and they developed a passion for sharing this knowledge with others.

Allie and Mom

Allie and Tracie have a great relationship and love working together, which is immediately obvious as soon as you meet them. PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

When you walk into Chasing Rabbits Tea, you’ll immediately be captivated by the whimsical decor, influenced heavily by classic literature and popular fandoms (think: Harry Potter, Doctor Who, etc.). The name “Chasing Rabbits Tea” came from a brainstorm session that combined a nod to the local Swamp Rabbit Trail as well as Alice in Wonderland, which inspired the fun, topsy-turvy store theme. Besides tea, you can purchase all manner of teacups, tea pots, posters, note cards, and more at Chasing Rabbits Tea. You might find anything from a print of the Cheshire Cat to a Darth Vader figurine tucked between the shelves of tea paraphernalia!

bubble tea

Whether you like a lightly-sweetened tea latte or a decadent blended bubble tea like the one pictured above, Allie and Tracie have you covered. PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

When ordering a drink at Chasing Rabbits Tea, you might be a little dazzled by the seemingly endless options available. From traditional hot tea, to tea lattes and fraps, smoothies and tea sodas, protein shakes and bubble tea, there are limitless combinations to choose from. Personally, I adore the Lady Gray latte, and I’m also partial to an iced Bon-Bon Bonita tea (Chasing Rabbit’s rooibos blend with strawberry, peach, and citrus) with strawberry boba. Can’t bring yourself to choose? Just ask Allie or Tracie behind the counter—they have a knack for recommending just what you’d like.

trivia night

Trivia Nights are a big hit at Chasing Rabbits Tea. This is just one of many events that Allie and Tracie put on, much to the joy of the community. PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

Allie and Tracie are both genuinely knowledgeable about tea and are incredibly friendly. I find it refreshing to discover a place that focuses purely on tea: offering high-quality blends for purchase, creating delicious drinks, and providing insightful knowledge about tea’s benefits. To quote Tracie: “My hope is that CR Tea Co. will become a source for information, open discussion, and empower others to make choices to live better and smarter while they drink something delicious!”

pumpkin tea

You’ll find your favorite blends like chai or jasmine-green tea at Chasing Rabbits Tea, as well as many innovative blends, many of which rotate seasonally. PC: Chasing Rabbits Tea

Definitely follow Chasing Rabbits Tea on Instagram for stunning (and sometimes wild-looking!) pictures of tea concoctions, and also follow them on Facebook to see all their fun upcoming events. Next time you’re in downtown Greenville near East McBee Avenue, pop into their store—you won’t be disappointed!

iVIVA Salt – Himalayan salt & more

It makes me really excited when I come across a business that is a little out of the ordinary. iVIVA is one of those businesses, as owner Katie White sells something you may not come across at every maker’s market: Himalayan salt and essential oils.

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A pound of iVIVA edible pink Himalayan salt is just $5, an AMAZING bargain, especially considering the product’s exceptional quality.

If you tune in to the health and foodie world at all, you’ve probably heard quite a bit about Himalayan pink salt, and for good reason. It’s more than just a trendy seasoning— it’s an incredibly rich source of minerals. For a quick comparison: sea salt (yes, the oh-so glorified garnish of gourmet caramels) has 10 minerals, whereas Himalayan pink salt has 84 minerals. Yes, you read that right! There are a ton of other health benefits behind Himalayan pink salt that make it superior, but Katie really explains it best herself in her blog. Read up on the numerous benefits here.

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I love the warm, cozy glow of Himalayan salt lamps. Katie offers lamps in various sizes.

Katie offers more than just edible pink salt. She transforms whole blocks of Himalayan salt into some incredible products, like salt lamps, salt massage balls, bath salts, and soaps.  I’m a particular fan of her salt lamps and bath salts, which I can personally vouch for. Salt lamps have many mysterious benefits, from purifying the air (a plus for folks with asthma/allergies) to improving anxiety. Do your own research— this is an article I’ve found that summarizes different benefits and theories— but regardless of whether you buy into the health benefits, salt lamps make a beautiful, calming home accent.

Calming Oils

You’ll find single essential oils as well as unique iVIVA oil blends on Katie’s website.

Beyond salt, you can also purchase high-quality essentials oils from iVIVA. Katie studies aromatherapy and is in the process of receiving her aromatherapy certificate, so you can feel good about incorporating iVIVA essential oils into your home and family. Again, Katie does a great job informing her customer base on the quality behind all her products, so read more on her blog.

iviva citrus blend eos

Katie incorporates essential oils AND Himalayan pink salt into her homemade soaps.

Katie has a real passion for holistic health, and one of the primary reasons she began iVIVA is because she felt astounded at how expensive high-quality Himalayan pink salt and essential oils were. After finding a fair trade-compliant salt mine, becoming a certified aromatherapist and SC Certified (all of Katie’s products are made right here in Greenville county!), Katie now has a wide variety of incredible, natural products that won’t break the bank. Be sure to check out her website and follow her on Instagram and Facebook!

Karisma by Kara – Eye-catching accents

When you pick a piece of jewelry, you make a statement about your personal style. With Karisma by Kara jewelry, you’ll not only find a selection of beautiful jewelry, but you might just find a piece that says something about your personality, too.

mountain necklace

The design is gorgeous on this miniature mountain necklace, but check out the oxidization—such a beautiful touch that adds depth and detail. PC: Karisma by Kara

Kara began making jewelry shortly after marrying and moving to Greenville, South Carolina. Inspired by a group of artistic friends who had opened shops to sell their products, Kara decided to open an Etsy shop to share her handmade jewelry.  The success of her uniquely designed and intentionally crafted jewelry eventually created an opportunity for Kara to open her own physical shop—a long-time dream come true.

bear studs

You can’t help but smile at these little bear studs. Was your first though “Mama Bear?” Yeah,  mine too. PC: Karisma by Kara

After having a baby last year, Kara’s moved her studio back home, though she’s still working as hard as ever on designing and making jewelry, oftentimes filling custom orders. A few years down the road, Kara would love to open a shop again and even offer classes to the community.

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Kara’s creative process is definitely hands-on. Her craftsmanship ensures quality and a unique touch. PC: Karisma by Kara

Kara’s background in art makes itself known in the clean, elegant designs of her jewelry. Kara makes each piece by hand, which often involves complex metalwork. One thing you’ll notice about Kara’s jewelry is that each piece is loaded with personality—whether you’re admiring a rustic mountain range or smiling at a bunny pendant.

corgi

Kara says she likes working with wire best—and I can see why! This adorable corgi necklace and dozens of other designs are available in Kara’s shop. PC: Karisma by Kara

You’ll find that Kara has no shortage of ideas when it comes to designing jewelry, and it’s a pure joy to explore her website and Etsy shop. Bracelets, rings, necklaces, and earrings—she makes it all!

sleek earrings

I love the intricacy of Kara’s jewelry, but she also creates very chic, streamlined pieces like these strikingly elegant dangle earrings. PC: Karisma by Kara

Bar Soap – A worthy conversion

Over the past six months or so, I’ve discovered a product preference: bar soap over liquid soap. Specifically (of course) handmade bar soap over store-bought liquid soap. Seems like a simple switch, but let me share with you some reasons why I’ve switched almost entirely to bar soap.

Liquid soap is drying

Something all soaps advertise: moisturizing properties. But, especially in the cold months when I’m washing my hands more frequently and having issues with dry skin, I noticed that my hands were especially papery after washing my hands. By contrast, every handmade bar soap I’ve used has been noticeably moisturizing (note: some commercial bar soaps I’ve used in the past had the same drying issues as liquid soap. Not all bar soaps are made equal!)

Bar soap encourages good hand-washing

Confession time: recently I realized that, when I use liquid soap, I’m actually not washing my hands well at all. When using liquid soap, I realized that most of the time I got a dollop of soap on my fingertips, which immediately slid off once I put my hands under running water. With bar soap, you actually have to handle and rub the bar in order to stimulate the lather, which in itself creates a good hand-washing technique. Sounds trivial, but you’ll be amazed at how much more thoroughly you wash your hands when using bar soap.

Bar soap lasts longer

Most bar soaps from Etsy shops and local makers cost a few dollars each, and they last for MONTHS. With liquid soap, it’s easy to pump out a big ole squirt that’s way more than you need. Bar soaps last longer and are a better value in the long run, not to mention better for your skin.

So, now that I’ve shared the big three reasons why I’ve converted to bar soap, let me introduce you to some soap makers I’ve been using (and loving).

Muddy Mint

Muddy Mint

Pictured here is chamomile and lavender soap, with Simi’s signature gorgeous decorative finish. PC: Muddy Mint

Though based all the way out in Colorado, Muddy Mint was the first soap/body care shop I tried way back in the summer of 2017. Simi, the soap-making hands behind Muddy Mint, makes some incredible body care products (still dreaming about her cocoa butter cashmere body butter), and besides her soap being lovely to use, I also think she has some of the most beautiful soap on the market. Follow her on Instagram, if only to marvel at her gorgeous creations.

Gifted Hands Artisan Soap

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Black tea and patchouli soap: clean, elegant scent to match the design. PC: Gifted Hands Artisan Soap

I met Javela, the owner of Gifted Hands Artisan Soap, at a farmer’s market last year and purchased some of her soap to try. I was so pleased with the product, and also enjoyed perusing the variety of scents she had on display. Gifted Hands Artisan Soap features some luxuriously feminine scents, like honeysuckle & almond milk, but also stocks a wide variety of man-friendly scents (think lemongrass & rosemary; peppermint; cedar wood, orange, and clove).

ILY Soaps

ILY soap

This bar is currently residing in our bathroom, where my husband and I both use it regularly. We’ve been using this bar for about a month now, and see how bulky it still is! Bar soap goes a long way.

My most recent discovery is ILY Soaps based out of Easley. Besides soaps, ILY Soaps also has a wide variety of bath and body products, from bath bombs to facial care. The bar pictured above is a garden mint soap that I’ve really enjoyed. It has a rich mint smell and a really robust lather, which I love.

Good Juju Herbal

Good Juju soap

I received Judith’s Rose Clay and Geranium soap for Christmas, and it smells divine. PC: Good JuJu Herbal

If you’ve followed my blog, then you’ve seen my review of Good JuJu Herbal and how much I applaud her all-natural approach to body care. I’ve used several of Judith’s products and have particularly enjoyed her soap. Judith infuses her soap with gentle, all-natural scents, and her soaps have a uniquely soft and gentle texture. Ideal for sensitive skin types!

Valentines ideas for him – gifts & dates

Let’s face the reality: most men are hard to shop for.  So, if you’re a thoughtful lady looking ahead to Valentine’s day, you may find yourself wondering how to make your sweetheart feel special.  I’ve rounded up a bunch of ideas, from gifts to date nights, that are guy-approved (reviewed by my husband for confirmed quality control). Read up!

Backroads Goods – Beard Care

aftershave

PC: Backroads Goods. Check them out: https://backroadsgoods.com/

Backroads Goods has a whole host of beard care products available, from aftershave to beard oil to handmade beard combs. The grooming products are made with natural ingredients and are no-fuss, good quality, and a great gift for your bearded fellow.

The Greenville Jerky Company – satisfy the carnivore

jerky

PC: Greenville Jerky Company. Order some here: http://www.greenvillejerkycompany.com/the-jerky.html

For the carnivorous man in your life, you can’t beat some locally-sourced jerky from Greenville Jerky Company.  This makes the perfect snack–and maybe consider throwing in a case of your man’s favorite beer or soda (jerky makes you thirsty!)

A Dapper Sandlapper – handmade accessories 

dapper sand

PC: A Dapper Sandlapper. Check out handmade bow ties, pocket squares, and more: https://www.adappersandlapper.com/

For your dapper man, there’s A Dapper Sandlapper, makers of bow ties, pocket squares, key chains, and more.  These are well made and the patterns range from tame to wild & funky–perfect for your expressive, stylish guy.

LaRue Fine Chocolates – specialty treats

LaRue choc

PC: LaRue Fine Chocolates. Have fun drooling over their website: http://www.laruefinechocolate.com/

Hey, chocolates aren’t just for the lady. I know plenty of fellas who would die and go to heaven over these specialty chocolates: especially the boozy “Sweet Kentucky” and the sophisticated tea-flavored “The Earl.”

Our Board Boutique – custom engraved products

bottle cap openers

PC: Our Board Boutique. Check them out: https://www.etsy.com/shop/OurBoardBoutique?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Though based all the way up in New Jersey, I’ve been seriously impressed with Our Board Boutique They have beautiful wood products on their Etsy shop, but I was particularly drawn to these engraved bottle openers. This is the perfect guy gift: both personalized and useful.

Sidewall Pizza – Ice cream date

Side Wall icecream

PC: Sidewall Pizza. Take a peek at the menu: http://www.sidewallpizza.com/

How about some date ideas? I’m a sucker for the classics, and I don’t know anyone who would turn down a good old-fashioned ice cream date.  Around here, Sidewall Pizza is known for (duh) their pizza, but did you know they have daily ice cream flavor specials? They’ve got both classic and creative flavor combos–all winners.

Sweet Sippin’ – Valentine-worthy events all weekend long

Sweet Sippin

PC: Sweet Sippin. Stay up-to-date on their events here: https://www.facebook.com/sweetsippinsc/

Sweet Sippin in Simpsonville pulls together fun events on a weekly basis, but they have a particularly fun lineup of events over Valentine’s weekend. Attend a salsa dance classthe Valentine Wine & Dine event, or go head-to-head at the trivia nightAll of these, of course, are accompanied by excellent beer and wine (shout-out to my favorite, City Scape Winery!)

Swamp Fox Donut Day – go sugar crazy

Swamp Fox donuts

PC: Swamp Fox Donuts. Follow their popup schedule: https://www.swampfoxdonuts.com/

Hosted monthly at the Birds Fly South Ale Project, this is a fun, laid-back event that is perfect for both the sugar and beer lover. Swamp Fox Donuts make some pretty spectacular doughnuts!

There’s a dozen other ideas I could throw out there; Greenville is a thriving community with tons of fun events, restaurants, and shops. But I hope this gives some worthwhile ideas for those of you planning a special day for your sweetheart.

Saskatoon – Meat Lover’s Dream

If you’re looking for a special dinner destination (and craving red meat), you have to try Saskatoon in Greenville. Around here, Saskatoon is renowned for their exotic meats (think ostrich, antelope, alligator) as much as their prime aged steaks (or “tame game,” as they like to call it). Saskatoon has been a no-brainer for my family for years when it comes to special occasions, which is why I treated my husband to a dinner there last night for his 23rd birthday.

Birthday dinner

The new location is huge, and has countless fun and surprising details. Check out the gorgeous mural on the wall behind us.

Though I’ve been to Saskatoon on multiple occasions, last night was a new experience for me as we dined at their new location. Though only just down the road from their smaller Haywood Rd spot, the transformation is remarkable; the new restaurant is a full-fledged lodge, with their customary rustic elements balanced with elegance. The roaring fireplace with strings of Edison bulbs criss-crossing the vaulted ceilings makes for a dramatic and cozy atmosphere.

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You’d expect good bread from a steakhouse, but Saskatoon kicks it up a notch with their flavored butters–berry, cinnamon, and honey butter, to be exact. Mouthwatering.

Obviously, Saskatoon is an automatic “yes” for anyone who loves red meat or trying something new, but the service is also a big plus. The staff at Saskatoon are markedly attentive, gracious, and knowledgeable about the menu.  You’ll really get a personalized experience and great service.

sirloin

I ALWAYS fail to take a photo of my meal before diving in. This time, though, at least my impatience let me show off that incredible color inside my sirloin.

Saskatoon is an excellent choice for a special night out.  You get top-notch food without the stuffy atmosphere.  Be sure to peruse their excellent list of wines and beers (Benjamin ordered a locally-made ale from Thomas Creek Brewery…it made for a killer combo with his elk chops), and save room for dessert, too. The chocolate mousse pie is a famous hit, though I have to say that our personal favorite is the bread pudding.

front doors

Go check out Saskatoon’s new location–you won’t be disappointed.