Contributor Favorites List of 2015


For our last post of the year, we Charleston Moms Blog Contributors thought we would share some of our favorites of 2015. Note:  not all of the things listed here are necessarily new in 2015; some are just new to us or still our favorites from the past.  Here you go, readers:

popcornFavorite Movies:

Wild (Reese Witherspoon)

Room (Brie Larson)

Any documentary on Netflix took top honors here.

Favorite Television Shows:

Apparently we moms watch a LOT more television than movies because there was a TON more feedback on this one.  So, here’s a list of the top favorites:

The Leftovers, True Detective, Silicon Valley, Game of Thrones (big HBO fans here!)

Any and all reality shows on BRAVO (so embarrassing…but we all need a brain break now and again, right?)

Marvel’s Jessica Jones, House of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None (apparently, we’re big Netflix fans too…)television

The Good Wife

American Horror Story


The Walking Dead

Mad Men (we miss you, Don)

…and all things HGTV

Favorite Books:

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

For the Love by Jen Hatmaker….my Small Group is reading this and we all swear it was written just for us! The perfect book for mamas!” -Shara

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

“I feel like a dorky teenage boy, but I re-read the Game of Thrones (by George R. R. Martin) series this year and loved it even more than the first time!” -Lauren L.

booksThe Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“I finally read Bossypants by Tina Fey and loved it!” -Carly

Carry on Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott;

The Land of Mango Sunsets by Dorothea Benton Frank

One More Step by Rachel Wojo

“Most books I read this year were baby-related, but I did manage to squeeze in The Girl on the Train, while on maternity leave – so I suppose it’s a favorite by lack of other options.” -Jess S.

Favorite Sports Teams:

NY Giants

“College- WVU; pro- NY Jets” -Jenn. F.

“VCU Ram Basketball (alma mater)” -Marie D.

Baltimore Ravens

“Let’s go Flyers!!” -Jess. S.

New Orleans Saints


Citadel Bulldogs

“Sports Go Sports” by Garfunkel and Oates (this is worth a watch!)

Favorite Local Restaurants:

Al Di La


“Taco Boy – Kid friendly & delicious margaritas.” -Lauren F.

“Bacco, Edmund’s Oast, Artisan Meat Share, Kanpai, Butcher & Bee, there are too many! (We are so spoiled in Charleston!)” -Carly

Wild Oliverestaurant


“Halls Chophouse if we’re being fancy; Finz on Coleman if we’re not.” -Lauren L.

Chez Nous

The Blind Tiger

“Newks-you can’t beat their Cobb Salad!” -Shara

Favorite Food to Make:

Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

“I have been trying to experiment with greens lately…my new fav are mustard greens.” -Jenn F.

Paté Melt at Artisan Meat Share

“I would eat Thai anything!” -Kristy

Favorite Drink:

“This year I got really into rose’ , but typically bubbles are always my celebratory drink of choice.” -Gervase

“I second what Gervase said.” -Lauren L.

“‘Salty Dog’–grapefruit and vodka–friend introduced me to the actual name of the drink because I didn’t know it.”    -Marie D.

drink“Moscow Mules (especially from Prohibition on King Street).” -Lauren F.

“Raspberry leaf tea became my best friend towards the end of my third trimester.” -Jess S.

“Free Radical from McCrady’s (gin, turmeric, lemon grass, it’s delicious!)” -Carly

“GT’s Original Kombucha (obsessed!!!)” -Kristy

“Spark (Advocare energy)” -Celina

” I love “blend” juices on Coleman Blvd. My special treat!” -Jenn F.

“Vodka and Cranberry Sprite Zero (no calories but so festive!)” -Shara

Favorite Meal to Cook:

Anything in the crockpot (espeically salsa chicken and pork tenderloin)


“I’m not much of a cook, but I can make a good quiche!” -Jess S.


Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach, and Goat Cheese

“Reheating thai takeout – I really do love to cook..but would eat Thai every day if given the choice.” -Kristy


“Meatloaf and mashed potatoes…comfort food!” -Jenn F.

“Pear Relish – Sounds strange, but it’s amazing!” -Jess. S.

“Pasta Salad (as in a salad with pasta in it and red wine vinaigrette as the dressing).” -Shara

Most Inspirational Person:


“Lucy Beckham:  Wando High School’s long-time principal who passed away last week.  She was a great educator who always put children’s best interest first.  Plus, she had the best way of being super-blunt about things without being offensive…something that is often needed in education, and in life.  I’m fortunate to have had the chance to work under her.” -Lauren L.

Marie Forleo

Jimmy Valvano (NC State NCAA Champion b-ball coach who died of cancer)inspiration

“Jessica Alba (an amazing example of a woman entrepreneur and we love all of the Honest products for our baby’s sensitive skin).” -Lauren F.

“Malala Yousafzi, always, but I have a new found love for Ellen DeGeneres. She uses her celebrity platform so beautifully as a humanitarian. Definitely pulls the heart strings.” -Carly

“My friend Heather, who is overcoming major health issues.” -Jenn F.

And the most popular answer: our own moms!

Favorite Local Stores:

Harbor Specialties

“TJ Maxx and Marshalls (I am not a shopper and like deals) If I felt like driving to Tanger–H&M .” -Marie D.

Blue Bicycle Books

Harris Teeter


Trader Joe’s (can’t beat those wine deals!)

Hobby Lobby (for the crafty Pinterest moms in the group)

Favorite Hobby/Leisure Time Activity:

Running/Trail Races

“Bike riding the West Ashley Greenway with my little family.” -Gervase


“Learning how to use my new embroidery machine and having a blast making my own appliquéd clothes for my kiddos! {I’ll have some out at Flowertown with my other baby/kid apparel too!} Palmettos and Pigtails!” -Shara

Working Out

yogaTinkering in our garden

Walking on the Beach

“Calligraphy…I started a little side business because I love addressing envelopes for weddings and other special events. It’s a nice creative outlet.” -Lauren L.

“Adult coloring books, for sure.” -Carly

“Yoga at The Yoga House – Charleston and Barre at Studio Barre James Island.” -Kristy

Favorite New Skills Learned:

“How to change a diaper in an infant carseat.” -Jessie

“Balancing me time with toddler (still learning).” -Marie D.

“Since becoming a business owner, I have taught myself to build a website, create graphics, speak social media and more! Being an entrepreneur creates constant learning opportunities to hone new skills.” -Gervase

“Candle-making.” -Carly

“HTML and CSS, thank you Charleston CODECamp!” -Jess S.

“Photography from the amazing Betsy of B Mullinax Photography.” -Kristy

“Verse-mapping.” -Jenn F.

Favorite Cups of Local Coffee:

“We enjoy grabbing a cup of coffee and a doughnut at Glazed Gourmet Doughnuts on King Street on the weekends before walking around town.” -Lauren F.

“Candy cane latte at Vintage.” -Jessiecoffee

“Charleston Coffee Roasters at home, but the drive thru at Metto is my go-to on the run.” -Carly

“Whatever Metto has on special is usually really good.” -Lauren L.

“Classic Coffee’s mocha blend.” -Gervase

“2-3 cups of Chock Ful O’ Nuts in my coffee pot in N. Mt. P.” -Marie D.

“Muddy Waters Soy Latte.” -Kristy

“Charleston Coffee Roasters – decaf!” -Jess S.

Best Pieces of Advice:

“Marriage advice from my mother-in-law: ‘Pick your battles. Win the war.’ wink emoticon.” -Gervase

Don’t ever, ever give up.

Pause, deep breaths and pray!

It’s all in God’s hands.

Be prepared to be flexible. Things don’t always go as planned with a baby/toddler in tow.

Perhaps the secret to having it all is simply believing that you already do.

“‘Put down your phone.’ – From my husband.” -Kristy

Favorite Artists/Songs:

Taylor Swift

“Ed Sheeran all day.  When my daughter was around three months old, I accidentally dropped my phone, and the first song in my saved music file began playing.  It was Ed Sheeran’s ‘The A-Team.’ My daughter was immediately captivated by the song.  From there on out, whenever she was getting fussy in the car, I would turn on good old Ed, and she would immediately calm down.  Now that she’s almost a year old, Ed Sheeran songs still do the trick in calming her down.  I need to send Ed Sheeran a thank you note because he may have saved my sanity more than once this year.” -Lauren L.

“I’ve jumped on the Adele train. Hello.” -Carly

“Anything on Sirius XM The Highway or The Pulse.” -Kristy

“Pearl Jam/Just breathe.” -Celina

“This is tough because I actually listen to all types of music, and I love to dance, so….I will have to say Ed Sheeran the entire X Album, but especially ‘Don’t,’ ‘Thinking Out Loud,’ ‘Sing,’ and ‘Photograph,’ also like The Weekend: ‘Can’t Feel My Face,’ ‘The Hills,’ all of them…” -Marie D.

“Rene and Jeremy….fantastic children’s duo with angelic voices that can calm any screaming baby, argumentative 4 year old or even Mama!” -Shara

Best Vacation Spots:

Playa Mujeres, Mexico

bbeachAnna Maria Island, FL

Anywhere in the Caribbean

Lake Murray

Hilton Head

Anywhere near the Blue Ridge Parkway

“Anywhere that does not have Wifi so my work email can’t follow me.” -Kristy

Best Unexpected Achievement:

“Being decent at taking care of our 6 chickens. I mean, if you had told me that a few years ago I would have said there was zero chance. haha.” -Gervase

Having a baby.

“Working towards my writing goal.” -Jenn F.

Moved across country.

“Biting the bullet and applying for promotion…now just 6 months to wait for a decision!” -Kristy

Best Gift Given/Received:

“Trip to Grenada given to my husband for his 40th/our 5 year anniversary. I saved up for years.” -Celina

” I was so excited to give my sister in law a swatch watch that she had as a kid but lost–it was this one that looked like a cockpit on the face (my father in law was a pilot) and I won the ebay auction–I had never bought anything off ebay.” -Marie D.

“Paintings from my 4 year old.” -Carly

“One of my daughter’s drawings.” -Jenn F.

“The best gifts I receive are every day from my girls. My oldest loves to write us letters and tuck them under our sheets or in our pillows.” -Kristy

“A surprise ‘push present’ from my husband:  a rose gold band to wear with my wedding and engagement rings.  Because there isn’t much else that looks good on the week after giving birth.” -Lauren L.

Favorite Articles of Clothing:

LuLaRoe leggings

” I love scarves and flowy, boho cardigans. I’m rarely without one or the other!” -Gervaseoutfit

T-shirt and Shorts

Jeans and Boots

“This has been a tough one this year, nothing seems to fit right after baby number 2.” -Carly

“Leggings, because who likes actual pants.” -Kristy

Favorite Mom Moments of the Year:

“Making the decision to be a stay at home mom.” -Lauren F.

“Birth of our 3rd child, in May.” -Jessie

“Whew…so many! I got upset with one of my daughter’s for using a not so nice word and when I asked her where she learned it she confidently replied, “you say it all the time when you’re driving!” Yeah…Mom of the year right there.”   -Jenn F.

“Making a 13 hour drive with two kids and two dogs without my husband.” -Celina

“The day my daughter read her first book from cover to cover with no help!” -Kristy

“Backing my car into the babysitters car before I left to run my errands, I also gave the infant heimlich to get a cheerio out.” -Marie D.

“Recently my daughter ran out of the bathroom at Al Di La after peeing on the potty (we’ve been potty training for 5 months!) and screamed, “I did it, I did it, I DID IT!” and threw her arms into the air like a champion in front of the whole dining room. Every table turned and looked at her and started clapping! It was hilarious.” -Gervase

“More than once: arriving at swim lessons without a towel.” -Carly

“The birth of our son, Wyatt!” -Jess S.

“Becoming a mom to our sweet baby girl in March.  It is such an honor to join the mama sisterhood!” -Lauren L.


2015 had been a good one, and we are all excited to have been a part of the start of the Charleston Moms Blog this year.

CMB has big things in store for you in the new year, so here’s to 2016! Cheers!