Furnishing Small Spaces on a Budget, an Ode to IKEA

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this on my blog yet, but I’m relocating to Arizona this August to begin my Master’s program at ASU. It’s all exciting, and truly overwhelming, so the past few weeks have been jam packed with the logistics of the move. Last month, I secured my actual apartment unit after a few months of deliberation. I chose to live alone in  a one-bedroom unit, so all of the furnishing and little necessities are my responsibility! The efforts we make for a little bit of privacy. Having just gone through the process of finding affordable but comfortable furnishing options, I thought I would share my experience, maybe providing some advice for anyone who may encounter a similar situation.
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Birthday Dinner at Hook and Barrel Restaurant

This past Monday, I was able to celebrate my 23rd birthday with a wonderful meal shared with family. This whole year has been full of blessings and looking back in retrospect brings bittersweet happiness. After having such a great experience at a new sustainable seafood restaurant, Hook and Barrel, I wanted to share the beautiful food I had the pleasure to enjoy.


hook and barrel seafood

We started our meal with these dill crackers and pimento cheese spread. It was surprisingly flavorful, and pimento cheese is always a winner in my book.
hook and barrel seafood 2

For the table, we ordered the Bacon Figs & Brie starter. There was a generous serving of brie en croute drizzled with blueberry jalapeño. Every bite of hickory bacon wrapped figs and cheese was delightful! We joked about the brie en croute being mistaken for chocolate éclairs, and I honestly feel like I would believe it if someone told me they were desserts.

hook and barrel seafood 3

My parents shared a She Crab soup (this is a half-portion; they were kind enough to split the serving). What is most impressive about the food preparation is how fresh it is. Each soup is crafted at the time the order is placed, so the brightness of fresh vegetables is a welcomed surprise. The food is overwhelmingly fresh and so satisfying.

Entréeshook and barrel seafood 3

My mother ordered the Angry Clams pasta, described on menu as “Bull’s Bay clams, cherry bomb peppers, tomato, basil, white wine butter sauce served over linguine.” She really enjoyed how light and flavorful this dish was.
hook and barrel seafood 4

My father ordered the Pan-Seared Scallops, described on menu as, “Benton’s bacon, roasted corn, grape tomatoes, corn puree,[and] basil aioli.” Can I just say that these were the best scallops I’ve ever had? The purée and aioli, for one, were the perfect accompaniment. When I say that the scallops melted in my mouth, I do not say this lightly. There was absolutely no grit, so I’m confident that much care was given to how the seafood was prepped and cooked.

hook and barrel seafood 5

I ordered the Crab Cakes on recommendation of our server. He was adamant that being a Maryland native, these were top-notch crab cakes. No fillers, just pure crab. He was so right. I loved the sweet tartness of the tartar sauce, but honestly, these could have been enjoyed sauce-free. I ordered sides of balsamic brussels and roasted vegetables, both very fresh and perfectly prepared.

The FinaleIMG_0208

The proprietor of the restaurant is a well-known pastry and baked good extraordinaire. Her first culinary venture is Croissants Bistro and Bakery, with its second location being attached to Hook and Barrel’s building. I guess you could say a major perk of having affiliation with the bakery is access to beautiful cakes like this one.

Knowing we were celebrating my birthday, our server Buddy brought over this funfetti and buttercream cake as a gift from the restaurant. It was such a kind gift and we really appreciated it!
hook and barrel seafood 7

The cake itself was so light and fluffy – everything you want out of a vanilla cake. With the buttercream icing, it was a sweet dream. Fortunately, it was not overwhelmingly sweet, so we finished our slices without feeling bogged down by a blood sugar crash hours later.

We couldn’t finish the cake, so we packed the pretty leftovers up and saved them for later.

I’m so glad we tried this restaurant out because every part of the experience was wonderful. If you’re a seafood lover who appreciates fresh and lovingly prepared food, Hook and Barrel is more than worthy of a visit to Myrtle Beach.

My birthday this year was a wonderful time and I loved the time spent with my family! I’m so blessed to have experiences like this and the ability to enjoy the fellowship.

P.S. If you aren’t already following me on Instagram, please do! I like to poll my followers to find out what content you’d like to see next. I think Instagram is just the easiest platform to get feedback on. Regardless, I love hearing the comments you have to offer on my blog posts, so let me know your thoughts below!

The Offbeat Venusian

2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless.

Thank you for taking the time to hear what I have to say. I hope you’ve found something helpful, or at the very least interesting. You can keep up with my beauty adventures by following me on Instagram @offbeatvenusianI also share my favorite photo memories from travel and life on my photo diary Instagram account @offbeatandaway. Instagram isn’t your vibe? I’m on Facebook, too. If you have any questions or comments, I always love hearing what you have to say. You can comment below or you can contact me here.


Email Updates- The Offbeat Venusian Blog

*Disclaimer: Links may be affiliate codes, meaning I will receive a small compensation for any purchase you make using my link. This never influences my opinion and I do so in order to support my ability to share content with you! A lot of the links offer you a discount or special gift. 

Blush Pink Shoes + Sunny Beauty Inspo

Blush pink is one of the most versatile colors to wear throughout the changing seasons. I wore it all through winter and I’ll be wearing it all through this summer. During a little retail therapy session, I picked up the cutest pair of blush pink shoes (ON SALE!) that I’ll be reaching for through the work week and the weekend. I also picked up a couple of other things for the sunny weather, so I felt inspired to share this mini summer inspo post.

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5 Habits for Cultivating Authenticity

Authenticity presents itself in the way we choose to dress, the way we respond to others, or the things we choose to pursue. It’s our way of making this life distinctly ours. Additionally, living authentically helps us feel more contented and happy! If you’re struggling with being authentic, try incorporating these habits into your daily life.

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@offbeatandaway – Follow My Photo Diary Instagram

I love to explore. Frankly, one of the things my parents value in doing as a family is traveling. Thanks to this I have had great opportunity to see some amazing places and take mediocre photos of breathtaking sights. In all these destinations, I have created memories, met new people, and grown closer to loved ones. Fall of 2015 I studied abroad in Brussels, Belgium and decided to create an Instagram account to document my experience. I loved the idea that all of my memories could be stored as photographed moments so I continued to use the account to post pictures from travels and adventures. Continue reading “@offbeatandaway – Follow My Photo Diary Instagram”

Favorites of the Moment – Beauty + Beyond

Happy Friday! I don’t know about the rest of you, but here in the South we are basking in beautiful, sunny, and temperate weather. As the sun’s rays pry through the remains of winter’s frost, I’ve been enjoying quite a few new things in life.   Continue reading “Favorites of the Moment – Beauty + Beyond”