Two Affordable Restaurants in Asheville For Rent Week

It’s creeping around the weekend, rent is coming due. And if you live in Asheville you know how much of a stress giver, headache and drain on your bank account that can be. It also sucks even more if you are like me and most of my bills are due the last week and first week of the month. A fun two weeks of paying bills, paying bills. Whether you have a roommate, live with a SO or by yourself I know it’s hard and I understand the hustle. But we still got to eat. Sure there are some great affordable finds at Trader Joe’s and Aldi; and there are some great recipes for serious budgets, but sometimes you have to go out to keep your sanity in this dog eat dog world. Even if you are broke. So I’ve come up with two restaurants in Asheville that have an entire full affordable menu perfect for solo meals, splitting meals, date night or the just I’m tired of eating ramen meal!

 

DEL VECCHIOS

Del Vecchios is a newer Italian eatery in Asheville and really new to me. It’s a smaller restaurant on Merrimon Avenue with major cafe vibes, it’s small and quaint so perfect for solo dining when you don’t want to cook or perfect for a date or even a meal with your girlfriends. Offering pizzas, subs, salads and these delicious fries it earns the spot in one of my two affordable restaurants. All of their sandwiches and pasta dishes are under $10.00 and large enough portions to share or eat half there and half for left overs. Ohhhh and these garlic Parmesan fries are to die for and you get a huge serving for $5.99. Two people dined here both with entrees and these fries, plus tip for $30.00; plus we both had lunch for the next day. For Asheville this is a cheap meal. We could have gotten out cheaper because we had never eaten there before and could have shared. Ohhhh and did I mention the service is absolutely amazing! And I’ve heard their pizza is off the chain!

 

TAQUERIA MUNOZ

Taqueria Munoz is one of my favorite affordable Asheville eats. Literally everything on the menu is under $7.50 and who doesn’t love a good taco shop. This place is authentic and worth the trek to West Asheville. The tacos are huge portions and you can get anything from tongue meat to pork or chicken. And the best part is each taco is $2.50. And it’s no lie when I say I can’t eat two full tacos. There is that much meat on there. But they also serve other yumminess like tortas, soups and meals. I have only braved to try the tacos and tortas because when I say it’s authentic, it’s legit. I have gotten enough courage to try tongue and head meat tacos. Too good. And don’t judge it before you try. Budget friendly and leaving me in a food coma. Count me in! But take cash, because that’s all they accept there.

 

Ladies and Gents, it’s tough out there and rent is due on Monday! Let’s make the most out of living in our crazy over priced town!

Hurricane Harvey Relief

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Hurricane Harvey has already dumped more than 15 trillion gallons of water on to the region, forcing thousands from their homes, displacing many and costing an ungodly amount of structural damage. FEMA has called this disaster  a “landmark event” that will take years for Houston to recover from. And with the threat of more rain to eventually fall in the area in the coming days, the situation will only worsen.

I personally think the most stylish attribute is a giving heart; so if you are like me and saddened by the articles, interviews, images and coverage of this natural disaster, I wanted to share ways to give back either near or far. Our Texans are in need of all of our help y’all.

HOW TO HELP FROM AFAR

The Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

Houston Humane Society

United Way of Greater Houston

Texas Diaper Bank 

L.G.B.T.Q Disaster Relief Fund

American Red Cross

Global Giving’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund

 

HOW TO HELP IN TEXAS

Any of the above charities can be donated to from anywhere. If you are traveling to Texas or live in Texas and are physically assisting, please be safe. The Sheriff of Houston actually made a call for anyone with boats or high/rough terrain vehicles to assist in the process of search and rescue.

There is a serious need of blood donations. South Texas Blood and Tissue Center and Carter BloodCare are in crucial need and desperately asking for locals to come and give.

The Houston Food Bank is currently accepting any donations of non-perishable items

 

HOW TO HELP IN ASHEVILLE

Hearts With Hands– Bring any new, unopened non-perishable food items, toiletries, clothing, household items or water. There is also the option to donate money as well if you can not make it to the warehouse for physical donations.

Crossfire Diesel Alliance is setting up a truck at the Tastee Freeze September 1st at 7:30pm for donations. Unlike Hearts with Hands you can donate gently used clothing and blankets along with non-perishable items.

Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is also accepting donations.

Though not stated it would be a good time to donate to your local food bank. I highly expect them or Ingles to make a donation to the relief efforts.

New Belgium Brewing Asheville is donating all tips from August 31st until September 15th to relief efforts.

I will keep this section updated for all my local peeps as I come across information for this.

It is horrible that people would try to scam others during such a trying time in our country. But there are still shitty people out there every day. To protect you, your wallet and your efforts, I have spent the past 36 hours doing extensive research on reputable charities and donation centers. The ones that I have listed above have been supported by Charity Navigator (which is an awesome tool to see if a charity you are considering is legit or not). And I would never post anything that I do not fully support and stand behind. If you are still wondering if where you are donating to may be a scam, or you just want to really make sure before you donate; feel free to check out this article about how to protect yourself from a potential scam.

Although our leader of our country may try to rip us all apart, I have witnessed people of all different backgrounds scrambling to help each other. Though tragic, we are all in this together.

Love to you all!

 

 

 

 

A Few Summer Essentials

I never thought I would fall in to that trendy girl category. But here we are, and sadly there are a few trendy items I just can’t stop wearing. I love, love, love off the shoulder tops. They are the trendiest thing right now. And for good reason. They are so flattering for my body type and the casual ones I have picked up, literally just go with about everything. I have been wearing this one I scooped up from Target non stop. I really just can’t get enough of it. Perfect for errands or date night. I’m getting a lot of use out of it.

Two other things are extreme flare jeans and neck scarves. Both very groovy and 70’s vibes. I’ve always been a skinny jeans kind of gal, but thought I’ll try this out. These jeans are giving me life. Making your legs look long and lean, always a plus in book. Seriously, try on some flares; I too thought it was absurd these were back, but constantly pull these out for nights out. And I gagged when I saw the neck scarf trend was in. It reminds me of the elite at country clubs sipping martinis and looking down on the help. But if you find an edgy print, it can give you all the music festival vibes your heart desires. I love this hand dyed option from Rachel Weisberg, and the fabric is silky smooth so no sweaty necks around here.

Speaking of this scarf, you can actually enter to win one over on Instagram. Enter here!

What are your Summer must haves this season?

Bare Shoulders and New Favorite Piece of Jewelry

Top // Jeans // Sandals // Bag // Choker // Half Moon Necklace

Summer is near and it’s time to show some skin. And the skin I like to show is on the shoulders. And off the shoulder tops have been a thing for a long time, but just recently become popular. I remember wearing an off the shoulder dress in the Bahamas in 2009 and I bought an off the shoulder top for a beach trip a few years back. But because everyone and their momma is wearing one these days, you can easily find them in just about any print or fabric. When I saw this super simple one from Target (which can actually be worn off the shoulder or on) and of course in a stripe, it just jumped in to my cart.

I love the simpleness of this top. I can wear it anywhere and for anything. I can dress it up or dress it down. Paired with these killer white jeans and sandals gives an edgy casual look perfect for just about anything. Even a housewarming/ jewelry party as seen on my Instagram. This top is becoming a favorite worn piece that I am considering going back and getting it in the black and white version offered.

Another reason I love this top and off the shoulder tops is the ability to layer necklaces and it not be over kill. And a recent favorite is this little gemstone choker from a little downtown boutique, Embellish. I have been on the hunt for a choker that is not the standard leather cording. Something of sustainability, something different, something that will still go with everything and something adjustable to layer different ways. I had my heart set on a little gold choker from another boutique but couldn’t bring myself to actually getting it not sure if it would be worn or not. Enter this necklace. The moment I saw it, I knew it was actually what I was looking for. I actually received this as a gift but had planned on buying this for myself anyways. I love this because it isn’t gold or silver or your typical leather strap choker. It’s more feminine. I love the purple color even though there was a grey version offered. I love the way it layers with other necklaces and doesn’t seem to distract, it just pulls everything of a metal together. It’s simple and versatile and I’m in love. I wish the lady who made these, had a link for all of you, but she doesn’t; so now you just have to pop in and see the lovely Barb and check out this piece for yourself.

 

The Benefits of Disconnecting on The Trail

Warning- this is in no way a fashion related posted or even a cute styled one, but that’s part of life.

It’s been a long past few months for myself. If you have no idea what has been going on, you can read a little here why everything has been off. I’ve been worrying about everyone else but myself and have been trying to be the best multitasker there is. But it’s taking a toll on just about everything in me. I knew I needed to take a break from absolutely everything. So since we have access to tons of trails and views around Asheville, it only seemed like the best thing to do. Minus the fact it was freezing and there was actually some snow on the ground.

I chose hiking, because what some of you may not know, I go quite a bit. But also hiking is the best way to disconnect and feel a little closer to yourself. When you go up in the mountains, you don’t have any cell service. You have to put that phone away or you could actually get hurt from not focusing. You have to focus on your path and how you are handling it. And that’s literally the only thing you need to focus on.

Hiking reduces stress by allowing the freedom to think without distraction. Some hikers may opt to spend the majority of their time fully taking in the sounds and scenery of the majestic nature around them, while others prefer to take advantage of that rare moment of silence to think deeply on issues that are affecting their lives. The combination of aerobic exercise and deep thinking aids with strengthening the body’s internal system of stress management, far more powerfully than with just exercise alone. An added bonus is that your endorphins will be higher, allowing positive thoughts to sneak through rather than negative ones.

Hiking also has plenty of health benefits like reducing heart disease and boosting endorphins, but it also helps boost your energy which can cause you to be stressed or just a pain in the ass to be around. It is proven that people with a sedentary lifestyle had increases in energy after doing exercise with a focus on walking.

All in all hiking is extremely beneficial to you. And on the plus side you get some awesome views and you can still get some killer Instagram photos with the airplane mode on!

 

A Closet Refresher

Outfit // Clutch // Shoes

Y’all know me and if you don’t, my name is Stephanie and I am addicted to black and neutrals. Almost every #ootd I’m caught in is minimalist and neutral. So with that being said, you might actually have just said “what the hell?” after seeing these pictures. Yes, I’m wearing color, pink on top of that. And I’m wearing white jeans! Who is this girl? To be honest, it’s strange. I just don’t have a bubbly personality to go with bright clothes, so that’s why I probably feel out of my element. But you also know what? I don’t completely hate it.

White jeans, what? I’ve never wanted to wear white jeans. Not only for the possibility of them being completely ruined as soon as I spill my coffee that I’m trying to drink while driving my stick shift car; but also if you are bigger (mid section or hips or hell both), you don’t want that attention drawn to those areas. And sadly white does that. But these jeans are made perfectly for anyone with some curves. The fit, the give and even the rips are just right and actually appear to have a slimming effect. Win, win for me.

This top is a perfect neutral (I know, I couldn’t get completely away from my comfort zone) but the fit is a million times better. Heck, I would probably wear this shirt in god awful bright yellow just because of the fit. The hem, the material, the shape and the areas it flows is perfect for anyone on the larger side. It’s a very slimming top! And just a basic so it could be worn numerous ways.

Now this bomber. Of course I have wanted to get on the bomber trend, but the prints have made me want to gag. I was kind of “forced” to try this on even though I don’t like pink. And to my own surprise, I didn’t want to take it off. So cute and a pop of Springness to my wardrobe. Fit is perfect as in tailored in just the right places but not tight in any places. I have so many different ways I’m wanting to style this little number.

For Sunday patio lunch and drinks, I threw on a choker, geometric ring, neutral clutch and strappy sandals. Everything just goes so well together and is chic. But also screams on trend for Spring. And can I just say I got more compliments than ever on my entire outfit, from the jeans to ring to shoes and of course endless compliments on this bomber. What can I say, it makes a girl feel good. Plus it didn’t make me feel like I had made a huge mistake by adding some color to my wardrobe. All in all an #ootd win!

So now that I am done going on and on about how much I love all these new pieces and how much out of my comfort zone they are, let’s talk about how I found these amazing pieces.

A new boutique is coming to Biltmore Village later this Spring and all I can say is you will not want to miss out. Nest Boutique + DIY Studio is going to be mine and hopefully your new favorite spot. One of the greatest things the lovely #girlboss owners are doing is offering a full size range of clothing in their boutique. So ladies of all sizes will be able to have that boutique shopping experience in Asheville. And the ladies might just become your new best friends. Because, let’s face it, they are the real reason I tried on colorful and bright pieces. And I didn’t hate it. And they have done amazing. I got a behind the scenes look at their clothes (their plus size line is amazing). Their accessories are also to die for. Nest ladies, can you just help me fill my closet with all new goodies?

Also stay tuned because closer to the opening date for Nest, I will be sharing much more goodies they have to offer, so you can make sure to get there as soon as they open to revamp that closet of yours. Because this entire #ootd minus the shoes and bag are going to available this Spring!

Blooming Into Spring

Skirt // Top // Similar Sandals // Necklace

The new season means new collections everywhere and picking just the right pieces to add to your closet. What’s popular this Spring? Florals ( GROUNDBREAKING ), the color blush, cropped denim and pants, flowy dresses, cold shoulder, cut outs, yellow and sandals (just about any kind). And to help me with adding some new Spring pieces to my wardrobe I got to visit Versona to check out all these new trends.

Now when it comes to trends I am very fickle because I’m more a neutral kind of girl and I like to find pieces that will transition with my wardrobe through the seasons so I get my money’s worth out of the pieces. So I always keep that in mind, and if it is something extremely trendy like the seventies style flowy floral dresses I make sure it’s affordable so it’s not a huge loss. But with Versona this Spring, you can actually do both. If you are unaware of Versona, it is a boutique shopping experience but not with boutique price tags. The same idea of limited supply, unique pieces, quality pieces and even indie labels are available. This Spring, I actually loved a ton of stuff in the store. They had all the trends, tons of floral, blush colors and dresses that hit the mark. I did try on several items from their new Spring Look Book, but nothing really hit the mark. The long flowy floral dress did absolutely nothing for my skin color. But the skirt I am wearing is in the look book in the blush color, that color also did nothing for me, but I also noticed it in black. And of course I was sold on the black.

Black is my color. It’s so easy to style. So when I found the black version of the Spring Look Book find, I knew this may be the winner. This skirt is so versatile to style and that’s what drew me in. Y’all know I have this obsession with stripes and that’s how I immediately planned to wear it. But when I got home, I noticed the different colors in the skirt. I could wear it with dark neutrals or light neutrals, which is perfect for me, hence why I chose a khaki striped top and broke out the cognac colored heels. And ladies, break out those caged sandals from last year because they are just as popular this year. But the reason I also picked this up, it will work into the fall and winter months for me. This would be cute with a sweater, tights and booties. And that’s how I really put together an #ootd, right there in the fitting room of the store to debate whether it’s worth it or not. This skirt will be on repeat for me this Spring and Summer as I have several events to attend in the coming months and I can style it differently for each one, but also have a piece that corresponds with Spring trends.

If the trendy pieces are not really your style, Versona has a ton of versatile, neutral and quality basic pieces right now. I did pick up a few things that were not in the Spring Look Book that you will see next week on the blog. In the past they haven’t had a ton of these pieces, so it was refreshing to see that and it actually made the store feel a little more like a boutique.

So a huge thanks to Versona for letting me play dress up and pick the perfect pieces for a more Spring vibe in my closet!

Also messy curls are huge this year so head over to my Instagram Stories today to watch how I get my curls and all the products used!

Here’s this little number from the Versona fitting rooms that I love but didn’t make the cut because the arms were a little to snug for my liking.

 

The In-between Vest

Similar Vest // Shirt // Jeans // Similar Booties // Necklace // Ring // Sunnies 

We are officially in those in-between days. It’s Spring, but here in the mountains some days Winter creeps back in, there’s a lot of rainy days, the days are sweltering or there is a breeze that makes it chilly. So dressing for these days can be tricky. So since the weather is all over the map, I’ve been reaching for good layering pieces. Just like this long vest. I picked this vest up from Target’s Who What Wear collection last year and it was a good choice.

This vest pairs well with just jeans and a tee shirt like I have here to add a little warmth to a very simple look. It pulls the simple #ootd together for a very chic look. But it also pairs well with long sleeve shirts and an added cardigan to this look. By adding a cardigan to this specific look you can wear it all day and adjust the cardigan as the weather seems fit. On Sunday when wearing this it started off chilly and ended colder. I did a quick swap of my vest for a leather jacket to take me in to the night.

I added some funky jewelry and shades to make this outfit me and a little more chic. With a vest or sleeveless trench in a neutral color, you can just about style it any way you want. And you can wear a numerous amount of things underneath. A cute skater skirt, band tee and fun booties would also look ultra chic under this!

A vest, sleeveless trench or kimono is a great way to play with lengths and add an extra layer in this in-between weather. Plus it’s a great way to incorporate a really good neutral or a really wild print. I’m really loving this, this and this.

Holiday Giveaways Recap

So I wanted to round up all the direct links to everything I am giving away for my 5 Days of Holiday Giveaways I’m hosting on Instagram. You will have until 11:59 on 11/17 to enter to win and the winners will be announced late on Sunday evening. So head straight over to my Instagram and get yourself entered.

The first thing you are eligible to win is a blush and ultra matte lip from ColourPop. Find this picture on Instagram or go here!

The second item is a $20.00 gift card from Target. Find this picture on Instagram or go here!

The third item is a Rachel Weisberg choker in your choice of brown or black! Go to Instagram and find this picture or go here!

The fourth item you can win is this kimono scarf from Charmed. Go to Instagram and find this picture or go here

The fifth and final thing you can win is two tickets to Painting With A Twist that can be used at any location but gifted by the Asheville location. All you have to do is find this picture on Instagram or go here!

All you have to do is find the pictures and follow the instructions which are easy peasy! Good luck y’all!

 

Last Minute Affordable Christmas Shopping With Charmed + Poncho Scarf Giveaway

I have a lot of fashionistas to buy for for Christmas and we all know that can get expensive. And that’s why I love Charmed. I can get scarves, hats, jewelry and funky sunglasses for all those on my list without breaking the bank. Which is a plus plus for everyone. So when the opportunity came up to partner with Charmed I jumped at the chance to show some of my favorite locally made and fun, affordable finds!

This kimono is one of my favorites. There were several prints and hues, but we all know I’m attracted to darker colors. This is the perfect accessory to gift or give to yourself because it’s like a kimono, poncho and blanket scarf all in one. The possibilities with this is absolutely endless and will be that warm cuddly piece you or your favorite fashionista is constantly reaching for. What’s even better than the endless options of this piece? The price! This kimono is under $40.00! Also another bonus, you can currently win this on Instagram (info at the bottom of the post) thanks to the lovely ladies at Charmed!

Charmed isn’t just your local affordable jewelry store, even though they have a ton to choose from, but their clothing selection is growing and constantly growing. This blush sweater was probably the softest thing next to cashmere and the perfect color. And this bright green vest is the perfect pop of color for the holidays without going overboard. Also can we talk about this bag!

One of the hottest trends this year is the bralette. Can give sultry, funky or a athletic vibe and Charmed has a whole display to choose from. Every color of the rainbow and numerous different styles, it’s no wonder it’s their best seller. And you can’t beat the price of $10.00!

The jewelry is amazing. They feature a few local artist and one larger local retailer. A bunch of Asheville style jewelry, funky, unique and stylish. Literally you can find something for anyone on your Christmas list or the perfect stocking stuffers. These earrings I actually got for a Secret Santa gift because who could pass on that boho chic vibe.

Seriously y’all go check them out! You will be able to cross off a lot of ladies on your list in one stop and you can probably get some “to me, from me” gifts.

Now you can actually win the kimono that I have featured. All you have to do is find the photo below on Instagram and follow the instructions there! Y’all this is seriously something you want to try to win!