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!

 

The Luxe Scarf + Rachel Weisberg Choker Giveaway

You’ve got to love when your friend is a fashion designer! You get to see and sample all the goodies. And Rachel Weisberg did not disappoint with this Long Scarf. The scarf is made of velvety, cupro fibers and hand dyed in her Asheville studio. The cupro fibers give the scarf an extremely soft touch and the hand dye job gives a unique flair to each scarf. You are literally getting to wear your own little original piece of art. Though soft it packs in the heat and is perfect for bundling up in and or dressing up a plain jane #ootd. It’s totally city chic. I already have a ton of ways I want to wear this. And one will be for my Christmas Eve dinner, probably Christmas day festivities as well.

You can get your own Long Scarf at rachel-weisberg.com or you can find them locally in Asheville at Embellish.

When you are a fashion blogger and your friend is a fashion designer, of course she participates in your holiday giveaways. So today on Instagram I am giving away a Rachel Weisberg choker (in your choice of the brown or black). All you have to do is find the picture below and follow the instructions (they are oh so easy)! 

Artistically Wrapped Presents

It’s officially that time of year y’all! The holidays. I’m currently listening to Christmas music as I’m writing this and I have already put up my Christmas tree. I’ve even got some presents bought. What else can I say? I’m actually in the spirit this year, for the first time in a while (probably because I’m not stressing about finals and registering for new classes). So this year for my tree and present theme I am going for black, red, metallics and craft paper. But y’all, it’s hard to find a fun red and black wrapping paper that isn’t buffalo plaid (which I did pick up). So I decided to get creative. And make my own abstract paper.

So to make your own paper you will need:

Packaging paper or craft paper

Paint of your choices

Paint brush

Cup of Water

Bowl, plate, palette paper for your paint

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Also you are going to want to do this outside because it might just get messy.

You want to thin down your paint if you are doing an abstract splatter version like I did.

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Then just do whatever you would like. I’m actually wrapping up a painting so I channeled my inner Jackson Pollock and did a splatter design. I just get watered down paint on the brush and tap the brush for splatter designs.

My end version looked like this:

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You are going to want to let this dry for a while until the paint is completely dry to the touch. You can use a hairdryer to speed up the process if you wish. You can also let it sit over night before using it to wrap your gift with. I recommend cutting off the size you will need for your gift.

For the wrapping you will need:

Scissors

Tape

Festive ribbon

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And here is the final result!

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I think presentation is almost as important as the actual gift you are giving. This look would also be really cute done with stamps as well. This is time consuming but like I just stated it’s all about the presentation. Plus there is now some personality to the package! Happy wrapping!