Mountain Getaway with Mountain Joy Cottages

This weekend Andrew and I got to get away. We got to leave Asheville for the night, not worrying about work or anything else we have been worrying about. It was for Andrew’s work, but work didn’t have to actually be done. We were lucky enough to get to stay at Mountain Joy Cottages on Saturday night.

Located in Maggie Valley, surrounded by mountains, we stayed in a little cabin decked out in antlers. Is there really any other way a cabin should be decorated? Everything seemed quiet and peaceful, and not to mention I got a real nights worth of sleep. The cabin was a one bedroom, so small but quaint. It had everything you needed. A little kitchen, fireplace, t.v., wifi, a bathroom bigger than ours and a Jacuzzi tub. Entire cabin was lined with wood for that authentic feel, spacious porch with rocking chairs and swings and a pond in front of the cabin. The grounds had a total of 12 cabins ranging in sizes, an indoor pool, playground and lots of grounds to explore.

If you are looking for a semi staycation I recommend visiting Mountain Joy Cottages for a rustic, homey feel.

The Accessories Make The Outfit

Scarf // Necklace // Booties // Triangle Ring & Amber Ring // Sunnies

I love a simple color palette when it comes to styling. For numerous reason, but one being the versatility of the outfit with accessories. Accessories can completely transform a look and are a great way of extending your closet without adding more clothing or completely breaking the bank.

Just like in this #ootd, it could look pretty drab. It’s just a basic black dress I got before Thanksgiving and some simple black leggings. But by pairing the right accessories it made it the perfect chic outfit for date day on Sunday. I picked fun and unique jewelry, a one of a kind scarf for added texture and color, and also because the temperatures were crazy on Sunday. Finishing it off with a print in the booties, a fun and wild print, but also a neutral so it pulls everything together.

It’s a fun way to show your personal style and a great way to transform transitional and versatile pieces. I love shopping at indie boutiques, shops I find on Instagram and small store fronts or small businesses that offer handmade and one of a kind pieces. Some things are more of an investment than others, but it also makes a difference if it is one of a kind and handmade. I’m okay with wearing the same dress as the girl down the street, but the way we present it with our accessories needs to be totally different. And that’s how I set myself apart from others. That’s what I like about my personal style. And it’s super easy. I find funky pieces that will work with my neutral color scheme wardrobe and that’s how I bring the fun in to outfits over bold prints, fits or colors.

These are a few items I have added to my accessory collection since Christmas and the things I plan to really experiment with into Spring. I am wanting to add a neck scarf (why oh why I still don’t know) and another bold but neutral necklace to play with for Spring! What accessories are you currently lusting after or which ones are on constant rotation lately?

 

Not Packing Away The Blanket Scarf Just Yet

The sun may be shining and daffodils and trees may have started to bloom, but Winter came back to the mountains this weekend. And it looks like it may be here for a little while. While other people were packing away their scarves, boots and sweaters; filling their closets with only Spring staples, I knew better. This has happened the past few years in WNC. So while I wish I was dressing in strappy sandals and fun dresses, I can’t because North Carolina weather can never make up her mind.

Sundays are normally a day for running errands and getting stuff done. Comfortable and chic is always what I go for on Sundays. This Sunday had a packed agenda with freelance work, errands, blogging, eating tacos and cooking dinner for Andrew’s mom so nothing fussy was going to work. All black is a great go to. I spiced it up with my burgundy leather jacket and a comfy and cozy blanket scarf. Because it doesn’t have to be over the top to go to the grocery store and still look chic. We were actually late since we thought the incorrect time for a freelance project so I pulled this outfit together in about 5 minutes and shades to block the sun and cover the fact that I actually didn’t have an extra 10 minutes to do my makeup. Sometimes the impulse decisions are the best ones when it comes to pulling together an outfit.

I hope all you lovelies have a great week whether you are enjoying Spring like weather or bundled up because Winter came back.

Statement Neutrals

Dress // Shirt Dress // Leggings // Similar Booties // Ring &  Triangle Ring // Bag // Necklace

Whoa, I’m wearing real clothes! This whole month feels like a blur, a blur of things I can’t even wrap my head around or still yet believe. But the one thing I believe in, to make yourself feel better and more like yourself, get dressed. Really dressed, even if you are going to have a pre-Spring burger cookout with your family.

This year I pledged to buy things that were versatile in my closet and to support small business (mainly those lady bosses out there). So that is where these two dresses come from. Y’all know I love a dark stripe, so it was a no brainer on these but also the t-shirt dress can carry me through every season and mixed with other things already in my closet to create plenty of different looks. When shopping, I like to see if things can be worn different ways, like this dress is a great play on a cardigan as well. So why not? These both make a pop together and I have a ton of different ideas for each of these.

I love, love, love this necklace. It’s probably my favorite piece in my entire closet and jewelry collection. It has by far been my biggest investment besides Winter coats but it was worth the splurge (I like to think of it as an extremely late graduation/birthday gift to myself). It is a huge statement piece but in a subtle way and I picked the more natural stone over the turquoise bolo so it would go with anything and everything. Bonus points for supporting a woman run business, Beach Bones Jewelry. So be prepared to see this styled in every way possible, because I’m going to do it.

Galentine’s Day Brunching Boho Vibes

Top // Jeans // Booties // Bag // Sweater // Choker // Necklace // Ring & Ring // Hat

I wore this exact same basic outfit in Monday’s blog post, but I created a totally different look to show you the versatility of a basic outfit and mixing up the pieces. So on Monday I showed you the perfect modern rocker chic look great for date night with your SO for Valentine’s Day, so today I’m creating a boho chic look perfect for brunching with your girls for Galentine’s Day or even celebrating the day of love with your love the weekend before antique shopping, eating tacos and hitting up your favorite coffee shop!

A girl really can’t go wrong with some awesome black booties, black jeans and a striped shirt. So for this look I added an oversized cardigan to create texture and warmth and for a more casual, laid back look. To pull the whole look together a hat, oversized funky leather bag and chokers were much needed. And from a really simple #ootd, I created a funky look perfect for a weekend of celebrating with your favorite people, that doesn’t scream Valentine’s Day.

Girls, seriously invest in black jeans, black booties and a striped shirt. It’s so versatile and a life saver when you are having a “I have nothing in my closet” feeling.

Non-Cheesy Valentine’s Day Look

Shirt // Jeans // Jacket (similar) // Booties // Scarf // Ring and Ring // Similar Tote // Scarf (on tote) // Necklace

I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Valentine’s Day and dressing for Valentine’s day can be really cheesy. I mean we all love some good cheesiness in our lives, especially quirky little cards and gifts for the day, but the outfit doesn’t have to be an explosion of pinks, reds and hearts. Unless you totally want it to, YOU DO YOU GIRL! For me, that doesn’t work, mainly because I don’t own anything with hearts on it or really a lot of pink and red. Y’all know I keep a minimal color scheme going on.

I had bought this jacket from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2 years ago and strangely hadn’t pulled it out of my closet this year, mainly because our crazy weather here in Asheville has required either my parka or a cardigan, but when pulling together Valentine’s Day outfits I knew this was to be styled some way (Also I started wearing again despite what the weather may be). I pulled this because it didn’t scream Valentine’s Day but it also worked with a romantic color scheme. So why not?!

I don’t do fancy date nights often. So over the top outfits don’t work for me. Plus lets be real, I’m more casual than fancy anyways. So I took my trusty black jeans and a favorite boyfriend shirt and created a look that would work for my kind of Valentine’s Day date. Threw on this jacket and some booties for an extra modern chic look that fits my look and pulled what could have been just an ehh outfit together. I added my favorite rings, necklace and scarf which just adds more to this modern rocker chic look. To make a pop for Valentine’s this rose gold tote was perfect and tying a star scarf on it made it a little more edgy than girly. And bam, there it was, my #ootd for Valentine’s Day or any day for that matter. This outfit is perfect for errands, meetings, work and able to go straight in to a fun night.

 

 

Pops of Red

There are times when I do like to add a pop of color to an outfit, especially around holidays. So since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner it’s the perfect excuse to add some pops of red to an #ootd. I’m not the hugest fan of pink (unless it’s blush and muted) so red is my go to Valentine’s Day color.

This outfit works perfectly for me for Valentine’s Day. It’s comfortable, flattering and perfect for date night just about anywhere. Adding tights and booties gives it that extra layer of warmth for the cold spell we are having in the mountains and are bound to have in February. But this would be cute sans those with some strappy black sandals. I added a bold necklace to give the sleek and modern fit of the outfit another pop and fun element for date night. Since a pencil skirt and peplum is enough on it’s on, I added a classic vintage clutch just big enough for necessities. And there it is, the perfect Valentine’s date night outfit!

What will all of you be wearing for Valentine’s Day?

What Do We Do Now?

I try to stay politically neutral on the blog and social media promoting the blog (my personal Facebook may be a little different). But today, of all days, I’m going to write how I feel, the truth; if you find this to be crossing the line or stepping on toes I apologize in advance, but I feel the need to share this.

Today and the days following are going to be tough. We thought election night and the following day was tough. Well this is tougher. No matter what side you are on it’s going to be tough. Hate is going to be spewed. Sexist remarks and actions are going to take place. Keyboard warriors are going to have at it; Hell some will even have at it to your face. We will feel our rights, privileges and common ground violated. But for one thing, we are better. We will not stoop to their level, we will not fight back with violent words or actions, we will not spew hate and most of all we will stand our ground without causing physical or emotional harm.

I have thought about this a lot after reading and watching the news in the past months. What do we do now? Is it worth it? Will people listen? How do we make this a better now and future for the kids being raised and fellow humankind?How do we promote #womenempowerment when it feels like we’ve been set back 100 years? How do we move forward? All of these questions have complicated answers but at the same time very simple answers. The complicated answers are the one’s I don’t really have. The easy answers I do. We start with spreading love and kindness to everyone, not just our fellow feminist friends but everyone. And to make our voices heard, not backing down and promote the right answer no matter what.

So what do we actually do from here besides wearing our pink pussy hats and attending the march for women not only on DC but all over the country?

You can make your voices heard by doing the above mentioned things, but there will also be other peaceful protests. Also speak up about women’s rights any time you have the chance. Not just on a day dedicated to this. If you spot something that isn’t promoting the greatness of women, don’t sit by idly. Also you can donate your time and money to many organizations that are promoting the fight for women and their rights. Instead of donating to Goodwill or The Salvation Army when Spring cleaning, donate to a women’s shelter. Most of these women are escaping domestic violence situations (which I assume we will see a spike in) and flee with nothing. If donating, call beforehand. Also call and see what they are in need of the most or make a donation. You can get involved with Planned Parenthood, also donate to Planned Parenthood, attend Planned Parenthood events and even go and stand beside protesters offering a smile and a positive alliance for the patrons going inside. You can also donate to NOW which promotes all women’s rights and have chapters in every single state (Asheville even has a chapter).

But it’s not just women we have to support. We have to support the mentally ill, the veterans, the police officers, teachers, our LBGTQ community, people with different ethnic and religious backgrounds and the one’s whom don’t have a voice. We simply have to support each other and spread kindness. To everyone. Learn to speak up when something isn’t right. Donate to your child’s teacher, any school in your area or just help out any teacher you know. The education system is already a joke, so lend a helping hand when you can. Attend events promoting and helping our vets. Buy a police officer a coffee in line. Speak up about mental illness. When someone with a handicap is treated differently, make it right. Stand by your LBGTQ peers and let them know love is love and you will support them. Help people with different religious beliefs or ethnic backgrounds feel safe. Make sure going forward you are actually listening; it helps you understand the people around you and helps you actually be able to communicate with those around you.

All in all, be kind. Just spread it. It’s the cheapest and easiest thing you can do for your community, country and human race.

Speaking of being kind, say kind words, especially to the women around you. We as a group face it from men enough, so don’t be the one spreading the hatefulness. Stop shaming women for their choices. Stop shaming women for the person they are. Stop shaming women for the way they look. Stop shaming women for being a person who doesn’t let others in. Stop shaming women for their career choices. And stop shaming women for their choices on having and creating a family. Support each other. Support each other in small steps and huge leaps. We have to empower each other before any real change can actually happen. It starts with each of us. Female really is the future, so we need to make it a better one.

So I leave you with these last few things as a man who promotes sexism, rape culture, racism, hate and intolerance is sworn in to office today. I am always here for any of you. I will be your shoulder to cry on. I am the ear you need to vent to. Feel free to contact me for absolutely anything; to listen and to support. I care for you. I support you. You are loved. You are worthy. You are amazing. We will prevail!

Fashion posts are coming back at ya next week. I’m taking this weekend to find some creative juices and reflect. I hope you all reflect this weekend and spread some love!

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Adventures For Your Guy

Valentine’s Day is a little under a month away and let’s face it, guys don’t like it as much as we do. Guys can’t easily be excited by the thoughts of jewelry, chocolates, fancy dinners and Instagram worthy floral arrangements. So what do they really want? I asked Andrew what they really want and his answer was super complex. Adventures and spending time with you. That’s right ladies. Pretty simple if you really think about it. So since Valentine’s Day will be more about you and falls on a week day, I’ve come up with some fun activities to celebrate the man in your life the weekend before or after, because love doesn’t have to shown on the exact day.

  1. If you have the means to plan a weekend getaway, that’s perfect. If you live in Asheville there are so many places that are within a few hours drive for any person. Beaches are close; we are partial to Hilton Head Island; Atlanta is close, Charlotte is close, Gatlinburg is close. So many options at this point for a romantic getaway. Plus if you are traveling to the beach, it’s a little cheaper right now than visiting in a Spring or Summer weekend.

2. Plan a brewery tour. Here in Asheville we have a ton and the options are endless. Maybe learning about hops isn’t your thing; most tours are actually pretty neat, plus there is food and beer afterwards.

3. Plan a day of activities he actually likes. And maybe it’s something you don’t like the greatest. Reserve him a tee time, plan a skiing day, go visit a car museum, rock climbing or hit up an arcade (even cooler if it’s a retro arcade); whatever his interests are take that and run with it.

4. Get out and adventure together. Take a ride to a neighboring town and try something new. Go on a hike. Go chase waterfalls and views. Take a picnic or scope out a cute little spot for lunch to visit where you are traveling through.

5. Cook him a fancy dinner at home. Instead of him grilling, make sure you do the cooking, unless both of you want to cook together. On the romantic side, it’s a little more fun when both of you are in the kitchen. This surf and turf recipe is a winner, plus there is this recipe, this recipe and this one.

 

Black Hues

Top // Leggings // Sweater-old (similar, similar, similar) // Booties-old (similar) // Short Necklace // Long Necklace (CURRENTLY ON SALE)

So if you are new around here; Hi, my name is Stephanie and I love wearing black! It just works for me, it works for all my activities and is slimming. But sometimes, almost all my black clothes are in the wash together. The best alternative is mixing hues of blacks like greys.

Last weekend when it snowed, by Sunday I *had* to get out. I had to get some sushi and Andrew and I also had a joint freelance meeting. So my go to for meetings is black but I needed to be able to be comfy moving around. Since I shockingly don’t have a swingy black top I opted for this. Currently putting on my notes section to pick up one of these tops from Versona in black. It’s super casual so I opted for some texture and print with an aztec inspired cardigan and fringe booties. When wearing all black I like to add a pop of muted color somewhere. So I added this new Noonday Collection burgandy/rust fringe necklace paired with a choker length necklace.

Perfect for running around and went together easily when I didn’t have my go to black top.