Favorite Investment Pieces

Picking out quality pieces for my closet has been a big change in how I am shopping this past year. I have started to not only shop for sustainable and ethical products, but also looking for more items made in the USA or high quality products. It’s been a task because high quality products are way more expensive than what I have spent on clothing before and fast fashion just seems a bit more interesting because it’s trendy and what most of you are wanting to see. But I just can’t spending between $20.00 and $40.00 on cheaply made clothing that is going to get holes or start to ravel and possibly be out of style next year. So I started buying things I actually like, that are fun, versatile and much better quality than fast fashion. So here are my favorite quality purchases I have made in the past year.

Lysse Denim– These jeans are amazing. They work perfectly for curvier ladies because of the actual denim used and the control top available in each pair. These are skinny jeans with a nice side pipping and a fun zipper detail at the ankle. Seriously if I could wear these every day I probably would. So comfy and so slimming. The best part about Lysse? They include sizes from XS to 3XL. So everyone can enjoy these jeans. Lysse jeans are a little over $100.00 a pair and tend to sell out quickly when updated on their website. Seriously worth the investment though.

Lack Of Color Hats– A new to me brand and I’m in love. Quality made hats with structure, so no floppyness with these. I haven’t had these hats for too long but they have held their shape very well so far. There are a ton of options on their website; different colors and styles. These hats are $80.00 and up but well worth it if you are a hat lover.

Yana K Dresses– Buttery soft, simple and versatile. I can’t say enough about this brand. From every day wear to dressing up. Each piece has the potential to be styled so many different ways. And so flattering on so many body types.

Custom Fox & Beaux Jewelry– Located in Asheville is a little jewelry boutique where all your jewelry dreams can come true. Carefully designed pieces are available for quick purchasing or you can work with the staff to create your own. This dangle choker was a custom design piece I created and they put together. Literally no one else will have anything exactly like it making it perfect for my daily go to choker.

These are just a few of my favorite investment pieces from the last year. And you will see them on repeat, styled different ways. Because sometimes having less is more.

Shop This Look: Jeans // Dress // Hat // Silver Necklace // Dangle Choker // Horseshoe Necklace

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.

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.

 

Breaking Out in Winter Florals

This past weekend the South East got some snow. It was a “snowstorm”. On Saturday, pretty much the entire town shut down, and I legit didn’t leave the house but to see what was happening. I stayed under a blanket, watching Netflix documentaries and planning out my week. Super lame, I know. By Sunday morning, I was feeling cabin fever; even though I had been inside for only a day. I got up, fixed my hair, did my makeup and put on clothes besides pajamas to go somewhere. I was determined to get sushi or French Broad Chocolate Lounge‘s Mocha Stout Cake. It was a real urge.

I put on this floral dress because what better way to fight cabin fever and the winter blues with some floral? Paired over my LuLaRoe leggings and a furry cardigan it was warm and perfect for heading out in. I haven’t felt better about myself in a while. While this dress is last year, there are tons of similar ones HERE.

Whenever you are feeling “stuck” sometimes you just need to take care of yourself, safely of course. Or wear something that is opposing to what your outside view looks like. Whatever works!

Bah Humbug

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Top // Leggings // Similar Booties // Bag // Necklace

I hate to be the Grinch, but I really have been lately. I put my tree up before Thanksgiving because I was in the spirit (plus let’s face it I knew I wouldn’t have time), I had Christmas music blaring on Thanksgiving, I have all my presents bought and am in the process of wrapping. But I haven’t been in the mood. I have cried because I love Christmas and it just doesn’t feel right (cue this Christmas song). Life and mother nature have both got in the way. My heart has been broken by the tragic fires throughout WNC and Eastern TN so when it rained I did a happy dance, but also cried because I needed blog pictures for the week and couldn’t get them. Some things have happened in work and there is the possibility of receiving a promotion so I have been killing myself trying to prove myself. I’ve literally worked and slept. On Wednesday I didn’t even eat all day because I worked a long shift, forgot lunch and passed out hardcore when I got home.

But it changed on Thursday. Andrew and I normally do a secret santa situation for a child in need, but this year the opportunity hit closer than we thought. A former coworker was in need. We decided to help this individual other than someone we don’t actually know. It’s the first day in almost a week and a half I put on clothes that weren’t jeans and work shirts, put on make up and actually fixed my hair. Oh it was photo worthy because I hadn’t seen myself like this in a while. Maybe it’s because I finally felt festive, or maybe because I was heading to Target.

A giving heart is always stylish and something every person, even the #fashionistas need to have. I got in the spirit. So as planned for this week, but dampened by the rain and lack of photos, I will be doing a week of giveaways on the blog from some awesome boutiques and companies. Because I truly want to give back to you guys!

Weekend Adventure Diary

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This past Sunday we headed to Chimney Rock to test out the new ENO Hammock and have a relaxing weekend in nature. It was perfect to forget the stress of the work and school week and exactly what we both needed. It was the perfect Spring like day (since it’s supposed to snow this weekend). First off I have to tell you that this ENO hammock is amazing and it is the most comfortable thing ever and I can’t wait to go camping in this. Andrew purchased mine from Black Dome Mountain Sports and I got him one from the company Raven Designs sold there as well. Probably the best gift we could gift each other. We drove up to Lake Lure because I just have to have a Dirty Dancing moment, walked over the flower bridge and got some snack in the little downtown area before settling in by Broad River.  This Spring or Summer I highly suggest taking a drive up there whether to do water sports on Lake Lure or hike through Chimney Rock, it’s one of my favorite little areas in WNC.

Luxury Eye Pillows

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Who ever thought eye pillows could be so luxurious? Something you actually want to display in your home while you are not using it? With Rachel Weisberg’s Lavender Eye pillows you don’t have to sacrifice function over aesthetics. You will actually want to make this part of your bedside display!

All of Rachel Weisberg’s Lavender Eye Pillows are handmade here in Asheville. The inside packet is filled with French lavender, buckwheat hulls and flax seeds. By using these ingredients the pillow is guaranteed to last for several years and you can actually feel a difference on your face whether it is heated or cooled. Cooled works great for puffy eyes and any skin irritation. Heated works great for headaches, migraines and any facial tension due to stress or sickness. And since lavender is used it’s great for just a calming effect, possibly perfect for meditation. The fabric casing on the outside (which can be removed for hand washing) are organic, handmade and hand dyed fabrics.

Rachel Weisberg offers pre-made lavender eye pillows or she can create a custom one of a kind pillow just for you. You can purchase them here or shoot Rachel a message at rachel@rachel-weisberg.com for your own custom creations!

 

Don’t for get today is your last day to enter my Valentine’s Day Giveaway for a chance to win two tickets to Biltmore and a box of chocolates from French Broad Chocolates. You just need to “LIKE” 30 Shades of Stephanie on Facebook and comment your favorite Valentine’s Day memory on this blog post! 

Valentine’s Day Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in bed can be one of the sweetest things that can be done. Who doesn’t love to have breakfast made for them?

Valentine's Day Breakfast in Bed

This breakfast is so good and I’m not sure why I haven’t been eating this more. It’s quick, yummy, healthy and essentially an open face breakfast taco! I could eat this every day, and now I probably will. This is the perfect breakfast for breakfast in bed because it takes only about 10 minutes to make. Serve with some fresh fruit and a mimosa and you have the perfect breakfast in bed for Valentine’s Day or even brunch!

Valentine's Day Breakfast in Bed

What you will need:

  • 1 small fresh corn tortilla, if cutting out grains you can omit this
  • olive oil
  • 1/2-inch-thick slice of avocado mashed lightly with a pinch of salt, or you could use guacamole
  • 1 oz pork breakfast sausage
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves
  • chipotle chili powder
  • 1 large, organic egg
  • salt, freshly ground pepper and hot sauce to taste

Instructions:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Rub a few drops of olive oil onto both sides of the tortilla. Toast the tortilla in the hot skillet until lightly browned and crispy on both sides. Set tortilla on a plate to the side.

Crumble pork sausage into hot skillet and stir around until nicely browned, about three minutes. Add spinach. Add chili powder. Can add tomatoes or can serve fresh on the tortilla. Continue to cook until the Spinach is wilted. Set aside.

Crack egg and fry egg to preference. I cooked mine over easy.

On the tortilla put your mashed avocado or your guacamole. Then your meat and spinach mixture. Add tomatoes if you haven’t cooked them. Place fried egg on top and garnish with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve hot and immediately.

Snow Days

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* I have a new respect for people who climb mountains with wind and snow.

Snow DaysSnow Days

Well if you haven’t been on any weather websites or the news, the east coast got hit with a huge snow storm this past weekend. It began Thursday night here in Asheville and went pretty much nonstop through Saturday. The weather was crazy and in Asheville I must say we weren’t quite prepared for it. But it was great! I stayed inside for the most part watching a lot of Netflix and getting a lot of kitty cuddles. But on Saturday, I ventured out of the house and stopped by the Biltmore House. If you have never seen the Biltmore with snow on the ground, I would say it is a must see. It makes it even more magical. The wind was crazy on Saturday, at times I felt like it was going to knock me over and made walking that much more difficult, also at times I felt like I didn’t have a face, so the time in the snow was short lived, but what I saw was amazing. I’m so glad I invested in this winter vest from Old Navy (they have a few on sale still) because it was my life saver for this snowy weekend. And yes I even had a Gilmore Girls moment walking around the neighborhood when the snow first fell. How was your snow day? Are you still trapped inside?

Dressing Up Leggings

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Leggings are the easiest thing to wear in the winter, if you wear them correctly. I’ve heard a million times leggings are pants. Depending on the fabric you can get away with wearing them as pants, but most are a little see through around the rump area. So to wear them properly as pants, I like to make sure the rump and front are covered and it’s a perfect alternative to pants that way. Layer leggings with an oversized cozy sweater, a warm top underneath and a hat and you have a pulled together chic outfit that doesn’t involve slacks or jeans.