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Monday, September 29

Melting Point + Gabriel Kelley and The Reins

Melting Point is a restaurant/music venue here in Athens that I drive past daily on my way home. I am always enticed by the oversized Christmas lights on the brick patio, and I can just imagine sitting at one of the outside tables in the fall with a seasonal ale in my hand... 

Happily, one of my favorite bands, Gabriel Kelley and The Reins, played a CD release show at Melting Point the weekend before last, so K and I finally had an excuse to see what the hubbub was all about.We were definitely impressed. The burgers and sweet potato fries were yummy, as were the drinks. 

Not to mention that Gabriel Kelley puts on a great show. Based out of Nashville, the band has a great folk rock sound that feels like driving with the windows down in the fall. Gabriel's voice is incredible, and the laid back feel of the music and the band members makes you feel right at home... like the scene in Almost Famous where all the musicians are sitting around singing and playing acoustic guitar. (Ok, so I'm a bit of a hippie. You can't tell me that you don't know that feeling.) K bought the EP, and I have been listening to it on repeat for the last week. It is real, honest music played by some really talented guys. Check out their MySpace page or travel blog to keep up with them! 

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Sunday, September 28

Just Around the Corner

With morning temperatures in the high 40s/low 50s, I can finally tell that Fall is just around the corner, bringing October along with it. To me October is the epitome of fall... pumpkins, changing leaves, crisp mornings (perfect for a good run!), and the beginning of a million yummy treats and dishes. (I could go on and on, but I will spare you my "Ode to Fall".) 

Among my edible fall favorites are Blue Moon Brewing Co.'s Harvest Moon Pumpkin Ale, Archer Farms Cinnamon Vanilla Nut coffee,  and homemade Apple Raisin Muffins!! Yum!!

Just for the record, all Blue Moon's Seasonal blends are really good. I simply love the pumpkin the most!
image courtesy of Blue Moon Brewing Co.

This is especially yummy with a bit of vanilla creamer! 
And yes, that is my blue toaster in the background.  Stay tuned for some apartment pictures very soon!
image copyright Hiking in Stilettos

The use of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg makes these a great fall treat!
Paula Deen's Apple Raisin Muffins: image and recipe courtesy of Food Network

Also, check out this recipe for Brown Rice and Edamame from Martha Stewart. I will definitely be trying this one soon...

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Monday, September 22

A Fashionista's Guide to the Great Outdoors: Vol. II: Running

One of my favorite outdoor (and stress-relieving) activities is running. I know some of you may not share this love and others of you may view my endeavors as pitiful, but there's something to be said for a sport that requires little to no expertise to be enjoyable. I am by no means a habitual marathoner, but I do enjoy running both road and trail races (see previous post). I also like to be somewhat fashionable while enjoying said races or even just out on the street for the daily jog. I personally gravitate towards Nike apparel because it tends to fit better on my petite frame. Other retailers that I frequent for running clothes include American Apparel and Urban Outfitters.

One relatively simple way to ramp up the fun is to find some colorful basics and pair them in unusual ways. Also, since you really can't get too fancy with your clothing options (you do have to be somewhat practical), layering and accessorizing are key. 

Okay, a few practical things to remember...  
Your shoes need to be fitted for the activity at hand. If you plan on doing more trail running (ie, not on pavement), then you want to look for shoes with better traction. Basically look for more ridges on the soles. I recommend Salomon and Adidas, but any company will do. Just look for tags with "trail shoe" or "cross-training" and stay away from smooth soles. If, however, you plan on doing more road running, the smoother soles will be fine. 

You will usually want a base layer that is made of a dry weave material.. not cotton (cotton absorbs and traps water remember). This is especially important in very hot and very cold weather. Dry weave tanks and tees are available everywhere from Target to Sports Authority and are available in fun colors, so you won't have to sacrifice here.

Finally, there are really no rules when it comes to fashionable running gear, so have fun with it! Mix and match colors and patterns. Layer and accessorize. It's a great way to show some personal style, especially in a gym or on a track full of black and white!

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A Little Something Pretty No. 87: DVF

Although today was the first official day of fall, the temperatures in Athens topped out at 86 degrees. The heat and humidity of the south is seriously hampering my fall wardrobe, so I've turned to NY Fashion Week to supply me with a final round of summery loveliness. 

Another of my favorite designers is Diane Von Furstenberg as I can always rely on her to give me something exciting and inspiring. I love the feminine silhouettes and mix of patterns in her Spring 2009 RTW collection. Also, the hair pieces are really great; I would actually sport one of these if my hair were still long. The top two looks are probably my favorite, although it is so very hard to chose. Enjoy!

images courtesy of New York Fashion

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Monday, September 15

A Fashionista's Guide to the Great Outdoors: Vol. I

After reading a recent post by my lovely friends, the AsianCajuns, I decided to make a list of necessities for any fashion lover who wishes to pay a visit to the great outdoors. (This is just an overview of camping and hiking, but I do plan to do a few activity-specific posts in the near future.) Although I do own a few things from REI, I am definitely not one to do my regular shopping there. One must be practical in one's decisions about hiking/camping gear, but one definitely does not have to be drab about it. I mean, let's be honest here, the girl in this picture below looks really cute in her snowboarding gear. I love the green pants and sock hat!
image courtesy of Moosejaw
Among my favorite places to look for outdoor apparel is Moosejaw. Not only are the products of great quality, but the staff also has a good sense of humor. They love their jobs, but they don't take anything too seriously. If for no other reason, you should check out their site just to read the Daily Remark. It is completely random and usually quite funny. Every month the site has a contest in which you either win an item from the site or rewards points. You also accumulate points with every purchase, so after a little while you will have enough points to buy something for free! Also, there is almost always a promotion going on such as free shipping, buy one get one t-shirts, etc. The clothes are practical, but cute, which is important if you as me. It's a great place to start because the merchandise is well priced, and the daily "Lowdown" is always a fantastic deal on last season's something. I mean, let's be honest, when it comes to camping and hiking gear, I'm not too concerned about what is "in" this season.

Some essentials that you definitely don't want to forget: toilet paper (Charmin makes a travel-sized roll), hand sanitizer, facial cleansing cloths (just about every company makes these, and they come in packs as small as 5 cloths), bug repellent (I would use Off w/Deet or Jungle Juice), extra socks (it may rain, your feet may get dirty if you hike, it may be really cold at night), and a sock hat and gloves if the weather will be cool.

Here are some of my favorite products that you may or may not need depending on the type of camping involved. I know most of you are probably not too keen on throwing everything you'll need into a pack and hauling it five or so miles to the campsite. Car camping can be just as fun and doesn't necessarily involve all the work. Either way, there are fun ways to prepare for the adventure!

images courtesy of Moosejaw
Whether you're hiking for the day with the car close by or spending all weekend in the woods sans luxuries, you'll definitely need a pack. The top pack by The Northface is a great choice in that it is a hydration pack. Ok, what does that mean? Basically, it has a built in (but removable) water bottle. Trust me, when you're tromping through the wilderness, it's kind of a pain to have to stop, take off your pack, and search for your water. With this pack, all you have to do is find the mouthpiece attached magnetically to the shoulder strap. Much more convenient. If you're more into carrying everything you'll need on your back for the weekend, the second pack by Arcteryx would be more your speed. You want something large enough to carry your equipment, but light enough that it won't weigh you down. I also love this pack because of the vibrant orange color.

images courtesy of
Another item you will need is a sleeping bag. If this is just a one-time adventure, I'd suggest something from Target that will keep you warm in temperature ranges from about 40-60 degrees. I personally like these two. Also, the price tag here is in the $20 range, so if this isn't an ongoing hobby, I would suggest something like this that is less expensive.

images courtesy of Moosejaw
 For those of you who intend to make this venture repeatedly, I would suggest investing in a decent sleeping bag. Here the prices get a bit higher (around $80 on sale...), but it gets chilly at night, especially in the fall and winter months, so it's worth the extra money. The two bags above are by Marmot and GoLite, respectively. Either one would be a great choice. You want to choose your sleeping bag by the temperature that the tag states. So, a tag that says 30 degrees means that bag will keep you warm in temperatures as low as 30 degrees. The range of fun color options for these sleeping bags also allows you to still maintain your sense of personality.

images courtesy of and Moosejaw
A raincoat is a must. The worst situation possible (bears or other animals with large teeth aside) is being stuck in the rain with no protective covering. You will be miserable, trust me. A coat like this one by Marmot is lightweight and foldable making it great for stuffing into your bag without adding weight to your pack. You won't want something bulky or cumbersome if you are hiking in the rain; all you really need is a thin layer of waterproof material to keep you dry. Plus, the Marmot coats come in a rainbow of colors, from the azalea pink shown above to sunshine yellow and springtime green. The best place to purchase a raincoat like this one is at REI's outlet website or on sale at Moosejaw.

Long sleeved tees and thermals are great for cooler weather. These are some of my favorites from Moosejaw and Urban, respectively. For your base layer, however, you want something that isn't made of cotton. This is really important. Cotton will absorb sweat, making you cold at night. I would suggest either wearing a base layer or taking something to change into after hiking. I like Under Armour, personally, but any company will do (Nike, Adidas, even Target!). Just make sure that the material is dry weave so that you don't end up wet and cold.

For all of you fashionistas who, like the AsianCajuns, are really only one-or-two-times a year campers or hikers, the local Target will have everything you need from sleeping bags to travel size essentials to cute thermals and base layers. If you plan to make a few more ventures into the outdoors throughout the course of the year, I'd try Moosejaw for starters. I own a few long sleeved tees and racing shirts from there that I use on every trip. Practical can be fun and somewhat fashionable. I wouldn't wear my hiking clothes into normal social settings, but I also don't like looking drab for any occasion. Like our model friend on the snowboard (which by the way, they use outdoorsy people in their ads, so this girl probably can snowboard a bit), you can look cute while still being protected from the elements of the outdoors.

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Friday, September 12

Fall Inspiration

Despite the temperatures determined to remain above 80 degrees, there has been a slight cool breeze over the last couple of days (notice the heavy emphasis on slight). Still, I can feel that fall is finally on its way, and I cannot wait to break into some of my fall faves.

As I was rummaging through various Fall 2008 RTW collections, I noticed a trend that I plan on exploiting: pairings of solid jewel tones.. and only solid jewel tones. I am typically drawn more to patterns, but gone are the days in which I would say that outfits comprised solely of solids are plain. For example:

Proenza Schouler
The color combination here reminds me of changing leaves.
This look would be great for a holiday party, a night out, or even a professional situation.

Rachel Roy
Again, I am drawn to the vibrant solid of the dress. 
The feathers at the neckline add a great element of embellishment without being too overstated.

Michael Kors
Although I am not a huge fan of the jacket, the pairing of a chartreuse top and amethyst skirt is lovely. I would throw on a pair of raspberry or pumpkin tights to complete the look. 

Other looks that I love:

Equestrian-inspired Carolina Herrera
Aside from the amazing dress, I love the hat. The color keeps the look from being too overdone (remember all the brown tweed hats like this floating around last fall?), and the feather is just wonderful. 

Mad about plaid: D&G
Although it is a bit much piled together, I love each piece of this look individually.  I especially like the pairing of the plaid tights and dress. 

images courtesy of

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Tuesday, September 9

A Little Something Pretty No. 132: Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs has been a long-time love of mine, especially when it comes to dresses. His Spring 2009 collection mixes bold prints and patterns to create that distinctive MJ look. I love the use of the wide wrapped fabric working as a belt, especially in patterns that aren't found anywhere else on the garments. Below are a few jems of the Spring 2009 collection from NY Fashion Week. Enjoy!

images courtesy of New York Fashion

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Game Day Fashion: Red & Black

image courtesy of flickr

For those of you who aren't so interested in college football, it is the beginning season, and I am living in the midst of it all. I don't really follow all the teams in the SEC, but I do take Georgia football pretty seriously.  I attended my first game of the season this past weekend where I realized that I need to step up the red and black in my wardrobe. I have never been a huge fan of the red and black combo as I feel that it is kind of an easy way out, but I found the following on the F21 website, and I must say, I wouldn't mind sporting them outside of a Sanford Stadium game-day setting.

images courtesy of Forever21

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Monday, September 8

Monday Monday

After a long weekend filled with well mannered frivolities and excessive studying, I am taking the afternoon off, my lovely readers. Here's a quick outfit post from this morning. I promise to be back in the swing of things very soon. xoxo.

cardigan, sandals, tank, Tarjay; belt, vintage; jeans, Paige denim; Paul and Joe bag, Ebay

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