Monday, January 28, 2013

Style files :: Foxy Lady.

[Chambray button-down :: Similar | Sweater :: Similar | Skinnies ::  Similar | Flats :: Reva flats

I'm pretty much digging the animal printed trend right now.  I want it all.  This outfit is the epitome of trendy.  Animal printed sweater, polka dot skinnies, layers.  I'm trendy.  I don't buy too many items that can't weather the time.  I couldn't stop thinking about these skinnies though.  I put them back, then went back when there was 40% off sale.  I knew that my size likely wouldn't be there, but if it was meant to be.  Four pairs left, two in the sizes I needed to try (the smallest one fit!).  I'm so happy I took the plunge.  And the fox?  Well anything fox-related reminds me of my dear BFW.

I wore this to meet up with some besties who drove all the way to Charlotte (practically halfway between Raleigh & Athens) to meet up with me.  So fun!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Food & Beer Friday :: Another stout.

Have I turned you off of or on to stouts yet?  I had a winter-themed beer in mind but wasn't able to pick it up in time to post about it.  Keep an eye out for that one.  In the meantime, here's another amazing stout for you to check out!

I've mentioned that Terrapin Wake N' Bake is my favorite stout ever.  Founder's Breakfast Stout is basically the rival to my favorite.  I would 100% recommend doing a vertical (or side-by-side) tasting of these two beers.  I didn't taste both beers tonight, so I'll make my opinions as unbiased as possible.

The Breakfast Stout is pretty much all of my favorite things brewed into one beer.  Chocolate (bitters & imported), oatmeal, and coffee (Sumatra and Kona).  This dark beauty definitely has a coffee aroma, but the flavor dominates with big, bold chocolate.  The head on this beer is fluffy and creamy.  Breakfast Stout is really a perfect combination.  The coffee flavor isn't completely overwhelming, and I find it easy to drink (but it's so delicious I sip since I want it to last forever!).

D got me Videri Peppermint Chocolate bars  (Videri is a local Raleigh chocolate shop!) in my stocking for Christmas.  I'm not a big chocolate eater, but I've been hoarding these babies (yeah, that's crushed peppermint on top/bottom).  What a perfect beer pairing...dark chocolate with a Double Chocolate, Coffee, Oatmeal Stout.  Heaven.

PS.  Interesting in linking up?  I'd love to have you! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Good Reads :: What I'm reading to start the year.

With all the traveling we did in December, I got in plenty of reading.  My preference is reading "real" books in comparison to Kindle books.  If I have to buy an e-book from Amazon, I either borrow or find something super cheap.  When I ran out of real books on my trip, I plowed through The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and then purchased Greyhound (which I finished up in 2013) for three bucks on the Kindle.  

I couldn't wait to get back to flipping and earmarking pages, so I was thrilled to get a Barnes & Noble gift card from a student!

I started with It's Kind of a Funny Story.  I'm working on it currently.  I had it on my Amazon wish list but wasn't quite sure why.  I never quite like to read the blurbs on the backs of books because they give away parts of the book.  It's the same philosophy I use with movies...enter knowing less and you'll like/love more.  I'm about halfway through the book, and I'm undecided on whether I like it or not.

Next up, The Fault in Our Stars.  With all the bloggers and buzz about this book, believe it or not, I do not know the story line or plot.  I actually have no clue what this book is about, but I've only heard good things.

I've been trying to work on classics more.  Treasure Island is on the 1001 books to read before you die list.  I was trying to add something to my order to get free shipping.  I spotted this special edition classic for $4!

What are you reading in 2013??

Monday, January 21, 2013

Life lately :: Has me feeling good about 2013.

Things have been good around these parts.  I drove down to Charlotte to meet some friends yesterday.  The thing about driving 5 hours by yourself (or not) is that it give you plenty of time for thinking.  I'm feeling good about life, about being 27 (28 this year), about being healthy, about a lot of things.  Who knows what 2013 will continue to bring (hopefully great memories with D and more travels), but I know so far it's been good to me.

 [While the rain & cold had me slacking off last week, I'm officially training for my next have which I have unofficially signed up for.  RunRaleigh half anyone?]

 [Seriously...hanging up and cleaning out your closet is a bitch.  We spent two weekends tidying around the house and I have more to do today.  Are you participating in 12 months of giving?]

 [I made the most amazing breakfast tacos while D was out of town.  Poached eggs from our own chickens are THE BEST.  And sweet potatoes add a bit more nutrients.  Boo yah!]

 [Love how people in the south freak out about snow.  I woke up to zero snow on the ground at my house but a two hour delay at school.  I'll take it!]

 [This might be my favorite dish anywhere.  It's definitely my favorite dish at my top three favorite restaurants in Raleigh, Capital Club 16.  It's their Spring Garden Skillet.  It has all seasonal veggies over jasmine rice with a sweet & spicy paprika sauce (amazing) and topped with an egg.  Best dish...ever?]
 [Photography class!  I definitely learned a lot and am looking forward to getting better at playing with my manual settings]

 [Gray skinnies + brown boots?  I think I will. {And those damn bags are going to be donated today!}]

[The beginning of the gallery wall I've been talking about forever!  That wall is actually much bigger than the picture shows, so it feels great having stuff on it finally!]

What have you accomplished so far this 2013??

Friday, January 18, 2013

Food & Beer Friday :: Winter themed.

I took quite the break from Food & Beer Friday but that doesn't mean I haven't been drinking!  Since winter is seemingly just getting in full swing this week (um, they're predicting some snow here tonight), it's only fitting that I mention a winter lager.

Uinta Yard Sale is a pretty popular beer during this time of year.  It was sold out at Tasty Beverage when I checked just last week (lucky for me I "know people.") It's only distributed December through March.  Maybe people are tired of all the heavy beers that come with the winter season.  Maybe this is just one of those "fad" beers.  Maybe people were just drinking a lot in the month of December.  Whatever the case, I was happy to be able to snag a bottle of this to try.

Overall, there is nothing too special about the Yard Sale.  In my opinion, it was a pretty run of the mill lager.  The amber color gives it a little something extra than a warmer season lager.  The beer is by no means bad, and I would have no problem drinking plenty of it.  There was just nothing that made it jump out to me.  If your palate is very advanced, you may get some caramel and vanilla notes.  There's no chance I loved this as much as my favorite winter beer so far this season, but it was certainly easy to drink!  One thing I do love about this beer: the name.  Yard Sale is apparently the term used when a skiier falls down a slope and loses his/her gear (which in turn the gear is strewn across the mountain).

Have you found a favorite winter beer?


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Weekend getaway :: Hot Springs, NC.

After D and I got back from Mexico, we spent some time with family in Georgia & West Virginia.  From WV, we headed to western North Carolina for a little R&R before returning to the real world.

We stayed right outside Hot Springs last year for our anniversary getaway, but we didn't venture into the "city."  Hot Springs, NC is an adorable tiny town which the Appalachian Trial runs right through.  We were lucky enough to snag a "cottage" (more like an older house) at the last minute.  It was equipped with a hot tub (a necessity for any of our mountain trips) and within walking distance to downtown Hot Springs.

The first night we got some snow.  It was cold and rainy, but we did venture into town to have dinner.  The Iron Horse Station had some great craft beers on draft and pretty good food.

On our last full day, we walked into town and explored.  There are some really cute shops & restaurants.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Style files :: Those awkward 70 degree days in January.

Remember that other time I tried showing you a little fashion?  Well this time I pulled the trigger and got D to take a picture of me!  I felt super silly, and we need a little practice.  I may just try again though!

 [Sweater :: Similar | Skirt/Dress :: H&M | Boots :: Similar]

I love this sweater so much I've been tempted to buy it in more colors, but I keep telling myself I have enough sweaters and clothes.  Not to mention the weather was literally in the 70s on Saturday.  It's the best but also the worst.  I just want to wear my sweaters!  This dress is a go-to for me always!  It was maybe $10 at H&M.  It's super comfy (read: stretchy) and surprisingly flattering with the horizontal stripes.

Regardless of the temps, I broke this out for a little going away party & dinner downtown.  It was perfect for walking outside after the sun went down.  I was comfortable even without a jacket.

How are you coping with the bi-polar weather?

PS.  I'll be sending out an email reminder tomorrow for 12 Months of Giving.  If you haven't signed up to "officially" join and be a part of the mailing list, go here!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Travel Tuesday :: Riviera Maya, Mexico.

This was a second annual pre-Christmas trip to an all-inclusive resort.  Last year we went to the Bahamas (which reminded me that we saw a rainbow there!  We also saw one on this year's trip, but I wasn't able to snap a picture!).  This year we headed south again!

I didn't have my fancy camera since Santa hadn't stopped by before Christmas, but I did what I could.

 [Minus the two beds instead of a king, this room was a million times nicer than our digs in the Bahamas]

 [One of the three pools with a swim-up bar.  The first was the only day we used the swim-up]

 [Someone got to meet Michael Jordan!]

 [I loved these covered walk ways that led you to different parts of the resort.  I snapped this on my way to the gym, which I made it to twice between the drinking & eating #booyah]

 [The one and only picture we got together while in Mexico...and it's self-taken. Lame]

 [Holiday decor in full swing]

 [Champagne delivered to the room while we played some mean rounds of Rummy]

 [View from the private beds on the VIP beach]

Between the eating and drinking, we managed to get a couples massage (D's first massage ever!), spend an hour in the awesome spa, get a room service breakfast, eat some mediocre foods at the "speciality" restaurants,  eat some pretty good breakfasts & a dinner at the VIP restaurant, and read a lot.  As is tradition, one day was mostly cloudy and rainy so that was spent indoors.  This resort was definitely a step-up from the Bahamas.  We're really lucky to have had an overall relaxing and enjoyable trip.  The perfect way to wind down for the holidays (before going home to face the drama of family).  Luckily we took a post-Christmas mini-trip too...


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