Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mountain Air

Photography by Ashley McGee
It's summer and my mind is on Brevard, forever wanting to camp. This little town has been THE spot of Summer for my group of friends for a few years now, and it really just doesn't feel like Summer until we have taken at least one trip. It is only a couple of hours away, yet somehow we can never find the time to go. Since I'll be in Chicago this weekend, at the beach the next, and in New York the following, this was my final weekend in North Carolina. So we made time. 

My friend Ben and I enjoyed the mountain air, while I embellished our tent with blankets and throw pillows. After setting up camp, we ate a wonderful dinner at The Square Root in Downtown Brevard. They played the perfect music, what an atmosphere! Later, we bought a watermelon, cracked it open (with a hatchet..) and laughed by our (very persnickety) campfire. The next morning we had breakfast at Ben's favorite cafe in Brevard (The Sunrise Cafe), then drove through Pisgah National Forest and over the Blue Ridge Parkway until we reached Graveyard Fields. The hike started and ended with waterfalls, with serene fields in between. Such a short hike, but never lacking whatsoever in beauty. We camped, we hiked, we ate lunch in the mountaintops at the Pisgah Inn. So it can officially be Summer, now. Just a few more things to check off my North Carolina to-do list before I take off to Brooklyn. 
Hope your weekend was as beautiful as ours! Here are just 15 of my favorite photos from this weekend, enjoy! Sayanora, beauties.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Local Music Discovery / David "Braun"

Photo creds to Cody Farmer! @remrafydoc on Instagram!

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Okay, so. There is no way I'm turning this blog into some crazy marketing site, but I just have to get this information to you guys! Just think of it as one of my "tips"
Just please excuse the last-minute shotty webcam photos! haha I wanted to get this music out there ASAP!

Okay, so you probably know him as David Braunscheidel. But I mean, admit it, Braun is just easier to say. You may have gone to school with him at South Point. Or maybe you just know him from around Belmont. I don't know your life! But listen, this guy can make some music! He just put out his first CD recently, and it is finally up on iTunes! (Yay!)  I had the pleasure of picking up a copy of "Carolina Skies" myself just last week, and Track One ("Leaving Things") has been stuck in my head since! And honestly, I'm okay with it!

Not only is it a great feeling to support a local artist, but this CD is seriously kick-butt! You'll hear the first track and immediately think "This guy is from my town?!" His music really has that poetic alternative feel that we're all craving these days. Some tracks are almost Dave Matthews-y... But honestly he just has his own sound altogether. Every track has it's own sound, really! So its hard to label the genre as anything but just beautiful awesomeness. 
While the majority of the album is his own music, one track is a cover. Ever heard the song "Goodnight Moon" by Go Radio? Track 2 of Carolina Skies is a cover of it. With better music. BAM. I know. Instant Seller.

You can find him on itunes HERE

Not only will you have the pleasure of listening to some sweet tunes, but you can also feel good about supporting this cool local dude. Modest guy, pretty chill. It's really a win-win, people.
And hey, if we get his stellar music out there, (it deserves to be!) you may even hear this dude on the radio soon! (We hope!)

Thanks for reading, lovelies! I hope your week is as beautiful as David Braun's music!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Little Memories

Hello lovely people! So, woah. Is it just me, or is summer coming to a quick end? It all flew right past us! Becca and I can't believe it! (Hence surprised photo)

The point is. As my friends and I are fluttering away (like little butterflies!) in many directions for college soon, the end of this summer means a lot of goodbye's. Sometimes it nice to give your really close buddies some kind of gift upon goodbye. A little something to, you know, remember your fun times by! Sometimes your wallet doesn't agree though...So, I decided I would hand make my gifts! This way the presents are more sentimental, as well as economically friendly! Haha

So I've made one so far!

This is Becca. The splendid barista extraordinaire at the Caravan in Mount Holly. Becca is one of my closest friends. And, since I am also a barista myself (as I mentioned HERE), we are barista buddies. So what better present to remember each other by, than little silver coffee cup knuckle rings?! One for each of us, a wearable memory! I stumbled upon some cute ideas on Etsy, and just decided to take on a little DIY! All it took was some jewelry wire, a few jewelry tools, and a lot a love!
Here are the results:

So I guess what I'm saying is, get creative with your goodbye gifts! You don't need to break bank to share the love! If you're having trouble with ideas, just look up cute going away gifts on Pinterest or Etsy! And of course, there is always the option to do a cute picture collage in a frame for their dorm! ; )

What sorts of going-away gifts are you guys putting together/getting for your friends? I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

For now, here are some more fun shots from Becca and I, enjoy!
((Becca Biggerstaff's photography, my edit))

Have a beautiful week, everyone!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Good College Vibes (And Some Tips)

Okay, so I know this is supposed to be a "Tips" blog. So at the end of this I will still post some relevant tips. But a blog is a blog. And this is what is going on in my life right now!

So, I recently put together my Pratt Institute class schedule online. This past Monday. At 6 in the morning, might I add. That is when the website opened, and let me tell you, the whole school was on right that minute! Classes were completely full by 6:05. No joke. These people are cray! That means the poor people in California had to be up at 3 AM to have any hope of their first choice! Phew, its madness.
But its all good, my friends! And I couldn't be more thrilled! Because my classes are unbelievable and my schedule is so doable and consistent! Here it is:

9:00-1:20- Drawing
6:30-7:50- Intro to Literature/Critical Studies I (My "English" Course)

9:30-12:20- Photography I
2:00-4:50- Survey of Art I (My History Course)

9:30-12:20- Textiles II (My Science Course)
6:30-7:50- Intro to Literature/Critical Studies I (My "English" Course)

9:30-12:20- Drape and Construction I
2:00-4:50- Drape and Construction I 


Woah, guys. How artsy is that schedule?! It all pertains to Fashion. Its the best. And AHH, I'm just so happy. I can just imagine myself after my Monday morning drawing class, sketching in the sculpture garden with some lunch. Pretty thoughts.
I gave myself Friday off, and scheduled around the Yoga classes offered three times a week. Seriously, its all a pretty rad situation. I mean, I even have a cool roommate. It gets me pretty optimistic for the upcoming school year! I just had to share my bubbling excitement!

Okay, here are your tips!

For you new college kids like me out there, here are those tips. Now, I've obviously never been in college before. But these are some things I considered when scheduling:

Early Classes: I wanted to be sure that I had an earlier class every day, to be sure I was up at a decent time. This way all days are longer and more productive. Also, I don't want to sleep away half of my college days!

School Activities: If you haven't already, you should reaaallly go check out what activities your school has to offer. Hey, you're probably already paying for the services in your tuition anyways! For me, its the Yoga class. I've always wanted to get into it, and now I can. So I scheduled around that.

Meals: Know when you like to eat, and how much. I can do early classes, because I'll just pick up a smoothie for breakfast and head on, and eat a normal lunch. If you want to eat a full breakfast every day, you should probably make your classes a little later and give yourself time to eat.

Weekends: I decided I would give myself friday off, so that flying home for the weekend could be a realistic option!

I'd love to hear what things you guys considered while scheduling! What are you guys super excited about for college? Feel free to comment about it below!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Twelve Thrifting Tips

When people ask me where I shop, I tend to reply with a confused look on my face and say "What brands do I wear? Or where do I get them?" 
I have a strict policy of never paying full price for my favorite styles (unless you can find them full price  at Forever 21 for under $20). Its always either straight to the sales, or checking out my favorite local consignment/thrift shops. Although options are limited in my area, I have a few huge favorites in Downtown Belmont. Gigi's Boutique and Fine Consignment for designer brands and new boutique items, and The Second Fiddle for unique and antique finds. 
Last week I was in Sunset Beach (NC) and had a super opportunity to check out unknown territory in the thrift shopping world. We took an afternoon to check some stores out (the ones that weren't closed down!) and I found a few great pieces!

(scroll past photos for tips!)

Sometimes thrift shopping can feel a little frustrating and overwhelming. Not every store is going to be for you, or have exactly what you were looking for. Don't be discouraged!

Here are twelve tips to take along with you on your thrift and consignment shopping adventures:

1) Finding shops: Don't know where to begin? Try thethriftshopper.com or mobile app Thrift Buddy to help locate stores in your area!

2) Trends: Know the trends before you go. Check your favorite stores and magazines, so you can get the latest trends you want at a better price.

3) Donate: Not only is it good thrift karma to donate or consign upon arrival, but its a good idea to get rid of those old pieces you never wear before bringing new ones in. (If consignment, you may need to call first to make an appointment!)

4) Set a Limit: Know how much you're going to spend that day. Its easy to get caught up in the sales and lose track of money. You're trying to save money here!

5) Bring Cash: Not all thrift stores take debit/credit, its best to take cash with you. Also, these stores don't make huge bucks off of your purchase already, with plastic you may be charged extra to make up for the percentage they have to pay!

6) BYOB: Bring your own shopping bag or large purse to take with you, especially if walking from shop to shop. Its easier than carrying around several bags, (and also good for the environment and stuff!)

7) Discouragement: NEVER walk out of a store at first glance of its inventory. You'd be surprised what you can find in the "grandma" store!

8) Check the sales: Many thrift/consignment stores have signs up when you walk in about whats on sale (yellow tags %40 off, all dresses half off, etc.). Make a mental note, or take a picture of this on your phone or camera so you don't have to keep walking back and forth to the sign when you want to check a tag's sale. Also, many shops have a day designated for big sales. Be sure to find these things out upon or before visiting a shop, so if you're willing to wait you can get your items at an even lower price.

9) Patterns!: The most exciting thing (to me) when thrift shopping is finding awesome patterns and textures. You can always alter the piece if need be, you can't find those patterns anywhere!

10) When you see it GRAB it: Someone else may spot the same awesomeness you do. Don't pass by! Grab it, even if it's just a maybe. You can always put it back later.

11) Inspect Your Items Closely: Careful! Don't come home with messed up items! Check for snags, stains, weird smells, broken zippers, missing buttons before you buy! You can bring a tide pen with you to check and see if stains are permanent!

12) Discipline: Don't buy just because its only $5! Consider: do you have anything similar in your closet already, can you wear it immediately or will have to wait for a special occasion, and if its practical for YOU to wear. Its great to get bold and try something new, but don't buy something you'll never wear.

Hope these helped! Remember people, thrifting isn't tacky anymore, there are some great donations, and its a stellar way to build up your closet on a budget!
 Happy Thrifting!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Solitaire Swim in Action

Oh no! Why am I in the water with this gorgeous white lace skirt?! It will be ruined! 

Nope! This little beaut is a bathing suit cover up, and perfectly strong waterproof material. Perfect for flowing around in the waves, thus making its wearer a fairy-tale-mermaid-whatever princess. It is wonderful. Magnificent. Magical. And it was $24.99 at the one and only TJ-Maxx. Yep, that place is awesome. Never underestimate the power of your local Tj-maxx. hit that place up. 

Here are some un-edited shots, I just thought the magical effects one was more appropriate to fit the theme of the post. Ya know, princess ocean magic. 
Thanks for reading!

Solitaire Swim Cover up lace skirt (Similar pants here)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Independence Week

Once again, its been a while since I've posted... I know, I know. There is no excuse. I may stop trying to post everyday and move towards once or twice a week. Seems reasonable. Anyways, this week has been spent in preparation for both our Fourth of July cookout and for the beach next week! There were so many delicious things made for the cookout, including this Angel Food cake I got off of the Free People blog, and this Blackberry Saffron Lemonade (I just can't get enough of that stuff!). It became popular amongst our party guests to mix the lemonade with Sangria... apparently that is a delicious combo! We were going to go out on the lake the watch the annual firework show, but mother nature had other plans. It was raining cats and dogs out there, but as always we didn't let a little rain stop us. My friends and family gathered in the driveway in between downpours of rain and were lighting off every kind of explosive you can buy. It was an all-over-the-place kind of event and frankly I'm surprised we all ended the night in one piece! It was crazy, but I'm glad we had a blast. Could be the last Fourth of July with all of my friends together. How sad. I'll miss them when I move up to Brooklyn next month. They always know how to have a great time. 
Here are some of the epic shots from last night, we had a blast with my new camera! Enjoy! xo


"Feel the rain on your skin. Noone else can feel it for you, only you can let it in,"