Sunday, October 13, 2013

Giveaway: Yogafest 2013

Most of you that know me know that I don't yoga well. I'm the awkward one in class that eventually gives up and finds herself in child pose for the last thirty minutes of the class. Or outside of the classroom chugging water like my life depended on it. It's safe to say I may have been over my head during those classes and should have taken a few beginner lessons, but I regress...

For those of you who enjoy or even LOVE yoga, Yogafest is not an event to miss! Even I'm willing to get past my awkwardness to support a good cause because I know no one judge me. That's the beauty of yoga: come as you are.

So what is Yogafest? It is an all day event that supports the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. For $10 you get 10 classes! That's a dollar per class and it's for a good cause. The classes vary in difficulty levels so there is really something for everyone. The class I'm most excited about is Meditation at 3:30pm because it'll be an opportunity for me to showcase my amazing form in child pose in a pair of $100 lululemon pants. That, my friends, is dedication.

I have partnered up with the folks over at Yogafest for this amazing giveaway:

Two tickets to the event and two $50 gift cards to Trysports.

You can enter up to five times by doing the following:

1) Like at least one of the following pages on Facebook:
in the Queen City

2) Leave a comment listing the page(s) that you liked in #1 and what your favorite yoga pose is.

The contest ends at 12:00pm EST on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 and one winner will be randomly selected.

Good luck!

What: YogafestCLT
With amazing yoga instructors, massage booths, traditional henna paintings, local food vendors, and more!
Who: Sponsored by Trysports and prAna.
Why: 10 classes for $10 for a good cause (benefiting JDRF)
Where: Morrison Square at Southpark
When: Saturday, October 19, 2013
How: Buy your tickets here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Real Weddings: Brandy & Greg

Fall can only mean one thing and one thing only. Ok, it means two things: fall fashion and wedding season.

with my Mr.

We kicked off our wedding season with Greg & Brandy’s wedding on September 7th at Vesuvius Vineyards in Denver, NC. It was a gorgeous wedding and reception, very Pinteresque and curated to perfection.

Venue: Vesuvius Vineyards
Wedding & Event Planner: The Graceful Host
More details will be posted on TGH blog soon.

Here are some of my Instagram photos and videos from the event:

Absolutely in love with the striped table cloth!

gorgeous centerpieces

The boys making their entrance.

Here comes the bride!

"You may now kiss the bride!"

Izze place setting cards.


inside the oldest home in Lincoln County

photo guest book

The groom's face is priceless.

"Hey, watch where you put your hands!"

the head table.

the band.

Rock me mama like a wagon wheel...

first dance.



You had me at bacon.

Speech! Speech!

the bouquet.

me & the Mr., part 2.

the send off!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Front Row Charlotte's Fall 2013 Men's Show

The men’s show did not disappoint! I believe we (the bloggers, instagramers, and overall social media mavens) had the best seats in the house, right in front of the big red X where the men stopped to give us a chance to, uhm, gawk at them and their stylish clothes. It was about the fashion and the pups that were benefiting from the proceeds of the event.

As always, Erica looked stunning and Joey looked handsome. All the attendees looked amazing and most everyone wore black.

Centerstage was transformed into a picturesque space, worthy of NYFW. It’s the perfect location for such an event, divided into four parts: the welcome/entry area, the bar/mingle area, the shop area, and the runway itself.

photo by Green Valley Photography

I had a bit of a technical difficulty so I missed the first boutique so my apologies to Taylor Richards & Conger. Below are the rest of the videos of the runway show:


Blank Canvas

Nordstrom Men


The real star of the night was Shae, a Shiba Inu. She walked the runway for Silverfly and was a big hit! She's also a sweetheart that I wanted to dognap and spoil rotten.

As for my outfit, it came with a little bit of drama… I had to sew myself into the dress to avoid an embarrassing fashion emergency. Thank goodness for that life skill!

Pictured here with Camile of life in mod, Katie of Honeystuck, and Jen of A Fashionable Affair.
(photo by Lindsay Wyanne Photography)

What I wore: BCGB Max Azria Runway Collection dress, Cole Haan Nike Air slingbacks, TJMaxx bag

What was your favorite look at the event?

Hello, October!

I’m going to tell you something you already know. It’s October and the last quarter of the month. How is it possible and what the heck happened to the previous nine months? Also, where’s fall? It was almost 90 degrees yesterday and I got sunburned. It’s safe to say it was the most sun I got all year. But that’s a different story.

I took a bit of a blogging hiatus the past month or so. Many of you know that I left a job at my previous company after six years to move on to a much happier place doing what I’m passionate about. The change to my wellbeing (both physical and mental) has been tremendous. My shoulders have dropped at least 3 inches and I’m happy. Also, my commute is shorter and there’s an endless supply of chocolate espresso.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, I’ve moved on to another portion of my life… fashion. I got slack, really slack, when it comes to dressing myself. So I created a tumblr account for the outfits of the day. It’s a way for me to get on top of it because other people will be judging what I’m wearing. I’m not doing it for them, I’m doing it for me. I’m trying to care what I look like again. Of course, I could let myself go and become the perfect contender for “How Do I Look?”

This would hopefully lead to a healthier lifestyle. You know, eating better and moving more. Notice I didn’t say exercise because the moment that I realize that I’m working out, I quit doing it. But going on a quick paced 30 minute walk on a gorgeous Carolina day doesn’t feel like exercise… It’s all mental.

October is my favorite month of the year, for many different reasons and I really hope it’s going to be another great one. The greatest changes happen in the fall.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day

like moths to a flame
Backstreet Boys at Verizon Wireless, Charlotte, NC

Time is flying faster than I’m comfortable with, how is it September?!

I obviously did not reach any of my August writing goals. I wrote down the goals and disappeared. I don’t have a good excuse and I’m not going to make one up. It comes down to being more disciplined, like the days when I was playing the piano and practiced at least an hour a day. My friend Keia calls it creative discipline. I need to get back to that.

Thankfully, my new day job will be just that. A dream job that will challenge me in ways I haven’t been challenged in a while. Creative, quantitative, and strategic. My level of excitement is through the roof.

We took the time to relax this weekend. Our 49ers made us proud and won their first football game, spent time with mom at one of the last Knight’s games in Fort Mill before they move Uptown, brunched at Bistro la Bon, restocked the fridge, feasted on delicious Italian wedding soup, and ran errands.

Now we’re lounging around, planning our anniversary trip. Can’t believe that it’s been almost two years!

Happy September, everyone, and hello autumn!

Monday, August 5, 2013

August Writing Goals

Has anyone seen July? It was just here a moment ago and poof, it disappeared.

riding a bicycle for the first time in over a decade

So here we are, a new month and a new list of goals. But first, a review of July.

I didn’t reach my blogging goal of everything I listed, however, I wrote more than I have since January. That’s indirectly reaching my other goal of just writing more. It’s a creative outlet that keeps me sane and helps me keep my passion for writing engaged.

I’ve spent July dealing with rejection but also keeping my head up high knowing that each no leads me that much closer to a yes. I’ve reminded myself to not be afraid to at least ask. Except I’m afraid that I fear success more than I fear failure. What if the answer is yes? My friend Lisa wrote a great post on fear of failure, you should check it out.

August is shaping up to be a quiet month with only two major events, the Green Jeans Sale (I’m consigning this time!) and the Backstreet Boys concert (yep, going again on my own turf this time). There’s also Beast Feast at USNWC and the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Charlotte (working diligently on getting the men in my life to participate). Ok, so may be every weekend is already planned…

My "musts" to blog about this month:

Events: Goodwill Cornerstone Luncheon (, Beast Feast at USNWC, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Charlotte, Green Jeans Consignment Sale

Recipes: batata harra, simple pork marinade (that will have you begging for more)

Fashion: what to wear to Front Row Charlotte’s fall show

Other: Part two of Bob the Bartender’s cocktail tasting adventure

September is going to be pretty jam packed with Front Row Charlotte, several weddings, and a trip to Denver (I’m stoked!).

Thursday, August 1, 2013

{Queen City Events} Front Row Charlotte - Fall 2013 Show

Shhh… do you hear that? It’s the sound of the excitement building for the fall Front Row Charlotte show!! It’s also the sound of frustration when I realized that, once again, I have nothing to wear to the event.

There will be some similarities with the spring show… Every ticket holder will have a front row seat and receive an awesome swag bag, you will be able to shop the runway looks right after the show, and 100% of the proceeds from the ticket sales will go to Coalition to Unchain Dogs.

But here’s the fun part, the fall show is a men’s show! According Charlotte’s own fashion stylist extraordinaire, Erica Hanks, men are the new women when it comes to fashion.

So what can you expect from the show? A lot of good looking men strutting down the runway in fall fashions from Abbeydale, Blank Canvas, Nordstrom Men, Taylor Richards & Conger, and Silverfly. You will also get to shop Revolve Men's Consignment and Dilworth Eye Associates in addition to the local boutiques mentioned previously.

Maki Taco truck will be there to feed our hungry bellies while my personal favorite local brewery, NoDa Brewing, will be on site with their awesome brews (fingers crossed my “Passion Crush” will be there pouring the good stuff) as well as McCallan Whiskey (confession: I’m turning into a scotch whiskey drinker and this excites me beyond words).

The event will be held on Friday, September 6th at CenterStage@NoDa (the same venue where Mr. M and I got married!) and will begin promptly at 7:30pm!

The tickets for this event are $50 and include the awesome swag bag, a front row seat to delicious manly goodness… I mean, a front row seat to see the male models strut their stuff… I mean…you know what I mean… what was I talking about again? Oh yes, 100% of the tickets go to a good cause, there will be munchies, and a bunch of fabulous people.

The tickets will sell very quickly so don’t delay, buy yours today!

What: Front Row Charlotte: The Men's Show, presented by Scott Jaguar and sponsored by Janus Real Estate and Madison Capital Group
Who: Erica Hanks and Joey Hewell
Why: fashion, shopping, and a great cause
When: Friday, September 6th at 7:00pm
Where: CenterStage@NoDa
How: purchase your ticket at

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Charlotte Shopping Tour

It’s been a month since the Charlotte Shopping Tour and I still can’t stop telling people about it.

On June 22nd, I got on a bus with fellow Charlottean fashion lovers and was chauffeured around to local boutiques, hydrated by champagne at every stop, and was provided awesome deals specific to those the tour.

I got on the bus at JT Posh and everyone was quite chatty for the drive to our first stop, Fifi’s at Lake Norman. I’ve always wanted to go there but it’s quite a bit out of the way from where I live. Now I know just how much the long drive is worth! Fifi’s is a consignment store and stocked full of designer things and caters to all shapes and sizes, there’s even a section for men! Their visual merchandizing is impressive and I took pictures for home décor inspiration…

We also got to pick up our swag bags at Fifi’s and they were fabulous!

The second stop on the tour was the Junior League of Charlotte Warehouse, another consignment shop I’ve been wanting to check out. There were treasures to be found! For example, a brand new pair of Tory Burch flats…hello!! Unfortunately, they were not my size. The JLC Warehouse also has a lot of trendy statement jewelry at great prices so it’s worth a trip there just for that!

We then made an unplanned stop at the Clearing House, a home goods consignment shop. So many goodies but not a lot of time. Definitely on a list of places to check out when I have more time.

Our third stop was at The Cheeky Bean. I LOVE the Cheeky Bean. It’s a 45 minute drive from my house but I do it all for the amazing collection of clothes (a SouthPark location is opening in August). It was also the only non-consignment stop on our tour.

This was also our lunch stop and we enjoyed amazing sandwiches from Sunflour Company. I had two, the tuna and the fig & brie. Nom nom!

The fourth stop on the tour was at Summerbird, a designer consignment shop in Dilworth. It was well edited and one lucky tour shopper scored a Louis Vuitton bag! How’d I miss it…!? We were treated to cupcakes and more bubbly as we swarmed the racks.

JT Posh was the final stop on the tour and by that point I was ready to drop! You see, I was on the verge of getting sick and totally pushed myself all day. I came home and literally dropped on the couch and stayed there for four days. Ah, the joys of the summertime flu…

I had such a blast on the tour, not only because we all scored something special and got awesome deals, but we also got to meet and make new friends. Honestly, I can’t wait till the next tour!

Friday, July 26, 2013

"Passion Crushes" and Cocktails, the Bob Peters Edition

I’ve been on a “passion” kick brought on by my TEDxCharlotte experience this past February. There’s nothing more beautiful than passion. Nothing. And it’s even more beautiful to see it in action.

I now have “passion crushes” (PC). For example, I have a PC on Chad Henderson of NoDa Brewing. If you haven’t seen his TEDxCharlotte talk, go watch it. Now. Even Guy Kawasaki thought it was awesome and posted it on his LinkedIn profile.

Chad's passion for craft beer caused my friends and I to come up with the verb to Chad to explain things that we’re passionate about.

Here are a couple of examples on how to use the verb:
"I’m Chadding over feminine leather for F/W13."
"You’re going to Chad when you see this TED video."

And then last night I met Bob. Bob made me want to turn him into a verb.

Let’s back up for a moment and start from the beginning.

A couple of weeks ago I crashed a Twitter conversation between Cassiday and Bob the Bartender and asked if they needed help tasting cocktails and, to my surprise, an invite was extended. The day couldn’t come fast enough, and neither could five o’clock.

I arrived at Pisces Sushi shortly after five and sat down at the bar. A kind gentleman provided me with a glass of water and I waited. Shortly after, panic struck. Was I at the right place? The right bar? Where were Bob and Cass? A familiar looking gentleman (Jerry) walked into the restaurant and walked to the back half of the restaurant. “Is there another bar,” I asked. Turns out that there was and so began our night of magic.

The drinks were poured and the conversation flowed. Nothing was made using pre-fabricated mixes. The drinks were infused with fresh produce, mixed with local liquors, and prepared using tools I’ve never seen before. Bob is one part artist, one part mad scientist, and infinite parts passion.

Cassiday, Bob, and some tipsy chick

Huge thanks to Bryan for opening his restaurant's doors to us and for Cass and Jerry for being fantastic sipping partners in crime. I’m looking forward to many more nights full of friends, food, and drinks made by my new PC!


P.S. Part two of this post is coming soon with pictures of all the delicious foods and drinks.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

{Queen City Cause} Plateshare

Last night I met up with my girlfriends to celebrate National Tequila Day. We went to Monterrey’s and they had no clue it was a holiday and thus did not have any tequila drinks on special. We overcame this crisis by accidentally ordering $14 margaritas… and they weren't all that great and costs more than my fajitas. This is definitely a first world problem.

What else is a first world problem? Hunger. Yes, in this good ol’ United States of America we still have people going to bed hungry. And it’s not just adults, children are affected too. Lots of children.

If only there was an easy way to help…

Oh wait, there is! It's called Plateshare. It's as easy as going out to eat, pulling up an app, taking a few seconds to enter information, and donating money to a local food bank (it’s the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina for the Charlotte area). Instead of wasting hours sorting through canned goods and processed non-perishables, the food bank can take the change that you have donated and make it work to purchase fresh quality foods in bulk.

And all you had to do was lift a finger.

The hardest part of donating to Plateshare last night was remembering my PayPal password...

You can download the Plateshare app here.

It’s never been this easy to make a difference... I'll drink a margarita to that!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Gold & Feminine Leather

I met Victoria a long long time ago, in 2006, at a holiday party. She was thirteen and at the time starring on Zoey 101. I had heard of the show but Nickelodeon was not exactly in my channel flipping rotation. She was sweet as can be and I could tell that she had big star potential.

The other day I stumbled upon her new music video "Gold" and it's adorable and would totally be my favorite song... if I was 16. But regardless, it's fun, catchy, and I totally fell in love with the outfit below.

Photo via J-14

I've been slightly obsessed with leather lately. Especially for fall. And more specifically, leather worn in a feminine way. There's a reason why leather and lace are the perfect match.

I'm looking forward to wearing my leather mini that I picked up at the Green Jeans Sale this past spring with billowy tops and lace tights.

How do you rock your leather?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

{Queen City Cause} MTJ Foundation's Catwalk for a Cause

There are some activities and events that require convincing in order for me to participate. Hot yoga. Camping. Tractor auction. But the moment you say the words Levine Children’s Hospital, I’m in. I don’t care what it is. So when I got an email from the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation to attend Catwalk for a Cause, I was in, all in.

My date that night was Michelle and we were one of the first people to arrive. We quickly found our way to the shrimp display and took the moment to take in the space. The runway was gorgeous and the silent auction tables were full of amazing items waiting on people to bid on them.

The big stars of the night were the children on the catwalk, each facing illness no child (or adult for that matter) should ever face. So brave and so inspiring.

The MTJ Foundation focuses on helping kids with serious and often life-threatening illnesses, a cause after my own heart. I look forward to participating in other events put on by the Foundation.

If you want to learn more about the event or the foundation, visit the MTJ Foundation website.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

July Writing Goals

The Bund. Shanghai, China

Nǐ hǎo!
(That’s hello in Mandarin)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a whole month since we’ve left for China. Where does time go?! I’ve got so much on my mind and so much I want to blog about but not enough time in the day to do it. Why is a day only 24 hours?

So, in the spirit of being accountable for my writing goals and sticking to them, here is a list of what’s to come on the blog this month:

Events: Goodwill Cornerstone Luncheon, Catwalk for a Cause, Charlotte Shopping Tour
Recipes: Adobo Chicken, Batata Harra
Travel: recap of my trip to China, what to pack on a two week trip, Shanghai/Suzhou street style, airplane food

And this is the short list…

My idea notebook is bursting with amazing Charlotte finds and more of my favorite things. Can’t wait to share it all with you!

Until then, hope you’re having a wonderful weekend and an awesome last day of June!


P.S. New sections to the blog and a topic re-organization are coming too! Eek, I’m so excited!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Charlotte Shopping Tour - June 22, 2013

I’m a huge fan of shopping local so when I heard about J. Leigh Events’ Charlotte Shopping Tour, I was all ears!

The basics: get on the bus and shop till you drop at awesome local boutiques with your friends.

The stores: Fifi’s at Lake Norman, Cheeky Bean in Ballantyne, JLC WearHouse, Summerbird, and JT Posh. What a line up!

The goodies: a swag bag, discounts at participating stores, lunch, and more!

There are two pick up locations that you can choose from when purchasing your ticket:

Charlotte pick up at JT Posh (2400 Park Rd., Charlotte, NC)
Lake Norman pick up at Fifi’s (20601 Torrence Chapel Rd., Cornelius, NC)

The tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite and more information can be found on the Charlotte Shopping Tour Facebook event page.

Hope to see you there!!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Guest Post on Sunny Slide Up: Salsa, Ceviche, & Margaritas!

A few weeks ago, I guest blogged over on Sunny Slide Up about my favorite Cinco de Mayo recipes.

The recipes are fresh and healthy and perfect for any type of spring and summertime celebrations.

Check out my post and let me know what you think!

What is your favorite, no fail, side dish that you bring to backyard cookouts?

Thursday, May 9, 2013


The last month has been filled with projects. The nearest and dearest to my heart is my professional website where I geek out about inbound marketing and content curation. I tried to get it up last year but failed to do so because of my lack of knowledge of the technical side of Wordpress. Paying someone to set everything up was not in my budget at the time and neither were hosting and other associated costs. There had to be another way.

Earlier this year I ran into Brian (of NoDa Brewing Company) at a Bobcats game and our conversation turned to creating websites and other topics that we geek out about. He introduced me to Squarespace and it changed how I view website creation and design. I stalked the Squarespace website for information, Googled my little heart out, and met with Brian later in the week for a real live demo… and to pick up a growler of beer for Easter weekend. That weekend I signed up for my 14 day trial and began the building process.

I am a big fan of simple and clean design. White background, black text, and a handful of accent colors. My website was complete in 10 hours during the first week of the trial. I purchased the service and, without breaking anything, connected it to my domain that I had purchased over a year ago.

Now it’s time to concentrate on in the Queen City. With the renewed focus will come the re-branding that I have put aside while working on other projects. I want to clean up the design and finally connect it to its own domain.

I’m sticking with Blogger for now and will need to figure out how to transfer my domain from GoDaddy to Google Apps without breaking anything.

So here is my plea: if you know anything about domains and Google Apps and Blogger, please help! I am willing to pay with a delicious homemade dinner (for those in the Charlotte area) and a growler of your favorite beer (if you are over the age of 21).

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

{Queen City Travel} China

I’m having a hard time believing that it’s May already. Where has the time gone?!

Recently, I downloaded an app called Timehop that digs through my past postings on Facebook, Instagram, and Foursqure and tells me what I did that day a year ago (or two, or even six!). A year ago I traveled for six weeks in a row. SIX! My “tour” began in Las Vegas, NV then on to Hollywood, FL, St. James Island, NC, Weehawken, NJ, New York City, NY, San Antonio, TX, Raleigh, NC, Richmond, VA and ended in Washington DC. Phew!

This spring has been light on travel. I made a last minute trip down to San Antonio for an industry show in March and a trip to see the in-laws for Easter, but that’s about it. Not enough for my travel-soul to feel full…

However, that’s about to change. I’ve been anxiously awaiting my visa to arrive because I’M GOING TO CHINA!!! That is if/when the Chinese Government approves my visa.

Nail biter!

To say I’m excited is an understatement. My last trip to China in 2008 left quite the impression on me and I never thought I would get the chance to go back.

We still need to book the hotel in Shanghai and figure out what we want to do and see while we’re there. Have you been to Shanghai? If so, what would you recommend we do, see, and eat?