It’s October, and you know what that means; Barktoberfest!

    Hey guys! No, that’s not a typo. Barktoberfest was held by a local animal shelter, Animal Ark, and featured German Beer, Vendors, Costume Festivities for babies with 2 and 4 legs and free adoptions! The latter wasn’t something I could jump on, personally, but I’m super happy for those who were able to add a new pet to their family!

Animal Ark Food Tent
The Food tent from Barktoberfest and the guys from Maltitude! Credit to Animal Ark for the photos!

   

 

Walking up to Barktoberfest was exciting for us, and especially Java. There were loads of dogs everywhere and some were in costume, all geared up for the costume contest! If you’ve been following us on Instagram, you may have seen the costume that Java picked for the contest. The heat was intense, so I didn’t put it on her until right before she was called to the stage. Right before she was called, we saw that she had a twin.

Twins
Java and her friend Moose!

Unfortunately, neither of these completely deserving puppies won, but before we spoil some of the other great costumes we saw, I want to give shoutouts to a couple of the vendors with some great wares! The two most notable to me were puppy pastries and a lovely lady selling ceramics, canvases and vases.

      The collage may make it hard to read the sign, but those yummy looking dog treats are from Lucky Puppy Pastries, they don’t have a physical location where they conduct business but you can place orders to have them delivered for your furry family members! I know that lower picture looks like chocolate, but it’s 100% dog friendly and is too decadent for everyday rewards. Check out his facebook page if you want to place a custom order! They definitely had Java’s seal of approval.

     

       That little 5×5 canvas was too cute for me to leave behind. That’s from Lea’s Crafty Creations, who doesn’t appear to be doing crafts anymore on facebook. You can still check out the work she still has posted! I really wanted to get two of her canvases, that one above and a witch cat. I loved the super Autumn colors she chose! Sadly, I did have to make up my mind on what I brought home. I did select that one above, just because I loved it for its simplicity and minimalism. It has found a home in my room, currently! It sits on one of my tables, but it will soon find a home on my wall!

     We didn’t sample the German Brats, sadly, due to the price but we did win a Lemon Cake in a Cake Walk that my lovely life-partner participated in. With as uncharacteristically hot as it was that day, I carried Java’s costume around. It was much too hot to put it on her. I don’t know why she picked it, especially since she had a twin. Didn’t she think that maybe someone would want to be cute?

     There were so many great costumes! I think my favorite besides Java was a Rottweiler dressed up like a Ghostbuster, he had a little toy car that a toddler was “driving” and I thought it was so creative! 

The costumes!

      I put Java first in the collage, because she’s always number one to me. There were so many great, creative costumes and some valiant attempts at victory. In the end, there were only three winners. The cutest, most creative, and creepiest. I hope you’ll forgive me that I can’t recall who won which category. Next year, I’ll choose Java’s costume. I was really wanting one of the prizes, they looked pretty packed!

      Even though Java didn’t win, and we weren’t able to try any of the German foods they were selling, we did have fun. Java ate her treats once we got home, for a late birthday celebration. She’s currently tuckered out from the heat, but happy to have made friends. I’d give Animal Ark’s Barktoberfest a 

/5

I can’t give it a higher rating due to lack of diversity in attractions. We did enjoy ourselves, but there was little to do to distract ourselves from the heat. I hope to go back next year and see more vendors and even more costumes!

 

 

 

Fashionable Findings; Francesca’s Debut! (mini-haul!)

     Hey guys! I must confess something. I’ve been sitting on the knowledge that Francesca’s exists for a few months, and have yet to do something about it. This weekend, I cracked. Hard. I got an email that I could come in and get a freebie (which is one “F” word that I love). I did make my way into their adorable shop on the last day to get my goodie, which was either a candle or bath fizzer.

     Before making my way to the counter to redeem my email, I made the grievous error of perusing the shelves. They had some adorable unicorn planners, which, had they not started in July would have gone home with me. They had a gorgeous kimono, which didn’t go with any of my items or anything in my current wardrobe. I would love to link it for you, but I’m not seeing it on their site.

     When I saw the display for the shorts, I immediately knew that I wanted a pair. I needed a pair; I absolutely had to have one. After trying probably 5 pairs of shorts and not liking them with any of the tops I was selected- I did end up leaving with 3 items in total. I do want to share some knowledge that you may find useful- they have 10 dollar shorts and cover-ups right now. Use that how you will- they have some insanely cute distressed shorts with lace detailing and some with a slightly bleached look. I wasn’t lucky enough to be able to get the lace ones, maybe you will be!

       On the rack, I did also find a cute cover-up that would have made a nice tank, but I passed up on it due to not knowing when my wedding is going to be. Initially tried a pair of lace shorts, but on finding that they didn’t fit I started my hunt for one that did. Francesca’s sizing is a bit odd to me, but I did end up finding shorts that fit. The only pair in my size- no joke. 

     Sadly (for me) I wasn’t able to snag the dainty lace detailed shorts. But, I was able to find these adorable subtly bleached and distressed shorts with darker detailing. These are just so cute and comfy! I’m a little miffed that I found them at the end of Summer. I have a feeling I won’t be able to enjoy these for very long this year. 

     Lucky me that these go perfect with the aesthetic of my Festival shirt from Plato’s Closet! I’ve been aching for another thing to pair with that tank! Now if only I could wear it to an actual festival, that would be way too perfect.

     This second thing, I almost passed up on. I wasn’t planning to do too much shopping, it was supposed to be an introductory post for Francesca’s, after all. Initially I thought this was a dress, and that was way too cute (but a bit short for my taste). Imagine my surprise when I found that it was a flippin’ romper. Guys. I love rompers- though, with how tall I am it’s hard to find some that cover enough to maintain my modest style.

    This mint green look is perfect for the Spring and Summer. I can’t wait for the right season to roll around for me to sport this. Look at this lace, and the off-shoulder band. This color is so cheerful and full of energy. I was dead-set on getting it and there was no way I could tell myself ‘no’ after learning it was a romper.

mint green romper from Franceca's
The first picture up from the new house! I installed (nailed to the door) a full-length mirror. I should have gone with a different color in retrospect.

   My last find was really an afterthought- though I think I really love it. It’s great to wear to work to break up my parade of dark clothes. Francesca’s has a great deal going on right now! You can buy a clearance dress and get one for 10 dollars. I almost declined, but my need for more colors drowned out my reason. I made my way to the rack hesitantly. All I had to do was make sure to find something of equal or lesser value (that’s the caveat, right?). I eventually landed on this lacy blue dress and a little black number to try on.

    The black one had me feeling (and looking) a little frumpy. But, once I got this  dress on, I knew it was the one. It fits great and is just my size. The lace is cute and dainty, with a nice swish. The color is one that doesn’t appear in my wardrobe very often, for some reason. My only gripe is the high neckline, which I ordinarily don’t go for. When something fits so nicely though, I’m willing to overlook a usual preference.

     This is perfect for work, picnic, date or just going to a fair or something. It’s a versatile dress that can pretty much be for anything if you accessorize. 

      My basic feeling about Francesca’s is that I love the variety. The bright, colorful clothing mixed in with knickknacks and notebooks, really matches what I love in a shop. Every time I’ve been there, the ladies have been fantastic and so encouraging to others who go there to peruse. I love hearing their cheery voices over the dressing room walls, “that looks great on you!”. 

     They really seem to know what they’re doing with their own style, too. They have a real grasp on layering, which admittedly is something I need to get better at. Every time I go in, there’s always something new to look at. 

     I will note that there seems to be a trend- they seem to regularly have Bachelorette party gifts and #Bride gear. It doesn’t appear that it’s there and is gone, they seem to have a rotating stock in it. So I recommend checking out Francesca’s if you or someone you know is a bride-to-be. I’ll definitely have to return to grab some party swag for me and the girls!

      I’ll definitely say that their price point a little on the mid-high side, as usual, nothing you wouldn’t expect from a boutique of this nature. It’s in tier with my favorite local boutique, The Posh Peach.

     They’re a little industrial in the interior design area- not all the way, but enough to be up my alley. It’s warm and welcoming with a great variety of items and looks and top-notch clearance. To close up this review, I’ll say I’d give it a….

/5

   We’re bringing back the rating system for boutiques with Francesca’s. I’m so pleased that I was able to actually bring something home with me this time. I’ve been in and out of here a few times over the course of the last 6 months and had to include them! If you guys head there, tag us on instagram so we can see your haul!

Hidden Gem; How Sweet it is to Get Some Treats

Unassuming on the outside, delicious on the inside!

 

Let me ask you guys a question. What would you do if you loved baking? I’m talking really loved baking. To the point where it spills into the rest of your house and builds up such a demand that you’re called to action. Do you double down? Or do you retreat?

The awesome owner of How Sweet it Is here in Columbus answered that call by doubling down and starting a business. She specialized in cakes and Cuban treats. To my great pleasure, she deals in made-to-order cupcakes. She also brews Cuban coffee in-house, but sadly the day I was able to get there before closing she was out. 

I did get lucky and choose a day where she had some tempting treats available. I selected 4 of her cupcakes, since that was what I most curious about at the time (aside from coffee, of course). Vanilla, Chocolate, and her lone Liquor infused Panatela Borracha. My fourth one was a difficult choice, Red Velvet or Lemon Berry. I chose the Red Velvet, after resolving to get the Lemon Berry next time.

Since I’m trying to be responsible with my Sweets, I only allowed a sample of each. The first one I attacked was the Vanilla one- my favorite flavor of Cupcakes of all time. So believe me, putting this down was a challenge.

 One of my least favorite things about some cupcakes is that the frosting is way  over-sweet, the owner of this bakery has mastered the craft making that not the case. The cake portion is likewise subtley sweet and delicious. The only thing reminding me to put down down the cupcake was the sweetness and how impressively rich it is. They use real cream in their cupcakes, and the difference is evident and enjoyed.

Then I dug into the Red Velvet and Chocolate cupcakes next- due to these two being fairly similar in flavor, I’ll bundle these together. The frosting on both was very similar in flavor. Which is to say, delectable.

 

Chocolate Cupcake

              Topped with chocolate chips, the frosting mimics that of the vanilla cupcake. The cake bit is delectable, rich chocolate that reminds me of ice cream. It really shows that they use cream in their recipes, it’s amazing what kind of difference that makes in something like a cupcake!

Red Velvet Cupcake

The frosting looks just a little different, but tastes just as good. I really enjoy the mild flavor of red velvet and this cupcake definitely is the best of both worlds. The rich decadence of red velvet cake, but with only a fraction of the guilt. Light, fluffy and indulgent you can’t o wrong with a Red Velvet Cupcake.

Panatela Borracha

     I saved the one I was most interested in for last, and let me tell you, it finished strong. This cupcake was delicious. The icing, which you can see has some adorable pink swirls, was lightly flavored with brandy. The cake portion was an almond creme cake, which was so soft and sweet that writing this makes me desperately want another one. 

     This is a fairly unique item, and the only option they have that is for those who want to have their booze and eat it too. They do have a host of other flavors available, for the curious, you can view her entire menu here.

    I loved this cupcake! From the whipped cream to the actual cake, it was wonderful. I don’t even generally like Almonds, or anything almond flavored, but I’m absolutely enamored with this treat.

    All of her whipped cream topping that embellished the cakes was so subtle and not like some whipped cream I’ve had that is so sweet it hurts. She really learned the balance and took that knowledge to heart. 

     I will say that it’s not really a prime hangout spot due to size. I do find the size and the color scheme charming and genuine, however. There’s something that feels so real about her bright pink ramp leading up to the door. It’s cute, feminine and a more than a little unassuming. I always associated the color with posh boutiques- not anymore!

Overall…

I honestly wholeheartedly recommend How Sweet it is if you have a craving for cupcakes, or any number of other treats she has available. I’m particularly interested in the Tres Leches, which I aim to try when I finally get to try some of her coffee.

 

 

 

Columbus has No Shame

     No Shame is a part of an art underground here in Columbus, and what a shame I had never even heard of it. I have to give a thanks to @amanda_rad over on Instagram for making me hip to this event!

     No shame is basically a semi-latenight live art show that features the original works of 15 artists that are lucky enough to be the first to register. The art presented includes spoken word poetry, comedy, song and soliloquy- this is definitely for 18+ because some of it is definitely not for little ears. Signup starts at 10:00 pm with the show beginning at 10:30 pm, for the interested.

     They actually have a surprisingly long history, I’ll paste that below for the curious!

     The first No Shame started 28 years ago in the back of a pick-up in Iowa City, Iowa. Since then, branches have sprung up in New York, Miami, Chicago, Cleveland, Austin, Charlottesville and other cities. Well-known No Shame alumni include John Leguizamo (“Ice Age”), Camryn Manheim (“The Practice”) Rebecca Gilman (“Spinning into Butter”), Naomi Wallace (“Things of Dry Hours”), Rick Cleveland (“Six Feet Under”) and Jonathan Larson (“Rent”).

     In less than five years, the Springer’s weekly No Shame Theatre has become the most successful in the country, premiering more than 2,500 original acts with more than 170,000 people in attendance. (Read more HERE!)

No Shame Greeter
Not what I expected with “a lady bathed in strobe light”

     I arrived much earlier than either the signup for show starting time, at 8:30 due to just being around the area and having nothing better to do to kill time. As the time ticked nearer a gaggle of excited locals congregated at the door. The gathering crowd held debates and talked about societal issues, there wasn’t too much light conversation going on. At about 9:45 pm the volunteers brought out their “lady bathed in a strobe light”, which surprisingly wasn’t what I was expecting. I think my expectation was an actual lady hanging out in a spotlight, I guess I should have paid attention to their site. To be fair, I did want to go in as blind as possible. So mission accomplished?

     At promptly 10:30 pm with several debates being in full swing, the doors opened to let us in. I was one of the first through the doors, and declined participation in the performance. I do plan to attend at a later date and share my own writing, as a personal goal.

     There’s a bar at the back wall of the entryway, for those visitors who have a designated driver. I, unfortunately couldn’t since I was driving. The throng of people made their way to the auditorium, which was nothing like the auditorium I’ve seen. In the center of the room was a setup that was perfect for an introspective piece, and luckily one of the performers took advantage of the room’s existing atmosphere. 

No Shame Waterfall
The waterfall that held my attention for a while!

    My favorite thing about the props that were accenting the room was this well-made waterfall with faux-moonlight. I spent part of the time there just admiring the folds in the fabric. Maybe I’m just easily impressed, but I really think they did a phenomenal job. 

    I want to make a quick heads up to future attendees of No Shame Columbus. Despite the room being fairly sizable, the volume of people filling in and the cacophony of voices makes this a stressful place for those who have a hard time handling being around lots of people. Usually, I’m okay but honestly the noise combined with the number of people made even the large room feel so cramped. Warning aside, once the performers started and everyone was silent the room returned to its size.

     The spokesman took the stage at about 10:45 and I want to commend him on his charisma. He legitimately looked so at home in front of a nearly full house. He rang off the names of the performers with the help of the audience and called up any newcomers for a small initiation. I actually was able to convince myself to make my way up to participate, but did not have a partner for a rock-paper-scissors style game so I found myself seated quickly.

    The first couple performers were comedians. The first being stand-up while looking intentionally disheveled. some of his humor was definitely intended for 18+, so just another heads-up! My favorite part of his segment was his Three Rules of Tinder.

Be Attractive

Don’t be Unattractive

                                                                             Don’t say “Hi”

The third is definitely pretty solid advice, that I wonder if the second performer followed. He serenaded the audience with his tale of heartbreak and falling in love with no less than 3 different women having the same outcome. It was a tale of woe if ever there was one, to love someone who’s not capable of loving you because of orientation. Sadly, I can’t remember any lines from his piece, but it was quite good! At  the bottom of this post, I’ll put a slideshow of all of the performers so I don’t crowd the text or stretch the page!

     Acts 3 and 4 were a little more on the serious side. The first was a guy who stated he has only 1 or 2 more visits to No Shame before he’s gone. He gifted the audience with a thought provoking soliloquy about that which is hidden. His attire and the backdrop of tstage” was just perfect. He paced the stage and really drove a sense of urgency. He accomplished his goal wonderfully! Thankfully, I did manage to get a couple of decent pictures of him in (what I thought was) a prime location. I want to say this gentleman was my favorite act. When I go back, I’ll be saddened by his absence.

     Following him was my personal inspiration to resume poetry. A young poet that was writing imagery- she’s working on a book of poems about Columbus locations. When it comes out I plan to buy it. Her piece included two poems, one that perfectly described Fountain City, and the other that brought Kilwins to mind. She definitely inspired me to try my hand at capturing some of my favorite landmarks!

     Act 5 was there for his second time, and first time performing. Despite that, his taking the spotlight was met with a raucous barrage of cheers that was deafening. He was a comedic act, much like the earlier first 2 acts and his had a veneer of relatability. Again, this is something I don’t remember too much about, sadly. I will say that I do remember how well he composed himself, despite his nerves. I don’t know him, but I’m proud of him! Once he reclaimed his seat, a rapper made his way to the stage and was likewise charismatic. In a similar vein I can’t remember too much. But the picture I captured really shows his comfort!

 

No Shame in ending this here! 

     I don’t particularly want to make this a dauntingly long post, so I’ll cut this short here. I will say that I do recommend this for a fun night out on a Friday. At 5 dollars a head, it definitely not the most expensive thing you can do in Columbus, and it’s in the heart of our Downtown. Big thanks to the people of No Shame! Thank you for creating an environment where people feel safe to share their passions and try something new.

Two for Tea and Tea for Two with Te Amo

Our amazing local tea wizard held a Tea for Two event at his shop, the aforementioned Te Amo Tea, that you can read about here.  I arrived a party of one to record the event, and enjoyed my usual Milk Tea, for simplicity’s sake. The beautiful and talented Bolera was attending as the live music and main attraction. She made the usually relaxing and mellow ambiance unusually intimate with her velvety voice. 

Not going to lie, it wasn’t what I expected but much better. The guitar paired with her voice was delightfully reminiscent of French acoustic, though I could be off the mark admittedly. I’m not a music blogger, after all, but I was definitely feeling the music and will likely be looking into any future events that host her, as well. During a brief intermission, I sat with her and found her quite lovely (and stylish!), you can follow her personal Instagram here. She performs fairly regularly at some other local businesses like our very own Iron Bank Coffee. You can see a gif below and to hear her lovely voice, I did add her to the Adventures story on the Java and Jeans instagram.

Here’s the teaser, check out our instagram story for more!

The venue buzzed with quiet conversation beneath the notes low enough that any crescendo drowned it out entirely. There was a small gathering of about 10 people seated on his various conveniently placed cushions. And the venue held some of its usual welcoming charms. Even when it’s bustling, this locale still finds it hard to feel tense. Sadly, I did have to leave at some point. It was nearly impossible for me to pull myself away, before my other stops closed.

The Tea Wizard
Toshiro, my friend, the aptly named Tea Wizard. Posted with his consent.

The hardworking tea wizard, was quite busy this evening, unsurprisingly. He was ready for the occasion with these adorable blue and white paper straws- I’m a sucker for anything aesthetic so I chose a smaller size. For the Aesthetic!
Click the image below to visit the artist on instagram. 

Milk Tea with a complimentary flower that the Tea Wizard graciously bestows upon his patrons- he switches it up sometimes.

 

Closing Thoughts: 

 

If you were unable able to come down and sample one of Te Amo Tea’s fantastic flavors, there’s always the next event and you can follow that facebook page as well to keep abreast of any updates. Toshiro always leans into the zen aesthetic. It makes for a great place to kill a few hours. He’s not only got an amazing product, which I raved about in my last post, but is a sparkling and knowledgeable conversationalist. For newcomers or veteran tea-drinkers, Te Amo is a must see. If you don’t know what to get, he can quickly make you up something new!

 

Fashionable Findings: Dear Stella

Welcome to another Fashionable Find here on my home turf! I discovered a somewhat new boutique down on Whittelsey- Dear Stella. Dear Stella has been around for 4 years, but they have been at their current location for only 2 years. (Fun fact: they may have opened shortly before or after I first moved here!) They have an impressive selection of clothes and all of them are stylish and modest! Which, is right up my alley. 

When I walked in, I was greeted with a friendly “Welcome!” and an offer for help. She was incredibly patient with me skulking around taking photos of the shop. She was absolutely lovely! So I would like to commend her for being so enthusiastic when I approached her. It really helped me feel comfortable.

They have some gorgeous jewelry displayed in front of the door, I had to force myself not to examine it too closely lest I tried to buy some. I really liked how the accessories on display were both artful and simple. Jewelry like this can literally go with just about anything. I need to return for some accessories one of these days.

They have seating by the entrance, I can picture my fiance’ camping there if I had brought him. And I can’t say I’d blame him, because the chairs look comfortable. I almost decided to take a seat, but decided against it. What if it’s too comfortable?

I think my favorite thing about Dear Stella was the dressing rooms. They had trendy wallpaper and were huge, compared to dressing rooms I’m familiar with. I had room to stretch and put my purse and original outfit under the bench for the sake of pictures. I got a picture to show you how cute they are- but it doesn’t exactly speak to the size of it. It was nice and spacious. I also want to note that the mirror was flattering! I always sort of balk when I have to take photos in dressing rooms, but not here. The lighting combined with the large mirror was altogether favorable. 

Moving on from my impressions of the store itself, I did try on 5 different outfits. Four of them worked, and one didn’t. Sadly, they didn’t have my size. But, I do want to give this dress an honorable mention because it’s adorable and I can see it working famously for someone!

           All dolled up- frontAll dolled up- back

Honestly, just look at that. It’s a gorgeous cream color, with a plunging back and that absolutely adorable bow. I would have loved to have found one that fit. Maybe one day! I’ll remain hopeful.

 

Moving on to the things that did fit, the moment I was in the dressing room I had to try this shirt. I’ve seen them all over Instagram and Pinterest, an I’m obsessed with the pastels and the little balls hanging from the fabric. Despite not being fitted the shirt does manage to be flattering. I love how the stripes do line up from the ruffle to the bodice. I hope to return to liberate this, especially. Because while I love all of the selections coming up, this shirt has a special place in my heart.

For a style with this, I can see it paired well with some 70’s bellbottoms and some fun chunky jewelry. I’m thinking really playing to the pastels and going with a slightly Harajuku aesthetic. I’d pair it with a pink bow in my hair and a pair of pastel platform sneakers. Really this shirt begs to have fun stylistically speaking. I get the urge to dress like a 12-year-old just looking at it!

The second item I tried on was this amazingly adorable two-piece checkered set. The moment I laid eyes on it I knew it was going to make it into this post for two reasons. The first of which being I loved the pop of color against the black and white. The second being that I’ve also seen so many of these two-piece sets on social p–media but never got occasion to try one on. I have to say, I understand the hype. They’re incredibly cute. Literally, my only gripe is that the fabric did seem a bit stiff right off the bat, but I can see a wash clearing up that issue.

To style this outfit, I’m picturing a playful hairstyle and some fairly simple jewelry to offset the pattern. I really like a choker with this, since the pattern is so loud you don’t want something disrupting that by dangling over it. I feel like some pink tassel earrings would complement this outfit nicely, too. And as far as the shoes go, I actually do like my converse with this. To be perfectly fair, I do kind of like my converse with everything. 

Dear Stella Dress

Number three was this adorable peach colored dress. This thing really gives me Nurse vibes. I honestly want to pair with it a white headband and some kneehigh socks. Maybe some pearl studs and a long pearl necklace to add a classical feeling. On that same aesthetic, this calls for white sneakers. I think this one may have been one size smaller than optimal for me, but it was still really cute. If I had brought it home with me, I’d have to hunt for a white cardigan, because the only thing I wasn’t feeling was the sleeves.

The fabric had very little give, but that only plays to the nurse vibes I get from it. This is one outfit that the converse just didn’t jive with… yet I didn’t take them off. Seriously, they may as well be apart of me by now. 

Dear Stella Dress

The final outfit I tried on today really feels like I ought to be on a cruise. It has to be intentional with the palm frond pattern. I can picture this billowing slightly in the sea breeze and I’m not going to lie to you, I almost tried to buy it. Unfortunately, I did decide to be responsible at the last minute, though. This is another thing my converse do not go with. This dress more calls for earthy toned leather sandals and gold jewelry. I found this amazing pair of palm tree hoops from forever 21 that I think would be fantastic when paired with this dress. While we’re accessorizing, I also actually really like this pendant, too. I almost want to say a ponytail with this, but I’m really on board with loose beachy waves. 

Apologies for not going into the makeup side, that’s something I’m taking some time to learn about at the moment and I would hate to give anyone some bad advice there. 

Closing Thoughts

 

Out of the 5 outfits I tried, the highest price was 68 dollars, if I recall correctly. This boutique has some wonderful stuff, though just a touch out of the price range that I try to stick in. The two-piece outfit was about 60 altogether, which is decent. I’d put Dear Stella at about a mid-range price point. Not unbelievably expensive, but not super cheap either. From the quality, I’d say it’s well worth it, honestly. 

I do recommend Dear Stella if you have some spending money that you can play with without guilt. You’ll find choices from staples to accent pieces with personality. They are definitely worth a look! 

Chill Treats: Summer Lovin Latte

Summer Lovin Latte from Midtown Coffee
Summer Lovin Latte

Winter feels like it just ended, and we’re safe from Jack Frost for at least a few months. It’s time to find some cravable summer temptations to cool off. This is independent from the list I made a while back that did not include my favorite thing- coffee. Midtown Coffee House, historically has featured some unique drinks like the Strawberry Wedding Cake latte that I posted about on Instagram. Today they had another unique listing- The Summer Lovin Latte.

 

I was intrigued and had to give it a go. The initial scent is mild and inoffensive, I thought I would smell the peanut butter, but it’s not strong enough to smell. Which is great, because peanut butter has never been a favorite of mine. It has a double shot of espresso, that doesn’t taste sharp at all. It’s just enough nuttiness in the flavor to tell it’s there. 

The flavor is unique, to say the least. I pick up the salt over the peanut butter which tones down the rich nuttiness coming from the peanut butter itself. The mocha is hardly noticeable due to the strength of the competing flavors. Midtown mostly uses a medium roast from Rwanda, which would explain the mild body of this particular drink. The drink has a pleasing body that lingers with a receding nutty flavor.

On that note, It’s a touch too nutty for my taste, but the salt does tone that down a fair bit. It’s a fairly mild drink overall, though not for those are either allergic or averse to Peanuts. I’m actually fairly surprised that they were able to quiet down the espresso flavor.

 

Taste; /5

 Certainly not a bad experience, but not one I personally would repeat. Worth a try if you’re looking for something unique to lighten your day. It’s fairly refreshing and mildly flavored, but just not really my thing. 

Hometown Cravings: My Favorite Muffin

Stop: My Favorite Muffin
City: Columbus, GA
Treats: Creme’ Caramel Iced Latte, Cinnamon Crumble Muffin, Strawberry Cheesecake Muffin and Butterscotch Muffin

 

    Guys, guys, guys… I feel cheated. Really. My Favorite Muffin hid from me for so long. I had no idea that there was another coffee shop in town and especially had no idea that it was so close to home and delectable to boot! I happened across them on Facebook among the several (sadly) shut-down establishments of the recent past. Exasperated from the several numbers that had been disconnected, I gave them a try with hope and to my great pleasure they answered! My propensity for iced coffee would be accommodated but the problem was that they closed at 4- bummer. My addiction would have to wait.

Our area has been plagued with some fairly terrible weather since the birthday post, and today was no different. I waited for the weather to make up its mind and headed out. The storefront is fairly small and unassuming, so I almost missed it entirely. Had I not been staring at their logo yesterday, I never would have seen it. This is due in part to the dreary lighting and my own blindness. 

 

Feeling a little adventurous on this #rainyday. Let’s try a new place!

A post shared by java and jeans (@java_and_jeans) on

For being small and somewhat simple, I found it rather charming. Upon stepping inside I was greeted pleasantly by the woman behind the counter. I deliberated for a moment before asking her about her preference and went with that. I do want to note, that for those of you who enjoy a frappe, they are able to take care of your tastes here as well! The caramel decadence frappe that they offered almost swayed me, but I opted for the Creme’ Caramel iced latte as was recommended. 

The coffee was rich and flavorful, and in my infinite wisdom, I forgot to ask what sort of roast they use. If I had to hazard a guess, I’d wager dark roast by the flavor. The caramel flavoring was light and didn’t overpower the flavor of the coffee itself, which was a surprise. I’m so used to caramel being used in excess, and while I enjoy caramel coffee, I do enjoy the coffee part especially. The richness of the coffee lingers on the tongue after drinking leaving you wanting more. Until the cup is gone, I’m going to be very happy. 

 

It be much akin to a crime if I didn’t try a couple muffins, from a place called literally My Favorite Muffin. Not going to lie, guys, this place quickly became My favorite muffin place. The pricing is very fair, 2 large muffins and a micro-muffin was only about 5 dollars. And the quality of the muffins is superb, on top of that. I chose the strawberry for myself and I have one word: YUM. The muffin is so soft, even when not heated. The Strawberry Cheesecake bits are swirled in, and make it so soft and sweet. It feels really decadent and rich- I almost feel bad for eating it. Almost. There’s a great balance of strawberry and cream cheese and it makes me feel like I’m eating an actual cheesecake.

The Butterscotch minimuffin tastes much more mild in comparison to the somewhat vocal strawberry, it has a tiny bit of crunch. I’m not sure if it’s the butterscotch or the baking and honestly, I’m okay with either because it was also delicious. I’m still really feeling the strawberry swirl muffin, so I’m going to recommend that! I got the cinnamon crumble one for my fiance’, since that’s his go-to for muffins and bagels, I can’t speak for it though.

If none of those sounds like something you’d be into, don’t worry, they have quite a selection!

My favorite muffin muffin collection
Couldn’t quite fit the whole selection in frame. When I go back I’m pretty sure I’m going to be just as stumped as I was this time. They all look SO good!

Before I close this review out, I do want to give a shoutout to the exceptional staff of this location!  While I was placing the order for the muffins, the sky opened up and drenched the entire town (or at least my location, but the entire town sounds so much more dramatic), I was about to risk going into the rain and continuing my errands when I was very nicely invited to stay dry inside with them “We can turn on Netflix- is Pocahontas okay with everyone?”. We watched the movie for a little bit and when the rain let up, I left- but rest assured, I’ll be back. 

The staff is so sweet and made me feel so welcome. They just gained a regular!

Instagrameter: /5

   The interior was also rather unassuming and comfortable. Their seating wasn’t too hard, and for some reason I didn’t take a photo of the seating area. It’s what would expect from a business and nicely clean. These ladies take pride in the shop and it shows!

Taste: /5

  I’m really feeling a 5/5 for the entire experience. They really are My Favorite Muffin. Good job, guys!

Before I call this review done, I also want to direct our readers to their Facebook where they advertise their Flavor of the Month! March was Irish Cream, April was Salted Caramel, May is Creme’ Brulee…. I wonder what’s next?

Posh Peach Celebrates 4 Stylish Years!

 Today marked the celebration of The Posh Peach being fab for a whole stunning 4 years. Of course, I had to be in attendance- I never miss a celebration. When I got there, the streets were packed with people perusing the street market like they do every Saturday. Today being a little different due to the Pride aspect that Mirrors Auburn’s Pride Celebration that’s going on tomorrow (June 3).

The lovely ladies manning the counter were as courteous as always and there was a worker milling about with a Instax camera to take pictures of the happy shoppers. Behind the counter, was a board with balloons that you could get a chance to pop if you spent 50 dollars. I was determined to pop a balloon and win something, but what would I find that I felt compelled to buy?

While I thought, I drank my Butter Beer Frappe from Starbucks I looked at the snack table hungrily.

 

They had the cutest alpaca cookies that tasted as good as they looked, cupcakes that I didn’t remember to try and a couple of unique lemonades. Cucumber and Raspberry, both were delicious but the Raspberry was my favorite, personally. The lovely ladies behind the counter offered me a free icee from the stand just outside, I gladly took them up on the offer even during this dreary weather we’ve been having. 

 

I tried on so many different things… like this skirt, this gorgeous white off-shoulder shirt, this beige crop top, and this tan flowy tank. An honorable mention goes to the Navy baby overall dress, I desperately wanted to try that on (and possibly take it home with me) but they didn’t have my size, sadly. I’ll keep an eye out, because it’s really way too cute.

After all of that, I was still empty-handed. Nothing quite tickled my fancy or spoke to me. Some, like the skirt, just plain didn’t fit. And had I gone up a size, it would have definitely dragged on the floor. I don’t even own a pair of wedge platforms, but I may need to invest in them if I want to play with maxis.

The Winners are…

 

I did eventually find this adorable Salty shirt, that spoke to me, that admittedly I had been eyeballing for weeks. The shirt took care of about half of the $50 dollar requirement, and I’m glad to report that I found a unique and cute denim skirt on the clearance rack. They only had one… in my size! Score! The two items pair together fairly well, if I do say so. It feels quite summery, and plausible for a day by the pool (if you don’t feel like swimming). Just needs a pair of casual sandals, I’m really feeling these from Kohls. 

 

I fell in love with the shirt the moment I saw it on the Posh Peach Instagram, and I’m so glad to have it finally! Now if only I could stop taking so many awkward photos…The two pieces together cost a little over $50, tax included, so I got the opportunity to take out some of my aggression on a balloon. Images of failure from fairgrounds past danced in my head, but luckily, I hit the balloon I aimed for and scored a sweet 20% on my future celebratory shopping trip. I was also rewarded for my purchase with a free t-shirt. It’s quite comfy, and feels soft. I was expecting a budget stiff cotton tee, but they definitely surprised me.

The Posh Peach Shirt
This shirt is seriously comfy- and the fit…. perfect!

The back reads “Loyal Local”, and that I definitely am! Once again, I must commend The Posh Peach on their wonderful selection of stylish clothes and their delightful staff. My only wish in retrospect is that I had tried one of the cupcakes.

Featured Fashions: The Blushing Brunette Boutique

Hey Y’all,

  Today’s “Featured Fashions” post is going to be very…interesting to say the least. Recently, Java Jill and I visited The Blushing Brunette Boutique in Columbus, Ga.

As we walked in, we were promptly greeted by the owner of the boutique. She asked if she could assist us and we politely declined. She informed us know that she would be around if we needed anything. After browsing around and pulling some different options, we were finally ready for a fitting room. The owner pulled us each a pair of sandals from the stock room, and we began trying on our outfits.

For my first outfit, I chose this adorable two-piece set. Two things really drew my attention to this outfit, the floral print the color. The tropical vibe of the floral print really complimented the soft, sunny, yellow color of the set. At first, I was a bit skeptical of the way the outfit would look and fit on my body. I typically range between a medium and large in tops and bottoms. They did have a size medium in stock, however,  judging by how the garments appeared on the hangers, I was worried that both pieces would run small.  When I tried it on the bottoms, I was pleasantly surprised! The medium fit like a glove, despite the fact I was not wearing the correct undergarments. While I was impressed by the quality of the shorts, I wasn’t as fond of the top.

 

Blushing Brunette tropical two piece

The elastic band at the neckline caused the off the shoulder top to bunch up. Now, I understand that many off the shoulder tops use elastic to enable the top stretch over the shoulders. However, I couldn’t move my arms without it riding up. I love off the shoulder tops, but that is so frustrating! It might seem like I’m being a bit nit-picky, but that’s just my personal opinion. I did like that the top covered more skin than I had originally thought it would. As a curvy girl, I love wearing crop tops that show just a sliver of skin. That way, I get to enjoy the look of a crop top without highlighting parts of my body that I am trying to camouflage.

Despite the drawback of the top, I would probably purchase this outfit. I feel like it would be perfect for a summer getaway to a tropical destination, although, I’d add a bralette, and some cute accessories the complete the look. I did like the look of the metallic sandal with the outfit for a more casual outing. If you are looking to dress it up for a dinner or a night out, I suggest swapping out the sandal for a wedge heel.

Let’s move on to JJ’s outfit of choice. JJ chose a beyond adorable, all black, lace romper. We both really loved this romper, and as soon as we saw it we knew one of us needed to try it on. The lace detailing covering the entire romper really made it stand out. Also, despite the lace, the romper was not itchy and did not rub against her skin or make her uncomfortable. JJ raved about how flattering it was on her body and the quality of the fabric. JJ mentioned that she would probably wear pantyhose to make it a bit more modest.

Speaking of modesty, although the romper had a plunging neckline, the overall feel of the romper is cute rather than sexy. JJ looked stunning in the romper and I know she probably would have purchased it if…well, we touch on later. If you’re looking to purchase this romper for a special event, I would suggest adding a layered choker, a pair of heels (wedge, platform, chunky, take your pick) and a cute clutch. If you’re going for a more casual vibe, a slightly dressy sandal or a heeled ankle boot, statement earrings (hoops or dangles), and a cross body will dress down the romper.

 

Blushing Brunette Black lace romper

My next outfit veered more on the causal side. When I saw the leopard print top hanging up on display, I immediately went to look for it. Once I found it, I knew I’d be pulling it to try on. I grabbed a size medium because the top seemed to have a relaxed oversized feel to it. I also grab a bralette to peek out from under the top, and a pair of black denim jeans to match.

Starting with the bralette, the fit was disappointing. I grabbed a size medium/large and it fit like a small/medium! Not only was it too small, the bralette itself had little to no stretch. To be fair, I am a busty girl and they did have “plus sized” bralette options so I could have sized up. However, for a boutique carrying sizes small to triple X, I’m not sold on the fact that the plus-sized bralettes would really fit a truly plus sized lady. I’m curious to find out how the bralettes work at other body types because they are a hard pass for me.

Although I hit a snag with the bralette, I was impressed with the t-shirt. Although I’m not sure what kind of fabric was used to make the shirt, it was super soft and really comfortable. I loved the color contrast of the terracotta and black spot against the white t-shirt. The tie in the front also added that extra little trendy touch to the top. I am currently obsessed with the “tie up” look (it a great trick to make an oversized top or tank appear more flattering) so it’s not surprising that I loved that top. I just wished that I liked the shorts as much as the top.

At first glance, the cuffed black denim shorts seemed like they were going to work out. When I got to the dressing room, I realized that I might have needed to size up. Although, If I had grabbed an X-Large, it probably would have gaped in the back, so that would have solved one problem but created another one. Even though the shorts were a bit tight, the overall look of them was ok. If I had a body shaping underwear on, I would have been able to fix the issue.

Out of the three clothing pieces included in the outfit, I would purchase the top and the shorts. T-shirt was comfy, and the shorts were cute. Since this outfit is casual, I’d switch out the sandals for sneakers, and add super simple accessories like a dainty necklace and studs.

The Blushing Brunette logo

By now you might be wondering what I was talking about when I mentioned that this was going to be an “interesting” post. Well, this is where things took a turn for the worst. As we were in the process of shooting pictures of my second outfit, the boutique owners husband made a comment that had us both raising an eyebrow. As we were standing by the jewelry display, he asked us what we were shopping for. With big smiles on our faces, we told him that we were fashion bloggers that feature local business. With a smirk and nasty tone, he replied: “You two are fashion bloggers?”.

It took a second to sink in before I realized he meant it in a rude way. We continued to snap pictures of my outfits, and when I went to the front to ask the owner’s husband for permission to take pictures with the store logo, I was cut off by him saying “We need the dressing rooms for other customers!” There were two other groups of people in the store, however, only one girl besides JJ and myself were trying on clothes.

The boutique is relativity small, and there are only three dressing rooms. However, if I learned anything from working in retail, I know to NEVER RUSH A CUSTOMER OUT OF THE DRESSING ROOM! This automatically turns off customers and makes them feel unwelcome. Up to this point in our experience, the boutique owner had been nice. All of a sudden she jumped in and backed her husband asking if we were “about finished up”. We weren’t. We had two more outfits to photograph for y’all, and I try my hardest to show a little bit of everything the boutiques have to offer. When your being pressured by the owners to free up their dressing room, that’s impossible to do. So in the end, we just left. As we walked to the car I asked JJ if she felt the same as I, and she did.

I like to make note of a few things as well. First, while she welcoming in the beginning, the owner seemed to be more interested in other customers that she might consider to be her “target demographic”. This can make other customers feel isolated and unwelcome. Second, we waited until the store was empty to start trying on clothes so we wouldn’t inconvenience other customers. Third, JJ and I are regular people and in no way expect business to bend over backward for us. This blog is our outlet to shed light on small businesses, not to trash them. Finally, we weren’t upset because the owner’s husband attempted to diss us ( I say attempted because you can’t diss those who won’t accept your negativity), we were upset because we treated their business with utmost respect and did not receive the same respect in return.

Men like the boutique owners husband are one of the reasons we started this blog. Fashion shouldn’t have a set look. Fashion is a about expressing your personal taste, and letting your personality shine. Maybe we aren’t what some people consider fashion bloggers…but that’s what makes us stand out from the rest. So a special thanks to you sir for trying to bring down two girls just trying to get their blog off the ground. You just made us want to stick around longer, to shut people like you down.

Well, my darlings that’s about it for this post, like I said, this one was interesting. The Blushing Brunette Boutique is another quintessential hotspot for college girls and housewives that we will probably never return to. The clothes are cute, the aesthetic of the boutique is adorable, but the service just left a bad taste in our mouth. As for the prices, they were what you’d expect from any boutique, not affordable but not super pricey either. I’ve got another “Featured Fashions” post coming up soon, so be on the lookout for that!

 

Until next time y’all!