Chill Treats; UniquExpressions is Heavenly

Heavenly Caramel Iced Latte
I always get so thrilled when they bring out these cups

  City; Pine Mountain, Georgia
  Stop; UniquExpressions
  Coffee; Heavenly Caramel- Caramel and Vanilla

      On a beautiful weekend of content, my partner and I returned to Pine Mountain Georgia, home of UniquExpressions. We went to try something new this time, and I gave the Heavenly Caramel iced Latte a try. This was an immensely refreshing choice. I adore caramel, and this one has it in spades. My only regret is that we never got to see the sunset while we were there, and believe me, guys. Sunset is Beautiful in Pine Mountain.

     As usual, the beautiful workers behind the counter were amazing. They have building rapport down to an art and are so nice to chat with. I love just asking them for their favorite items, and taking a chance. This time, I got some ideas that I balked at, maybe I’ll be brave down the road and try something way out of my comfort zone (the coffee soda debacle has me reluctant).

Click the link in the tweet for a spoiler to how that came out.

 
     UniquExpressions consistently makes an amazing product. This Heavenly Caramel latte was pleasantly sweet, but certainly not overly so. Though, it did toe the line for a couple of sips. I did find the overall flavor to be harmonious, but definitely more on the sweeter side. The coffee flavor lurking under the caramel was what made the drink so refreshing on a hot day.

     The coffee flavor barely lingered on my tongue, which I attribute to the sweetness of the caramel. Speaking of the caramel, it was the has the final word where the flavor is concerned. This is another drink I would highly recommend for my readers who are just getting started drinking (and enjoying) coffee. It’s one of most sweet, yet somehow mellow coffees I’ve had. I’m still definitely partial to the Prince Harry

 

 

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! 

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.

Coffee Abroad; Revisiting Good Memories with UniquExpressions

On February 17th of this year, my boyfriend and I visited the charming town of Pine Mountain, Georgia and visited the coffee shop UniquExpressions. My partner isn’t a fan of coffee for the most part, and gets turned off by an espresso flavor so finding coffee for him is a challenge. Honestly, we were very surprised by this little shop and fell in love with it. Afterward, he surprised me with my engagement ring, so needless to say we have some good associations with this place.

 

We have not shut up about it since then and I’ve been itching to take Jeans there with us. Today, I got my wish. We made a day trip to Pine Mountain and treated ourselves to the most AMAZING burger I’ve seen in a small town from Eatz on the Corner. Seriously, it was phenomenal, seasoned so well and cooked perfectly. Look at this beautiful thing. 

 

For dessert, as is our custom, we hoofed it across main street and to the main attraction. UniquExpressions- we couldn’t wait.

We have done nothing but talk it up since February, and finally got the chance to bring her. The inside of the shop is incredibly homey and feels a little Boho to me, with the soft mismatched seating. It feels welcoming and comfortable and I had to fight the urge to retrieve my laptop and geek out.

 

 

There was also the cutest decor above the large window that I would love to take home- you can view it above. The idea is so inspired! I loved the coffee cups hanging with the fairy lights. 

Coffee and their shoe selection
Shoes and Coffee- a match made in heaven!

We sat down to enjoy our drinks- Jeans and I got one of their signature drinks, the Prince Harry iced latte. The drink is a made from a dark roast with Chocolate, Caramel, and English Toffee flavors. Their beans are a locally sourced proprietary blend that they have posted by the register for the curious.

UniquExpresions Blend info
UniquExpressions was kind enough to display their blend information at the register

The coffee was as fantastic as I remember- the flavors are incredibly smooth and balanced without a hint of bitterness. The toffee was the predominant flavor and followed nicely by the rich mocha and caramel. There is espresso in it, but the flavor is so subtle and sweet that it even my coffee-ambivalent partner was enamored. I did try a second one from them today, since we were there for a while and the prices are so fair.

The second drink I got was the Nobel Prize Latte which was English Toffee and Vanilla- honestly, it was quite similar to the Prince Harry, while delicious, I didn’t taste the vanilla under the toffee, save but for a whisper.  You really can’t go wrong with any option here- because although I couldn’t taste the secondary flavor, it was delectable. When I go back, I’m going to be more adventurous. There are so many options to choose from!

Honestly, this place has some of the best coffee I’ve had so far- it’s sweet, flavorful, smooth and has just a little bit of a nutty flavor that makes it all pop. So far, this town has a lot going for it. Gorgeous views, wonderful burgers and incredible coffee. If you find yourself anywhere near the area, I highly recommend a visit to Pine Mountain. 

 

Instagrameter; /5

Taste; /5

 

    Pine Mountain gets my first 5/5 on both counts- for the wonderful atmosphere, service and flavors!

 

 

 

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! 

 

 

 

 

 

Java Jill’s Fantastic Fête

~*~ Birthday Pre-Party ~*~

    

We have a very special birthday post coming at you today! I turned 28 on the 20th and am not happy about it, truth be told. To ease my mood, we started celebrating early! My dear friend and our beloved fashion writer joined myself and my fiance’ for the festivities, most of which was of the consumable variety.

For dinner, we went to O’Charley’s again, and I was treated to their delectable garlic butter filet mignon, broccoli, and Caesar salad, for dessert we had their wonderfully filling and rich Caramel pie. For my drink, of course, I had the Cotton Candy Fizz. On a side note, would you believe that 3 Walmarts and a Target failed to have Cotton Candy so I can recreate this wonderful thing at home? I’m considering buying a cotton candy machine.

    

Jeans and I rounded off the day with some much needed retail therapy- we left H&M emptyhanded but I struck gold later on at Charlotte Russe when I found this amazing tulle skirt, that is already up on Instagram., I’m apparently cosplaying as a Tumblrette tomorrow- tiara and all. I also bought myself a birthday coloring book and sloth journal to keep track of ideas for future posts on the go because I greatly prefer to write ideas on paper. Behold!

 

I am so ready to find my holy grail satchel purse so  I can carry my multiple notebooks around!

 

~*~ Day (two) zero ~*~

   

On the big day, we took advantage of the many birthday offers I’ve gotten in my email over the past month. The first one was Ihop where I was treated to their delicious sweet cream crepes, unfortunately, I did have to tell them it was my birthday so we could get the pancakes, and they ended up coming to table and singing their birthday song (I didn’t know how to even react- just quietly pout and drink my splash berry). 

Jeans and I left there and headed to Plato’s Closet, where I continued my ill-fated search for the holy grail of satchels. My search was fruitless, but we did find some good deals that I couldn’t commit to. One was a 90 dollar bag with the price tag that was being sold for 16 dollars and the other what looked like a knockoff Versace. In the end, I walked out empty-handed and walked right into a Clothes Mentor which was amazing. I didn’t even know we had a place for affordable name brands. I have never seen so many expensive purses for my budget. I didn’t walk out empty-handed this time.

To be perfectly fair, I’m looking for a crossbody satchel to hold my sketchbook, sloth book and maybe my computer (the latter not totally needed, but would be enjoyed). I found a few cute Coach bags in my budget that checked off a few of my boxes, but not all. Is it still settling if it’s Coach? I ended up selecting this gorgeous mid-2000s Coach crossbody. Not really important, but the inside is really pretty pink, which was a box I didn’t know I needed to be checked. And, I may be a peasant but, I’m very impressed by the stanp of authenticity.

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Thank you, Clothes Mentor for my first designer bag!

I did include in that picture the birthday gift that my fiance’ gave me this year- Superfight, it’s like Cards Against Humanity but with ridiculous superheroes. I highly recommend this game if you enjoy Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples. 

The Peachtree Mall has so many great stores with some amazing selections, but in comparison to Clothes Mentor, the selections fell flat. I guess after being around the high-quality items everything else felt lackluster, I guess I know where I’m shopping on the regular. We did get a good deal on this amazing lotion from Bath and Body Works from their new Water line that’s made with Hyaluronic Acid and is supposed to be great for dry skin- I can attest to that, because guys, my. hands. feel. awesome. 

The last leg of our day was to get dinner, which was unremarkable- but we did get Starbuck’s colored drinks- I got the Pink Drink, because my aesthetic for my birthday is Pretty Pretty Princess. Jeans got the Purple Drink.

I’ll do a brief review on the Pink Drink, but since it’s a bundled sort of review with the entire festivities. Honestly, this drink deserves a spot on my Summer Drink list and if that post hadn’t already gone up, I’d definitely add this. It’s amazingly refreshing and fruity. I felt like I was relaxing on some beach in Florida with this, really, it’s phenomenal. Fruity, light with a slight strawberry flavor underneath what I assume is the Acai. I may or may not be mildly obsessed with this.

Also, as a sort of debut for myself and my questionable fashion taste, a photo of us! As you can see we’re having a blast enjoying our pink and purple berry refreshers at one of the happiest places on earth!

Java and Jeans in their natural habitat
Your writers, Java and Jeans! My aesthetic today was pretty princess, apparently

 

 

 

 

 

Market Days on Broad; How Bazaar

City: Columbus, GA
Event: Market Days
Dogs allowed?: Yes!

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Columbus has a few different free or low-cost events, this week I attended Market Days on Broad. It’s a free event that goes from 9 am to Noon every Saturday. The event hosts many, many vendors that sell their wares ranging from handmade crochet items to foods.

I tried a cup of Thai coffee and the same vendor was selling vegan granola- which I happily sampled. I bought both the Chocolate Chip and Blueberry Flax Crunch. I had never been exposed to vegan food before, so it was definitely something new! I particularly enjoyed the blueberry flax. The coffee, being what it was, was quite bitter and not really what I was expecting. I guess that’s on me for expecting Thai coffee like I have at the restaurants. That being said, I did find myself enjoying it as I perused the stalls.

Aside from the granola, there was a vendor selling huge cookies. I purchased Lemon and Snickerdoodle. The snickerdoodle was soft and flavorful- I wish I had a nice glass of milk because that would have been perfect. I didn’t eat the Lemon one, because it was a gift but I wish I could- it smelled amazing.

Those were the only consumables I purchased- there were some delectable looking cupcakes and the smell of barbeque wafted through the air. Had I more funds I would have had to take advantage of that, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to. Next time I attend, I do really want to get some homemade strawberry jam!

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The rest of the stalls that I noticed were full of handmade items and art. Kimonos, earrings, loads of necklaces- some of which were made of old fuses. I walked by a booth with a vendor busily crocheting a Bendy and the Ink Machine hat. Her booth was filled with about 15 or 20 handmade hats.

If you’re in the area on Saturdays and are interested in supporting all of these talented individuals (and more that I didn’t mention!) I can’t recommend this event enough. It was really inspiring walking among all of the creative minds behind some truly unique items, and I’m sure there’s something for everyone there!

*Pictures taken with credit from Market Days on Broadway Facebook page. (because SOMEONE didn’t remember to take pictures)

Hometown Cravings: Time to go to the Bank… Iron Bank

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: Iron Bank
Drink: Caramel Latte

 

Iron bank is situated at the corner of Tenth and Broad in the gorgeous downtown that Columbus is home to. The Exterior is that of an old… well, Bank. And every time I see it, I stop and stare. I adore the architecture. It’s classic and classy, and makes me feel like I’m stepping back in time to a day when you’d see gorgeous buildings like this. And not going to lie, I do a feel a little like a mobster or like someone from a Noir film, which is definitely a plus.

 

When you walk in, it’s clear that this shop has history and for the curious, you can read up on that here. The interior is fairly simple with long and short tables interspersed around the large room- they have what appear to be glass chandeliers hanging from the insanely high ceiling. The most interesting feature (to me, at least) is that you can go sit in the old vaults each one is furnished with a table and chairs and one of them has lovely natural light from the fairly large windows. The music is usually a decent volume for a coffee shop, but for some reason this morning, I found it to be louder than the norm. They play a range of music from the Plain White Ts to En Vogue. The latter was noticeably louder than the former.

 

Of course, aside from coffee, they do sell food and in particular, I’d recommend the turkey, bacon, swiss on a croissant. I’ve treated myself to that multiple times and it’s phenomenal. They do have muffins, bagels and parfait as well, if that’s more your speed.

For my coffee this morning, I decided to go simple, which I’ve actually never done here, and get just a Caramel Latte which is surprisingly better than the specialty ones I used to get from this place. It’s not overly sweet, or overly bitter. All around it’s nicely balanced, the caramel flavor is soft and subtle and I felt more alert with each sip. I did notice a slightly nutty taste underneath the taste of coffee. All in all, it doesn’t stand out as remarkable in either direction.

Instagrameter; ohenrys insta/5

The Exterior is unique and the interior is simplistic- I feel like any photos taken here would benefit greatly from being outside. The interior doesn’t lend itself to instagram fame.

Taste;3 out of 5/5

As noted, the coffee wasn’t anything out of this world but, by no means, bad. The espresso was very mild and effective and the entirety of the drink was balanced.

 

-JJ

 

 

Hometown Cravings: My Boulánge, our own little piece of France

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: My Boulange
Drink: Elizabethan (modified)

Situated like our other Hometown Cravings, in the scenic downtown area of Columbus, sits sophisticated and classy looking cafe` that features pastries, quiche, and breakfast that I haven’t been lucky enough to make it in time for. The cafe`itself sits beneath what appears to be lofts and it sets itself apart from the red brick by having a modern brown and gold front.

Like most of the coffee shops here in Columbus, the interior has an industrial feel- and guys, I swear I’m trying to come up with other words so I can stop beating you about the head with it. The ceilings are high and adorned with fairy lights, and I love the way the red bricks complement the entire decor. The fairy lights and wood accents lend a welcoming energy. I have the distinct urge to bring my computer in and just people-watch from the large front windows.

When you walk in, you’re immediately greeted with a gleeful Bonjour on a light purple wall, as you proceed further in the large Eiffel Tower standing behind the counter and surrounded by delectable looking pastries guarded behind glass takes precedent.

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The service here is always top notch with the cashiers being knowledgeable in the products that they sell and able to tell you, based off of their experience and your preferences, what you may enjoy. I employed this particular skill of theirs this afternoon when I went in to try something a little different.

They have seasonal lattes with interesting names that are fairly unique, which you can see some of them in the picture below.

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What I treated myself to today was the Elizabethan, and before you say “But, Jill, that’s what you got at Midtown Cofee two days ago”, I changed it to Strawberry and Mocha. Next time, I think I’ll try the Queen Bee from here.

The Elizabethan as I got it tastes quite like a strawberry dipped in chocolate which makes me wonder if they used natural flavoring as opposed to the coma-inducing artificial flavors that you might have at home. The flavor is balanced- the strawberry is the forefront but then steps aside for the mocha. It’s surprisingly dainty with almost no bite, it even smells mild and sweet with just a hint of chocolate.

As an extra note, they do hold wine tastings here so if wine is more your speed, they have you covered here! I’ll go ahead and move on to my ratings!

Instagrameter; 4.5 out of 5/5
Taste; Taste Rating/5

A couple of notes before I sign off for this post! First, a quick thank you to our readers so far.  I know doing reviews is touch and go for myself and miss Belle Bottom Jeans, but I have every faith that we’ll get better at reviewing things and become more discerning, so in these first phases of our blog we appreciate you stopping by!

Second, I do want to maintain a Hometown Cravings series but I’m not sure how often would be too often to visit these places. I’ve added a poll on the Surveys and Polls page so if you want to put in your feelings on visiting the same place multiple times, I encourage you to drop a vote here!

-JJ
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