Shack Attack!

Upon recently hearing the news that Shake Shack will be opening in Atlanta next year, I’ve constantly caught myself nearly drooling at thoughts of the amazing Shack burger.  I had my first taste of Shake Shack in August 2012, with my parents as we were leaving NYC from my first summer interning in fashion.  As we waited in line at the original Madison Square Park location for about 30 minutes in the sweltering city heat, we found ourselves praying that the burgers and shakes would be more than worth the ridiculous wait.  Of course, we weren’t disappointed, and I successfully left the city knowing that I had just eaten the best burger ever and found my new guilty pleasure.  Ever since that first Shack burger, every time I’ve been in the city, I’ve made stopping at Shake Shack a necessity.  Each time I dig into their burger, it is insanely juicy and perfectly cooked.  The flavor is honestly mind-blowing, with the delectable combination of their secret Shack sauce, ripe tomato and lettuce, perfectly melted cheese over a natural Angus beef patty, and subtly sweet and soft bun holding everything together.  After finishing my burger without a thought of coming up for air, I almost always have a rich and creamy milkshake and hot crinkle fries waiting for me to perfectly top off the guilt-ridden yet wonderful meal.

I’ve only been to the Madison Square Park location of Shake Shack, but I’m sure that all of the Shack locations make their burgers and shakes just as well.  Whenever you get the chance to pass by one of the few Shake Shack locations, don’t hesitate to stop in for the most satisfying meal ever- you won’t regret it.  While you begin scouring Google for the nearest Shake Shack location, I’ll be home and crossing my fingers that the Atlanta location will open up before I graduate from UGA in May.  If it doesn’t, I may just have to make a trip to the city (if I’m not already living there) to grab a celebratory graduation burger and shake.

P.S.:  below is the Shake Shack website link…I know you’ll be needing it sooner or later after scrolling through my mouth-watering photos below

http://www.shakeshack.com

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My Favorite Winter Coats

Every year, winter pushes the mild temperatures of fall away and, once again, brings the cold and crisp air into our lives.  With these cool temperatures and the Christmas holiday on the mind comes along the insurgence of winter coats and jackets in our closets.  Even though we all know that we shouldn’t be buying new coats every year since they are supposed to last us through many winter seasons, it’s impossible not to resist the urge to hop onto the new coat trends floating across all of the pages in our fashion magazines.  Luckily, I haven’t gone too overboard with my coat purchases, as I can share clothes with my fashionable mother, but it hasn’t stopped me from making a long wish list of all of my favorite coat styles for this holiday season.  I’ve listed some of my favorite styles that are popular this winter as well as some of my own alterations to give these trends a unique yet fashionable twist. Enjoy!

1. The Puffer Coat:

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My modification:

  • Wear it long or even try it in a winter white

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Get it here

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Get it here

2. The Leather Jacket:

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My modification:

  • Try a colored leather

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Get it here

3. The Cape:

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My modification:

  • Get a patterned or plaid cape

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Get it here

4. The Peacoat:

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My modification:

  • add an unexpected pop of detail or color (ex: leather sleeves)

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Get it here

5. The Fur Coat:

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My modification:

  • tone it down with faux fur or as only fur trim

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Get it here

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 Get it here

6. The Sequined Jacket:

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My modification:

  • Keep it clean, fitted, and paired with simple and neutral accessories/clothes (the example above doesn’t need modification)

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Get it here

7. The Pastel Coat

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My modification:

  • Choose an icy pastel color

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Get it here

*pictures taken from: saksinthecity.tumblr.com, street-style-chic.tumblr.com, misszeit.tumblr.com, stylemath.com, rockpaperglam.com, data.whicdn.com, thebestfashionblog.com

John Mayer/Phillip Phillips Concert

Over this past Thanksgiving Break, I received the best news and biggest surprise from my parents.  They told me that they had bought 4th row and center tickets to the John Mayer concert in Richmond on the day after I would get home for Christmas break.  They even got an extra ticket for me to bring along a friend, which was more than thoughtful.  Upon hearing the news, I was absolutely surprised because I had already been to his Atlanta concert (lawn seats) in September and also thought that the Richmond tickets would’ve already been sold out for a decent seat.  Of course, my parents went above and beyond in getting my early Christmas present and went online to secure AMAZING tickets to his Richmond show immediately after I had sent them a bold text from the Atlanta concert describing how badly I wanted to see John again but from a much better seat.  After the Atlanta concert, I hadn’t forgotten about his upcoming concert in Richmond, but had no expectations AT ALL to get the chance to go.  So, you can imagine how happy and excited I was upon being told that I’d be seeing my favorite artist from 4th row seats.

Now, fast-forward to a few weeks later, and I’m finally on my 8 hr. drive home from UGA to my hometown in VA with nothing but John Mayer blasting from my speakers to keep me awake.  The amount of excitement I had on the day I was told about the tickets had only been growing over the past week of studying for final exams and was at an all-time high on this ride home.  I was actually starting to scare myself with how excited I was, but I was able to convince myself that it isn’t abnormal to have one or two people in the world that you look up to on many different levels.  John Mayer has been that person for me for a long time.  I started really listening to his music in middle school and it quickly became my comfort during any exciting or difficult situation that came about.  I also started playing guitar when I was very young, with my dad and John as my inspiration, but my fingers were far too small at the time to effectively play a single chord.  I’ve recently gotten back into playing since I can finally wrap my fingers around the guitar neck without experiencing major issues, and John’s music is now an even bigger inspiration than it was before.  I also have to give credit to John’s adorable “boyish” looks and charming presence in addition to his musical talent and heart-melting voice for my overwhelming love of anything “Mayer.”

On the day of the concert, my parents and I were very busy visiting with both of their parents in Richmond while also attempting to fit in some Christmas shopping before we had to head to the concert venue that night.  Even though the day was insanely busy, all I could think about was how close I would be to my favorite artist that night.  We made it to the Richmond Coliseum with time to spare, so my parents and I made the necessary arrangements for my best friend Allie to pick up her ticket at will call and grabbed a few beers before heading to our seats.  We were directed to our ridiculously amazing seats just in time to see the opening act, Phillip Phillips, stride onto the stage with an adorably crooked smile on his face and guitar in his hands.  Still in amazement over how close I was to Phillip and would be to John, I was quickly on my feet while blissfully singing along with Phillip to his hit songs such as “Gone, Gone, Gone” and “Home.”  Phillip Phillips was a fantastic performer and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved his music and presence.  He was humble, talented, and crazy charming; of course, holding eye contact with him while he was performing didn’t hurt my growing affection for the guy.  As Phillip finished up his short but sweet set, I was already overwhelmed with adrenaline and happiness from the combination of the Shock Top in my hand and flawless music surrounding me.  I couldn’t believe that the night was only going to get better.  After about a half hour of making sure my friend Allie was going to get to the Coliseum in time for John to start, the lights went down and the band began making their way onto the stage.  Allie was finally getting her ticket at will call and I had caught my first glimpse of John approaching the microphone stand with a guitar strapped over his shoulder… life was perfect.  The feeling of being so insanely close to someone who you’ve looked up to for so long is indescribable and left me in pure bliss over the next few hours.

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Phillip Phillips performing

John started his set with “Queen of California” and the crowd seemed more than pleased to be singing along with the happy tune.  His set list was a delightful mixture of old and new songs, with a great balance of acoustic and electric guitar solos.  He even played the piano to accompany his song “I Will Be Found.” I was glad that I knew every song that John played and especially excited that he played almost all of my favorite songs.  My favorites included “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room”, “Who Says”, “Your Body is a Wonderland”, “Why Georgia”, “Dear Marie”, and “Gravity”.  In every song he performed, his voice as well as his guitar solos sounded flawless.  John’s encore was definitely a special one as he played a beautiful Christmas song in addition to “Gravity”.  All throughout his performances, it was clear that the crowd was overly excited and in a great state of mind.  I’m so happy that Richmond was able to show John some love and I know that the night is one that I’ll never forget.  It was a perfect show and Christmas present in every way, which I am overwhelmingly thankful for.  Making eye contact with John, in addition to Phillip, a few times during the show made it all the more personal and special experience for me.  The only regret that I have from the entire night is not fighting harder to grab one of the few guitar picks that John threw out into the crowd around me- maybe next time I’ll bring in a net.

I hope that I’ll be able to attend some more concerts of John’s (and even Phillip Phillips’) in the future.  Experiences like these are priceless and ones that will always be remembered, so I will always recommend getting tickets to see your favorite artist when they are available.  Also, one more thing…MAYER IS BACK!

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John performing his opening song, “Queen of California”

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 Allie and I, loving life

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John on the piano playing “I Will Be Found”

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 Playing behind his back on an electric guitar solo

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 The crowd lit up the Coliseum in anticipation of an encore

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Playing an encore Christmas song- beautiful set, song, and guitar

DIY Holiday Gift Guide

If you are at all crafty, creative, or simply want to give homemade gifts to your loved ones this holiday, I’ve got the list for you!  I’m lucky enough that I was born with quite the creative streak when it comes to art, so I’ve been able to test out a few of these myself to make sure they are successful and do-able!  Some of these gifts are more difficult than others, so make sure you are prepared to put effort and time into them before you start.  If you do decide to try any of these, I’m sure that you won’t regret it and its recipient will be quite impressed to receive such a personalized and unique gift.  Good Luck!

1. Lemon Body Scrub (very easy)

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2. Chalkboard Wine Glasses (I have some and they are great!)

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3. Painted Vases

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for the painted bear vases click here

4. Painted Mugs

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5. Bath Bombs

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for an all-natural version, click here

6. Personalized Stationary

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I made my own note cards to give to friends as a gift by scanning some of my fashion sketches into my computer and then using the method explained in the above DIY to get then printed on basic notecards:

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7. Anytime-Anywhere Tie Blankets (I’ve made these for a lot of people and they all love them- so soft!)

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 *note: use 2 yards of fabric in each color for an adult sized blanket

Ultimate 2013 Holiday Gift Guide

For some ridiculous reason, it seems like all throughout the year I come up with gift ideas for the special people in my life every day, but when December hits, my list comes up empty.  I must admit, I’ve resorted to the Internet a few too many times to get the gift ideas flowing.  So, to prevent the usual scrambling for Christmas present ideas, this year I started making my lists before Thanksgiving (which I highly recommend).  I’ve compiled all of my lists and ideas into gift guides that have been personalized for parents, siblings, friends, and even boyfriends; so if you are searching for gift ideas like I usually am, check out my ideas below!

For Mom:

Image1. Nest Holiday Grand Candle, $225, get it here!

2. Limited Edition Bobbi Brown “Old Hollywood” Eye Palette, $75, get it here!

3. Barefoot Dreams Robe, $98, get it here!

4. Molly Jane Arrowhead Necklace, $180, get it here!

5. Kiehl’s Body Butter, $38, get it here!

6. Corn Salt & Pepper Shakers, $99, get them here!

For Dad:

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 1. Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones, $269.95, get them here!

2. Animal Golf Club Headcovers, $29, get them here!

3. Jack Black Gift Set, $56, get it here!

4. Grill Alert Meat Thermometer, $69.99, get it here!

5. Mini Keg/Beer Dispenser, $159, get it here!

6. Massage, price depends on location

For Friends and/or Sisters:

Image 1. J. Crew Chunky Necklace, $78, get it here!

2. Man Repeller book, $16.42, get it here!

3. Cool iPhone 5 case, $28, get it here!

4. North Face Etip Gloves, $45, get them here!

5. Kate Spade Corkscrew & Bottle Stopper Set, $50, get it here!

6. J. Crew Phone Wallet, $34.50, get it here!

7. Nars Orgasm Blush, $29, get it here!

8. (Wildcard Pick) A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming book, $8.91, get it here!

For Boyfriend and/or Brothers:

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 1. J. Crew Flannel, $79.50, get it here!

2. Flask, $50, get it here!

3. Mophie iPhone 5 charging case, $79.95, get it here!

4. North Face Men’s Etip gloves, $45, get them here!

5. Swiss Army Classic Knife Set, $35, get it here!

6. Concert/Sports Tickets, $25-100, get them here!

7. Solo Beats Headphones, $199.95, get them here!

8. Timex Watch, $148, get it here!

9. IPA Beer Making Kit, $40, get it here!

Stay tuned for my next gift guide post featuring DIY gift ideas!