the perfect faux glow for every belle…

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Mid-winter skin can be dry and pale, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it! We’ve raved about this belle-ringer before, but thought you might need a little reminder…’cause it’s the total bomb-diggity!

Available at Nordstrom, Neimans , Saks, and (of course), Chanel…Soleil Tan de Chanel gives us just the right glow to combat the pale-skin doldrums and just the right amount of moisture to keep the flakiness at bay!

Glow, belle, glow!

a&a

drinkin’ on the job…over at the Bourbon Barrel

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from BourbonBarrelBeefandAle.com

Our TALKGreenville cocktailin’ excursion this month took us to the most perfect little neighborhood spot in the Hazelwood area of Haywood County, North Carolina…”the Gateway to the Smokies.  Ashley Owens, owner of Bourbon Barrel Beef & Ale, graciously welcomed us to her delightful establishment with cocktails ready for sippin’ and nibbles ready for nibblin’.  “Blown away” would be a very mild way to describe our experience!

 

photo by Brindley Faile, Haywood County TDA

Bourbon, bourbon, and more bourbon

No surprise here…with bourbon in the name, there’s pretty much a guarantee you’ll find some interesting brown liquor drinks on the menu!  While the fine stuff is so often enjoyed neat, Ashley isn’t afraid to toss a shot of Basil Hayden or Bulleit into a killer cocktail.  In fact, all three of our featured libations have a healthy dose of the brown stuff.  That’s right up our alley!

 

photo by Brindley Faile, Haywood County TDA

The BB Bloody Mary

The first in this trifecta of bourbon concoctions is a real taste thrill…a Bloody Mary made withBasil Hayden! Spiced up a bit with a touch of Absolut pepper vodka and garnished with bacon, pickled okra and olives, this bloody is a belle’s sure cure for a crazy Saturday night…or a good start to any easy Sunday morning. #nobetterbloody

photo by Brindley Faile Haywood County TDA

The Classic Old Fashioned

A classic is never a bad idea, and this one is genius in its simplicity. Bulleit Bourbon is the anchor in this strong, consistent, reliable comfort-in-a-cup.  Need something you can count on? The old-fashioned is your answer.  Just sayin #bourbonistheanswer

photo by Brindley Faile, Haywood County TDA


The Blackberry Bourbon Smash 

If you have a hankerin’ for a beautiful beverage inside and out, the smash is the coveted elixir in this threesome. Knob Creek bourbon is the star of the show here; however, the fresh muddled blackberries, orange zest, sparkling water and a garnish of fresh mint and blackberry certainly earn their spots for best supporting ingredients. #smashitlikebourbon

Though we have gone heavy on the bourbon here, we can safely say that even a non-bourbon drinker will be delighted with the other options available on the cocktail menu.  In fact, Ashley has gone to great lengths to call attention to her other specialties with “Margarita Monday”, “TiniTuesday”, “Wine Down Wednesday” and the ale-focused “Throwdown Thursday”.  Cheers!

photo by Brindley Faile, Haywood County TDA

About those nibbles

All this drinking can get your appetite up, and we were more than delighted to try some of the local fare. Amazing is an understatement- elegantly plated, delightfully portioned and only the freshest ingredients make the dishes worthy of any gourmet’s palate. The fried oysters were heaven and the French onion soup was magnifique. Not to be outdone, the firecracker shrimp and fried green tomatoes were positively scrumptious, and we are still dreaming about the roasted pepper, artichoke and feta dip as we headed back down the mountain!

 

from the Haywood County TDA

We were quite charmed by this little neighborhood as well as the greater Waynesville/Haywood County area!  Nestled in the mountains with the Blue Ridge Parkway weaving through, there is an abundance of mountain-inspired activities to keep the whole family busy.  And at only an hour-and-a-half from downtown Greenville, it’s just a hop and a skip.  Well worth the visit in our opinion! Take a peek at what the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority has in store for you! #haynow

Bourbon Barrel Beef &Ale . 454 Hazelwood Ave . Waynesville, NC . 

828-452-9191 . bourbonbarrelbeefandale.com

 

 

 


 

an impromptu purchase turns into a belle hallelujah!

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While exchanging a pair of slippers for a junior belle (she got these), we happened to notice a super cute pair for ourselves

We are huge followers of the “one for you, one for me” mantra…just sayin!

Here they are…

Via Amazon

And here we are sporting them

So comfortable & cute… and we especially love the heavy duty rubber sole for quick jaunts to mailbox or getting the paper!

So slip into something new belles…we did😜

a&a

what’s ringin’ our belle…round 141

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A really good article on the word ‘nice”

Via Pinterest

Another reason to read books…. brain power

Via Pinterest

Really want to make these champagne margaritas…

Via The Candid Appetite

Really loving this jacket …

Via Urban Outfitters

’til next time, belles…

a&a

belles always nail it…our fave Essie nail colors…

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There are a few tried and true nail colors we always are drawn to and that make us feel happy and elegant.

These are our top picks…

A timeless, neutral pink…Ballet Slippers (said to be Queen Elizabeth’s fave as well!)

Because sometimes we are feelin’ a bit Wicked

Another sweet pink for zee sweet Mademoiselle

So good we are wearing it now…

Stitches…a fabulous coral pink ….

The new neutral – Chinchilly

A beautiful bright pink for the Bachelorette

Flowerista…the perfect pop of color…

When we grow up we want to be professional nail color namers!

In the meantime we will just be happy getting nailed 😉☺️

a&a

fashiona-belle workout wear…

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These are our absolute favorite leggings from Lululemon.

We can’t get enough of the scalloped bottom and we have them in several colors.

Go ahead and get yourself a pair or two!

Via Lululemon

We just bought the grey and adore them!

a&a

what’s ringin’ our belle…round 140

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Filed under good things to know: where the most yuck is on a plane…

Via Pinterest

Some awesome makeup tips….

Via Goop

Why hangovers get worse as we age…

Via Pinterest

Finally a way to fold a fitted sheet ….

Via Pinterest

Longer, thicker lashes and brows

Via Amazon – and, YES, it works!!

Ring-a-ling!

a&a

let’s start the new year off right belles…

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Happy 2019, belles!! We must admit, the holidays were a blur, and now we find ourselves in mid-late January! How does this happen?? We’ve realized it’s time to get serious about settling into 2019. First up…get rid of 2018, 2017, 2016…2006…you get it, right!?

Read this from Life Hack to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Then get busy!

We love this list from HGTV on what you can toss now:

Spare contact lens cases

Broken costume jewelry

Dictionaries

Wrinkled wrapping paper and crushed bows

Latex paint (if it’s more than a year old)

A bread machine

VHS workout tapes

Manuals for appliances and electronics (they’re all available online)

Cookbooks you’ve cracked open once

Random vacuum cleaner attachments

Old remote controls you don’t recognize

Scrunchies that have lost their scrunch

Incomplete decks of playing cards

Bridesmaid dresses (go to operationprom.org for info on how to donate)

Take-out menus (everything’s online!)

Picture frames with broken easel backs

Road maps (hello GPS)

Mixtapes

Unidentifiable keys

Almost empty bottles of bubbles

In-line skates

Contents of goodie bags from kids’ parties

Impossible puzzles no one has ever finished

Free gifts from cosmetic purchases

Orphan mittens

Travel guidebooks

Chargers for old electronics

Wire hangers from the dry cleaner (return them to your cleaners)

Dusty potpourri

Chopsticks and soy sauce packets

Your “fat” clothes

Carpet remnants

Filled coloring books

Stretched-out bras

Scratched nonstick pans

Anything with an antenna

Prescription eyeglasses that are no longer your prescription (go to lionsclubs.org for info on how to donate)

Umbrellas with bent or broken spokes

Allen wrenches from DIY furniture

Checkbook registers

Disposable cameras

Musical instruments no one plays anymore (go to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation for info on how to donate)

Business cards

Smelly towels

Fishbowls

Fancy loose teas you received as a hostess gift

The Yellow Pages

Soccer uniforms the kids have outgrown or no longer need

And this one from Somuchbetterwithage.com

We don’t think there’s anything more gratifying then a good edit…

Go ahead and lighten your load!

a&a

drinkin’ on the job…doing “shottos” at Otto’s

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Photo from Otto-Izakaya.com

We took a little Asian adventure for our TALKGreenville cocktailin’ outing this month – Otto Izakaya on Main Street in Greenville – and we learned a thing or two!  First, we now know what an “izakaya” is.  It’s an informal restaurant/bar-type establishment found all across Asia, so the term totally fits this fun little sushi/Asian-fare place!  Second, we learned a new purpose for pickle juice (more on that later).  And third, we discovered that Katelin, the bar manager, and her trusty sidekick, Aaron, really have this cocktailin’ thing figured out!

sake that knocks your socks off…

Katelin and Aaron love it when people scoot up to the bar and ask about the sake selection – especially when they have it stuck in their head that they don’t even like sake!  Otto Izakaya boasts quite an extensive sake list, and as they say, there is something to suit all tastes.  And stay tuned…sake tasting dinners are in the works, so follow @otto_izakaya2 on Instagram for the skinny on the plans!

 

Photo by Nathan Gray

Lychee Margarita

We have been motivated by the margarita of late, and much like white jeans, it can now be a year-round indulgence!  (so we indulge…and so should you.  Just sayin).  This lychee version hits very high marks with a Souza cucumber chili tequila, Cointreau, lychee syrup, fresh lime and a splash of sour, topped with a salted rim. Strong but not over-powering, this is a great cocktail for any time.


Photo by Nathan Gray

Nail in Hibiki’s Coffin… 

A simple drink can be just the right the answer to a long day and this one made with Hibiki Japanese whiskey, Drambuie, and bitters blooms on the tastebuds and makes the drudgeries of the day disappear. The robust whiskey is softened by the bitters, and the citrus livens it up a bit…making this the ideal drink for the manly man, the girly man, the girly girl or manly girl…so go for it!

Photo by Nathan Gray
Hot Huck Fizz

44° North Huckleberry vodka, Parma pomegranate liqueur, fresh lime juice, jalapeño simple syrup, a splash of cranberry and a floater of sparkling wine create a festive and fancy beverage. Who doesn’t get perked up with some bubbles? This is any easy way to while away the evening and is a guaranteed pleasure to sip.

The Dickle & a Pickle” and its shotto friends

Some clever names like the “Dickle & a Pickle” and the “Tickelback” really caught our attention in the “shotto” section of the menu. (this is when we learned that little lesson about pickle juice)Basically, these two clever creations are shots with a pickle juice chaser…and the result is mind-blowing!  So much so that we took the combination home and have been introducing it to all our nearest and dearest! The Dickle & a Pickle features George Dickel whiskey while the Tickleback features Hornitos Plata tequila…and the sting of both is obliterated by the pickle juice.  Why have we not known this little trick all along??

Photo by Nathan Gray

With a menu featuring the usual sushi-bar faves along with some surprises (hello, Banh Mi Sliders and Izakaya Fries), Otto Izakaya has the fix for just but any craving of the Asian persuasion.  And no worries if the craving hits a little on the late side.  They keep the kitchen hoppin’ until 12:30 am (with full menu) and the doors open until 2! Now that’s what we callaimin’ to please  day and night!  Go now – and later – and later.

Otto Izakaya . 802 S Main Street . Greenville . 864-568-5880

otto-izakaya.com . @otto_izakaya2

 



drinkin’ on the job…with some “boom magic”

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 We are still at the cocktailin’! Here’s our latest contribution to TALKGreenville

There’s a new kid in town…and she brought some boom magic with her! Tacozzini is the new happenin spot in the heart of the Augusta Road area that by all accounts is both awesome and unexpectedowner Amy Rinkowski’s definition of “boom magic”. It’s the perfect spot to duck in after some holiday party-hoppin’ for a relaxing end to a hectic day (or maybe you need a mid-day pick-me-up…a respite from all the shoppin’…just sayin’).  While Amy has had her hands in the restaurant biz for quite a while, this is the first “baby” of her very own…with a menu created in her very imaginative head where tacos and pizza sit side-by-side, and hand-crafted cocktails get their own unique spin. We like where she’s goin with this!

And speaking of those hand-crafted, inventive cocktails, these folks are adamant about a full 2 ounce pour with the spirits and carefullymeasured ingredients to ensure a consistent product every time!  We just love precision in cocktailin’!

 

photo by Nathan Gray

Buchi Hibiscus Tea

All of the handcrafted cocktails here are simply divine. They use only the highest quality ingredients, insuring that you can get a simply-done, tasty beverage without all the fluff that masks any inferior product. With the holidays upon us, it’s vastly important to look out for ourhealth and the Buchi Hibiscus Tea will save you from all the excess of holiday partying. Made with Buchi peach and ginger kombucha (which all by itself is a taste thrill…just sayin’), Tito’s vodka and a hint of hibiscus, this is the perfect answer for all those into health and well-being. You just can’t go wrong with this one!

 

photo by Nathan Gray

The Spinster 

Amy and her husband married in Belize, and on the marriage license he is identified as a bachelor while Amy is documented as spinster (defined as an older woman well past the suitable age for marriage  which by the way is a hoot, as there is nothing old or unsuitable about this firecracker of a gal!) She decided to pay homage to this quite hysterical Belizian memory with this bit of R&R in a glass. Rum Haven coconut rum (which is made with coconut water) is blended with fresh pineapple juice, a hint of bitters and a dash of simple syrup creating the ideal cocktail to melt the stress away.

photo by Nathan Gray

The Mango Habanero Margarita 

We haven’t tasted a margarita this good in a long time…maybe ever! The flavors are subtle – muddled mango, just a hint of habanero, plenty of lime and Lunazul tequila (which is very good –  100% blue agave – but you can get “top shelf” if you prefer). Even those with tender tastebudswill appreciate the nuances of this well-balanced, muy deliciosa cocktail!


photo by Nathan Gray

tacos-n-pizza…a marriage made in foodie heaven

These aren’t the pizzas you get in Italy or the tacos you get in Mexico…trust us!  These are mind-blowin’, foodie versions that kick the old classics out of the water!  With a focus on flavor and freshness, every bite is a feastin’ fiesta (or festa in italiano).  And, just to one-up your basic pizza once again, Amy found the very best cauliflower crust as a nod to her gluten-free guests, but – to her surprise – it’s flying out the door faster than the regular crust.  We are hard-core fans!

photo by Nathan Gray

Open for lunch and dinner every single dayyes, even Sunday and Monday…Amy might get tired of seeing us!  It’s just too easy to belly up to the bar to enjoy our favorite beverage alongside our current obsession, the Greek Street pizza, or perhaps something off the “not-so-secret secret-menu” (you MUST ask!) and call it a day.  

A resident of the neighborhood herself, Amy wanted a casual, kick-back kind of place where locals could gather, visit, watch a game, and grab a bite & a beverage without an ounce of pretense. Mission accomplished!  #boommagic

  

Tacozzini . 1818 Augusta Street, Suite 120 . Greenville . 

864-568-9289 . tacozzini.com