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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Langford Market Charlottesville blogger event

Are you familiar with the women's apparel and accessories store called Langford Market? I had heard of them due to the opening of their store at the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Virginia, but had not yet shopped at that location. However, I had only heard great things about the company from friends throughout the deep south, and was so excited to get an email from a long time employee of the company. She told me that she was to be the Store Manager to open the newest location in Charlottesville and three weeks ago that location opened at the Shops at Stonefield!

The photos speak for themselves, but can you believe how beautiful the space is at this store? It was fun to see it gradually come together over the past two months, and it certainly exceeded my expectations. Langford Market is no ordinary clothing chain. Here is how the company describes their brand:
...a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, offering carefully chosen, classically feminine clothing, accessories, furniture, and gifts. It strives to make women feel beautiful and unique...
Beautiful and unique is such a lovely sentiment... I know there is something for every woman in this store - every shape and every style you can think of. I had never been in such a vibrant store in this area for the price point ($40-150) they offer. They have truly raised the bar on shopping experiences in the Charlottesville area. The high ceilings, fun decor, upbeat music, flavored water (yesterday it was cantaloupe, so refreshing on a 90+ degree day), and roomy dressing rooms made it a great afternoon. I picked up three summer dresses of different lengths and styles, and a belt, during their Buy 2 Get 2 Free sale - perfect timing as I head to the beach in a couple weeks.

The new Charlottesville store would love to see you! Leslie Berry of The Chic Burrow and I are hosting a blogger event this Thursday, May 29, 2014 from 5 until 9pm. The Flat Takeaway Crêperie will be making an appearance by parking out front so bring some cash to grab some dinner before or after you browse the store.

Cannot make it to the event? That's fine! Allie and her team would love to see you anytime it works for you. The store hours are: Mon - Sat 10 - 9, Sun 12 - 6. They have a ton of stock and get in multiple shipments each week, so you're going to always see something new.

Hope to meet you (or catch up) on Thursday,


Monday, May 5, 2014

A new work handbag from the Coach outlet

You may remember that last year I did two posts regarding Coach and their bags - more specifically in the style of unisex or mens accessories such as a commuter bag or briefcase. One was a Billy Reid collaboration, here. The second was regarding the menswear or menswear-inspired options from the Coach Legacy collection, here.

Well, three weeks ago I went ahead and bit the bullet. I purchased this gorgeous black calfskin leather menswear briefcase from Coach. I believe it is called the Lexington leather metropolitan tote. There are vintage ones with a flap, mine is the five-section version with three zippered top pockets (one which is an outside pocket) as well as two large pockets with magnetic closure. It is perfect for a laptop, iPad, legal-sized note pads, legal files and the like.

It really looks like a legal-sized briefcase with a removable shoulder strap. I am absolutely delighted. The Bleeker commuter is currently available from Coach directly and it is similar in style.

{photo source, remaining photos my own}

The Lexington was displayed and available in a chestnut color with brass trim, but I felt as though the black gives it a bit more polish, looks more luxe and appropriately formal for a work bag. I think when I get a chestnut bag I will go for a satchel silhouette.

The bag was in the menswear section of the Coach outlet in Williamsburg. I know, outlet shopping. When entering the store, I noticed that the women's accessories were only available in that weird brushed fabric - maybe it is coated leather - and that isn't what I am looking for. (Unless it is a solid color, and then it is just not in my personal taste). Not one single bag in that women's section was calfskin, so I am going to assume that Coach store was just an exclusive factory outlet with zero discounted regular store handbags in stock.

When I went into the men's section it was completely different. Every bag was calfskin. It was like walking into a leather goods store, which is what I had intended on finding in the women's section. Regardless, I zeroed in on my bag. Interestingly, the Lex tote is factory-exclusive, as there is an F in the style number for the bag. So I cannot really figure out the quality difference, but it was quite telling.

Benefit of outlet shopping is the deal I got for the bag:
Original MSRP: $598.00
Priced at: $459.00
The store was having a 30% off promotion: $321.30
I had an extra 20% off promotion: $257.04

In terms of price point, this purchase made me quite happy.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Queso blanco for Cinco de Mayo

Sorry my iPhone pic is so bad - but this queso blanco did not last very long once it was prepared!

The other night I was craving queso blanco. I always order a queso blanco when at a Mexican restaurant, particularly when the restaurant gives you the chips and dip when you sit down. Out of all the things I eat when dining out, this little appetizer is one of my favorites!

Honestly, I was PMS-ing so bad I did not care about anything until I knew I could have this dip for my dinner. Yes, just chips and this damn dip. I went online and found this queso blanco dip recipe by Seeded at the Table. The below is my adaptation of that recipe.

  • 1 lb bag of pre-shredded white American cheese, or shred (or cube) a block of cheese yourself (up to 1.5 lbs will work with this recipe)
  • 1/4 cup diced green chiles
  • 1/4 cup of jalapeños - fresh or canned/jarred, diced
  • 2 teaspoons of chipotle Tabasco sauce (different from classic Tabasco)
  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • pinches of cumin, chili powder, etc. optional to taste

Find a nonstick saucepan and place the cheese, chiles, jalapeños, and Tabasco into it. Turn the heat on low, and whisk until cheese has melted and all have combined. Slowly incorporate the milk in stages, whisking to ensure the consistency you prefer. You may not need to use the whole cup serving of milk, so really eyeball that on the whisk or get out a chip and see how it "sticks" to the chip. Taste the sauce. If it is too hot, add more cheese. If it isn't spicy enough, consider adding chili powder instead of Tabasco to keep the texture more accurate. Cumin is a nice aromatic spice that is pretty traditional in Mexican dishes, so you might find it is that 'something missing' that you recollect from your favorite restaurant's queso blanco.

Hope y'all find this queso to be exactly what you were looking for. Espero que te guste!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday's Fancies: May 2014

April showers bring May flowers,
That is what they say.
But if all the showers turned to flowers,
We'd have quite a colourful day!

There'd be bluebells and cockleshells,
Tulips red and green,
Daffodils and Chinese squill,
The brightest you've ever seen.

You'd see tiger lilies and water lilies,
Carnations pink and blue,
Forget-me-not and small sundrop
Glistening with the dew.

We'd have fireweed and milkweed
And many more different flowers.
Mexican star and shooting star,
Falling in the showers.

And if all the showers turned to flowers
On that rainy April day,
Would all the flowers turn to showers
In the sunny month of May?

attributed to Karen Chappell

Are you as happy for May as I am? April 30 ended the month with 3.5" of rain at our house, following several days straight of rain - not as bad as places like panhandle Florida or Chicago, but long enough to make the front yard sound like Rice Krispies! The total for the week has been about 5.5" - too much for such a short period of time. I am dreaming up luxe floral skirts for this month's Friday's Fancies since May flowers are the theme - sometimes you just want to add a beautiful skirt that can be worn to work or on date night. I read a quote from Rachel Zoe at some point this Spring saying that a white moto jacket was one of her biggest go-to items for Spring 2014, so I decided to let the skirts be the focus and just add some subtle edge with the moto jacket and those fierce earrings (top left corner).

Friday's Fancies: May 2014

Are you in love with all of the various florals being offered in stores this season?