Emory Point Spring

It’s Spring.

Or at least that’s what it felt like this last week in Georgia.

And as the season’s changed and the stores at Emory Point begin to shift their color schemes from darks to pastels, we were invited down to sample some of the new pieces at Fab’rik, American Threads, Francessca’s, Lizard Thicket and Loft.

When Brooke from the Reynolds Group invited me to tag along, I couldn’t say no because I had such a great time at the last event. Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp I decided that since we dipped into the 70’s that week that I was going to bust out my new dress from South Harmony (c/o)! It is the perfect little number with lace cutouts on the side and back. Perfectly classy. Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp After a little bit of window shopping, we were ready to snoop around the stores.

Lizard Thicket was our first stop where bright pastels, overalls and pretty dainty necklaces awaited us to touch, feel and try on! Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Emory Point Spring | Sensibly SharpRandom poll: Is it just me, or are you okay with never wearing overalls again? I left them (and my straight across bangs) back in the 90’s where they shall remain a fond memory.
Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Emory Point Spring | Sensibly SharpLizard Thicket boasts an impressive collection of Capri Blue candles. I love stocking up on these so that I can bring them with me when I travel!

You never truly feel like a grown up until you start bringing your own candles with you.

Emory Point Spring | Sensibly SharpAs we entered our next location, American Threads, we were greeted with beautiful colors and boho prints and one very happy cake stand brimming with Malvi Mallows. Emory Point Spring | Sensibly SharpIf you have yet to try a Malvi Mallow don’t fret. You can order them here. This Atlanta Local company makes fresh mallows in an array of flavors. My favorite flavor is chocolate, I’ve had hibiscus and raspberry as well but neither compare to chocolate. Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp In Fab’rik we found more royal hues for spring: Like rich blues and bright reds. I bought a pretty purple and off white striped tank with ruffles and I can’t wait to wear it once it gets just a tad warmer. Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Our second to last stop of the evening was at Loft, which if you guys don’t know, is one of my favorite stores for professional and casual outings. I love that this company basically embodies what “Business Casual” means to young, stylish women.

I may have picked up a few things. Like this skirt, this sweater, this shirt, this anorak and these sunglasses.. Thankfully with shop and stroll we were offered a little discount to offset my large purchase! Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp As the fluorescent street lights began to take over the natural light waning from the day, we made our way out of the stores and onto the street for one last photo op. Emory Point Spring | Sensibly SharpEmory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp Emory Point Spring | Sensibly Sharp

Dress (c/o) || Sandals (old) similar || Purse || Sunglasses || Necklace

I just love how swingy this dress is from South Harmony (if you call them, you can order online since they don’t have a website yet!). I can’t wait to wear it for both formal and informal events this summer.

A huge thank you to the Reynolds Group who hosted this event for us. Emory Point was so kind to donate small gift cards for us and provide special discounts at the stores we shopped at.

Spring has sprung and if you feel the need to update your wardrobe, be sure to pop over to Emory Point! Then you can refuel by eating at The General Miur right on the corner!

xoxo- Cynthia

 

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The Optimist-ic Outlook

Sometimes a stay-cation is only really special if you treat yourself to a special meal out in you new Lilly Pulitzer dress and your favorite sun hat.

Last week, Andrew and I raced our tail-fins down to Westside to visit a Southeast renown seafood place that has had everyone’s lips buzzing for the last 3 years: The Optimist.

But first we had to get there, and as an ulteriorly motivated girl that I am, I made us park down the street in front of Bacchanalia…

But I’ll fin-ish that later. The Optimist | Sensibly SharpDress || Shoes (old) Similar || Sunhat || Necklace || Sunglasses || PurseThe Optimist | Sensibly Sharp The walk had some gorgeous lighting so we grabbed a quick snap and continued on our half mile walk to which we stumbled upon our destination: The Optimist.
The Optimist | Sensibly SharpUpon entering you’re greeted by a great painted octopus, a bare naked mermaid lamp and a very impressive selection of Oysters and fresh caught fish.

Plus a bearded-gingham-ed oyster shucker who feverishly shucked away for hungry buoys and gils sitting nearby.
The Optimist | Sensibly SharpA look around the exposed beam warehouse and it’s as if you’ve been transported to the fish market in Seattle with it’s vintage Edison lights and large bay windows. The Optimist | Sensibly Sharp The Optimist | Sensibly SharpThe Optimist | Sensibly Sharp

As we arrived early for our reservation, we sat ourselves in front of the impressive collection of liquors. The Optimist | Sensibly SharpHowever being overwhelmed by all the delicious options, I went for the tried and true: Prosecco. The Optimist | Sensibly SharpIf your so inclined to order oysters (and you should as they get first {and best} pick from all the shipments in Atlanta) you get a neat little menu with a pencil to write down the amount you want for each order. We went for 6 of their finest on the menu and were brought out handmade saltines until our half shelled friends made their way to the table.
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And as soon as our oysters made it to the table we were transported to our reserved table: a charming two-seater by a large window.

Perfect lighting if you do ask me.

The Optimist | Sensibly Sharp Hot yeasty rolls smothered in butter and chunky sea-salt found their way in front of us.

As well as possibly the most incredible octopus I’ve had. I’m not squidding you nor pulling your trout-sers.

Delightfully spicy with a yogurt sauce to tame the heat, even my picky eater found this to be a great dish! The Optimist | Sensibly Sharp The Optimist | Sensibly Sharp Andrew went for the classic Fish N’ Chips whereas I had my eye on the swordfish with crawfish butter and seabeans.

They had me at crawfish butter. Or as we say in the South; cray-fish. The Optimist | Sensibly SharpThis dish here prompted my shopping trip that included me buy $50 worth of seafood just in hopes I could recreate something so delicious as this at home.

The Hushpuppies are a must! The Optimist really blurred the lines between dessert and appetizer here to create this one. I would skip the potatoes though, a little too underdone for my likings and there was an odd spice on it that I didn’t particularly care for.

The great thing about the Optimist is that their menu changes regularly (but also ungreat because I see this dish isn’t on their menu anymore) which means they are only serving up the freshest fish they can get their hands on.

After an incredible (and calorie filled) meal we headed back up the road in search of one last indulgent treat..

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The holy-grail of ice cream: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream.

Not only is this ice cream extremely decadent (hello Goat Cheese & Cherry — what dreams are made of), but the fact that you just walked here from dinner instantly negates all calories, so go ahead and get that second scoop my dear! The Optimist | Sensibly Sharp The Optimist | Sensibly SharpI also went for the Milkiest Chocolate in the World underneath the Goat Cheese & Cherry.

Perhaps the worlds greatest combination. I need an ice cream machine so I can make this at home. Or maybe I’ll just have them ship me three cases… The Optimist | Sensibly SharpThe Optimist | Sensibly SharpAfter an exorbitant amount of time loitering under the breezeway near Jeni’s, we finally faced the fact that we had to get going to join reality and consider the possibility that this evening wasn’t just a dream.

Although it dolphin-ately felt like a dream.

xoxo- Cynthia

P.S. if you’re tired of all the fish puns, just let minnow..

OK i’m done! Have a fabulous day!

 

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Georgetown Cupcakes

You’re TLC favorite has landed on 267 E. Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead.

Just around the corner from Shake Shack lies the best belt-tightening cupcakes in town, Georgetown Cupcakes Buckhead location.

I don’t know how these squeezed by my radar when they opened a few weeks ago, but you can be sure as slick that as soon as I heard it was here I wouldn’t let anything stop me from getting in and getting some cupcakes. Since, when I wanted to go to the original Georgetown Cupcakes when I visited DC I couldn’t due to the line being wrapped around the block (and cupcakes aren’t worth the 40 minute wait to me), I was so excited to have a little slice of Georgetown in Atlanta.

Even if there aren’t cobble-stone lined streets, you’ll still get the authenticity with these sweets.

Upon entering the bakery, you’re faced with a beautiful display of colored cakes with pretty fondant swirls and flowers.

Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly SharpA leaning tower of pink bakery boxes loom over you as you order from the girls behind the counter. Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly SharpAnd once you’ve ordered one of everything (and a vanilla and chocolate for your soon-to-be Flower Girl) you get to sit back, relax and enjoy your big girl cupcake: Vanilla Cake Batter of course. Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly SharpI haven’t ever had a cupcake from them before, and to say it’s well worth the hype is so true. Sometimes, hype isn’t just about good marketing but there is truly good products behind it. I will never look at another cupcake again the same.

But as any good blogger knows, if you didn’t photograph the cupcake, did you actually even have it? Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly SharpGeorgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly SharpAnd you could go one step further and get the whole frosting mustache that is so popular right now. Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly SharpGeorgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly Sharp Don’t forget to lick your fingers! Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly Sharp Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly Sharp Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly Sharp Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly Sharp Georgetown Cupcakes | Sensibly Sharp

White Peplum top (old) similar || Coral Chinos (15% off with code ROSE at checkout) || Sandals (old) similar || Cross Body (vintage) similar and similar || Lilly Pulitzer Murfee Scarf || Earrings (sold out) similar 30% off with code spring30 at checkout || Ring (c/o)

These chinos from Boden will be my summer staple. They’re extremely comfortable and if you can wear pink pants to work you can most certainly wear these to work.

Have you had Georgetown Cupcake? What’s your favorite flavor, I’ll be going back a lot this summer and need more flavor recommendations!

xoxo- Cynthia

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White Oak Pastures

We awoke to moo-ing.

Which, although much preferred to cock-a-doodling by roosters, really made me think I was surrounded by dinosaurs because these weren’t your typical moo’s.

Cows pour out from every inch of the ranch, and I love meeting new faces every morning.
White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp On our way out of our cabin to grab some lunch before we had to mosey on over to one of the classes White Oak was hosting, we were stopped by a handsome chap who thought we had nothing better to do than to wait on him to finish his nap in the middle of the road. White Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpSince our road was blocked, I decided it was time to throw myself into the herd and take a picture.
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 Sweater || Vest || Jeans || Hunters || Sunglasses

But as soon as you say “cheese” they all scatter.

They must be utter-ly sensitive to the word.

Which was perfect because we had a mushroom class to attend and we were running late!

White Oak constantly hosts unique workshops where visitors are given lunch and a tour of the farm and then get to get their hands dirty learning how to farm at home. Our particular class was how to grow mushrooms. WHICH is not exactly the easiest thing to do. I love that they engage the communities around them to learn more about sustainable farming and DIY farming tips.

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After drilling a couple dozen holes in a piece of sweet gum log, we had to fill the log with mushroom spores. White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp And then cover it with wax so that no competing mushrooms could get into our baby Shitake mushroom log. White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp

And then in 6-9 months you’ll get mushrooms. I had no idea growing mushrooms on your own was going to take so long, but we’ll see how the log turns out in a couple of months!

Once the class was over we headed back to the cabin to pack up. White Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp

Back down the dirt road and through the pine forest we arrived at our little chateau for the weekend. White Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpTucker and I thoroughly enjoyed this couch. The leather was as soft as a baby’s bum and nice and squishy so you sink into it and could easily take a nap sitting straight up. White Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak Pastures | Sensibly Sharp

Cozy ceiling to floor wood welcomes you with a little sitting area, a bed, separate bath and a kitchenette complete with a little basket of farm fresh eggs and coffee. The thing I loved most about this place: No wifi, no TV and barely any cell service so you truly had to enjoy the farm life. The cabin experience was very much glamping and if you’re interested in a stay (which I highly recommend) you can see their prices here. A perfect weekend retreats for families and or family reunions who want to experience the “rustic” life.

A nice little weekend away on the farm was just what these city-folk needed.

White Oak Pastures | Sensibly SharpTucker however was ready to get back home, he had a show to catch at 9pm afterall! (He’s a fan of the Walking Dead, we can’t blame him).

So we loaded up the car and drove one last time down the dirt road we had become so fond of.

Until next time White Oak Pastures, thank you for inviting us onto your farm.

xoxo- Cynthia

 

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Home, Home on the Range

“Headed down south to the land of the pine..”

Words have never been more true when I was given the opportunity to come down and tour White Oak Pastures, the Grass Fed Beef mecca of the Southeastern United States located in Bluffton Georgia, about 2 hours south of nowhere.

Heading down US- 27 South bound, it would be easy to pass Bluffton if not for the only landmark suggesting you’ve made it to somewhere: the big welcoming pergola with the family’s crest hanging above a wooden sign reading “White Oak Pastures.”

A little back story on White Oak Pastures and why I’m writing about this.

A couple of months ago when the new Avalon Whole Foods opened up, they were there handing out samples of freshly cooked hamburger. Me, loving all things grass fed and local, dove at the opportunity to try it just to see how good it stacked up against what I normally purchase. It’s crazy how different this meat tasted from everything else I’ve eating claiming to be “ground beef”. I immediately ran over to the cowboy (who later I find out is Will Harris III owner and farmer extraordinaire of White Oak Pastures) and proclaimed “This is the best meat I have ever had, what did you guys season it with?!” Because, skeptical me, nothing could be that good on it’s own without a generous helping of butter or some sort of flavor injector. He chuckled and grinned back, “It’s an old family secret but I’ll tell you: salt and pepper.”

My jaw hit the floor, and from that moment on I decided I would never buy any other type of ground beef regardless the cost. How could something so simple taste so good?

I came home, Googled ‘White Oak Pastures‘ and immediately emailed Jenni and Jodi Harris (daughters of Will) asking if I can come take a tour of their facilities. To which they welcomed with me with open arms and put us up in one of their charming cabins for the night.

So here we are, pulling into what I was expecting to be a fun little farm getaway with absolutely zero expectations on what I would encounter, but it turned into so much more.
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Jenni and Jodi, daughters of Will (fourth generation cattleman) welcomed us onto their property and brought us down for some lunch before we started the tour of the farm.

White Oak Pastures has their own Farm-To-Table restaurant right on the premises that brings in a lot of business from outside counties, and us “city-folk” who hear tales of excellent burgers and are willing to make the 3 hour drive for one.

After quickly searching the menu for the biggest burger I could muster, I settled for the Farmer John. A huge grass fed beef burger smothered in cheese, farm raised bacon, micro greens from their own garden and an egg (presumably gathered that morning) and served with three generous slices of potatoes which they affectionately called fries.  Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Andrew went for the BarbeQue burger topped with cheese, bacon sauteed onions and barbeque sauce. To which he gobbled up in a couple of minutes. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp White Oak’s very own mascot, Ox, kept us company, watching to make sure no one else picked up anything that was dropped.

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He’s perhaps the most handsome fella on the farm. And also possibly the largest headed. I’ve never seen a pit bull with a bigger head nor a sweeter disposition. Most pitbulls I meet are sweet but very energetic, but this guy would likely curl up in your lap and sleep on you all day given the opportunity.

With a few pats on the head, our Farm Guide Mr. Will Harris himself, pulled up in a muddied up farm truck and hollered for us to jump in.

As we started manuevering around the farm, he told us how they are aptly trying to be a “zero-waste” facility. A huge solar pane powers the abattoirs and the main house, and all biodegradable left-overs are made into compost which fertilize the pastures. His favorite quote from George Washington Carver, one of his heroes says it best for the principle on which Will operates his ranch: “In Nature there is no waste.”Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp There is no black or white in his pastures: The cows, goats, chickens, geese, guard dogs all operate in a symbiotic relationship that keeps the pastures and animals happy healthy and safe. Will operates his pastures much like that of how nature would the Serengeti Plains.

I asked him how they keep track of their animals to ward off predators, and besides the Great Pyrenees that govern the fowl, they don’t keep tabs on how many fowl are taken due to predators. Predation is a normal part of an ecosystem, and while they try their best to combat pests (like opossum, coyotes) most of the time they just let the system flow as it would in the wild.

Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

These chickens don’t seem too worried about anything as they peck away at the fresh earth when we drive by. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

As we moved past the chickens and the compost, we found ourselves perched on top of vibrant green grass dotted with lambs and their mommas. As White Oak Pastures developed into a more eco-sustainable operation, they decided that they weren’t going to castrate their male animals anymore and just let them breed as necessary. “Humans,” Will explained “Like to try to control everything, but sometimes, nature has to function on it’s own. We only harvest what nature gives us the best of.” Which if you’ve ever tasted their meat, you’ll know that happy animals, produce sweeter and more succulent meat. From what food scientists and meat plant manufacturers are trying to produce on a economic scale, Will and his team are creating better quality products with no force against nature. From the results Will and his team have driven, they are Scientists, but just with a southern accent.

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As we were finishing up the tour around the lamb pasture, Mr. Harris had to tend to some urgent business and took us back to finish the tour with his daughter, Jenni. To which she took us to the egg packaging room.

Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

A tray of dirty eggs (collected that morning) sat waiting in the cool room, ready to be washed. To the left of those stood Goose eggs.

First, I knew geese laid eggs, but I never realized that they had laying geese, much like laying chickens, and that you could eat goose eggs. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

I also didn’t realize how big goose eggs were. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp A goose egg and a large chicken egg side by side for comparison. One Goose egg is roughly 3 large chicken eggs. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

And then sometimes you get irregular sized chicken eggs like this super mini egg also collected.

Next we went into the washing room where we saw the process of detecting cracks and embryo’s, to the egg bath, then to the boxes which in a couple of days from being laid and washed, find their way into your local Whole Foods. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly SharpHome, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

I love that everything here is done by hand. Outside of the fact that they use trucks to cart all the product to and from the fields, it’s completely like pre-industrialized days.Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp When we left the egg area, we had some friends spying on us. With a brush of the hand, they moo-ved along and back to their business.

Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly SharpWhite Oak has a couple of greenhouses that produce herbs, lettuces and all sorts of veggies that get sent out for the CSA they host and that are used in their restaurant.

And right next door to the veggies was an Easter lover’s heaven: a peeping room full of little peepers hatched just a couple of days ago.

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But, as much as I wanted to, these little peep-squeaks weren’t able to be held, but I did manage to take one really good close up.

I also didn’t realize that White Oak Pastures had rabbits.

And before you get all PETA on me, there’s a reason these bunnies are in cages..
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Because they’re pregnant and having babies! And while they’d love for these bunnies to be free range, if the Hares are left in pasture while they’re pregnant, they’ll abandon their babies and the babies will die. But confined, the moms shed their fur and make nesting for the baby bunnies. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp This little guy was born just two days before we had visited.

We just had two more places to visit on our tour before we were left to our own devices: The Grandiose Southern Estate newly built by Will Harris for his family, and to walk around with the nesting fowl. 
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This old Southern Plantation style home was something out of my dreams: Trees lined the driveway to the house, which boasts four columns and beautifully manicured hedges in front. The only thing this house is missing is a southern belle plopped out front waving her fan in her giant antebellum dress. To which I would happily accept the position if they were hiring. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly SharpWhen we made our way to the laying fowl, I was curious to know why these animals don’t run off. If they’re free range how do you keep them on the farm? To which Jenni answered “If you feed and water them, they will stay.”

While walking through the gathering tents in the laying fowl field, you had to be careful not to step on any eggs! The chickens were hilarious. They are so used to people, as soon as you exit the truck, they start crowding you and squaking at you presuming you have food.

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I was trying to think of a chicken pun, but it was just too fowl. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

The cuteness meter about broke when we went into our final stretch of the pasture: where all the kids were. Goat kids that is. Little ‘uns pranced around their moms and the dads strutted out of the forrest to show everyone the boys were back in town. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly SharpAs the tour ended, we were left in our pasture to return to our cabin which we just behind the trees that the goats walked out of.

You get the true Farm-Life experience here as you’re rooming next to cows and goats who very well could end up on your front door step if you forget to close your gate on your cabin!
Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly SharpBut we grabbed our mud boots and let our beast out of the cabin and headed off in search of this pond down the road. 
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Pullover || White shirt || Vest || Hunters || Jeans

I didn’t pack enough cold weather clothes (because it’s South Georgia and I really didn’t think 60 was going to feel like 50) and so I did the best with what I could in terms of layers. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

My country boy nailed the “Sexy Farmer” look though. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

Once we found the lake, the dinner bells rung and we sprinted off down the road because our tummies were grumbling from a hard days walk around the pasture. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp We ran past grazing goats and cows and stumbled upon our restaurant of choice: the White Oak Pastures Pavilion. Which conveniently is the only place to eat within 30 miles. 
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The restaurant opened at 6pm. We were promptly there at 6:01pm and were the first ones at the restaurant. Which was fine with us since our stomachs could barely contain themselves from excitement. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

We started with their seasonal cheese plate with fresh mozzarella, spicy pepper jack and what they affectionately called fromage so I honestly couldn’t tell you what kind of cheese it was.

Oh also, there was pickled beef tongue.. which if you’ve never had tongue before (like me) your stomach says “EW don’t put that in your mouth” but your brain says “don’t be a baby and try something new.” I would definitely eat it again. It was actually really pleasant and very tasty.

But once we were finished, our mains made their way to our table: NY strip for the boy, tender Filet for the lady accompanied by sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp

I’ll be to the first to tell you that I don’t like filet since it’s such a lean cut of meat it typically has NO flavor. But as good as the ground beef is here, I figured I’d give it a go.

And it’s possibly the greatest filet you’ll ever eat. Bursting with flavor, the meat melts in your mouth. However, they gave me a huge cowboy sized portion so I wasn’t able to finish it all because I wanted to save room for dessert. Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly Sharp Home, Home on the Range | Sensibly SharpWhite chocolate bourbon sauced Bread pudding for me, and what Andrew has dubbed The Best Creme Brulee he’s ever eaten appeared in front of us after our plates had been cleared.

I do have to admit, White Oak Pastures has something going for them with that Creme Brulee and their Bread Pudding. I think they may be in the wrong business..

As our bellies were stuffed to the brim and sleep started to hang in our eyelids, we retired to our cabin to listen to the cows moo us to sleep. Until early the next morning when we had a lot of activities planned.

xoxo- Cynthia

I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to the team at White Oak Pastures who not only so graciously let us stay on their property for free, but paid for our meals as well. Even though this trip was essentially free (outside of the $200 we spent on grassfed beef the next day), all opinions and words are my own. 

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Insta-Lately

It might be #snowing today in Georgia but @aerie sent me this new #bikini which makes me anxious to plan for #SpringBreak! #aerieswim

A photo posted by Cynthia Hoyt || Sensibly Sharp (@cynthiateri) on

Working on a fun collaboration with AERIE for the #aeriereal swim campaign. They sent me a cute suit that can be worn a few different ways. Also was planning on going to the beach for a little spring break and packed the essentials. I wear this sunscreen 24/7/365 because I don’t want wrinkles and leathery skin when I’m older. Everyone asks me about this hat and I absolutely adore it! It’s the best beach hat because it’s not too big and easy to pack! If you’re going to the beach you need to have a LL Bean tote. I got this one from my Panhellenic days, our President put together a super cute preppy care package filled with vera bradley stationary and a couple of Panhellenic tees. A trip to the beach wouldn’t be complete without my Jack Rogers! Some seersucker shorts and a pair of Lilly shorts also found their way into my bag! Nothing like some fun pops of color for the beach! I cannot live without this DryBar dry shampoo. It’s the greatest and makes my blowout last a day extra so I bring it with me wherever I travel! 

It’s a #coral pants and #cappuccino kind of day. Coffee is best served with new friends @mugsonmilton with @bohemianandbag. A photo posted by Cynthia Hoyt || Sensibly Sharp (@cynthiateri) on

Pants (use code “ROSE” at checkout for 15% off) color Coral || Watch || Tassel Bracelet || Loren Hope Cuff (on loan from Rocksbox, use code sensiblysharpxoxo at checkout for your first box to be free!)

I went on a little blogger date with a girl I met at yoga who blogs over at Bohemian & Bag to my favorite little coffee joint in Alpharetta, Mugs On Milton.

#Coffee in hand and the open road in front of us. We’re off for the weekend! #travelsharp

A photo posted by Cynthia Hoyt || Sensibly Sharp (@cynthiateri) on

Lavender Sweater || White Undershirt || Jeans || Necklace and Loren Hope Cuff (on loan from RocksBox) || Watch  I wore this outfit on our trip down south. We went on a little mini vacation to White Oak Pastures (post coming soon) and it was so much fun to get a tour of the farm where all the meat we like to eat is raised! Truly, these cows live better than most people and the entire pasture is just brimming with absolutely life and happiness. My favorite part of the trip was the food! But more on that tomorrow..  I definitely recommend this lavender sweater with some sort of undershirt. This white Anthropologie shirt just happened to be the perfect layering piece! I would skip on these jeans though, unless you don’t have long legs then I think they’ll work out for you. That and they stretch out really really bad. I’m rather regretting my decision to purchase these pants.. They are a pretty wash though! 

Save the Dates || Cake Topper 

I am finally getting some wedding stuff in the mail and it’s getting really exciting! The lovely Christen Strang designed these STD’s <– worst abbreviation ever >> for us and had them ready in about two weeks! Now we just need to buy all the postage to mail them out..

#IcedCoffee in the clouds. So glad I can take @bluedonkeycoffee with me wherever I go! #travelsharp

A photo posted by Cynthia Hoyt || Sensibly Sharp (@cynthiateri) on

Blue Donkey Coffee has to be some of the best coffee I’ve had. Everything is Micro-roasted, and the coffee, once chilled, makes the perfect iced coffee. They sent me some of their new Keurig Pods to try out and I’ve been loving have this Piedmont Park staple at my fingertips for the past week! I took it with us when we went to Asheville this past weekend. Asheville was fun but really cold and the Biltmore is crazy expensive to go into, so the whole trip was kind of a bust– outside of hanging with good friends!

PS make sure you drink it out of a fun striped straw, like these Kate Spade ones, it makes the whole experience that much better!

The other day I popped into Phipps to return some shoes I thought I had wanted to wear on my wedding day. While we were there I wanted to go into the Lilly Pulitzer store and try on the dress I had been eyeing.

I highly recommend this dress as it’s the perfect cut and color for spring/summer and maybe even fall! Just order one size up because the hemline is a little short and if you have any sort of curve to your body, it won’t fit right.

Hope you guys like this regular dose of Insta-Reality. Be sure to follow along on Twitter if you want real-time thoughts!

xoxo- Cynthia

PS WordPress deleted the last two pictures and everything that was written about them.. don’t know what happened there!

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Small Town Downtown

Sometimes, Atlanta has pleasant weather.

Othertimes, it’s 80% humidity and no amount of hair products will keep your tresses from turning on you.

Today is one of those days that you just have to accept fate and embrace the natural curl.
Small Town Downtown | Sensibly Sharp

The other day, we met with the Baker who is going to be creating our wedding cake, Kat from Lush Cakery.

Her cakes are excellent. My venue had a styled wedding party where she was the baker and my mom and I couldn’t get over how incredibly delicious these cakes are.

Not only is she a fellow Kennesaw Alum (hootie hoo! <– coolest war battle cry ever) but she also works in Marketing so she’s a very business savvy (and busy) babe.

My fiance, although not the most fond of cake, said he’d come make the trip with me to Marietta Square to meet her for a tasting. Marietta Square is such a charming area with a plethora of amazing restaurants (like the Butcher and the Baker which is one of Alton Brown’s favorite restaurants), cobblestone alleyways, an incredible coffee place (seriously, try their Americano!) and the best Farmer’s Market OTP North West — OTP North East belongs to Alpharetta of course.
Small Town Downtown | Sensibly Sharp

 

Chambray Shirt || White Jeans || Sandals (old) similar || Handbag || Tassel Bracelet || Lore Hope Cuff (on loan from RocksBox use code sensiblysharpxoxo at checkout for your first box free) || Jeweled Bracelet || Necklace || Sunglasses (not online) similar and similar

Since it was 80+ degrees and 80% humidty, I wanted to go for a casual chic look: enter the dark chambray and white jean with open-toed sandals probably should get a tan look. I love chambray, and I hate myself for ever thinking that it looked like Brittany and Justin from 2001. Although you definitely won’t catch me wearing the same shade of jean anytime soon, I don’t think I’ll ever be “high fashion” enough to truly try the Canadian Tuxedo look.

Small Town Downtown | Sensibly Sharp

Small Town Downtown | Sensibly Sharp Small Town Downtown | Sensibly Sharp

Small town #downtown #ootd. Hair reached #lion status today with the humidity at 80%!

A photo posted by Cynthia Hoyt || Sensibly Sharp (@cynthiateri) on

Small Town Downtown | Sensibly Sharp

I recently have joined the ranks to be a RocksBox It Girl and they’ve sent me a couple of boxes of jewels to try out to see how I love it.

And let me tell you, I LOVE it!

I could totally be a broke babe every month because of this cute subscription box. And if it weren’t for the fact that I have a wedding in 219 days then I would definitely be renewing this subscription. If YOU are interested in getting some perfectly curated jewels from top designers like GorJana and Loren Hope you should definitely give it a snoop. While you’re at it, since you’re a loyal fan to this little ol’ blog, you get your first box F-R-E-E with code sensiblysharpxoxo. 

I can’t wait for my next box, and I’m pretty sure the whole point of this company was to make me go broke. I can’t decide if I want to keep this electric purple Loren Hope cuff and this necklace or to return them both in hopes I find something cuter in my next box.

Thoughts?

xoxo- Cynthia

PS I’m really having fun with twitter and tweeting a ton. Sometimes I say funny things, sometimes it’s a little more real time than instagram and then other times I’m letting you know about all the delicious things happening in Atlanta. You should follow me! And follow along on Instagram, because it’s getting a whole lot more colorful now that the 2 inches of Southern Snow is gone!

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Brunch Season

Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

The cold weather has ceased.

The birds have finally come out to hop and sing their merry little hearts out.

With that, 65+ degree days and baby blue skies welcomed us for the first time last weekend.

And you know my rule, right?

When it’s warm out, you need to go brunch.

Specifically someplace you haven’t been before, that’s instagram worthy (not really, but it helps when there’s great lighting) and that has $3 mimosas.

Enter Milton’s Cuisine, located in the heart of downtown Milton just north of Atlanta.

I’ve heard about this restaurant numerous times, and even drove by it occassionally but I have never ventured in. When I heard about $3 mimosas and $3 bloody mary’s I made a reservation and we were set for Brunch on Sunday! Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

A charming green converted farmhouse (that actually dates back to the 1860’s!) welcomes you with big windows and floor to ceiling wood accents on the inside. Brunch Season | Sensibly SharpBrunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

Upon entering, our hostest asked for our reservation (which you can make here and I highly recommend you go before all of Atlanta finds out about these mimosas) and led us to the front room with the red door. Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

After being handed a menu, we quickly ordered coffee (a SUNDAY morning MUST!) and some fried green tomatoes.

Something us Southerners sure can’t get enough of is the creativity from restaurant to restaurant of fried green tomatoes.

Especially when you hear that Miltons puts the goat cheese on the inside of the breading on top of the tomato and then drops them in the frier.

Heaven.

But first, coffee.

Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

After mixing in my fair share of cream and sugar, we relaxed as much as we could until it was 12:30.

If you’re not familiar with how most Southern states operate (outside of Florida, it is the North of the South) you aren’t allowed to purchase alcohol before 12:30 on a Sunday. Which is a major improvement from not being able to have it at all.

So if you plan at Brunching here, make your reservation for 12:30, that way you can walk in and someone can legally hand you a mimosa.
Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

Luckily the lighting in the front room was incredibly brilliant and bright.

The walls are a delightful color of sage green and the whole room glows like a green house.

Our waitress told us that this is the least preferred room in the house because it gets warm just like a green house. But propping the door open, the breeze quickly drifted in cooling the room down and it was as if we were transported to the French Rivera. Instead of watching boats drift by, we watched the Valet park cars and people watch from the comfort of our chairs.

I highly recommend this room, even if just for the privacy so you can take all the pictures of your food that you want.

Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

Because when you get Fried Green Tomatoes that look like this ^ you are, as an obligation to yourself and your memory, supposed to take pictures of everything you eat here. Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

My favorite thing about these tomatoes is that they were slathered with goat cheese so when you cut into them, they exploded with hot creamy goat cheese. Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

Don’t think about trying to come here on some sort of diet. The waitress in the middle of us diving into our warm cheesy tomatoes brought out a basket of fresh biscuits and blueberry muffins with whipped sweet butter.

And generously the chef sent us out a complimentary plate of their sticky bun beignets. You guys know I love beignets, so I instantly fell in love with this chef for aiding in my secret plot to not fit into my wedding dress when I have to pick it up in 60 days. Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

My happy place would be to be rolled up in one of these sticky buns and slowly eat myself out and then drink away all the scrumptious caramel-like sauce drizzled on the outside. Brunch Season | Sensibly SharpBrunch Season | Sensibly SharpBrunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

The “OOOYUMMM that’s so ghuudd!” face.

Any food that makes you make that face must be photographed.

As well as the can’t-help-from-laughing-don’t-want-to-laugh-powdered-sugar-face as seen below. Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

 

Finally, the hour stuck 12:30 and our plates and drinks were brought out to us.

A Mimosa for the lady, and a Bloody Mary for the gent.

Have I mentioned yet that these drinks were only $3 a piece? I don’t know how they do it because they aren’t using bottom of the barrel champagne like most places: “Pass the Andre” said no one, ever. Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

But as you can see, from the food quality, there really isn’t anything to be impressed about.

Kidding of course.

This plate had everything you wanted from a Signature Southern Brunch. Poached eggs, Fried Green Tomatoes, thick cut Bacon, spicy hollandaise, microgreens, a huge serving of cheesy grits and a warm arugula salad.

Brunch Season | Sensibly SharpBrunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

Perfectly cooked yolks and deliciously warm grits. This plate was dive-into-face-first worthy, but this restaurant had cloths napkins, so I went for the civilized approach of fork and knife. Brunch Season | Sensibly SharpBrunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

My true country boy went for the Country plate of Fried Chicken and a homemade country biscuit.

Very good, but if we had to pick a winner of Brunch, I won this hands down.

For those of you who’s appetites reside in the fashion area, you will notice that this outfit has been on repeat from my last post at Osteria Mattone.

Can I argue that the lighting was horrible and you weren’t able to see the gorgeous true color of this skirt so I could convince you to go buy it.

That and it’s extremely comfortable.

And Kate Middleton re-wears outfits, so Princess rules!

Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

  Sweater (hurry it’s on clearance!) similar || Skirt  ||  Necklace and Loren Hope Cuff (on loan from Rocksbox use code sensiblysharpxoxo for your first box free!) || Watch || Shoes  (similar)Brunch Season | Sensibly Sharp

I think you need to get over to Milton’s Cuisine for Brunch faster than two shakes of a lamb’s tale. This seed to table restaurant has a lot going for it. And if you can’t make it for Brunch, perhaps try getting out for one of their Summer Garden Parties! I’m hoping to make it to one this summer and maybe I won’t be the only one there ferverently snapping photos of all my food.

Or maybe I will.

xoxo- Cynthia

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Osteria Mattone

Last Wednesday our dear friends from The Reynolds Group invited us down for a wine tasting at the new Italian hot-spot in Roswell, Osteria Mattone– a sister restaurant by the same masterminds behind Table & Main just across the street.

To be honest, I’m always a little skeptical of anything that claims it’s truly Italian food because I have burned so many times in the past I just have given up on Italian completely.

I can say without a doubt that this place is 1000% authentic, even my old college professor who is from Italy would be proud to eat at this place, and it would possibly save her quite a bit of money from having to fly to go get a real Italian cooked meal.

Luisa and I had the pleasure of joining Brooke and Kelley from The Reynolds Group for a wine tasting in Osteria Mattone‘s personal wine tasting room. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

Possibly the coolest feature of the Romanesque remodeled historic Roswell home is that in the center there is a glass wine cellar that seats up to four comfortably where you can have a personal dinner or wine tasting for $100 (not including food and wine.)

A great way to romance your date by being in a cooled room surrounded by priceless wine and one superb Sommelier, Dan Pernice – brother to Ryan Pernice, co-owner of Osteria Mattone. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

As any good gentleman knows, the way to any woman’s heart is by starting with a glass of bubbles. 
Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

The bottle of Berlucchi Cuvée 61 opened with a effervescent POP and we all raised our glasses to the start of a grand evening. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

A quick cheers and we all dove in. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

I truly enjoy a good bottle of bubbly, Prosecco being my favorite and I would like to go and say that this takes the cake for a mid-cost bubbly drink. I loved that it was sweet but sour, kind of like a green apple, but had undertones of peach and left a little tang on the tongue. If you think of this wine as mixing a fresh summer prosecco with Veuve Cliquot, than you’ll get this exceptional Brut. I will most certainly be seeking out a vendor to buy a crate for summer parties. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

Before we were served our second glass, we had a moment to look around at the extensive collection of wines they serve. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

From Roman regional favorites to Spanish wines who’s lineage date back to the 1300’s, there is something for everyone in this room. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

Soon the Executive Chef, Ted Lahey – Co-owner with Ryan, brought us a few nibbles to snack on before we were poured our next glass. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

A seasonal cheese plate with Prosciutto, Speck, Parmesan and a little slice of pear. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

Then the doors opened again and my second favorite dish we had that night appeared: Suppli al Telefono which was fried risotto balls with house made marinara and stuffed with fresh mozzarella. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

Imagine adult fried cheese sticks, and this is it. There is so much flavor with the mozzarella, homemade marinara and it’s cooked perfectly. Chewy and flavorful.

Two of my favorite things about a dish.
Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

Over all the excitement about food ( I only had yogurt for lunch, I was starving) I almost forgot the whole reason we were there: for Wine.

Luckily Dan didn’t forget and he brought us new glasses and started pouring our second wine: La Batistine, Gavi ’12.
Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

The whole purpose of this wine tasting became clear: they wanted me to buy every wine they had to offer and live paycheck to paycheck but as a happy drunk because the only thing I’d ever want to do is drink this wine.

Possibly my favorite white wine outside of the no-name Sauvignon Blanc I bought in a France convenience store for 4 Eur.

It was an extremely light wine. It was so smooth it was almost as if you were drinking water, but then through every sip you were like “oh there is the wine”.

Is it going to sound cliché but this wine tasted like fresh green grapes but mixed with butter and it left just the slightest bit of tang on your tongue at the end to let you know you did in FACT just drink wine. 
Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly SharpA few more morsels of food came out: The grilled artichokes (must recreate this at home, it was incredible, I could have drank the sauce it was marinaded in), Polpo which was grilled octopus tentacle with roasted potatoes and capers, and finally the piece de resistance the Pizza that could shut down Antico’s given the right publicity.

The Alla Bismark is the pizza to satisfy all cravings for pizza. At $20, you get real Italian pizza dough (straight from across the pond), creamy cheese covered in housemade sausage, pancetta, truffle and topped with a fried egg.

This is the first and definitely not last time I will be eating foods covered in Fried egg. I believe it’s my new favorite food accessory. 
Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end, and between the four of us, this pizza didn’t stand a chance.

Luckily, we had our first bottle of red to move onto. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

The Concilio Conoidi, Trentino Lagrein ’10.

Wow what a name wine. This wine was fruity but a little peppery with just that hint of cigars. It’s the kind of wine that reminds you of a grandfather who occasionally smokes cigars. Inviting but yet always has that sweet hint of cigar tabacco. Not off putting, but you can always smell that smell and be reminded of him.

That’s this wine. Dan, whose passion for wine and the knowledge of the vineyards that those bottles come from, told us how this winery is located at the foothills of the alps which means that the soil is extremely rich and mineraly which is why you will get such memorable flavors in the wine. Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

One of my favorite wines is a Cotes- du- Rhone. I like them because it’s a good ice breaker into the I’m-grown-up-I-should-probably-start-drinking-red-wine phase of your life but it has a little more body than a Pinot Noir. Overall it’s a very fruity and flavorful wine and leaves a smell of good wine in your nose. The coolest thing about this wine, is that the ancestry of the grapes at the vineyard where it’s produced can be traced back to the 12th century!

Talk about a family business! Osteria Mattone | Sensibly SharpAfter Dan poured our last bit of wine, he left us to finish what we could of our glasses and gossip about our lives in the privacy of the chilled wine cellar.

Which left me another second to snoop at all the wines.
Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp Osteria Mattone | Sensibly SharpDo you think they’d notice if one went missing? 
Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

Sweater (hurry it’s on clearance!) similar || Skirt ( YOU NEED THIS FOR SPRING) || Necklace || Loren Hope Cuff (on loan from Rocksbox use code sensiblysharpxoxo for your first box free!) || Watch || Shoes Osteria Mattone | Sensibly Sharp

10:30pm rolled around and we realized we were the last to leave the restaurant. I couldn’t help passing up a chance to grab a picture with our handsome hosts (and brothers! Can you believe it? I’m shocked), and after a few more handshakes and “thank yous” we popped out the door into the cool Spring air, ready for our cabby to take us home.

xoxo- Cynthia

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Made for Monday

Last week, after work cocktails were calling our name.

And food.

Food is always calling my name.

Especially when it’s from Made Kitchen and Cocktails a new Spanish Style Tapas restaurant located in Downtown Alpharetta, a skip away from my office. 
Made for Mondays | Sensibly Sharp

We started with petite fresh house salads with a onion-y vinegrette and radishes. Then moved on to soup.

Which is possibly the worst thing to photograph.

THIS soup however is worth the photograph.

It’s their homemade lentil and chorizo soup.

The first bite I had I thought it was a little salty, but the flavors really develop as you eat more of it! At the end of the bowl, I almost contemplated ordering another, but decided I had two more courses to go so I would wait and take some home for later if I really had to have more.

If there is one thing you come here for, I highly recommend trying the soup! It was excellent and I was completely against lentil soup before this as well. Made for Mondays | Sensibly Sharp

My “main” course was the PEI Musselles in a white wine butter sauce.

Although sauce is too nice of a word for the portion of butter they gave with this, it was more like garlic-y butter soup. And it was delicious. My bowl came out of the kitchen piled high with muscles and homemade croutons. Made for Mondays | Sensibly Sharp

 

A delicious dose of seafood to fill you up but it left just enough room for dessert.

And even if I were full, let’s be real, you can ALWAYS make room for dessert.

I chose the smashed chocolate bar.

I at first had no idea what they meant by “smashed”.

But as the waitress came to our table with a little plate with a bar of chocolate wrapped in parchment paper and a rolling pin, I realized that the smashing was going to happen tableside.

With four hard THUMPS to the chocolate, I unwrapped it to find possibly my new favorite chocolate combo: Semi sweet chocolate, almonds, candied orange peel and salt.

So much flavor, and I’m a huge lover of all things dark chocolate and salt-y.
Made for Mondays | Sensibly Sharp

After chatting about an upcoming collaborating with one of my favorite boutiques (and favorite co-host) we sauntered outside for a little stroll to walk off the butter “sauce” from the mussels. Made for Mondays | Sensibly Sharp

I came straight from work so consider this the professional attire post you have all been waiting for. I love light lavendar, I think you can expect to see a lot of it this spring from designers! Also, this necklace from Loft was a complete impulse buy, but I absolutely adore it and love how it gives a little bit of glam to the professional outfits. 
Made for Mondays | Sensibly Sharp Made for Mondays | Sensibly Sharp

Shirt || Sweater (old) similar and similar || Necklace || Pants || Heels || Purse || Watch

When it comes to work attire I think that everyone should have a pair of patent black heels and a crisp white button down. And when you buy items of clothing for work, I think it should be quality over quantity. I like that this white shirt looks good casually on it’s own or layered as I did here. The MOST important thing about the white button up, is that it cannot in the professional world be made of thin material where you would be able to see through it. Yes you could wear a cami, but save yourself the bulk and just invest in a nice one. I like the button ups from Talbots because they are a little longer than Ralph Laurens button up’s and have a slimmer fit to them. Made for Mondays | Sensibly Sharp Made for Mondays | Sensibly SharpIf you are looking for your next happy hour habit, be sure to check out Made! The whole restaurant is Instagram worthy and did I mention they have a HUGE outdoor patio? Perfect for prosecco in the summertime!

XOXO- Cynthai

 

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