Beauty & Essex

WARNING: DO NOT PROCEED IF HUNGRY

My sister’s soon to be sister-in-laws threw an incredible lingerie shower in New York last month and the venue and menu were of the chain.

The event was held in the wine room of Beauty & Essex, part pawn shop – part restaurant, and it was a full house. The menu was predetermined and featured what I imagine was the best of B&E’s regular menu. Course after course blew me away. Here’s how it went:

Course 1: Chocolate Croissants (I started out reserved and only had one.)

Course 2 – Bagels, Lox and fixin’s (Self control went out the window quickly. I had three. It goes downhill from there once you read what else hit the table)

Course 3 – Grilled Cheese with Smoked Bacon on top of Tomato Soup AND Avocado Toast

Course 4 – Baked Eggs & Grits AND Fried Chicken Biscuits with tabasco honey butter AND Double Smoked and Maple Cured Bacon

Course 5 – Doughnut holes with dipping sauces

Bonus – Rice Crispy treats with Crawford’s name on them in the goodie bags

I CLEANED some plates y’all. Zero manners used in he consumption of all foods beyond Course 1. I was an animal among dainty eaters. The cocktails were AMAZING also.
It may have been my first time at Beauty & Essex, but it will not be my last.
DANG.

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An Evening Celebration: William Ivey Long

I’ve had a coupe of pretty stressful weeks, so I did myself a favor and spent a week off from posting so now I’m playing catchup.

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Last weekend I spent Saturday night with a new friend and after a delicious dinner at Halcyon in Uptown, we attended the Blumenthal’s musical tribute for William Ivey Long.

William Ivey Long grew up just south of Charlotte and his work in costume design has earned him 15 Tony Award nominations. This event was a mainly concert put together by William Ivey Long’s friends who also told stories of their their friendship with the designer. High school performing artists backed up the headliners and ultimately paraded across the stage in costumes. It was a lovely tribute to a great man.

Afterwards we attended a reception and listened to a jazz ensemble while we enjoyed deserts and champagne. We chatted with strangers and enjoyed the photo booth before leaving for our next destination.

My friend took me to The Imperial for cocktails and it was amazing. They had live music and an incredible cocktail menu. I ordered the Paloma Stinger and it was fantastic. We snagged seats by the bar where we could watch the band and watch the bartenders make the drinks. It was quite a show! Most of the drinks people were ordering required the use of a torch and an ice ball with peppers or peels inside. It was really fun. We just about closed the place down.

I became hungry again after the bar so before summoning an Uber we stopped in Mellow Mushroom and grabbed a pizza before heading to my friend’s house. It was already a great evening, but the pizza topped it off.

Had I done a better job planning my weekend, I would have visited the Mint Museum’s William Ivey Long exhibit before going to the tribute. Luckily the exhibit is on display until June so I have plenty of time to go see it.

Charlotte has so much to do and see. I’m so glad I’m making the effort to go and enjoy what the Queen City has to offer.

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Holy Crepe!

I love a good pun, but what I love more are the crepes from the Crispy Crepe. This is the latest stop on my list of places to try in Charlotte and it did not disappoint.

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I ordered the Nutella, banana and strawberry crepe and my mom ordered a veggie and egg crepe. They were positively wonderful. The restaurant itself is nothing much to look at, but when the food is this beautiful and delicious, who cares! I really don’t need to write anything more. The pictures speak for themselves.

I will most definitely be going back to this place and certainly within the near future.

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Daily Harvest Week 1

Last Wednesday I received my first batch from Daily Harvest and as I mentioned in a previous post, I had planned to try every item on their menu.

The box was small and light, which surprised me, but it was all there and packed on top of dry ice.

D6874499-0CA7-4B37-ADA4-E24F5FBD53701. Blueberry + Hemp: I was so hoping this would be good. Blueberries seemed safe and sounded nice and I’m sure they would have been if there weren’t so many contaminants that made this smoothie taste like garbage. The drink was a pleasant blue when it came out of the blender, but I looked into the cup after a few minutes and it had turned dark green. So not only did it taste like wet grass clippings, it looked like wet grass clippings too. Needless to say, I will not be ordering this one again.

FBF84F59-7EA2-4297-AB7F-4CECDA32FCC62. Chai + Coconut: I like chai and I like coconut, but I did not like this smoothie. The taste made it tough to swallow but I still made it half way through before switching to eat a hamburger instead. Here’s where things get interesting… I forgot to throw the rest of the smoothie away until a few hours later and when I looked in the cup, it had risen and taken on an oatmeal consistency. It looked like a science project gone wrong. I won’t be ordering this one again either.

2294C1B7-D4B1-461E-B112-06E58179130D3. Chocolate + Blueberry: YUM! Finally a smoothie that doesn’t taste like garbage! Chocolate and Blueberry is a winning combo. It tastes more like a milkshake than a smoothie. After the first two were so disappointing I was actually afraid Daily Harvest would ruin blueberries and chocolate for me, but I’m very relieved that it tastes great. This one is going on my list to get again. Thumbs up.

fullsizeoutput_18b24. Buckwheat + Chimichurri: I think I may like the bowls better than the smoothies. I really liked this bowl. It wasn’t as filling as the smoothies, but it was full of flavor and I liked how easy it was to heat up. This one is definitely going on my list of ones to order again.

fullsizeoutput_18c25. Cacao + Avocado: This one was ok. It looked really weird, but ultimately it tasted like a funky chocolate milkshake. My main issue with this one is that it was not at all filling and was no substitute for any meal. This was a snack at most. I became very weak a few hours after eating it because it just wasn’t substantial enough.

6. Who the heck cares.
Yes, that went down hill quickly. I’m done.
I’ll eat the 6th one eventually, but I can’t stand this s*** anymore.

DON’T TRY DAILY HARVEST.
It tastes like garbage, it looks like garbage and it’s not filling at all. Ah hour after you eat this for breakfast you will be eating Doritos out of a vending machine just trying to make it to lunch. You can’t eat it for lunch because you will be inhaling goldfish just trying to stop hunger pains. I broke down last night and ate 1/2 of a medium Dominos pizza because I was too weak to so anything but lay down. I’m fed up with being hungry and miserable. No more hunger tears, just pizza.

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Lincoln’s Haberdashery

If you live in Charlotte, North Carolina and you aren’t following The Charlotte Agenda, you need to be. They have their finger on the pulse of what’s new and interesting in Charlotte and I’m taking notes.

A couple weekends ago I decided that when I visit my parents in Gastonia, just outside of Charlotte, I’m going to pick a new place in Charlotte and just go. That weekend I went to Moo & Brew with my mom and we enjoyed yummy hand burgers and beer. Our absolute favorite item on their menu was the truffle fries. We were so into what we were eating that I completely forgot to take photos! Now that we have had those fries, there’s no keeping us away from that place so next time I’m there, I’ll post pics.

This weekend we brunched at Lincoln’s Haberdashery.

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This place is pretty trendy and looks like something you would find in Asheville. Even the people who work there look like they blew in from Asheville. I was beginning to think this place was all hype… and then our order came up.

SO. DANG. GOOD.

I ordered Avocado Toast (left – obviously) and my mom ordered Take It To The Bridge (right) and both plates knocked our socks off. The avocado toast was far more substantial than I had expected. It had great flavor and there was a mini arugula salad between the slices that was lightly seasoned and went so well with the toast. Mom’s salmon toast was so good she didn’t even bother to offer me a bite. I didn’t offer her a bite from my plate either. We ate at a communal table and took our time, enjoying our meal. As we were leaving we both said this was somewhere we would definitely go again.

Check out their menu here.

Daily Harvest

I have been ordering from and enjoying Blue Apron for two years now. It really doesn’t feel like it has been that long, but it has. Blue Apron has been an incredible resource for me. I live twenty or more minutes from a decent grocery store and at the end of a long day, I just can’t motivate myself to go grocery shopping let alone be bothered to cook whatever it was that I purchased. I needed my meals planned out and I needed to improve the range of foods that I was eating. Blue Apron took care of all of that for me and still does.

I am a loyal Blue Apron customer, but I’m looking to mix things up and have decided to try Daily Harvest.

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You have probably seen the ads for Daily Harvest in your Facebook and you may know someone already who has tried it. I know one other person who uses it and they like it a lot. I’m really excited about this new service and hope it is filling enough for me to begin flip flopping weeks between Daily Harvest and Blue Apron.

My first order arrived Wednesday and I can’t wait to report back on the flavors I picked and what I think about each. I’m going to try every option they offer over the coming weeks so stay tuned!

Below you will see what I will be trying and when.

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Changing Things Up

As you may have noticed, I changed the name of this blog.

When I started this blog, it was the next chapter in a shopping blog I kept on Blogspot called Armoire of a Reverie. Dumb name…I know. I had a descent following on that site. Elizabeth McKay actually followed me. I was finishing up college and had loads of time and energy to put into mixing and matching things that I was wearing. It didn’t hurt that I had loads and loads of clothes back then.

Fast forward five years: I have moved 3 times and have taken on some pretty difficult jobs. With each move, I left things behind and changed what I was wearing to better fit what I was doing. It became exhausting to keep up the parade of outfits and accessories. It was exhausting to pack and unpack all of that mess every time I moved. I’m tired just thinking about packing all of that mess. (I’m still selling stuff, if you’re interested)
Game over.

When I moved to this blog, I intended to focus on my gift for seeking out sales. I am signed up for just about every newsletter out there and I can almost feel it in my bones when a good sale is about to hit. I published notices about sales and posted show and tell pieces after I had shopped the sales myself. This was tough to keep up.

My shopping habits changed in a pretty noticeable way in the past year. Instead of mopping up at every great sale, I would pick up a few staple pieces. Plain stuff. Boring stuff. Bread and butter stuff. Stuff that doesn’t get readers excited. Basically… I got boring.

Sorry I’m not sorry!

I find myself gravitating towards more plain items now. I love items that can be worn with anything and I LOVE being able to grab something simple and not think too much about it. It is a pretty interesting change from what I was into only a few years ago. Layering necklaces and an abundance of color are just not my deal anymore.

So about the name…
What’s the deal?
What is my deal?
What’s the deal with this blog?

I don’t know.
Won’t you stick around to find out?