Navigate with Style

Charting the style of daily life...with the mouth of a sailor.


58 Hours in Savannah

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I tagged along with my husband on a business trip to Savannah, Georgia last week and had such an amazing time. I explored the beautiful and incredibly charming historic district, spent some quality alone time at the spa (steaming, kneading and buffing every single square inch of my dermis) and enjoyed as many of the indie restos and boutiques as I possibly could. I found so many little treasures and left feeling well rested and totally inspired. Here are just a few of the gems from my trip...

Always my #1 in a new city: Secure a list of must see/do/eat from someone who looks cool. Trust me, it works. This list came from the baristas at The Coffee Fox. 

I'd never pass up a store called The Salt Table. I left with Lavender Salt and Habanero Sugar and more...much, much more.

Just one of the cheese boards we ordered. This one was from Churchill's Pub. They're a fixture on many Savannah menus. HOLLA!

A jumble of pearls at Peddler Jim's Antiques. It takes A LOT of digging to find a real treasure here.

Waiting for our fabulous tex-mex dinner at Foxy Loxy (sister store to The Coffee Fox). How could we not eat there? 

Took a late night jaunt to the sea. No way would we be that close to the ocean and not stick our toes in!

I always pick up as many local publications as possible.

A HELLA fast visit to the Wormsloe Plantation was beautiful and peaceful. So nice to walk around outside without a coat.

Shop SCAD proved to be chock full of treasures from local design students. I think Savannah's booming indie vibe is a direct result of having a great art school in its midst.

FOUND: the ugliest souvenir in Savannah. However, this certainly wasn't the most offensive. I won't be posting a picture of that one.

A bird's eye view of the basement at The Paris Market. This was my favorite store when I visited 7 years ago and it's still my favorite today. Lovely!

Cute, rustic decor at Back in the Day Bakery. We went for breakfast and ended up splitting a Jambon Royal and a cupcake. 

Cupcakes may be "over" but these babies from Back in the Day Bakery were DELICIOUS! Perhaps the best I've ever had (and I've tried my fair share).

I loved everything at Back in the Day Bakery. I just want to live there.

The mead tasting bar at Savannah Bee Company. We had our first (and definitely not our last) taste of honeycomb here, paired with crisp green apple and sharp cheese. Yum! The company makes all manner of honey products as well as a range of haircare and skincare and sells beautiful honeycomb inspired jewelry. 

The nice craft beer selection at The Beer Growler. Fun fact: You can stroll the streets of Savannah while drinking beer, as long as it's in a plastic container.

Holiday Gift Guide, Special Edition| Fort Wayne

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With only two days left to complete your holiday shopping, I've got some fantastic last minute ideas for those who reside in my fair city. Shake a leg, people!

* Subscription to Fort Wayne Monthly -- I hear they have some pretty kickass contributing writers in that gorgeously glossy mag. It's $18 a year and provides readers with all the fantastic things happening around town! Fill out and send in the subscription card or complete the online form and put a bow on the current issue (available at Kroger) for under the tree or in a stocking. Just go ahead and get one for every person on your list... You'll make at least one freelance writer very happy! 

* Opal & Ruby is a tasteful and fun gift shop for babies, kids, men, women and home --- essentially, everyone. Check out the selection of gourmet seasonings, Doodle tablecloths for creative kids, printed canvas wine flasks, chic zip code pillows, affordable sparkly earrings, books, stationery, greeting cards and cool men's grooming products. 

* The Monogram Shoppe always stocks the most current gifts and gadgets and the massive inventory is impressive. Go here for no-fail gifts for the kiddos --- or die-hard IU or Purdue fans, as the store stocks a wide selection of novelty gifts that represent both.

* If you need a gift for a girl of any age, you can find it at Essentials & Frosting. Think eco friendly cosmetics, candles, a vast array of jewelry and gobs of sweaters and denim.

* Symmetry stocks designer clothing and a well curated selection of cool jewels and accessories for the fashionistas (I hate that word but sometimes it's hard to find a good substitute --- someone help me) on your list.

* Bravas' new brick and mortar burger joint sells gift certificates - a slam dunk for all the bros on your list.

* Make a donation in someone's honor to Wunderkammer Company. Right next door to Brava's, this indie gallery churns out hit after hit, supporting the community and the regional scene with innovative events and a fresh, approachable take on the arts.

* A membership to Science Central or the Fort Wayne Museum of Art can be enjoyed all year long. One membership can serve an entire family and they'll think of you every time they visit.

Keep the change, ya filthy animal!

Small Business Saturday

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I'm a big fan of Small Business Saturday! While I do very little Black Friday shopping, I always hit up my favorite local shops on SBS to pump dollars back into the community. I'm proud to say I do this as a regular practice all year long, but I definitely make a special push in December. This holiday season, make a personal pledge (if you haven't already) to buy the majority of your gifts at a locally owned store. From Mom & Pop restaurants to your favorite indie boutiques, you'll be giving twice when you purchase goods, gift cards or services from a local business -- once to the recipient and once to the business owner. 

* Be sure to use #ShopSmall on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to help spread the word!

Black Friday Beauty

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You're either into Black Friday shopping or you aren't. I know not every participant gets punched while trying to scoop this year's must have item but I much prefer to the spend the day after Thanksgiving at home, decorating for the holidays and lounging with my family. That's not to say I don't do a little shopping of my own. I just happen to take advantage of the online version rather than the brick and mortar kind. I'm so thankful e-tailers cater to passive shoppers like me. 

I'm particularly excited about Tarte's Black Friday sale! Tarte is fabulously eco chic with effective and luxurious products that manage to do the trick without the harmful ingredients still used by many beauty brands. Take advantage of today's online sale and stock up on favorites or try something new. If you're looking for a great introduction to the brand, you can't go wrong with their legendary Cheek Stains or uber moisturizing LipSurgence lip crayons.

Back to School

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I'm more than a decade out of college (and I really never want to do homework again) but that doesn't stop me from doing a wee bit of Back to School shopping for myself. I still think of September as the start of a new year (more so than January), and since my boys are just embarking on their education, this fall activity will be on my radar for years to come. Here's how we grown-ups can capture a little of that exciting BTS spirit for ourselves...

* Update tech supplies with a new stylus or cover/case for tablet or phone. Kate Spade always offers colorful and cheeky options.

* New shoes are a BTS staple, but instead of saddles or loafers, my BTS shoes will be ankle booties, kind of like these. I'm an accessories girl at heart - I'd rather have a new bag or shoe than a new piece of clothing, and a new pair of kicks can really pick me up. Paolo Nutini just gets me.

Blush spectacles from Rowley Eyewear

* Fresh eyeglasses (or sunnies for those who wear contact lenses or possess perfect vision) can really update the vibe. Online optical companies like Warby Parker, BonLook and Rowley Eyewear offer super stylish options at smaller prices than traditional outlets. My pink babies from Rowley were a spring purchase but I'm still way into them so they're staying put. 

* One great new outfit can set the tone for all future shopping during the season. My youngest babe is heading to pre-school (gasp!) so I'm going to be a bit more free to refocus on work. My goal is to pick up a few more professional pieces (blazer, blouses and a real pair of pants) and ditch the glorified pj's I've been sporting for the last 17+ months...

* A fresh haircut, a color tweak, perhaps just a new style, can make a huge impact. I'm trying to embrace my natural, curly texture - REALLY trying to resist the urge to book a keratin smoothing treatment. Perhaps I'll just get a few face-framing highlights instead...

What's on your BTS shopping list?

holiday shopping challenge...

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I believe it's terribly important to shop small and local - not just during the holidays but over the entire year. I admit to being an online shopper but only when I can't find the desired item in my city. There are many benefits to shopping small biz --- see for yourself by clicking here.

This year I suggest challenging yourself to shop small and local by using the following ideas for stocking stuffers, gifts and holiday trimmings:

* Patronize local boutiques, holiday markets and pop up shops.

* Shop local farm markets not only for your fruits and veggies but also small batch soaps and baked goods for fab hostess gifts.

* Check etsy for sellers in your area for unique handmade or vintage items which will allow you to take advantage of all the greatness of the site without shipping fees or wait time. Even if what you want on etsy is not in your local area, rest assured you're still supporting an independent seller.

* Buy gift memberships to local CSA's for the gourmand in your life.

* Local restaurant gift cards are always much appreciated gifts, especially when paired with an IOU for babysitting, if appropriate.

* Buy gift certificates for local experiences like winery tastings and tours, independent movie house tickets or a membership to a local museum.

Online Resources (just a few)

* Small Business Saturday is November 24th - check out the website for shops in your zip code and surrounding areas.

* American Design Club is an online shop dedicated to promoting independent artisans and crafters with an inventory of really rad items.

* Indie Collective is a "showcase of independent artists, artisans and designers."

Think big, shop small.