Casually Being Impromptu 

Don’t you just love when things happen in your life and you immediately say to yourself, “this is a future post!”? I totally had this moment while having dinner this week!  I thought the title of this post was kind of fun, catchy and pretty random at the same time. All which describes me on the daily!  I wanted to create this simple and impromptu post just to share some ideas on how to be casual and comfy for dinner dates  whether it’s with your girl-friends or with your special someone, husband, whoever.  Being cute while being comfy at the same time is MAJOR KEY for me when choosing a way to pair clothing items.  Once upon a time, I wanted to wear the highest heels and the tightest skirts.  I would be so uncomfortable! But as I have gotten older I only want to be comfy.  Can you agree?

Earlier this week, I was able to link up over dinner with one of my gal pals. She’s a charm and so was dinner at a local restaurant located in Five Points called Publico.  Great location, great interior set up, and awesome food.  It’s not an “upscale” place…I categorize it to be very laid back.  I was aware of where we were meeting for dinner Wednesday evening so I knew that I didn’t have to go for the sexy, sultry look but more of a cute, fun and casual outfit.  Although, I truly believe in the phrase, “there’s no such thing as being overdressed,” this was one of those days where I threw that completely out of the window.  I didn’t really have a process of putting these simple items together but below is sort of what my thought process was for the event:

  • wear a Fall color; nothing too bright
  • polish nails a neutral color that can be shown well in a dim area – – white
  • wear comfortable yet fashionable shoes – – based this on the weather

After considering all of these things, I came up with this outfit:

“Dress how you want to be addressed!”


Romper: Old Navy (no longer in stock)

Boots: Target (no longer in stock)

Denim jacket: Old Navy

Purse: MK Jet set travel tote

So the takeaways from this post are:

  1. When in Columbia go grab a bite to eat at Publico (check out the food blog on IG – TheSouthernBellestonian – to see food deets)
  2. Yes, you can be cute/sexy, comfy, and still work it like there is no tomorrow in an affordable manner
  3. the Iphone 7+ is capable of taking some pretty cool pictures

Hope this helps you in some way now or in the future! Don’t forget to check out my IG too – – thought I’d throw that in there! *wink*

Christmas Cheer

Can you believe that it is Christmas Day?  I am still blown away at how fast this year has gone by!  Most times we only want to talk about what we are thankful for and how grateful we are during the Thanksgiving holiday but I really believe that it should be an every day type of thankfulness.  We just “present it” or “post about it” when it is holiday time.  And the crazy part is….I am guilty of it.  A small take away from this is to share and celebrate life’s small and big blessings year-round and not just during holiday season! Soon you (we) will love celebrating your (our) own & others victories!

 So to all – – my readers, the people that are following, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU reading this right now, MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope that you got all of the items your heart desired but I also pray that you were able to be with your loved ones and share some Christmas Cheer! Here are a few photos from Christmas Eve (day) and  “cozies by the Christmas tree” (night) for you to see!

dress:Express//vest:HM//OTK:Target
 

“Love the giver more the gift!” – Brigham Young

Christmas tree décor provided by my Auntie Beverly and cousins



PJs: Target//Mug: Starbucks
Pajama set =MY ALL TIME FAVORITE for the holiday season

Starbucks mugs and the featured designs are always changing and this one is from last years holiday line. Tons more are available here

The greatest present that you could gift to me is to like this post and/or leave a comment describing your Christmas 2016 experience in a word or several! *wink* 

when in Atlanta…

When in Atlanta for our annual birthday visit, there are three things that are guaranteed while there:

1. Great shopping

2. Immaculate food

3. A yummy cocktail – or a delicious beer

This years trip did not disappoint! Arriving into town on Friday, the weather was outrageously cold but bearable. Definitely needed to wear a hat and scarf to stay warm and fuzzy on the inside so that’s exactly what I did!

Hat: Target//Scarf: Entourage

Dinner ideas were already discussed and hands down the majority vote went to Fox Brothers BBQ! Absolutely THE best collard greens in the city! And let’s not forget the Emergency Drinking beer that’s brewed right there in Atl. If you want citrus and smooth features in your beer this is the one for you! We all had plans on hanging out and exploring downtown but it was too cold and we were just too stuffed from dinner! Twenty seven is showing old age, ha!

Saturday morning began with one of the best breakfast spots I know in the area and that’s Silver Skillet! Life changing! It’s a very southern, not too fancy, hole in the wall restaurant. These are usually the best places with the greatest food…and get this…it’s super affordable! Make your heart happy and visit when in Atl!


Off to Lenox! I heart this mall! You can make all of your fashion and shopping dreams come true here. Atlanta is my modern New York experience! I went there with the intentions to purchase my second Louis Vuitton! This was an experience in itself. I walked in excited and went right over to the young lady and stated what I wanted. She handed me the purse, I did a mirror check, and BOOM! Not one chill. No fireworks! I knew then I didn’t just want to purchase the bag but more so EARN the bag! Self accomplishments and reaching goals that are set for personal growth and satisfaction feel more rewarding than just buying the expensive bag. [Rising Tide Society – – #theRechargeChallenge – – relative to my IG post] So I left and explored the mall. We stayed there for 5 hours! True story. I wore heels and did pretty good to make it from 8 am to approximately 5 pm. [pats self on back] then I pulled the flats out!

Hat: Target//Jeans: Express// Shoes: Old Navy//Vest: Target


For dinner we had Bricktops! This is sort of our  traditional, go to eatery and it is amazing! Great steaks, ribs, and wine! Merlot to be exact. Thankfully this restaurant has multiple locations so if you can’t make it to Ga. look for your closets location and go there…NOW!

Baby back ribs//coleslaw//Mac & Cheese

Sunday morning breakfast was a toss-up! Our options were either Silver Skillet, HomeGrown, or Thumbs Up Diner! And the winner was **drum roll**…


The food was perfect! The service was nice and fast. CASH ONLY eatery! Typically, places with this on the door are always yummy! And this was no different. Super inexpensive and worth a drop in!

Grits//Sausage & Egg Handheld

What’s the perfect way to wrap up a trip to Atlanta? Of course, by getting a manicure/pedicure at Polished and shopping! This is always the conclusion to our trip before we head back home!

Shopping in Macy’s
Photo opportunity in Goodwill
car selfies

 

AKCESS t-shirt courtesy of Key Kreations

 

did someone say 50% off?

As always….thank you Atlanta, Ga. for being so amazing to me, to us, this go around! F.I.L.A! Until next time! XO 

Gift Giving Guide – Under $50

and that’s a wrap folks!

I know that sometimes we all, including myself, get a tad bit stomped on what in the world to gift our friends and family for the holidays without asking or giving hints of there being a purchase of something.  Me, personally, I try to get most if not all gifts on a budgeted scale.  I know that some people try to spend, spend, spend until they have no more funds to make it after the holidays and we definitely want to try to avoid this from ever having to happen! Whether you begin shopping earlier than most or later than others, there are still great gifts out there awaiting your purchase!  So with these things in mind, I created a “Gift Giving Guide for the Holidays” and all of the gifts included are under $50.00!  I figured that this was an acceptable budget if you are looking to gift several people this year.  This may be slightly bias due to some of the items being gifts that I would love so if something here isn’t necessarily “your taste” or preference, no worries!  These are just ideas and visuals for you to get an idea of what gifts to have in mind.

gifts

  1. Gabriella Rocha Elissa Bucket Purse with Wristlet -$36.99
  2. NARS Velvet Lip Glide – $26.00 – -comes in multiple colors too
  3. Orange Plaid Blanket Scarf – $21.89
  4. 10-Pc Breakfast at Tiffany’s Mini Set – $28.95
  5. Starbucks or Target gift cards
  6. Alex and Ani Wire Bangles – $48.00
  7. MAC Lip Conditioner – $16.00
  8. Kate Spade NY Mug – $19.99
  9. Kate Spade NY Gold Dot Medium Agenda – $30.00
  10. Michael Kors Fur & Leather Aviator Keychain – $34.00 [this is now SOLD OUT] and these are the reasons you want to get a head start and shop early!

Tips for Holiday Shopping

  • Keep the recipient in mind when making your purchase – – this is NOT for you
  • Do not spend all of your money to save face – – don’t be that person to spend all of your money on a gift that is out of budget for you; always look for deals ahead of time if you know exactly what item you want to purchase
  • Know the recipients clothing sizes if you are gifting clothes – – that worse thing ever is to get a gift that is the wrong size because now you have to go out to exchange or return the item
  • IF you are gifting someone & they have no idea BE SURE to include a gift receipt just in case they prefer something else
  • Gift cards are excellent gifts BUT never load funds under $10.00 – this is just courteous and says “here have something on me with no worries” versus “you may need to add some cash to your purchase”

I hope that this is helpful and easily guides you to purchasing the best gifts for your loved one(s)!

 

 

 

 

and the WINNER IS…

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Congratulations to ASHLEY BROWN (Diva4U88) on winning my FIRST EVER SOCIAL MEDIA GIVEAWAY!!

I hope that you enjoy your prize and be sure to take photo and post it wearing your new watch!  Tag @AKCESSME so that I can share it also!!

 

For the rest of the world, don’t be discouraged if you weren’t the winner!  I am going to commit to doing GIVEAWAYS often so always keep up and stay tuned and in touch.  There will always be great prizes waiting for you! 🙂

December’s featured prize: 

MICHEAL Michael Kors Slim Runway Bracelet Watch, 42mm
MICHEAL Michael Kors Slim Runway Bracelet Watch, 42mm

 

chapter TWENTY-SEVEN

Throughout my entire life of birthdays and celebrations, this very moment in time absolutely has to be the best one yet. It feels completely different from the rest. I am allowing myself, as well as my readers, the opportunity to be open, honest, and viewed in raw form.

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Lavish Moments Photography

As the book of life has been amazingly and abundantly good to me, I can feel in my spirit that this next chapter entitled “27” will allow so much growth to take place.  I have never felt this type of emotion on my birthday so this is sort of different and I am figuring out the best way to approach it.  I am so grateful and thankful for all of the minor and major hardships and doubts that took place in chapter 26.  You may be asking yourself how or even why would someone be happy that they experienced rough times?  I am so thankful for those times because if I had not experienced them, I wouldn’t be doing, pursuing, nor acting on something that was once just an idea or dream to me.  Pushing the envelope & beating the odds is something that I am willing to  do more so than I ever have in my life.  I want to learn to not live for others but to live for my TRUE self and I am envisioning so many good things to come in life.  James 1:6 tells us, “but when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”  This speaks volumes and mirrors the strength and feeling I envision to take place in this chapter.  I acquire the belief and am refusing to doubt anything.

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In the midst of writing this, I wanted be sure to share with you

TWENTY-SEVEN Things That I Am Thankful For…big and small.

  1. Life
  2. My personal belief in my Higher power
  3. Marriage – my husband
  4. All of my family
  5. My career & the steady income it provides
  6. Wisdom that comes with age
  7. Opportunities to build others up along with times that I have the chance to be built
  8. Dinners prepared
  9. Gamecock football
  10. Atlanta, GA
  11. Obtaining and maintaining great health
  12. The Bible verses that come to my phone daily
  13. Henry’s Carolina Burger
  14. PSL
  15. The Golden Girls
  16. Phil 4:13 & the power it holds
  17. Apple products
  18. Being of sound mind, body, & spirit
  19. Luck Nail Supply
  20. The option of freedom of speech
  21. Life lessons in the midst of mistakes
  22. Kindness from strangers
  23. Arlenis
  24. Challenges
  25. Simple pleasures
  26. my readers, viewers, critics, & subscribers
  27. aKcess

Saturdays in the SEC

I bleed GARNET & BLACK! Everyone involved in my life knows this.  From late August to early December I am a definite no-go in attendance to anything taking place on Gameday at Williams Brice!

[If you aren’t familiar with what Williams Brice is, you’re missing out so here you go, thank me later for the introduction]

I may not catch every single play or know every call from the refs but I am always at the game no matter what! Aside from the University of South Carolina being my alma mater, my husband was blessed with the opportunity to play for Carolina (2008-2010) so these, of course, are enough reasons to understand why Gamecock football is near and dear to my heart.

Every gameday in the CAROLINAS or really any game requires a personal checklist.  Here are a few items i believe to be detrimental when heading to the best tailgates and to cheer on your favorite teams!

Gamday Checklist 

  1. Outfit coordination with school colors
  2. Contributions to the tailgate that you are attending – – YOU NEVER go to a tailgate empty-handed regardless of what the host says
  3. Tickets for entrance into the stadium
  4. Can I take this purse into the stadium – – here is the official link for you to check; purse items needed are your favorite lip balm, shades, compact makeup for retouches, cash money (debit cards are a headache at the stadium)
  5. Carolina Card – – if you are current or alum you can totally still use your Carolina Card for shuttle services at the Coliseum parking area
  6. Don’t forget your YETI – – by far the best cup for any occasion

This should help you prepare for your SATURDAY IN THE SEC.  If this checklist is apart of your planning, you totally will have a great day.

Gameday fit
Gameday fit

On the average gameday, I attempt to look super priss but comfortable. Yes, this is absolutely achievable! Once, I wore brand new booties to the game and my feet were screaming at the end of the day literally carrying over into the work week.  I think so far this season my favorite most comfy-fashionable fit I’ve worn is completely from Express with the exception of the necklace.  It was purchased from Boohoo.  Wearing comfortable shoes is my biggest goal so if you can find a good pair, hold on to them!

 

Here are my top FIVE (5) bootie looks to love for gamedays…

Notched Faux

Almond Toe

Ruched Peep Toe

Block Heel Ankle

 Pointed Toe

Another part of my Saturday in Gamecock country happens to take place in the Lettermen’s Lounge.

Entrance signage to Lettermen's Lounge
Entrance signage to Lettermen’s Lounge

Love that place. It’s so relaxing, cooling/warming (depending on the weather), and always has great food.  This is where all of the lettermen of the University go during halftime to catch up on other games happening that day or just to get a bite to eat.

SELFIES ARE LIFE at Williams Brice. Really all photos are life at this point! I literally take 100 pictures of myself and delete 99 of them. It’s sickening but we are all guilty of it. Finding that right angle and the right lighting is everything.  Bathroom lighting…not so much.

quay
bathroom selfie
Entire outfit: Express
Entire outfit: Express

Very few understand the joy and the adrenaline rush I get when joining in with 80,000+ other people to cheer for our team!  It is the most electric feeling, no doubt.  From sandstorm, to 2001, to chanting

U-S-C, GOOOOOO COCKS ten million times, there is not one thing I would change or any other place I’d rather be!

Williams Brice
Williams Brice

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Non-traditional, Traditional Thanksgiving Vacation 

Wow! This is really the only word to describe my non-traditional, traditional Thanksgiving vacation with my family! Every year for the past 4 years we have taken 7 day cruises through Norwegian (NCL) and Carnival. Absolutely amazing times! And this year was no different for us. This year we were able to take Carnival Sunshine! She was a beaut! I know most people are still pretty hesitant to sail with Carnival since that issue took place with the toilet systems and I can be the first to say…I was one of those people. But to me and the family’s surprise everything was so nice! The rooms were small little match boxes, the bathrooms were renovated and in great condition, & the heating/cooling system was on point – – perfect! But enough about the room…I just needed you to feel as if you were there too.

FYI – – During this time I chose to UNPLUG from social media…well really, my phone all together.  I wanted to take this time to enjoy the moment because life really is a precious thing.  Unplugging allowed me to focus more on the beautiful sites, people, and things that I more than likely would have missed trying to find a wi-fi connection somewhere.  So photos, keeping up with the time, and letting the family and friends back home know that we were okay was my only use!

Day 1 & 2: Arrival was shockingly not hectic at all. Very smooth transition going from South Carolina to Port Canaveral onto the ship. Registration was available online with Carnival so that really helped too. These two days were dedicated to exploring the ship and meeting new people! My favorite find was the candy store! Super cute and colorful…and expensive too! $12 per lb of candy can cause a lot of trouble.


Day 3: First stop…Amber Cove! Gorgeous place with great shops…and cheap bottled water, thank God! The family really isn’t into shore excursions but more so of touring the city and ruins. Learning some of the history of the area. The Dominican Republic was full of sun-kissing weather! If only my name was “Amber” this would be an even cooler photo.

Also, while in Amber Cove, I was able to get my Passport stamped. I always forget to do this when we go out of the country but I finally remembered!

Day 4: Stop number two for the crew was the beautiful St Thomas but unfortunately as soon as my foot hit land it poured down raining! Literally nonstop rain! This was a bummer but the family and I still tried to push through and explore some of the local shops but it just didn’t work out. Thankfully we had visited this area on last years cruise so I totally can look at this as a win-win situation. I got a beautiful picture when we pulled up to dock.


Day 5: Puerto Rico was fun! Definitely had a Cuban/Columbian feel to the city. This was the most Americanized area visited. I saw tons of familiar stores and shops such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Foot Locker, CVS, and they even had a Starbucks. We didn’t do a paid tour here, instead we walked all through the little streets and small shops on our own. The brick roads were intense on my Tory Burch Millers. Tip: those sandals are not for walking long distances AT ALL! The foot traffic was unbelievable so trying to stop and take a photo was pretty much impossible. Luckily I was able to capture this beautiful seahorse in front of the cities most popular living area in town.


Day 6 & 7: Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos) was next on the list. The weather wasn’t so bad but the winds were out of this world! The Captain was unable to dock safely so we were unable to visit this beautiful place! So everyone was refunded their tax fees and port fees and to the casino we went! I had no luck there the entire trip! Bummer.


It’s also tradition to have a family, private party, cocktail hour. We were initially going to have three separate events but Carnival canceled 2/3 on us last minute. Thankfully,  the travel agency that my aunt is a member of, was able to have all rooms compensated with $100 on board credit – this was pretty neat and appreciated. Thanks TPN!


To wrap this up, everything was so super awesome and wonderful for the Coleman/Spearman (and more) 2016 Family vacation. I hope that next year we are able to do a little bit more and maybe even start something twice a year. Here are a few extras from our trip!


This is in Amber Cove! Say cheese! Shades: Quay/Top: Express/Shorts: H&M/Shoes: Target


Photos with my honey dear


St Thomas attire with a twist of Paris! Too bad I was completely soaked after this! Top: H&M/Jeans: Express /Shoes & Purse: Target


This was a Thanksgiving cruise but the decor definitely Christmas oriented throughout. This was our week-long neighbors door.


Here is the main entrance to the cruise! And yes, I totally wrote a letter to Santa and placed it in the mailbox!

Has anyone noticed a difference with self planning vacations and having a travel agent handle it all? I’ve never used a travel agent so please feel free to share some pointers, ideas, pros and cons with me for next years vacation!

Fall Wedding Success…What She Wore

fall-leaves

Fall weddings are such tricky events to prepare for. Especially in South Carolina. Right now, we should be experiencing rather cool weather but instead it’s HOT as *emojis eyes* here! This past November, my husband and I were able to attend such a beautiful, well put together, fall, church wedding. For those of you that don’t know, in most churches in the south there’s a certain “dress code” that you follow regardless of the event that’s being held there. This is why I immediately had no idea where to begin when searching for something to wear. Huge question mark! We received the invite in early September so I was able to get a head start.

When I have events to attend, I consider a couple things when figuring out what in the world to wear. Below are my top two considerations.

 1: Location – I consider where the activity or event takes place. Inside or outside? Cold/hot/neutral temperature environment?

2. Who – who are the people that are going to be in the surroundings? [this is a consideration for me because I personally would not dress the same for my grandparents as I would with my girlfriends]

Once these questions are answered I usually have a clearer vision of what I’m looking for. So I knew the wedding was going to be held at the Brook (a newer church that’s based in Columbia) and I also knew there would be a variety of people in attendance. Ranging from older individuals to young adults. So my mind had gone into motion.

The invites to her bridal shower and wedding all coordinated together with a Falling in Love theme so I automatically envisioned maroon, black, hunter green, and mustard yellow. Here’s a palette I found with a few inspirational fall colors below!

Falling in Love color scheme
I totally went with the berry red, maroon, garnet color pallet as my choice simply because I knew the wedding was set on the day of  my alma-maters  homecoming (Go Gamecocks!) so, just in case I wanted to go and make an appearance,  I wanted to be prepared. After all of the filtering and web surfing I of course went to old faithful…BOOHOO.COM

Here’s what i wore! 


Bag: Express/Shoes: Express/Dress: Boohoo

Another essential must have for my wedding outfit was, of course, my husband.  What he wore edition. He decided that the fall color palette was NOT his style and wanted to go with a mixed pattern option which worked out perfectly.


[Unfortunately none of the photos taken of he and I together came out suitable enough for the public eye].

Here’s a couple pictures from the wedding, just so you can see the wonderful couples color scheme for the day.


Everything was so beautiful which I’ve stated several times and I’m so happy that I was able to pull an affordable and chic outfit for Falling in Love with the NEW Mr and Mrs Walker! Oh, and did I mention that her dress was AHHH-MAZING?

I was unable to get the full details on her gown but I was completely okay with just gazing at its’ beauty!  It wasn’t the traditional white gown but more of the ivory/blush family.  Everything was southern, glitz, glam, & bold!  That’s for sure!

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