Montreat Street Style

     A few weeks ago my family took a weekend trip to the small, picturesque town of Montreat in North Carolina.  We had an amazing time (find my “Montreat, NC Travel Diary” post here) and I spent Friday in this cute little ensemble that just screams “fall in the mountains” to me.  Today I’m sharing that look and I hope you love it as much as I do!  Enjoy!

     Montreat and its close neighbor, Black Mountain (which we also spent a good portion of our days/meals in), are cuddled up in the middle of North Carolina’s gorgeous Appalachian Mountains.  Just like those stereotypical “mountain people” you might have in mind, practically everyone we saw there was wearing a flannel in one way or another, so I decided I’d try my hand at styling my flannel too.  My navy and white flannel is from J.Crew, and I began the day layering it over a comfy maroon peplum top, but as the temperature rose it ended up tied around my waist (which I have to admit I liked a lot more than I thought I would!).  I recently picked up these fun ripped olive green jeans at Old Navy and I’m obsessed with them (so much so that I actually wore them both days on the trip oops).  I’ve never really had ripped jeans before and I’d been longing for a pair of olive green pants so this pair was the perfect way solution to both desires.  As for shoes, I opted for my Birkenstock sandals because they fit the weather pretty well and were comfortable for a day filled with walking.  I kept my jewelry pretty simple to match the relaxed look of the outfit, but I’m obsessed with this simple gold disc choker I’m wearing from KyzBeadz on Etsy.  It’s so simple and versatile and I know I’ll be getting a ton of use out of it, it’s just so easy to clasp on and dress up an outfit!

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top (similar) // flannel (updated version of mine) // green ripped jeans // sandals // choker // hoop earrings // beaded bracelets (here and here) // MantraBand // cross bracelet (similar) // watch (similar) // rose gold ring // gold stacked rings

Thanks for reading!

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The choker from KyzBeadz as well as the beaded bracelets from Sashka Co. featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!

Montreat, NC Travel Diary

    October 20th was a teacher workday for our school district, so my family decided to take a two-ish hour drive to the small mountain town of Montreat, NC for the weekend.  We visited the quaint town a few times when we still lived in North Carolina, but it’s been a pretty long time and we were so excited to be back!  We had a great time in the mountains and today I’m sharing everything we did, as well as a short video, with y’all!  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  I also linked some of the locations mentioned so you can check them out for yourself if you’re planning trip to Montreat.  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and a Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens.  The background song is “Mess is Mine” by Vance Joy.

Thursday

     We left for Montreat around 5:00 p.m. Thursday evening, and after a two-ish hour drive we arrived.  We stayed in a cabin, so we stopped at a grocery store before settling into the cabin.  For dinner, we picked up a pepperoni pizza at My Father’s Pizza and it was delicious!  We went to bed around 10:00 p.m. after showering, unpacking a few things, and watching a little television.  I shared a room with my younger sister, which was super fun.

Friday

    Friday morning I slept in until around 10:00 a.m.  I woke up to cinnamon rolls for breakfast before going on a short family walk to a nearby park.  The walk over to the park was so pretty, with orange maple leaves covering the ground.  When we returned from the park, we quickly changed then headed into a nearby town, Black Mountain.  While in Black Mountain, we ate at a little Mexican restaurant called Ole’s Guacamoles.  I just had a simple chicken and rice dish, but it was really good!  After lunch, we walked to the cutest little cupcake shop, Hey Hey Cupcake.  I chose the Mount Mitchell Mound, their quadruple chocolate cupcake, and it was amazing.  Once we finished our cupcakes, we walked around the shops in downtown Black Mountain for a couple hours before heading back to Montreat.  We spent a few minutes in the Montreat gift shop picking out tee shirts then spent a few minutes by Lake Susan (I shot an outfit post there, be on the lookout for it sometime soon!) before returning to the cabin.  After a couple hours of rest (I spent this “rest” time doing AP U.S. History homework), we went out to dinner at FRESH Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta.  My sister and I both had the marinara pasta and it was absolutely delicious but neither of us finished it because the portion was so generous.  When we finished dinner, we returned to the cabin to get ready for bed and watch a movie as a family.

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Saturday

     Saturday morning I slept in again until around 9:00 a.m.  I had cereal for breakfast then worked on more homework before going to Lake Susan and riding in a paddleboat with my siblings.  The paddleboat was so fun and Lake Susan is such a beauty!  We went back into Black Mountain for lunch at The Trailhead around noon.  I had the Cumberland Knob sandwich with a side of macaroni and cheese and it was all delicious! After lunch, we walked to the Dripulator Coffeehouse nearby.  There I ordered a vanilla frappuccino and it was like the best vanilla bean frappuccino I’d ever had at Starbucks except better.  We returned to the cabin in Montreat then ordered takeout from Thai Basil for dinner.  After dinner I packed my bag and went to bed because we left early Sunday morning so I could make confirmation at church!

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Thanks for reading!  Be sure to follow me on Instagram @apocketfuloffaith and check out my travel hashtag #farawaywithfaith to see all my future travels in real time.

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Windy Gap Travel Diary 2017

     I spent the weekend of September 22-24 at Windy Gap, a YoungLife camp in Weaverville, NC.  I love few things more than going to YoungLife camp and this year’s fall weekend definitely didn’t disappoint.  Today I’m sharing a little travel diary from one of my favorite weekends of the year!  I’m so excited to share this with you, I skipped writing a Windy Gap travel diary last year (I wrote a travel diary about Windy Gap in 2015 that you can read my here!) but I seriously love talking about time spent at YoungLife camp.  I’m recapping each day with lengthy descriptions and photos plus I actually made a video this year!  I recommend you watch the video in HD by clicking the HD button in the bottom right corner of the video.  Enjoy!

This video was created using iMovie.  All of the clips were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T6 and either an EF-S 18-55mm lens or a Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM lens.  The background song is “The World Is Ours” by Jai Wolf.

Friday

    The bus left around 9:45 p.m., just after halftime of our high school’s homecoming football game.  The bus ride was approximately an hour and a half of screaming the words to throwback songs and talking under blankets.  We got to camp around 11:45 p.m., just in time for the first club!  We sprinted to the club room as soon as we dropped our bags in the cabins.  Even in the rush, I love getting off the bus in the dark at Windy Gap and I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous navy sky of stars behind the silhouettes of the tall trees.

     We came into club a little late but came just in time to watch a hilarious skit, sing a couple songs, and send some kids from our area up to the stage to participate in a few games.  The first night’s talk was about how we can’t fix the mess our sin has created and the speaker was amazing all weekend long.  After club, we went back to the cabin for cabin time.

     During cabin time, we talked about the talk and what we learned/found interesting.  I love cabin time, it’s always one of my favorite things about YoungLife camp.  Cabin time gives you a chance to verbally process what you’re learning about Jesus, yourself, and your relationship with Him while getting to know your friends better.  Once cabin time concluded we all got ready for bed and went to sleep.

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Saturday

     Knowing that breakfast was around 9:00 a.m., I woke up at 8:00 a.m. and quickly got ready for the day.  Once I was prepared for one of my favorite days of the fall, I took my friend Emma, who was experiencing Windy Gap for the first time, on a little walk around camp.  I showed her the gorgeous willow tree (literally my favorite tree on this planet), the Sippin’ Parlor where you can find the best birthday cake milkshakes ever, club room entrances, the dining hall, the camp store, and how to get to the zip-line and swing.  After we finished this little tour, we returned to the cabin to walk down to the dining hall with the rest of our friends and leaders to wait for breakfast.  While anticipating breakfast, we took a few pictures.

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     For breakfast we had delicious pancakes and some really good sausage (I don’t even really like sausage but I love YoungLife camp sausage, I swear it’s way better).  Towards the end of breakfast, a continuation of the skit that we saw Friday night introduced the cabin challenge.  The cabin challenge is a list of activities each cabin completes in an approximately ten minute time period for points in competition with the other cabins.  These activities included rolling down the hill, sliding into the lake fully clothed, making a basket from mid-court, and doing ten pushups.  We didn’t win, but the cabin challenge is always super fun, we’ve done it every year I’ve gone to YoungLife camp!

     After the cabin challenge we had about twenty minutes of free time before club.  Club was pretty much the same as the night before; more skits, more games, and more songs.  The talk was great again, talking about the separation from God that our sin has created. The end of club led into cabin time, where we returned to the cabin and again discussed what we heard.  Cabin time ended with the five minute bell, meaning we had five minutes until lunch.

Lunch included pepperoni and cheese pizza.  The skit continued at the end of the meal and led us into our free time.  Free time was spent packing everything Windy Gap has to offer into a six hour time period.  As soon as lunch was released, I sprinted to the back door of the dining hall with a few of my friends and from there we ran up to the swing.  I love the swing, it puts any other swing imaginable to complete shame.  Once my friend Came and I got off the swing, we changed into bathing suits and zip-lined into the lake.  After the zip-line we went back to the cabin to shower before going to the camp store where I bought a tee and YoungLife blanket (if you don’t have a YoungLife blanket you need to buy one next time you go to camp, they’re made out of the softest sweatshirt material and are very possibly the best thirty dollars you’ll ever spend).  Next we hit the Sippin’ Parlor, where I ordered my annual birthday cake milkshake and it was just as delicious as always.  We enjoyed our milkshakes under the gorgeous oak tree and then took a few pictures on the adorable little island.

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     A couple hours after our little photoshoot, the five minute bell rang and we all ran to the dining hall again.  While we waited a little longer than five minutes we took even more pictures with some of our leaders.  I switched camera lenses in our final minutes of free time before dinner and I just love how these pictures came out!

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     I honestly forgot what we even had for dinner because the memory was overshadowed by the fact that we had the big cookie for dessert.  If you’ve never been to a YoungLife camp this might sound foreign to you, but big cookie is a huge cookie served in a circular pan fresh out of the oven with a ton of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup on top.  It’s so good that no one stops to divide it evenly, everyone just digs in with a spoon.  It’s so much fun and it’s so good.  Once we finished eating the big cookie we met up with our area by the basketball court to get our area tee shirts that we’d be wearing the next day (you’ll see we’re all wearing matching navy tee shirts in the pictures from Sunday and that’s why!) before having a little free time before club.

     The final evening club of YoungLife camp is always my favorite, whether it’s fall weekend or a week at summer camp.  This particular club is used to describe Christ’s death on the cross in immense depth, the kind of depth that makes you wince.  Once the crucifixion is explained, campers are gifted with a fifteen minute period of silence and darkness in camp.  You get to pick a spot, then you just sit and stare at the stars and talk to God.  I love this, I always have.  At this point I’m always reminded of my amazement that the same God that made those stars made me, and even though He blessed me with all of this I still sin and turn my back to Him, yet He still wants me.

Once the fifteen minutes were up, a bell rang and the camp turned the lights back on.  We all walked back to our cabin for the most personal and emotional of the cabin times.  This year’s wasn’t nearly as tear-jerking as some of my past years’ cabin times have been, but it was equally as eye-opening.  When cabin time concluded, we were led back to the club room where some of the leaders from various counties present that weekend were putting on skits.

These were some of the absolute funniest things I have ever seen, my stomach hurt from laughing so much.  At the end of the skits, we had a big camp dance party and were then told that Tim Halperin, our camp musician for the weekend, would be having a little concert in the club room about an hour later.  Tim Halperin was so good (he was actually on American Idol at one point, be sure to check him out on iTunes!), I especially love his song “Hey 17.”  His concert ended the night, so when it was over we walked back to our cabins and got ready for bed.

Sunday

     I woke up at 7:00 a.m. to go on a little walk with one of my YoungLife leaders, Adrian, before her morning leader meeting.  We ended up sitting in rocking chairs in front of the Sippin’ Parlor and reading the Bible.  It was so nice to have some one on one time with Adrian and to just open up the word!  Around 7:45 a.m., Adrian had to go to her meeting so I walked back to the cabin and began to change into my area tee shirt and actually get ready for the day.

     Around 8:30 a.m. our cabin walked down to the dining hall to get some coffee and wait for breakfast.  Our delicious breakfast included biscuits, eggs, grits, and bacon.  When breakfast was over, we went to the club room for “say so’s.”  Say so’s are a little period of time in the club room with some music playing in which campers who have accepted/recommitted to Christ can stand up and say so.  I love getting to clap for and congratulate my friends and all the other campers who are making such a big step!

Once say so’s finished, we went back to the cabin to clean up and pack.  When we finished cleaning and packing we took all of our bags to the bus then returned to the basketball court to hang out with the rest of the people from our area.  We then went to the leader lounge for an area meeting before taking a group picture of everyone from our area in front of the camp store.  Shortly after, the five minute bell rang for lunch.

For lunch we had sandwiches and some really good chocolate chip cookies.  The skit concluded on stage as we ate and once we finished eating we walked up to the buses to leave.  It was such an awesome weekend and I was so sad to see it end!

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If you ever get the chance to go to YoungLife camp you need to go!  You can read about a couple of my other YoungLife camp experiences here and here.  Thanks for reading!

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Blues by the Boats

     As I mentioned in my “Texas Travel Diary; Week 2” post (read it here), I spent my last weekend in Texas at the Rockport beach.  I had an amazing time in Rockport, as I always have since I began going as an infant.  One of my family’s favorite restaurants in Rockport is right next to a beautiful dock, so while we were out at dinner there our first night I shot today’s blog post!

     It’s no secret that off the shoulder pieces have been seriously on trend this year (read my “Trend Tracking” post on off the shoulder pieces here), and I’m loving it!  I picked up this simple navy off the shoulder top on sale at Banana Republic (sadly this one is no longer available but I linked a similar top below!) over winter break and I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to pull it out a few times this summer.  I paired it with my favorite denim button front skirt from Forever 21 and some classic gold Jack Rogers sandals for a simple look that would be easy to accessorize.  I’d been saving this adorable blue bead and shell choker from E Squared for a beach trip and I was so happy to wear it!  I love the extra pop of blue it adds to the look and I think it’s just absolutely adorable.  Be sure to check out E Squared here for more cute jewelry!  Aside from the choker I wore mostly simple white and gold jewelry including my favorite Kendra Scott Danielle earrings, a couple Sashka Co. bracelets, a gold Kate Spade watch, a gold MantraBand, my Giving Key bangle, my silver cross cuff from Stella & Dot, and a thin rose gold ring.  Enjoy!

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top (similar) // skirt // sandals // choker // earrings // beaded bracelets (here and here) // MantraBand // Giving Key bangle // cross bracelet (similar) // watch (similar) // ring

     I pre-wrote this post about a week before Hurricane Harvey hit Rockport, and it just doesn’t feel right to upload this outfit post without mentioning the disaster.  I was so incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to visit Rockport this year just weeks before the small town was hit by the hurricane (see a couple pictures below).  I know that despite reconstruction efforts, the town will never be exactly the way my family remembers it.  My mother has been going to the Rockport beach since she was a child and seeing pictures of the destruction absolutely breaks her heart.  Please pray for Rockport as they begin to rebuild!

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(Source: ABC News)

(Source: The Star

    If you’re interested in aiding Rockport, TX in their restoration process, you can find the town’s GoFundMe page here.  It would mean the world to me if you’d make a donation!  If not, I’d like to reiterate that prayers are also definitely needed.  The citizens of Rockport are some of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and my heart is breaking for them knowing how much they’ve lost due to initial hurricane damage and flooding.

Thanks for reading!

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The choker from E Squared as well as the beaded bracelets from Sashka Co. featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!

A Rainbow Necklace on the Riverwalk

     Given the amount of times I’ve mentioned it, you probably know by now that I took a trip to Texas for a couple weeks at the end of July and beginning of August (read the travel diaries here and here).  I had an amazing time and while I was there I was able to shoot a few outfit posts!  Today I’m sharing a look I wore for a night out on the Riverwalk in San Antonio with my grandmother and sister.  Enjoy!

     Texas is infamous for being super hot, and San Antonio at night is no exception.  In attempt to beat the heat, I knew my outfit would have to include my favorite pair of jean shorts from Old Navy.  These are super soft and I think they’re the perfect color of denim for summer!  I also knew I wanted a simple canvas for some exciting jewelry, so I chose a relaxed grey v-neck tee with a ripped hemline (I actually bought this during my trip to Texas last year, how ironic!).  I was super excited to wear my “Venture Off” necklace set from E Squared, I’d envisioned wearing it on the Riverwalk since I first received it!  I love the bright colors, the gold silhouette of the continents, and the fact that you can wear the necklaces together or separately, so it’s basically a three for one deal!  Be sure to check out E Squared for more beautiful and unique jewelry here.  Since my necklace was so colorful, I opted for some simpler white and gold earrings from Kendra Scott, my everyday gold Kate Spade watch, and a few of my basic bracelets from Sashka Co., Giving Keys, MantraBand, and Stella & Dot.  As for shoes, I wore a brown pair of faux leather lace up sandals from Target.  I carried my wallet, phone, camera, and a few other essentials in my hot pink Longchamp Le Pliage tote that night.

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top // shorts // sandals // purse // necklace set // earrings // blue and gold beaded bracelet (similar) // white and gold beaded bracelet// MantraBand // Giving Key bangle // cross bracelet (similar) // watch (similar) // ring

Thanks for reading!

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The necklace set from E Squared as well as the beaded bracelets from Sashka Co. featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!

Embroidery and a Maroon Skirt at the Marriot

     During my recent trip to Texas (read my travel diaries and watch videos here and here), I stayed two nights in the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa.  This resort was so nice and my cousins and I had an amazing time there enjoying the little waterpark and amazing food!  One night after a nice dinner my cousins and I walked off to the golf course to take some pictures, and they were so sweet to help me shoot an outfit post.  Today I’m so excited to finally share this ensemble with you, I think it’s the perfect combination of this summer’s trends and a pretty, classy look.  Enjoy!

     As I got ready to go out for a nice dinner with my cousins, sister, and grandparents, I decided I wanted to pick out a trendy yet chic outfit that both my grandparents and teenage cousins would find cute and appropriate.  I’ve been seriously loving the embroidery trend recently, so I pulled a simple white top with maroon and light pink floral embroidery across one shoulder out of my suitcase.  Then, I realized my maroon denim button down skirt matched the top’s embroidery perfectly and I thought they might pair together nicely.  My rose quartz Danielle earrings from Kendra Scott matched the light pink in the embroidery really well, so I decided to wear them too.  The rest of my jewelry consisted of simpler pieces including a gold double wrap necklace, white and gold Sashka Co. bracelets, a gold MantraBand, a silver Stella & Dot cross cuff bracelet, a thin rose gold ring, and my Kate Spade watch.  My gold Jack Rogers sandals are my go-to for nice yet informal occasions like this one, so I knew they would be the perfect shoe for the night.

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top // skirt // sandals // necklace (similar, similar style as a choker also linked here!) // earrings // beaded bracelets (here and here) // MantraBand // cross bracelet (similar) // watch (similar) // ring

Thanks for reading!

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     The bracelets from Sashka Co. featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!