Puppets and Fun: The Ghastly Dreadfuls–The Last Ghast

A belle had a ball of a weekend partaking in the arts. Since moving to Atlanta, the sis and I are never at a loss for what to do. Since Halloween is coming up, we were invited to see The Ghastly Dreadfuls–The Last Ghast at the Center for Puppetry Arts. For the past 6 years, this ATL Halloween tradition has been in full swing, but this is its last year! Yes, this fab show we’re getting ready to tell you about is saying ‘bye-bye’. You only have a few more days left to see it.

The Ghastly Dreadfuls (TGD) is geared towards adults 16+ and includes actors, live instruments and puppets! The show started with TGD encouraging the audience to sing Le Petit Vampyr along with them. This story was about the weird life of a petite vampire. Each segment within the acts dealt with death. Some were quite funny, while others were very sentimental.

The sis and I greatly enjoyed The 11:59, which was about a porter being called for his last train ride. This story was not only funny, but very beautiful. We are NOT lying when we say you have to make your way here to check out these performances!

During “The 11:59” there were two puppeteers maneuvering one puppet at times.

I would have never imagined we would have so much fun watching puppets. It is so interesting to see the puppeteers in action and experience the art. It’s something you have to see to really appreciate. The sis and I were in awe watching the puppeteers as they did everything from intricate arm movements to making the puppets dance and more.

The Ghastly Dreadfuls did a fantastic job incorporating great stories and comedy. The sis and I loved “Tain’t No Sin To Take Off Your Skin & Dance Around In Your Bones,” which had none other than a skeleton dancing. We won’t spoil it for you, but this show is truly magical and you may see a giant skeleton come out to dance with you! Everything was fab!

Who wouldn’t want to see a Halloween show that includes singing, music, dancing, acting, and a whole lot of fun?! Imagine watching a dreadful singing about love potion number 9 or “The Hoo-doo Man.” Hilarity indeed! It was surreal watching 3-4 puppets on a stage and how a story was told.

The Ghastly Dreadfuls–The Last Ghast runs until October 27th and will feature a special Halloween costume contest (with prizes) during this final performance. What does this mean for you? Dress to knock ’em dead!

You can find ticket info here, but tickets are $15 for members and $25 for nonmembers.

Disclosure: We attended a media preview. Our opinions are a belle’s own & all photos courtesy of Center for Puppetry Arts

The sis and I were sad to hear about one of the actor’s father passing, but are keeping the family in our prayers.

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Home Decor on a Budget

Let me a tell you a story not long ago, a belle liked to save money and pat her ‘fro!

Did you like my little rap? Well, friends the foliage is here, the leaves are falling and we’re gearing up to be fashionably frugal in the fall. Sans the alliteration, I hope you get my drift.

In addition to having our fall/winter fashion game on point, the sis and I like to redecorate our home for the season. When we say redecorate, we’re not looking at color palettes y’all (been there done that AND have the uneven paint on the wall to prove it).

Found these thrifting. We paid $17 for the pair, and spray painted them. They were pretty beat up, but we brought them to life!

We love for our rooms to reflect our individual personalities. Tamika and I enjoy looking for bedding like the little old/young ladies we are, and finding looks that suit our tastes. During some shopping last season, we found some great comforter sets on sale at Macy’s. Without much adieu, here’s how I decorated mine:

This comforter set retailed for over $200, but I got it on sale for much less than that…I think around $70. To jazz it up, I added these brown/turquoise pillows that I found for $8 at the Junior League of Birmingham’s Bargain Carousel. Who says home decor can’t be high style without spending a lot of money?

Here are a few tips to get your home in high style:

  • Buy nice comforters that can transition well throughout the year. This comforter is perfect for year-round and adds a bright look for the fall.
  • Invest in high quality sheets, preferably Egyptian cotton. A high thread count is great, but it’s really the cotton that matters.
  • Shop the thrift stores and yard sales. You’d be amazed at what you’ll find for less.
  • Sign up for text alerts and google coupons for some of your favorite stores. We like finding home items at Macy’s, Haverty’s, and of course a good thrift store.

Do you have any home decor tips you’d like to share? Until we upload our newest vid, check out our Fox6 segment here!

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Shop ’til You Drop: Atlanta Consignment Bus Tour

The weekend flew

by, but we hope y’all had a great one. A belle had an awesome weekend shopping at some of the consignment stores around Atlanta. We were invited to attend the Atlanta Consignment Bus Tour, and had a grand ole time! You didn’t know there was a such thing as shopping bus tours? Neither did we, but we are so glad we know now–and you will too after this post!

Never been & want to know what to expect? Tips below!!!!

The mom is still in town, so she decided to tag along with the shopping addicts. The tour was hosted by Melissa Baxter, the owner of Back by Popular Demand, a local consignment store boasting 3 locations. Melissa is the hostess with the most, and her personality is unbelievable.

We learned that there are 116 consignment stores in Atlanta. Our tour only hit 5 stores…yep, you read right. Okay, so I know you’re excited to see how we spent the day. Come on and jump on the huge Mercedes chartered bus with us. Shoppers unite!

Here’s where we went, what we did, and what we thought (and bought) as we sipped on mimosas and tasty snacks:

Back by Popular Demand (Marietta): The sis and I loved this shop! From its funky pink exterior (and interior), to the layout, this store is on point! Tamika and I were impressed at the organization and didn’t feel as if we had to hunt to find great items.

 

Items for ANY belle!

Everything is clearly labeled (small tops, large tops, XL tops, etc.). Another bonus is that BBPD has a VERY NICE plus-size section, so curvy girls–you will not feel left out! Melissa says that her location in Lilburn, GA has an even bigger plus-size section (the entire store is for us curvy divas). The store also has a massive amount of jewelry. Once you find the perfect outfit, you can accessorize it beautifully. The sis bought a fierce red coat and more!

the Couture Consigner: This store is a smaller shop. If you’re into designer bags, you won’t find a huge selection at this store, although we saw a few. If you’re into faux bags, you’ll find those here (and they’re clearly labeled). The owner is so jazzy it’s ridiculous! Her style is incredible, and she is so sweet!

I found a cute skirt for $5 and saw a cute pair of leopard heels, but they were too rich for my blood. Tamika scored a gorgeous designer bag, and the mom bought a cute top.

We had a break between these stores and ate a yummy lunch courtesy of The Brickery Grill & Bar. The sis, mom and I ate chicken salad sandwiches and pasta salad. We enjoyed the food and the pasta salad was super yummy! Tamika and I aren’t fans of pasta salad, but we sure loved The Brickery’s.

Another reason to SHOP!!

Alexis’ Suitcase (John’s Creek): I love this store down to their pink hangers…literally! I found the cutest dress here, a necklace, along with some other items you’ll see in a later post. The store has a great selection of designer bags and shoes. Their jewelry is always on point and so are their sales.

I LOVE that their store always has colored tags that often have a discount attached to them. Unlike other stores, shoppers were able to take an additional 20% off the sale prices. So, if something was already 50% off, one received an additional 20% off. Y’all know I was in heaven! The best part is that the store offers a shoppers card and rewards you for being a frequent shopper. Need I say more? Score!

Shelly’s Clothesline: Initially, I thought this store catered more to older women. However, my mom proved me wrong. She found me the cutest lounging outfit, which is hip enough for my blood! Tamika found a lovely pashmina scarf, which cost under $10.

This store has a good selection of jewelry; we found some cute earrings under $6! I didn’t see many shoes, but it was because they’re in the process of moving. Shelly’s also gives store bucks when you make a purchase. Woot! When they open at the new location we’ll check them out.

Closet Exchange: I told Tamika this store is the ‘grown woman store.’ I was impressed with the professional wear and the quality of the clothing they have. If you’re looking for a business suit, this is your place!

Their prices are belle approved as well. I scored a Kasper suit for under $25!! The mom found a beautiful winter coat for a steal (less than $32)!

Encore Boutique: As you’ve probably noticed, each store has a different flavor. EB is catered more towards older women, but don’t let that discourage you. Expect to see high end designers like Chanel (with the tags on), Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, etc. I found a chic wool coat here that was catered to a belle perfectly!

The owner is super sweet, which is always a plus in our book. Each shopper received a free gift, which turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL wooden bracelet. We were allowed to pick out the style we wanted. Thanks mom for gifting me yours!

The tour began and ended at Alexis’ Boutique (Sandy Springs), so I’d be remiss not to review this location as well. I love the 50% off sale racks and the great prices they have on boutique clothing. I scored a cute pair of jeans, along with a few items you’ll see later.

This store has that IT factor and the staff is always friendly! Their designer purse game is on point and you will not find fakes here as they authenticate them. I can go on and on about their prices, but y’all know how I am already…

I know you’re wondering about the deets right? The bus tour is from 10:00-5:30 p.m. and costs $39.99 per person. If you’re scoffing at the price, please don’t. A frugal loving belle approves! You get to ride in air conditioned luxury, don’t have to worry about driving, are fed, and meet some great people.

You also get a cute reusable shopping tote. And guess what else? You receive 20% off regular priced inventory!!! Sweet! And speaking of sweets, each shop owner provides little goodies on each stop of your tour. I ate too many cupcakes, which means I’ll be doing overtime at the gym.

After all that walking and shopping, my tootsies still felt fine!

A few tips:

  • Wear comfy shoes/clothes
  • Bring cash & credit (many stores don’t accept checks)
  • Bring a friend (one that likes to shop ;-))
  • Adhere to the time you’re allotted at each store, or else the other shoppers will wave you a goodbye as they drive off.
  • Have fun and SHOP!
We attended the last bus tour of the season, but keep checking back to see when the next one is. If we find out before you do, we’ll be sure to spread the word! A belle sure hopes to attend another bus tour in the spring. Have you done a bus shopping tour yet?


Disclosure: We received tickets to this tour. Our opinions are a belle’s own.

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Style Tips with Stacy London

Our books are signed in our FAVE color! Winning!

*squeals* Last night your fave belles attended another UBER FAB lecture at the Atlanta History Center. With a trying week that has been like a roller coaster ride, Shermika and I looked forward to this night of fun and fashion like nobody’s business. TLC’s “What Not to Wear” fashion guru, Stacy London, came to offer tips, answer questions, sign books, and to uplift those who love style and are learning to love style.

“Style helps you feel better… even when you’re sick. It uplifts your spirits.”–Stacy London

The evening started with a reception where there was plenty of wine, soda, and water to sip, and tasty food to nibble on. While waiting for the lecture, we conversed with our stylish and sweet friends Brandi and LaToya and even met Brandi’s not-twins-but-look-like-twins-sister Brittney (true Southern belles y’all!)!

The room was packed, the people were fashionable, and we were all excited to hear what Ms. London would share. She was funny, informative and oh so stylish. London begin by talking about a skin condition as a child, and how she too, like many of us, had issues with her physical appearance–including her fluctuating weight.

“The best accessory is a Southern accent!”– Stacy London

I cannot wait to read her fab new book. Make sure you pick it up! Don’t worry, I plan on reading it this weekend and will most def share it with you very soon. If you read it, let us know how you liked it!

Wondering what Stacy wore? Well, friends, she had on a dark knee-length dress with pink deers on it (yes, you read right!!) and red pointy heels. She was too cute for words and was so much fun to listen to.

One of London’s tips were: A stylist is there to assist/enhance, not to tell you what to wear without your input. Keep this in mind when getting friends/family to help you with your wardrobe. A belle can’t afford a stylist, but for those of you who can, acknowledge the tip!

Stacy London’s Tips: 

1. Focus on what you can change and not on what you can’t change. She talked about wanting wider eyes, but since she doesn’t have them, she makes them look hot with her makeup!

2. When following trends, keep it basic. Categorize the fashion i.e. textures, colors, prints, etc.

3 . Make a shopping list for clothes like you do for the grocery store. You can get an item once a month, or shop for specialty pieces (little black dress, formal gowns) ahead of time. This will save you a lot of time.

4. Don’t follow fashion rules, make your own.

5. Spend money on quality clothing that is always classic.

6. Invest in a tailor. See a belle’s fashion tips here.

Any fashion tips you’d like to share?

Friends, check out more of the AHC’s lectures here. We hope to see y’all at some of them! 

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Oh the Fun at Taste of Atlanta 2012

The Big Grill 2012

Hey friends! I hope y’all had a great weekend because the sis and I sure did! A belle tasted her way around town during the 11th annual Taste of Atlanta. Talk about some good eating. Let’s start with my adventure on Friday shall we.

This band was AWESOME!

We were invited to Big Grills Gone Wild, which was the kick-off party to Taste of Atlanta. Guests were treated to sample tastes from participating restaurants. There was so much to taste and I enjoyed every second. Do you see these desserts below? Yeeesss! They were so good.

These banana pudding bites were the highlight of the night. You know I couldn’t have just one!

Y’all know I love my desserts, so when Davio’s had the banana split with High Road ice cream, I just had to try it. Trust, it didn’t disappoint. The peanut brittle just added to its goodness.

These beef tacos from Fox Bros. BBQ were on point. Good eating with fresh ingredients.

Could it get any better than this? Yes, friend it did. On Saturday, Tamika, the mom and I kicked off the fest by trying everything from shrimp to Korean bbq chicken to pub fries. We left TOA with our palates pleased and bellies full. Let’s get down to it because you have to try some of these places!

Foodie VIP:

VIP is the place to be at TOA. As a VIP, you get the cutest wine glass and get to taste cocktails, craft beers, various foods and more (the beer ice cream was really good!). The best part was watching guests play a little poker. Imagine us sipping on sangrias and laughing at all of the trash talking! Oh, this sangria company is on our must-have list.

The sis and I oooh and aaaahed over Savida Sangria, which was paradise in a bottle! There were a plethora of flavors; I had their Strawberry and Tamika had their Elderberry. We’re definitely fans now and will purchase a few bottles. Glad we moved to GA because it’s not available in Alabama stores! What’s up with that (our trash talk for today)?

Delia’s: Chicken Sausage Stand:

Oh my goodness! We repeat: OH MY GOODNESS. This was yumminess to the 10th power. We’ve already found the location for this stand and will be heading that way by the weekend. Fun staff and even better eats. We love chicken, but this is chicken in a whole new delish way!

Metrotainment Bakery:

The highlight of my TOA experience were the desserts at Metrotainment Bakery! They were all so pretty and were constantly calling my name! I had not one, but two sweet potato cupcakes! The first one was divine. The second one fell on the ground so I was very sad about that (seriously).

If you live in the city or are visiting Atlanta, I highly suggest making a visit to this bakery. Their desserts were yummy and their customer service was stellar! I smell a sweet potato cupcake in my future (and yours) very soon…

West Egg Cafe:

Our mom tried this cupcake and really enjoyed it. I took a bite and it was yummy. Nice peeps here!

Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ:

The sis and the mom couldn’t stop raving about Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ. Tamika fell in love with their grilled corn, while ma went back for more of their ribs.

HobNob:

These shrimp and grits with havarti cheese were okay. They didn’t make me jump over the moon since the grits didn’t have a rich taste to them.

JCT Kitchen & Bar:

The pub fries at JCT were on point. They were served up very pretty in a cone with a little garnish on them. Guests could select different sauces; we got a chicken gravy sauce with cheese curds. Tamika loved the sauce, but it didn’t suit my fancy too much. I’m a fry girl, so the plain fries were good and yummy.

BottleBar & Bistro:

This dessert wasn’t good at all. I had their chocolate cheesecake pop and ma had their strawberry. Neither one of us liked the first bite and we are dessert-heads, so, you know we weren’t happy.

Paschal’s:

Paschal’s Restaurant had the soul food section on lock. It was great to try a restaurant that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. frequently ate at. Ma got some fried chicken and mac-n-cheese, while the sis and I tried the peach cobbler.

The cobbler was tasty, but not as sweet as we like it. It wasn’t bad, so if you go try it. The mac ‘n cheese wasn’t bad either, but it definitely didn’t compare to our mom’s!

Buffalo’s Cafe:

These little Southwest spring rolls were slightly spicy, but oh so cheesy. We LOVED them!!! Don’t they look like you want to eat ’em?

Rí Rá Irish Pub:

Did you see our coverage from last year?! If you did then you know we weren’t going to miss them this year. We had their fish and chips with malt vinegar. Oooooh so good!

Salt Factory:

Not only does this resturant serve fab Goat Cheese Ravioli, but they make a mean Korean BBQ chicken wing dish. The presentation was gorgeous and the taste was out of this world. We will most def visit this restaurant VERY soon!

It tasted as good as it looks. The wing had a slightly sweet, yet savory taste at the same time. The noodles were sooo yummy. This plate was almost too pretty to eat. We said ALMOST! 🙂

If you didn’t make it to TOA this year you MUST go next year. For those of you wondering, taste tickets were $1 each and the average price for food was anywhere from 1-3 tickets. Also, there were plenty of free tastes, sips, and eats that you didn’t have to use your taste tickets for.

We love this event and are excited to see what they’ll have next year. It seems like it keeps getting better! TOA is a great event because it literally turns tasters into diners. I got a few cards of places that a belle will be frequenting from now on.

Head on over to their Facebook page and like it to stay up on all the yummy goodness! Until next year!!

Disclosure: We were promotional partners for TOA and received tickets to both events. As always, a belle’s opinion is her own. 

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