WIN a Custom Designed Apron by Haute Mess Threads | Foodie Friday Giveaway

WIN a Custom Designed Apron by Haute Mess Threads (Giveaway)

Have you ever had a moment when you really wanted to complete something, but didn't know how, so you quickly determined that you'd do whatever it took in order to learn whatever you needed to so that you could accomplish what you wish you could do? Yeah, that's the thought process of people with creative ideas. It begins as one simple desire that starts to snowball after you've put your mind to something. It doesn't matter if you DON'T yet know how to do something, all you need to do is, at a minimum, resolve that you truly wish to learn how to make it possible then go from there. That's what my Sister did. She decided one day that it was imperative that she learn how to sew without any previous knowledge or training. And that's exactly what she did.

In just a few shorts weeks, Stacy purchased a new sewing machine, absorbed all the materials and tutorials she possibly could, and before she knew it she was designing pieces of her own. I was amazed at how fast her sewing skills developed in such a short period of time. Stacy is a Jane of all trades. She's done a little bit of everything (plumbing, massage, boxing, rapping, you name it), but sewing is definitely her thing. In fact, she's enjoyed it so much that she decided to open her own Etsy shop called Haute Mess Threads!

This past summer, on a trip back to my hometown, my Sister and I made plans to do a photoshoot to showcase her handmade aprons. I wanted to help my sister with this new venture, and I was really excited that I would get to contribute by making the images come to life for her. We waited until the very end of our stay to make it happen, but everything ended up coming together perfectly. I had no idea what sort of lighting we would have in the model's kitchen, nor did I know what it would look like, thankfully, it was exactly the style we were looking for. The photoshoot was a success, and we had a blast!

Currently, she's made 28+ sales in her shop since opening at the end of July. Things have moved along a lot more quickly than she initially imagined. In the Haute Mess Threads shop, you will find aprons, pot holders, and make-up brush holders along with many other items. Soon, Stacy plans to start working on garments such as skirts and dresses with a pin up look. That type of clothing isn't always easy to find, which is why the idea to sew her own clothes came about. For now, though, she mainly offers custom-made aprons for ladies (styles for men are in the works as well) who want to look fabulous while they prepare dinner! (or for other non-cooking related things, like a creative Halloween costume.) My favorite so far is the Wonder Woman apron she recently made.

We thought it would be fun to do a giveaway here on Wayfaring Wanderer because 1.) she is one of my biggest supporters, and 2.) why not?!

Here's what you have to do in order to WIN a custom designed apron by Haute Mess Threads:

  1. Go the the HMTs Etsy shop ( & select your favorite item; post the item's link on the HMTs Facebook page. While you're there, tell her what design you'd like to see!

  2. “Like” Discovery Photography and Design on Facebook; post on the wall that you are a new fan from Haute Mess Threads by tagging the page. (This is my new photography/graphic design website. Find out more here.)

  3. Return to this blog post and leave a comment once you've completed each step!

You will gain one entry for completing these easy steps. If you are already a fan of these pages, simply complete the other steps, and post a comment as outlined. The contest will end on October 3rd at midnight eastern time. Upon verification, a winner will be selected at random the very next day on October 4th! Please note: because the apron is custom-made, it will take approximately 10-14 days before the item ships. Thank you for participating, and good luck :D


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Fall is in the Air

Fall is in the Air

Fall is in the air here in Boone, NC, although we've had mostly gray skies, and rainy weather for the past four days or so. That aside, I know my favorite season of the year is on its way, and I couldn't be more excited! What about you?

I love the crisp, cool air, and the vibrant display of leaves we get to see here in the mountains. It's a time for corn mazes, pumpkin carving, and apple pickin', some of my favorite fall activities.

I'm all about getting cozy and staying toasty with my fuzzy boots and comfy sweaters. Spending time with family and friends is also one of my main focuses. Something about this change in season always has me counting my blessings and giving thanks more often than usual.

There are so many fun things to do in fall that's it's sometimes hard to fit everything in. Our list is a mile long (not really, but almost). Next month, I'll be sharing posts every week all about FALL! I'll do my best to keep things interesting, or at least visually appealing!

So, tell me, what are your favorite things to do in fall? 
Please share in the comments!

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A Secret I Can No Longer Keep! | Boone, NC Photographer & Graphic Designer

There is a secret that I've been hiding from you. It's a BIG one, too. One that is positively life changing in so many different ways. I'm excited and terrified all at the same time as I head in this new direction. But it's time that I made this leap. It's time that I have faith in my abilities and believe that I have the power to achieve what I truly want most.

It wasn't until recently, maybe the last 2 years or so, that I even knew what I wanted to do with my life. What I did know is that I wasn't happy with what I was currently doing. After a lot of deliberation, I finally decided to make a change. Although I consciously decided to do the things that I had been dreaming about, I still hadn't mustered the courage to take the plunge and be completely on my own. I needed a nudge which came about in the form of a lay-off from my office job. That was over a year and a half ago.

Discovery Photography & Design Homescreen | Boone, NC

It was that push that caused me to realize exactly what it was I wanted to do with my life. And that's what I have set out to accomplish during these months of unemployment. This past summer, I finished up a degree in Graphic Design with the Art Institute, which I'm really ecstatic about. It was an amazing learning experience that I gained a great deal from. I wanted to add Graphic Design to my skill set because I've always appreciated aesthetics, and I genuinely wanted to know more about creating compelling designs. Meshing Graphic Design with my love of Photography seemed like a no-brainer to me. I feel as though the two outlets go hand-in-hand and that having both would give me an advantage in the world of working for myself.

Photography has been in my life since the age of 10 when my Dad gave me my first 35mm camera. I remember thinking how awesome it was because it had a time/date stamp, talk about old school. Anyhow, it's that one thing that has always stuck with me in varying degrees. Some points in my life I'd be doing it more than others. However, my camera hardly leaves my hands for very long. It's what I absolutely love to do more than anything. So, there's no doubt that this would be something that I would be doing for years to come. It was only natural that it would eventually become part of what I do as a way to generate income.

Discovery Photography & Design Gallery | Boone, NC

The problem with knowing what you love to do and turning that into a way to create money is that there is a great deal of uncertainty involved in working for yourself. For me, though, there is no other way because I am not going back to what made me unhappy. Not gonna happen! I won't lie to you. I've struggled with a lot of demons this past year that have tried to prevent me from embarking on this new journey, but I somehow managed to clear the hurdles put before me with as much grace and humility as I possibly could. Now, here I am, ready to reveal what has materialized from all my hard work.

Behind the scenes, I have built and designed a new website for my photography/graphic design business. Instead of using my name, I decided to go another route. The name of my business and website is Discovery Photography & Design. This new path has been one filled with discoveries and realizations about myself and my dreams. It seemed so fitting for me to give it this name.

Discovery Photography & Design About | Boone, NC

My focus will be on portrait photography because I have learned that I absolutely love to shoot people. I'm a sucker for capturing the love that families share for one another. As far as the design part of it goes, my goal is to work with small businesses to develop designs to suit their specific needs. I excel at concept development and bringing those visions to life through graphic design. I have come to love it as much as my photography.

Like I said in the beginning of this post, I'm excited and terrified all at the same time to (finally) share with you what I have been working toward for the last year and a half. The process has been slow going, but I know that it's happening at just the right time. I'm as ready as I'll ever be! Are you ready to see? Because I'm finally ready to let go...

To visit my new website, follow this link: 

I welcome any and all feedback that you have to offer. And I truly appreciate the support you are willing to give (and have given thus far). If you know of anyone who could benefit from my photography or graphic design services, please share my information with them! I also invite you to “LIKE” the new fan page I have set up where I plan to share sneak peeks of recent photosessions, as well as other great photography & design related things that happen to catch my eye.

Discovery Photography & Design Facebook Page | Boone, NC

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Linville Falls Foray with an Out-of-town Friend

Linville Falls | Near Boone, NC
It's too bad that you can't pick the type of weather you will have when you're on vacation. Sometimes, it's rainy and overcast, which can put a damper on what you originally wanted to do. Although I think that during those times when plans don't work out the way we envision that we make some pretty wonderful discoveries anyhow.

One of my very good friends from back home came for a visit this past week. It's been about 4 years, since she's come up here, so this trip was long overdue! Unfortunately, the mountains didn't welcome her with the most favorable conditions. It rained all day long prior to (as well as the day before) her arrival. I hoped that it wouldn't be like that the entire time she was here, thankfully, it stopped raining on the morning she was heading our way.

While it was still overcast and foggy, at least it wasn't pouring rain. Even though Boone's weather was being uncooperative there were fun things that I could do with my out-of-town friend who was anxious to see some sights. I thought that a waterfall hike was the perfect thing for us to do because of the heavy rains we had recently received. That was the easy part, though. The hard part was figuring out which one we'd visit!

One thing that is a must-do for any friends visiting from out-of-town is to take a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, even if the visibility isn't the greatest. That helped me to narrow down which waterfall I would take her to. Linville Falls, which is just off the BRP, seemed to be the best option because it is a rather large waterfall that isn't too far of a drive from Boone. It is probably one of the most popular falls around this area because of how easily accessible it is.

There are many different vantage points from which you can view Linville Falls. They have a main trail that takes you to several overlooks, which are fairly easy to navigate. During this particular visit, though, I wanted us to have an up-close view of the falls. This meant that we had to take the more strenuous Plunge Basin hike. The hike itself was only .7 miles to reach the gorge, but it took some time getting down there with all the rocks and exposed roots littering the trail.

Once we reached the bottom, I expected the waterfall to come into view, but I forgot since my last visit that you can't see it from the end of the trail. In order to get an unobstructed view of the waterfall, you have to do some scrambling around the rocks. It was a little iffy at times, but we ended up making it to a good spot.

I knew that my friend would be in awe over this incredibly beautiful natural wonder, the water was rushing like mad! We attempted to soak it all in the best we could before hiking back out. I attempted to take pictures, but wasn't super successful in doing so, because I accidentally left my fresh batteries in my other bag. Doh! At least, I have something to show for it, even if it's not the best photo.

Good thing I had the Sony WX9 on me, too! I ended up using the point and shoot to take a short video that you asked to see on Facebook. Well, here it is. If you want to view it in HD, click on over to Vimeo.

The hike out wasn't bad at all.
It did require a bit of a climb to get back out of there,
but it was (and my friend agreed) a great hike that was well worth the effort to see such a lovely sight. 

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My First Foodzie Tasting Box | Foodie Friday

Foodzie Tasting Box (August)

When I choose to spend my dollars on one of my most favorite things—FOOD—I'm extremely selective about where my money goes most of the time. I like to be locally responsible by keeping my spending habits close to home. Going to the farmers market & eating at non-chain restaurants is something I do often. However, there are times when I make an exception, because, let's face it, I have my weaknesses.

Foodzie Tasting Box (August)

I don't recall when I first learned about Foodzie, but I've been following them on FB for some time now. If you've never heard of this online marketplace before, it's a website where you can learn about and purchase food related items from small food producers and growers. It's sort of like Etsy for foodies! You can find all sorts of different products on their website from snacks to sauces; they offer a little of everything there. You almost have too many options to choose from if you're an indecisive person like me!

Simple Squares | Foodzie Tasting Box

That's when their Tasting Box proves to be most useful. On a monthly basis, Foodzie assembles a package with single-serving sized samples of various products, so you can try a few different things, all for one low price of $19.99 (shipping is free!). I wasn't exactly sure what to expect since this was my first Foodzie Tasting Box, but I decided to place an order and eagerly await the surprise. The hand-packed items came in a matter of days. I could hardly contain my excitement, but I somehow waited until Cody got home before digging in.

Gourmet Scooping Ketchup | Foodzie Tasting Box

This month's tasting box had a theme that was centered around childhood favorites with a grown-up taste. Enclosed in the tidy little box is a card that gives you a description of all the items it contains. In total, I received 6 different items to sample, although we've only actually tried two of them at this point. We're trying to pace ourselves for once! Haha It's hard, too, because all of the products we received look and sound soooooo delicious.

Justin's Nut Butters | Foodzie Tasting Box

Here is a list of the items we received.
  1. North Fork Sweet Potato Chips
  2. Sage (1) + Rosemary (1) Simple Squares (The sage flavor was fabulous. Way better than any granola bar you'll ever eat!)
  3. Gourmet Scooping Ketchup
  4. Frrrozen Hot Chocolate (Not pictured)
  5. Justin's Nut Butter: Classic Peanut Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, Honey Peanut Butter, & Maple Almond Butter
  6. Marshmallow Crunch Bar (This was the first thing we devoured. Not your typical Rice Crispy Treat, that's for sure. This one wasn't overly sweet or gooey. I loved the crunchy texture.)

Marshmallow Crunch Bar | Foodzie Tasting Box

The rest of these items will not last long in this household! It's only a matter of time before we go through all the samples Foodzie sent in this month's box. Ordering one of these tasting boxes was a welcomed treat, and even though we have yet to try everything in this package, I'm happy that we'll get another one next month. Sometimes, it's nice to surprise yourself with a treat such as this. Any small way that I can bring a bit of joy into my life is worth it to me. I suppose that this is where I should be thankful that I am easy to please. Just feed me and I'm happy! It's true :D

What do you think about the Foodzie Tasting Box? Would you like to receive one for yourself?
Which of these items do you want to taste test?

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