Fitness Fashion with a Twist | YMX Clothing Giveaway

This past week I had the opportunity to take a hike on one of my most favorite trails around Boone, the Boone Fork Trail. It's a 5-mile loop that starts right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. I'm a big fan of this hike because of the varied terrain and scenery that can be experienced along the way. It's like being on several different trails when you're really just on one. However, that's another post for a different time. Read on...

I was recently contacted by a representative from the YMX by Yellowman Clothing Company about testing & reviewing a piece of their performance wear. Once I received the item, I decided that the best way for me to test its mettle was to wear it on my favorite 5-mile hike, the Boone Fork Trail, to see how well it held up. This is my way of telling you this is a sponsored post, and that I was given this shirt so I could write a review. However, the views and opinions within are my own.


When I was initially contacted by the company, I, of course, checked out their website and found other reviews to see what they were all about, and to determine if it would be worth my time despite the fact that I would get a complimentary shirt out of the deal. I mean, I don't want to do it just to do it. I want to make sure that it's a company that I can stand behind, you know.

Fitness Fashion with a Twist | YMX Clothing Giveaway

What I found was that they started out making clothing with tattoo designs on them before jumping into the sports wear arena. I can't say that the vivid prints and detailed artwork would be something that I'd typically purchase on my own had I been shopping for a long-sleeved shirt, but I do think the designs are very eye catching and beautiful. I got to choose between 3 different styles, and I went with the one that had the most black in it, naturally.

What I liked right off the bat once I had the shirt in my hands was how soft and silky the material was. It was also extremely lightweight, which is a huge plus. And I even came to appreciate the artwork more, too, once it was in front of me and not on the computer screen. The burst of color coupled with the detailed graphics made it a showstopper, for sure!


  • UV Protection (UPF 50+)
  • Wicks away moisture/breathable
  • regulates body temperature
  • wrinkle/abrasion resistant
  • easy stretch/compression
  • lightweight


One major benefit to wearing this type of garment is that it's very versatile. Not only is it great for any sport, it's also great for leisurely activities as well. The MadKool fabric made exclusively for YMX, and Yellowman is special in many ways. It's breathable and stretchy, yet it still maintains its shape, which made it super comfortable to wear. This might be TMI, but I perspire quite a bit when I'm being athletic...or sitting still, so I liked the fact that this material wicks away moisture. I was expecting it to be wet in certain places after working up a sweat during my 5-mile hike, but I didn't have that problem with this piece. The shirt managed to stay dry during the entire hike!

Fitness Fashion with a Twist | YMX Clothing Giveaway

After finishing the hike, we made our way to Blowing Rock for dinner. Typically, I'd want to change before heading out for the evening, but I didn't have to with this garment. It's truly one of those pieces that can be worn in any situation, especially if you want to be all stylish while you're doing whatever you're doing. It garnered quite a few glances from people around us. Maybe they thought I looked ridiculous, but I'm pretty sure it was because they thought I looked awesome :D


Fitness fashion isn't something that I think about too often. Most of the time I just throw on whatever without giving much thought to how presentable I might be while I'm doing something athletic. However, I'm sure that many other people put more thought into how fly they look when they're picking out gym clothes to wear for a workout. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just don't give a hoot. However, what I do appreciate are pieces that are comfortable and functional, not just pretty to look at, and that's exactly what I found with the Flower Clouds Sun Tee from YMX.

While it was different for me to wear something that stands out so much, I did feel as though the shirt lived up to the expectations I had after reading the claims about its performance. I'm happy to have this wearable work of art that I can use when I'm being adventurous or when I'm out running errands. It'll definitely become a staple in my wardrobe!


Looking to add a piece like this to your active apparel collection? 
Well, YMX has generously offered to throw in a giveaway for this sponsored post! 
Wanna win? Keep reading...


• A new Flower Clouds Sun Tee from YMX by Yellowman in your size (Retail value $89.00)


• To enter, all you need to do is refer a friend to the Wayfaring Wanderer Facebook page.

• Share a link to the WW page on your wall & don't forget to tag WW in the status message you write. Be sure to ask friends to visit & “LIKE” the Wayfaring Wanderer page, so that you can have a chance to win, and let them know that they can enter, too!


• The friend(s) that you refer should write a post on the WW Facebook wall that says [YOUR NAME] sent me, so I know who gets the credit! FYI - I won't count the entry if this part isn't completed.

• For each person you refer to the WW page, you will receive one entry!

• No limit to the amount of entries you can receive :D

• Obviously, this is a shirt for the ladies, but that doesn't mean dudes can't enter, too!

• This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. Sorry, not my rules :(

• The giveaway will end on DECEMBER 7th (Midnight EST) and a winner will be announced on the 8th.


• (1-extra entry) “LIKE” the YMX by Yellowman FB page & leave a post on the wall letting them know that Wayfaring Wanderer sent you. (Don't forget to tag WW in the status message or I won't know that you did this)

• (1-extra entry) Tweet about this giveaway. I'm @wayfarinwandrer on twitter. Be sure to tag me in the tweet & include a link to this post so that I know this was completed!

If you have any questions whatsoever,
please feel free to post them in the comments
here or on the FB page. Good luck!

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Confessions of a Lazy Travel Blogger

I'm on the grind like all the time. Tru 
dat! #husslin
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Here's a fun fact: My first blog post was published on June 26th of 2006. That means that I've been blogging on Wayfaring Wanderer for a little over five years now. Sheez louise, that's a long time! When I started blogging, I had no clue as to what it was all about. Honestly, I don't even remember how I learned about blogs or what actually made me start one. What I do recall is that blogging was something I started doing as a means to substitute what I was no longer able to do, which was rock climb. Wayfaring Wanderer didn't even start out as a travel blog, really.

(I've talked about why I was no longer able to do rock climb many times here on WW, so I won't get into any further detail about that, but if you're interested, you can get some insight here: How I Reached A Path of Happy Healing.)

Over the years, WW has taken on many different forms and has gone through several transformations in the process of my personal growth. There's a lot that I learned during this time, I've healed in ways that I never really expected (physically, mentally, and emotionally), and have had some crazy dreams come to fruition since the inception of my lil' ol' blog. From my solo journey to Oahu, Hawaii to the all expenses paid foodie blogger event in San Diego furnished by Sony Electronics, I've had a lot of awesome things happen over the years.

Blogging has been one of my most favorite outlets, but it's also come with its fair share of struggles along the way, too. What I love most is how I can look back on where I used to be, so that I can better appreciate where I am right now. Without acknowledging where you came from, it's hard to grasp how far you have come. At least, that's how I feel about it. Blogging has made that possible for me and that's another reason why I love doing it.


When I get all sentimental and start sifting through my archives, I cringe at some of the old photos and how I mutilated them in photoshop with unnecessary filters and adjustments. Now, I barely bother making any adjustments to my images in photoshop. And my writing, oh lawdy, it was atrocious! However, with time (and practice), I got much better. To date, I've published 537 blog posts, so I'd hope that there were some lessons I learned along the way!

It hurts to get hurt #themoreyouknow [pic]
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Back in the day, I used to blog 5 days a week, which seems completely absurd to me now. I'm lucky if I can manage to publish one blog post a week. I've gone through phases where I'd blog a whole lot and then taper off to nearly nothing only to come back again full force. There's been a lot of up and down when it comes to blogging for me. It's easy to get burned out. If you're a blogger, you know! One thing I do know is that I've never given up on it entirely. I couldn't. For some crazy reason, it means too much to me to keep it going that I couldn't bear to quit all together!


When I go quiet, it's not for lack of things to blog about, because I have a list of potential posts that's at least a mile long. And I'm always going somewhere fun and taking pictures along the way, so material is plentiful. In all honesty, I probably have enough stuff to blog about for the next year if I planned things out properly! There are so many places I meant to blog about, but never made the time to do so. Making time is one thing that is extremely important when it comes to putting together posts, and that's exactly where I've failed lately. I just haven't made the time. It's not that I've been o-so-busy. The truth is that I just haven't set aside the time required to get the job done.

{Random Instagram Image}

Another thing that I let cripple my ability to blog is just the fact that more eyes are reading my posts than ever before, and it's slightly overwhelming at times. You know, it was easier to blog when you knew that people weren't reading what you had to say. However, now that I have regular traffic, things have changed. As a result, I've become slightly more judgmental of what I produce. You'd think that it'd get easier over time, but that's not always the case. The problem is that I need to stop being so critical, and just put it out there! Who cares who does and doesn't like it, right?! Just get it out there so that opinions can at least be formed one way or the other.


One of my main issues with inconsistency is that I've never really come up with a schedule for my posts. I just sort of do them on the fly whenever I feel like it, which isn't the best way to approach blogging. That is, if you want to build your following and keep people coming back for more. After all this time, I finally realize that, and I'm prepared to do something about it. One thing that I need to revisit is the direction and design of my blog. The current layout is about 2 years old, and it doesn't really feel like me anymore because I've expanded my adventures beyond my own backyard. Since I've graduated with my graphic design degree, I think it's time to redesign WW, so it suits the type of traveler I am, not the traveler that I used to be 2 years ago.

{Random Instagram Image}

While I'm working on the Wayfaring Wanderer redesign, I will also be working on bringing you more content consistently. My goal is to blog at least 3x's a week with regular features. People seemed to enjoy the “Choose Your Adventure” series I experimented with last month, and I'd also like to revive “Foodie Fridays" because I'm always eating good food everywhere I go, and I would really like to share with you. If you have any ideas, throw 'em my way!

So, there you go: Confessions of a Lazy Travel Blogger

I'm far from being perfect when it comes to blogging, but I genuinely want to be better than I have been. One of my favorite things to do is share my photography and stories with you in hopes that it will inspire your own adventures close to home! If there is anything, in particular, that you'd like to see on WW, I'd love to hear any suggestions you may have. Please feel free to share here in the comments or on the WW Facebook page!

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Holiday Mini-Sessions | Boone Area Photographer

Have you thought about Holiday portraits for the family, but have yet to make any arrangements? Look no further! For a limited time, I'll be offering Holiday Mini-Sessions here in Boone, NC and Blowing Rock, NC, and I'd love to photograph your happy family. This is a quick and easy way to get your family portraits done for the holidays before things begin getting crazy! Contact me today for more information and reservations.

Holiday Mini-Sessions | Boone Area Photographer

To visit my new photography website, follow this link: 

How to Celebrate Oktoberfest in Helen, GA

What used to be a struggling logging town back in the late 60s, Helen, GA has since been revamped to simulate an alpine village in order to promote tourism. It's not quite like what you would find in Germany, but the town has a unique look that captivates many visitors. You'll find over 200 specialty and import shops lining the main strip offering everything from cuckoo clocks to homemade candies. Dining options are also plentiful and range from German-fare to southern food. This quaint little town is far from fancy, but it offers a great deal of excitement with lots of entertainment and outdoor activities to keep you occupied. While there is much to see and do when you are there, it can be experienced in a day if your time is limited.

Celebrating Oktoberfest in Helen, GA


Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Helen, GA is only a 1.5-hour drive from Atlanta, GA. The best, and busiest, time to visit is during their annual Oktoberfest event that runs from the end of September to the beginning of November. (Apparently, it's the longest running Oktoberfest celebration in the south.) If you time it just right, and venture to the town in late October, you can witness the fall leaves at their peak. Keep in mind, though, that the place will be packed with other tourists who are also hoping to catch a glimpse of the beautiful scenery, too.


When Cody and I began staying in Helen, back in 2008, we opted to camp out at the nearby Unicoi State Park to keep our costs low. If you want a campsite, though, it's best to reserve early because they are often booked solid during this time of the year. If camping isn't your thing, you also have the option of staying in their lodge, which is a lot like a hotel. While not walking distance to town, it only requires a 5-minute drive to reach the center of the city, so it's pretty conveniently located.

Where to Stay in Helen, GA

In the last two years, since we began inviting friends, our alternative to staying in the state park was to rent a cabin in Helen, GA. When you have a larger group of people, it makes more sense and is a whole lot more cost effective when compared to local hotels. We've had wonderful luck using to find suitable accommodations that fit our needs and price range. This year, we stayed in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom cabin, complete with a hot tub, & game room with a ½ basketball court for $540 for the weekend. Not too bad when it's split among 7 people! Compared to hotels, cabins are ideal because it's nice to have a home base where you can prepare meals, and have a place to continue the evening once the town has shut down.


There are a ton of options to choose from when looking for a place to refuel. The problem, though, is finding a place with good food. One of my new favorite places to eat in Helen is Cafe International. It has outdoor seating, and is right along the Chattahoochee River. I recommend the Rueben Sandwich, which I spent an entire year craving since our last visit. The flavor is amazing, it's easily one of the best Rueben's I've ever eaten.

One place that I will tell you to pass on is the Troll Tavern. I don't usually include the places I don't like in my blog posts, because I like to keep things on a positive note, but this place is truly disappointing. Yes, we've eaten there for the past 4 years, but we didn't know any better. Our entire table left dissatisfied with our meals this time around. If it weren't for our capable waiter, this place would have no redeeming qualities to speak of.

Where to Eat in Helen, GA

Another notable eatery includes Jordano's, which offers pizza, mostly. What's nice about this place is that it's along the river. Our pizza was ok, nothing spectacular. If you're not looking for German-fare, this would be a good spot to go. For a quick bite, Alpine Hot Dog would be a safe bet. They have a decent selection of moderately priced options to choose from, like a Grilled Bratwurst or Gyro Wrap. It's fast because you can order right from the sidewalk through their take-out window, and eat on the go. Our food was ready in no time!


What's left to cover when it comes to Oktoberfest in Helen, Ga? Oh, yeah, DRINKING! While there are many things to do in Helen, GA, it seems like one of the most beloved past times there is drinking. One of the best places to do that is at Festhalle! Festhalle is operated by Helen's chamber of commerce, and it's one of the biggest and most festive venues around town to hang out and have a good time.

Festhalle in Helen, GA

Depending on when you go, the place can be cluttered with wall-to-wall people. However, there are rows and rows of cafeteria-style tables to take a seat at. Lines for food and beer can often be long, and the dance floor can be just as scattered, but it's the atmosphere in this place that's the real draw. It's always lively and full of people having fun. I doubt that you can escape the lure of doing the chicken dance no matter how silly you look doing it.

Now, if you don't have a hangover from partying too hard the night before, I highly recommend taking the time to explore the nearby Unicoi State Park where you can take an easy hike up a concrete path to Anna Ruby Falls, a 150ft double waterfall. There's also a nice hike that meanders around the lake if you're looking for a leisurely stroll to take in the surrounding scenery. Other outdoor activities are plentiful in this area as well, so don't miss out on those!

If you'd like to find out more about Helen, GA, here is a link to the website.

Every October, I look forward to spending a fun-filled weekend in Helen, GA. While this town isn't for everyone, it does have some charming qualities that I enjoy even though it can sometimes be overran with other tourists. With nearly two million visitors a year, it's an extremely popular place. In fact, it might be THE place to be for Oktoberfest! All I know is, that's where you'll find me celebrating :D

 What do you think about the look of Helen, GA? Is it a place that you'd like to go? 
Please share in the comments or on Facebook!

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