A Night at The Theatre

Audley and I love culture and arts, so a night out to the theatre makes for a perfect date night for the two of us.  Whether it be ballet, Broadway, the symphony, or a local band art events have been some of our more memorable nights out over the years.

Recently we slipped away to Flat Rock, NC (just forty-five minutes away) for a local production of “Boeing, Boeing”.  I just love supporting local arts.  There are times that we have seen better productions from the small community troupes than the larger national programs.

“Boeing, Boeing”! As much as Audley travels and dashes through the airport we couldn’t have picked a more perfect production.

Flat Rock is a quaint little town just outside of Asheville in the North Carolina mountains.  There are actually two theaters in the area; a small intimate setting in historic downtown Flat Rock and a much more grand stage for more detailed and large-scaled productions.

For our evening out we visited the intimate downtown theater.

Flat Rock downtown playhouse

Flat Rock downtown playhouse

The entrance to the downtown Playhouse theater

The entrance to the downtown Playhouse theater

The stage was set up with just one set that was the setting of the entire play.  I liked that concept as it made the play so easy to follow.

The set ... we weren't supposed to take any pictures, but I had to sneak just one!

The set … we weren’t supposed to take any pictures, but I had to sneak just one!

A little on the raunchy side, but absolutely hysterical, the story was set in the 1960’s, the boom of airline travel and the “romantic” lives that stewardesses lived.  It was the remake of a 1962 comedy about a swinging bachelor living it up in Paris, France and the three stewardesses he as a relationship with.  Add a friend from high school to the mix, a busy-body maid and let the laughs begin as one catastrophe after another takes place!

The local troupe did a fabulous job of acting and truly made the performance one to remember.

Since it was date night and we were headed out to a live performance, I wanted to dress-up for the evening.


All dressed up and ready to go out!

I think I was a little over-dressed compared to several in the audience (I really didn’t mind), but my simple shirt dress was a perfect complement to my handsome man’s jacket and jeans.

And can you believe it?  I’ve gone from a brunette to a blonde!

It’s my mid-life crisis.

While I do like to dress up even more for the ballet or a Broadway show, I thought my choice was great for the community theater.

Do you dress up for shows?  What have you checked out lately?


Check Out Versona Accessories

I am not a fashion blogger, but with two teenage daughters who just returned to school and my need to begin building an entirely new wardrobe, fashion and shopping has become an important extra-curricular activity in our home. My girls are insisting that they help dress me since “obviously” I have no longer have the ability to shop for myself.
Just recently, I purchased several new outfits, only to have to return ALL of them because “if you lost all of the weight why do you want to hide behind oversized clothes & styles that make you look 80 years old?
{Oh the joys of opinionated teenagers.}
This has created some fun outings for my girls and me over the last several weeks.

Recently Madeline and I drove up to Charlotte (just over an hour from here) to check out a fairly new store called Versona Accessories.

We have a wonderful friend who is in regional management with Versona and has really been wanting us to check it out.
I am so glad that we did!

Owned by the Cato company, Versona is a great place to shop for an outfit, start to finish.  From the basics to the accessories & shoes, Versona has you covered!
Madeline and I had a blast checking out Versona and all the fun combinations of outfits!
Shopping at Versona is so easy and fun.  The entire store is arranged by color with every imaginable shade and combination of blue, red, orange, black, green, yellow and neutrals displayed for mixing and matching.
Display of blues


Display of neutrals 
Versona is a fabulous shopping experience as anyone from 13 to 80 will find something to suit their taste.  We discovered classic looks that are timeless and current trends straight from the latest fashion magazines.  Madeline and I had so much fun matching outfits and trying them on.  We even shopped for MacKenzie Grace finding looks to fit her personality that were spot on!  My favorite part of clothing shopping at Versona was there were plenty of modest choices for my daughters.
That makes for very happy parents.

As for prices, I thought they were great!  Like all stores, there were some pricey items, but for under $300 we bought dresses, tops, bags, jewelry, sunglasses, scarves, and belts for all three of us ladies.  The most expensive item was a dress for $40 that we picked out for MacKenzie.

My accessory loving casual girl… Accessories from Versona: belt, necklace, bracelet, & sunglasses


And my girlie girl… I told you they had super stylish & classy dresses!

Versona keeps a fabulous clearance section that seems to be updated weekly with newer items that are greatly marked down.  I’m all about a good sale, especially one that is continuously updated!

Right now Versona Accessories can be found in locations in Kentucky, Texas, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Ohio, but they are growing!  You can check out their store locator here to find if there is a location near you.  Check it out and let me know what you think!

Jen’s Summer Must-Haves

With a sweltering Southern summer fully underway, I thought it would be fun to share some of my must-haves for the season.
Between road trips, day trips, company receptions with the hubs & chilling at home I’m always looking for ways to enjoy the summer, attempt to look good, and even make things a little more relaxing and fun.
So, in no particular order here are my summer must-haves:
1)  A good book!  High on my list for the summer is Mary Kay Andrew’s latest novel, “Ladies Night”.  I love my Southern authors and after meeting Mrs. Andrews a couple of years ago at  blogger’s dinner I love her work even more!
from my Instagram account
“Ladies Night” has a touch of mystery, a little romance, a great storyline and since the story is about a lifestyle blogger, many of us can relate!
2) New tunes on the iPod.  I have very eclectic taste in music.  Audley refers to it as schizophrenic musical taste.  My summer playlist has a little country and a little top 40, mixed with a little easy listening.
My favorite album at the moment is The Great Gatsby soundtrack.  It’s my “go to” music for working out.
Other songs high on my playlist include:
Brad Paisley’s Beat This Summer
Darius Rucker’s Wagon Wheel
Kenny Chesney’s Summertime
Florida-Georgia Line (featuring Nelly) Cruise
Jake Owen’s Barefoot Bluejean Night
Mumford & Sons I Will Wait
Rihanna’s Shine Bright Like a Diamond
The Script’s Hall of Fame
Barbra Streisand
a little Harry Connick Jr.
I told you I had eclectic taste in music.

3) A cute insulated cup for keeping hydrated while working in the yard, sitting at the ballpark, working out, or chilling on the beach.

This colorful one is from TJ Maxx and was under $10.

FYI: You need to be drinking at the very least half your body weight in ounces of water everyday!  If you drink sodas, work out, or are outside a lot you need to drink even more!
4) Summer color.  I love, love, love makeup and summertime is the perfect time to change up those winter browns & neutrals and add a little color!
If you prefer a more subtle look, go with the Two Faced summer palette.  Light but colorful it just makes me happy!
$36.00 at Ulta.com
If you are bold and daring, pick up Estee Lauder’s limited edition summer palette!  Bold and daring, it’s perfect for a summer night out, dining on the patio of your favorite restaurant.
$48.00 at Belk or any other department store that carries Estee lauder cosmetics
I have both of these and absolutely adore them!

5)  A good neutral nail polish.  I love Essie’s “Penny Talk”.  Whether I wear pink or orange or green, this neutral color is just perfect and the shimmer makes me happy.

It’s perfect for the gym, the beach, church and going out with your significant other.

6) A pumice stone.  Why pay a fortune for a subpar mani/pedi with who knows what chemicals are used on you, when you can spend less than $8 on a pumice stone to rub those heels smooth.
You can find this at any Walgreens, Rite Aid or CVS as well as Target, WalMart or Sally Beauty Supply.
Your feet will be sandal & flip flop ready in a matter of minutes!
I do most all of my own mani/pedis because I do not like the strong lotions & scrubs that a nail spa is prone to use.

Just give me a little Olay body lotion and I
am all set!
I have a great homemade scrub I’ll share next week that is perfect for smoothing your hands, elbows, ankles and feet.
{Think coconut.}
7)  Cute hair accessories.  From a floppy beach hat to a cute hair clip keeping the sun off of your face and sweat from your neck requires pulling it back or putting it up.
Have fun picking out great hair accessories.
from Scarves.net
Use a colorful sheer scarf to tie back you hair from your face or check out your local Walgreens for cute clips and ponytail holders.
Or you can do like me and cut all of your hair off.
{Yep, I sure did!}

8) A comfy beach chair.  Whether you are chilling in the back yard or lounging on the beach these great chairs by Tommy Bahama are perfect.


Straps allow you to carry it like a backpack for easy transportation when it is folded up.  It also boasts a cooler pouch for a couple of bottles of water, a small pillow for neck support, a pouch to keep you cup out of the sand, and a space for your keys or cell phone.
We found these at Costco for only $28.00 and they come in assorted colors and patterns to brighten up your space.

9)  A colorful beach umbrella.  Large umbrellas like this are perfect for evenings at the ballpark watching little league baseball, sheltering a picnic and of course a little shade on the hot beach.

You can order this exact stye online from World Market for only $3.74 right now!!


World Market had a great selection of sturdy and playful umbrellas this season and they range from $10-30.  Not too bad!

10) Outdoor games.  Right now our family favorite is Bocce Ball.


Don’t ask me to explain it because I can’t, but I do know whether teenagers or my crazy family is having a cookout this is a must-have for us!
Kids from our youth group playing Bocce in the front yard.

You can find Bocce Ball at Target.  They have sets starting at $35, although we did pay a little more for this one.

What are you summer must-haves?  It’s just getting started and I would love to know what you need for the season!

A Night at the Theater

Last weekend, Audley and I attended the traveling production of Broadway’s “Billy Elliot” in Greenville for a fun day after Valentine’s date.

I love nothing better than taking in a live show with Audley whether it be a musical or ballet or the symphony! It’s such a relaxing, entertaining and fabulous way to spend an evening.  Nothing is more exciting and surprising than live theater performances!


Billy Elliot is set during the great coal miners strike in Great Britain during the 1980’s and tells the story of a young boy who trades his boxing gloves for dance shoes.  Such a great story with history woven throughout and a theme of never give up on your dreams.  I loved the dance numbers and most of the music, although I do wish musicals didn’t incorporate so much vulgar language.  Even from the mouths of the children in the play….
That bothers me.
But, unfortunately, in our society, foul language is too often accepted and is found even in novels and television shows geared towards my teenagers.
But enough of this soapbox….  I have another one to get on!
Attending a live performance is much different than loading up and catching a movie, but it is quite obvious that the class and etiquette that used to be affiliated with live productions is no longer respected in the eyes of many.  I was quite disappointed and distracted by people talking during the show, entering the performance late, and especially in the attire of most of the theater patrons.

I guess I am an old soul.  I love good old-fashioned manners and doing things the proper way.


So here are a few Do’s & Don’ts for attending a live theater production:

DO dress for the occasion.  You don’t have to go formal, although it is accepted for a night performance, but think church clothes.  A pretty dress for the ladies, a button down and tie for the gentleman.  Jeans are not acceptable for either sex.  For a matinee a little more casual is accepted, and of course a school play is definitely a casual event, but still dress nice.

And ladies, leave the jingly jewelry behind.


Even when I was at my heaviest, I didn’t leave the house without make-up on, hair fixed and wearing clothing that was appropriate for wherever I was going.
Even now, I see that my teenagers are dressed for their own occasions from school & church clothing to not ever leaving the house in their pajamas!  We dress to travel, we dress to go out to eat, and while we are often overdressed if we go to Walmart (I seriously avoid that place), we are dressed in clothing without holes, hair fixed and clean.
 I find nothing more offensive than to be dining out with the family in a nice restaurant and find ourselves seated by people who are dressed like they rolled out of bed and went into public.
It’s just plain respect for yourself to dress for the occasion and definitely respect for those around you!
Dress up when you go to the theater!

DO take a bath before going to the theater.  Yes, people have to be told this.  Theater seating is close and you will be there for 2-3 hours.  Make sure you smell good and don’t wear too much fragrance.  You don’t want to make people sick or risk allergies to products you might wear.

DO be on time.  It is so rude to have to climb over people once the who has begun.  Not only is it rude to climb over others, it is so distracting for the actors and actresses on stage.  They see the movements and it can be very bothersome!
Live theater does not include 20 minutes of previews that you can slip in during.  When the lights dim, the show goes on.
If something has happened that has made you late, please have the courtesy to wait in the back of the theater until the first act has ended.  It may not be the most comfortable for you, but I can assure you that it will be appreciated by others attending the show!

DO be prepared.  If your tickets are at will-call, be there early to pick them up.  Have your tickets handy at all times so that when as usher asks to see them, you have them.  If you know you seats are in the center of the aisle, try to seat yourself early so that you aren’t having to step over others to reach them.

DO applaud the musicians as they are introduced before the curtain arises.  The audience’s enthusiasm truly sets the tone for the performance.  Also applaud the performers after a well-sung number or dance scene.  At the end of the show, also show your approval for the performance, but after the stars have taken their final bow, it’s time to go.  Multiple encores are exhausting for everyone, especially the performers who are already tired after a long show!

FYI:  It is tradition to cheer for musical performers using an Italian cheer “bravo” which means “well done!”  Shout “bravo” for a male performer and “brava” for a female.  If it is a group of performers, use the term “bravi” and “brave” if the group is all females.
I learned this in a theater class that I took in college, although I can only think of once I have used the term “bravo“.

DON’T talk during the performance.  Once again not only is it distracting for the audience, it is distracting for the performers.

DON’T bring food or drink into live theater.  Most evening performances don’t begin until 8:00 which does leave plenty of time for you to eat prior to arrival.  Besides, the noises of candy wrappers rattling or drinks being turned up are distracting to everyone.  It is so easy to miss a line during a live performance, don’t be the cause of several people missing what was said.

DON’T play on your phones, iPads, etc….  You can go an hour and a half without social media, checking email or texting someone.  Most all live performances have an intermission, so surly you can wait until then to see who has messaged you.

DON’T use flash photography during a live performance.  This really should be self explanatory, but you never know.  Besides, with most Broadway based musicals, photography is forbidden period as it is illegal.

DON’T go to sleep.  Seriously, how rude is that?  If you find a performance boring or not your “cup of tea” leave at intermission.  If you are tired, plan ahead to get a nap before attending the show.

If you have never attended a live performance, you are not too old to see one and become hooked!  From high school plays (which are a little less formal) to the symphony there are so many options.  

Do you like live productions?