My Birthday and Blogger Meetup Trip to Asheville - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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My Birthday and Blogger Meetup Trip to Asheville


It was as if we had known each other for years. The ease of conversation, laughing and talking without missing a beat. I met up with 2 very lovely fashion blogger friends today, Jennie of  Pocketful of Polka Dots and Shelbee of Shelbee On The Edge blog. We all met at Wicked Weed, a local brewery and restaurant, in Asheville, at outside in the scorching heat, and had a great afternoon.

Before I talk about the day, I should mention today 🙂 It’s My Birthday, It’s My Birthday! ( Do the Birthday Dance)  Yes, I have entered more into the realm of midlife at  51. Last year we celebrated the Big 5-0 and had a great experience at Fig Tree Restaurant. I wrote about my 50th HERE.

This year, we are celebrating both my birthday and our 18th Wedding Anniversary when we go to the Outer Banks on July 12th and stay for 5 days. I am set! So ready for a change in scenery, the beach, the ocean, exploring the area, you know. I told my hubby that getting into the water up to his knees doesn’t count! My mom has never forgotten when I fell asleep on a raft as a kid and was out in the ocean by the flying fish! The lifeguard with his Megaphone had to call me in!

My fur baby boy Gibson’s Birthday was yesterday and he turned 8! Where has the time gone? I really wish my pups could age backward! We fed him and Truffles a special Fresh Pet for their meals and then went for doggy ice cream and biscuit at Bruesters to celebrate !

This is the treat bag we received upon arrival, complete with balls and yummy dog treats! 

My hubby and I were in Asheville on the 2nd, driving the 2 hours needed to get there from the Lake Norman area. It was a welcome reprieve from all of the long drives we have had recently and an easy drive. We loaf around looking in shops and just enjoying the place. Let’s just say the puppies got A LOT OF ATTENTION! Lots of little kids asking to pet them and smiles on people’s faces as we walked by. I love it!

We have been fans of Asheville for many years now, the artsy and laid back vibe is something I can get into, plus its a beautiful mountain town with gorgeous hiking trails off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We used to go yearly to the Film Festival each November and stay in a cabin. The Sponsorship dwindled for some years and they may be bringing it back! I loved attending and one of the judges was Lance Howard one year ( Ron Howard’s dad). They had a variety of films, documentaries and films made in N.C.

We stayed at ALOFT, in town and it couldn’t have been better. Kind of a doggy lovers Paradise. They are very dog-friendly bringing us water bowls, a dog bed, and a doggy snack bag with treats and balls. The rooms were spacious and for me what matters is a comfy king bed and either a larger shower or tub. This had a modern shower. ALOFT does doggy adoption and they have a 100% success rate. Leo, an adorable black pup, was in a pen and really wanted to play. I hope he got adopted! There are dog paintings from local artist and the pups can go on the deck as well. They have a beautiful outdoor lounge, called the XYZ lounge, with comfy couches and tables where we could get a snack or a drink.

On the wall when we entered ALOFT, the hotel

Leo waiting for adoption. ALOFT has a 100% success rate with dog adoptions. They have fostered dogs on site.  He was so fun to play with! He whimpered when I left. 

Truffles felt like a queen having her dog bed positioned to look out the window. She could do this all day!


I bought this floral dress for the meetup. It caught my eye with the bold red flowers and longer length. It is my Birthday dress this year 🙂 Its a great price to on Mango on SALE! I’m wearing my Jambu sandals which makes walking easy and very comfortable! I was all set to wear the new red statement earrings I bought from Amazon, What a bummer, they fell apart and weren’t glued properly. I ‘ll give Amazon one more shot.

This was the outdoor patio/ bar at ALOFT. beautiful atmosphere and quite a sunny day! 

I did use hot rollers to do my hair to meet the girls, but alas, the hair did fall, the hot sun meant it wouldn’t last.

Does anyone have some good hot roller suggestions? Babybliss?

At the XYZ Lounge

What was funny as we would pass this man on the street and he would do a Beat Box rhythm every time the dogs walked past. It was their theme song! Made me think, “What is my theme song?” Maybe, I’m Still Standing, by Elton John!

Anyhow, Its an easy day trip! My hubby brought the pups with us to meet Jennie and Shelbee, and embarrassingly I introduced Gibby and Truffy first! Bad wife!

We just chatted from every topic to our houses, blogging, companies we’ve worked with, The plight of Instagram, our families, and later into the conversation ( not because of alcohol, I was the only one besides my hubby drinking) we spoke about womanly things.. menopause, periods, etc.. and I could see my hubby was ready to take the pups for a walk at that point.


Did I mention my hair was curly in rollers earlier that day. but when i met up with them.. fhhhhpppt, went my hair! 

Jennie and Shelbee couldn’t have been nicer! Down to earth, and easygoing, I really did feel at ease. I think it is the years of blogging and getting to know someone personally through the blog that makes it an easy afternoon. Had a great time! We all incorporated red into our outfits and didn’t plan it 🙂

Shelbee was staying for the week, and we had to get back to Charlotte, afterward as hubby had work to do. The two days flew by so quickly.

I gave recommendations of visiting The Biltmore if you have never visited, as it is a Vanderbilt site to be seen. Beautiful gardens as well.

Since we were “living in the moment” we captured a few pictures with my hubby’s cell phone, and then a few more after lunch with Jennie’s camera.

I really enjoy meeting these ladies, we had fun!

Other places we visited-

Broad Street Chocolate- Most delicious Pate de Pan, a rich thick dessert, similar to a. I had homemade dark chocolate ice cream and it was creamy and oh so good!

The City Bakery- Wonderful artisanal bread, breakfast sandwiches, salads, and cookies. I bought a few molasses ginger cookies as it reminded me of the cookies my mom used to make~

Wicked Weed- a wonderful brewery where we met Jennie and Shelbee. Hubby enjoys beer and I enjoy that they have a wine selection besides “white” or “red”.Yes! 

Lots of art, the wall of earrings, boutiques, many stores downtown to check out. We often come here to get unique Christmas gifts.

If you missed the trip we took with my family to Asheville a few years ago read about it HERE.

Here’s the trip we took 4 years ago.

And another part of that trip when we stayed a month and worked from a rental in Asheville.


Creative Monday’s LInk up, Muttonstyle,  On Monday’s We Link Up,  Visible Monday,


Confident Tuesday My Red Carpet, ,Spread the Kindness,  Style With a SmileTurning Heads,


Fun Facts and FindsIs this MuttonOh hey, Girl, Style on the Daily,

Hope you enjoyed reading about my blogger meetup and our trips to Asheville. Does it sound like your kind of town?

Have a wonderful day!

Jess xx


  • Claire Justine
    Posted at 15:28h, 15 July Reply

    Happy belated birthday, Jess. Oh wow, what a great way to celebrate. I would love to meet up with you 3. I feel like I’ve know you all years. Lovely photos. Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Creative Mondays.

  • Kim Cook
    Posted at 21:15h, 14 July Reply

    Meet ups are the best. We love Asheville and have been several times – actually, we typically stay in Maggie Valley. Your post is wonderful. Looks like everyone had a great time. Happy Birthday!

  • Lisa Richardson
    Posted at 21:23h, 10 July Reply

    Awww, Happy Belated Jess!!!! Looks like you had a wonderful celebration and how very fun to meet Shelbee and Jennie!!! I love that y’all all coincidentally had red in your outfits. Meant to be.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:35h, 11 July Reply

      Thank you Lisa! It was a fun time in ashveille and so great to meet the ladies. It was 🙂 I am so ready for our beach trip tomorrow where we do more celebrating! xx

  • thestylesplash
    Posted at 18:48h, 09 July Reply

    Happy birthday Jess! How wonderful that you got to meet up with Jennie and Shelbee! I love your pretty floral print dress, great photos!

    Emma xxx

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:20h, 10 July Reply

      Thank you Emma! Yes, we had such a fun meeting and a great chat. Glad you enjoyed the photos, I will style the dress another way and feature it more on the blog. xx

  • Sheron Davis
    Posted at 13:57h, 09 July Reply

    Wishing you a very Happy birthday! May all your wishes and dream come true today and everyday. Love reading your posts and love the photos. We both have the same zodiac sign “cancer”. My birthday was on the 7th.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:22h, 10 July Reply

      Hello Sheron! Thank you so much for the lovely comment and birthday wish. So glad you enjoy the blog. Happy Belated birthday to you, I hope you had a wonderful day! xx

  • Tatiana Moskatova
    Posted at 09:26h, 09 July Reply

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Jess! Many, many more great years of happiness and love! You look stunning, as always!!!


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:47h, 09 July Reply

      Thank you so much Tatiana! We had a great time in Asheville and are celebrating at the beach soon. I appreciate it, I loved the dress and its print. xx

  • Andrea Nine
    Posted at 06:38h, 09 July Reply

    Happy Birthday beautiful! How fun you got to meet the ladies. I love meeting other bloggers! They just “get it!”

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:46h, 09 July Reply

      Thank you Andrea! We had alot of fun! So right! I am ready for our trip this weekend as wel xx

  • Suzanne
    Posted at 18:26h, 08 July Reply

    Happy Birthday! And to your cute little furry man too! No, I’m not talking about your husband! Ha ha! ; P

    Looks like a great trip. It’s always fun meeting bloggers IRL.

    That dog friendly hotel is so special. I love that they take on foster dogs.


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 09:40h, 09 July Reply

      Hi Suzanne! Hehe, I laughed at that! It was alot of fun! I enjoyed just shootin the breeze with thtese ladies over lunch. Asheville is one of our favorite towns, artsy, quirky and in the mountains. We loved the hotel so much we are going to stay there in the Fall, it really is great what they do for dogs!

  • shelbeeontheedge1
    Posted at 16:53h, 08 July Reply

    Happy Happy Birthday, Jess! What a fabulous post! I had so much fun with you two and your pups and your hubs are so great! Roy was cracking me up as we dove deep into menopause talk! Lol. What a great partner to have! I will be writing an Asheville post this week as well, but I am sooooo tired today. I just got home a few hours ago. I ended up being completely immersed in the Asheville music scene for the rest of the week as my friends that I spent the rest of my time with were musicians. But what a grand time we had! I hope to make this an annual trip if I can figure out how! Thanks again for driving the 2 hours to meet up with me!


    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:53h, 09 July Reply

      Thanks so much Shelbee! I think my hubby has heard it all at this point! hehe. We did have a blast and I had a feeling you might be tired and need to recoup! It really takes a toll driving that far. Your musician friends sound like a lot of fun! We love to go to Asheville and will go as a day trip at times. Take care and rest! I enjoyed writing this post too!xx

  • Amy
    Posted at 13:08h, 08 July Reply

    Oh my word! That was such a fun post! I was grinning through the whole thing! I’m so happy you had such a lovely get together, and that you have such a nice trip to look forward to!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:51h, 09 July Reply

      Thank you Amy! So glad you enjoyed the post, it was fun for me to write. I really enjoyed getting together with the girls! xx

  • thisblondesshoppingbag
    Posted at 12:51h, 08 July Reply

    What FUN!!! I love that your adorable fur babies were spoiled rotten – I’m sure they enjoyed every minute. You, Shelbee, and Jennie look terrific and I wish I was there! they are two of the nicest ladies so no doubt y’all had a great time together.
    Happy Birthday! I hope you celebrate all month long and I know you are going to be loving that beach vacation in just a few short days!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:50h, 09 July Reply

      I wish you were there too! We had alot of fun just talking and having a great lunch. Oh yes, we are going to stay in an ALOFT this fall when we go to Nashville, they treat the dogs like royalty! Thanks so much! We are looking forward to it, if I could only snap my fingers and be there.. its not to bad, 6 hours from here. xx

  • Nicole Mölders
    Posted at 10:46h, 08 July Reply

    Happy birthday. I can’t miss it as we have birthday on the same day. LOL.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:07h, 08 July Reply

      Thank you Nicole! I didn’t know that! Happy Birthday to you too!, hope you enjoy your day! xx

  • Jodie
    Posted at 09:15h, 08 July Reply

    What a wonderful time and happy birthday Jess!! You are so lucky to have met up with Jennie and Shelbee!!

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 11:06h, 08 July Reply

      Thank you Jodie! As you probably read, we had a great time meeting. 🙂 It was such a fun afternoon! xx

  • Diana Ferguson
    Posted at 01:20h, 08 July Reply

    Happy Birthday!

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