A Date at the Biltmore Estate

img_6987

img_6990

img_6992

img_6946

img_6944

img_6955

img_6960

At the top of my Asheville list was something I’ve wanted to do forever: visit the gorgeous Biltmore Estate. In fact, I was so excited to go that it was the very first stop on our trip (even before checking in at the hotel)! It was even more incredible than I thought, and I can’t wait to share all my favorite parts below.

Poncho: Loft (now 50% off!) | Jeans: c/o DL1961 | Booties: Madewell (similar) | Clutch: Clare V | Sunglasses: Karen Walker c/o Ditto (use code TOPKNOTS for your first month free!) | Necklace: Forever 21 | Bangles: c/o Moon & Lola | Spike Bracelet: Stella & Dot | Rings: H&M | Lips: NYX Matte Lipstick (‘Eden’) | Nails: OPI Gel (‘Malaga Wine’)

When I saw the mansion for the first time, it seriously took my breath away! The different levels, winding hallways, and endless rooms could have kept me busy all day long. Although history was always my least favorite subject in school, for some reason that was not the case at the Biltmore. You have the option to listen to an audio guide as you tour the estate, and this gal could not get enough.

Can we talk about this chandelier/spiral staircase combo? There is not one square foot of this place that isn’t mesmerizingly intricate – I could have stared at the details for hours.

One of the reasons it took me so long to get to the Biltmore is because I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go during fall or at Christmastime. Both are my favorite things ever, and both times of year are equally stunning there. Lucky for me, the Biltmore starts decorating for Christmas even earlier than I do (and my holiday season begins the day after Halloween, ha!), so I ended up getting to experience a little bit of both.

After making our way through the mansion, we went out and explored the gardens. The Conservatory was by far my favorite part, mostly because of the cactus room. It is literally a room filled with hundreds of succulents and cacti, which I’m pretty sure is every blogger’s dream!

Is anyone else having major garden envy over this rainbow of mums? Currently my “garden” is a plant on the fire escape that I’m struggling to keep alive, so I was pretty into this situation.

Next it was off to Antler Hill Village & Winery, which was about a five minute drive through the Biltmore grounds. I could not believe how large the whole estate is! The wine tasting was right up my alley because they don’t limit how many you can try – and their wine list is not small. I loved being able to taste everything, from the Christmas blend (!) to the exclusive reserve wines.

When I asked my blogger bestie, Brittany of Southern Meets Chic, about her Biltmore highlights, one thing at the top of her list was The Barn. We both share an absurd love for animals, so she gave me the essential pro tip that this stop on the map was not to be missed. Or in Britt’s words, “they let you cuddle and love on the animals as much as you want!” Which, of course, is exactly what I did.

Thanks so much to the Biltmore for having us! It was an unforgettable experience, and I’m sure it won’t be too long before I’m back. Most likely at Christmas. ❤

Far From Basic

TKPD-3

On paper, some might say this outfit is pretty #basic. I mean, it does have the total basic blogger recipe: black and white with a pop of color, the poncho and turtleneck combo, distressed skinnies, a blush clutch, those lace-up flats that won’t stop clogging your insta feed…pretty much all that’s missing is a Starbucks cup. Not only do I kind of hate the term “basic” (and that’s not just because I do a lot of basic things, but like sue me for loving seasonal candles and The Bachelor?!) – however, this look is far from it. Scroll on to see why.

TKPD-11

TKPD-9

TKPD-17

TKPD-7

We’ve all seen the turtleneck and poncho thing about a million times by now – but I decided to amp it up a little bit with some major print mixing. Like, major in the way that it might induce seizures if you look too closely at it for too long. Went for it anyway, pairing with my go-to distressed skinnies and black lace-up flats. I don’t really have an excuse for how that last part isn’t basic, but I will say that those flats are from none other than OLD NAVY (!) and offer the perfect dupe for the Topshop ones that are dupes of the Loeffler Randall ones that are dupes of the Aquazzura ones. Phew. Fashion is exhausting, guys.

TKPD-4

TKPD-27

TKPD-16

To accessorize, I went with my tortoiseshell Karen Walker shades and this killer rose gold Taxidermy envelope clutch that would eat basic betches for breakfast. As for my jewelry, I stepped outside my studs-only comfort zone with some fancy gem-filled J. Crew hoop earrings, and slipped on a few vintagey Theodosia rings.

TKPD-25

TKPD-23

TKPD-14

For an edgy little touch on this ensemble, I opted for a dark vampy lip and matte bordeaux almond nails. The combo had me feeling very Khloe K, and I can’t say I hated it.

TKPD-8

Still think it’s basic? Okay fine, but I tried. #basicatheart

P.S. If you ❤ my clutch and will be in Charleston tonight, come to the Taxidermy party at the 94 Spring St showroom – it’s going to be so fab! See you there.

Turtleneck: J. Crew | Poncho c/o Apricot Lane North Charleston | Jeans: Flying Monkey via Stylexchange | Flats: Old Navy | Clutch c/o Taxidermy | Sunnies: Karen Walker c/o Ditto (use code TOPKNOTS for your first month free!) | Earrings: J. Crew | Rings c/oc/o Theodosia Jewelry | Lips: NYX Simply Vamp Lip Cream (Temptress) | Nails: Essie (Bahama Mama + Matte About You)

Photos by Smith Photos + Ink

Notcho Poncho

IMG_3896

It took a while for me to get on board with ponchos, but now I don’t know how I ever questioned it. Despite the fact that I sort of feel like a Colombian man riding his burro, this is one of my favorite fall wardrobe additions. It was an excellent *MaXxiNisTa* find that’s acceptable enough to leave the house in, but comfy enough to live in — and that’s all I’ve ever wanted. It also doesn’t hurt that it was originally $120 and I got it for a sweet sweet $25. #bargainhunter4lyfe

IMG_3903

IMG_3917

IMG_3878

When it came to styling this pretty poncho, I kept things fairly simple. Skinny jeans, Frye boots, and a pop of blue with my mirrored sunnies. I accessorized with a fun little tassel necklace (give me all the tassels this fall), some B&B bangles, a blingy bracelet, and simple gold rings. Last but not least, it just wouldn’t be right without a messy topknot. Hello, head honcho poncho.

IMG_3894

IMG_3874

IMG_3888

If it weren’t for the Peruvian princess pattern, this shoot would kind of scream Coldwater Creek — but I just can’t help how much I love fall (WE KNOW, CHLOE). I was lucky enough to run home to Virginia for a few days during the the peak of autumn, and it was kind of the best thing ever.

IMG_3900

IMG_3913

IMG_3889
Poncho: BB Dakota from TJ Maxx | Skinnies: J. Brand | Boots: Frye | Sunnies: Ray Ban | Necklace: J. Crew Factory | Bangles: Bourbon & Boweties | Bracelet: J. Crew Factory | Rings: Lilli & Tori and H&M

Who else is on the poncho bandwagon this fall?