Effeminate Military 1

Another day, another outfit with this blush sweater… We all play favorites, right?! This look features lots of old favorites – the vest and the jeans are both from my high school/early college American Eagle-obsessed era. I’m always super proud of myself when I find pieces that I continue to wear years after purchasing, especially ones from when I was younger (I’ll put it nicely by saying my style has “evolved” since high school). ? Since the military trend is alive and well this season, I wanted to share some tips for choosing flattering pieces that tend to traditionally lean on the masculine side. As always, fit is key and even though this look is “borrowed from the boys”, that doesn’t mean that you should settle for shapeless silhouettes. In the four or so years that I’ve had this vest, I’ve received countless complements on it – usually from women who say they haven’t been able to find a military vest that isn’t too stiff and boxy. The secret to this one (and what you should look for if you’re on the hunt for a flattering utility vest) is the cinching just above the waist. It makes it so very versatile – if you want to wear it with a form fitting outfit, cinch it tighter and if you’re going for a grungy or effortless look, leave it looser. I have worn this one over just about everything and in every season. I don’t really consider myself a minimalist and would never describe my style as “neutral” but as I’ve grown up, I’ve really learned to appreciate the pieces that I can style a million different ways.

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November 2016

“Effeminate Military” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:00+00:00 November 30th, 2016|Fashion|0 Comments


Emilia Italian Restaurant Review

Emilia Italian Restaurant is located at 16 Market Square in Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee.

One Friday evening about a month before our move to Durham, Luke and I went out for an impromptu date night. Hoping to enjoy what was left of our short time left in Knoxville, we wanted to go to a place where we knew we would have a wonderful meal. We couldn’t agree on any of our old favorites so I pulled out my phone to browse the Yelp app and discovered Emilia, the brand new sophomore restaurant of Chef/Owner Matt Gallaher, whose Knox Mason has been a fresh southern staple of the downtown community for nearly four years. It was clear from the moment we entered Emilia that this place was special, and the rest of Knoxville seems to agree.

Until this year, there had been an absence of Italian restaurants in the downtown area since its recent revitalization, with Primo being the first and opening just a few months before Emilia. After our dining experience at Emilia, I think it’s safe to say that there won’t be many more Italian joints sprouting up in the area any time soon as Emilia presents some stiff competition. Named after Chef Gallaher’s grandmother and sister (both called Emily) and the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy in which many quintessential Italian diet staples are produced (balsamic, prosciutto, and parmesan, to name a few), Emilia can be enjoyed by both native Italian palates and by fellow epicureans who appreciate modern culinary inventiveness. Chef Gallaher, who worked his way up to sous chef at luxury hotel and resort Blackberry Farm, recognizes the importance of eating seasonally and supporting local farms. Emilia has in-season specials, usually featuring ingredients bought right outside their front door at the Downtown Knoxville farmer’s market. The pasta is made fresh in-house every day, with their pasta extruder producing every shape and size imaginable.

The knowledgable chefs that are working with local farmers and utilizing local ingredients whenever possible are pioneers of the future of food and I think the success that Chef Gallaher has had is a testament to how much he truly cares about his community and his craft. I’m curious to see the impact his skill and presence will continue to create in the Knoxville food scene, keeping a close watch as I’m aiming to make a stop at Emilia every time I come back to visit. ?

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Above; The Insalata Caprese with Tennessee-grown heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sweet basil, olive oil, and saba, “balsamic’s ancestor”. Left; I was in town recently visiting family so I dragged them along for this restaurant post. Our collective dishes? Dad chose Orecchiette with Ragu alla Bolognese, Mom chose Polenta and Meatballs Pomodoro, and as usual, I picked the dish with the pesto – the Pappardelle Primavera. Right; The Polenta and Meatballs Pomodoro, a unique twist on the classic Italian spaghetti & meatballs, seems to have found a home on Emilia’s permanent menu.

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Above; The Pappardelle Primavera with pesto sauce, greens, toasted pine nuts, finished with parmesan. Left; The Orecchiette with Ragu alla Bolognese boasts a hearty tomato sauce made with local Mitchell Farm Beef, Heritage Farm Pork, and Strauss Veal. Right; Another shot of the Insalata Caprese because you just have to appreciate the art of plating.

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Like any good Italian eatery, Emilia has an extensive wine list including house wine on tap and many more options by glass or bottle. They also have a full bar and a specialty cocktail menu echoing the Italian palate with the use of spirits such as Campari and Montenegro.

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For “Dolci” we shared Emilia’s most popular dessert, the Butterscotch Budino – butterscotch pudding topped with salted caramel, whipped cream, and pine nut crumbles. I don’t even have to tell you how it was because that spoon shot describes it all – pure decadence!

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Caroline Farris took on the task of designing the interior of Emilia “on a budget” as she describes, combing through local thrift stores for the pieces now hanging on the whitewashed walls. She acid-washed the mirror display herself, dug through vintage to find rustic maps of Italy, and arranged thrifted ceramic plates (a few contributed by Gallaher’s family) into subtle but statement-making installations. I love the finished product of her aesthetic – a juxtaposition of southern modern and traditional Italian, which mimics the well-curated menu presented at Emilia.

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Emilia was voted the Best New Restaurant in the Knoxville News Sentinel’s 2016 “Best of Knoxville” Awards in September – a mere four months after their Market Square restaurant opened in May.

Emilia’s Website

Emilia’s Facebook Page

Knoxville News Sentinel Articles used as sources Here and Here

“Emilia Italian Restaurant Review” Photographed by Emily Davis

© Emily Davis

2017-04-03T00:30:00+00:00 November 17th, 2016|Food|2 Comments


Fair Weather Fall 1

It may be November, and while the temperatures still haven’t dropped low enough to justify wearing a coat, I’ve been taking advantage of the extra warm weeks to continue wearing dresses and skirts. I finally got some brown boots (my first pair of over the knee boots, so I’m officially in the OTK club) ? and while they go with everything, I especially love how flirty they look when paired with flowy hem-lines. I caught mine on sale at Lord & Taylor (currently 20% off through November 15th with code “VETERAN” Here) so I paid a significant amount less than the retail price for good, quality boots. Sam Edelman provide amazing styles for ladies who want shoes that will last, but won’t completely break the bank. I have a pair of blush suede pumps from the brand that I found at Ross, of all places, and they have been a total wardrobe game-changer (seen on the blog herehere, and here). I imagine department store Holiday sales will be starting very soon so, as always, I will keep my eyes peeled for good deals and report them back to you all! Can you believe it’s almost time to start shopping for Christmas?! It seems to come quicker and quicker with each passing year (guess that’s what happens when you start getting old)! Are you a Christmas procrastinator or have you already selected and wrapped all your gifts? There are two kinds of people in this world and if I told you that I was writing this blog post after midnight the night before publication, I bet you could guess which category I fall into… ??

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November 2016

“Fair Weather Fall” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:00+00:00 November 10th, 2016|Fashion|0 Comments


Blush & Brocade 1

Since it has been so unseasonably warm, I’ve been trying to take advantage of the fact that I can still wear skirts without tights, even though I’m a little bitter about the fact that fall layers are so impractical right now. I threw this outfit on for date night with Luke a couple of weekends ago and posted the look on Instagram and it got so much great feedback that I decided to take some proper photos of it. Lately I’ve had a hard time finding inspiration for new outfits to feature and when I was getting dressed for that Friday night out, this one came together so organically. I tend to be a person that can become paralyzed by the thought of not always meeting expectations (including my own). It’s not that I don’t work well under pressure, it’s just that sometimes the whirlwind of to-do lists and deadlines really puts a damper on my creative process. When I get overwhelmed with life, I try engage myself in projects and/or activities to recharge my right-sided brain. What I’ve found that helps me work through a creativity rut is to;

  1. Be inspired Save and print images that you see online (or tear pages out of magazines) of things that inspire you. It doesn’t always have to be clothing – it could just be a painting with a beautiful color palette or a photo that you love for aesthetically pleasing reasons. I take these clippings and put them in a space where I’ll see them often. I’m currently working on building a “mood board” to display these inspirations on my office walls.
  2. Just go shoot The problem with creatives is that they’re their own worst critics. We constantly doubt ourselves, our abilities, and our talents while people with opposite skill sets are out there getting stuff done because they are confident (even if sometimes that stuff is sub-par). The only way I’ve found to cope with this crippling feeling is to take the first step. Whether that’s grabbing my camera, hopping in the car, and driving until I find a subject begging to be photographed or completely dismantling my closet and trying 100 different combinations until I find an outfit I love. A big part of being creative is being in love with the process of your craft and if it starts to feel overwhelming, just go create something without an agenda in mind.
  3. Find your tribe Even though I am a pretty introverted person, I always appreciate time spent with fellow creatives. Since moving, I have joined a blogging community here in North Carolina and it has been such a great experience to just be able to share stories and celebrations with a group of women who are connected by a common interest. It’s important to have a network of people in your life that make you want to be your best self.
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November 2016

“Blush & Brocade” Photographed by Luke Bowes

2017-04-03T00:30:00+00:00 November 1st, 2016|Fashion|2 Comments