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By Peyton Haecker

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Behind the Scenes with Condor Hot Cocoa

As the cold weather creeps up, we know that our favorite seasonal go-to beverage is some good old hot chocolate. Fortunate enough, Athens boasts a source for some hot chocolate that will seriously challenge any other you’ve ever had. You know them for their bars, truffles, toffee, macaroons, and other baked sweets. The beans they use for their home made chocolate, prepared in-store, are actually imported from Ecuador. At the bean-to-bar chocolate spot, Condor Chocolates undoubtedly brings you some hot chocolate that means serious business. As if the mention of the warm goodness didn’t already set your cravings, we have a look behind the scenes with Moriah of the preparation in these masterpiece concoctions.

 

The first step involves filling a mug with about half an inch of sipping chocolate. What is this sipping chocolate, you ask, and where can you get some? It is patterned after Europe, in its thickness, creaminess, and rich flavor–it’s even caffeinated. If this alone spurs your craving, you can indeed get a (small) cup of just the warm sipping chocolate at Condor Chocolates. If you aren’t quite ready for that step yet, you can get familiar with the taste as it serves as the base for the hot chocolate.

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The next step is the steaming of the milk.

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Next, Moriah added the steamed milk to the mug with the sipping chocolate in small doses, stirring after each addition to ensure that it is both properly mixed and also consistently integrated with the thicker chocolate base.

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The final contents of the milk are poured into the mug to fill the rest.

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To add some seasonal flavors, Moriah then adds some peppermint bits to the top. Then it is time to finish it off with the marshmallow musts. The marshmallows are also homemade in store, as if you needed another reason for your homemade drinks to feel inferior.

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Alas, the beautiful creation is completed and awaiting some serious sips–or chugging–because you will find it irresistible. We promise from experience. img_7029

Now, we know at the end of the day, you will probably really struggle to replicate this goodness in your kitchen. The good news? You can buy some powder to take home and generate a delicious blend whenever your chocolate holiday cravings call. Co-Owner Peter Dale reminds us, when making at home, to “continue whisking your milk when heating”. The remnants of burnt milk is no desirable smell or feature to your pans.

If you aren’t feeling the call to the kitchen yourself, you can regular some stops to Condor Chocolates, located at Five Points, grab a drink, and probably walk out with some more chocolate goodness. Find great hostess gifts for holiday parties (we all know chocolate is something everyone can agree on), chocolate syrup (great for chocolate milk and the kids!), or any number of holiday treats. Happy sipping!

@onwardreserve

guide2: Gifts for Guys

We all know that the challenge of shopping for a guy puts a serious stump in your master holiday buy list. When you might have previously struggled, Athens can help. We have pulled a number of local spots that could give you that perfect pick to gift your guys this season.

Onward Reserve:

Whether he knows he needs some new swag or you have been waiting for the chance to give him a wardrobe update, Onward Reserve is there to help. The store boasts a wide selection of classic Southern menswear from brands like Peter Millar, Barbour, Southern Proper, Smathers & Branson, True Grit, and more. If you’re worried about choices and size, they also have a number of specialty bags, sunglasses, belts, books, home decor, and more. For more specifics of what you can find–and what you should get–take a peek at their Holiday Gift Guide here.

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CINÉ Athens:

Which guy doesn’t love a movie? When we’re talking about a night out to see a movie, CINÉ Athens majorly raises the bar.  For a constantly changing selection of various genres, old and new, domestic and international films, complete with a full bar and snacks, the gift of an evening at the cinema would be a great gift for any guy. Warning: he may have to choose the movie though. Get a gift card online here.

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University of Georgia Golf Course:

Even as the temperature drops, your golf lovers are always on the hunt for some great gear. Shop online or in store at the Golf Course’s shop for a number of your red and black outerwear, polos, golf necessities and more. Enjoy the holiday sale going on right now that offers 20% off your entire purchase (excluding golf balls and clubs) valid through Christmas Eve. For online orders, use the promo code HOLIDAY2K15 for this awesome deal. ‘Tis the golf season also, right?

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Empire South Clothier:

For all your Southern styles, this classic collection can certainly provide some great picks for men. They host a variety of collegiate apparel, and anything from button downs to shoes and hats and wallets. Explore items from Peace State Pride, Orvis, Bird Dog Bay, and beyond for great picks for the outdoors in the South!

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UGA Bookstore:

Football season is drawing to a close but that doesn’t mean that your dawg clothing isn’t a must for holiday giving, particularly for the guys. Find your biggest selection of everything red and black from game day get-up to holiday sweaters, outerwear, books, specialty Georgia items, and beyond. For any major UGA supporter, give the gift of history with the book “Dear Old U-G-A” that chronicles a century student life from The Red & Black. Five dollars of every purchase will be donated to Books For Keeps, which gives books to children in the Athens-area. In this bookstore, you could knock out a lot of holiday shopping for more than just the guys! Also enjoy a major clearance on items here.

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Grinning Mule Clothing Co.:

As the cold weather creeps up, this is the place to prepare. With an impressive collection of woven shirts, knit tops, and jackets, cozy and warm has never been so doable–and tasteful. The array includes items from the Grinning Mule Brand itself, manufactured in Macon, as well as True Grit, Henley, & Sons Garment Co., Zenfari, and more.

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Happy shopping!

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Dummies Guide to Buying Jewelry

As we are officially knee-deep in the holiday season, Patti Reed of JWR Jewelers knows just how busy it can be. In her world, everything certainly does sparkle. Jeweler and twenty-three-year owner, Patti welcomes all the seasonal shoppers looking for something special. But where does a jewel-shopping dummy turn when you may be out of your element? The local expert gives her two cents for these seekers.

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1. Know the person for whom you are shopping.

Nothing is harder than an attempt at solo jewelry shopping than a total lack of context and personal taste. A guessing game is never good for purchases, particularly those for the investment of jewelry. There are so many styles and intricacies of jewelry, so try and have a very good understanding of what you may be going for.

 

2. For Engagement rings, “go for the biggie”.

We all know it is cuffing season and the confusion in an aspiring fiancé about to pop the question can be made easy if they remember that the boldness of the statement will surely appease any receiver. That being said, the sentiment and the thought combined with the variety at JWR Jewelers can help someone with a tight price range pick out an excellent and glowing selection.

 

3. Silver is great for the budget-minded person.

So often customers look past silver and its ability to gorgeously build a ring, necklace, or bracelet.

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4. Personalization is always a nice touch.

From engraving monograms to short messages, the personal element involved is one that always adds a special extra touch and lifetime treasure.

 

5. Go early rather than later.

Though JWR Jewelers will be open the Sunday afternoon before Christmas (the 18th) for those last minute shoppers, Patti recommends that the difficulty in making decisions as well as potential for multiple visits or any modifications could set you back – and you want to be prepared.

 

6. Don’t get overwhelmed in the pricing.

There is a wide variety of offers at JWR Jewelers and ones that do not need to break your wallet.

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7. There are a lot of combinations and ways to make a gift unique.

Between different types of gold, sharp whites, narrow vs. thin, colored stones, tints, and beyond, you are sure to find something. So don’t start thinking this is a cut-and-dry duty.

 

8. Embrace the seasonal favorites.

The widespread interest in rose gold is just the beginning for the current trends in jewelry shoppers this year. Start to explore and love the other picks in stacking, dainty necklaces, bar styles, arrows and drops, and more.

 

9. Know that pictures cannot always come to perfect fruition.

Patti notes that she receives so many customers with specifics of fine details that are often not durable. A ring with very small and tightly held diamonds may not endure. What people think they must have may not actually hold up. The good news: JWR Jewelers will give you the advice in order to make your visions come to fruition in the most sensible and beautiful ways.

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10. You will always be good to go with something classic.

A thoughtful and gorgeous purchase does not have to be too “out there” in order to be a huge success when it’s opened. There is a reason that the simplistic class has stood the test of years.

 

11. Lastly, it is important you are comfortable with whom you are shopping.

At an independent local jeweler like JWR Jewelers, the trust involved in the process and ultimate purchase can truly be guaranteed. Local jewelers are a part of the community, who hold a wealth of experience. What JWR Jewelers also boasts, is its setting of the diamonds in store as well as continual upkeep, additions, maintaining, sizing, and general repairs. JWR Jewelers appreciates the close ties with the Athens community – and their gift giving. They are committed to offering the consultations and advice for those that are, in fact, jewelry dummies, as well as those well versed in the trade. Stop by to explore the cases of breathtaking pieces this holiday season!

 

@martisatmidday

What Your Lunch Says about You

Around the middle of the day, when your energy is wavering, we all know the most important game changer includes a thought-out decision as to where you indulge in your noon-time meal. But did you also know that there is more behind this decision than merely a stomach growl? We can offer some assistance in helping you understand the background of these tendencies.

 

Marti’s At Midday: Midday Basket

You appreciate the the classic lunch scene when you’re making your choice. You want to sit in the sun, possibly on the deck, or even surrounded by the hustle and bustle and the colorful decor inside Marti’s place. You recognize that you need some greens and fruit but also cherish the opportunity to select your scoops of choice (a variety to keep things interesting could include both delicious pimento and chicken salad). All in all, a quintessential lunch makes you feel good and the bright atmosphere reaffirms your selection.

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Athens Bagel Company: Bagel Sandwich

You treasure the fact that bagels are not just food for breakfast. You know that you can bring together any variety of additions to either dabble in the morning classics or add more lunch-meats to make you feel more midday appropriate. You love a classic, easy, grab for lunch and the laid back atmosphere compliments your noon time vibes. How can you be resistant to the beauty that results from food in between soft doughy slices that come in a plethora of flavors and tastes?

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Barberitos: Nachos Stack

An afternoon slump has hit you and you know the only pick up could be a sloppy, mouth-watering, mound of chips, cheese, and beyond. You know that your health-conscious signals are not enough to steer you away from this masterpiece. But nonetheless, you’re confident. You appreciate a social lunch and you know that these nachos are best enjoyed by some great company. There is no way to say that this won’t be enough to give you a pick-me-up for the rest of the day…and leave you dreaming of them for the rest of the weekend.

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Heirloom Cafe: Pastured Steak Sandwich & Butternut Squash Soup

You know that the energy to get you through the rest of the work day relies on some fresh ingredients and bold flavors. You are very comfortable with stepping out of your foodie comfort zone and willing to spice up your plate with anything but the expected. Whether you are a usual connoisseur in the kitchen or just appreciate a solid #foodpic for the gram, you know that this plate (or really any others at Heirloom) are very worthy.

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Pulaski Heights BBQ: Redneck Reuben

You are bold–are at least your tastebuds are feeling like it–for this meat lovers ‘which. You prioritize your Southern flare as seen in the beautiful pimento cheese layer or classic collared greens addition but also recognize that you dabble in some unique flavors and like to keep things interesting as it plays together in reuben with housemade bacon and ranch on Texas toast. You’re in a relaxed mood and enjoy a casual meal with just a few friends. Generally, a casual setting with some good old fashioned dishes and sides is enough to set you up for a meal you’ll be reminiscing for a long time.

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Viva! Argentine Cuisine: French Fries

You’re adventurous and daring. You enjoy travel, as reflected in your international culinary interests. The opportunity to splurge in a South American twist on a good old American classic of the french fry. This time, they are loaded with steak and cheese and you will meet your match.

 

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Next time, your lunch decision may even get harder than it normally is. The good news: Athens brings you the best options to make every day tasteful. Chew on that!

 

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guide2: French Toast Roundup

Prepare yourself. We have gathered a compilation of one of the most iconic breakfast favorites crafted by local Athens restaurants. We know that our Classic City spots are always serving up the best so we thought it best to showcase one of the best morning favorites that they have to offer. Enjoy the picks, let your mouth water a little, and then stop by one of (or all of) these spots to indulge with some french toast, Athens edition. Cue mouth watering.


South Kitchen + Bar

Of the wide array of “creative food with a southern-accent” items on the brunch menu at South Kitchen + Bar, it may be challenging to make your choice. We believe that the French toast would be a very pleasant selection. It is composed of Luna challah, house syrup and house vanilla bean syrup for smothering and complemented with seasonal fruit.

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Big City Bread Cafe

This corner cafe brings you fresh and locally grown ingredients seven days a week to create delicious menus for every meal. When we’re talking about toast, we pivot our focus to the breakfast and brunch ones. French bread is dipped in cinnamon-vanilla custard, pan-fried and served with simple syrup. As your mouth drops and you begin to wonder if you ever even thought that was possible with a piece of bread, make some plans to stop by Big City Bread Cafe and find out if it worked.

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Mama’s Boy

Commonly known for its iconic biscuits, Mama’s Boy is unsurprisingly masterful at yet another breakfast food. Here, prepare yourself for the dessert of the morning. Luna sweet bread with peach filling, topped with powdered sugar, candied pecans, and whipped cream bring you the most ultimate Southern-inspired toast.

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Heirloom

This Chase Street cafe and fresh market brings you delicious dishes using ingredients from local farmers. This beautiful stack of Challah toast is topped with raspberry compote and condensed milk. Come on a Saturday or Sunday (maybe both) to get a taste of this plate.

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Now that you feel insecure about your homemade french toast plates, add these dishes to your local food bucket list and you will not be disappointed!

Appointments at Five

guide2: Your Home for the Holidays!

Whether it gives you abounding excitement or certain levels of stress, the holidays are indeed upon us. Regardless of your feelings in the planning period, it is essential that your house is looking and feeling seasonal. With all that the shops in Athens have to offer, your job is made easy. We’ve got a few picks to show you what awaits you when you hit the ground running.

 

Treehouse Athens

Recently opened as an extension of the original store in Clayton, Treehouse Athens brings you gorgeous home decor, trendy clothing and jewelry, and specialty Athens gifts. At Treehouse, they have certainly not forgotten about the Thanksgiving must-haves to complete a festive table spread or give host gifts such as treats, candles, and kitchen cloths. The browns, deep reds, oranges of October and November can still come to your home. Why not bring the fall favorites and impending Christmas additions together? Treehouse can bring you all of the above as well as other furniture and interior design necessities such as pillows, throws, and wall decor. Also get a head start on your gift shopping in a beautiful collection of work from local jewelers and various Athens-themed goodies.

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Complete your turkey table with adorable centerpieces or get your candles to fill your home with the scents of November. Explore the Thanksgiving sale items, including turkey napkin holders and napkins to fill them. We are not done yet with our pumpkin spice season!
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Get your mantle glowing with these three beautiful angels as well as the garland, cranberries, and candle set to bring in the holiday classics.
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A decorative table spread is essential for the dining and the completion of the home. Come explore the customized platters, centerpieces and napkin holders that will make up the perfect meal accessories.
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Make your traditional wreath special with these metallic additions and tie it together throughout the home with these tall tabletop tree structures or mantle extensions. The angle tray set and tiny plates with memory verses make excellent gifts!
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Certainly tree toppings are high on the decorating priority list. Choose from gorgeous elements to make your tree shine.

Heery’s Too!

Located on Clayton Street, this home decor store boasts an amazing variety of elements to decorate your home, clothes for the kids, and gifts for hosts, children, and anyone in between. This holiday season, Heery’s Too! includes an extensive collection of items to spruce up your home. From some late goers to the fall and Thanksgiving themes to the Christmas early birds, this place will keep you covered. One of the store designers, Donna Zuppardo noted that this year, many are looking for the “old-fashioned Christmas elements such as farm house cotton embellishments, as well as the classics of cyprus and berries that contribute to the natural feel”. And, to save some of you an immediate question when you step inside, the amazing scent is traced to the Thymes Frasier Fir candle, which is a yearly bestseller.

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Add a unique element to your Christmas display with this reindeer sleigh. Fill it with other classic holiday colors and favorites to find the perfect door greeter.
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With food so good, we need the dining ware to compliment. Find serving plates with Santa, napkins with elves, and even an entire set if you are just starting from scratch.
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Santa, Santa, and more Santa. Whether he is standing on your countertop, in your snow globe, or sitting amidst your garland, Santa is brought to new levels.
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Find cotton to spruce up for a gorgeous Southern Christmas home and see the other beautiful dresser decor to bring the whole picture together.

Appointments at Five

Step into your holiday wonderland at Appointments at Five. This local favorite has been an Athens go-to for beautiful home decor since 1957. Co-owners Jenny Sligh and Kitty Culpepper have brought French-meets-American antiques to Five Points and beyond for years. The holiday picks are certainly no exception to the classic theme of “gracious living with a timeless flair”. From the subtle elegant whites, to the kitchen and plating fun, to the precious tree delicates, to the children’s nativity set and more, this adorable cottage storefront and the plethora of items will keep you busy for a period of time. Block out your schedule to both explore and find many elements to not only decorate but transform your interior this year.

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We are seeing visions of turkeys with less than two weeks from this day of feasting. There is plenty of time to snag your serving platters, napkins, pumpkin centerpieces, and fall color must-haves for our favorite Thursday of the year.
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Joyful stories and nighttime classics, adorable stuffed reindeer, and decorative pillows can all create such a special celebration to the little ones.
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Even if the weather does not truly signal snow, there is no reason your house can’t feel the elegant snowy solstice that comes from this gorgeous display.
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It is proven that food tastes better from Santa dining ware. Between your platters for the cookies sitting out, your snacking nuts and treats, and your main course meats, there is no place you shouldn’t find him.
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Give your home the cabin feel with these woodsy components. There is no reason your autumn browns can find a gorgeous place in your Christmas display (even on Santa).

Set out to complete your holiday set up with items from some of our local favorites and we promise you will leave filled with holiday spirit!

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It’s Electric! at Blue Moon Electric

Whether your issues with lighting arise frequently or just once in a “blue moon”, you do not want to mess around. Blue Moon Electric is aware that Athenians need solid electrical assistance and they are ready to answer the call. Since owner Ed Smith started the electrical service and repair company twelve years ago, the company has seen exponential growth (and given credit to Ed’s mom for that creative business name inspiration).

On any given day, you will see any of the seven electricians doing service calls around town—from light fixture installations, LED light changeovers, work with custom homes and builders, and beyond. There is no limit to the clients that Blue Moon Electric visits. In addition to homes, they work with commercial properties (flashback to the recent work with some of our other guide2athens buddies, Appointments at Five, Cheeky Peach, Marker 7 Coastal Grill, and Hilltop Grille), student housing, sorority and fraternity homes, and more. Lately, Ed notes that they have been busy with a lot of remodeling projects, as people update lights and involve various designers in the process.

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As much as the temperatures in Athens do not warrant the change of season, we know that we are undeniably facing fewer hours of daylight. The earlier darkness mixed with the years that some Athens homes have seen could indicate the need for some lighting updates. Though the electricians at Blue Moon Electric frequently face challenges concerning the dated homes from the wiring of the early 1900’s, Ed acknowledges that this highlights one of the business’ greatest strengths. The troubleshooting involved to “get in the mind of the guy who wired the home back in the day requires a special skill set that these guys master” is certainly an area in which Blue Moon Electric excels. The secret you ask? Office canine Miles offers tremendous moral support for all electricians when they stop in for weekly morning meetings.

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After his years in this business in our favorite Classic City, Ed credits his love for the work to the loyal customers and involvement in the community. Through sponsorships of local fundraisers and Athens Little League, Blue Moon Electric takes pride in its place within this town. Catch Ed and his family chowing at one of their local favorites, Last Resort Grill.

In the coming years, Blue Moon Electric strives to continue its tremendous growth with hopes to represent the immediate go-to when it comes to electrical duties in Athens. When you give Blue Moon Electric a call, you will enjoy excellent customer service and results that mirror the pleasant relationship you will form. It’s Electric!

Blue Moon Electric's work to set up a client's seamless TV installation
Blue Moon Electric’s work to set up a client’s seamless TV installation
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ATHxSSI: The Cloister Collection

If you’re looking for a link between Athens and St. Simons aside from the thousands that flock for the traditional weekend at the beach, you will find a similarity in shopping: The Cloister Collection. The Classic City location of this St. Simons favorite is known for its wide collection of Lilly Pulitzer for your beach retreats. Though the store definitely pays homage to its roots in Lilly, it also features a number of contemporary styles for your fall favorites (when you aren’t at the beach).

Open two years in February 2017, owner Steve Moore hoped to bring the South Georgia favorites to our favorite college town, particularly to cater to those women 25 years of age and beyond. Don’t be worried college gals—there is plenty in store for you. They take pride in the fact that the Cloister Collection is the place “you can get adorable and appropriate clothes for you, your daughters, your mom, and your grandmother”.

Both Lilly Pulitzer and the Cloister Collection are ever-evolving brands and the collection at the store can generate something for every body. To demonstrate the variety that you can explore at the store, we have pulled some ensembles.

It’s Fall in Athens, which means it is not yet time to go crazy with your boots and wooly wraps. Athens is still giving us the warm temperatures but no reason not to change a little wardrobe for the season because we know that we are dying for some leggings (check out these adorable faux leather ones) with a light knit and some shades when it undoubtedly gets sunny in the Classic City afternoons.

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October does not mean that game days are anywhere near gone. Snap up these cute shorts and a long sleeve red number to gear up for slightly cooler temperatures in Sanford (and Jacksonville). Pair it with a slight heel and some fun accessories to let the dawgs continue dominating your wardrobe.
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There’s no way we can ignore the fact that those Fall Break beach trips don’t need some love. This vibrant Lilly Pulitzer dress gives you every memory of Summer you thought was long gone. So even if you aren’t really taking a beach trip, we won’t tell. Just come and absorb the remaining Summer vibes whenever you’re lattes and sweaters aren’t cutting it. fullsizerender-6

 

Stop by before you hit the road or any time during the weekend for all you staying local. Also explore the St. Simons location for the major sidewalk sale going on for this dawg holiday weekend! Happy Georgia Florida and happy shopping!

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Game Night: Athens Edition at The Rook & Pawn

A public service announcement for all those that think they are trapped in a boring cycle with the same board games that have lost their appeal: Here in Athens, you really have no excuse. The Rook & Pawn board game cafe offers around 750 (you heard that right) game options that can save you from your typical over-played collection. After owners and UGA graduates Tim and Carrie stumbled upon a similar concept in an article, they felt inspired to construct a local joint. Long-time game appreciators and major Athens fans, these two began discussing the possibilities of a downtown location and before they knew it, the café came to fruition in June 2015.

When asked about the heart behind this creative concept, Tim acknowledged his own lifelong personal desire to “spend time actually interacting with family around a game” (which we can also reference when discussing the lack of televisions in the café). The goal you ask? To appeal to anyone and everyone. There are games for two people and beyond, preschool to adults, and an environment conducive to a midday break or a long night downtown with some drinks. Unique décor derived from one of the Tim’s favorite selections, Letters from White Chapel, the old Victorian London vibes generate an underground gaming atmosphere all will love.

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Since it’s founding a little over a year ago, the café has increased its game repertoire by over 200, expanded its versatile food and drink menus, and showed locals a new meaning to “game night”. The Rook & Pawn continually works with distributors and customers to receive input on the games available and desired, as well as cycling out others that are not as popular. For anyone that is possibly concerned with the logistics (and knows the personal struggle of keeping track of game pieces) there are two periods of organization in the week in which games are checked and repaired if needed so you can avoid the dreaded thirty-minute lull when you can’t find the candlestick.

If there is any hesitation due to lack of game knowledge or stubbornness of reading directions, you also have no reason to stray away. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, you may consult a “Game Wizard” for game recommendations, organizational questions, and even a round walk-through. The Rook & Pawn also hosts Fan Tracks, a “Book of the Month” equivalent for games, in which a game genre group highlights certain games that unites gamers alike. This Sunday, from 12:30PM to 4:00 PM, Lord of the Rings fantasy gamers are called for a great afternoon of dramatic gameplay.

Now we are undoubtedly are covered on the game variety and tutorial front, but we need to complete the experience with yummy libations. The Rook & Pawn boasts an expansive food menu including snacks (think nuts, candy, ice cream, baked goods), salads, apps (think hummus, pimento, cheeses), and sandwiches. Mirror your dietary choice with a number of drink selections. From specialty cocktails to wine, beers on draft, liquor, coffee, and sodas, there is really plenty of ways to camp out for a long period of time.

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You may be asking yourself, where do I even begin? A daily membership for just $5 will give you unlimited all-day access to any games. After your first trial, I am sure you would be interested to learn about monthly or annual membership options. Kids under the age of twelve are always free. You can also buy lunch on the weekdays and enjoy free games for the afternoon!

The Rook & Pawn loves interacting with the local Athens community and participates in a variety of events. On Saturday, October 29th, join Model Citizen for a Pre-Halloween Parade Bash Event to benefit the Athens Area Humane Society. Check out the long list of upcoming events here.

Explore all the festive seasonal events going on at The Rook & Pawn or stop by any day to satisfy your competitive side, enjoy some tasty grub, and embrace your old and new favorite board games at this awesome Athens spot!

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guide2: Your Friday Night Plans

So Friday afternoon rolls around after a busy week and it finally hits you: there is absolutely nothing on the agenda for the night. In many circumstances, this could be an acceptable situation. However, here in Athens, we see this as a crime against the local hotspots. Fret no more, we have a number of suggestions to turn this uneventful evening into another great one on your Classic City calendar.

The Rook & Pawn

Game night: Athens Edition. If you’re tired of playing the same dusty board games that sit in your closet year after year or even if you don’t even consider yourself a gaming connoisseur, you can undoubtedly have a great night at The Rook & Pawn board game cafe. Located downtown Athens and open from 11AM to 2AM on Friday and Saturday nights, this gem has more than enough to create a unique and exciting adventure to the end of your week. Take your pic of over 700 games while you share various snacks and an expansive bar menu. The old English pub atmosphere, the healthy (or unhealthy) competition, and the promising late night hours sitting around the tables will get your gaming spirit flowing.

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UGA Performing Arts Center

If you pivot just slightly from the idea of board games, you can see in your Friday night future, a delightful experience at the UGA Performing Arts Center. This week and weekend, stop by to enjoy a spectacular performance from the University Theatre Studio Series entitled, “The Skin of Our Teeth”. “This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic comedy combines ridiculous farce, stark absurdism, pointed drama, and high theatrics as it follows a “typical” American family survives thousands of years of human history just by the skin of their teeth.” With tickets ranging from $7 to $12, and performance beginning at 8:00 PM, you’re looking at an easy plan for the night at the Cellar Theatre!

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CINÉ

We’re fine with calling a Friday Movie Night but we would just rather do it at Ciné. This theater hosts a variety of films across cultures, time periods, and genres. Explore an independent production or a well-known cinematic hit. There is no telling the extent to which a film-lover (or non film-lover) can find something of interest here. You may even find yourself torn between selections. This weekend, choose from recently released American history drama, The Birth of a Nation, classic Halloween-season horror, The Silence of the Lambs, and famous action rescue, Sully. Your movie isn’t complete without a drink and snack from the BarCafé. NOW you’re set for a movie night.

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ARTini’s

The local artists and those aspiring/struggling can find themselves satisfied with an evening spent at the ARTini’s Art Lounge. Newbies are welcomed to sit, have a drink, and receive instruction to create your own masterpiece. Tonight, visitors will create a work of art called “South Fork of Eagle River, Alaska” (pictured below) starting at 7:00 PM. The weekend isn’t over with Friday night–Saturday at ARTini’s has you covered also. Stop by for All Ages Halloween Happy Hour and choose from a selection of holiday-inspired designs. *A nod to you late Halloween decorators*. Get online to reserve your spot now and grab your paintbrush and apron!

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There is simply no reason to stay in out of sheer “inability to find something to do”. Channel your inner competitive gamer, film enthusiast, theater appreciator, and master with a paintbrush. Enjoy all that Athens can give you for a night well-spent in this awesome town!