The Avenue East Cobb VIP Blogger Tour

1 Avenue at East Cobb

So this IS primarily a food blog but, from time to time, we have to shake things up bit. This post is about something we all love – Shopping with some food and drink tossed in for good measure. I was invited to participate in a VIP Blogger Tour at The Avenue East Cobb. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like it. It was lots of fun and I met some pretty awesome bloggers while there.

2 red carpet

The organizers of the tour literally rolled out the red carpet for us. It’s a pretty nice way to say “Welcome” don’t you think?

Confession: I underestimated the drive a little so I was about 10 maybe 12 minutes late. You know what happens when you’re late? You miss a tasty reception featuring Brixx Wood Fired Pizza and goodies like selfie sticks. Fortunately, I arrived in perfect time for the tour which featured Ann Taylor, Barre3, Williams-Sonoma, Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa, Versona and Cheeky.

3 ann taylor

4 ann taylor

Our visit to Ann Taylor included a look at their new Fall Collection with the help of the style guide/booklet used by their associates. The collection highlighted Blouses for the season including camp shirts and wrap blouses. There were Denim Pieces with jeans and a classic sheath and a look at the versatility of their Suiting via three essential pieces. With a jacket, dress and skirt, one could go from day to night by simply changing the blouse or adding a belt and/or jewelry.

Our hostesses also showed us the three different pant fits available at Ann Taylor.  They are the Ann, the Devin and the Kate. You can check out their website to see how they differ and choose the “name” that works best for you. (Pants at Ann Taylor).

The slightly intimidating yet super fun part of our visit at the store was a Style Challenge. We each received a pair of pants and were challenged to navigate the store to find pieces we would coordinate with them to show how the garment could be worn three different ways. For a person with an extremely conservative sense of style, this was a big deal but I played along and learned that there may be some hope for me yet. I chose a patterned blouse, a solid color blouse and a leather jacket to mix and match with the pants along with a scarf and necklace to finish the looks. I did a pretty good job in this challenge. Wish I had a picture to show you but I don’t so you’ll just have to take my word for it. {wink}

5 barre3

6 barre3

At Barre3 we were greeted by owner, Steve Amos. His wife Isabella is one of the class instructors. Although I’ve heard of Barre3, I’ve never ventured inside a studio to see what it was about. During our very brief visit I was able to get the gist of what it is and how it can be a beneficial workout.

Barre3 combines “the grace of the ballet barre with the wisdom of yoga and the strength of Pilates.” Each class is 60 minutes with six 10-minute segments. During a typical workout you would:

  • WARM UP with a little cardio for about 10 minutes,
  • then move to the ballet barre to do some LEGWORK (quads, calves, thighs),
  • move to middle to do some COMBO which includes working with weights,
  • move back to the ballet barre to do some SEAT WORK (glutes),
  • then CORE and

I know it sounds like quite the workout and I’m sure it is, however, you CAN work at your own level so, no pressure. For those (like me) who need the additional motivation, there’s energizing music playing in the background during class.

Barre3 is also about Fitness, Nutrition and Connection. When you visit their website you’ll find recipes to try and they also provide food sampling on occasion. There’s so much more to the experience than I can say here so feel free to check out the Barre3 website for more details.

FYI – Steve and Isabella will celebrate the one year anniversary of their Barre3 location in October. Congrats on their success!

7 williams sonoma

Our stop at Williams-Sonoma was brief, informative and refreshing. While there we learned that:

  • The first Williams-Sonoma flagship store was opened in 1956 in San Francisco,
  • Founder, Chuck Williams was the first to import and popularize many well known French brands like Le Creuset to American households,
  • Most people only see Williams-Sonoma as a kitchen specialty store but they can also furnish your entire home. I did not know that. They even offer in-home consulting.
  • Some of the folks who work at Williams-Sonoma can take small appliances and gadgets home to try them out so they can better understand them. For that reason alone, I might need an application for a part-time gig at WS . As a result, some of the same appliance testers may or may not be really great WS customers as they tend to love the product so much that they buy them.
  • They are sister store to Pottery Barn and West Elm. No wonder I’m so drawn to all of these places. They’re like one big, well designed family!

The goodies we tried were nuts seasoned with two of their rubs: Potlatch Seasoning and Sriracha Kaffir Lime Rub. The former I tried and fell in love with a few years ago. The latter is one of their newer rubs and delivers a nice little kick which is fine by me since I do enjoy spicy foods.

The beverage we tried was a Moscow Mule and it was really good. A traditional Moscow Mule is made of fresh squeezed lime juice, ginger beer and vodka. WS carries a mix by Spindrift which contains ginger and lime juice so all you have to do is add the vodka and a splash of sparkling water. Super easy! Ginger is one of my favorite things so this drink is really right up my alley. A bottle of this mix is already on my shopping list.

8 hand and stone

9 hand and stone

A short walk around the outdoor shopping center led us to Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. The spa was lovely and felt like serenity could exist within its doors. But, for the short time that our group was there, it kinda really wasn’t like that. I have to admit that I was a little uneasy being there. A spa is one of those places I respect for the peace and calm served to its patrons. I helped disturb the peace for a moment, perhaps so I could share the fact that Hand & Stone has 5 Massage Rooms, 3 Facial Rooms and a Couples Room. Their services include various massages, facials, hair removal and eyebrow and eyelash tinting services. And now my job is done. Onward!

10 Versona

Versona is an apparel and accessories boutique. In my humble opinion, I think it’s wonderful. Why? Because you can walk into that store and find so much inspiration. I am not flashy or colorful by any means when it comes to my wardrobe but this place makes me want to push the envelope a little. Here, I can take a solid colored blouse with no frills and dress it up with scarves and all kinds of necklaces, handbags, hats – you name it. I can go for broke or keep it simple. That’s love.

11 cheeky

12 cheeky

13 cheeky

The last stop on our tour was Cheeky. You just gotta love that name and the art on the wall of owner Jose Hevia’s late father, a Spanish immigrant whose nickname was Chiqui. Get the connection? The color, flare and Spanish infusion of the menu is an homage to Chiqui’s character.

They food at Cheeky is prepared daily with fresh ingredients and the menu items we tried were delicious.  There was Housemade Salsa and Chips, Housemade Guacamole, Prickly Orange Margaritas, Frozen Cheeky Margaritas, Quesadillas and more. The best part was the spirit of this gathering. Having a chance to relax and mingle for a moment was really nice.

I have to mention also that we were sitting at tables featuring Cheeky’s patent pending “MyTap” systems where you get to pour your own beer. Have you ever heard of this? There is a meter on the line so when you pour, it measures and charges you by the ounce. If I were really into beer, I might have tried it. Next time I visit, I’ll have to bring Steeler Fan along so he can have some fun with it.

So there you have my recap of our very special blogger tour at The Avenue East Cobb. You can enjoy all of this and more on your own. Visit The Avenue East Cobb website to discover more shopping and dining destinations!

Disclosure: The VIP Blogger Tour included complimentary refreshments and product samples/gifts provided by individual participating merchants. Thank you to The Avenue East Cobb management team for such a memorable event. I received no monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are based on my own personal experiences and were not influenced by the hosts. You can view my full Disclosure Policy here

More about Teresa

I am a born and raised Georgia Peach, lover of Food and how it brings people together, a woman of Faith and die-hard Inspiration sponge.

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