March and April may seem too early to be thinking about summer activities, but not summer camps! Registration has already begun for many camps, and they fill up fast.

Am I in a dream? I'm floating down the Rhone River in France, from Burgundy to Provence, on our tiny boat, the M.S. Provence. Dozens of swans swim by; there is a crepes Suzette demonstration by our chef; three new cheese tastings await us every evening; we sample mouthwatering macaroons; and…

Although many highway flower beds add beauty to drivers’ commutes, they are often passed by and forgotten in a flash. But the Blue Ridge Garden Club has dedicated many hours to a garden that’s guaranteed to be seen — and, hopefully, to bring joy and comfort to those who could use it.

You have the ring on your finger and a gadzillion things to do before the big day — venue, dress, caterers, florists, photographers, and so the list goes on. You will be the focus on your day and you want it to be beautiful, gorgeous, awesome, unforgettable and all the other adjectives that …

When it comes to flaunting your fashion sense as the star of your wedding, there are many more opportunities to show off your style than the beautiful wedding dress you wear down the aisle. Whether it’s matching or themed outfits or accessories for the bachelorette weekend, monogrammed bathr…

“Our job is not to sell things,” explains Karen Bounds, who opened Newland’s Mountain Jewelers in 1985 with her husband Tim. “Our job is to help people find out what works for them. We’ve been here over 32 years, and there’s a lot of knowledge that we have to share.”

When you and your friends, family, and guests come to the High Country for a weekend, vacation, or special event, make sure that Rising Star Equestrian Center is on your itinerary.

Whether you’re planning a casual ceremony or an over-the-top celebration, local wedding planners say the best theme is one rich with personal details.

My prized possession in the 1960s and ‘70s was my little clipit, a slim four-inch-long blue and white plastic case, which slid open to reveal a tiny, wickedly-sharp knife made for clipping things from newspapers and magazines. It went everywhere with me, a dextrous sixth finger, and I madly,…

From sassy to sophisticated, a local woman’s sense of style is highlighted by All About Women. Know a fashionista? Nominate yourself or someone you know at editor@aawmag.com.

Like her Auntie Feather, my niece, Elinor, enjoys a proper tea party. For the past three years, we have hosted one at my mother’s home during her summer visit. It has become an eagerly anticipated annual event. One of the guests, Cameron, my friend Michelle’s daughter, so enjoys the party th…

Up until this past spring, my best Easter ever was hiking off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in dense fog at Jumpinoff Rocks. Now all that has changed: I’m magically whisked off to Enkhuizen, a charming small town near the Zuider Zee in Holland. Our group of five is welcomed into the home of Hans…

I thought it would be interesting to research some of the beauty rituals that women around the world perform. In different parts of the world, the definition of physical beauty can differ quite a bit. American society places great emphasis on physical beauty. We discover that beauty is indee…

My childhood and even later years seemed dark and fear-filled, even horrifying, to me. Maybe I was just a dark little kid with limited opportunities. After all, in the 1940s, in our apartment we had only a couple of light bulbs to read under, plus I was told by the eye doctor that I could no…

The luxury of cool, comfortable temperatures all season long make any summer afternoon or evening perfect for a garden party in the High Country. For inspiration, Paige Ulmer of The Laurel Collective coordinated this styled shoot at Proper in Boone, painting a lovely Southern bohemian backdr…

I’m ready to embark on yet another solo journey. What fear the thought strikes in my heart, and yet what feelings of exhilaration! Am I crazy? Will I be up to the challenge? To glean inspiration and courage, I look back to some of the solo journeys I’ve taken.

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May is here, and that means it’s the season to freshen up your wardrobe at Tazmaraz, a mother-daughter-owned business in the village of Blowing Rock. And if you need expert advice, this full-service boutique has you covered with personal stylist appointments and private after-hours shopping …

From the ground to the sky, the High Country is listed as one of the most diverse areas for both songbirds and wildflowers. “Hunting” for wildflowers and songbirds is a great excuse to trek outdoors in the early spring months.

Are you feeling a bit tired of the crazy-busy world, wanting to get off the merry-go-round and be in a quiet nook for a while? I had fun thinking of my five secret places to go, all within an easy drive in the High Country.

We women went to see Zahira, the henna artist, the day before the Moroccan “wedding” we were invited to attend. She paints henna designs on the hands and/or feet of the bride and her party in preparation for the wedding. We each chose a design. Dried henna from the plant is pulverized and be…

Every bride and groom wants to look their best on their special day, no matter how simple or extravagant of a wedding. Whether you’re getting married for the first time or you’re getting remarried, local wedding experts have provided some trends they’ve noticed to help you plan for an unforg…

There is such a preoccupation with appearances today. Part of it is the media, which seems to glorify beauty and youthfulness. While some will fully embrace aging and the facial changes it brings, some will batten down the hatches and fight it tooth and nail.

I guess we were sort of poor when I was growing up on Lake Erie, in Ashtabula, Ohio, in the 1940s. My mother and father, both teachers, barely made a living wage. We ate peanut butter, lettuce and mayonnaise for lunch most days. We got evicted from our apartment once because we couldn’t pay …

We are moving towards the season where our thoughts turn to food — Thanksgiving, Christmas holiday parties, eating, eating and more eating. Yes, we’re going to eat it all, and we’ll then make the annual New Year decree to shed all the pounds we gained during the holiday season.

Sometimes reading a book sends me on an adventure, or at least sparks my thinking about an adventure. Conversely, sometimes having gone on an adventure sends me to a book. The kinds of books I read, mostly nonfiction and some fiction, are about other countries, mainly Third and Fourth-World ones.

National Lipstick Day was celebrated on July 29. Did you even know there was such a day? One of the things I have enjoyed about writing this column is researching the wealth of information on so many topics I just never thought about.

Have you ever pondered what future generations will remember as the representative fashion of today? And, why is it that history and fashion are intertwined? Sometimes I think eras are defined not only by significant events, but also by what we wore.

I have visited some 45 countries, most of them with a thoughtful group of senior travelers. Our groups explore the essence of each chosen culture and promote cultural exchange.

In a world of fast moving fashion trends we can find ourselves in a whirlwind of “Do I?” or “Don’t I?” Whether its skincare, makeup, hair or clothing, fashion is constantly changing. The ages and stages in our lives should also be progressive, but that doesn’t mean we should adopt every new …

On Friday, June 17, a crowd of women — and a few compassionate men — adorned in varying shades of pink filled the dining room of the clubhouse at Grandfather Golf and Country Club in support of the Avery County Cancer Resource Center.

Summertime is here and with it comes all things outdoors. We have approximately 161 days of gloomy skies in the High Country each year, so we welcome the predicted 204 days of sunshine. That magnificent and wonderful “’Mr. Sun” — that woos us with warmth and makes us feel so vibrantly alive …

Many years ago, I spent three days in a tiny hermitage, Shabbat Shalom, in a red pine forest of northern Michigan. It was furnished with a bed, rocker, wood stove, broom, desk and chair, and had a huge picture window that looked out on rocks, lichen and scrub pines. I sat and watched the sun…

Just a short time ago, the fashion world was in awe when the "Colors of 2016" were revealed, kick starting the summer season with colors and color combinations that easily appeal to everyone. From soft to spicy, experts agree that the new seasonal colors transcend all cultural and gender norms.

My first All About Women story, “Dream Shoes,” was published in June of 2007. It explored how a perfect pair of shoes could make a woman feel powerful, confident and ready to conquer the world.

Mary Oliver, my favorite contemporary nature-oriented poet, ends her poem, “The Summer Day,” with the provocative line, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” This line has haunted me for years — and leaves me wondering how I could make a difference in the…

If you are keeping up with what’s trending in makeup and beauty, you’ve probably come across the word “hack.” Until recently, that word was usually associated with a cutting blade of some sort, a computer or a person who is a professional at doing some kind of service, but does less than acc…

The sun is out, the flowers are all in bloom and it’s time to bring those floral dresses our of the closet and into the light. From pastels to base tones, you can plan to mix these fashion-forward tones, core neutrals, accents, metallics and pantone references that will help you plan your wa…

For those of you who want a little continued glamour in your look as you enjoy Mother Nature, I have a few bare bones minimalist’s suggestions to help get your ‘glamp’ on.

Ten years ago I would have insisted that it was not appropriate for ladies older than 35 to wear miniskirts. And, then, I turned 35 and found that I was not quite ready to give them up. How I wear miniskirts and what I pair them with, however, has changed as I have matured. Gone — make that …

When you buy a few clothing items that you love — and that are of excellent quality — you actually spend less on your wardrobe, and each item will look good for a longer period of time. Plus, you’ll feel good wearing them.

After celebrating the new year — out with the old, in with the new — it’s a good time to take a look in your makeup bag and embrace “out with the old.”

The evolution of our all-connected world presents additional considerations for those planning weddings. In addition to orchestrating vows and gowns, invitations and receptions, 21st century brides and grooms-to-be must also consider how to utilize social media.

The bridal fashion world has already fast-forwarded to the 2016 wedding season, especially on the runways, as “Bridal Fashion Week” just wrapped up in New York.

Many couples today are taking the contemporary route for their wedding ceremonies and leaving traditions by the wayside. Each couple must choose what is best for them as they plan the most wonderful day of their lives. We think you will enjoy reading about a few time-honored wedding customs,…