Headed To The Mountain

We are headed to the Mountain! It's time for Wakarusa and we can't wait to take you with us! Before we head out I want you to meet the team who is going to be covering the festival this weekend with me. Be sure and follow them to see things from their perspective! It's going to be a crazy weekend! We'll be snaping/tweeting/instagraming live interviews with bands like The Roots, Young The Giant, Chance the Rapper, STS9, and more.

This is the first WAKA experience for all of us. We've heard good, bad, and everything in between. So here we go! Tweet us tips if you have any suggestions!

LEIGH MCGRUDER

Meet Leigh McGruder she is nineteen years old and is going to college at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She is studying journalism with a focus in advertisement/public relations. Leigh has been photographing for four years now and runs her own business in Northwest Arkansas. She enjoys portrait and freelance photography. Leigh loves to travel and will go back to Africa for the third time this summer. She enjoys sushi, free people clothing, and jamming to music in the car with her friends.
Follow Leigh:
INSTAGRAM - instagram.com/leighmcgru
TWITTER - twitter.com/leighmc13
BLOG - whimsandlightleaks.com 

TYLER MAZAHERI

Tyler is a sixteen year old photographer based in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He is currently attending Southside High School as an incoming junior. He hopes to move to California following his high school career to pursue a career in fashion and editorial, being the division of photography he enjoys most. Tyler has experimented with photography for 3 years now after producing graphic art for another 2 years prior. He loves spending hours finding new music, developing his tumblr, and long drives with his closest friends with the windows down.
Follow Tyler:
INSTAGRAM - instagram.com/tylermazaheri
TWITTER - twitter.com/tylermazaheri
TUMBLRsurrealing.tumblr.com

SHANE GRAY

Shane is a photographer/graphic designer from Fort Smith, AR. He is finishing up his degree at Arkansas Tech, and will graduate in May of 2016. He loves vinyl, movies, and making music with friends. He's also one of my best friends!
Follow Shane:
INSTAGRAM - instagram.com/shanegrayyy
TWITTER - twitter.com/shanegrayyy
SNAPCHAT - shanegrayyy

Oh Hey – It's me :)

I'll be posting everything via my SNAPCHAT you can follow it at masonkesner.

Also follow the Times Record on their networks for coverage of the festival.

Times Record TWITTER
Times Record INSTAGRAM


Ella's at The Inn at Carnal Hall

Arkansas is known for being "The Natural State." I love living here and experiencing everything it has to offer. One of my favorite things to do is frequently visit a town called Fayetteville. It's located 45minutes North of Fort Smith (my hometown). I came across the gem known as Ella's a few years ago and I've been wanting to go back ever since. I recently got that opportunity. Ella's is located at The Inn at Carnal Hall in Fayetteville, AR. I'll be doing a post about my stay there, but today we're going to talk about comfort food. My new friend and Executive Chef, Jonathan Morrow, knows a lot about good food. So Laura, Luke, and myself ventured to NWA in search of southern cuisine! 

Make your way through the entrance of Carnal Hall into the Historic entry way to find a black door with Ella's inscribed above it. Enter and you immediately check yourself as I felt underdressed.  The elegance radiates from the moment you enter – you know you're in for a good meal. Chef sat us down and told us we would be sampling an all new menu not yet released. 

We were in for a four course Chef's tasting that included Spring Berry Salad, Shrimp & Scallop Cakes, Trout, and a Marinated Pork Chop. After traveling all day, all I wanted to do was eat and I couldn't wait to do it. 

Spring Berry Salad featuring: Local blueberries, strawberries, and rasperries. Included is also: Beats, Arugula and Sorrel, Orchids, and topped with Apricot Vinaigrette with White Balsamic.
Spring Berry Salad featuring: Local blueberries, strawberries, and rasperries. Included is also: Beats, Arugula and Sorrel, Orchids, and topped with Apricot Vinaigrette with White Balsamic.
Shrimp & Scallop Cakes with: In-house seafood base, breaded with in-house baguette, served with stone ground peppercorn sauce and local tomatoes.
Shrimp & Scallop Cakes with: In-house seafood base, breaded with in-house baguette, served with stone ground peppercorn sauce and local tomatoes.
Trout from West Over Farms in Missouri, served with cherry tomatoes, kale, local sunny-side up egg, and a béarnaise sauce. This is a new item from Ella's brunch menu. 
Trout from West Over Farms in Missouri, served with cherry tomatoes, kale, local sunny-side up egg, and a béarnaise sauce. This is a new item from Ella's brunch menu. 

The first three samples were amazing, and then my favorite of all favorites. The Pork Chop. I don't know about you guys, but I've had some amazing Pork Chops in my life. This one has to be one of my favorites. Chef Jonathan let me inside the kitchen to see how it was made before we tasted it. Let me tell ya, it makes me hungry all over again to look at these images!

Sous Chef starts by seasoning a Pork Chop from Cypress Valley Farms in Hot Springs, AR. After seasoning the throws it on the grill for a moderate cooking time, then into the oven until baked to perfection!

Executive Chef, Jonathan Morrow, Ella's Restaurant
Executive Chef, Jonathan Morrow, Ella's Restaurant

Then Boom! One of the best Pork Chops I've ever eaten. It's served with Bre compound butter, side of succotash including: red & green lentils, fennel, scallions, corn and asparagus, all from local farmers market. 

Chef Jonathan and his team were amazing to work with, not to mention the food was heavenly. Chef had his initial start at Ella's then transferred to many other local restaurants such as Meridienne Bistro and Tuck & Trotter. He then returned to Ella's presenting his signature style blending French Cuisine and Southern Find Dining. 

Ella's is open daily with brunch on Saturday and Sunday. If you're in the area, stop by and tell my new friends at Ella's HI. 

 

This post would not be complete without me on my phone and a few images of what I wore...

Class Ralph Striped Button Down, GLOBE Brand Pants, and BORN footwear.
Class Ralph Striped Button Down, GLOBE Brand Pants, and BORN footwear.


WAKA2015

The Blog team and I are going to WAKARUSA 2015! We want to take YOU with us! Thanks to Planet Sun Tanning Salon we've got TWO Tickets to give away! Wakarusa is a premier music festival that was ranked among the top 5 festivals better than Coachella, according to the Huffington Post. This years lineup is incredible and we will be covering every bit of it! The Music, Food, and of course Fashion, are all going to be the topics as we make our way up the Mulberry Mountain.

Below are the details on how to enter. We will draw the winner on May 14th, and announce it on May 15th via email and Social Media!

We can't wait! Over the next month you'll meet the team that will be going, get info on the best way to plan for your festival weekend, and of course, what to wear! We want to know what you think! Send us your best WAKA advice and we'll share in on the site!

HOW TO ENTER

  1. Use the signup form below to enter so we have your contact information.
  2. Share the image below with #MKWAKA15
  3. Tag us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
* indicates required





OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES AND DISCLAIMERS

  • No Purchase Necessary.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Starts May 5 and ends May 14.
  • Official Prize is 2 Tickets to Wakarusa, we are not responsible for transportation or any other expenses related to the event.
  • The Winner will be announced via email and social media on May 15.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. We are not liable for product after delivery.
  • Mason Kesner Projects, LLC has the right to obtain and publicize the winners name and likeness.
  • If prize is not claimed within 48 hours we reserve the right to cancel or proceed with another winner.

SUPER ICONIC

This weekend I was able to be apart of the SUPER ICONIC Party of the Century, hosted by the Crystal Bridges' College Ambassadors. The purpose of the event was to highlight the new exhibit Van Gogh to Rothko featuring works from 73 influential artists. Van Gogh to Rothko traces the story of avant-garde art from late nineteenth-century Modernism through Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art in the late 1950s and early 60s. So naturally Avant-Garde attire was expected. I was the Fashion Judge for this 1000+ person event. I must say, Arkansas showed up and brought some incredible looks! 

The night featured a silent rave, screen printing your own art, multiple bands, and of course good food and beverages. I can't say enough of how fun it was! I had a great time and I loved meeting so many new faces! 

I decided to mix up the styles a little, so naturally, I'm in black. I wore Kill City Black Denim, New Look Button Down, and a Leather Biker Jacket. On my feet are the Broadie Leather Chelsea Boots by Christian Louboutin

Photo Courtesy of Zak Heald, IP Film & Video
Photo Courtesy of Zak Heald, IP Film & Video

Meet Ginger, Alahna, and Andrew. Ginger and Andrew were the winners of our "Best In Fashion" for the evening. Alahna was my liaison from the College Ambassador team, it was great working with this group and I look forward to many more events! 

I'd like to thank the Crystal Bridges' College Ambassador team for having me, especially Nick Bolin, my INCREDIBLE team, and everyone who showed up! 


Arkansas Hotel Series + Take Me Back to NYC

This #FollowFriday goes to Ian Crumm and HYATT Herald Square. I photographed these two while I was in NYC for Fashion Week in February. As I'm gearing up for my Best of Arkansas Hotels series, I'm going back through shoots to get some inspiration! For my Arkansas Natives, or those who have traveled through Arkansas, what are your favorite hotels? We've got some gems in this State (no pun intended) and I want to know what they are! Comment below and let me know. 

I hope you have a fantastic weekend! Get out and enjoy the weather!

-Mason

Blogger: Ian Crumm
Hotel: HYATT Herald Square
Photographer: Mason Kesner