Monday, October 31, 2011

Grooveshark picks for October

Artist: Mat Kearney
Album: Nothing Left to Lose
Why I love it: Because it sounds like old school John Mayer. (prob because that's how old this album is!)
For fans of: Early John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Matt Nathanson

Album: Yuma (EP)
Why I love it: Every once in a while you just need some good country. And that's what this is. 
For fans of: Avett Brothers, Langhorne Slim

Why I love it: It's an interesting blend of so many different genres of music: soul, funk, rock. Just trust me. 
For fans of: Donavon Frankenreiter, North Mississippi Allstars, Amos Lee

Artist: Damion Suomi
Album: Self-titled
Why I love it: It's kinda out there, but not too far. And it's sing songy. Again, trust me.
For fans of: Ummm, best explanation I can find

Artist: Various
Why I love it: It's quirky and weird. And fun! 
For fans of: Soundtracks, ha! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Splurge on: Shoes

Second to dresses, I would say that shoes would be my next favorite item of clothing. Again, it was super hard to narrow this down to just six choices and honestly since it's fall, I clearly have boots on the brain! But I tried to be fair and showcase a couple of other shoes that weren't boots as well. And I tried to balance dressy and casual. Obviously it's pretty tough being a blogger!

1. Styles for Less Knee High Pleather Boots, $39.99
2. Fioni Loveit Overlasted Platform Pumps in Navy, $27.99
3. Forever21 Distressed Leatherette Boots, $32.80
4. Styles for Less T-strap Boho Heels, $29.99
5. Old Navy Toggle Sweater Adoraboots in Oatmeal, $36.94
6. George Maxie Oxford Ankle Boots, $18.00

ps. I wear a size 6.5 if anyone wants to send a pair of these my way! :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Free fun: Sunset cinemas at Railroad Park

photo taken from the Railroad Park flickr album

I've blogged about how great Railroad Park is before. And last week I never got time to mention the last Relax by the Tracks event (le sigh). But hey, at least now I can mention their last Sunset Cinemas event tomorrow night Thursday October 27th. They will be showing Poltergeist (scary!) at 7:00 p.m. and of course, it's FREE.

So bundle up, pack a snack and take a date, or somebody to snuggle with and protect you! Just be sure and get there early for prime seating. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Buy this, not that: Nail polishes

So recently, Lucky magazine did a story on nail polishes for fall. And while I loved almost all of the choices, some of them were just a bit too pricey for my taste. So I picked my favorite top five and found cheaper alternate options that looked either pretty similar or eerily identical in color.

Yeah, you're welcome!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What to wear: Injured edition

I've been unable to do photo shoots recently (have you noticed?) and while honestly the major reason is because of time/scheduling, another reason is that I have been injured for the past 3 weeks. Yes, it seems that my new activity I started this past April, rock climbing, has briefly halted my "modeling career." (please laugh with me at that last sentence)

The short story? I was free climbing/bouldering at the gym after work one Friday when I fell from a route maybe 6-8 feet high, and somehow I didn't land well and sprained my a bad way. It immediately swelled and I was on crutches for a week (no me gusta! crutches are THE worst. But I am still thankful my photographer had a pair or it would've been a long night in the ER). And I have since been wearing a brace and only one shoe for the past two weeks. And of course, that one shoe is...GASP...flats! Readers, I don't "rock" flats well. I need my heels!!! I miss them dearly. Almost as much as I missing running and climbing...but now I digress, as usual. (what's a short story?)

Anyhow, while my injury is barely anything to be concerned about, it did at least give me something to ponder as many of my friends said "you need to do a post about fashion while you are injured." Boom. Done.

So, while I hope that none of you ever sprain your ankle or fracture or break anything, if by chance you did, here are a few tips for what to wear, particularly if you are on crutches.

1. POCKETS. I can't explain just how important pockets are when you're on crtuches. You have no hands to carry things, so you need to be able to stuff items in your pockets while you crutch away to your next destination. The best pockets are those that are on loose objects of clothing, like this dress. Jean pockets can't quite hold as much stuff.

2. Hat. This might sound a little gross, but it took a lot of effort to get in and out of the shower, stand up and wash hair, etc during that first week when my ankle was huge. So maybe once or twice I went another day without washing my hair. And that's why I wore a hat a few times :)

3. Leggings. I'm not wearing leggings today, but those were a big staple that first week to ensure that whenever I wore a dress, there was no Brit Brit flashy experience while hoisting myself forward on the crutches.

4. Flats. Ugh, that's all you need to know. Flats are obviously imperative. Thankfully I did at least have two pair that I could rotate between.

5. Crossbody bag. This was my lucky charm since I do in fact love these types of bags the most right now. It helps to have your hands free as much as possible so literally carrying a purse is out of the question. A crossbody bag will be your best friend. Also a good idea is backpacks, but I only had my outdoors pack to rely on, no cute purse backpacks are currently found in my closet.

6. Jewelry. No rings while you are on crutches. It just seems like an overall bad idea. I could only envision them getting ruined or pinching my fingers. I also kept the earrings minimized for fear that one good swing on the crutches and a big dangling earring would fly right out and I'd never find it again. But that could just be me overreacting?

7. Nails. I took advantage of my down time to keep my nails in a cute polish. It also helped that I'm not able to climb because that destroys any polish after a couple of days.

And here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:
1. Dress, Rainbow ($5.00)
2. Belt, Charming Charlie's (gifted)
3. Ballet flats, H&M ($7.99)
4. Cameo earrings, Charm on Second (gifted)
5. Crossbody bag, thrifted ($5.99)
6. Hat, on streets of NYC ($5.00)
7. Sunglasses, Urban Outfitters ($10.00)

photos: Laura Menconi

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On the local: Cheap eats at Lyric Hot Dogs & Grill

photo taken from Lyric Hot Dogs & Grill

Since I first started working in downtown Birmingham this past summer, it's been my mission to try as many restaurants in the area as possible. From day one, I would drive in every day Monday - Friday on 3rd Avenue N. and gaze longingly at the Lyric Hot Dogs & Grill and its adorable diner appearance, already open for breakfast, and wish I had time to stop the car, and jump out and grab a biscuit. Then I would make a mental note to self: Must try for lunch soon!

Sadly it took me all the way until the Sidewalk Film Festival in August before I got around to trying the Lyric Hot Dogs & Grill. The verdict? It. Was. Amazing. And no worries, I have since made up for lost time! Basically the food is yummy and cheap! Obviously they are more known for their hot dogs and I've heard their hamburgers are really good too, but honestly I can't stop getting the patty melt combo (for $7 total!) to try anything else on the menu. And a word to the wise? GET A REAL COKE. Amy at ToDo! and I both agree it is the best coke in town.

So if you're ever downtown during lunch Monday - Saturday, do yourself a favor and stop by the Lyric Hot Dogs & Grill. And maybe just one day, I'll be early enough to work so I can try their breakfast. Maybe.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What's in my piggy bank for October?

1. Styles for Less Side Pocket Open Front Wrap ($12.99). It's become way too apparent that I need more cardigans in my life/closet. I love the unique color of this one and how cozy it looks. And it has pockets, too?! Bananas.

2. Old Navy Women's Rock Star Jeggings ($34.94). My photographer said she was loving a pair of jeans she bought at Old Navy recently. I can only assume (and hope!) that these are the ones she is referring to, because I could really use some new skinny jeans and I think this price will look pretty good on me! (did I mention they have other colors?!)

3. Old Navy Tie-Neck Breezy Blouse in Foxy Lady ($34.94). I can't imagine a more gorgeous color to wear for fall. And it looks ridiculously similar to blouses I've seen on several celebrities...minus the price tag they probably paid!

4. ModCloth All Occasion Ring ($11.99). I can't stop fancying this fancy vintage inspired cocktail ring. It's just so perfectly lady like...which is so not what I am at all. All the reason I love it more.

5. a.n.a. Kara Messenger Bag in Cognac from JCPenney ($39.99). I am certain that I have picked something similar to this bag before, but it was so gorgeous and perfect for fall that I had to choose this for October. It's one of those pieces that looks way more expensive than it really is.

6. Xhiliration® Karima Leather Boots in Brown from Target ($49.99). Yes, I have brown knee high flat boots, but these are different! They fit the more "casual and rugged" category that I don't currently have. And 50 bones is not a bad price at all to pay for quality leather boots.

7. Charlotte Russe Layered Arrow Earrings ($6.00). I think these are simply gorgeous and will go most everything in my closet. That's all.

8. Forever21 Scalloped Suedette Skirt ($17.80). Love the color, love the cut, love the material, love the price. Love it all.

9. Styles for Less Flowy Striped Knit Skirt ($16.99). I'm envisioning this with bright tights and a bump it updo in my hair for a quirky mod/punk combo. Just trust me.

10. Charlotte Russe Sheer Dotted Tights and Hearts and Bows Tights (2 pair for $12.00). I love textured tights. They turn an otherwise ordinary outfit come into something more creative. These two styles are child-like and sweet, and I can't wait to own them for myself!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Plated: Retro toys

It seems like I always slack on the "plated" posts. Most likely because I am too busy working on other things to find the time to design for funsies. But luckily I was recently asked to create some baby shower invitations, so I was forced to get creative.

This invitation was a challenge because I did actually have complete creative license to do whatever I wanted. This is so rare that I had no idea what to do. The only parameters I was given was to use blue and brown and maybe the idea of the baby blocks could be incorporated. So I started working with that and realized that I really wanted to add a third color. I knew the daddy-to-be was an Auburn fan, so I figured I would be in no trouble at all if I threw some orange on the page as an accent color.

As I started putting this all together I thought the shade of orange I chose with the blue and brown created a nice nostalgic feel, almost like an old western poster or something. I thought I still needed a border and settled on a retro one that looked almost like "jacks" and complemented the baby blocks element. Ta da! I was done. Then it was on to the next challenge of creating the decorative circles that will be used on the cups for the punch, but could also be used as cupcake toppers. I simply used the same fonts and colors and kept everything in the same scheme of things for uniformity sake and I think everything turned out nicely! But see below for yourselves.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Buy this, not that: Frizz control

As a girl with naturally wavy/thick hair, I have long been a fan of hair serum, particularly John Frieda's Frizz Ease. But at almost $8.00 a (tiny) bottle, it became harder for me to justify buying it. So when I was recently at Wal-mart and saw the Schwarzkopf Zero Frizz hair serum that looked oddly similar, yet came in a larger bottle and was half the price, I figured it was worth taking a risk to see if it worked just as well as the more expensive "real deal."

Well, guess what. (drum roll please...) It does work just as well! And it also smells incredible, too. So now that I've been your guinea pig, you should try it as well. But word to the wise: as with any hair serum, avoid using too much, especially at the roots of your hair.

Happy de-frizzing!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Free fun: First Thursdays at the museum

Photo taken from the Museum's Facebook page

If by chance you're not going to the Death Cab for Cutie concert at the Alabama Theater Thursday Oct. 6th (maybe because you're broke?) but you still want to get out of the house and do something fun and affordable...might I suggest First Thursdays at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

While the museum is actually free every day, every first Thursday the museum keeps its doors open from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. with FREE admission for the rest of us working stiffs. It's definitely a great opportunity to check out the regular exhibits if you still haven't seen those yet. Or since the weather is currently perfect, you can purchase drinks and tapas and enjoy them in the garden. Either way, it should be an enjoyable evening that will also fit in nicely with your budget.