Friday, September 30, 2011

New look: Frat boy front tuck

So back in the day, when I was in college (trust me, it was "back in the day") my friends and I started noticing that all the fraternity boys had a similar look. Yes, they wore similar clothes and the sunglasses with the Croakies, but more than that, it revolved around what we liked to call "the Frat Boy Front Tuck." I can only assume that one of their many rules was that their shirt should be tucked in, but it seemed that none of them made it past tucking in the front of their shirt. And so the FBFT was born.

While we laughed at it then, I've started noticing a trend with button downs being haphazardly tucked into jeans or shorts, giving a sort boho, yet edgy appearance...and I like it! I was afraid to try it because I thought I would like a slob who just left the bathroom and didn't get the rest of her shirt tucked in. But I finally gave it a whirl last casual Friday and I have to say I think it's pretty darn cute.

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:

1. Top, thrifted ($2.99)
2. Jeans, Rugged Warehouse ($9.99)
3. Heels, Oh Deer!, Rugged Warehouse ($9.99)
4. Crossbody bag, thrifted ($5.99)
5. Wooden Bangles, ATL market ($1.00 each)

Maybe those frat boys were onto something after all?

photos: Laura Menconi

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Grooveshark picks for September

Confession. I only have four picks this month instead of my usual five....because I am still obsessed with Dawes debut album and can't seem to pry myself away from listening to them long enough to check out other bands. Sorry. But here are four bands that I managed to let squeeze in some GS airtime during the month of September. They should be so lucky.

Artist: Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Album: Sounds of New Orleans (disc one)
Why I love it: It makes me feel like I am in New Orleans when I listen to this album. I'm not sure if I have to explain more than that!
For fans of: Jazz, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band

Artist: The Motet
Album: Dig Deep
Why I love it: It's jam-tastic and takes me back to the good ole college days when this type of music was the majority of what I listened to.  
For fans of: Soulive, Moon Taxi
Bonus: Download the album for FREE here

Album: Technically I can't listen to an "album" on GS so I just listen to random songs of theirs
Why I love it: It's folky lady singer sisters...and they cover Britney Spears "Toxic" - need I say more?
For fans of: The Pierces, K. D. Lang
Bonus: Click here to download their FREE Daytrotter session

Why I love it: It's straight up happiness and sing-a-long all in one cd. I think I'd love it even if "Don't Stop Believing" was the only song on it. 
For fans of: Glee the TV show...and a billion other mainstream artists

Monday, September 26, 2011

Product pick: Equate Healthy Glow

photo: Laura Menconi

Summer is coming to an end, which means tans will be fading fast. Yes, I know how bad the sun is for you, but I still LOVE laying out and getting that summer glow. I have always hated how washed out I look without a tan in the winter, but I have forced myself to quit going to the tanning bed. I figure that's at least one nice break I can give my body! Plus, I found that I can compromise by using a self tanner towards the end of summer/beginning of fall to extend my tan throughout the winter. I figure if I start using a self tanner early enough in the season, I'll just "keep" my tan and no one will ever notice the difference!

I've found this Wal-mart version to be my favorite so far. It looks natural, doesn't smell too awful and it's the cheapest one on the market too, coming in at $4.27. It definitely stacks up to the Jergens competition and it saves you more than $3.00! So if you're looking to extend your tan or if you're starting from scratch with fair skin, the Equate Healthy Glow moisturizer is the way to go! Just pick which tone you think best works for your skin and let the lotion do the'll have a summer glow in no time!

Friday, September 23, 2011

What to wear: Football games

It seems I missed the "kickoff" of football season with this post (yes, cheesy pun intended). But I always say better late than never. And I figure this is just one installment of "What to wear: Football games" edition anyhow, since the weather changes so much in the next couple of months as the season extends. So really there's no time like the present...let's get started.

Like many other Southern gals, I love football season. I get pretty fired up during games, though I've honestly been off to a slow start this year. Anyhow, the thing about football season that I found to be trouble when I went off to college, is struggling with what to wear to the games. Here are the challenges I feel that must be tackled: (wow, two puns, in one post - it's my Friday gift to you!)

Football game attire must be:
• School spirited, but not too collegiate
• Stylish/trendy, but not too dressy/over the top, I mean it is a football game
• Comfortable enough to wear all day long tailgating and then for the game
• Weather-appropriate

So, given these requirements, here are a few guidelines I like to follow:
• Wear the school colors to show school spirit
• The only appropriate heels are wedges (unless it's Homecoming and you are in the running for Queen)
• Stay away from tight clothing, unless it's leggings of course
• Layers are almost inevitable since the Alabama weather changes at the drop of a hat, or the sun for that matter

And just in case you are a visual person (like me!) then I've put together a few outfit ideas for all you Alabama and, yes, even the Auburn fans, too. Trust me, picking out clothes in orange and blue, was painful. That's my sacrifice for the week I guess!

Oh and the best part of all these ensembles? They're on a college budget of course!

Perfect for: An early or afternoon game.

Faded Glory Women's Rib Henley Tee in Red and Navy ($7.00)
F21 Houndstooth Tailored Shorts with Belt ($19.80)
F21 Pleated Woven Skirt in Amber ($19.80)
Styles for Less Sudette Crossfront Wedges ($29.99)
Mossimo Supply Co. Top Handle Flap Handbag ($24.99)
Charlotte Russe Burnished Gold Bangle ($4.00)

Perfect for: An evening game or day game when the weather gets a little chillier. 

F21 Seamless Legging in Dark Grey and Navy ($4.50)
Mossimo Ultra Soft Boyfriend Cardigan Sweater in Red and Charcoal ($22.99)
Mossimo Supply Co. Pocket Tee in White ($8.00)
F21 Zig Zag Scarf in Grey/Black ($9.80)
F21 Purl Knit Scarf ($16.80)
Mossimo Supply Co. Khadeja Sued Bootie in Taupe ($29.99)
Mossimo Supply Co. Top Handle Flap Handbag ($24.99)
F21 Sequin Knitted Beret in Navy and Taupe ($6.80)
Charlotte Russe Etched Multi-Circle Earrings ($4.00)

Perfect for: An early or afternoon game...and for a girl with a little more fashion "flavor."

Styles for Less Knit Aztec Tube Dress in Red/Grey ($19.99)
Styles for Less Knit Aztec Tube Dress with Belt ($24.99)
Xhilaration Thetis Strappy Sandal ($6.98)
Charlotte Russe Etched Multi-Circle Earrings ($4.00)
F21 Beaded Medallion Necklace in Gold/Sapphire ($6.80)

Perfect for: An early or afternoon game...and for a girl wanting to dress up a little, especially if she is in a sorority. *Hat for the AL gal only. 

F21 Dotted Flutter Dress with Belt ($22.80)
F21 Double Knit Epaulet Dress in Orange ($22.80)
Wal-mart Solid Fedora Hat in Black ($5.00)*
F21 Beaded Medallion Necklace in Gold/Sapphire ($6.80)
Charlotte Russe Burnished Gold Bangle ($4.00)

ps.  I can't leave without saying it...can I get a ROLL TIDE?! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Seven tips for Thrifting

It's been entirely too long since I have been thrifting. So in hopes to inspire myself to hit the racks soon (maybe even as early this weekend when my friend Emily from Redesign That comes in town!), I thought I could create a post with a few helpful tips that always help me when I thrift.

1. Give yourself plenty of time. I think this is the number one reason I haven't been able to go thrifting in a while. You need lots of time to sift through all of the great finds in a thrift store, especially if it's clothing you are searching for. I personally like to give myself at least two hours to spend at the Salvation Army thrift store here in Birmingham. If you are visiting multiple stores, or a pretty large store, you might need even more time than that.

2. Go in with an open mind. This is not a department store or a designer boutique. It's a thrift store filled with old clothes, furniture, etc. It's most likely not going to be very clean and it will probably smell musty at best, but as long as you have this in mind when you enter the door, your expectations will be right where they should be to give you an enjoyable thrifting experience.

3. Stay focused champ. Know what you are looking for when you enter the doors, whether it's knick knack decorations for your home, or a certain piece of furniture, or a mod dress, or any clothes for that matter. Having some type of focus, and sticking to only spending time looking for those pieces, will make tackling the thrift store a little less overwhelming.

4. Look at the labels, but don't use them as absolutes. If you're shopping for clothing, be sure to look at the labels to know what you are buying. You can usually tell how vintage something is just by what the label inside looks like. If you like a piece, it's not necessary to get "hung up" on whether it's truly vintage or not, but it might also help you weigh whether the price or the condition it is in makes the piece worth purchasing or not. Also, sizing is never accurate so be sure to look at as many of the racks as you can. You could either miss something because it was placed in the wrong section or because a size 10 in 1960 might not quite the same as a size 10 now.

5. Stick to your initial instincts. If you come across a piece of clothing, no matter how wacky it might look on the hanger, and for whatever reason you are drawn to it....TRY IT ON. I can't tell you how many times I have picked up ten or so items to try on, only for none of them to look right on me. But then I'll go find some weird dress that I couldn't forget about, try it on, and it looks smashing and it's the only thing I walk away with. This doesn't happen every time, of course (there have been many more laughs at these items than successes, I am sure!) but it's always worth giving it a shot!

6. Spend some time with your item before you head to the cash register. If it's a piece of clothing and you are trying it on, stand around for a sec in the dressing room while wearing it, and even sit down if you can. This way you give yourself time to find anything you don't like the longer you wear it, like if it itches, or gathers some place weird on your body. Also look items over for tears, stains and malfunctioning zippers or other closures. Sometimes you can wash out a stain or replace a button or zipper, but at least you can use these discoveries to again decide if the garment is worth purchasing or not. Same goes for any blemish on furniture, etc.

7. Be in the know. And by this I mean, first find out which thrift store in town is your favorite, if there's more than one. Then learn their hours of operation and their promos. Some thrift stores have certain days where all clothing is half price. Most all use color codes for pricing and give percentages off based on what color the price tag is. Then other thrift stores will discount furniture a certain percent after how long it has been sitting in the showroom. Each stores promos are different, so do your research to find out how you can score the absolute best deals.

Hope this helps!!! Happy thrifting!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Winner! Ugandan Beaded Necklace

Just a quick shout out to say CONGRATS to Ana! Her comment was lucky number 22. She has won a beautiful handmade Ugandan beaded necklace. I will e-mail you soon to work out delivery details.

Thanks for visiting and enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cheap eats: Moe's Southwest Grill

Welcome to Moe's!

I can't tell you how many times I have heard these words in the past few years. Moe's has certainly been a constant in mine and my friends lives. In fact, one of their employees recently asked me "Why do you look familiar?" My response: "Um, probably because I am in here ALL the time."

Anyhow, clearly I love Moe's and there are several reasons why: good food, good prices and good promos. In fact, you should take a friend to Moe's today to take advantage of their "Thank you Thursday" promo where you can buy two large drinks and one entree and get a second entree FREE. You should be able to split the cost for right around $5 each. Can't beat that!

And in case you're still not convinced, some locations (including the one I frequent) have the most amazing soda fountain that is touch screen and allows you to mix your drink flavors. My friends and I have dubbed it the World of Coke machine.

So go welcome yourself—and your checking account—to Moe's tonight!

ps, there are some other bonuses to know:

1. Sign up for their e-newsletter and they'll send you deals, coupons etc, periodically AND you get a FREE burrito for your birthday!
2. Pay attention to the bottom of your receipt...they always offer you a little something to say thanks for taking your time to fill out a quick online customer service survey.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Product pick: L.A. Colors Nail Polish

Photo taken from

Yes, I know. I've already featured a nail polish as a product pick. BUT, I just found another great buy in nail polishes, so I just had to share this find with you guys. Besides, you can never really have too many nail polishes, can you? Especially at a $1.00 I right?!

I've always been a huge fan of the Dollar Tree. I mean everything is a dollar. What's not to love about that?! But you have to be careful cause sometimes what you're buying isn't really that great of a deal. That is not the case with the L.A. Colors nail polishes that I recently discovered there. For just $1.00 you get a quality nail polish with a good quantity in it as well. They have a color craze line that offers new bright and vivid colors and then there's also the typical nail lacquer line with more traditional hues. And for just $1.00, I'm thinking you can scoop up a whole bunch of different ones and try them all!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's in my piggy bank for September?

1. H&M Blazer in Beige ($34.95). This blazer is so chic and multi-purpose. Pair it with hot little shorts to make your outfit more lady like. Or style it with a tank and jeans for uptown casual. Or throw it on over a sundress for a business appropriate vibe for fall. I think I'll call it the wonder jacket.

2. H&M Hat in Beige ($14.95). Clearly I am obsessed with beige items from H&M. But look at this hat...who wouldn't be obsessed with it?!

3. Styles for Less Tribal Challis Tank ($14.99). This tank could also go from "work to play" quite easily.  I love both the colors and the print.

4. Wizz Spirit Belted Plaid Pouch with Strap ($32.00). Plaid is a staple for the fall. I'm thinking in addition to my usual plaid shirts, a cute lil plaid bag like this one would be a good way to incorporate more of the trend into my wardrobe.

5. Old Navy Women's Cropped Military Jacket ($34.50). I've already got a military/olive green shirt that I wear constantly, but this jacket from Old Navy would be a solid additional upgrade. Me thinks Alexa Chung would approve of it as well?!

6. H&M Imitation Leather Shorts in Black ($24.95). These shorts are hot. And affordable. That's all you need to know.

7. F21 Color Block Crop Top ($14.80). Last time I checked, color blocking was still in style...and I still haven't tried that look yet. This top from Forever21 makes it easy and affordable to rock this trend.

8. UO Other Worlds Jewel Point Ring ($18.00). I'm obsessed with the earthy vibe this ring is giving off.

9. F21 Floral Tassel Scarf ($9.80). This scarf would add the perfect touch of color to the obvious beige wardrobe I plan on having.

10. Charlotte Russe T-Strap Wood Heel Clog ($35.50). The perfect blend of earthy meets height requirement for my shoes :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Free fun: Art Walk

photo: Sarah Cannon via the artist's blog

Hey hey Birmingham...

Looking for something fun (& free) to do this upcoming weekend? Well, it's time to head downtown again. This time it's for the 10th annual Birmingham Art Walk Festival. I went to my first Art Walk last year and really enjoyed myself. There are many things I love about it: seeing the incredible local talent/art we have, stepping inside offices and stores I otherwise wouldn't typically frequent and it's just always nice to enjoy a good stroll around downtown, especially at night.

But of course, what I love most about this event is that you can spend as much, or as little, as you like. There is plenty to be entertained with for free if you want to just walk around and check out all of the incredible art pieces. Or if you wanted to really, truly show your support for local artists, you can purchase a piece right there on the spot.

Either way, it's a great event and if you're in town, be sure not to miss it. You've got two chances: Friday September 9th from 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. and Saturday September 10th from noon - 6:00 p.m.

Friday, September 2, 2011

September FPCS giveaway: Ugandan Beaded Necklace

Ok, it's been entirely too long since I have done a giveaway...sorry! So here goes.

I thought while I was in Africa I would bring back something to giveaway that would not only represent the culture that I visited, but also something that would also translate well (ie, be wearable!) in America. So when I saw all the beautiful handmade beaded necklaces — made from recycled paper! — I knew that would be my item and made sure to snatch one up on the streets in Jinja, Uganda. But what I didn't realize was that these same type of beads would be featured in the September issue of People StyleWatch via an organization called 31 Bits. Ah, I love validation! Thanks People magazine :)

So, to one lucky winner, you'll receive this gorgeous handmade, African necklace that will add color to any ensemble.

Entering is easy! 
Simply leave a comment below about the necklace, along with your e-mail address.

If you want TWO ADDITIONAL entries you can:
1. Follow me on twitter and leave a separate comment to let me know
2. Follow me on either blogger or blog lovin and leave another comment to let me know

Contest is international and I'll pick a random winner in a couple of weeks. Good luck!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Buy this, not that: sole sisters

The other night as my friends and I gathered for dinner, there were two of us wearing pretty much identical pairs of shoes. As Stephanie (aka, Peaches) and Ashley talked about how many compliments they each received on these shoes, I also learned that one bought her knockoff pair at Target and the other bought the real deal Madden Girl shoes somewhere else. 

While looking at the two shoes, I knew which one was which because Ashley bought hers for our friend Emily’s wedding, but had I not known that fact, I would’ve thought both pair to be equals.  Only one girl probably saved at least $15 with her Target purchase. 

So note to self ladies, see a pair of shoes you like? Check out the selection at Target first and see if maybe they don't have something similar that's also a little more affordable.

Later skaters!