Friday, March 30, 2012

Under the {fashion} influence: Kim Kardashian

I've got to be honest. I've never been a huge Kim Kardashian fan. She is beautiful, yes, but a role model, not so much. But regardless, she has somehow managed to end up on my blog two days in a row. Funny how timing works out sometime.

Basically I've had this pantsuit in my closet since this past fall when I snagged it at the clothing swap from my friend Shannon. I've been looking for the perfect way to style it when I came across this photo of Kim rocking a similar pantsuit. I liked how she kept it simple, so I thought I'd copy cat her style and I like the outcome. I just need to work
on getting the pants hemmed before I wear it next time!

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:

1. Pantsuit, swapped (free!)
2. Platform wedges, Charlotte Russe ($32.50)
3. Clutch, ?? (??)
4. Necklace, bought in Africa ($10.00)
5. Cuff bracelet, gifted
6. Cocktail ring, ATL market ($4.00)
7. Sunglasses, Forever21 ($5.80)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What to wear: Easter Sunday

When I was a little girl, dressing up for Easter Sunday was a BIG deal. You got a new pretty dress that you couldn't wear before that particular Sunday. Oh and new tights too of course, you couldn't have picks on your tights for
Easter. And usually, it involved a new pair of shiny white patent shoes. Maybe every once in a while as you got
older, there was a new handbag thrown in, too.

While I think a lot of this was just tradition for small Southern towns, I think it all went back to "looking our best"
for God. And I honestly think a lot of it had to do with that you just didn't get new clothes as often back then (yes I
am referring to the 80s as "back then"), so this was time when a splurge was not only encouraged, but it was expected. This was a time set aside specifically for buying a few new pieces - you always put Easter Sunday in your budget!

As I got older, I strayed from this tradition, but now I am beginning to think I like the idea of shopping and saving a dress or an ensemble for a special occasion. So while I will most likely wear a lovely lavender vintage piece I have for Easter this year, I'm thinking next year I'm going to go Easter shopping!

For those of you looking for inspiration of what to wear next Sunday, here are a few leading ladies all dressed in anything I considered to be perfect for Easter. Whether you like to go traditional with bright Spring colors or pastels
or whether you prefer to stay a little more neutral in something black, there's a little something here for everyone!

ps. yes, I know I used this same photo of Lily Collins last time, but I seriously love this look of hers. And I'm kind of obsessed with mint green these days.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Free fun: Trade Day

{pictured: 1. bikes for sale at Trade Day 2. the sign at the entrance 3. jewelry at a booth 
4. best. corn dog. ever. 5. what else does one wear to Trade Day except cowboy boots? }

If you're not from North Alabama, chances are you've never heard of a little thing called Trade Day in Collinsville.
I'm not really sure how to even describe Trade Day except maybe to call it an open air flea market. People from
all over the northern part of the state come every Saturday to sell their goods and well, their junk, in shack-like
booths at Trade Day. And I, for one, love. it.

Collinsville is a bit of a trip from Birmingham, about an hour and half at least, so I try to make my pilgrimage to
Trade Day about once a year. Usually when the weather starts to warm up and it's not miserable to walk around
for a couple of hours outside.

Last year I went with two pals, Ashley and Torry, who are both from my "neck of the woods" and fully understand
the joy of Trade Day. We mostly went because I had a new roommate, Rita, from NYC who I felt needed a little
taste of my roots and what that side of Alabama is like. Then this year, my lucky guest was my friend Casey who is
also a Yankee so I needed him to experience Trade Day. Plus I knew he'd love it. Boom, I was right.

Anyhow, Trade Day is awesome. Torry, Ashley and I love to joke that you can find ANYTHING there. From
goats, to knives, to cell phone holders, to chickens, to jewelry, to old school Nintendo games, to collectible
records, to just about any random knick knack. You can find it at Trade Day for sure. And they have THE BEST
corn dogs. I'm dead serious. I don't joke about food. If you've never had a corn dog and a yoohoo for breakfast,
you haven't really lived.

So if you're in the North Alabama area and you're looking for a pretty much free way to spend a Saturday
morning, look no further than Trade Day. The only money you spend is what you purchase. At my last trip
I ended up snagging a couple pieces of jewelry for 50 cents each and three nail polishes for just $5.00.

My only advice is go early and don't leave without getting a corn dog.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Product pick: Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

I have been obsessed with the Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion ever since one of the girls at Sephora
suggested it to me a couple of years ago. I'm sure my eyes flew wide open when she mentioned the price of $20
for this tiny little tube, but I'm to the point now where I think it is worth every penny.

I can definitely tell if I forget to put this stuff on before I do my eye makeup because my liner and shadow will be halfway down my face before lunch. And forget about even bothering with eye makeup at all in the summer in the south if you don't own this product. (unless you're one of those rare breed of girls who manage not to ever sweat—seriously who ARE those girls?)

Plus, I've noticed that the last tube I bought has lasted me since Christmas and I'm only halfway through it.

Oh and yes, there was that brief moment where I tried to find an alternative (ahem, cheaper) solution than using
this product, but that failed me miserably so I came crawling back to Sephora with credit card in tow, eager to
hand it over for my primer potion substance problem.

So unless you've found a better, more affordable way to keep your eye makeup on all day, then I'd suggest trying
out this handy little product.

And if you have found something better, then you know I want to hear about it. Leave me a comment below...
pretty please!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Buy this, not that: Perforated top

Last week on WWWD I saw that "perforated pieces" are a hot ticket item at the moment. So I looked into several designers that are trying out this concept and found that Cynthia Rowley has a top that is somewhat similar to
this one that I've been eyeing from SUGARLIPS. I have no idea what the Cynthia Rowley top will set you back,
but this one from SUGARLIPS is only $42.00. I think that's considered a steal!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Plated: Jake & Kristin

So this inspiration board is just a tad bit random. Ok. It's a lot random. But this is sadly just how my brain works sometimes. I was asked by one of my favorite clients recently to create a shower invitation and all I was really told
was "shades of purple." Which immediately conjured up the thought of a Grapico in my mind for some reason
(fat kid?!). So I went with it.

For some reason, even though I do not know her at all,  I got the impression that the bride was not a super girly girl.
So I wanted the invitation to be feminine enough to say bridal shower, but not too much. Which meant I ended up
taking the majority of pattern inspiration from an iphone cover I had seen on this website last week. For some reason
I thought I could tweak it and it would work. I made the outlining circles "squiggly" which immediately made me
think of the Spirograph arts and crafts game we had when I was growing up.

At the last minute I felt something was missing, so I added the bride and groom cake topper and I think I am a fan
of the final product! And it turned out that the pattern I created for her was extremely close to the pattern on her
actual wedding invites. I love it when I have that rare design intuition. So glad it all worked out.

What do you guys think?!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Fling

Spring is finally here. Although honestly it never seemed like we had much of a winter here in the south, I am
still so excited about this time of year. Everything is blooming (sorry to those of you with allergies!) and the
outside dining patios in Birmingham are starting to fill up again.

Since the beginning of this season always seems to mark a change, I decided to embrace the first day of Spring in
all its glory. I ventured outside of my usual wardrobe of boho/hippie/hipster-ish type of outfits and opted for
something with some real color and structure. I seemed to be doing this a lot lately, so maybe Spring was in the air
long before this past Tuesday!

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:

1. Color block top, TJ Maxx ($12.99)
2. Pencil skirt, Ann Taylor Loft ($25.99)
3. Heels, discount shoe store ($8.99)
4. Clutch, gifted (thanks mom!)
5. Necklace, ATL market ($8.00)
6. Cocktail ring, Charming Charlie (??)
7. Thumb ring, Charlotte Russe ($2.99, part of stackable set)
8. Sunglasses, Venice Beach ($7.00)

Photos: Laura Menconi

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grooveshark picks for March

Artist: Andrew Bird
Album: Break it Yourself
Why I love it: It's equal parts folksy and
singer songwriter with a little twist of a
world music sound thrown in.
For fans of: Punch Brothers, M. Ward

Why I love it: I recently found this guy
because of this post by Caitlin. The way
she described him made me curious about
his sound, so I did my GS research and I
was not disappointed. This whole album
is just so soul-ful. If that's a word? 
For fans of: James Brown, Sam Cooke,
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Bonus: Charles Bradley & His
Extraordinaires are coming to Workplay
Friday April 20th. Tickets are $15. I'm still
looking for a plus one...any takers? 

Artist: Gold Leaves
Why I love it: It's pretty dreamy.
And maybe just a little bit country.
For fans of:  Great Lake Swimmers,
Band of Horses

Why I love it: It's funky. And it has such
a solid beat that it made its way from just
being a part of my life at the climbing gym all
the way to my work tunes. I mean I need
psych at work, too. 
For fans of: Big Gigantic, Mimosa

Artist: Delta Spirit
Album: Delta Spirit
Why I love it: Ok, so no this doesn't sound 
like the original Delta Spirit that I fell in love 
with their Americana, soul and a little bit of 
funk sound. This is definitely more rock. Yet 
I still like it. I don't love it as much as the old 
stuff, but still, sometimes change is good. 
For fans of: The Strokes, Arcade Fire
Bonus: Delta Spirit will be at Workplay 
Monday April 9th. Tickets are $14.
(Technically this isn't on GS, but I've been streaming it here)

Friday, March 16, 2012

What to wear: St. Patty's Day

After looking at past St. Patty's Day pics, my friends and I decided that everyone looks fabulous in green and that
we should wear that color more often! So ladies, get ready to look good in green this St. Patty's Day weekend.
And here are a few outfits for inspiration in case you're still trying to piece together something amazing out of your
closet...or if you're looking to purchase something new altogether!

Have a great weekend yall! Don't get pinched!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Back of the Closet: Army green tunic

I bought this amazing army green tunic at least four years ago for a steal ($9.99) at Rugged Warehouse, back
when there used to be one here in Bham (wah wah). I think this was about the time when military inspiration
was first hitting the runways and as if that wasn't enough, I had a feeling this top would be super versatile.
But mostly I am pretty sure that I took one look at this shirt and convinced myself that if I bought it, it would instantaneously turn me into Alexa Chung.

So I might've been wrong about that last part (but I am working hard on that one every day :) but what I wasn't
wrong about was the longevity of the military trend and also just how versatile this shirt has been. I have worn
this shirt just about any way possible—with leggings and a belt, halfway tucked into jean shorts, tucked into a
skirt for work, untucked with skinny jeans (hint: future blog post, get excited). You name it and I've tried it. Only
recently did I realize that I hadn't worn it over a dress as a jacket in quite some time. So I pulled out what I consider
to be a pretty girly dress and put this shirt over it and viola, instant masculine cool factor was achieved.

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:

1. Army green tunic, Rugged Wearhouse ($9.99)
2. Floral print dress, Anthropologie ($39.99)
3. Tights (??)
4. Suede booties, Target ($24.99)
5. Cross body bag, thrifted ($5.99)
6. Pink sunglasses, Dollar Tree ($1.00)
7. Hair bow barrettes (??)
8. Cocktail ring, ATL market ($2.00)
9. Earrings, ATL market ($2.00)

Photos: Laura Menconi

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Splurge on: Tights

I absolutely love tights. Which is funny because I used to fight my mom about wearing panty hose. But if we had
just come to a compromise on patterned and color tights all those years ago, a lot of conflict could've been resolved!
I just think they are such a great way to make an otherwise simple outfit a lot more exciting.

Anyhow, this love affair might've turned into a bit of an obsession when I realized a couple of years or so ago that
I had counted about 15 pair that I owned - eek! But sadly, as time wears on these fragile little pieces of clothing,
my collection has slowly dwindled down to almost nothing.

So it's about time for me to restock! And here's what I've got my eye on....

1. ASOS 80 Denier Tobacco Tights, $10.74
2. Pamela Mann 28 Heart Seamed Tights, $18.60
3. Urban Outfitters Vintage Cut Out Tight in Purple, $14.00
4. Gipsy Pastel 40 Denier Tights, $12.53
5. F21 Ribbed Cable Knit Tights in Green, $7.50
6. Tabbisocks Walk it Out Golden Yellow Tights, $18.00

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Product pick: Red Thunder Energy Drink

I have proclaimed my love for ALDI before, but now there's a specific product they have that I want to rave about.
It's their energy drink called Red Thunder. Yes, I know, the name is a bit ridiculous, but if you can get past that,
the price is also a good way!

Obviously this is a rip off of Red Bull, of which I have been a pretty big fan of for a long time. But I'd like to
vouch that the taste is identical to Red Bull and as far as I can tell, so is the energy boost I get. The only thing
different (and better!) is the price, which is about $4.99 for a four pack. Which you know, is kinda crazy considering that just one can of Red Bull is about half that price. And honestly, my favorite version is the sugar free
one (not pictured) because it has way less calories, but I think it still tastes the same.

I'm not saying I won't ever buy a Red Bull again, but I am saying that I try to keep my fridge stocked with a
Red Thunder four pack when at all possible. Cause you never know when you're gonna a little pick me up!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Buy this, not that: Triangle necklace

I fell pretty hard and pretty fast for this neat-o elizabeth and james necklace, but then again so did my jaw when I
saw the price. Ok, so yeah, it's probably real gold and all, but who needs real when all that's gonna do is put a real
big hole in your bank account. Here are three other budget friendly options that I think will accomplish the same
effect. I couldn't decide which necklace I liked the best, so I figure why not include all three?

Yeah, you're welcome!

1. Garnett Jewelry Equilateral Triangle Pendant Necklace - $42.00
2. Urban Outfitters Tiered Geometric Necklace - $29.00
3. Lulu's A Cute Angle Gold Necklace - $15.00