Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Natasha's guest blog post: Mid-Century Modern Finds for May

I’ve been a big fan of Christen — and her fashion sense! — ever since she took me under her wing four years ago while I was interning in Birmingham. She showed me around the city, made me laugh with all her funny jokes, introduced me to her rad friends and cooked up some ridiculously good meals for us share. So as you can probably guess, I was quite ecstatic when she gave me the opportunity to write a guest post on her fabulous blog!

As the theme of this blog is being fashion-forward on a budget, I wanted to share my favorite Mid-Century Modern-inspired items that I thrifted during the month of May. Mid-Century Modern has enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity with the rise of Mad Men, but thankfully if you find pieces in a second-hand store, you can still get them for super cheap! Here's my haul for the month of May:

Mid-Century Modern Hutch, $39, Salvation Army 

This hutch looks delightful in my dining room, and I love that it showcases all my beloved dishes!
Note: All dishes in the hutch were either thrifted or gifted.

Though I definitely needed to tighten the screws on the hutch’s legs and give the whole thing a thorough polish, the elbow grease was worth it. Even with its scratches, nicks and other imperfections, it’s such a nice addition to the space.

Yves Saint Laurent Tie, $3, Reclamation 

When I saw this vintage polka-dotted YSL tie, I had to get it. My husband is becoming quite the tie enthusiast, and I knew he’d love to add it to his growing collection.

Command Performances by Enoch Light, $.50, Value World 

Pretty much anything from Command Records is tops in my book. I started picking up these amazing records on a whim one day when I was out thrifting in Nebraska with my dad. As it turns out, the sophisticated bachelor pad music turned out to be just as cool as the album artwork. This find is no exception.

Here’s the tracklisting:

01 - La Dolce Vita
02 - Tonight
03 - Army Medley
04 - September Song
05 - Stairway To The Sea
06 - Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart
07 - Fly Me To The Moon
08 - That's My Desire
09 - That Old Black Magic
10 - The Third Man Theme
11 - Rio Junction (Bossa Nova)
12 - Oh Lady Be Good

Many of Enoch Light’s songs are available on Spotify and Grooveshark. Give them a listen, and you’ll have pretty much no other choice than to incorporate them into your playlist when your next swanky cocktail party rolls around.

Natasha Richardson O’Neill is a longtime fan of Fashionplate Cheapskate — and a longtime friend of the Fashionplate herself! Natasha lives with her husband in Indianapolis and works as a content correspondent for Raidious. She loves hazelnut coffee and, of course, thrifting.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Winners of the Vedette Giveaway

Congrats to these three lucky ladies for winning the basic piece of shapewear from Vedette! I will be emailing you all soon to discuss what I need from you in order to redeem your prize. Remember to respond to my e-mail within one week or you will forfeit your prize and I will choose another winner.

For those who didn't win this time, be sure to come back and visit...there will be another giveaway soon!

ps. If you want to follow my Portland trip over the next few days, I'm on Instagram and Twitter as @fashionplatecs

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What to pack: Portland edition

I cannot believe it. The day is finally here. I am on an airplane (right now!) flying out to Portland see my longtime friend and old school running partner, Casey. We've been talking about this visit since she moved (almost a year ago!) and I purchased my ticket back way back in early March. So this has been a long time coming.

To say I am psyched is an understatement. I've been to Seattle, but not to Portland. Something tells me I'm gonna like it there! Ok, so maybe it's a someone rather than a something and her name just happens to be Casey, but still! I trust her judgement. Mostly because as I have noticed of late, me and Case are pretty much spot on with our habits.

Ok, so I climb and she bikes, but everything else is there. We both love to run (admittedly she is faster than me, but she's a rockstar that'll slow her roll to hang back with me), we both love (live) music - usually the same exact bands, we both love to eat (maybe me more than her :) and we both love being outdoors.

So I'm super psyched about this trip because a) it's a new city for me to explore b) we're going to do all of the fun activities mentioned above and c) mostly because I knew I had missed this gal, but until the days for this trip ticked down, I didn't realize just how much I've missed her.

Me & Casey at the Avett Brothers show last spring in Tuscaloosa

Since she gave me the bright idea of the "What to pack" blogposts, I couldn't let her down with this one. Casey seems to think my style is gonna fit right in to the scene at Portland, so she wanted to see what I would fill my suitcase with so she could get some style inspiration herself (though I insist she doesn't need it.)

As I've mentioned (three times now) I haven't been to Portland so I am basing my outfits around the stereotypes that are associated with the city and the Pacific Northwest in general. I'm thinking pretty casual (I had to pry the heels and wedges out of my hands so that I wouldn't pack them) and not a lot of bright colors.

Really, I'm pulling out my most hipster items. I've got flat sandals, dark colors and of course a plaid top, a fedora and my vintage Ray Ban Wayfarers. Oh and I'd be an idiot not to pack a rain jacket, though honestly I'm hoping to hit up an REI or a local outdoors store to get some new rain gear since this jacket is at least 7 years old and has seen better days. There's also a tiny crossbody bag in the mix that's perfect for keeping things light while carrying the essentials when we go see the Alabama Shakes play an outdoor show.

Of course I have my running gear and my climbing shoes because there will be lots of runs in our future for the next few days and I'm pretty psyched to be hitting up the Portland Rock Gym as well. I've got a couple of breezy dresses thrown in and a romper too for any biking, dinner or thrifting adventures.

Seriously, this is going to be the greatest trip ever....are you jealous yet?!

I think Case has pretty much everything planned, but if anyone out there wants to throw any Portland suggestions my way, I will gladly take them! Especially if you know where to go for thrift and vintage stores. Leave me a comment below.

Hope you all have a great long weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grooveshark picks for May

Artist: Jason Mraz
Why I love it: It's Jason Mraz. I think I'll always love everything he does. But mostly I love it just because of the one song "I won't give up." If you listen to it and don't want to cry, you don't have a soul. 
For fans of: Jason Mraz, Matt Nathanson, Mat Kearney

Artist: The Lumineers
Why I love it: Obviously I have a soft spot for folky-pop type bands. I really can think of a great way to describe these guys or their sound but I truly, madly, love it and think everyone else will, too. 
For fans of: Of Monsters and Men, Ben Howard,  The Head and the Heart

Artist: Rosie Thomas
Why I love it: So what if this album is 7 years old and I am just now discovering it. It's really pretty and girly and mellow and I like it so I'm sharing my knowledge in case anyone else is just as behind the times as I am.
For fans of: Patty Griffin, Racheal Yamagata

Artist: Vintage Trouble
Why I love it: I get to see these guys open for the Alabama Shakes in a few days when I head up to Portland. Super psyched. They are gonna rock it out just like this album of theirs rocks. 
For fans of: Alabama Shakes, Ghost Hounds

And don't forget that today is the last day to enter my Vedette Shapewear giveaway!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back of the closet: Striped skirt

I got this cute and fun striped skirt a few years ago on one of my first trips to the Atlanta Market with my mom as we looked for items for her shop, Oopsy Daisy. I remember doing a double take when I first saw it because I was immediately drawn to its pockets, but I took a second look and could tell by the way it hung that it would be super flirty and bouncy and I knew I didn't have anything like that in my closet. So this little thing came home with me that day.

Because this skirt is so unique, I usually wear a plain black or brown tank top so that it doesn't take away from it. But lately I'm becoming tired of playing it safe. So the other day I looked at this skirt and my closet and wondered if there might be something else I could pair it with to give it a totally new look. My eyes fell on this fabulous bright orange-red top that I happened to purchase the same day in the same store at the ATL market and figured 'why not'?

So I tried them on together and the rest is history!

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:

1. Striped skirt, ATL market ($35.00)
2. Top, ATL market ($40.00)
3. Tan heels, Rugged Wearhouse ($9.99)
4. Gray bag, Designer Details in L.A. ($40.00)
5. Circle necklace, ?? (??)
6. Thumb ring, Charlotte Russe ($2.99 - part of a stackable set)
7. Cocktail ring, ATL market ($4.00)
8. Sunglasses, Forever 21 ($5.80)

Total: Under $150

Photos: Laura Menconi

ps. Don't forget about the Vedette giveaway! There's still time to enter!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Free fun: Trail run

Ok, I should be honest. I don't know if I should call this free "fun" but maybe a free butt kickin workout instead?

I mean, it's fun for me, but I don't know that many other people who consider running in 80-something degree heat while trying to keep from falling down because of tree roots and mud as "fun"... but if you do and you're in the Birmingham area, then you should come join Alabama Outdoors as they host trail runs tomorrow night at Red Mountain Park.

I went last Tuesday with this group and while the first mile was brutal (to be fair, I had already ran 5 miles that morning) after I was able to accept that my breathing wasn't ever going to quiet down I settled in and managed to hang in there for the next mile until we stopped and saw a pretty amazing view of downtown Birmingham. The second half was definitely a lot easier and it seemed a lot quicker, too. But I think that's how most all of my runs feel.

Anyhow, I've been a runner for a long time but I've never done a trail run. And if this hadn't been a group meeting at a certain spot with a person leading the run, I might not have ever even tried a trail run. So if you're looking for a way to shake up your running schedule or for a different workout entirely or you just want to meet new people, I think this is a great way to do all of those things. It's also a great way to check out the latest park addition to the Birmingham area. (side note: They have a zip line - how cool is that?)

Just be sure you get there as close to 5:45 p.m. as possible because there are outdoor companies with shoes available for you to try out on the run and it's first come, first serve. Plus, you need time to sign a waiver and figure out what running group you want to be in before the groups leave at 6:00 p.m.

Here are the details:
1. Tuesday May 22nd & May 29th
2. Arrival time at 5:45 p.m. at Red Mountain Park
3. Free shoe demo opportunity
4. Beginner level group - 4 miles at a 12 min. pace*
5. Intermediate level group is a possibility, depending on runners in attendance - 10 min pace
6. Advanced level group - 6 miles at an 8 min. pace

*I strongly advise joining the beginner level group if you've never done a trail run, even if you run on the road all the time. The "12 minute pace" includes the water stops, so really you are actually running at a faster pace.

Hope to see you on the trail!

Friday, May 18, 2012

What to wear: Graduation

May is always a busy month filled with the end of school, beginning of summer vacation and for some folks, a new beginning entirely when they graduate from either high school or some form of college. In honor of graduates (and those who love and support them) everywhere, I've pulled together a few ideas for outfit inspiration.

Whether you need something more causal for a high school graduation or something a little bit fancier for a college ceremony, or maybe you need something to go under your own cap and gown, here's looking at some pretty leading ladies for ideas on what to wear for this special day.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Video (& GIVEAWAY!) Featuring Vedette Shapewear

You guys may remember me mentioning that I am a part of Vedette Shapewear's "I've got nothing to hide campaign" that focuses on making all women feel beautiful—from the inside out. Part of this campaign includes creating a video styling a piece from their Sensuale Collection. I wasn't exactly sure what my video would be about, but after I styled my outfit, I felt like I had dressed to impress and I wanted the storyline of my video to reflect where I would wear such an outfit.

So I decided if there was some fun party or gala going on in Birmingham, this outfit would be perfect for such an occassion. (read: I feel like Scarlett O'Hara while wearing this, if that isn't the best compliment coming from a Southerner, I'm not sure what is?!)

Thankfully, I was able to pin down two very good friends (thanks Ashley and Torry!) to help me come up with a couple of content elements and also to film it for me. I owe them big time because I think it turned out pretty well considering we shot it all with iPhones! (so basically, don't expect anything Hollywood blockbuster from this video.)

Anyhow, feel free to check it out:

And did I mention Vedette is also giving away ANY BASIC item (excludes the Sensuale collection only) to
three lucky Fashionplate Cheapskate winners?!

The contest is open internationally - except for those in the Philippines (SO sorry ladies! There's minor technicality they are working to fix very soon!)

Here's all you have to do to enter:

1. Like Vedette on Facebook - leave me a comment to let me know

Additional forms of entry:
1. Follow Vedette on Twitter - leave me a separate comment to let me know
2. Follow me on Twitter - leave me a separate comment to let me know (if you already follow me, leave me a comment, too)
3. Follow me on Bloglovin or via Blogger - leave me a separate comment to let me know (if you already follow me, leave me a comment, too)

That's a total of 4 entries! Good luck!

Giveaway begins Thursday May 17th at 12:30 p.m. CST and ends Wednesday May 23rd at 11:59 p.m. I will notify the winners via email and we will work out sizing details, etc with Vedette. Be sure you use an email address that you check often! If you do not respond to my notification email within a week, I will choose another winner.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Free Fun: Friday Flix at the Hoover Library

I know I've told you guys before, but I love the library and I feel like people just don't utilize them like they should
(here lately I can include myself in that scolding). And according to my friend Emily, the libraries in Birmingham seem to be pretty top notch compared to some other cities.

One thing I love about our libraries is the events that they host. The Hoover library in particular does a fantastic job of this since they have a theater on their premises. Although not all of the events they host are free, the one this Friday is.

So if you're in Bham and you missed "Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol" (or maybe you just loved it and want to see it again?) now's your chance to see it for FREE in a theater.

Friday May 18th at 6:30 p.m.
Hoover Library Theatre
Free admittance and refreshments

Enjoy the show!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Splurge on: Tank tops

As summer nears, I've found myself just wanting forgo all wardrobe choices and opt for throwing on a breezy tank top with just about everything. So I decided to go ahead and virtually splurge by picking out a few tank tops I'd like to fill my closet with. The styles range from clean & classic to sweet & femine to hipster & hippie to ensure that I could wear a tank top for every event.

1. Target Anchor Graphic Tank, $10.00
2. Lulu’s Laterally Speaking Tank Top in Lime Green, $32.00
3. Old Navy Printed Racer Back Tank, $19.94
4. Necessary Clothing Glamorama Blouse in Aqua $17.99
5. Empyre Girl Janis Cream Crochet Tank Top, $29.95
6. Urban Outfitters BDG Shirttail Tank in Umbrella Tank, $24.00