Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to wear one dress, 4 ways

As a fashion blogger, it's always neat to look back at your photos collectively and see the different ways you have styled the same piece of clothing. I definitely consider it to be one of my greatest achievements when I can figure out a way to wear something at least three different ways and across all seasons. Such a fun challenge!

While I do usually try to purchase items that I know I can remix several times, I honestly had no idea just how versatile this little floral dress would be when I bought it online in an Anthropologie sale about five years ago. I know I've styled more than just these four ways seen here, but these are the only ones caught on film.

Hopefully this will help you figure out a way to remix a similar dress in your own closet.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Life lately & Sidewalk Film Festival recap

Oh there has been SO much fun stuff happening lately. Which is good, because after the post-wedding high I was on a couple of weeks ago after Torry & Nicole's wedding, I definitely needed to keep the momentum going.

I've lived in Birmingham for about seven years now (I think) and for some reason I had never made it to Rickwood Field until a couple of weeks ago. It's been on my list, but it's kind of one of those things where you really need a reason or an event to go there. Luckily the real estate firm I work for played another firm in a softball game, giving me the perfect excuse to finally make my appearance to America's Oldest Ball Park.

I have to say that I was not disappointed. It truly is a beautiful, historic sight to see and I felt an excitement knowing that I was sitting in the stands and walking on a baseball field where greats like Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Jackie Robinson have played. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the movie 42 about Jackie Robinson and you can catch some glimpses of Rickwood Field for yourself.

The rest of my past two weeks have been spent taking advantage of restaurant week at Cantina, Slice, Vittoria and Rojo. I also finally managed to get over to Steel City Pops with J one week night. After the not so great dinner I had made us, it was a welcomed treat :)

Then this past weekend was the long awaited Sidewalk Film Festival. I've written about Sidewalk before. It's one of my favorite things that happens in Birmingham every year. It just unfortunately happens to fall on the weekend of my niece's birthday. So I didn't get to see quite as many films this year because of course, baby girl will always come first. Even so, the films this year seemed to be better than usual. Not sure if that's because J picked most of them or if the movie options were just better general. Either way, I'm great with it.

Here's what we saw at Sidewalk and I can recommend that you see all of them—but especially see the ones with an asterisk by them:

Lil Bub & Friendz - This was about the Internet meme and cat phenomenon, with a big focus on Lil Bub and her owner Mike.
• *Muscle Shoals* - An incredible documentary about the town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama and how it produced some of the greatest recordings in history, thanks to FAME Studios owner Rick Hall.
•  The Suspect - A narrative feature about a small town that gets hits by a bank robbery and the racial profiling that takes place during the case.
Good Ol' Freda - A documentary about Freda Kelly, the secretary of the Beatles during their 11-year tenure as a band. *A must-see for any Beatles fan.*
• *No Place on Earth* - A documentary about a Jewish family who survived the Holocaust by living in a cave in the Ukraine for almost two years during WWII.
• *Ain't Them Bodies Saints* - Ruth and Bob enter a shoot out with the local police after a bank robbery. When a sheriff gets shot, Bob takes the rap and is sent to prison, but later escapes and comes back for Ruth and his daughter. This is their love story.

I think one of the things I love most about Sidewalk is the opportunity to stay after the movie for the Q&A session. I don't take advantage of it after every film since I am sometimes rushing off to the next one, but it's such an incredible thing to have a director or producer or actor from the film standing in front of you and giving you the chance to ask anything about the film or the process or the budget or anything!

Seriously, if you haven't been to Sidewalk and you live in year is your year to attend.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In a flash

I have to admit when I was approached by Jack of All Trades about picking out a comic book tee shirt, I got a bit excited. Not only are their shirts super cute and comfy, but it just so happens that J (the boy) also knows a thing or two about some comics. So yeah, I was pumped to have him help me pick out a shirt.

We looked at several options and had a tough time deciding, but we finally narrowed it down to Superman (duh) and the Flash. But the more I looked at the two shirts, the more I realized that I probably had a bit more in common with the Flash: I'm a runner (though not very fast) and I'm always rushing around to my next big adventure or activity.

Plus the shirt was red and it had a lightning bolt on it. I mean really, that alone was probably enough for me to make my choice!

When I asked my friend Amy to handle this photoshoot, she very quickly threw out the idea of shooting at the new LightRails art-light installment near Railroad Park. At the time she had no clue what my outfit was going to look like, but she couldn't have picked a better location.

So get ready for a Fashionplate Cheapskate superhero-inspired photoshoot. In the meantime, here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:

1. Flash tee shirt,  Jack of All Trades
2. Leggings, ModCloth ($34.99)
3. Heels, Nine West outlet ($29.99)
4. Crossbody bag, Charlotte Russe ($9.99)
5. Vintage cocktail ring, gifted
6. Earrings, gifted (thanks Joy!)

Total: Under $100.00

Photos: Amy D

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Music Monday: Current obsessions

Artist: Leftover Cuties
Album: The Spark and the Fire (listen on Spotify)
Why I love it: It's like a combination of Nora Jones' sultry jazz voice combined with a big band sound.
Favorite song(s): Thick and Thin, One Heart
For fans of: Nora Jones, April Smith and the Great Picture Show

Artist: Gregory Alan Isakov
Album: The Weatherman (listen on Spotify)
Why I love it: It's so mellow it will make you melt. Plus this man can do no wrong in my opinion.
Favorite song(s): All Shades of Blue and Living Proof
For fans of: Peter Bradley Adams, Joe Purdy
Bonus: If you're local, he's coming to Workplay on 9/30. I'll see you there!

Artist: The Revivalists
Album: City of Sound (listen here)
Why I love it: It makes me think of a re-invented, funkier Dave Matthews Band. I really dig the saxophones and horns.
Favorite song(s): When I'm Able and Criminal
For fans of: Vintage Trouble, Amasa Hines

Artist: La Guerre
Album: Violent (listen on Spotify)
Why I love it: It's dream pop at its finest.
Favorite song(s): Lovers Sway
For fans of: A Fine Frenzy, Of Monsters and Men

Artist: Colossal Gospel
Album: Circles (listen on Spotify)
Why I love it: There's a great vintage quality to their sound. I think it has a lot to do with the lead singer's powdery soft voice.
Favorite song(s): Leaving
For fans of: Beirut, Josh Garrels

Friday, August 23, 2013

Splurge on: Ankle booties

As Lucky magazine mentioned recently, ankle booties are the best way to transition your summer dresses into the fall. Especially if you live in the south where it is still blazing hot in October, but you are yearning to switch over to autumn style.

Since I wasn't psyched on the price range of Lucky's choices, I figured I'd pick a few more affordable styles of my own.

1. Necessary Clothing Reba Booties in Black, $44.99
2. Charlotte Russe Perforated Low-heel Western Bootie, $38.50
3. Forever 21 Fringe Western-style Bootie, $36.80
4. Charlotte Russe Wrapper Buckle Ankle Bootie, $35.50
5. Merona® Molly Shootie in Black, $32.99

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Design project: Wedding programs

Photo: Matt Morgan

So I mentioned last Friday that I designed a couple of pieces for my friends Torry and Nicole's wedding. You've already seen the rehearsal dinner invitations, so now it's time to take a look at the wedding programs.

They sent me a pdf of their wedding invitations and basically said, 'hey can you incorporate some similar fonts and some of the same elements?' And I basically responded with a, 'yes please!' because their invites were just that beautiful with lots of lovely patterns, clean fonts and fun design embellishments.

We opted for a long, slender front and back program printed on heavy cardstock. See the final product below. I think it turned out quite nicely.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What's in my piggy bank for August?

I'm not sure what's going on, but all of a sudden I seem to have a void of color in this month's piggy bank picks. At least in the clothing department anyhow. I guess I figure I'll make up for it with any and all burgundy cosmetic options.

1. Joe Fresh Stripe Dress, $39.00. I really need there to be a Joe Fresh in closer proximity to Birmingham. Sigh. Anyhow, I'm still loving stripes and this is definitely a flattering option for wearing this trend.

2. Charlotte Russe Oversized Metallic Boyfriend Watch in Rose Gold, $15.99. I never wear a watch, but I've found myself having a slight crush on bigger ones in a pink/gold hue like this one. I think this could make a pretty frequent appearance on the blog.

3. NYC Cosmetics City Duet 2-in-1 lipcolor in the Penthouse Plums, $2.70. Really hoping I can pull off burgundy lips this fall. This looks like a great shade and at this price, it's worth a shot!

4. Zara Check-Print Blouse, $49.90. I'm kind of obsessed with plaid shirts. And this one looks like it has the perfect amount of flowy-ness to it.

5. Forever 21 Art Deco Necklace, $5.80. Pendant necklaces are everywhere right now. I'm loving this option from Forever 21. It's like a piece of mid-century art hanging around your neck.

6. Urban Outfitters Floral Patchwork Headwrap, $14.00. Another thing that's huge at the moment? Headband-type turbans. I love the print and color palette on this one. It's the perfect piece to help you transition from summer to fall.

7. Essie Nail Polish in “Ups”, $5.95. Again, I can't think of a better shade for your nails in August than this deep burgundy from Essie.

8. Forever 21 Professional Envelope Satchel, $27.80. I love the structured look of this bag and the color is perfect for year-round wear.

9. Charlotte Russe Metallic Trim Pointy Toe Pump in White, $32.50. I've never been one to follow the rules about no white after Labor Day. Good thing too, because I am diggin these white pumps—especially to wear with skinny or boyfriend jeans.

10. H&M Super Skinny Super Low Jeans in gray, $19.95. How fab are these jeans? I see such versatility in them, but mostly I want to wear them with edgy pieces.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Music Monday: Great Peacock concert review

You might recall me mentioning a band called Great Peacock back in May when I chose them as one of my current music obsessions that month. My friends Kyle, John and Katie were actually the ones who introduced me to their music, so I was pretty excited that J and I were able to actually go see Great Peacock with that crew this past Friday at Bottletree.

I was a little disappointed in the size of the crowd there that night, but I guess that just means when these guys make it big, I can say I saw them "way back when.." at Bottletree one night. Anyhow, the openers were Teen Getaway and the District Attorneys. Teen Getaway is a local Bham band that I have actually never seen before, but will definitely check them out again in the future. They were loud and fun and upbeat and J was diggin them, which made me even more pumped.

After maybe two songs, one of the guitar players in Teen Getaway broke a string and I witnessed a pretty nice gesture from a Great Peacock band member—Blount brought out one of their guitars to let Teen Getaway use while he fixed the string on the one that broke. I mean, talk about some band love. I was touched :)

The District Attorneys played a good show and sounded really professional, but I just don't think they are playing the kind of music that I am really into.

Great Peacock performing at The Bottletree.

Great Peacock finally took the stage somewhere around midnight (ugh, so late, I am too old for this kind of night on a Friday!) and put on a great show—complete with bedazzled peacocks on their shirts. They have a great alt-country sound going for them, but it's the more folky-ish songs like "Take me to the Mountain" and "Desert Lark" that really draw me in. I think it's because these kind of songs build and do a great job of featuring Blount and Andrew's beautiful harmonies.

J and I managed to hang around until the District Attorneys took the stage with Great Peacock and played a couple of covers together at the end of the show. By this time it was somewhere around 1:30 am and I just couldn't hang anymore. Especially not with a looming 9 mile run in my very near (6:30 am) future.

Here's hoping that the next time these guys come to town I'm better rested and there's a bigger crowd! Until then, be sure to check out Great Peacock's music here on bandcamp.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Design project: Rehearsal dinner invitation

So last weekend was a blast. One of my best friends, Torry, married another one of my (now) best friends, Nicole. It was such a fun & love-filled weekend with all of the framily in town together again.

You would think that things couldn't be better except that I was able to be a part of the wedding weekend in my own special way, which as you know usually involves some type of graphic design. I ended up designing both the rehearsal dinner invitations and the wedding programs.

The rehearsal dinner invites were pretty simple and straightforward. Torry had sent me several examples that were mostly typographic, so I thought I would create something similar and make it personal by using a little southern slang in the text. And of course, they must be navy and yellow.

Put it all together and you've got a nice, clean, no-nonsense rehearsal dinner invitation. Stay tuned for the wedding programs blog post!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Well enough alone

Sometimes with a certain dress it's best to leave "well enough alone" so it can be simple and speak for itself. That's how I feel about this dress. There's nothing too fancy about it and I've definitely worn it all kinds of different ways (a little foreshadowing on a blog post to come!). 

But as I look at these photos, I'm struck by how fab it is all by itself. I think it's because you can see what a beautiful floral pattern it has and also the fun little details like the flowy cap sleeves. 

So while I am thrilled I can make it appropriate for all seasons and wear it all year long, I just happen to think that this go around it looks best with minimal accessories and plain jane black wedges. 

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:

1. Dress, Anthropologie ($39.99)
2. Belt, Brooklyn Flea ($20.00)
3. Clutch, ?? (??)
4. Wedges, Charlotte Russe ($32.50)
5. Sunnies, gifted (thanks Joy!)
6. Earrings, gifted (thanks Joy!)
7. Vintage cocktail ring, gifted
8. Square ring, Brooklyn Flea ($5.00)

Total: Under $100.00

Photos: Leslie Evans

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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My latest obsession (in food): Flatout flatbread

The day I curiously picked up a bag of flatout flatbread was life changing. Yeah ok, I'm being a bit dramatic, but seriously I love these things.

First, they are delicious. I'm talking even if you have had them in your pantry a couple of weeks ,they still taste fresh and soft kind of delicious.

Second, they are only 90 calories. Yes, just 90 calories. That's like what, half the calories of sliced bread? I honestly don't know because I never buy bread anymore. Even though flatouts are low cal, they still make me feel full, but nowhere near as heavy as bread does.

And finally, flatouts are versatile. Ok, so maybe I only use mine as a wrap for chicken salad right now, but when I get tired of eating that, I at least know that I've got some options. You can make a pizza with a flatout, or use it for a burger, or quesadillas or tacos or...yeah, just about anything. They even have a ton of recipes on their website that you can choose to make or simply use as inspiration.

So look for these handy items in your grocery store sometime soon. It's a nice way to mix up the average brown bag lunch at work!