Friday, June 28, 2013

Giveaway: Five (5) $20 vouchers to Firmoo

Welp, (yes, that says welp) I'm excited to annouce a giveaway! It's been far too long since I've hosted a giveaway and I am defintiely stoked to offer this to you guys.

There will be 5 (yes five!) lucky FPCS readers who will each win a $20 voucher to Firmoo to spend on their classic series framesFirmoo is the world's most popular online eye glasses store and with a "first pair free" program, I can definitely understand why!

Their aim is to provide vision and fashion the frugal way—yall know I can get behind that! I actually have my eye (yes, pun intended!) on this tortoise shell pair. And they are only $16.00 - woo! 

Here's how to enter:

1. Check out Firmoo's classic series frames (and yes, sunglasses are included!) and leave a comment below with which pair you like the best, along with your email address. 
2. For an additional entry, follow me on Twitter and leave me a comment to let me know.
3. For another additional entry, follow me on Bloglovin and leave me a comment to let me know.

Good luck!

The fine print: The giveaway starts today and ends at 11:59 p.m. CST on Sunday July 7, 2013. The giveaway is open to residents of: US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Finland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Italy, England, UAE, Bengal, Argentina, Pakistan, Brazil, Russia, Peru, Mexico, Ukraine and Israel, Oman, Kuwait, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain, Latvia, Romania, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Czech, Iceland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Korea, South Korean, Japan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Poland, Hungary, Turkey and India.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Put a turban on it

Ok, so it's not technically a "turban" per se, but this is definitely the closest I'll ever come to wearing one, so I'm calling it a turban, alright?

Basically I saw a tutorial from WWWD about how to tie a headscarf here, and thought, 'well, that's actually pretty cute, lemme try that!' (oh hello poster child for peer pressure!). I think it's such a nice finishing touch to take any simple dress or outfit up a notch. And the fact that this scarf came from my grandmother just makes it that much more fantastic.

And if you want a sidenote anecdote, here's one for ya. The first time I wore this scarf as a hair accessory was when I was meeting one of J's best friends who was in town for a wedding. I was trying to determine what I should wear for such an occasion and in a chat with my friend Casey I specifically said, "I mean, I dont think this is one of those moments where I should take a scarf and tie it around my head and call it a day." A week later, that's preceisely what I did. The best part is that J said Hannah liked my headband :)

Ok, now it's time for the cheapskate breakdown!

1. Dress, gifted (thanks Shannon & Jara!)
2. Head scarf, gifted/passed down
3. Wayfarers, Urban Outfitters ($10.00)
4. Wedges, Charlotte Russe ($12.50) *buy one, get one half off deal
5. Purse, gifted/passed down
6. Love earrings, Charlotte Russe ($6.00) *for a set of 3 earrings
7. Circle ring, Brooklyn Flea ($5.00)
8. Simple gold ring, gifted/passed down
9. Thumb ring, Charlotte Russe ($2.99)

Total: Under $50.00

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Life lately

It's been a while since I've last done a "life lately" post. It's probably because I seemed to have gotten in a bad habit of not taking as many photos over the past few weeks. There's actually been a decent amount of things I've done so that's kind of a bummer. But I do at least have a few pics to share.

A couple of weekends ago we got an early start with a birthday dinner celebration in honor of Heather at the J. Clyde on Thursday. So glad she appreciates and shares my love for that place. The next night I went with Katie, John and Kyle to the Alabama Outdoors Party on the Porch event that supported Ruffner Mountain. I wish I had taken a pic of my truck fries that I got from the Cantina truck. But obviously there's no time for such shenanigans when you're holding steak, queso and pico on top of garlic fries. We also even made it to Marty's to see a second band play for the night.

Since J and all my friends seemed to be out of town, I spent the next day devoted to entirely too much physical activity (11 miles of running and an hour of horizontal conditioning...who am I?!) and then promptly returned to the YMCA pool for some afternoon sun worshipping. That Sunday was Father's day so I went home and hung with the fam and played with the kiddos, and took my usual power nap, too.

This past weekend was jam packed with a whole lotta fun. Friday night was a going away dinner at Cocina for another couple from church (seriously, why is everyone leaving?!) followed by catching a few bands play at a benefit for Gip's Place, including getting to see Henry "Gip" Gipson actually play. You haven't lived til you've seen a 92-year old man play the blues on guitar. Just sayin!

Then Saturday I particpated in my first ever indoor climbing competition (more on that in another post), followed by a well deserved lunch at FIVE and then to cheer on John at the skeeball finals. Then Sunday after church, J and I hit up the afternoon showing of The Princess Bride at the Alabama Theater. Somehow I had never seen this movie and he had never been to the Alabama, so it was a win-win. Afterward we stopped for ice cream at Edgewood creamery—clearly the best way to end an already amazing weekend.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Music Monday: Current obsessions

Artist: Har Mar Superstar
Album: Bye Bye 17 (listen here on Grooveshark)
Why I love it: It's a funky good mix of pop and soul.
Favorite song(s): Lady You Shot Me
For fans of: Eric Hutchinson,
St. Paul & the Broken Bones

Artist: Aunt Martha
Album: Norway, ME (listen on Spotify
Why I love it: It's the melodic and mellow kind 
of music I first fell in love with.  
Favorite song(s): Blue Buildings
For fans of: Beta Radio, Hudson Taylor

Artist: Nikki Lane
Album: Walk of Shame (listen here on Grooveshark) 
Why I love it: It's old school female country sprinkled with a dark edginess. 
Favorite song(s): Gone, Gone, Gone and Look Away
For fans of: Cary Ann Hearst, Loretta Lynn

Album: Weight of the Globe 
(listen here on bandcamp) 
Why I love it: Their voices are absolutely mesmorizing and the lyrics will break your heart. 
Favorite song(s): Back to the River and 
In the Middle 
For fans of: Von Grey, Julie Miller 
Bonus: Their version of 'Sea of Love' on their Daytrotter session is the most beautiful thing I've 
ever heard. 

Artist: The Dwells
Album: Don't Ever Leave Me Like You Do (listen here on their website)
Why I love it: I dig their twangy harmonies.
Favorite song(s): Georgia
For fans of: Spirit Family Reunion, Gram Parsons 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Buy this, not that: Camo tee shirt

I've been watching the camo trend with wary eyes for a while now. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I grew up in a small southern town where people wore camo (and still do!) on a daily basis. We even had "camo day" in high school for pep rallies. So yeah, I guess you could say I feel like, 'been there, done that...what's next?' when it comes to camo.

But then I saw this cute faded and worn-in CURRENT/ELLIOTT freshmen tee in army camo and I thought, you know, I might could see myself in that. But I could not see myself spending the $118 on it.  Instead I found this very similar yet much more affordable option from The Deal Rack for only $11. Definitely more my price range for a trend that's sure to disappear in the next year or so. (camo...disappear...see what I did there?!). It's not exactly the same coloring, but they do both have the faded/worn-in and loose fitting elements.

Anyhow, I say rock it with some gray distressed jeans, black heels and accessorize with studded or spiked jewelry to give off a hard core vibe. Or you could even tuck it into a black leather pleated skirt to complete a girly, yet edgy ensemble.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Under the (fashion) influence: Cameron Diaz

When you don't go shopping often and therefore don't have many trendy pieces, it gets pretty difficult to succesfully recreate a celebrity's look. So take that into consideration as I tried to somewhat copycat Cameron's outfit seen here. I like to think I just put a conservative 9-5 spin on the look :)

Here's the cheapskate outfit breakdown:

1. Red top, ATL Market ($40.00)
2. Pin-striped skirt, GAP outlet ($19.99)
3. Silver pumps, Target ($25.48)
4. Yellow bag, c/o Oopsy Daisy (thanks mom!)
5. Silver hoops, c/o Oopsy Daisy (thanks mom!)
6. Sunglasses, Venice beach ($7.50)

Total: Under $100.00

Photos: Leslie Evans

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Splurge on: Sandals

Summer is pretty much here and that means it's time for sun, fun, shorts and of course, sandals! I don't know about you guys, but I always thought a sandal had to be a flat shoe with small straps. Turns out a sandal is any kind of shoe with any kind of straps. So hello heels and wedges! Nice to meet you all!

Here are my top five picks for summer sandals. There are several options for both casual and dressy attire.

1. ModCloth Reach the Sky Sandal in Trail, $29.99
2. Mossimo® Falk Thong Sandal in Black, $22.99
3. Urban Outfitters Kimchi Blue Daisy Cutout Sandal, $34.00
4. Rocket Dog Jaclyn Wedge Sandal, $29.94
5. Charlotte Russe Ankle Strap Single Sole Pump, $28.50

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Monday, June 17, 2013

A corner garden

On my way home from work, I often travel through an alley near my parking lot downtown. Picture a typical dingy sketchy alley between old buildings with dumpsters and potholes to navigate around. Definitely nothing special...until one day.

One day I saw a garden in the tiniest corner where there had been a piece of unpaved ground with scarce patches of grass. I literally stopped my car in shock. It was so pretty and out of place. And who in the world had done this? And why? I mean, I loved it, but I just couldn't figure out why someone would go to the extra effort to plant flowers in a corner at an alley.

The more I passed by this garden the more I loved it and what it represented to me. I realized there was  someone out there that saw potential in what most people would consider to be ugly or unusable—if they even saw the piece of ground at all. And then, that person actually did something with that potential.

I want to be more like that. I want to see the good and potential in my surroundings—especially people—and I want to work with that potential. I'm trying to make it my new mantra. We'll see how long this positive attitude lasts. It's a good thing I pass that garden once a'll be a good reminder!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday funnies

I have to admit, I'm totally stealing this idea from one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer, from Seeking Style. Confession: I have a total girl crush on her. Yes, she has great style, but mostly I love her because she is funny. She reminds me of my friend Emily.

Anyhow, she has this thing on Fridays where she includes a "friday fail" — basically a photoshoot pic gone wrong. They always make me laugh and remind me not to take this blogging thing too seriously. So I figured maybe if I started publishing my own Friday Funnies it might do the same for other girls out there. I figure if I can't laugh at myself, then I have some real problems. So here's to not taking life so seriously!

You're welcome. And look forward to seeing more redic pictures of me at least once a month.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My latest obsession (in food): Express lunch plate

Somewhere around the beginning of the year I decided to clean out one of my kitchen cabinets. And when I did I found this handy cookbook that a roommate had given me a couple of years ago. She had worked for Oxmoor House so she had a plethora of books at her disposal and I was one of her lucky recipients!

Anyhow, it's called the CarbLover's Diet and as I flipped through it I thought, hey this stuff actually looks good. So I did it for a while and then like everything else, I just ran out of time to cook every night and shop at the grocery store like you need to be able to do for this kind of meal planning.

Even though I quit "following" the book, per se, I actually have a couple of recipes or food ideas that I still use from it on a weekly basis. One of them is the express lunch plate. What is the express lunch plate you might ask? Oh, well let me just tell you!

The express lunch plate:

• a hard boiled egg
• an ounce of cheddar cheese
• a sliced apple
• 3 rye crispbread crackers

I'll be honest, I substitute the rye crackers for the equivalent amount in triscuits instead. Mostly because they are just easier to find in the grocery store.

What I love about this meal is simple: with the exception of boiling the egg it's pretty much grab and go, it's low cal (right at 400) yet filling and I feel like I am getting a variety of what my body needs in just one small meal. Plus, oddly enough, I eat this about 3x a week and I haven't got tired of it yet!

So if you like all of the pieces of this meal, you might think about adding it into your lunch rotation. It's just such an easy and quick fix!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Music Monday: Dawes & Alabama Shakes concert review

This past Saturday night I was lucky enough to attend the sold out show of Dawes and the Alabama Shakes at Sloss Furnaces with my friend Amy. I say "lucky" not only because it was an incredible show, but because it sold out months ago in a matter of minutes. Super glad that Ames and I were on top of our game when tickets went on sale that day!

Anyhow, there was an opener before Dawes played, but I couldn't tell you their name. They were ok, and definitely ended up being better than the opening song they played. Amy said she didn't "mind" them as much as she thought she was going to and clearly they didn't make much of an impact on me either. Honestly, I could've done without them and heard Dawes play for longer.

I discovered Dawes through Daytrotter and became immediately obsessed with their debut album North Hills. I saw them live for the first time at Workplay sometime last year I think. I felt like an idiot for not doing my homework before this weekend's show because I had no idea they had a new album that was released a couple of months ago. So basically I got to hear several new songs that were unfamiliar, along with a few of my favorites mixed in, including "That Western Skyline." (which btw, if anyone knows the name of the girl that Taylor Goldsmith moved to Bham & wrote this song for, I would love to know).

Dawes at Sloss Furnaces • Birmingham, AL • June 8, 2013

They also played "When My Time Comes" and it was beautiful to hear everyone in the crowd singing it together. It made me happy to see that these guys have a bit of a bigger presence in Bham than the last time I saw them. They definitely deserve it. The lead singer (Taylor Goldsmith) gives off such a professional and gracious vibe that it's hard not to want good things for this band.

We had about an hour of waiting time between Dawes and the Alabama Shakes. It started to feel like the longest hour of my life. About 45 minutes in, me and the majority of the crowd started to get really antsy and frustrated.

I have to agree with my friend Amy that a concert at Sloss is a great idea in theory. It's this cool historic landmark that you have turned into a place for special events. But after you stand on the sloping cement floor for a couple of hours in an Alabama summer, you begin to hate life just a bit. And if you don't get in a sweet spot on the slope, it's hard to see over everyone's heads. I will say that the sound was probably the best I have heard at Sloss in a while.

Alabama Shakes at Sloss Furnaces • Birmingham, AL • June 8, 2013

Anyhow, the Shakes finally came out a little before 10:30 p.m. and the crowd went wild—especially when Brittany took the stage. After just one song I knew that this show was going to be worth the (literally painful) wait.

I have to say that this band is definitely one that is meant to be seen live. Believe it or not, I think they have improved a good bit since I saw them a year ago in Portland, somewhat in their sound, but mostly in terms of stage presence. Brittany is definitely one to watch. Girl just has charisma. Watching her sing makes you feel like you are witnessing history in the making.

Everyone in the audience, including myself, seemed to be pleased with the set list. It was pretty amazing to be with hundreds of people singing "Hooollllllddd On" and then to see Heath Fogg kill the guitar rifts on "Hang Loose." Oh and they definitely tore the roof off the place with "Be Mine." There were also a few unfamiliar songs to me, which gives me hope that a new album might not be too far off, and it is sure to be one that won't disapoint.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pesky hindsight

Oh hindsight. Why you gotta be so 20/20?

Ok, I hate to disappoint. But it's really not as exciting as you're thinking. I'm just simply lamenting that I didn't use the solid gray wall as my background for all of these photos. Those are clearly my best pics and the others seem inconsistent. I just thought I needed to make things exciting by adding in a bit of the city scene and some greenery.

If only I wasn't so much of a chicken and I could actually handle looking at my photos during the shoot. Instead my MO is to just have Leslie snap a ton of pictures and cross my fingers that at least five turn out okay.

Well, maybe this will learn me! (yeah, I said "learn me" - I'm from the south....accept my ridiculous figures of speech. Even if they are grammatically incorrect)

Obviously I have nothing better to tell you guys. So let's just get to the cheapskate outfit breakdown, shall we?

1. Top, Forever 21/gifted (thanks Ashley!)
2. Skirt, Target ($22.99)
3. Wedges, Charlotte Russe ($32.50)
4. Necklace, The Clothes Horse ($10.50)
5. Hat, Rugged Wearhouse ($3.99)
6. Square ring, Brooklyn Flea ($5.00)
7. Circle ring, Brooklyn Flea ($5.00)
8. Simple gold ring, gifted/passed down
9. Crossbody bag, thrifted ($3.00)
10. Sunglasses, gifted (thanks Joy!)

Total: Under $100.00

Photos: Leslie Evans

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