What am I packing in my super-cute Scout beach bag (courtesy of Swoozie’s)? Check it out:
Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy: Summer colds are the worst! Spending time outside at the beach and surrounded by many other people means you are more likely to come into contact with germs. Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy Lozenges and Oral Spray are great grab-n-go options to throw into your bag. Clinically proven to shorten the duration of a cold by almost half, Cold-EEZE Cold Remedy is the perfect beach bag essential for your family (ages 12 and up) to keep them healthy so they can enjoy a sniffle-free summer. (www.coldeeze.com)
Nurture My Body Organic Sunscreen by CureDiva: Protecting yourself from the strong summer UV rays is important for a healthy summer. 100% organic sunscreen is the safe, natural choice for sun protection. Nurture My Body creates a rich and light sunscreen that provides 32 SPF broad spectrum protection and proactively repairs your skin. Made with just 8 gentle ingredients, this amazing organic sunscreen is great for adults, children, and babies alike. (www.curediva.com)
G.M. Collin’s After-Sun Cream is the ultra-hydrating, soothing, and calming solution for skin after sun exposure that also simultaneously prevents dehydration.Enriched with Shea Butter and Primrose Oil, it revitalizes and nourishes as it hydrates the skin, and has a natural anti-inflammatory effect that brings relief to irritation and sunburn. Applied regularly after sun exposure, the After-Sun Cream calms and hydrates the skin, making it soft, healthy, and well moisturized. ($32.00, GMCollin.com for spa locations nationwide and skin1.com)
Celsius: Keeping refreshed at the beach has never been easier. A delicious, negative calorie beverage, Celsius combines vitamins, great flavors and metabolic-boosting properties and is quickly becoming the drink of choice to keep the beach body in shape without adding those extra calories. Drinking Celsius before exercise helps you burn up to 100 calories and more per serving, boosts metabolism, reduces body fat, increases endurance and provides lasting energy. (www.celsius.com)
Medifast’s BBQ Bites: Before heading out for a day in the sun, make sure you’ve got a nutritious snack so unhealthy chips and boardwalk food doesn’t become your lunch. Get the flavor of summer BBQ’s with the Medifast BBQ Bites. One packet has 110 calories, 3 grams of fat and 11 grams of protein and it’s the perfect snack to throw into your beach bag for the entire family (I keep them in my desk at work!). (www.medifast1.com)
Simply Scientific Hair™ Revitalizing Mist: A powerful product that combines several benefits into one light detangling spray. It’s easy: spraying onto towel-dried hair results in silky, tangle-free hair that is remarkably easy to comb. In addition to giving your hair a flawless appearance, this mist contains elements critical to the protection of your hair to guard your strands against dryness, humidity, andenvironmental aggressors (such as the sun’s harmful rays). (www.scientificessentials.com)
Hope Paige Silicone Watch: Hope Paige’s wrap around silicone watch is the perfect way to keep track of time on the beach. It comes in 4 colors and is made of a bright rubber material that is durable and waterproof. All watches come engraved with wearer’s medical information in case of an emergency. Visit www.hopepaige.com for more information.
Carrington Farms Flax Paks: This snack is packed in ready-to-eat, portable and convenient single serve packets and is a natural source of fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Unlike other brands, Carrington Farms Milled Seeds are sliced, instead of crushed, to maintain essential oils and nutrients. Great for sprinkling over cereals, shakes, yogurt, salads, starches, fruits, vegetables, casseroles and even baked goods. These flax seeds are Non-GMO, Certified Organic and Gluten-Free, and have NO cholesterol, Sodium, Sugars. They are available at retailers including Publix, Whole Foods, local supermarkets, health food stores and online at http://carringtonfarms.com/.
Bump Water: A scientifically formulated prenatal beverage containing 100% of the recommended daily allowance of folic acid, Vitamins A, D, E, B6, B12, magnesium and zinc. It comes in 2 flavors: Lemonade and Cranberry Ginger, is in an all-natural, in a BPA-free bottle and is OB/GYN recommended. For more information go to http://bumpwater.com/.
And what did I wear? I’m in J. Crew’s “Allie” dress in festival blue, and their Crystal Mobile earrings (you can see the earrings close up on the blog’s Instagram page, via @samechicdifferentday)! My face was made up by Kimberly Black-Crawford, Trish McEvoy Specialist at Birmingham’s Saks Fifth Avenue (located at the Summit). To book your appointment, email her at email@example.com!
I had an amazing time at this past weekend’s sold-out (!) See Jane Write Bloganista Mini-Conference! A very special thanks to founder Javacia Harris Bowser for inviting me to deliver the morning keynote and to participate in the afternoon panel!
I was SO honored to be in the company of so many fabulous fellow bloggers, including Jeniese Hosey, Karri Bentley, Chanda Temple, Bertha Hidalgo, Erica Bunker, Williesha Morris, Heather Brown, Clair McCafferty, Buffy York, Carla Jean Whitley and Vanessa Culpepper! I am eager to implement many of the tips and ideas shared this past Saturday!
Are you interested in starting a blog and aren’t sure where or how to start? What are you waiting for? Check out See Jane Write and join a community of engaged, supportive fellow bloganistas!
[Update: My Vince Camuto maxi dress is from Belk and the belt is a vintage find from Etsy. I chose this outfit because it's "comfy chic"...and it matches the blog! ]
Images via See Jane Write
Happy Friday darlings!
Headed to the beach this summer? If you’re in the Montgomery viewing area, catch me on WSFA 12′s Alabama Live! TODAY sometime between 11 AM-Noon, where I’ll be sharing beach bag essentials!
You can find WSFA’s “Right this Minute Video Coverage” by clicking HERE, and a link to Alabama Live! by clicking HERE. I’m not 100% sure this appearance will be streamed live, so if it isn’t I’ll definitely share a link later.
As always, thanks so much for your support!
Image via Tonya Terry/WSFA
The dress popped up during a random search on eBay for vintage disco-era eveningwear (don’t judge me). When it scrolled across my screen, it took my breath away. The cream two piece, floorlength gown – sleeveless with a chiffon overlay trimmed in brown – was almost exactly the same ensemble my Big Mama had worn to my uncle’s wedding in the late 70s. Initially, I thought they were exactly the same, but as the photo shows my grandmother’s dress was edged in purple.
Throughout my childhood, it existed only in one of our heavy family photo albums: there stands my grandmother, in platforms, defiant eyes behind huge Jackie O shades and a bouffant. FIERCE, darling. The black Angie Dickinson. I can’t remember one occasion where I ever saw her in formalwear in real life (although she wore a fabulous hat with a veil and gloves to my grandfather’s funeral), but her unique sense of style and her take no prisoners approach to life have been clinging to me like a rich perfume for years.
I often tell a story about a pair of shoes she gave me in college: snakeskin stilettos on 4 inch heels that she wore to my father’s high school graduation. I didn’t have the type of life or even the clothes those shoes required, but the moment I saw them, I began envisioning something for myself that maybe she’d seen too. Something adventurous, something unexpected and against the grain. And in a very real way, those qualities have influenced how I live my life and and why I choose to be a writer.
My paternal grandmother has been deceased almost 12 years. She never got to see my sense of style develop, but oh, how I wish she could see me now in my avant garde cocktail dress or the fringed top I just ordered and will wear with leather shorts. When I decide to wear something that’s a little too “much” I think of her and hold my head higher. She’d understand my need to express myself through my clothes, to wear things that say something about my soul that I can’t put into words, to dress for a life I aspire to lead. It’s why she wore sunglasses indoors, stiletto heels to my father’s graduation and driving gloves when she roared her red Cadillac through our small town.
I’m sure she cut quite a figure in Brewton, in her Cadillacs and furs when black women weren’t “supposed” to have those things. I can see her floating through my parents’ reception like the fourth member of the Supremes, holding court with her flask and cigarettes and throaty laugh. No public tears when her sons walked down the aisle and started new lives. That wasn’t her style. No tears for me either, when I wept on the steps of her house before I left for college.
“Trust in Him,” she said. And that was that. That was all.
That was enough.
So. The dress. I didn’t bid, but I seriously considered it. It wasn’t her dress, after all.
Can you tell from this post how much I miss her? It pains me that the answers I need from her now – the answers to questions I didn’t think of and wasn’t brave enough to ask if I had – I can’t get. But even if Dorothy were still here, she might not have taken my curiosity well. She didn’t do interviews, or nosy grandchildren. Dorothy H. Barton didn’t dwell; she didn’t play the radio, if you catch my meaning. So when I need a dose of her spirit – when things get to be too much or I’m tired and ready to “set someone’s soup outdoors,” as she’d say – I hear her say, “Hmmph! Keep living!”
Or maybe she’d simply say again, “Trust in Him.”
And that’s enough.
I am sometimes asked which skincare products I use. I rotate products frequently so my skin doesn’t get used to them, but here are a few of the masks I have in the rotation:
Best “old school” favorite: Noxema, $3.97. Yes, I’m aware this is a cleansing cream and not a mask. But I like to smooth it on, let it sit, and then remove with a hot towel. Sometimes I steam my pores with this on. It really refreshes my complexion!
“But I’m too old to get pimples” mask: ProActiv Refining Mask, $34.99 and Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask Mask, $24.00 These are go-to treatments that I use when a zit decides to wave “Hello!” from my chin (ugh!). The Origins mask can be used all over to clear pores, but I only use the ProActiv mask as a spot treatment. Both work wonders at drying up the little monsters overnight. But beware, the ProActiv treatment contains sulphur, and less is definitely more (unless you like that fragrance).
Best moisturizing mask: Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask, $24.00. I looooove to put this on when temps rise. My skin get super dry, so it literally drinks this up. And it has a delicious fragrance; it reminds me of a fruity cocktail!
Best cleansing mask: Estee Lauder Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Foam Cleanser/Purifying Mask, $25.00. I love this mask because it does double duty as a cleanser and purifier. This is a super gentle, but super luxurious mask that goes on when I need to decompress with a bubble bath, a glass of wine and a good book.
Ready to pamper your skin? Make an appointment Saks’ Summer Spa Party this Saturday, July 19! With 2 skincare purchases you will receive a mini facial, full face makeover and a free full size Trish McEvoy Even Skin Vitamin C face cream. SPACE IS LIMITED; email Kimberly Black-Crawford at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (205) 612-9788 for details and reservations!
Q: It seems like everyone I know is getting married this summer! I don’t want to wear the same cocktail dresses over and over; how can I look like a million dollars on a budget? – Stressed Guest
A: Once upon a time, in a land far away, there was a hardworking socialite who appreciated a bargain. When social season rolled around each year, she found herself in a dilemma: she was unwilling to pay exorbitant prices for black tie ensembles that might only get worn once or twice, and equally unwilling to buy something ho-hum but budget-friendly. What was a diva to do?
Enter Rent the Runway, which makes couture fairy tales come true for fashionistas seeking a “Cinderella moment.”
The online retailer – the brainchild of Jennifer Hyman and Jennifer Fleiss – rents formal and cocktail attire from major designers (think Prabal Gurung, Badgley Mischka and Herve Leger) as well as high-end accessories for a fraction of the price. These gowns are current, and RTR has options for plus, petite and tall sizes. Shoppers register online, peruse the digital runway of gowns and choose one or more to rent (as well as a free back-up size). The dresses are shipped via UPS, arriving according to a date you select; after your event, you simply return the items to Rent the Runway via the enclosed shipping envelope.
Have a fit question? Chat with a virtual Go-To Girl, who can help you make the best selection.
Worried you’re going to get something obviously used? I tried the service twice; all four dresses were professionally dry-cleaned and had no stains, odors, rips or issues. RTR also included fashion tape with the first order, which came in handy.
But what if is doesn’t fit? If nothing in your order fits, return the items to RTR within 24 hours for a full credit.
How big of a deal is this? In my opinion, it’s major. The dress I borrowed for the UNCF Masked Gala earlier this year (Badgley Mischka’s Rouge Rosalind Peplum Gown) retails for $530, and I rented it for $86.65 (the price included tax, $5 insurance and $9.95 shipping). RTR offers first-time renters promo codes that can be used for additional savings. If you attend multiple social events (dances, weddings, balls and awards ceremonies, etc.) and find yourself buying dresses you wear once or twice and then are leery of wearing again soon (because let’s face it: most of us don’t want to be seen in the same outfit multiple times in one season), you can find a tremendous variety of options at Rent the Runway, without emptying your piggy bank. And who wouldn’t want to wear something that echoed Jennifer Lawrence’s peplum Dior, worn at this year’s Oscars? (Okay, so that was a total coincidence.)
Of course, you do have to send the dress back (unless you want to be charged, per RTR’s rental agreement), but if you were really looking for a dress to keep, you wouldn’t be renting one to begin with. The site also offers private sales on dresses from time to time that registered users may take advantage of.
Will I rent again? Only my fairy godmother knows for sure…
*Pictured: Badgley Mischka Rouge Rosalind Peplum Gown via Rent the Runway, J. Crew Grande Crystal Drops Necklace (sold out); Jennifer Lawrence via Jason Merritt/Getty
Looking for the perfect summer shoe? Slip into an espadrille! It’s not a sandal, and definitely not a stiletto; I like to think of it as a smoking slipper that went on vacation, but didn’t turn into a pair of Toms. *wink*
There are so many easy, breezy ways to wear this shoe. Whether you choose lace, leather, leopard or classic canvas by Soludos, you can experiment with color, texture and pattern and add a little pizzazz to your maxi dresses, shorts, denim and palazzo pants this season. Here are some options to think about (of course I had to find a sequined pair!):
Don’t forget! The Bloganista Mini-Conference is this Saturday!
Are YOU a Bloganista?
If so, please join me at the Bloganista Mini-Conference from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 19! I will be the morning keynote speaker at this one-day conference for fashion, fitness and lifestyle bloggers. The conference will not only cover best blogging practices, but also how you can use your blog to land freelance writing gigs, speaking engagements, and other opportunities. We’ll also discuss how to dress like a fashion blogger even if you’re not one.
In my keynote, I will be sharing the not-so-so glamorous side of fashion blogging and discussing all the hard work I put into my blog and my brand. But I’ll also tell you why the hard work is worth it!
The Bloganista Mini-Conference is a production of See Jane Write, an organization for Birmingham-area women who write and blog. Javacia Harris Bowser, the founder of See Jane Write, is extending a special discount for readers of Same Chic Different Day. Get $5 off your ticket by visiting thebloganistaconference.eventbrite.com and entering the promotional code SAMECHIC.
Note: today is the last day to purchase tickets and receive the Urban Cookhouse gift card!
Hope to see you there!