Join me for Girls’ Night Out at Belk!

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*Note: Belk has provided me with compensation for this post and my appearance at the event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

Darlings, shake off those winter blahs and spring forward into warm-weather fashion with Belk (and me!) on Thursday, March 12 at the Summit location! The garden party-themed soirée will feature light bites, wine and music from Scratch DJ, as well as fashion tips from yours truly. And yes: there will be discounts (20% off with limited exclusions) and giveaways!

The event is from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Belk (the Summit location). Swing by; I’d love to see (and shop) with you!

Check out a sneak peek at what I’m wearing: this lovely Ruffle-Top Slim Dress by 1 State’s Spring 2015 line (seen also in the slides how above). I was looking for an updated LBD and this is a winner! The flirty ruffle accent keeps it fun, but I don’t feel over-exposed thanks to the wide straps and knee-length hem. It can easily be dressed up or down, and I can’t wait to show you how I’ll style it this spring (hint: leopard may be involved). And 1 State has several other stylish, contemporary options on the second floor!

Not in the Birmingham area? Other Girls’ Night Out events are being held at Belk locations in Tuscaloosa, Spanish Fort and Mobile, AL (Bel-Air Mall), in Pensacola FL (Cordova Mall), and in Atlanta, GA (Phipps Plaza) and Franklin, TN (Cool Springs Galleria).

Hope to see you March 12!

XO, Alexis

 

ICYMI: Being heart healthy is chic!

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The link to this morning’s appearance on ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama is up; you can view it by clicking HERE.

Would you like to try one of the products I featured from Vinia, Carrington Farms or Medifast this morning? Let me know in the comments section!

As always, thank you for supporting Same Chic Different Day!

XO, Alexis

Tune in to Talk of Alabama next Monday!

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Guess who’ll be back on Monday morning?!

Toss some sequins and tune in to ABC 33/40 next MONDAY (2/16): I’ll be sharing some news you can use during the 9:00 hour! Not in the local viewing area? Try live-streaming it by clicking HERE, or catch the video when it’s posted later by clicking HERE.

Xo,
Alexis

Tune in to Talk of Alabama this Friday!

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Guess who’ll be back on tomorrow?!

Toss some sequins and tune in to ABC 33/40 this FRIDAY: I’ll be sharing some news you can use during the 9:00 hour!  Not in the local viewing area? Try live-streaming it by clicking HERE, or catch the video when it’s posted later by clicking HERE.

Xo,
Alexis

How to wear: marsala

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New year, new COLOR of the year from Pantone! This year’s signature shade is “marsala,” a rich burgundy wine that you’ll see in clothing, accessories, makeup and home décor throughout 2015.  You can wear it in small doses via your nail or lip color (my go-to’s are Essie’s “Wicked” nail polish and Guerlain’s luscious Rouge G de Guerlain L’Extrait  in Orgueil) or add it to your wardrobe. I love this ensemble from H&M because has all the right elements: layers, a modest hint of skin and a monochromatic top-to-bottom palette that wins kudos for being slimming!

Burgundy lace top, $49.95; Burgundy woven camisole, $34.95; and Burgundy suit pants (featuring the return of the wide-legged trouser, for all of you who are tired of skinny pants!), $59.95, all via H&M

Images via Pantone, H&M, Essie and Sephora

Haute off the press!

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Toss some sequins, darlings!

I’m excited to share that I’ll be contributing to SheKnows.com as one of their “Experts Among Us”! My first post will be published next month! SheKnows.com is a “community that inspires and empowers women to explore and pursue their passions,” and I’m so thrilled to be a part of that. Don’t worry: this blog will continue to let the good times roll. There will just be one more place – in addition to AL.com – where you can find the fabulosity!

Thanks so much for your support, and for coming along with me for the fun!

Xo,
Alexis

Image via SheKnows.com

What to wear to the SEC Championship…

20141201-181008.jpgCome on…you had to see this coming!

I’m in love with J. Crew Factory’s puffer vests (see HERE and HERE), and they look so cute with denim, leather and even skirts. Plus they have pockets, which are great when you have to streamline your purse to meet stadium restrictions on large handbags. (Our local J. Crew Factory store is located at the Outlet Shops of Grand River in Leeds.) A crimson lip can be your finishing touch.

I’d stay away from layering an infinity scarf over this, or wearing it over a denim jacket – the point is not to look like Marty McFly. Instead, I’d choose a chambray shirt and statement necklace. Add flat boots, a light crossbody bag like this one from Coach and your favorite gameday button and you’re done! To get more mileage out of it, try pairing it with a dressier pant, patterned sweater and heels (as J. Crew Factory styles it below).

JCF

You could also try layering an oversized cardigan, a fur vest* or even belting a long scarf over your outfit to achieve a similar effect (InStyle shows you how HERE). An added benefit as you enjoy tailgating or dress for seasonal occasions: these options all camouflage food babies!

Roll Tide and happy shopping!

Images via J. Crew Factory, Lids and Coach

*Beware the faux fur ones appearing either totally lackluster/dry or super shiny; it’s a dead giveaway that they’re fake.

 

Chow Chow & Soul’s Charla Draper talks entertaining

One of the redeeming graces of the weather getting colder is entertaining moves inside where it’s warm! Whether you’re gearing up for a round of dinner and cocktail parties, hosting a girl’s night in or an Iron Bowl extravaganza, it never hurts to plan ahead to ensure things run smoothly. With that in mind, I caught up with Charla Draper, whose blog Chow Chow & Soul (CC&S) is “culinary dish for those who relish food, recipes, entertaining and more.” Ms. Draper has a wealth of experience: her first job was working in the Kraft Kitchens, and she also worked as food editor at Ebony and Southern Living (which brought her to Alabama!). Having grown up on Ebony’s Date with a Dish feature, I was really excited to speak with her.

The inspiration for CC&S: “I enjoy cooking and sharing food information. There are so many things people enjoy eating or remember eating as they grew up. If people don’t continue to cook those things, they’ll be lost recipes. It’s great to eat out, but it’s always good to know how to make something yourself.”

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Charla Draper

Her specialty: “I really have always enjoyed baking. My mother is a great pie baker; I’m trying to fine-tune my pie baking skills. One of the things I always do for my family is make the yeast rolls. It’s kind of therapeutic to knead that dough. When I first started, my grandmother was the yeast roll baker, and I was able to make them with her maybe twice.”

Draper had her grandmother’s recipe but it was missing a key element her grandmother hadn’t written down. Once while she was baking them, her uncle came by and just happened to say that Draper’s grandmother would “score the dough across the top and then fold it in half” which helped the final product turn out successfully.

Draper uses tested recipes that she’s developed herself or that come from reliable sources. She advises cooks to use a timeline when preparing meals (you can find a great one on her blog by clicking HERE).

Here’s how you can successfully execute your next event.

Prepare

“Try to select things that you’re familiar with,” Draper says. “If you see a new recipe you’d like to try when you’re going to entertain, make sure you have enough time to run through it. Don’t do it the first time when your guests are coming.”

Draper recommends going about your preparations in an organized manner. Read your recipes completely, make your grocery list and when you get home from shopping, get all your ingredients out and measured at the same time. Then you can begin preparing your dishes.

Picture it

When it comes to serving your meal, surely your guests won’t be served directly out of pots or aluminum pans, so consider the presentation. Invest in some nicer serving dishes, which can be found at your local Target or Wal-Mart, or even stores like TJ Maxx. Draper recommends picturing how you’d like your appetizers and the entrée and side dishes to look on the plate, and even labels her serving pieces with Post-it notes beforehand as reminders.

“Will you have food out when people arrive, or will it need to be put out after your guests come? Think through it,” Draper says. “I try to set up the table 24-48 hours before company arrives. For sit-down dinners, you can set the table and pick up a plastic drop cloth and just cover the table, so all you have to do is take the drop cloth off before your event.”

She recommends being ready for your guests 30-45 minutes before they are due to arrive. She says one of the best investments she’s ever made has been to hire help for her parties.

“It could be a formal service that supports restaurants and caterers, or simply reach out to a culinary school to see if they might have students available to execute while you’re entertaining,” Draper says.

“Sometimes these services will do everything for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to see if you can get some help in terms of serving and opening the door so you have a chance to interact with your guests,” she advises.

Party perfect

If you’ve given yourself plenty of time to prepare your meal, you should also have plenty of time to set the mood. Create a welcoming atmosphere in your home by lighting candles, using floral arrangements and playing well-chosen music. Prepare and chill your beverages – have one yourself, you deserve it! – and give yourself time to relax and dress before your guests arrive. But what if they ring the doorbell early?

“It can be a challenge when people arrive too early,” Draper says. “If they arrive before things are out, get them involved. Ask them if they can put this or that on the table. You might not have them involved in the cooking. But always be a gracious host.”

***

You can read and view more of Charla’s excellent tips via Chow Chow & Soul. She is also a Butterball Turkey Talk-Line® spokesperson, sharing her expertise along with other culinary professionals at 1-800-BUTTERBALL. The line is open all day, every day this week through 3:00 p.m. December 25.

Worst-dressed at the AMAs

Ugh. Where to begin? (Click on each photo for a closer look!)

Zendaya: Gold lame is chic, but this look loses something in the execution. Who wears a bikini top a with a trench coat? And that’s far too much hair on any one person’s head. This fabric is gorgeous; I would’ve loved to have seen it worked into a sheath or cropped top and skirt that fit the star’s sporty style.

Uzo Aduba: That hair and that dress (with cheap-looking fabric and styling that do her silhouette no favors) are both “NO ma’ams.” Sleeker hair and a more refined fit would’ve been better options. If you’re going to choose something that’s a bit inexpensive, steer clear of anything that makes it look gaudy, like sparkly accents.

Neyo: No comment. #opencasketsharp

Star Jones: Sigh. She is entirely too fabulous for these shorts worn with pantyhose. I think she looks amazing in artfully draped, or ruched sheaths with some structure to them. I could’ve even seen Ms. Jones in a voluminous, high-low ball skirt with a crisp white blouse or even a cropped blouse showing just a hint of skin at her waist. That shape would’ve still drawn attention to her legs, but in a more sophisticated manner.

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And Diana accessorized with turkey feathers. The End.

Your thoughts?

ICYMI: This is how you #BreaktheInternet

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It involves keeping your clothes on (ahem, Mrs. Kanye West) and Solange Knwoles did it in immaculate white ensembles this past weekend. The occasion? Her chic, modern wedding to love Alan Ferguson. The interweb collectively swooned.

The couple celebrated Saturday night with a showing of Mahogany (a classic film the couple watched on their first date…and we spy Solange carrying that adorable Kate Spade bag we posted!) at Indywood Cinemas, and were married at The lovely Marigny Opera house on Sunday. The pair pedaled to the ceremony on matching white vintage bikes, for which Ms. Knowles wore a Stéphane Rolland caped pantsuit. She changed into an Humberto Leon for Kenzo caped gown for the ceremony, and the theme seems to have been white haute for all, including her mother, Tina, and sister, Beyonce.

Photos were released via Vogue.com Sunday evening.

Fab. (And yes, I’m all about the drama of capes. See HERE and HERE.) This is such a refreshing personal statement that seems authentic to Solange’s overall style and aesthetic. Nothing about this wedding (from the pictures, at least) seems forced or hung up on traditional wedding style, which I think is great.  I’m especially loving Mama Tina’s ensemble; I hate it when mothers of the bride and groom get stuck in frumpy, matronly outfits. And I’m predicting a lot of “white haute” nuptials and caped brides come spring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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