Thank you, Southern Living!

If you follow the blog on Instagram you may have seen my post about touring the Southern Living Test Kitchens about a month ago. Without further ado, here are a few of the highlights.

I was being a total fan girl, so my journalism skills are totally nonexistent. But suffice it to say, the staff was every bit as hospitable as you would expect, and the amenities are to die for.  Although I didn’t actually taste anything, what I saw and smelled were a feast for the eyes and delight to the nose. From the beautiful duplicate kitchen bays to the prop closet to the babbling brook on the grounds, it’s a special place–and we are fortunate to have it in Birmingham.

A huge thank you to Southern Living and Time Inc. Food Studios for their generosity and to Lauren Roberts for the invitation! Having once worked in customer service for the Time Inc. (in the division that houses Southern Living, Cooking Light titles, among others), it was a pleasure to see another side of the business. 

Feautured image via The Junior League of Birmingham

Watch Alexis on Talk of Alabama tomorrow!

img_9589Toss some sequins and tune in to ABC 33/40 on Friday (November 24th): I’ll be sharing some news you can use during the 9:00 A.M. hour! (Hint: Gentlemen, this one is for especially for you!)

Not in the local viewing area? You can live-streaming it by clicking HERE, or catch the video when it’s posted later by clicking HERE.

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Hello darlings!

I wanted to share this nugget of wisdom I received via text this morning. Last year was very hard for me, and I’ve been more proactive about making positive changes that lessen stress. In addition to being more vigilant in prayer and exercising, receiving texts like the one above have improved my quality of life by providing a bit of affirmation, plus action steps.

If you need a little boost to help you slay, visit shinetext.com to sign up. Sharing is caring!

Xo, Alexis 

Image via Shine Text

See and be seen at SCENE on Nov. 17

Haute off the press:

Darlings, come shop with me Thursday, November 17! I’m headed to SCENE for the design launch of ALASAW, JA Collections by Jordan Alexander and Botaniko. It promises to be  a fabulous evening of fine art, home goods and jewelry–plus live jazz from Birmingham’s own Eric Essix.

How better to rewind after work than with craft cocktails, wine and light bites while enjoying an art opening?  I can’t wait to browse JA Collections’ home goods and jewelry (Oprah and Queen Rania are fans). Featured jewelers will include Ilana Sarna, Sara Weinstock, Victor Veylan, Santi Rom, Buddha Mama, Nan Fusco, Sorrelina, Jordan Alexander, Andrew Harper, Adorina, and Octium. Even better: A portion of A21 jewelry proceeds will be donated to a charity that helps victims of human trafficking.

The art of Louis Shields, Nall and Lela Shields will shown to encourage a spirit of citywide collaboration. Alabama Sawyer (ALASAW) will showcase its custom pieces made from Alabama’s finest salvaged hardwoods. And last but not least, Deborah Stone (of Botaniko for Stone Hollow Farmstead) will serve as Alchemist and craft signature cocktails for the night.

Join me at SCENE (2801 2nd Avenue South/Birmingham 35233) tomorrow from 5 to 8 PM for all the fabulosity. (Want to browse a bit before the event? Follow JA Collections on Facebook and Instagram.)

Hope to see you there!

Alexis

 

 

It’s No Shave November!


And we’ve got tips and giveaways to help you or your favorite gentleman keep it Chic…stay tuned!

Image via 99centrazor.com

ICYMI: Talk of Alabama

I had a fantastic time sharing tips and products from Macy’s Hotel Collection, Ten Thousand Villages, Krups at Bed Bath & Beyond and Eclipse at Walmart!

Check out the segment by clicking here. 

Image courtesy Stanley Parrish, Jr.

Alexis is on Talk of Alabama tomorrow!

Toss some sequins and tune in to ABC 33/40 on Friday (October 28th): I’ll be sharing some news you can use during the 9:00 A.M. hour! 

Not in the local viewing area? You can live-streaming it by clicking HERE, or catch the video when it’s posted later by clicking HERE.

Calling all Magic City Classic shoppers!


This is not a drill.

Still haven’t picked out the perfect Magic City Classic outfit? I’ve got you covered! I’m sure you know what not to wear (ahem), so come check out this fall’s hottenst ttends instead. Swing by Macy’s (Riverchase Galleria) this Friday, October 29 for shopping, music and light bites–plus a fashion show hosted by yours truly!
The first 30 customers to RSVP and attend will receive a $10 Macy’s gift card, good for that day. RSVP by clicking here.

Hope to see you there!

Talking natural hair…

curly-hair

Several of you have asked what I use to care for my  curls, and I am excited to share these tips and products with you here and on Talk of Alabama today (You can view the segment by clicking HERE.)

There is no one-size fits all approach to natural hair. You can watch all the YouTube videos and read all the blogs in the world, but you’ll still have to learn your own hair, whether you cut it all off or grow it out from the root.  You may have to “cocktail” different brands and processes to achieve the look you want, or you may be able to literally wash and go. My tips are based on 8 years of trial and error. Note: I am not a hairstylist or dermatologist. Seek professional advice before you self-diagnose or try anything to permanently alter your hair. (For example, I don’t color my hair at home. I leave that to someone who has professional training.)

Tip 1: Have a great go-to shampoo and conditioner. Using a shampoo that is free of sulfates, counteracts hard water buildup, is gentle enough to use daily and allows my hair to retain moisture is key. And because my hair gets super tangly, I need a creamy conditioner that smooths the cuticle of my hair and makes the detangling process much less painful. Try: Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo and Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner, $12 each; available at Target.

Tip: Pre-poo or deep condition as a luxury treatment.  I love the versatility that allows me to wear my hair blown out bone straight, but that has an effect on my curls. A few months ago, they were in pretty bad shape. Using a great protein pre-shampoo treatment and a rich deep conditioner strengthens my curls and gives them a little more “POP.”                       Try: Madam C. J. Walker’s Dream Come True Wonderful Pre-Wash Protein Treatment, $32 at Sephora. For deep conditioning, try Ouidad’s  MeltDown Extreme Repair Mask, available at Sephora and Ulta for $44, and in a smaller size at Ultra for $16.

Tip: My curls don’t require a lot of handling, so I stick to a Denman brush for detangling and working product through my wet hair. Using a microfiber towel to squeeze excess moisture out of my hair shortens drying time and eliminates the frizz a bath towel can cause.  Try: Microfiber wrap, available at HomeGoods, $3.99; Denman brush, available at Sally Beauty Supply, $11.50.

Last but not least:  Be gentle with your curls. Don’t fall into the trap of comparing your texture to someone else’s, because every curl pattern has its own unique beauty. Since hair grows from the inside out, it’s still going to be important to eat well and drink plenty of water. Be sure to get regular trims and consult with a stylist who understands textured hair. Oh-and if you see someone with gorgeous natural hair, feel free to compliment them on it, but as a general rule: please ask before touching it!

Want to see a professional? Here are some Birmingham-area stylists I recommend:

Image via FunnyAnd.com

Every Michelle Has a Melania.


I SO did not want to address this again. But I have to.

When I was in high school, I saved my allowance to buy a banging new outfit for the Bayou Classic. It was a pair of black jeans (as tight as my mother would allow), a matching black denim cropped vest and a black and white striped top, all by Bongo Jeans and all from The Body Shop, which was THE shop for teenage girls when I was growing up. I was so excited to go to Pensacola’s Cordova Mall and buy this outfit, then wear it in New Orleans and to school.

Imagine how I felt when soon after I’d worn it, a classmate went out and bought a nearly identical outfit, down to the shirt and belt with a big buckle–in hunter green. If there were hundreds of kids in my school it might not have mattered, but there were just about a hundred kids in each class. So if we showed up wearing them on the same day and had the same class(es), it was awkward.

I still wore my outfit but it didn’t feel quite as…special. I never let my classmate know her blatant imitation did not feel like flattery.

I’m a grown up now. And I don’t think anyone is out here trying to copy my looks from head to toe anymore–if they are, good luck with that. What has become impossible to ignore though is people who are, shall we say, heavily inspired by what I’ve written, posted and shared. These are people who stop just short of clicking “Control +C” and “Control +V.” Inspiration is great; many people inspire me. But what you won’t see is me coming out with a Pink Lemonade album, or singing “When Swans Cry” and acting like I thought of it myself.  I won’t ever try to be The Jenesaisquoi, J.Crew is My Favorite Store, Atlantic Pacific or Demetria Lucas D’Oyley, because I’d be a poor imitation. I love them. But it’s much more fun just being me. And if I were going to be inspired by them I’d at least give them props in print (like I just did). Or via video.


I don’t copy because it’s taken me a long time to be totally comfortable being Alexis, and writing in my own voice. That’s why I have to put up this post today. I’ve put too much time and effort into what I do not to defend it. So for those who are leaning heavily on or who are so deeply inspired by my posts,  graduate work or journalism (and I know you’re reading this), that you use it to attempt your own low budget versions, know that I see you.  We all do. E for Effort, darlings! I’m just thankful my family of supporters know the difference between cheap imitations and the real deal.

Make sure you don’t ever get so sloppy and desperate that you directly plagiarize my work, though, because then we’ll have a problem. Let me be explicit: my work is original content that is protected by copyright law*, and I take my intellectual property as seriously as I take getting dressed every day.

Keep it chic,

Alexis

*i.e. That’s what the fine print at the very bottom of this page means.

Images via Giphy  (<—Here’s another way to attribute work you didn’t do or dream up by yourself. You’re welcome.)

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