A “little” news…

Anything is possible. I know that for real, now.

“The Finer Things” is the cover story for The Washington Post Magazine’s special fall Home & Design issue (available in print now), and yours truly is on the cover. It feels very surreal, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the response. Thank you to the team at The Washington Post Magazine, photographer Andi Rice, Courtney Kirk (hair), and Kim Colvin (makeup), and to Juniper. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has celebrated with me this week. I feel the love and am humbled by it.

As you read, I’m by far not the most gifted person on either side of my family.

The fabulous four: my grandparents, all dressed up for my parents’ wedding.

When you see me, I hope you see the very best of my parents, and of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse H. Crawford, Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Edd L. Barton I reflected: their style, their work ethic, their good sense and gumption, their self-respect and easy elegance, their talent, their wit, their intellect, their resolve, and — most of all — their faith.

They left big (and fabulous!) shoes to fill, which is partly why I appeared barefoot in the photos. I’ll always try to live up to their example.

Alexis E. Barton, photographed by Andi Rice at Juniper for The Washington Post Magazine.

Love, Alexis

P.S. To order a copy, visit The Washington Post’s site where you can order back issues. Select the second option for Back Issues and then select “select a different issue.” Choose Sept. 18, 2022, adjust the quantity as desired and enter your mailing address, then place your order. Issues are $10 each, which includes shipping an handling. (Note: this issue was part of the Sunday, Sept. 18 paper, so you’ll receive the issue tucked into the newspaper.)

In which I overshare on Roy’s Job Fair

Tune in!

It’s a vibe. You can listen here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/roys-job-fair/id1557272095?i=1000568095278

Image via Instagram

I did a lot less in 2021.
I rested. On purpose.
I tended my 40 plants, I cooked, I read.
I slept and decluttered.
I walked and ran.

I wrote.

I refused to document most of it publicly, because I want it to become the norm. Honestly, that was hard. Social media has conditioned us to believe if we don’t post a pic or a reel or a TikTok of us posed as if we’re doing something — particularly something everyone else is doing at the same time, or something many others can’t do — it didn’t happen or is irrelevant.

I also dislike this “main character” narrative and energy social media supports. If I’m the star, what does that make you?

Instead, I finally came to understand what Coco Chanel meant in saying “Elegance is refusal.” In 2021, I refused to subvert myself in a way that is incredibly tiring, totally unfulfilling, and ultimately unproductive. If all I can control is myself, I won’t abandon myself to an endless, performative rat race that leads nowhere anymore. My energy is needed elsewhere.

A natural introvert, I found peace in complete silence, an empty calendar, in declining invitations.
My health flourished, for a change.
Instead, I chose to work on projects that have deep meaning for me, that challenged me but that also nurtured me.


But I prioritized rest.

Resting saved me from the overworking that used to make me feel needed, from the nonstop busy-ness that made me feel…worthy.

Resting saved me.

And as an unexpected result, I’ve done the very best work of my career as a journalist and writer so far. I’ve shed over 1,000 items and become more self-aware about my relationship with acquiring, saving, and wasting things. I developed healthier habits and am enjoying the best health of my life. But not because I overworked, dieted or shamed myself into being an exhausted, starving, tightly wound, profoundly unhappy perfectionist.

Despite my disconnecting from parties, projects, certain people, and other “opportunities” that I opted out of and after having lived in almost total solitude, I experienced genuine abundance and connection last year. I’ve learned that when I am rested, I have the capacity to do what matters most. To show up for the people who count in ways that are actually valuable. To feel joy, to be hopeful, to be present instead of posed for a photo, to create from a place that only I can access.

So yes: Meet the new me.

(Virtually, of course. Because, pandemic.)

-Alexis

Your latest Quarantine Update finds me exhausted, 40 pounds lighter and in a contemplative mood:

I am complete but never finished. I have a lot to say, but not a single thing to prove. It took me a long time to figure that out.

This has been an incredibly difficult year but despite the fear, grief, helplessness, stress, and sadness I’ve felt since March, I’ve tried to focus on gratitude for its many joys: an abundance of love…knowing that I am divinely cared for…joining BBVA and seeing the power of words during simultaneous crises…being heard all over on NPR…the Barbie piece…being accepted into a competitive writing workshop…and finally growing my hair to my bra strap. (The pandemic has not reduced my vanity.) As for the rest: I’m enduring and surviving it. With God’s help, I’ll make it.

Despite so much uncertainty, I’m at peace with myself. And I’m looking forward to the best that is sure to come.

Love, Alexis

I get it from my Mama.

Dress: Chi Chi London |Shoes: JIMMY CHOO |Hair: Camisha Rivers Hunter

Makeup: Dangshawtybeat

 

 

The Princess

Dress: BCBGMAXZRIA | Mask: eBay | Shoes: Liliana | Brooch: Chanel

Jumping to conclusions

“High Fashion” Jumpsuit: Fashion Nova | Eyewear: Ray-Ban

Do pink and red go together?  Should I wear white after Labor Day? Am I too old to wear skinny jeans? Is it tacky to wear sleeveless?

These are all versions of the same questions to me: “Is this outfit too much? Are people going to think I’M too much?”

And the longer you ask those questions, the less fun you’re going to have getting dressed or doing “too much” of anything else.

Wear what you want. And get busy living.

Xo, Alexis

Here We Go…

I was an artist’s model for a minute in undergrad. I posed for hours in my swimsuit while students stared, took stock and drew. I was scared and deeply embarrassed until I saw their work and realized that what I perceived as physical shortcomings, they saw without judgment.

They made it art.

Writing about myself is much like that: scary, exhilarating and very freeing. It’s looking at my flaws and foibles as honestly as I do my freckles, gray hair or dimples: as interesting highlights on the roadmap of an unexpected but beautiful journey.

It’s seeing what is, as it is, and letting it be.

I’m getting nearly “naked” again soon, in front of an audience. (My days of posing as an artist’s model are long over, Mom.) I’m scared to death but ready to show my emotional scars and spiritual stretch marks with no shame — to interpret them for clues, search them for lessons and find the beauty in them.

I may bomb.

But I may blow up.

(Either way, Roy Wood, Jr. promised me it will be fun.)

#DBCP

Laissez Les Bon Tide Rouler

I promised on Facebook that I’d second line if Bama beat LSU, so enjoy this  modified version since I didn’t get a parade permit.

This special parasol was a gift that was made just for me, and I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. Last night’s 29-0 win over the Tigers (the eighth time in a row) definitely qualifies! I do go a little bit overboard on Game Day, but it’s all in fun. I love having a parasol that celebrates my favorite football team (next to the New Orleans Saints) as well as my family’s heritage.

Cue up Rebirth Brass Band, because the  Crimson Tide is rolling straight to the SEC Championship game!

XO, Alexis

I 🖤 Birmingham

Hat: Aviate | Blazer: Tuckernuck | Denim: J. Crew | Tank Top: Target | Scarf: Madewell

Have y’all missed me? I’ve missed you, and it’s so good to be back!

I’ve been working like mad (with the Birmingham Association of REALTORS and The 1987 Supply Co.) making a documentary celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act’s passage! I am SO happy I got to wear my “journalist” hat again, and have had an amazing experience talking to people who fought and worked for years so that we have the ability to live where we want. You can find out more HERE, and if you’re in the Birmingham area on October 12, I hope you’ll join us for the premiere in Railroad Park!

P.S. I hope my opinion on wearing white after Labor Day is clear: it’s a definite “DO,” with a few exceptions. Save your summer-weight fabrics for the warmer months and wear your more substantial fabrics when the temperature drops. White pumps? Yes. White nurses shoes? No ma’am!

XO, Alexis

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