Tune in to Talk of Alabama this Thursday!

Toss some sequins and tune in to ABC 33/40 this THURSDAY  (September 24th): I’ll be sharing some news you can use during the 9:00 A.M. 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

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I quit my job to go to graduate school. Here’s how I did it. 

This time last year, I was putting on my crimson Keds and backpack for the first day of graduate school. I promised I’d tell you how I did it.  And I was scared to death.  From hitting the books…to the long commute…to covering the First Lady’s trip to Tuskegee…to SCDD’s shenanigans…to writing like my life depended on it, it was an experience I will cherish the rest of my life. THANK YOU for being part of the journey.

Without further ado, click HERE to read about my journey back to ‘Bama.

Xo,

Alexis

Special thanks to Kirsten Fiscus for the Denny Chimes photo.

The Graduate

When I prayed for the strength, courage and faith to get through this year, I had no idea how much more than that I would receive. I only knew I had to change my life, and I have been forever changed just by taking a risk. Now that this phase of the journey is complete, I’m gathering myself to continue to pursue a career in journalism with every tool in my arsenal and every skill I’ve developed at the University of Alabama, its graduate Community Journalism program and The Anniston Star. Thank you for coming along with me, and continue to stay tuned for what’s next. It promises to be a fabulous adventure.

As Nick Saban would say, “This is not the end. It is only the beginning.”

After I recover from the weekend, I’ll have a more detailed post on the past year. I promise. Got a question about what it REALLY takes to pursue your dream? Wondering about what graduate school is like? Nervous about making a big change to improve yourself and need support? Drop me a line and let’s figure it out. Someone helped me, and I’ll be glad to pay it forward.

Roll Tide,

Alexis

Mood 

I’ve spent the last year detoxing my career, my health, my emotions and even my hair…and I’m so, so close to being who and what I want to be. It’s more than a makeover, although I used to believe a new outfit, banging shoes or a fresh makeup palette could fix what was wrong. I’ve learned I had to clear out negativity, false friends, a limited mindset and stunted growth. I’ve shed so much figurative dead weight that I feel light enough fly.

While you may not see much of a difference in Alexis, I know I’m different.

I also know I’m not going back, and I’m not stopping.

To be continued…

#Word

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“My standard of perfection often paralyzes me, or makes me terrified, or makes me feel ashamed. Instead, if I can make space for the idea that the goal is not to be perfect, but the goal is to be me, then I get to revel in the mixed bag of what it is to be a human. Some moments are good, some are bad. Some days are good, some days are bad. We live in a culture where people are constantly telling us how to get what we want, and within that message is, You need to be something other than you are. So my antidote to that has been, What if the goal is not to get what I want, but to discover who I am, be who I am, and accept that?” – Tracee Ellis Ross, in NY Mag

Image via MyColoures.com by way of Essence

#WCW

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I have never posted a “Woman Crush Wednesday”… but who better to start it off with than my mother, the woman I admire most? And, if truth be told, the woman who has influenced me most, from my style and work ethic to my love of classic movies and Twilight Zone marathons?

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Mrs. Barton for my magazine writing class (which is taught by Rick Bragg! *squeal*). I won’t print it here (it’s ten pages, and I could’ve kept going), but it was the best experience. It took multiple sessions, and yes, I cried. But I also laughed and I learned so much about a person I “thought” I knew. My mother is very modest; she doesn’t talk about herself or toot her own horn, and I feel honored that she opened up to me.

I think the picture above captures my mother’s spirit. She is impeccably dressed in a Nina Ricci taffeta trumpet skirt and vintage beaded sweater. She is elegant, effortlessly so, but unaware of her glamour. And she looks forward, always to what’s ahead and not behind her. She’s been there beside me for everything, supporting me through  the lowest lows and highest highs. (Remember this? She was off camera, helping me!) My mother taught my brother and me that when the rain comes and the storms of life threaten to sweep us away, we have to stay the course and keep moving. (This, from someone who walked sixty miles in the pouring rain to raise money for breast cancer research. Twice.)

Recalling the time she struck out grown men from the pitcher’s mound (in high-heeled, wedged sandals!) her son Alex said, “When you see a queen, you don’t expect her to get out in the heat and dirt, or grab a sword and swing it in battle. You don’t expect the queen to come down off her throne. Mama would be the one to wield a sword.”

A John-John, an LBD, and Laura Ashley...

A John-John, an LBD and Laura Ashley…

We love you, Mama. We SEE you. The “you” that has nothing to do with being our mom. And thank you. For everything.

Why I wear pearls…

IMG_0525I believe in wearing pearls. I love that they symbolize strength, struggling to transform from a tiny grain of sand while trapped inside an oyster (if that’s not a metaphor for life, what is?). But they also convey a delicate elegance. They are uncomplicated, without the flash and sparkle of a diamond or emerald, but their understated luster has an undeniable glamour as well.
It’s difficult to wear them without thinking of the “pearl of great price” mentioned in the Bible.

I wear them to remind myself of those I love: my favorites are the opera-length set I’ve “borrowed” from my mother, the bracelet with a diamond clasp my parents gave me when a special friend committed suicide and the tiny necklace I wore when I was little. But don’t get it twisted: I wear ear bobs from the Beauty Supply that cost 99 cents and a graduated necklace from Forever 21 that cost $2 too.

I also wear them to remind me what I’m worth. One year someone gave me $5 in play money to tell me how much my work was valued. Yes, I was insulted. Yes, I was very hurt. Yes, I was very, very angry. But I kept my composure, and I let those emotions irritate me enough to serve as motivation to propel myself beyond that individual’s rudeness and low opinion. The next day, I put on my mother’s pearls and faced the day with my head held high. I decided that person’s opinion didn’t define me. Lesson? Never let someone else determine your worth, especially those who seek to devalue you.

You’re priceless. Treat yourself that way, and others will too.

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

#WIW: Magic City Classic Soiree 2014

 

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What a weekend! I needed a night out, and had a blast at one of the Magic City Classic’s premier events, the Classic Soirée! This party with a purpose (raising scholarship funds for students at ASU and Alabama A&M) calls for a special outfit. Rather than my usual sequins, I wanted something a bit more subdued. I wore this blush pink tailored jumpsuit by TopShop (a UK retailer partnering with none other than Beyonce on an clothing line!), paired with my Grande Crystal Drops necklace from J. Crew. Simple, effortlessly chic, and a definite standout in a sea of LBDs.

I love pink; I don’t actually wear it often, but it’s my signature color. And while the fall color palette is decidedly darker, I like to wear “blush and bashful” as a counterpoint. The talented Kimberly Black-Crawford of Saks Fifth Avenue applied my makeup; go see her! I love a bronze eye with a nude lip; for a bit of color I mixed in a little of Trish McEvoy’s luxe Essential Lip Balm available at Saks.

And I took an amazing “usie” with the host of the Soirée; check out our Instagram page to find out more @samechicdifferentday!

Xo, Alexis

GIF via Musings of a Curvy Lady; images via TopShop, J. Crew and Google

First person fabulous: Malia Marbury

Malia Marbury, 20, is a junior at Alabama State University. The Birmingham native, who graduated from Minor High School, is majoring in Business Marketing. After graduation, she aspires to be a marketing executive with Gap Inc. This is one busy girl; in addition to her studies, Malia is a third-year cheerleader for the Hornets and is also active in the SGA Event Committee, Student Government Association and the American Marketing Association. We caught up in the midst of Magic City Classic festivities to talk style.

How would you describe your sense of style? I’m not too flashy; I like things that are simple but cute.

Do you dress up or dress down for class? I dress up. [A typical outfit] is business attire: a black skirt and button-down, with baby heels. We can’t wear four-inch or higher heels in the business department, so maybe a 3-inch heel. In between classes I wear flats.

What are some of the major fall trends you’re wearing? Brown boots, and I like colored pants and jeans – green or orange – with a button down and a scarf.

What’s your go-to outfit? If I’m going out, a go-to outfit would be some cute leggings and a cute blouse. [Malia emphasized that choosing leggings that fit properly and are well-made is key.]

What are your favorite places to shop? Lotus Boutique, Francesca’s, Old Navy and Target

How do you balance school with all your other activities and still maintain a social life? It’s hard – I’m taking 18 hours and we travel almost every other weekend. But it’s all a matter of time management and being mature. If there’s a party coming up but I have homework, my homework comes first. When I receive an assignment I try do it right away.

Who has been a major influence on your sense of style? Dayira Jones (@dayybella on Instagram); she’s really big in Atlanta for doing promotions and marketing seminars. She’s classy but professional; she wears up-to-date styles but she doesn’t make them look cheap.

What I love about Malia’s sense of style is it’s modest without being dowdy, and she has such a ladylike demeanor! We wish her every success at ASU and beyond.

Images via Malia Marbury

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Know someone who has an amazing sense of style? Nominate him or her for our next First Person Fabulous by emailing Alexis (alexis@samechicdifferentday.com)!

 

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