Office Sweet Office

I don’t do many decor posts, but I do have office space…and it needed decorating! I had a lot of fun choosing items to make it my command center/home away from home, and I’m sharing them with you today.  

At first I was stumped. I’m fine picking out clothes but decor just feels so much more permanent. Finally I decided to apply my style ideals to the decor challenge. It was important to be intentional. What would I really enjoy looking at every day? 

What would Beyonce do

This desk plate from Swoozie’s was a no-brainer.


I like basics that feel elegant and are practical too; that can be statements on their own or easily taken up a few notches. And I have to have a pop of color. So I began with functional pieces to anchor my new digs. Then I added some accessories to give it a little something extra!

My fab finds are via Kate Spade (at Swoozie’s Birmingham), Target and Home Goods (the desk plate is from Swoozie’s too). See a few of them featured on Talk of Alabama this week by clicking HERE.

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Ready for tips to get your life as the kids head back to school, or to simplify your weekly routine? Tune in to Talk of Alabama on Monday, August 8 during the 9 AM central hour! If you’re not in the local viewing area, stream it online by clicking HERE

Images via Target and Lifeguard Press

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Iris Apfel stars in emojis+INC line for Macy’s

In today’s “fabulous at every age” news… we’re totally here for it. (Did you somehow miss our last post? #TeamIris)

Haute off the press release:

“I.N.C. International Concepts, exclusively at Macy’s, today reveals its Fall 2016 campaign, “Iris Meets I.N.C.,” and launches its corresponding emoji keyboard inspired by campaign star, Iris Apfel.

Designed by Snaps and with input from Apfel, the keyboard includes emojis, stickers, and GIFs featuring Apfel, her signature quotes, and items from the “Iris Meets I.N.C.” collection. The emojis also incorporate lifestyle categories, including beauty, food and beverage, and an assortment of birthday-themed graphics in celebration of Apfel’s upcoming 95th birthday on August 29.

“I’m a little old for emojis, and I didn’t know what they were,” said Apfel. “But everyone seems to like them, and I want everyone to have a good time. If my face makes people happy, I’m all for it.”

The creative advertising campaign, shot by Ben Watts, features Apfel, both on her own and alongside model Linda Vojtova, wearing five looks from the collection. As previously announced, INC teamed up with Apfel to develop a collection of approximately 40 “must-have” clothing and jewelry pieces that play into fall’s “mod” trend revival. Apfel consulted with I.N.C.’s design team and provided creative direction on the collection, which focuses on stylish and versatile wardrobe staples and a wide assortment of her signature bangles.

The emojis will appear throughout all elements of the campaign, including product hangtags, digital advertising and direct mail.

“This is Macy’s first foray into emojis, and Iris Apfel’s campaign for I.N.C. was the perfect occasion to try something we’ve never done before,” said Nancy Slavin, senior vice president of marketing for Macy’s Merchandising Group. “Iris has collaborated with other fashion brands in recent years, so we wanted to take a fresh approach. She’s an icon whose appeal spans multiple generations, and we see these emojis as a fun way to amplify the campaign through mobile first. Her fans are going to go crazy!”

Beginning August 3, the emojis are available for free download on iOS and Android through the Apple App and Google Play stores.

The “Iris Meets I.N.C.” collection will be available exclusively at Macy’s stores and on macys.com in early September 2016.”

All images courtesy of Macy’s

Wish list

  
I’m slowly getting into the off-the-shoulder trend for spring/summer, and am currently in love with these Collection pieces from J. Crew. In my mind I’m already in Santorini or Capri; why not dress as though my ticket and hotel stay are booked? 

Images via J. Crew

Calling all DIY divas!

 

Whether we’re at the pool, lake, beach or just in the backyard, we all know we should protect our faces and bodies from the sun. One way to do that is to don a sun hat. They are everywhere right now, from discount to department stores. I went shopping and fell in love with a designer one that retails for $485. This hat, by Eugenia Kim, has been seen on Beyonce and is featured in  the June issues of InStyle and O Magazines. It’s absolutely adorable, but it’s NOT in my summer style budget. So one way to get “the look for less” is to harness your creativity and recreate it using less expensive, but easily accessible items.

Ready to try it?

  1. You’ll need a straw hat with a wide brim (app. $15), sequined trim ($3 per roll), a hot glue gun and glue sticks, and chalk or a disappearing ink pen (available at your local craft store for under $5). You can often find coupons in circulars or online that reduce the price even further.
  2. Place your hat on a flat surface and decide what phrase you want to embellish on the brim. While you are tracing it onto your hat with your chalk or disappearing ink, plug your hot glue gun in to let it heat up. (Pro tip: dip the metal tip of the glue gun in petroleum jelly so the heated glue won’t get stringy!)
  3. Add glue to your handwritten outline an inch at a time and working carefully,  press your sequin trim down onto the brim, adjusting it as necessary.
  4. Once you’re done, wipe away any traces of the ink or chalk with a damp cloth.

Why “DIY”? Personalizing it is fun and makes the item one of a kind! Also, consider the price. If you bought the designer version you’d spend close to $500 for a hat you may wear a handful of times during the summer months. Making your own version can be done for well under $50. So as I always advise, evaluate the “cost per wear” and determine the better deal, especially if you have “champagne taste on a soda budget.” And maybe spend some of what you would’ve saved on a super cute swimsuit or sandals!

Images via LookLive and TheGabulousLife

I’m here for #Formation. Here’s why. 

IMG_5831

Oh, y’all thought you were going to survive Super Bowl 50/Mardi Gras/the weekend without getting your wig snatched? In the middle of our Saturdays we were all blessed with a new song+video from Queen Bey. If you’ve been living under a rock on an undiscovered planet, the clean version is provided HERE.

Now let’s discuss. The Internet is on FIRE trying to deconstruct what it means, such that I am experiencing analysis paralysis while I bounce to the beat. The song unapologetically celebrates Mrs. Carter’s proud heritage and motherhood. It also makes a pointed statement on race, class, work ethic and creativity. What she’s been serving all along–and the side she let us see in her self-titled surprise album in late 2013–comes into even sharper focus. And is baby sis Solange driving the getaway car???

Beyoncé releases new single, music video ‘Formation (Dirty)’
Bey’s “Formation” is getting on folks’ nerves for the same reasons Cam Newton’s dabbing does. The thing is, they don’t care whether we’re here for it or not because they both have a radical sense of self-acceptance that doesn’t depend on our opinions. Even more radically, she’s raising a precocious little black girl to love herself, baby hair, Afro and all. And she doesn’t give a pot of Mama Tina’s red beans what we think about it. She rocks multiple hair styles in this video and celebrates her “Negro” nose and dares you to suggest she alter (or contour) it.  She’s gonna make us ALL dance to this message, and maybe we’ll start loving our own uncommon beauty, unique backgrounds and unusual tastes–our weird, wonderful, conflicted, contradictory selves–whoever we are, wherever we come from and however we’re made. We’ll go off, “go hard/get what’s [ours]” no matter what our haters say or do. That’s why there’s a church scene: because Bey just gave us all Gospel. Then she turns the “BlackLivesMatter” movement on its ear, with a little black boy dance battling a line of policemen–easily my favorite part of the video.  Has she always been “woke,” i.e. totally self-aware and/or socially conscious? Have you?  Is she here to speak for or even save the African-American experience or community? Are you?

Reflect on your own emotional, physical, social, financial, and spiritual evolution. Are you the same person you were fifteen years ago? I hope not. I am not even the same person I was a week before my last birthday! When you free yourself, you too will slay, swerve, serve, second line, toss sequins and twirl regardless of how other people respond–if they respond at all.  You’ll do it on your own timeline. And you won’t need anyone’s permission. As for me, I’m headed to Red Lobster…and yes, I have hot sauce in my bag. Bye!

GO OFF!

Images via Vogue and Hypable

What not to wear: #CFP Edition 

  
To be fair, SEC fans do tend to overdress for games…

But no ma’am. NO MA’AM. I better not catch one misplaced prom dress at A Day this year!

To be clear, the dress and on-trend cape are beautiful (although I think the ensemble should have been lined), and Ciara is gorgeous. But: right dress+right person+wrong occasion=back to the closet.

Balmain x H&M is here!

Toss some sequins! The day many of us have been waiting for is finally here: Olivier Rousteing’s amazing capsule Balmain x H&M collection is on sale today!

Check out our favorite our favorite looks:

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Shopping the line? A few points to keep in mind: Online purchases are limited to only 1 item per product. If you’re shopping in store, you are limited to two items per product. Items you have placed in your cart aren’t actually yours until you check out; trust us, hesitation will get your feelings hurt today if you’re slow about finalizing your purchase.  Also, if you traveled to Huntsville to shop the collection, the first 420 people in line will receive a colored bracelet that determines when you can shop. If you are just vising H&M for other items, you will not need a bracelet. Once the final group with bracelets has shopped the collection, it will be opened to all other customers.

And yes: the site has already experienced issues. But you saw that coming, no?

A final question from SCDD: when is BIRMINGHAM getting an H&M? We’re putting it on our 2016 wish list…along with Uber!

All images via Balmain x H&M

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 Look: Draper James

I am in LOVE with this new line and lifestyle company, recently launched by Oscar winner and noted Southern girl Reese Witherspoon. Draper James is a salute and a celebration to the grace, charm, wit and ease that are hallmarks of this side of the United States.

In her own words, Reese says “I wanted to recapture and celebrate all that I love and remember about my grandparents and the South. That is why I created Draper James. With Draper James, our goal is to bring contemporary, yet timeless Southern style to your wardrobe and your home, no matter where you live.”

From clothing to accessories, jewelry and home goods, the pieces are thoughtfully designed with an emphasis on quality. Nothing is ostentatious, and it is sentimental without being passe (an achievement we applaud).

Magnolias and peaches make tasteful appearances as motifs; here’s hoping a camellia will show up too! Here are my favorite pieces:

  1. Statement stud pearl earrings, $125
  2. Southern Sayings embroidered linen cocktail napkins, $85
  3. Overlook bag (with option to monogram), $125
  4. Magnolia paperweight, $98

Happy shopping!

Xo, Alexis

We love: MILLY for Kohl’s DesigNation

Boy, do I need a vacay! Since I can’t take one just yet (thanks, grad school!) I can fantasize about it….or I could shop for it via the Milly for DesigNation Collection at Kohls! Even better: available pieces are now half off!

Entertainment Tonight! correspondent Brooke Anderson picked her favorite look for us via Twitter (see above)! She chose the Striped Pleated dress (now $35).

And here are my favorite looks:

Look 8: Scuba Crop Top and Solid Midi Scuba Skirt

Look 15: Capri Graphic Tank and Solid Midi Scuba Skirt

Striped Fit and Flare Dress

Happy shopping!

Xo, Alexis

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