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

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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

On repeat: Solange’s “A Seat at the Table”

Solange has long stepped out of her big sister’s shadow and established herself as a woman of style and substance, and an artist in her own right. With her newest album, she bookends the conversation Lemonade continued this year. And because she’s the sis willing to be a little more out there (when, Elevatorgate), it furthers that. In short, this is soul music in every sense of the phrase. Get your life and go download it. 

Link via YouTube

What I wore: Lily Rain

alexis  lily rain talk of alabama
I am in LOVE with the fuchsia off-the-shoulder top I wore on Talk of Alabama this week! The boutique, located at the Summit, is hosting a special event on September 22 that benefits the United Way of Central Alabama. Stop by and treat yourself for a fabulous cause! 

lily rain united way event

As Seen on TV

Happy Monday, darlings! Let’s get this week off to a fabulous start, shall we? Here are six of my favorite, budget-friendly finds for fashionistas on the go, as shared on  ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama today!

STREAMLINING SKIN CARE: Using products that eliminates extra steps or products, or saves time is a major key! For example, I love exfoliating, but what do you do when you’re out of your favorite face scrub? I love OH K!’S CLEANSING PAD DUO PACK—from Paper Source—which lets your cleanser do double duty as an exfoliator. The fun, reusable silicone pads are a gentle way to remove makeup and refresh your skin, and they’re affordable at only $6.95.

PRODUCT PRO TIP: Isn’t it annoying when you can’t get to the last of your liquid foundation, lotion or cream? Consumer Reports estimates 15-25% of product goes to waste for this reason. If you’re like me you’ve scooped or cotton-swabbed to get the last few drops. But I recently found the SPATTY DADDY SET—$6.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond—which is amazing! This tiny set of spatulas can save you from digging or cutting into bottles and lets you get to the bottom of your product–so you get the most from it.

BLING, BLING: Whether your jewels are costume  finds or family heirlooms, keep them looking their best. Baublerella’s GLITZY GLOVE polishing mitt and BLING BRUSH with natural cleaner—available at Swoozie’s at the Summit—are affordable ways to remove tarnish and make your gemstones or precious metals sparkle. And a portion of proceeds empower women entrepreneurs and organizations that help instill confidence in young girls, so you’re helping a great cause.

GO-TO GADGET: I love tools and tricks that help me get dressed just a bit faster, like my BRACELET BUDDY!   When I saw this on TV I had to order one from Amazon. It eliminates fumbling to fasten a clasp through the patented clip that secures one end of your bracelet allowing your free hand to wrap it around your wrist and instantly secure the clasp. For $6.99, it’s a simple solution to this fashionista’s first world problem—and it’s also useful to those with arthritis or other mobility concerns.

READY, SET…OOPS:  If you’re prepared with a mini emergency kit – like this one from PINCH PROVISIONS—about $18 at Paper Source at the Summit – you are ready for just about anything. It has 17 items in a nifty pouch that save you in a pinch, and can be kept in a purse, glove compartment or desk drawer so you have it when you need it!

Xo, Alexis

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

Kiss the cook!

  
 In case you missed today’s appearance on Talk of Alabama, please click HERE.

Xo, Alexis

Get ready for Bargain Carousel 2016!

IMG_6234Haute off the press (release):

For some there is nothing more fun than bargain hunting! What if you could find a wide variety of unbelievable items at low prices and buying them would mean you were improving lives for women and children? The Junior League of Birmingham’s (JLB) annual Bargain Carousel makes this shopping experience a reality.

Called the “largest garage sale in Birmingham,” the event offers two distinct experiences. Bargain Bash, held this April 21, is a casual cocktail party that offers first-chance shopping of Bargain Carousel items and impressive silent and live auctions, with more than 150 items, including original artwork and VIP travel packages. For shoppers wanting the best selection and smaller crowds, VIP admission is the best choice, with 6 p.m. entry at $40 a ticket. Shoppers receive one hour of early bird shopping before general admission patrons enter. All guests enjoy food, beverages and the auctions. Guests will also enjoy entertaining commentary from Mark & Stephanie with 93.7 WDJC. VIP admission is $40 a ticket and general admission (7 p.m. entry) is $30 a ticket. All Bargain Carousel items sell for double the ticket price during Bargain Bash.

Saturday and Sunday are a bargain hunter’s paradise, with more than 100,000 items for sale including art, appliances, furniture, heirloom items, baby and children’s clothing and furnishings, home décor, outdoors and sporting goods, and much more. This year, a local business liquidated their office furniture, providing Bargain Carousel with dozens of high quality desks, chairs and other office furniture.

“Bargain Carousel’s purpose is two-fold,” said JLB volunteer and Bargain Carousel chair, Haley Holden. “The sale raises money for the League’s 31 projects serving women and children in the metro area and it allows us to sell items at deeply discounted prices to individuals who can benefit from them.”

Both Magic Moments and Every Moment Matters will benefit from a portion of the funds raised at Bargain Carousel 2016.

“Many people return to the event year after year,” said Holden. “We have our Bargain Bash faithful who can afford to come in and buy antique pieces at double our retail price that night and we have hundreds of people who line up overnight for the general sale because they know they can get gently-used necessities at a price they can afford.”
Thanks to Baptist Health System, Bargain Carousel will be held in Hoover just off of Exit 10 from I-459 in the old Princeton-Hoover location.

In 2015, more than 500 tickets were pre-sold the day before Bargain Carousel opened its doors. People began lining up the night before to reserve their spot to pre-purchase tickets. This year, the pre-sale will be held at the sale location on Friday, April 22 from 3 – 7 p.m., where shoppers may purchase up to four tickets at $10/ticket to the Saturday sale.
Bargain Carousel 2016 will begin on Saturday, April 23 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Tickets from 8 – 10 a.m. are $10/ticket and from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. they are $5/ticket. It continues Sunday, April 24 (1 – 5 p.m.) with free admission and half price merchandise.

A special note for the Saturday sale, all tickets are numbered, and shoppers will enter Bargain Carousel in the order of their ticket number. For information about Bargain Carousel 2016, call 205-879-9861, visit http://www.bargaincarousel.net,“Like” Bargain Carousel on Facebook, or follow @jlbbargaincarousel on Instagram.

***

Ready to enter to win a ticket? Here’s how to receive an entry: Comment “Send me to Bargain Carousel!” on this post by Thursday, April 21 at 6:00 PM CST. One winner will be drawn to receive two tickets at 6:30 PM Thursday.   All decisions final.

Spring Fling…

I am so glad that groundhog’s forecast was for an early spring! My wardrobe needs a breath of fresh air and sunshine, and that’s what this season’s style has in store. I’m ready to break out my culottes, expose a little bare shoulder and tuck my coats and boots away. If you can’t tell, I’ve got spring fever–and here are a few seasonal tips and trends (as seen on Talk of Alabama this morning) to keep in mind:

  • Pantone, the company which selects an annual signature color, has chosen two for 2016: ROSE QUARTZ and SERENITY. So expect to see blush pinks and baby blues in everything from home décor to clothing and accessories for the whole family. Pastels are pretty much expected for Spring, and that will continue.
  • Wearing WHITE head-to-toe is white haute this spring.Yes, you totally CAN wear it Memorial Day and after Labor Day. Let’s put this argument away for good, shall we?  Just make sure the fabric is appropriate to the season, and that the shade of white compliments your complexion.
  • PATTERNS are a great way to add visual interest. Some will say “FLORALS for Spring? Groundbreaking!” but they are a seasonal staple. You can try something delicate like a daisy print, something more abstract and graphic, or even something a little more dark and edgy. But other options include STRIPES and GINGHAM. If you’re worried about fit or “doing too much,” try a top, sandals or purse in the print, against a more neutral outfit. Gentlemen, try a gingham tie or dress shirt would work. Ladies, try a striped cami or gingham-print shoe. The more adventurous shopper will try wearing patterns from head to toe.
  • This season is all about the chunky heel, the flat mule, sandal and slip on shoe, all of which are super easy on the feet. But what keeps it interesting are again, color, pattern and texture. Do us all a favor and be sure to get a pedicure…you can add a pop of seasonal color to your tips and toes!
  • Little DETAILS can make or complete a look this spring. There areso many to choose from: a romantic touch of lace or delicate ruffles, a long necklace that adds a touch of sparkle, textures such as tweed and laser-cut patterns. These extra little touches add a bit more oomph or edge to an otherwise run-of-the-mill outfit.

Happy shopping!

Image via Giphy.com

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