Bargain Carousel is this week!

JLB_BargainCarousellogo

SCDD is sending one reader (and a guest) to Bargain Bash! Comment “Send me to Bargain Bash” on this post to enter (receive additional entries at the posts on Facebook and Instagram). Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, April 26.

Haute 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.

Bargain Carousel will kick off on Thursday, Apr. 27 this year with Bargain Bash.

Bargain Bash is a casual cocktail party that offers first-chance shopping of Bargain Carousel items and impressive silent and live auctions including more than 150 items, such as 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. 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.

Everything IZ Inc., B&A Warehouse, and Ashley Mac’s will each be providing food at the event. Shindig’s Catering Food Truck will also be on-site 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. Additionally, crafters and Pinterest lovers will be thrilled with the project pieces available. Bargain Carousel 2017 will begin on Saturday, April 29 (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 30 (1 – 5 p.m.) with free admission and half price merchandise.

“Bargain Carousel’s purpose is two-fold,” said JLB volunteer and Bargain Carousel chair, Emily Norkus. “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.”

Bromberg’s is donating a John Hardry necklace that can be purchased during the Auction at Bargain Bash.

“Many people return to the event year after year,” said Norkus. “We have our Bargain Bash faithful who come in and buy antique pieces at double our retail price 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 Brookwood Baptist Health™, Bargain Carousel will be held in Hoover just off of Exit 10 from I-459 in the old Princeton-Hoover location.

In 2016, 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 28 from 2 – 6 p.m., where shoppers may purchase up to four tickets at $10/ticket to the Saturday sale.

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 2017, call205-879-9861, visit http://www.bargaincarousel.net, “Like” Bargain Carousel on Facebook, or follow @jlbbargaincarousel on Instagram.

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VBxTarget launches April 9. Here’s how to shop.

20150419-035429.jpgCalling all Target shoppers!

Just when I think I’m done with Target’s budget-friendly designer collaborations, they pique my interest (and pick my pocketbook) with something different. So here we are with Victoria Beckham’s new line, hitting the interweb and brick and mortar stores this Sunday, April 9.

If you’ve followed the shenanigans here for a length of time you know I’ve camped out at my local store for both the Neiman Marcus drop and the Great Lilly Pulitzer Disaster of 2015. If you’re planning to scoop some VB on the low (and are not a Redcard-holder who is shopping early!), I’ve got tips for shopping either online or in an actual store, because knowing is half the battle!

When shopping online (for the truly dedicated who like to shop in their pajamas):

  1. Review the list of items and zero in on what you want, whether it’s for women, babies or toddlers–there are over 200 items total in this collection reflecting Beckham’s design aesthetic and influenced by her daughter, Harper. I’ve narrowed my wish list to two pieces to preserve my sanity.
  2. Go ahead and register on Target.com so your information is saved. You would not believe how quickly stuff gets wiped out online, and the quicker you can complete your checkout, the better. Do not plan to browse for other random items and think your online cart is reserved or your feeling will be hurt
  3.  Be ready at your laptop at least 10-20 minutes before launch.
  4. Have your credit/debit card information handy.
  5. While you wait, check Twitter (#VBxTarget) for any news or reactions from other shoppers.
  6. Expect the items to drop at midnight PACIFIC TIME on Target.com and VictoriaBeckham.com. I’d have both sites and up and ready, just in case.
  7.  REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH!
  8.  SHOP ‘TIL YOU DROP!
  9. A note on free in-store pick-up at Target: I wouldn’t necessarily count on it being an option for this line. Be prepared to have your order shipped, and for these worst case scenarios: your cart may be canceled or your items may be backordered.  Hopefully Target has learned from previous experience and there won’t be many hiccups this time. Stay tuned.

When shopping in a brick and mortar (for those who enjoy the thrill of shopping like they’re on the streets Pamplona during the running of the bulls):

  1. Pro tip: Survey your local store (displays for the line are going up) or call ahead to politely inquire whether your favorite store will be selling items from the collaboration, and decide ahead of Sunday morning which store you will visit.
  2. Dress for the weather and the occasion. As you may have to beat a crowd when the doors open, this is not the time for four-inch heels and a heavy handbag. Be comfortably dressed, wear nonskid soles and streamline your accessories to a wallet or crossbody bag.
  3. Get to your local Target, early. And by “early,” I mean before daybreak (otherwise you could be at the end of a long line of shoppers and eBay resellers (*shakes fist*). Go prepared with something to sit on, a warm beverage and/or snack to keep you fortified, a book and your phone charger.
  4. Hit the bricks and claim a spot on the sidewalk.
  5. Wait patiently. Do not harass any employees who are arriving to work, and don’t be tacky and ask to be let in. (Go to the potty before you get to the store.)
  6. This should go without saying: be aware of your surroundings.
  7. When the doors open, don’t push or elbow. Make your way quickly to the section where your items are displayed. If you must run, God help you.
  8. Don’t snatch or grab from the clothing racks–and definitely NOT from other shoppers’ hands or baskets or shopping carts. It’s not attractive. And the store employees will have to clean up your mess, which isn’t nice.
  9. Be considerate in the dressing room. If you grabbed multiple sizes, try them on quickly. Don’t leave the dressing room in disarray. Try on your items quickly, return the item(s) you aren’t purchasing and move on.
  10. If you didn’t find what you were looking for, try your next closest store. And if you still come up empty-handed, keep checking as people often return items for days and weeks after a launch.

Happy shopping!

Warby Parker opens in Birmingham April 8

The retail gods are answering prayers in Birmingham: we have a Trader Joe’s, H&M…and on Saturday April 8, we’ll officially have a WARBY PARKER!

If you aren’t familiar with the affordable and very chic purveyor of eyewear, you should be.  It launched in 2010 as an online destination for eyeglasses under $100, and quickly distinguished itself by offering eyeglasses people actually wanted to wear at (gasp!) prices they could afford.  The only hitch: there were no brick and mortar stores to try on the glasses, although you could make a selection to try on in the comfort of your home (and return the pair(s) that didn’t work.)

But now Warby Parker is opening its first store in Alabama, and at The Pizitz, no less. I toured the new digs and I have to say: I can’t wait to get my prescription filled.

The store is thoughtfully designed with tons of natural light (the better for trying on new frames). It feels more like you’re in a hip bookstore than an eyewear boutique, and this feeling is enhanced by multiple book displays, card catalogs (remember those?), globe lighting and even a Reference Desk, where you can receive help.  A bright blue mural balances the decor, which carries over into the classic, utilitarian unifoms designed by Whitney Pozgay (who we had the pleasure of meeting at a CFDA event in Atlanta years ago!).

The generous team at Warby Parker gifted me with a pair of “Pearl” sunglasses in Marzipan Tortoise, and I have to say: I’m in love with them.  I plan to add the “Tilley” (in Grapefruit Soda) to my collection next. The other thing I love about Warby Parker is they offer free returns and free shipping (always!), so you aren’t penalized for being indecisive! They will also repair your scratched lenses for free the first 12 months you own them.

To celebrate the brand’s new presence in the Magic City, a limited-edition pair of Birmingham-exclusive sunglasses, Madison in English Oak with Flash Mirrored Pacific Blue lenses, is being offered. And a lenscloth with a print of the mural is given away with each purchase.

Warby Parker at The Pizitz is located at 1821 2nd Avenue North / Birmingham, Alabama 35203. It’s open Monday through Friday, 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. and Saturday through Sunday, 12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

*I was not compensated for this post although I did receive a pair of sunglasses as a gift. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Live, Love, Learn and Lean On…

“There is no door you don’t deserve to walk through, no room you don’t deserve to be in, and no table you don’t deserve an invitation to…”-MCB #OwnIt

I leaned on my mother’s advice once again and it took me all the way back to my alma mater (again). This past Saturday I had the privilege of presenting a seminar on dressing for success at The University of Alabama to women of all ages at Lean On: Alabama‘s inaugural conference. I invited the guests into my “closet,” so to speak. No slides, no rehearsed speech, just speaking “from the hip” and from the heart. (Enjoy the “behind the scenes” photos!)

You never know when your invitation to a seat at the table will arrive, but if you “stay ready” you don’t have to “get ready.”

Does your organization need a professional presenter who can speak relevantly to the art of style and dressing for true success? I’ve provided dynamic, memorable presentations for nonprofits, community organizations, top tier universities and major corporations, and can connect with groups of five to five hundred (and beyond). Book me!

Leaning on…

I’m excited and honored to speak at Lean On: Alabama’s inaugural conference this Saturday! When I interviewed the founders a few months ago, I was impressed with their vision and their determination. What we need now more than ever are efforts that connect people, and this one works diligently and creatively to empower, challenge and share the collective knowledge Alabama’s women have earned no matter our age, economic status, education or profession. Passing this on makes us stronger individually and as a whole.

I expect to be moved and motivated this weekend, and if your schedule permits, I hope you will join us!

Register by clicking HERE, and learn more about Lean On: Alabama by clicking HERE.

 

 

 

 

Still rolling

Roll Tide, darlings!  The Tide faces off with Clemson tonight, so I’m showing some school spirit in my vintage Starter jacket, with black on black separates from J. Crew underneath. The fringed sandals just make it even more feminine, which I think is key to styling an athletic jacket. Why should guys have all the fun in rocking them, and why should they be limited to weekends?  (Even better: the jacket is machine washable!) The jacket’s major pop of color is coordinated with my signature Ruby Woo lip.

A very special thank you to Derrick A. Curry of Camera Play Photography for handling the photo shoot! Check out his work and like his business’ page on Facebook by clicking HERE.

 

Be the Hostess with the Most-est!

Baby it’s (finally) cold outside! And that means entertaining has moved indoors. What’s better than enjoying food, friends and family, set in your comfortable home?  My grandmothers Mamie and Dorothy were fabulous entertainers, and they had a knack for sharing southern hospitality that just made family, friends and even strangers flock to their homes.

I’m missing both of them, and so I’m sharing what they taught me to keep their memories alive. You know if I’m doing something, I like to do it grandly, and that comes directly from them.

Incorporating any–or all–of these tips will help you entertain with flair, year-round:

  1. SET THE MOOD.  Add a soft around your home with lit candles. Choose scented pillars, votives or tapers in light spice or floral fragrance, and mix them with unscented varieties. I love to place these in my kitchen, guest bathroom, on my dining room table and around my living room–and even in groups inside my fireplace! Find inexpensive options at your local big box discount store, or in TJ Maxx or HomeGoods.
  2. SET THE TABLE. When entertaining, my grandmothers felt guests’ manners rose to the occasion, so having a formally set table encouraged better table manners.  Rather than pulling out folding trays, use your dining room table to its advantage. Pull out your best china, flatware and linen–or even nicer clear plastic plates–and add an inexpensive runner if you’re not using a table cloth, and use a simple but impactful floral arrangement. Serving buffet style? Upgrade your servingware with nicer platters and utensils. (Again, you don’t have to spend a lot.)
  3. ADD SUGAR AND SPICE. Have something sweet, savory and spicy to balance your guests’ palates with a varied menu. Whether it’s classic Chex Mix, a beautiful spread of cheese and fruit, or even old school gummy bears, have something for them to snack on, and serve it in an unusual fashion, like martini glasses! Affordable gourmet snacks can be found at your local grocer or discount home store.
  4. SIP SOMETHING SPARKLY. Serve some great bubbly, whether it’s an adult beverage, fizzy fruit juice or even carbonated water (just garnish it with lime!). Have a mix of options for guests who don’t imbibe, or who limit sugar from their diet. Serve in nicer glassware! Fun cocktail napkins are a fab touch, and a chic alternative to plain paper towels.
  5. DRESS YOUR BEST, BUT FOCUS ON GUESTS. Surely you knew an outfit would be in the mix! My grandmothers loved hostess gowns, glam caftans and luxe lounge wear. Even if you’re entertaining at home, rise to the occasion and get out of your yoga pants. Try a luxe pair of silk day-to-night cocktail pajamas or even a simple lace dress. I also love to throw one of my vintage aprons on for good measure (even if the pie I’m serving is Mrs. Smith’s!). Be comfortable and cute; don’t wear anything that you’ll tug or fuss with all evening.

True hospitality is not about how much you spend on linens or glassware. True hospitality is about the effort you put into making your guests feel especially welcome year-round.

Whether you’re serving ham sandwiches and store-brand soda or a spectacular gourmet seated dinner, you can do so with grace, intention and style–and that, darlings, is the most important thing.

Check out these retailers  when shopping to entertain: Swoozie’s, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Target, World Market, Fresh Market and Publix. They all have gourmet sections with food, beverage and/or decor that make an impact without putting a huge dent in your wallet. (And Etsy and eBay have awesome vintage aprons.)

Platter, vase and glassware via TJ Maxx; dress via J. Crew; apron via eBay; Champagne via Moet; Sugarfina gummy candy via Swoozie’s; Table runner  via HomeGoods; Hydrangeas via Publix

The Southern Women’s Show is here! 

Haute off the press release:

BIRMINGHAM (September 2016)— When the Southern Women’s Show returns to the BJCC September 29-October 2 it brings four days geared just for Magic City gals. Want to experience this season’s best fashion, food, fun and festivities for less? Check out our “sneak peek” video, and get the  Frugal Fashionista’s Guide to the show:

TGIF – Early Bird Gets the Swag. Being one of the first to arrive at the show comes with perks beyond getting first dibs on shopping – the first 100 guests for Girls Night Out on Friday, September 30 get Belk swag bags, a complimentary glass of wine (coupon on website) and then there’s the literal icing on the cake – free mini cupcakes from Gigi’s (while they last).

Reduced Admission. Happy hour admission is just $3 after 3 p.m. on Thursday, and $5 after 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday for frugal fashionistas who want to power shop (and spend the extra savings on the show floor).

Taste Birmingham’s Best. Just in time for fall entertaining season, the Southern Women’s Show is filling up the Cooking Stage with Birmingham’s best local and regional chefs for daily cooking classes. The best part? The audience gets complimentary samples.

Rock Your Hair – for Less. Celebrity hairstylist Danny Moa and a talented team return to the Southern Women’s Show by popular demand. Some lucky guests will get a complimentary haircut, and all guests can purchase the Rock Your Hair line at a substantial discount of just $5 per full size product.

Ride, Drive and Receive. Women fuel 85 percent of car buying decisions – and at the show they get behind the wheel and test drive a fleet of new Chevrolet vehicles. Located in the circle in front the entrance, the Chevy Ride and Drive is back – and all participants get a tumbler and $10 gift cards from Amazon or Target just for taking a spin.

Show Bucks Every 20 Minutes. America’s First Federal Credit Union is giving away $20 in Show Bucks every 20 minutes that can be used right there at the show.

Fall for Free Sunnies. Saturday is Focus on Vision Day sponsored by EyeCare Associates, and the first 100 guests to stop by their booth space 126 receive a free gift bag containing a free pair of sunglasses and an eyeglass cleaning kit.

Gifts With Purchase. Belk is bringing in beauty experts every day of show to give guests a new look for fall or help discover a new yummy fragrance. The makeover is complimentary and each purchase comes with exclusive Gifts With Purchase.

Show hours are Thursday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m.– 5 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, $8 in advance online, $7 in advance at participating Walgreen’s, $5 for children 6–12 years old and free for children under 6 years of age (with paying adult). Special $3 after 3pm on Thursday and $5 after 5 p.m. pricing every day. For group discount tickets and more information, call (800) 849-0248 or visit http://www.SouthernWomensShow.com. Show sponsors include Walgreen’s, Chevrolet and EyeCare Associates.

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Want to win tickets to experience the show–and see the members of Birmingham Fire and Rescue model in Friday night’s fashion show, stop by for tips and treats from Bob Syke’s BBQ, Wink Mobile Boutique and Scottsboro’s Unclaimed Baggage Center? Comment “Send me to SWSBham” here, or on any SWSxSCDD post on Facebook or Instagram and you could win!

We’re FIVE!

Happy Friday, darlings!

Time truly flies when you’re having fun…so much so that SCDD (nearly) missed its own anniversary! As I take the weekend to reflect on and appreciate all that this little corner of the Internet has accomplished, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. I could not have kept this going or expanded it without the encouragement, inspiration and help you all have generously given this effort.

As always, stay tuned…the best is yet to come!

XO, Alexis 

P.S. If you’re not following us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, what are you waiting for?

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

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