Watch Alexis on Talk of Alabama — Monday, June 19!

Lifestyle expert Alexis Barton shares tips on Talk of Alabama
Do you like shopping? How about giveaways? Toss some sequins and tune in to ABC 33/40’s Talk of Alabama on Monday, June 19: I’ll be sharing some news you can use during the 9:00 A.M. hour! Darlings, this is one you won’t want to miss! 

Not in the local viewing area? You can live-streaming it by clicking HERE, or catch the video when it’s posted later by clicking HERE.

Xo, Alexis

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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.

 

 

 

 

The look for less: Beyonce in Gucci

Bey rocked a $22,000 Gucci S/S 2017 print kimono with fur trim to the NBA All-Star game this past Sunday, and it’s such a chill yet “unapologetically glamourous” (per Vogue) look for the upcoming season–whether you’re expecting twins or not.

I’ve been slow to embrace the pajamas-as-daywear look, but I have been saving an H&M kimono that might work this way. Here’s my take on the luxe and laidback look, featuring an ivory silk cami from J. Crew and destroyed denim from American Eagle Outfitters. (I may try this with white denim and denim shorts too.)

And now that I’m really looking at it, a little fox fur D-I-Y may be in order.

Images via Hello Beautiful, J. Crew and H&M

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

Watch Alexis on Talk of Alabama tomorrow!

img_9589Toss some sequins and tune in to ABC 33/40 on Friday (November 24th): I’ll be sharing some news you can use during the 9:00 A.M. hour! (Hint: Gentlemen, this one is for especially for you!)

Not in the local viewing area? You can live-streaming it by clicking HERE, or catch the video when it’s posted later by clicking HERE.

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