Tuesday, October 9, 2012

All Things Fall

Hey, y'all!  This post is long overdue but I'm finally ready to talk about one of my favorite things... FALL FASHION! 

As I mentioned in my earlier post entitled "Fall Fashion Preview", the big color for this season is burgandy.  Or wine.  Or oxblood.  Or whatever you want to call it.  But you know what I'm talking about, right?  I love this color and I always have.  It is, in my opinion, a staple color for every Fall season.  I created a few outfits on Polyvore as an example of how I would incorporate this color in an outfit.

The above look pairs a chambray oxford style shirt with colored denim "skinnies".  Add a thin leopard belt, nude booties that feature a studded heel and a black quilted leather handbag and you get a look that has great texture to it.  All the gold accents really showcase the richness of the color and gives the look a rock 'n roll vibe, as evidenced by the skulls on the bracelet.  I really love this look.

If you prefer a more classic look, this example is probably more suited to your tastes.  The dark boot cut jeans are flattering to every shape and the cream blazer really gives it a sharp finishing touch.  The color is incorporated through the blouse which features ruching at the neckline and bands at the wrists.  The wedge peep-toe loafers offer a touch of comfort and the handbag is the ultimate in luxury.  I tend to gravitate toward the big over-sized gold watches but I thought this thin black-faced Gucci enhanced the classiness of this outfit.  As does the monogram ring and the chain-link bracelet.  This is the perfect outfit to wear when going to dinner with friends.

Ok, let's talk about shoes.  I am LOVING these! --->

I found the image on Pinterest but have not been able to find the actual shoes so I can purchase them.  I think these would look great with rolled up boyfriend jeans, a loose-fitting coral v-neck tee and a black blazer with 3/4 sleeves.  Think structured comfort, if you will.  That's not an oxymoron, is it? 

This style of shoe is called many things - brouges, oxfords, loafers, etc.  I don't care what you call it.  All I know is I absolutely love the look of "menswear" on women. 

Here are some more examples of this style of shoe:

A heeled style . . .

A classic neutral . . .

Fun and flirty two-toned . . .

How would you wear these styles?  Leave me a comment - I would love to hear from every one of you!

That's a wrap on this installment.  I have an idea brewing for my next post - and it's especially for you D.I.P ladies so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Should Get Paid To Do This... Maybe

Last night was Baker High School's homecoming dance and I had the honor of doing my nieces' hair and makeup.  I had a fantastic time doing it and I'm proud of how they turned out so I am sharing it with you.

I will start with Lauren - only because she is the oldest.  (Lily hates it when I say that.)

She wore a red one-shouldered dress with ruching down the front and back.  She accessorized with black jewelry consisting of a bangle bracelet, a pear-shaped sparkly ring, and chandelier filagree earrings enhanced with red stones.  Her shoes were sparkly black pumps.  As for her hair and makeup, I had envisioned a sort of old Hollywood glamour look for her so I knew that dramatic eyeliner and a red lip would be perfect.  And I was right!  Her makeup turned out fantastic!  I started with the eyeliner, giving her a thick, black cat-eye look.  The rest of the eye was finished out with a neutral color shadow and black mascara.  And it was all finished off with the red lips.  Oh yeah - and I painted her nails using a black polish that had a shimmer effect to it.
For her hair, I did a braid-wrapped bun and sideswept bangs with a few wispy tendrils loose on each side.  I think it turned out beautiful.

And now for Lily...
Pictures do not do her dress justice.  It is a teal blue jersey dress with black matte sequins all over it.  She accessorized with a black leather wrap charm bracelet, a multi-faceted black dome ring, and black wire pendant-dangle earrings that matched the bracelet.  Her shoes were black leather pumps that had chains around the heel - very cool.  For her makeup, I started with a gold eyeshadow from brow to lash.  I lined the whole eye with teal green liner and then filled in the lid with gold eyeliner.  The eyes were finished off with black mascara and I used a nude lipstick to complete her look.

For Lily's hair, I wanted to try a beachy wave which I think turned out great.  I achieved this look by twisting sections of her hair and running a flat iron over them.  Then, I took the front section of her hair and twisted it, adding in sections along the way, and secured it with a bobby pin.  The end result was a beachy sort of mermaid look.  I loved it!
I think the girls' were happy with their looks.  They had a great time at the dance and now I can't wait until the next one! 

Here are some more pictures:
Stay tuned for the next installement!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Go Navy!

My thoughts this evening are with my brother in Virginia Beach.  Those of you that know him are aware that he has been in the US Navy since 1996.  About six weeks ago he was notified that he had been selected to become a Chief Petty Officer.  Advancement to Chief Petty Officer not only carries requirements of time in service, superior evaluation scores, and specialty examinations, but also carries an added requirement of peer review. A Chief Petty Officer can only advance after review by a selection board of serving Senior and Master Chief Petty Officers.  I am extremely proud of him as this validates all of his hard work and sacrifice. 

To commemorate the occasion, there is a pinning ceremony for all of the newly selected Chief's tomorrow.  My mother and father boarded a plane in Mobile this morning to make the trip to take part in this ceremony with their son.  I believe that my mother gets to actually "pin" him herself.  This is a momentous day for her as well because she had NEVER been on an airplane in her life before today.  (I'm happy to report that she did great!)  This also marks my father's first time ever to visit my brother in Virginia Beach, where he has lived essentially since he joined the Navy.  My parents and my sister-in-law will not get to see or talk to my brother until the ceremony tomorrow because he has to participate in some sort of initiation process this evening.  I can only imagine what that might be!

I really just want to take this opportunity to thank my brother for his service to his country.  I also want to commend him for his unwavering integrity and strong sense of family.  And for his strength because God knows he has that in spades.  I love you, brother!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fall Fashion Preview

Hey, y'all!  It's almost my favorite time of year - Fall!  All of the fashion mags, blogs, and websites have been previewing Fall fashions.  And, all of the September issues of the fashion mags are about to come out!  Ooh, I am so excited!  So, for those of you that have yet to get acclimated with all things Fall for 2012, I am going to give you a short cheat sheet.

1.  From what I have seen so far, color-blocking is going to be as huge in this season as it was in Spring and Summer. 

2.  The popular color is going to be burgandy/wine.  (Pairs well with camel, gray, and navy.)

3.  The shoes that I have been seeing everywhere are brogues.  My favorites are two-toned or studded for a rock-n-roll edge. 

And as a side-note, there is a new store in Mobile that I really think y'all will like.  I have been shopping Maurice's since I discovered them across the bay in Spanish Fort a few years ago.  They have opened a location in Colonial Mall Bel Air near the main entrance.  I try to avoid the mall at all costs but if you are making a trip there, it is worth it to visit Maurice's.

That's it for this short and sweet installment!  Stay tuned for more on Fall fashion!

Friday, July 13, 2012

50 Shades of Pissed Off About Magic Mike

I tried to make that title sound clever, but it didn't work. 

I have just read two blogs by women who are denouncing the popular book series 50 Shades of Grey and the movie Magic Mike.  And let me tell you what... my blood is boiling!

This is the first blog I read:  http://mrsgoresdiary.com/2012/07/08/magic-mike-who/.  This woman goes on and on about how Magic Mike "cheapens masculinity and paints a deceptive picture of what women should get excited about in men".  She goes on (still) to remind her female sisters of what "sexy and "manly" really look like.  And while I agree with a FEW of the examples she lists, most of them remind me of qualities that I would never want in my husband.  I would be remiss if I did not point out that this is the good ole USA and everyone is entitled to their opinion.  Obviously, this is hers.  And that is what makes it so great that I can share mine as well!  Magic Mike was sorely lacking in plot and dialogue.  But I will see it again because I enjoyed Channing Tatum's dance scenes immensely.  I do not feel one ounce of shame admitting this to anyone.  It is a freaking MOVIE, people.  If seeing scantily clad men dance around in a movie makes you immediately leave the theater with intentions of divorcing your once-thought-of "manly" husband and shacking up with a male stripper, then you have other issues.  I don't have those issues.  My husband is what I define as sexy and manly.  And I will tell you why - he works hard to provide for his family, he loves us unconditionally, he is kind-hearted, and he is hot!  And that's all I have to say about that!

This is the second blog I read:  http://melissajenna.com/2012/06/30/50-shades-of-magic-mike-in-which-i-am-very-uncool/.  This woman is convinced that the 50 Shades books and the Magic Mike movie are works that women should stay away from as they are considered a path to temptation.  She goes so far as to define these works as pornography.  Pornography is defined as obscene writings, photographs, or the like, especially those having little or no artistic merit.  I am of the opinion that these books and this movie are far-removed from that definition.  There is nothing "obscene" about these works.  The books may push the envelope a little, but the basis of the story is about a loving relationship between two people.  And as for the movie, it was more cheesy than obscene!  Give me a break!  Her idea is to "wear something sexy to bed" instead of "lusting after celebrity strippers" or "reading pornography".  Really?  (SIDE NOTE:  If you are seriously lusting after a celebrity stripper to the point that you are ruining your life and/or marriage, you have a different issue and most likely suffer from disillusionment!)  And why should we not be holding the designers and manufacturers of these sexy duds to the same standards?  After all, they could lead us down a path of temptation also.  You know, if we decided to wear said sexy duds when we tie up our male strippers.  Right.  Because that could happen.  (See the above side note regarding DISILLUSIONMENT.)

I will reiterate my point(s)  - neither of these works "tempted" me to procure a male stripper that I could tie up and spank into submission.  They were merely entertainment.  The books helped me to realx and fall asleep at night and the movie was an excuse to hang out with friends and have fun.  And if anyone has a problem with that, all I can say is...

Later's Baby!  This Law Breaker is outta here!!!

Hahahahahahahahahaha!  Now THAT was funny!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Surprise!! You're married!

In the dictionary, marriage is defined 10 different ways.  I don't really relate to any of the definitions I found there and that's mostly because my marriage has always been somewhat of a surprise to me.  I am fully aware of the weirdness of that statement, but let me explain. 

About 16 years ago, Jerry and I were walking around at the mall and for some unknown reason found ourselves in a jewlery store looking at engagement rings.  There was never any pretense to what we were doing.  Never was there a conversation that started with "I want to marry you" or "Let's go look at engagement rings".  Not even a "Do you WANT to marry me??"  But on that particular day something unspoken led us to that jewelry store and it resulted in him purchasing an engagement ring for me.  The ring was left there for re-sizing and we returned a week or so later to pick it up.  The salesperson gave me the ring and I promptly put it in the box and gave it to Jerry.  He gave me one of those confused, eye-brow raising looks that he gives and said, "You don't want to wear it?".  To which I replied, "You haven't asked me to marry you."  So, we promptly left the store and walked directly back out to our car.  As soon as we settled in, Jerry took the ring out and said in an extremely condescending voice "Will you marry me?" and I replied in the same tone "Yes!".  And THEN I let him put the ring on my finger.

I love telling that story! 

Fifteen years ago today, we were married.  We had a rough go of it at first and we each made a lot of mistakes.  But as we got older and grew together, we got wiser.  We have always taken pride in the fact that we, the unlikely couple, have made it as far as we have.  I'm not sure that we had any real supporters when we decided to get married.  I think most people made wagers as to how long it would last! 

Jerry continues to surprise me.  He has become a person that I never realized he had the potential to become.  He owns and operates a successful business with the odds stacked against him.  He gives of his time and money to those who he feels strongly are in need.  He loves his children and strives to be a good example to them.  And most surprising of all, he accepts me.  Bitchy, lazy, mouthy me.  (I can be a little hard to handle at times.)  And don't get me wrong - he has his own undesireable qualities.  But I choose to accept him as he is, also.  I can only hope that I continue to be "surprised" by this marriage for many more years to come. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Brother's Keepers

Today is going to be epic.  My friend and favorite musician, Eric Erdman, releases his first solo album. 

My first order of business today, as always, was to check my FB page while drinking my coffee.  I was ecstatic to see that my news feed was bombarded with stories of Eric and his new CD as well as the big party that is happening at The Blue Gill on The Causeway tonight.  I am so glad that he is receiving this much support from everyone.  It is a testament to how fantastic he is.

Let me tell you a little about my friend Eric.  He is from Mobile, Alabama.  Dauphin Island Parkway to be exact.  (If you ask him where he's from, he'll say D.I.P - as the song goes.)  He grew up on Mobile Bay and he went to B.C. Rain High School, which is where I begin my fondest memories of him.  If I close my eyes and concentrate real hard, I can see him standing in the hallway in front of Ms. Carter's class.  And in true Eric fashion . . . he is cuttin' up!  I can hear him before I see him - talking and laughing.  And as I walk by with my friends he hollers out to me, "Heeeeyyyyy Nikki Nikki"!  I turn to look at him and he gives me that big ole Eric Erdman grin and he waves at me.  Of course I smiled and waved back but I also thought to myself . . . I like that guy!

I guess one of the first times I ever saw him perform was with the band Method To Madness at The Garage.  I immediately became a fan.  Soon thereafter, I began planning my weekend outings to include any show/venue where they were performing.  I used to love to see them at Southside Music Hall because it was always a D.I.P reunion.  Good times! 

My favorite way to experience Eric in his element is when he performs solo.  Some of my favorite past (way past) performances of his have been at house parties (D.I.P, baby!), the Holiday Inn in Tillman's Corner (a long ago birthday party of mine), and Copeland's restaurant (where he would ask the crowd for a word, any word, and incorporate it into a free-style rhyme).  I recall a specific evening when I took a few coworkers with me to see him at Copeland's.  This was a great place to see him solo as it was a small intimate venue outside on the patio.  When he asked for words from the crowd so he could do a little free-stylin', I called out "indelible".  (Others called out "dog" and "onomatopoeia"! WTF?)  It was a word that arbitrarlily came to me.  I hadn't ever used that word much so I was a little surprised when it came out of my mouth.  But obviously, it was the perfect word to describe what I think and how I feel about him and his music.  The definition of indelible is making marks that cannot be erased, removed, or the like; that which cannot be eliminated, forgotten, or changed.  Pretty damn accurate. 

Let me put it to you this way. . . he is DYNAMIC.  I have never seen him give anything less than 100% at any of his shows.  It is always rewarding to see him perform.  His hard work and dedication to his craft is more than admirable.  I would call it awe-inspiring.  He is smart, well spoken, and extremely clever.  He is friendly, kind-hearted and patient.  And he is so interesting!  He recently started his own blog and I have read every post at least 3 times.  (I love big words and he uses them frequently - it makes me smile.)  Here is the link to his blog:  http://ericerdmanmusic.blogspot.com/.  Go check it out!

I encourage all of you to go buy this album and to come out to The Blue Gill tonight to see him in what promises to be another epic Eric Erdman performance.

Way to go, buddy.  I never doubted you.