April 29, 2011

Interview with Kenzie Faith

A few weeks ago, I interviewed Kenzie of Kenzie Faith. She runs a great blog and never disappoints with the photos she posts. She's also very friendly & sweet! Here's what she had to say about her blog & her style.

S: How did you get into blogging?
K: One day, I was on Google, searching for outfit ideas when I found a blog called Le Quaintrelle. From there, I found so many other inspiring blogs and immediately fell in love with the “blogosphere.” Soon after, I started “Kenzie Faith“!

S: What is your favorite part about your blog?
K: It provides a fun way to share creativity and to find inspiration! Also, I’ve met the loveliest people along the way.

S: Do you take your own outfit photos or have someone help?
K: I rarely take my own outfit photos thanks to my beautiful sister, Kelsi. I’m so thankful for her. My tripod photos just don’t compare!

S: How would you describe your style?
K: I’m never sure how to answer that question, but through blogging I’m starting to learn what I like and what I don’t like. I’ve noticed that I seem to lean more towards simplicity and modesty. For the most part, over the top just really isn’t me!

S: Who are your style icons and influences?
K: I absolutely adore Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen’s style. Also, Lauren Conrad!

S: What are your three spring must-haves?
K: Cat-eye sunglasses, Sandal wedges & a floppy hat!

S: What is your favorite day look - for just running errands, shopping or having lunch with friends?

K: I usually find myself feeling most confident/comfortable in a loose shirt worn with a fitted skirt, tights and flats! 

S: What is your favorite night look - for going out on special evenings or to parties?
Night out
K: A baby doll dress paired with heels, a clutch and a curly hair-do!
S: What advice can you give other aspiring fashion and/or lifestyle bloggers?
K: Don’t be too influenced! Stay true to yourself and always blog about what you like.

S: Anything exciting in store for the future of your blog?
K: I’m actually thinking about starting a blog shop! I’m hoping to make things like totes, hair bows and bracelets :)
  Stay tuned for future blog interviews & a giveaway, coming soon!

April 26, 2011

Daily Inspiration

I've been MIA for a few weeks, but not for lack of wanting to blog! My laptop has officially been pronounced dead, and I have been relegated to using other people's laptops and/or cell phones to check email, facebook and blogs. It's really strange to go from using the internet daily (and several hours, at that) to only checking in with the online world a few times a week. Yet at the same time, my productivity has increased. I've finished 2 books, The Lo Down, Sugarbabe, and currently am in the middle of Water for Elephants. I have more time to spend writing (the old fashioned way), reading, playing with Leo, cooking or any other number of activities besides being lazy with a computer in my lap. In a way, it's kind of refreshing. Now, if I could only squeeze daily rigorous exercise back into the mix.

As for this week, here is your daily dose of eye candy goodness!

April 12, 2011

In Good Company - or how I came to be surrounded by the past

I am fortunate enough to have a mother who dabbles in vintage. She runs her own online store, Memphis Vintage, and eBay shop, so there are always new vintage dresses, shoes and jewelry to borrow (or keep for myself!). Over the years, I've been among the company of Dior, Chanel, Lily Pulitzer and Alfred Shaheen, among many others. But for me, it's not about labels. It's about the story of the dress. I would construct scenes based on the clothes and weave a story from those old and often fragile threads. I loved the possibilities of showcasing such beautiful pieces in new and exciting ways. My favorite pieces over the years to work with were the 1950s prom dresses. Give me a full circle skirt and some tulle, and I am ecstatic over the images I can bring to life that form in my head. I'm definitely more of the behind-the-lens type of girl than the model in front of it because I like to be the artist, the one creating to give birth to the vision in my head.

For years I had imagined myself as a fashion photographer working out of Manhattan, shooting glamourous spreads for the high fashion magazines like Vogue and ELLE that I had grown up reading. While that dream turned out to be more of a hobby than a reality, I still take great pleasure in concocting photo shoot ideas in my head and bringing them to life. Years later, I still love being able to look back through the photos I have taken growing up and analyze the dresses of yesteryear that have waltzed in and out of my life, as well the people that may have also come and gone. I have so many ideas swirling around my head for what may lie in store for Chattanooga photography. Now all I need is another vintage Dior and a Nikon! I'll get on that...

April 01, 2011

The Drunk Cupcake & the Very Windy Day

Two weeks ago was spring break, but I'm not talking about the kind of spring break that is legendary of universities across the country involving a mass migration of college students to places like Panama City beach and South Padre island. Being a recent college grad, I don't have such luxuries anymore because life isn't a J. M. Barrie novel and apparently, you really do have to grow up at some point. Because I work at an elementary school, I fall into the loophole of adults who still get a spring break. The catch 22 here is that I have no money and have student loans and bills coming out of my ears, so I wasn't able to be whisked away to a remote tropical island and sip paper umbrella drinks and work on my tan (or serious lack thereof.) So I went home to Memphis to visit my family. A far cry from the beach trips and debauchery-filled weekends I was used to, a trip home is more about taking it easy, eating free home cooked meals (mmm, honey roasted chicken!) and catching up with old friends.

Enter B, a very outgoing and vibrant girl whom I have known since middle school. She has been my partner in crime on so many adventures (like the April Fools jokes we would always play on our college roommate), as well as my personal fashion model. She has been put in more strange outfits and odd locations than I can count, like stuck in a dark closet while wearing a corset and crinoline or strewn across a grave in a 1940s evening gown. So you can imagine my excitement about going home and plotting my next photo shoot with B. First, I had to check out my mother's inventory of costumes (she runs Memphis Vintage and also does eBay).

People who lived in the 40s, 50s and 60s obviously did not have weight issues. Everyone must have been on the coffee & cigarettes diet because vintage clothes are tiny! We tried on several dresses including a pink 60s lace cocktail dress, a 50s party dress embroidered with roses and a fabulous beaded 70s evening gown. Our hips and womanly hourglass curves were too much for the dresses to handle. Eventually, we found a day dress and a circle skirt that worked. Next, it was off to Gigi's cupcakes!

Upon arriving, we were greeted with uncertain stares (except for the five year old girl who probably thought we were dressed like princesses or something). We ordered four cupcakes to use as props for our pictures, tantalized by the idea of eating them later - which does nothing for our figures but make us "more womanly" and subsequently unable to fit into future vintage dresses. So goes the sacrifice for a good photo! We drove to Shelby Farms to set up camp. The trek out to the field was not kind to my heels or our dresses. We had to fight the wind every step of the way and do everything possible to keep our dresses from flapping up over our heads! But we managed to get a few good pictures out of it. By now, our poor cupcakes had been tossing and turning turning in their box during the ride over and most of the frosting had begun to slide off. One cupcake absolutely refused to stand upright, thus it became "the drunk cupcake." Ironic that said cupcake was the champagne flavored cake.

Shelby Farms was far too windy for us to get the kinds of shots we wanted, so we snapped until our hearts content and hightailed it back to my house to finish taking pictures, twirl around uncontrollably in our full skirts and jump up and down like excited three year olds who have just spotted Mickey Mouse, all the while with B screaming, "Your frosting's in my finger!" (Dyslexic sentences make me giggle). In retrospect, we probably had just consumed too much sugar, but who's to say!? I was on vacation after all...

March 31, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Driving home with Leo saying hello to all the passerby. He loves to stick his head out the window and just cruise (as do most dogs!)  Sometimes, I wonder if his eyes ever hurt from all the wind rushing so fast past his face since his eyes are so big. Maybe he needs doggy-goggles? I apologize for the awful quality of this photo. I have a Samsung Alias that's a few years old and the camera quality is awful. Hopefully soon I can transition into the world of iphone users.

Finally getting my degree! After four years (ok, four and a half plus a summer semester) of college, getting the runaround from my university about the exit exam I never took (their fault, not mine) & thus not being able to receive my degree in December when I graduated, I went home to Memphis to find it had finally arrived in the mail! I'm officially official now. I received my bachelors of science in biology, and many student loans & tuition checks later, I have the (expensive) piece of paper to prove it! Now about that whole "getting a job in my field" part...

Photo shoots with B, vintage dresses, bunny ears and cupcakes! This will be a post in and of itself, so more on this later. I finally got around to editing the 100s of pictures we took. I definitely need that dress & ears to wear whenever I go see Hop. Plus, a marshmallow peep or two. Or three. Or..you get the point. Sneak peek, yes please:

Watching movies/TV with friends. Sunday evening, as per our usual routine, Charlie, Barry (formerly known as "the boyfriend") & I snarfed $5 hot 'n readies & watched Bob's Burgers, which if you haven't seen yet, you need to. Louise is most definitely my favorite character...but Moolissa is a close second.We also redboxed You Again and Morning Glory, both very good choices.

Other loves this week include + finding delicious & new recipes to try this weekend (helloooo bacon cinnamon rolls & cookie dough dip!) + running 2 miles after a long exercise hiatus-slash-being lazy + tackling the thick stack of Vogues, Elles & food network magazines on my nightstand + new clothes + job offers + cooking lamb & beef kebobs & rice pilaf with Barry + setting up my sewing machine to get back into sewing/crafting once more + looking forward to the weekend!

March 30, 2011

Cheap Chic

I love mixing up outfits, both online & in within my own wardrobe. I decided to put together an outfit for today that features some great pieces I found while browsing the web. In retrospect, I probably should have been applying for jobs or something responsible like that, but sometimes I have the attention span of most of the three year olds at my work.

Cardigan: Old Navy (on sale, $14.50!) | Lace top: Glassons  |  Jewelry: Forever21 | Skinny jeans: Old Navy | Heels: Alloy | Bag (my favorite part about this look!): Hot Miami Styles

You could even make this outfit cheaper by using skinnies & accessories you already own. Or remix it using pieces you already own. I'm already drooling over the heels and the bag. When it comes to shoes (or vibrant colored handbags), I'm like a lion stalking its prey sometimes. Take the Forever21 website, for instance. I've already compiled a modest wishlist...Ok, that's a lie. It's a pretty big wishlist.

Speaking of clothes, I'm in the market for a cute maxi dress . Do any of you have any good recommendations for a pretty maxi that won't look me look like a waif in a long paper sack dress?

March 28, 2011

Daily Inspiration

Another Monday...today feels particularly dreary and slow, and I am not at all ready to go back to work. I guess that's the problem with breaks. You never want go back to your former routine! I think I'll need some extra-cheery pictures for today, especially since it's very gray and overcast.

March 26, 2011

Leo's Guide to MFCin'

I have some exciting news today, as I have done my first blogger interview! B (a different B than previously mentioned in my post), of Queen but no Crown, interviewed me for her blog. You can read about it here (scroll to "Shell").

In the near future, I will also be doing blogger interviews for my own blog, so if you have a blog or online shop and are interested, leave your name, link & address in the comment section. You must be a blog follower to qualify.

I missed yet another Video Viernes because I was en route back to Chattanooga after a week long vacation at my house in Memphis. Maybe I'll get around to posting videos next Friday. And now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

This is Leo, a pekingese "shit"zu mix (as my boyfriend often refers to him). Some say he's ugly, others fawn all over him at the dog park. I guess it just goes back to personal doggy preference. Leo is an MFCin' champ. Oh, and in case you weren't aware, MFC stands for "monster fuckin' chillinz" (see official dictionary entry here). He can most often found perching on the top of the big comfy chair in our living room. Yes, he sits up there just like a cat. He also likes to hide under beds (like a cat) and would probably feel right at home using a litter box (like a cat). 

I found Leo on craigslist almost 2 years ago. I really wasn't in the market to adopt a puppy, but I'm constantly browsing the craigslist pets section because I like to look at the pictures of the animals people post. So I clicked on the "pekingese puppies" ad and saw this adorable little fluff-face staring up at me from the glowing screen on my laptop:
How can you NOT want to instantly adopt something that cute!? I called the lady and arranged to come meet the puppy. My boyfriend and I drove about fifty-something miles outside of Chattanooga and into the deep countryside. Like DEEP. This was the kind of country you see in horror movies where the car breaks down on some abandoned road, and then everyone gets attacked by a crazy mutated zombie redneck. We pulled up to this lady's trailer and knocked. We were greeted by a rather large woman (who was missing quite a few teeth) and about three or four dogs running rampant in her house. She came out with the little puppy resting in her arms, and I couldn't wait to take him home. She told me he was the last puppy and the runt of the litter. Someone had previously adopted him but had to return him back to her (for unknown reasons?) so I was glad I could give him a home. The entire ride home, he sat in my lap, calm, cool and collected. Or sedated, as we later came to believe...

This is Leo, grown up. He is no longer the calm, sleepy puppy we thought we had adopted. Although he is a master at lounging (when he wants to be), he can be quite hyper as small dogs are prone to be and has the highest pitched bark I've ever heard. Despite my training and his lack of balls (literally), he still marks in the house from time to time and will whine when he isn't given enough attention. However, he loves to curl up on laps and be loved on. He'll chill on any spot so long as it's soft or warm, especially dirty clothes (my boyfriend's dog May also loves dirty piles of clothes. It must be something about the way they smell like their people.)

Leo's guide to MFCin' (as told by Leo):
  • If it's soft and/or warm, lay on it. Worry about getting in trouble later.
  • The top of the couch and/or recliners make the best snoozing spots, and the crevices are especially good for hiding your chewies and treats.
  • When chillin' by windows or doors, be sure to bark at everything that moves so it knows you're more important than whatever it is you're barking at.
  • When chillin' on your back and people are near, wiggle all your limbs in the air and/or snake around on the floor/couch/surface you're on and make gremlin noises so people know you want your belly rubbed.
  • If people still ignore your pleas to be petted, nudge their hand with your nose.
  • When chillin' outside, run around and bark for as long as you can. Even if you are allowed to play outside for an hour or so, just continually bark so the neighbors, birds and squirrels are all made aware of your important presence.
  • If it's raining, and you are let outside to do your business, but want to squeeze in a small amount of chill time, always go seek out the muddiest spot in the yard and roll around in it.
  • For bath time chillin', you can either lay there and take it (often speeding up the bath process) or be spazzy like May and attempt to escape the treacherous bathtub and shampoo bottle but will most likely not end well.
  • If your person has fitted you with a "homemade cone of shame" (ie. a paper plate) to deter you from chewing at your sutures, lay on the floor and look pitiful until said cone is removed. The same rules apply when your person dresses you in silly costumes for holidays. See exhibit A below: 
  • Finally, if your owner has misplaced your doggie belly-band to deter you from marking indoors and fits you with an incredibly silly-looking homemade device (AKA a Wal-Mart bag) to prevent you from peeing indoors, WORK IT! Just own that bitch and strut around like hot shit because it's not coming off. See exhibit B below:

March 24, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

Taking a page from Gala's blog, I might want to start doing "Things I Love Thursdays" because it's such a good idea, to simply post the things you are thankful for/loving/obsessing over that week!

Cupcakes! B & I  had a cupcake adventure yesterday involving Gigi's cupcakes, sequin bunny ears and vintage dresses (pictures coming soon!) The wind did not at all cooperate with us, however. In the end, we ended up in my backyard taking the majority of our photos before devouring our icing-mountain cupcakes. The ladies at Gigi's looked at us strangely when we sashayed in through the doors in our poofy dresses and ordered a box of cupcakes. We chose four flavors: Banana Split, Champagne, Birthday & Margarita. As far as cupcakes go, they were delicious. Banana split was probably more banana-y than I would have liked but it did taste exactly like a banana sundae. Champagne is basically just vanilla; pretty to look at but nothing exciting. The birthday one was just like birthday cake, complete with pink frosting and sprinkles. The margarita cupcake was my favorite. In theory, it sounds a little disgusting. In reality, just picture a bright green cupcake that smells strangely like ice cream but tastes like lemon-limey-minty-cupcake with hints of margarita flavor. Muddy's Bake Shop is still my favorite place for cupcakes. The grasshopper cupcake is my favorite (chocolate cupcake with light green peppermint icing). If you're even in the Memphis area, definitely put Muddy's on your to-do list!

Reading! Books, fashion magazines, blogs. It seems like I've been buying up all sorts of fashion magazines lately. Elle, Food network, Vogue... I haven't even gotten around to reading them yet! They are stacked all neatly on my bedside table. I'm also currently in the middle of reading Lo Bosworth's The Lo-Down & I just recently finished Tucker Max's second book, Assholes Finish First. If you haven't read any of his stuff, go get his first book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. It's essentially a collection of his drunken adventures and sexual escapades. Truly hilarious, though!

Other things I love:
+ Homemade honey chicken & vegetables + Glee + Hello Kitty bandaids + Cocktails with old friends + Bacon bleu burgers from Majestic Grill + Paul Frank coconut lipgloss that smells like coconut sun tan lotion + Perusing the web pages of the local animal shelter & fawning over all the dogs I want to adopt + Vintage Easter-egg colored dresses + Birthday cake & mint yogurt with sprinkles from Gracie Bleu + Meeting friends for lunch and learning all about big, juicy secrets!

March 22, 2011

How I am single-handedly fixing the economy

I think I shop too much. Probably no more than any other 20-something girl who has a job to pay for things and is slightly fashion obsessed (ok, a lot fashion obsessed). I'm no Rebecca Bloomwood, but I have been known to throw down the plastic quite often because I a.) rarely carry cash, b.) make 85% of my purchases online and c.) am a huge impulse buyer and advertisers love me. I'll see something new & instantly want it. Whether it's a new flavor of Quaker chewy bars singing a siren song from the shelves or a pair of gorgeous, but overpriced, sky high glitter pumps encrusted with crystals that probably resemble stripper heels (but my impulsion simply translates that to "SHOES!!!!!"), it doesn't matter. I'll still have to have it.

For such reasons, I tend to probably spend more than I should on things I probably don't need. Don't even get me started on what it's like walking into the new Forever 21 that's roughly the size of Texas. It's Mecca - and will probably rob me of all my paychecks. While some things I can hold back on such as important things like shampoo, new razor blades or paper towels, I am powerless against shoes. There is something about a really sexy pair of pumps (especially unique or embellished ones) that just make me melt. As Becky Bloomwood would say, it kind of does make your heart go like hot butter sliding down warm toast. Then again, I'm probably just crazy. I wear 4-5 inch heels with platforms or crazy designs and walk around or dance in them for hours. Most of my roommates think I really am crazy with my shoe choices - mostly because they aren't the fashionista type. My closet is essentially a personal store for my roommates who can peruse my rack of clothes and put together the perfect outfit without spending a dime since I have so many new things.

Anyway, I'm getting off track. In the three days I have been home visiting my family, I've already accumulated a handful of new items. Sunday I purchased a Kenneth Cole top, a blue striped cardigan and a pair of jean shorts, as well as St. Ive's apricot scrub (love that stuff!) and some blush & bronzer. Today I got mascara (Lash Stiletto), a scarf, 2 magazines, Paul Frank coconut lip gloss (that smells like summer), a marshmallow peep and a bottle of biotin pills. Biotin is apparently the Jesus of all vitamins when it comes to hair & nail growth, so I figured I'd try it since my nails are awful and brittle. I blame it on my nailbiter mother - a trait in which heredity decided to bestow upon me as well.

I'm also going to try the Lash Stiletto because I've read rave reviews about it, and it can be used in conjunction with other mascaras to create the illusion of false eyelashes. I saw this on YouTube, and the girl's god-given lashes really look like she has false lashes on! It's amazing actually. Somehow, I doubt I will be able to get the same results.

During my YouTube travels, I also came across a really hilarious girl who makes a lot of joke makeup tutorials. The best part about these entertaining videos is her commentary as she goes along. She has all kinds of tutorials: Whore makeup, Angelina (from Jersey Shore), Black Swan... Check out her channel. She does other videos besides tutorials that are also equally as funny. I think the Avatar tutorial is one of my favorites, though.

March 21, 2011

Daily Inspiration

Another serving of Monday's of eye candy inspiration to get you through each day. This week, I've opted for food, each complete with a recipe for you to try your hand at if you click the photos. Happy cooking!

Breakfast: The perfect cinnamon bun. Mmmm, reminds me of Sunday mornings as a kid. My mom always made cinnamon buns. Albeit they were "fresh" from the blue can with the image of the pudgy dough boy on it, but they were good enough for me! I liked mine with extra icing.

Lunch: Tandori Chicken Tacos. I've never had tandori chicken before, but if it once clucked, chances are I'll probably like it. Throw practically anything in a warm tortilla and call it a "taco," and I'd eat it! I have yet to try I-Carly's "spaghetti tacos" though. I'm game!

Dinner: Four Cheese Macaroni (Haley, this one's for you!) Again, I've never made homemade mac since I never have the time, but I've been known to snarf plenty of the Kraft variety. Homemade mac and cheese definitely beats any store bought kind, though.

Dessert: Cake Batter Milkshake! (Because 364 days out of the year, you can celebrate an unbirthday)

Cocktails: A martini that tastes like Pop Rocks...AND gets your very, very drunk? Sounds like my kind of drink!