Month: May 2014

Sink or Swim

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I have never had a bombshell figure by any means, but I was certainly thin in my 20’s and am more along the lines of “average” in my 30’s. I actually used to like bikini shopping. After having two children and realizing 40 is approaching faster than I’d care to admit… those bikini-loving days are long gone. One of my “resolutions” was to get into a two-piece this summer…. Ummm…yeah, about that… I guess I still have some time left to make that happen, but I hate to admit, I believe I’ve GAINED weight since the New Year! The metabolism I once took advantage of is history.

So, even though I won’t be shopping for swimsuits anytime soon…like, for nearly three more months!…I decided to put a little post together for the women out there who may be in my boat. These are some of my fave ONE-PIECE swimsuits for the woman who still wants to look affordably chic while juggling children…or even without juggling children! All are under $50!

I found 6PM.COM had a ton of affordable one pieces. (I love this site for discounted designer shoes as well!) Here are a few, but check out their site to see other options. It’s very search friendly!

I love this Tommy Bahama one for the colors and pattern. It also comes with a detachable halter strap, which is always ideal for a little extra support and to prevent fears of a swimsuit malfunction!

Tommy Bahama - $37
Tommy Bahama – $37

I love the back detail of this Rachel Pally suit! If you’re going to wear a one-piece, at least make sure it has some kind of visual interest, right?!

Rachel Pally - $45
Rachel Pally – $45

 

Rachel Pally - $45
Rachel Pally – $45

This Guess suit is not typically my style, but I love how it gives a woman a little peek-a-boo action when she doesn’t want to show off her entire stomach!

Guess - $46
Guess – $46

U.S. Polo Association is really making a splash with this suit! Love the black and white with the keyhole detail! Simple yet sassy!

U.S. Polo Assn. - $25
U.S. Polo Assn. – $25

This O’Neill suit is a great basic! This one has a lower back, but it has a bikini-style fastener, which adds to the sex appeal yet still offers that tighter support around the bustline.

O'Neill - $45
O’Neill – $45

I love, love, love the print of this Bikini Lab suit! And the price?! Yes!

Bikini Lab - $25
Bikini Lab – $25

 

This Body Glove mono-kini is a little less scary than others I’ve seen. It’s still relatively modest, yet definitely sexy.

Body Glove - $27
Body Glove – $27

This Splendid suit is a great halter in a beautiful color with cute keyhole detail!

Splendid - $30
Splendid – $30

Victoria’s Secret¬†offered this cute option, which would be ideal for me! It’s the look of a mono-kini, yet keeps all of the problem areas of my belly covered up!

Victoria's Secret - $49
Victoria’s Secret – $49

I also did a little Google searching and came across one really unique and affordable suit on a site I’d never heard of: SwimwearPlace.com. I love the front detailing on this! I can’t attest to the quality as I’ve never shopped here, but it’s certainly worth a look!

 

front panel detail - $48
front panel detail – $48

 

Almost all of my current one-piece suits are actually from Old Navy. So I knew I’d find some affordable options there. Plus, there’s almost always some kind of online discount available! (prices included in pic caption)

And, of course…any fashionista on a budget probably already has Target on her radar! Here are a few from Tar-jay ūüėČ Some really great patterns available! (prices included in pic caption)

Now, there’s no excuse to not test the waters this summer… no matter how “not” bikini-ready you are! I’ve come to fully embrace the one-piece and even if I get back to my bikini-bod shape, I won’t hesitate to slip into a one-piece for more coverage! Don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Swoozie’s Swooning

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I recently had the opportunity to attend a blogger get-together at a predominantly southern gift shop¬†called “Swoozie’s.” I admit, it was my first time walking into the store…for a couple of reasons. 1) I was pretty aware it was a Southern style gifting boutique. I don’t always feel like I’m the Southern Belle-type, so I never thought I could relate to the product. 2)¬†I figured everything would be “boutique” priced (aka “overpriced”).

But, blogging brought me in and I must say, I will be back! I was pleasantly surprised to find they offer a wide selection of gift ideas and stationary. And they have a wide price range for all budgets! I’ll actually be back this Saturday, May 3rd for the new location’s housewarming party at the Summit shopping center in Birmingham. You can see the exact times below and the ladies at Swoozie’s know what they’re doing! It’s right before Mother’s Day. It’s right around graduation time. What better time to check them out than now?! Hope to see you there!

swoozies

 

BFW: Finale Recap

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Birmingham Fashion Week¬†definitely saved the best for last. The finale night was jam-packed and so is this post! The evening’s shows were full of drama, free spirits¬†and flat-out amazing design. I felt like I was on a roller coaster ride! And this ride didn’t get off to a slow start.

Local designer, Project Runway alum, upcoming reality TV star and BFW co-founder (multi-hyphenate anyone?!) Heidi Elnora had the crowd mesmerized¬†with her dramatic, zombie-inspired show. It started with amazing acrobatics and contortions from Alabama Ballet. And what was next…Whoa! I was¬†*this* close to calling World War Z star Brad Pitt to the rescue. But somehow, Heidi still managed to keep it beautiful. Kudos to the creative direction!

My only disappointment was the dramatic¬†lighting was not ideal for my piddly little iPhone camera. I couldn’t capture any of the amazing images during the show. I was able to get video of the final walk and that gives you an idea of what we all experienced.

We also got a final look at the Rising Design Star Challenge finalists and the Emerging Designer finalists. The winners of those contests in a moment.

Then, we saw some ready to wear fabulousness from local retailers Soca Clothing and Laura Kathryn.

Then the ride took a fun twist.¬†Show Me Your Mumu took the stage with their first runway show ever! What a score, Birmingham! I mean, this show…I’m not a Coachella girl, but I sure as heck wanted to be when I watched this show. It was so fun, carefree and effervescent. A true breath of fresh air. One of the designers, Cammy¬†took the time¬†to meet¬†us bloggers before the show (and even after) and¬†I cannot wait to share her take on the brand in an upcoming post!

And, finally, headlining designer Rebecca Taylor closed things out. Talk about another twist! We went from the footloose, fancy free, music festival girl to the cutting edge, polished, professional woman. It was great to see Birmingham Fashion Week cater to such a broad spectrum of fans. Here are some highlights from Rebecca Taylor.

At the end of the night, winners of local competitions were announced. Congrats to Emerging Designer winner, Lauren Ledford; Rising Star Challenge winner, Sarah Foret and Fresh Face model competition winner, Anna Marie Parrish.

 

 

And, once again, I had to take some snaps of some of my fave looks off the runway.

 

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That’s a wrap! Birmingham Fashion Week 2014 left me waiting impatiently for next year’s shows! I can say Project Runway alum Anthony Ryan Auld has said he’ll see us again next year, so it looks like we can look forward to more amazing designs and entertainment from him! If you weren’t able to make it, I hope I successfully recapped the big events to make you feel like you were there! Thanks for reading!