Monday, February 25, 2013

A Night at the Oscars

So, I've been on a writing hiatus since my birthday! I've literally been pretty uninspired by fashion these last couple of weeks so I just haven't blogged (sorry to all my readers/subscribers). Sometimes, you just need a break, even from the things you love most. But enough is enough. So I figured I would ease back into my blogging routine by covering some of my favorite Oscar looks from yesterdays Oscar celebration.

I must admit, I didn't watch the Oscars but I watched the two hour pre - carpet event on E (and I will be watching the 90 minute episode of the Fashion Police today to see the recap of the best and worst dressed celebs tonight) to see what Hollywood's "It" celebs were wearing. I am going to highlight some of my favs. 

These YBF ladies turned up the heat at the Oscar festivities last night. Kerry Washington (aka Liv...for all my Scandal lovers) stunned in this coral Miu Miu vision. The coral color looks amazing against her carmel colored skin.  Zoe Saldana looked gorgeous in this white embellished Alexis Mabille gown, while Halle Berry slayed in this black and silver patterned Versace dress. Kelly Rowland has been #winning this awards season and the Oscars was no exception. She wowed the crowd in this structured black and white Donna Karan Atelier gown. And last but not least, J - Hud (Jennifer Hudson) dazzled in her gunmetal Roberto Cavalli peek-a-boo sequin gown. 

Kerry Washington in Miu Miu
Zoe Saldana in Alexis Mabille
Halle Berry in Versace
Kelly Rowland in Donna Karan Atelier
Jennifer Hudson in Roberto Cavalli

The Oscars are the Superbowl of Award ceremonies so the designers and celebs bring out all the stops. One of my favorites of the night was Chalize Theron (pictured in the middle in the all white). She looked absolutely gorgeous with her new cropped hair do and her all white structured white Dior Couture gown. She is just simply breathtaking. Some of my other favs are pictured below. Amy Adams looked like a mature princess in this gray number by Del La Renta with the beautiful tulle details at the bottom. Naomi Watts (pictured 2nd) also was one of my favorites of the night in this shimmery abstract- cut - out Armani Prive gown. The fit of the dress is impeccable and the cut - out adds an unexpected pleasantry. Jessica Chastain (the red - hair bombshell) donned this beaded Armani gown which is fairly understated. But it works as a full package with the soft curls and red lips. Samantha Barks looked very elegant in this plunging V-neckline black Valentino number. The pulled back hair and the simple jewelry complete the overall look. Lastly, Selma Hayek stunned in this baroquian inspired Alexander McQueen gown. The gold neckpiece is to die for. And her hair being pulled in the high - bun pulled the look together. 

Amy Adams in Del La Renta
Naomi Watts in Armani Prive
Jessica Chastain in Armani
Charlize Theron in Dior Couture
Samantha Barks in Valentino
Selma Hayek in Alexander McQueen

Who said that size matters? Well, in this case it doesn't. No matter what size you are, you can look beautiful just ask these two gorgeous plus size beauties. Adele and Octavia Spencer both looked amazing on the Oscars red carpet last night. Adele donned a floor - length studded Jenny Packham gown, while Octavia Spencer stayed loyal to one of her go - to designers, Tadashi Shoji, for this blush colored tulle number. 

Adele in Jenny Packham
Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji

To round out my Oscar picks I chose to highlight this nine year old cutie who was nominated for "Best Actress!" How amazing is that to be a young african american girl, nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in Hollywood. Simply amazing. So for that I congratulate Quvenzhane Wallis. The thing I loved most about Q's navy, sparkly (in Quvenzhane's words) Armani Junior dress, was that it was age appropriate for the pint sized 9 year old. She accessorized with her puppy purse (named Sammy) which elevated the "cuteness" factor into a higher stratosphere. 
Quvenzhane Wallis in Armani Junior
Q pictured with Halle Berry (#blackgirlsrock)

There were some hits and misses, but all in all, I think the looks on the red carpet were simply put, great. Who was on your best dressed list? Who made your worst dressed list?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

27 and Fabulous

This past weekend I celebrated my 27th birthday. It was definitely one to remember. My actual birthday was Saturday, February 9th, but I kicked off the celebration early (I think I'm just going to keep continuing to celebrate for the entire month)! Thursday, my hubby and bestie Jasmine teamed up for a grand surprise. My bestie, who is a flight attendant flew in too chill with me and Derrek for the day. They tricked me because I thought we were going to the airport to pick up Derrek's older brother but low and behold, my best friend was waiting!! I was very surprised to say the least.

 The day started off a bit rough, I must admit. I had my iPhone in my pocket and it accidentally got smashed in the car door, while in my pocket. So the first stop on the bday excursion was the Verizon store.

The damage to the front of my phone after smashing it in the car door :(

Once I got my new iPhone (4s) me along with my entourage, headed to do one of my favorite past times, SHOPPING. We headed to Perimeter Mall to check out some of the latest fashions. I picked up a couple pieces,  (a neon blazer and an all black number with sheer detailing from Forever 21), which are pieces I rocked during the weekend (you will see later on in this post).

Zip Pocket Blazer in Citron: Forever 21 - $34.80
Split Maxi Dress: Forever 21 - $27.80

After our first day of shopping we dined at one of my favorite restaurants (to hit up when we go to the ATL), The Cheesecake Factory. The food was DELICIOUS and the red velvet cheesecake was to die for. We topped off the night watching the scandalous SCANDAL (my favorite show). My mouth is still dropped from all the juicy drama in that episode.

The food was delicious as it looks: Four Cheese Pasta and Red Velvet Cheesecake

Friday, me and the hubby enjoyed each others company as we went perusing through the stores at Atlantic Station downtown Atlanta. They had a few great stores like DSW, H&M, and Target. Unfortunately, I was unable to find something that I really liked but it was still fun to look. Later that night we had our first experience at the Fork & Screen AMC Dine - In Theater where you watch a movie while being served restaurant style. We went to see The Side Effect (which was definitely not what I envisioned it to be...but pretty decent nonetheless).

I paired the Neon Blazer (Forever 21) with my Leather Tee with a sheer back (Off The 5th), Faux Leather Jeans (Forever 21), and Sneaker Wedges (Target)

Top photos are of the Side Effect Movie Poster and the Actual AMC Dine - In Theater we went to in Buckhead, GA
The bottom photo is just to show you how the theater looks inside (for those who actually care lol)

Saturday, my actual bday, we started off with a nice workout at the hotel gym! It felt good to work up a sweat before getting the day going #teamnoexcuses. Then we got dressed and headed out to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants, On The Border. It was super delicious and our waiter was mad cool. Then we traveled to do some more "shopping" or shall I call it browsing at Nordstrom's Rack, TJ Maxx, and DSW (again).

You've seen all these pieces on my blog before. Like I mentioned in an earlier post it is easy to mix and match the leather pieces that I purchased, which give you endless outfit opportunities.
Cream Blazer with Leather Collar (Forever 21), Leather Peplum (Narcistik Boutique), Black Cherry Leather Panel Leggings (H&M), Sneaker Wedges (Target)

Here is a recap of my daytime birthday celebration: On The Border Meal (Chimichanga with Rice & Black Beans and Sopapilla's with chocolate and honey), Me and the hubby at On The Border, and bday Instagram pics (Shoutout to the homie Jeanine for the cute pic)

We ended the night partying at club Compound in Atlanta. Me and the hubby got dressed and stepped out for a night on the town. Here's a brief photomontage of the night!

Photoshoot in the parking garage:
Split Maxi Dress (Forever 21), Double Buckle Wedges (Target), Snakeskin Clutch (Target), Junk Necklace (Charming Charlie's)

Night Cap (l to r): Snapping pics in the elevator, Club shot, #TeamUs, Pizza @ 2AM, Just Me, iMadeFace (does it look like me)?, Us in the elevator, Outside view of the club, the Birthday Girl

These are all the birthday gifts I received
Sherri's Berries Strawberries (Mother - in - Law), Prabal Gurung Floral Sweatshirt, Neon Sandals, and Rubber Boots (gifts to myself all purchased from Target), Birthday Cards and Gift Cards/Checks (God Mother, Best Friend, LC Sisters - Shelley and Shari, Grandparents)

All in all I must say, turning 27 was fabulous. I had an awesome birthday this year that was totally unforgettable!!! I can't wait to see what else this year has to offer :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Target Releases Prabal Gurung Collection

After the East Coast got blasted with the winter white out, aka the "Nemo" snow storm this past weekend, everyone is counting down the days until spring arrives. I must say one thing I like about being down south is the "not - so - harsh" winter conditions. But for all my other states who have been battling crisp winds, blankets of snow, and ice I want to offer a glimpse of hope.

Target (along with other fashion chains such as H&M) has teamed up over the years with fashion designers to release inexpensive collections for fashionista's on a budget. The newest collection, the Prabal Gurung collection, which was released Sunday February 10, 2013 (see I told you February is the greatest month of all) is sure to get your mindset focused on Spring (even if the weather doesn't match it).

Gurung's Love Collection offers 80+ quality pieces featuring vibrant colors, floral abstract patterns, and  girly silhouettes. Enough of my blabbering about the collection, just see it for yourself!

Remember Target's in different regions, states, and countries get different shipments. So you may not see all these items shown below at your local Target. But don't be discouraged. Don't forget to check online (as a back up option). 

After checking out the lookbook are you excited about Prabal Gurung's Target collection? As you can see this collection is perfect for a night out with the girls, brunch with the in - laws, or hanging out with the boo! But, if you're still not sold check out the inspiration of the collection from the creator himself, designer Prabal Gurung. 

I'm sure you've probably seen this commercial on tv by now, but if you haven't, check out the official commercial for the collection titled, "A Love Story!" I'm sure you will fall in love with the pieces even more. 

By now you should have your shoes tied and keys in hand, headed to Target to purchase some of these beautiful pieces. I know I did yesterday morning :) I purchased the floral sweatshirt (2nd picture down from the top on the left hand side) and neon green ankle strap sandals (picture above the accessories, neon green shoes on the left). What's on your list?

Happy Monday, and happy shopping luvs!!!

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Weekend Recap - OOTD

This weekend was one great weekend! It was the start to an awesome birthday month :) I must admit I didn't do too much on Friday, besides going to my Zumba class. Which I love, by the way, and would recommend for those people who hate the gym, but like to get in a workout! Saturday, my hubby and I hosted a dinner party with a few of his friends from work and church. It was a great get together with food (I prepared some Lasagna, Rotel Dip, my hubby made some meatballs, and then we bought a veggie tray, cookies, and cake) and intellectual conversation (we discussed everything from politics, reality TV, athletes, financial responsibility, marriage, love, and sports etc.) amongst young intelligent individuals. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures during the event...but I did get a chance to snap a few quick pics of my OOTD before guests arrived.

I decided to wear my oversized gray silk panel shirt from H&M, paired with my favorite (black) faux fur vest from Forever 21, my sheer paneled leggings, my suede wedge peep toe booties from Aldo, my burgundy snakeskin clutch from Target, and my silver accessories (silver junk necklace from Charming Charlie's, silver hoop earrings from Charlotte Russe, my silver Michael Kors watch from Macy's, and my silver and black spiked bracelet from a mall kiosk in IL).  And after washing, curling, then flexi-rodding my (Same Girl Different Hair extensions which I've had installed for about 2.5 months) hair I believe it made the outfit come together all the more.



Sunday, I lounged in my PJ's (after attending church, New Membership Class, and the gym) watching Superbowl 47. I didn't really have a team so I was cheering for both lol. But congrats to Ray Lewis and the B-More Ravens for the win.

This week is going to be pretty packed. My hubby and I start Financial Peace University (a Dave Ramsey course about becoming financially free from debt) on Wednesday, Thursday we are attending a real estate seminar, Friday we're heading to a local play, and Saturday my honey is surprising me with a day of events to celebrate my 27th birthday (I can't wait)!!!!! I will keep you posted on how the week pans out.

Happy Monday luvs. Let's make it count today.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The "Black History" of Fashion - Elizabeth Keckley

Today marks the start of the greatest month of the year!!! February of course. Plus it contains the birth date (2-9-86) of a very special blogger. You guessed it none other than yours truly, ME. It may be the shortest month out of the twelve but it jammed packed with birthdays, holidays such as President's Day,  Valentine's Day, and exudes pride for African Americans across the nation as we commemorate our ancestors and those who made awesome contributions in our nation and beyond for Black History Month.

I know this is a fashion blog, but I also want to pay homage to those who have come before me. So I thought I would do some Black History Month blog posts about African Americans who made contributions in the fashion world during this awesome month of February. My first Black History spotlight shines on Elizabeth Keckley!

Name: Elizabeth Keckley
Birth Date: Year 1818
Birthplace: Hillsborough, NC
Occupation: Seamstress

Elizabeth Keckley (also known by the nickname Lizzie) was born on a plantation in Hillsborough, NC 1818. Her parents George and Agnes Hobbs were both slaves. Her father had a different master than her and her mother therefore he was relocated to a different plantation. After turning 7, Elizabeth never saw her father again (as his master moved his plantation and all his slaves to a different location). Elizabeth became an outstanding seamstress due to the skills passed down from her mother. Her mother sewed for the Colonel's family but also made extra money sewing for the Colonel's friends and acquaintances.

Elizabeth stayed with her mother honing in on her seamstress skills until her teenage years, where she was given to the Colonel's son and his bride as a wedding gift. She eventually was married to one of the Colonel's son's friend, James Keckley (which was a forced relationship that Lizzie didn't want). She  had her one and only son, George (named after her father) by James as well. The Colonel's son promised Lizzie that once James died she could buy freedom for herself and her son George. During that time Lizzie made income by sewing garments for the Colonel's son and friends (just as her mother did). However, she was $1,200 short of buying her freedom. But thank God for angels :) One of her patrons loaned Lizzie the $1,200 so that she could indeed buy her freedom and a better life for her and her son.

Once Elizabeth was granted her freedom she relocated from North Carolina to the Metro DC Area. As a newly freed resident in DC Lizzie started a school teaching young black girls how to sew and proper etiquette. One of her highest accomplishments of freedom is the fact that she became a personal dressmaker for Mary Todd Lincoln (the wife of President Abraham Lincoln) after making her a beautiful ball gown for the Inaugural Ball. Not only was Elizabeth Mary's dressmaker/seamstress, she and Mary also became really good friends (because Elizabeth was one of the only people who could tolerate Mary's sharp tongue and sometimes unpleasant temperament).  Lastly, Elizabeth Keckley pinned a book titled "Behind the Scenes" (also known as Thirty Years a Slave and Four Years in the White House) about the life of Mary Todd Lincoln and her life experiences in the White House during President Lincoln's tenure. The book was very controversial and was eventually removed from publication by Mary Todd Lincoln's oldest son.

"Behind the Scenes" A Memoir written by Elizabeth Keckley 

Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln dressed in one of Elizabeth Keckley's masterpieces

This rich blue gown is another one of Elizabeth Keckley's pieces of art. Which is in display at the Smithsonian Museum

We often praise the fashion sense of our First Lady, Mrs. Michelle Obama the first African American FLOTUS in the White House. But without people like Elizabeth Keckley paving the way 100s of years ago, we wouldn't even have the opportunity! So I tip my hat off to Madame Elizabeth Keckley and her impeccable legacy as one of the first African American designers creating White House couture pieces.