Tuesday, September 25, 2012

All Things Bright and British

I've had my eye on a Mini Cooper for quite a while and since I recently paid off my student loans from college (yay me!) I decided to give my old car to my sister in law Christina and trade her car in for a Mini. I had no luck at my local dealership but thanks to Mini of Louisville, I am the proud new owner of a Mini Countryman. Its my new baby, and I can't wait for my next road trip to see Southern Helle to show her off!

Still sussing out her personality to give her a name. I need something unique and British. Ideas?

Showing My Plumage

Lately. I have been spending my weekends caravan-ting between North Carolina, Virginia, and the greater metropolitan Louisville area. I had been dying to give my new peacock feather dress from the Esty shop Sealmaiden a whirl. I've given it two goes in the past two weeks with slight variations and so far am loving it!

First I tried it while out to dinner with friends:
Three quarter pleather jacket, Target
teal tights, Target

with these boots from Aldo (see Southern Helle, I own foreskin boots!).

While on a very quick trip home I tried the dress with my go-to leather jacket from Wilson's Leather, gray tights from Target and boots from Payless:

Unfortunately, my mom's cat Gibbs decided he wanted to be in every picture.

Without the jacket:

Doing my best Zoolander pose.

Not sure which style I like better, but I definitely love the dress!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Happy Camper

I have filled my Cool Girl quota for the year by actually agreeing to go camping with my husband this weekend. Camping usually isn't my cup of tea (or, in my case, glass of wine). It reminds me too much of being back in the Army and going out for training exercises, aka "going to the field". I hate bugs and I hate getting dirty and I hate having to hike to the bathroom and I hate it even more when there is no bathroom to hike to.

Of course, opposites attract and Mr. Southern Helle loves all things involving the great outdoors. He would go all Mountain Man and drop off the grid if I would let him. Turns out he actually makes camping pretty fun. Translation: he did all the dirty work. I have decided to keep him around in case the Apocolypse ever really does take place. Especially if he makes me his awesome "Hobo Dinner". See recipe and pictures below. I have never eaten so well on a camping trip in my life.

Camping isn't exactly the stomping ground for high fashion so my outfits are aimed more towards function and practicality. I did try to have fun with my T-shirt choices at least. Even though it looks like I was shooting for a trend with my high sock bun, I honestly didn't feel like dealing with my rat's nest mane and opted to just pile it on my head and forget about it.

Day 1 outfit
T Shirt: Etsy shop Bodhicitta
(Not from NC? This Etsy shop is dedicated to all things NC so you may have to search elsewhere. And sorry about your luck. It really is the best state in the Union!)
Flannel: Arizona Jean at JCPenney
Shorts: Forever 21
Shoes: Sperry Top-Siders

The intercoastal waterway. The beaches are one of the reasons I love this state (as seen in my newest favorite T-shirt)

Wasn't me!

You may have to search to find him through all that camoflague but I swear Mr. Southern Helle is in this picture.
Also, I promise that I am not wearing socks with these shoes. My right ankle is wrapped due to a graceful tumble I took a few nights earlier.

Beautiful sunset

Day 2 outfit
T Shirt: Busted Tees
Sweatpants: American Eagle

As seen in my T-shirt choice, I was a little over camping at this point.

And now for the famous "Hobo Dinner" recipe/tutorial:

Chop up chicken, shrimp, veggies (we had mushrooms, onions, peppers and zuchini)

Place above items on foil. Throw in some minced garlic, salt, pepper and a few pats of butter. Accidentally spill your Moscato on it then decide to add some on purpose. The French have been doing it for years so why not you too?

Fold long ends and roll up short ends. It should look like a shiny burrito. Throw it on hot coals for about 40 minutes. All there is left to do now is eat it. This beats the ubiquitous campfire hot dogs anyday. In fact, the smell drew in our hot dog eating neighbors who were very, very jealous. I didn't share a single bite with them either.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Down With The Sickness

My old roommate (who is now a nurse) swears by hot (and she means as hot as you can possibly stand) wings and beer as a remedy for congestion. Using my seasonal allergies as an excuse, I headed down to our town's newly opened Buffalo Wild Wings for a plate of their Blazin' Wings and a few pints of seasonal ale. Do I feel better? Who cares, really? My lips are numb and I have a bit of a buzz so I can chalk the night up as a success.

Top: Merona at Target
Pants: LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's
Shoes: Kohl's
Necklace: Marshall's
Paper Crown: courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings waitress in honor of eating their hottest wings

These houndstooth shoes are my new obsession!

My photographer (aka husband) insisted on this pose. He likes big butts and he cannot lie...

Should I be concerned that my wings came with a warning label?
At least I got a sweet crown for my efforts. En Fuego, indeed!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall Has Finally... Fallen?!?

Today was the first day where it actually felt like Fall. Sadly, I live in a pine tree infested area so my attempt at a backyard photo shoot while frolicking in the leaves was stymied. My yard was littered with a bunch of pine needles and cones and maybe 15 leaves.

Blouse: Forever 21
Skirt: Forever 21
Shoes: Nine West

Warm colors for a cool day
Inspiration: Fall Day at Ivy League school. A girl can dream...

I see a dye job in my future. My roots are ridiculous and nobody is buying it when I say I am going for the ombre hair effect.

Comfy loafers
Tie collared blouses used to remind me of the movie Nine to Five but I am starting to come around.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My latest Ink

Between my trips to Jacksonville and Nags Head the last two weeks, I managed to complete the last session on my newest tattoo:

Its a phoenix and goes along with the peacock feather I have on my left side. It was done by Marshall at Studio Evolve, who completely rocks! Took three sessions and almost 8 hours but was so worth it.

Channeling Aunt Jemima

Hot on the heels of me emulating Freddy Kreuger, Saturday's outfit had me donning a headwrap a la Aunt Jemima.

Let me explain:

I am a hardcore Modcloth shopper who is often perplexed by what to do with the free gifts they throw in with shipments. At first, it was little buttons with graphics of waifish cartoon characters. Those went straight to my stepdaughter. Same thing with the gingham print barrettes and heart shaped hair pins they included with a few orders. I am 34; far past the age that heart shaped lavender barrettes can be considered cute. My last three orders have included strips of cloth with wiring stitched in to them. After receiving the last one, I finally concluded that these were intended to be headwraps.

I am a little slow on the uptake sometimes...

This weekend, the whole family jumped in the car for a quick road trip to Beaufort, SC and adjacent Parris Island. Mr. Southern Helle will be heading down there in January for Drill Instructor school. It is tough to look presentable, much less fashion forward, while spending six hours in the car getting to your destination. I decided to give it the ol' college try and, on my way out the door, threw one of the Modcloth headwraps over my ponytail.

Mr. Southern Helle deemed it "cute" and some lady at a rest stop complimented my shorts and headwrap combo. The stepdaughter wasn't so keen. Check out the below pictures and you can see that she is a tad bit embarrassed by the woman who looks like she belongs on a bottle of syrup.

No Southern road trip is complete without saying hi to Pedro at South of the Border!

Embarassing the hell out of stepdaughter

I love all the Spanish Moss on trees down there. So Southern Gothic!

Self portrait in the car. Note disgusted 14 year old in the back seat.

Shirt: Old Navy
Tank (underneath): Forever 21
Shorts: Old Navy
Headwrap: free c/o Modcloth
Necklace: Modcloth
Shoes: Havaianas

Friday, September 14, 2012

All Tied Up

I can't seem to decide on how to tie my scarf today. Looped once over the neck or long with a single twist in the front? I have a love/hate relationship going on with my scarves. I realize that scarves are a great way to add a little something to your outfit and are my go-to transition staple lately as summer gives way to fall. Yet I never seem to know what to do with them.

Dress: American Eagle
Scarf: Modcloth
Bag: American Eagle
Wedges: Payless
Sunglasses: Old Navy

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Familiar Spirit

All day I kept looking at my dress wondering who or what I looked like...

Then it hit me! He didn't wear a dress but the stripe pattern and colors are very, very similar.

Dress (mine not Freddy Krueger's): Modcloth
Shoes: Nine West

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shop Till You Drink, Part Dos...Equis

Southern Helle and I do spend a good deal of time together shopping and/or drinking. I tend to be very black and white with my opinions about things and need someone to make me take another look at things. My outfit for the pre-stomp shopping trip and the stomp itelf:

About as casual as I get

My peacock bracelet from Modcloth

For the stomp itself, I changed to flats (mark this date in your diary) due to all of the uneven ground and wine imbibing.

At Target I did snag a dress from the new line. I initially didn't like it but took another look at it thanks to Southern Helle and actually really liked it with my hair down.

I can't wait to try it out with my black boots and black leather jacket!

I also grabbed a blazer. I may have to go back and get the teal one as well. I am going to try to put together a look for this with a t shirt, shorts, and high heels.

thank you Southern Helle for an awesome visit. Can't wait to wreak havoc with you (or just wreak havoc on our credit cards) again!

Misc: gray shirt: Victoria's Secret
navy blue shorts: American Eagle
bracelet: Modcloth
sunglasses: Franchesca's Collection
wedges: Jessica Simpson, Dillards.

I Exist (and survived the Tarheel)

As Southern Helle previously mentioned, I recently visited the quaint little Marine macho hamlet of Jacksonville, NC. My first stop? The Tarheel (I first typed Tarhell, i am not sure which is more appropriate) my introduction into country bars. I knew going in that it was a country bar but my stubborn hipster self refused to dress the part of the local species:
Yeah, you could say, I stood out. Not exactly the attire of choice for personas countrias Jacksonvillus.
Headwrap from Three Bird Shop on Etsy. Earrings from Target.
My newly reshod Candies from Kohl's. One of my most favorite, and smallest heels.

Misc: Tanks: Target
Jeans: London Jeans @Victoria's Secret

Yeah, I may not have fit in but I had a great time. Southern Helle is great at getting me out of my comfort zone and showing me a great time. And he may have been in junior high when I joined the Navy, but Mr 21 showed me I still got it.

Shop 'Til You... Drink?

No doubt about it: Leather Peacock and I spend a huge portion of our time together shopping. She is a great sounding board for me and I know that I can count on her (usually brutal) honesty.This last weekend was no exception. Saturday pre-Grape Stomp, we ventured out to find fabric for my latest DIY project. I was having no luck but Leather Peacock suggested checking out the website Spoonflower. Originally I had planned to use a standard toile but, after perusing her suggested website, I settled on a toile that (if you look closely) contains trailer park scenes vice the standard French countryside. See why I keep this girl around? Mission accomplished so we decided to celebrate with some brew and grub at Carolina Ale House. Any excuse for a good beer.


My gangsta pose with my bling. Notice my stepdaughter viewing this spectacle from a safe distance on the porch.

Cute little fella, huh? We match!

Tank: Body Central
Shorts: Forever 21
Flip flops: New York & Company
Necklace: Forever 21
Sunglasses: Mudd at Kohl's

Sunday morning rolled around and I badgered Leather Peacock awake (via text and Twitter) so I could drag her to Target. The Shops at Target were debuting four new lines and I had my eye on the women's fashions from Kirna Zabete. But it was not meant to be for me. Oddly enough, Leather Peacock was the one who snatched up a Kirna Zabete dress. Not that I left empty handed...

My only Shops at Target buy of the day. A retro cappuccino mug with Mount Rushmore emblazoned on it from the Curiosity Shoppe. George Washington's bubble says, "What's Up?"
Tweed pants in the color of the moment.

Peplum dress. Thought I would hate this silhouette since I am pretty hippy but turns out to be pretty flattering.

Chambray shirt: Aerie for American Eagle
Tank: Mossimo from Target
Boyfriend Chinos: New York & Company
Shoes: Sanuks 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Move Over, Lucy and Ethel

Their outfits were pretty cute.

Muscadine wine should replace sweet tea as THE drink of the South. Even people who don't like wine usually take well to it. The best muscadine I have found so far is made by Duplin Winery in my neighboring county. In order to kick off their harvest, Duplin Winery always holds a festival with live bands, a tasting and an old fashioned grape stomp. Leather Peacock was finally able to make it this year and even ended up stomping by butt during the Grape Stomp Off.

T-shirt: American Eagle
Skirt: Forever 21
Shoes: American Eagle at Payless
Bag: thrifted
Necklace: Forever 21
Bracelet (Hard to see from pics which is a shame. It has Scrabble tiles on it that spell out CHEERS! ): LC Lauren Conrad at Kohl's

Notice the Wine Slings around our necks holding the glasses. Whoever thought of that should win the Nobel Prize or something! Of course, we coordinated ours with our outfits.

My best accessory. And I do actually mean Mr. Southern Helle, not my thrifted handbag.

My love of the Rocky movie franchise finally paid off when I could correctly answer who played Rocky's opponent in Rocky IV. A bottle of their latest wine is way better than a medal. Suck it, Men's Olympic Swim Team!

The Stomp! I would like to think we were moving so fast that the camera couldn't keep up... but I suspect Mr. Southern Helle had sampled too much wine to take the picture well.