Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekend REplay: Conferences, Concerts & Comic book characters

This weekend, the weather rocked – sunshine, blue sky, gentle breezes. It looks like we actually get to experience spring, this year, and not just spring right into summer. Thank you Lord. I sure do appreciate it.

Friday, I began my day at a Women’s Leadership Forum, hosted by the Junior League of Atlanta. It was an amazing event, complete with two breakout sessions and a vibrant panel discussion on diversity over lunch. I spent the last forty-five minutes or so of the afternoon at the “kitchen table” of Terri Badour-Duckett, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Georgia. At the “kitchen table” attendees “pulled up a seat” to ask questions of some of the brightest, most accomplished women leaders in the Atlanta community. Not too shabby, right?

In other news, the month of May is home to the Atlanta Jazz Festival (AJF). For 31 days, we celebrate the beautifully diverse sounds of jazz, and there’s a BIG jazz festival in the park during Memorial Day weekend. Friday night, the AJF hosted a jazz festival kickoff party/concert that featured Canadian band BadBadNotGood (or BBNG). I don’t know where the name came from, but BadBadNotGood was more like GoodGoodPlusAwesome. Seriously.

This trio from Toronto includes Matthew Tavares on keyboard, Chester Hansen on bass and Alexander Sowinski on drums. Three instruments unite to create one crazy unique sound. Their set at the Westside Cultural Arts Center marked their first performance in the ATL. The crowd showed mad love and I was pretty happy to be in the number.

Me_vertical2

Friday night was my first time hearing their music, but I became an instant fan. The melting pot of rich sounds was surpassed only by the energy with which the band totally rocked out. Their sound is a unique amalgam of rock, hip hop, R & B and even classical influences. Then they had a guest saxophonist who threw the set into straight jazz beast mode.

BBNG drew such a diverse crowd of music lovers. I scanned the room and thought to myself, “surely we don’t share the same taste in music.” But on that night for about an hour and a half or more we certainly did. That’s the power of music that I love so much.

I kinda hate that BBNG was booked for the beginning of the festival month. Their sound was just so grand. I think it would fit well on an outdoor stage like the ones set up during the jazz festival’s Memorial Day weekend event. I could totally picture it. Maybe they’ll be on the line up for next year.

In the meantime, it appears these cats don’t have many shows in the states this year, but here’s a list of the upcoming concert dates through the summer. You can check them out on Soundcloud and here’s a taste from Friday night. Dude on the keys, though…. Does he not remind you of Linus from the Charlie Brown cartoons?

We stuffed the rest of the weekend with lots of errands and a three hour movie break to see the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. So, no one told me that when I got married my husband would turn me into a fan of comic book characters. Nope, I didn’t see that one coming. I’ve learned more about comic book characters in the last few years than I’ve ever known in my entire life. Who knew I’d become a Marvel fan? I’ve learned to keep my eyes peeled for Mr. Stan Lee’s cameo appearance in each film AND, most importantly, to NOT leave the theater until the very last credit has rolled. This ensures I don’t miss hints for one of the upcoming films in the, seemingly never ending, Marvel series.

Gotta find me a Captain America t-shirt, too, although I struggle to really decide which super hero (thus far) is my fave. I think I’m leaning toward Iron Man…or maybe Captain AmericaThor? Smh… Anyhoo, the movie was good. That’s all I’ll say about that just in case you haven’t seen it yet and plan to go.

Let’s see, what else happened this weekend. Oh, I bought a pair of sandals and some cute earrings. I love feeling like I got something for a bargain. A cute pair of Nine West wedge sandals (can’t go wrong with classic black) from DSW and two nice pairs of earrings from White House Black Market for just under $50 definitely speaks bargain to me. I have one happy little word for you – COU-PONS.

sandalsand Earrings

Got a chance to grab some hugs from some out of town family members. They were visiting for a Braves game, so that was a real treat.

Oh and we added these little guys to our fish family. FishI know the pic isn’t that great. They’d just arrived in their new home and were swimming around like crazy. You can’t see them all but there are nine of them.

So, now it’s your turn. Let’s hear it.

What did you do this weekend? Are you a Marvel Comics fan? If so, who’s your favorite Marvel comic book hero or heroine?

 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 10: Be Fashionable

Spring is in the air, ladies. After a roller coaster of a winter, the world is beginning to thaw out just a bit and things are slowly coming back to life. Other than losing one very treasured hour of sleep to daylight savings time, I am absolutely giddy about its official arrival in just a couple of weeks.

Each year I relish the return of the many symbols of springtime – April showers, May flowers, Easter Sunday, green grass, and beautiful butterflies. Three of the things I get most excited about in the spring are longer days, my birthday and drum roll please… SANDALS!

Oh yes, Spring is one of my favorite seasons for fashion, and sandals are high atop my list of favorite fashion symbols. I’ve already been perusing the aisles of my favorite local DSW store in search of the perfect first pair of the season sandals. So far nothing has tickled my fancy, but it’s still early. I’m guessing selection will pick up greatly in the next week or so, just in time for the first day of spring on March 20th. In the meantime, I thought it’d be fun to share a few honorable mentions with you today.

Starting things off with my favorite of the bunch. Vince Camuto_blk wht tan

Nine West has been quite a dependable shoe brand for years. Today, their shoes aren’t always the leader of the cute pack when placed up against designers like Vince Camuto, but I can still find something I like in their stores. This one is pretty cute, don’t you think? 

Nine West_strappy blk cage

Looks like straps and buckles are in this spring and summer. Not too sure how I feel about that yet, but this little brown number by Obsession Rules is pretty cute. Obsession Rules_brown

Vince Camuto makes a second appearance in this line-up, and that’s probably because I just really like this designer. And this little black number could easily go from business casual to dressy casual in the same day. The platform looks like it would make for a pretty comfy transition, too. 

Vince Camuto_blk casual cute

And last but certainly not least… I know this lady isn’t a sandal, but I had to include her in mix. Out of all the aisles I walked and all the shoes I saw, this beauty stole my heart. When I peeped the price tag I just whispered, “Well, that figures.” 🙂 This Rachel Rachel Roy is sporting about four different designs and textures in her leather with an added metal bonus on the heel. Some might call it too much, but I can just picture her pointed toe stepping out from underneath a pair of quality black dress slacks or a little black dress that politely allows the criss cross ankle strap to steal the show. Whatever you choose to wear it with, this shoe is definitely one that must be seen and not hidden.

Rachel Rachel Roy

I believe we should take pride in our appearance and do our best to be presentable, fashionable and just cute at all times. Whether we like it or not (or even think it’s fair), we are often judged by our appearance. And toss aside what others think, I don’t know about you, but I just plain feel better when I feel pleased with my appearance – when I feel like my clothes compliment my curves, my hair is in place and my feet are fashionable.

So you say you’re not into fashion? Well, guess what. You don’t have to be a follower of mainstream designers to sport your own style. After all, the best thing about making a fashion statement is it’s absolutely your statement to make. You can watch the runways and fashion mags for cues OR NOT. It’s totally your choice. Just try some things on for size and comfort and personality to build your own fashion identity.

And just remember, cute sandals most certainly ALWAYS do their part to step any outfit up a notch. Above all else, have fun. It’s springtime. Go. Be. Fashionable.

I adore sundresses and can be quoted as saying I’ll wear sandals until Jack Frost is nipping at my toes. What is your favorite spring/summer fashion item?

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Girl’s Eye Review: Clothes Hound Boutique

It’s happened one too many times. I’ve stepped out in my carefully selected outfit of cuteness and bumped right into another sister who’d obviously been just as careful and selected to wear the exact brand of cuteness I was wearing. NOT COOL! True, greater crimes have been committed than sharing the same great taste as I. I totally get that. But what’s a girl wishing to establish her unique fashion identity without breaking her budget to do?

I have always dreamed of being a boutique shopper, but I used to think boutiques were a fashion luxury I simply couldn’t afford. Quite possibly years ago that was true, but thankfully I’m finding that’s not so today. Today, if you love to look uniquely beautiful (like I certainly do) and doing so on a budget brings you unspeakable joy, there are quite a few boutiques to satisfy every budget. I’m here to help you find them.

Boutique Peek: Clothes Hound, Raleigh, NC

“I want people to feel like they’re coming over to their girlfriend’s house or shopping their girlfriend’s closet…” – Bryce Batts, owner/operator

Girlfriends, if you’re in or around the vicinity of Raleigh, North Carolina you must make it your business to take a look-see into the area’s fresh new fashion closet called Clothes Hound. Recently, I had the pleasure of hanging out with the boutique’s Senior Fashionista (that’s my fashion speak for owner/operator), Bryce Batts, in her store for A Girl’s Eye View Boutique Peek.  Here’s the skinny (not jeans) on what I learned:

Who: Bryce Batts, Senior Fashionista (owner, operator)

What: Clothes Hound

Where: Raleigh, North Carolina (North Raleigh to be exact)

When: Clothes Hound opened its doors in June 2011. Bryce is gearing up for her big 1 year anniversary. I can’t say for sure, but she hinted toward a celebration complete with sweets treats and maybe even a few sale signs. 🙂

Why: Because it’s in her blood!! Ok, so those are my words, not hers. Here’s what she had to say about why she opened a clothing boutique: I’ve always, always had an interest in fashion [and] retail, and I always wanted to have a store. My parents are entrepreneurs, and it’s just something I was always interested in.” See! I told you. IN. HER. BLOOD.

The Merch: 10% of Clothes Hound’s merchandise is from local designers (now isn’t that cool), but Clothes Hound keeps it diverse, featuring fashion from Australian designers and Canadian designers, as well. Outside of the Tarheel state, from around the good ol’ U.S. of A., Bryce brings in wares from trailblazing fashion locales like Los Angeles and New York City.

When asked whether or not she is a designer, Bryce commented, “No, I wish I was that creative.” Believe me; she definitely played her modesty card there, because as I dug a little deeper I found her creative juices splashed all over the layout and design of the store.

So, I know you’re wondering where the name came from. Well, it all started with Bryce reading an US Weekly magazine article that referenced the Olsen twins (Mary Kate and Ashley) as “clothes hounds.” Stitch to that her love for dogs, and the creative play on words made for a perfect boutique fit.

Clothes Hound is big on customer service, and it shows. Bryce and her team enjoy responding to the needs and requests of their customers, and they do a super job connecting with them on Twitter, Facebook and through great blog posts on the Clothes Hound website. Speaking of websites: if you don’t live in the North Carolina area, never fear. Your fresh, unique new fashion find is just a click away, and you can start by clicking right here.

Click here to see the dress (don’t forget to check out the rear view to get the FULL view) I went home with. And this precious owl ring was more than worth the trip. When he’s not perched on one of my fingers he’s keeping watch over my necklace tree. 😀

“Contemporary, on trend, but still affordable” is how Bryce describes the styles you’ll fall in love with at Clothes Hound, and I found this to be right on the mark.  But don’t take my word for it. You’ll have to sneak a peek at this boutique yourself. Try Clothes Hound on for size, and tell them A Girl’s Eye View sent you.