January 28, 2010

Girl crush.

Oh girl, you be lookin' so good. Photo courtesy of ABC.

Usually, TV's not really my "thing." (Check that--news or CMT or Gossip Girl, I watch.) However, this past summer, dear Sloanie coaxed me in to my first screening of The Bachelor, and BAM--I was hooked. Between the drama, eye-rolling cheesiness, ballin' dream dates, and guys that just KEEP taking their shirts off, it makes for good 'ole TV.

You can bet I'm not missing an episode of The Bachelor this season. 

And while Jake totally has more whiny girl moments than me (I'll take my fellas a tad scruffy, thankyouverymuch), someone has caught my eye: Precious Corrie Adamson, the Auburn grad/stylist that has glided into the top 5 is just so adorable!

And get this--girl's got a blog. So if like me, your budget doesn't allow for Ms. Adamson to raid your closet (lemme graduate first), we can glean some stylish insight.

And that deserves a big War Eagle, Hey.

January 27, 2010

More Bling for Your Buck

Photo courtesy of {this is glamorous}.

Navigating the counters of faceted gems and jewels is slightly intimidating--which makes closing in on a 'deal' seem nearly impossible. We spoke with experts at Bromberg's Fine Jewelers, Barton-Clay Jewelers, Levy's Fine Jewelry, and Sanders Jewelry to find out their go-to tips on how to get the most bling for your buck...

{on a personal note, here's the most adorable tip I learned from Sperry Snow, Barton-Clay's resident Southern gentleman.}

"I'm traditional and I like for the girl to be surprised," Snow said. "I tell boys, 'Tell her your parents want you to pick out a nice watch as a graduation present, and you need her help picking it out.' If he brings her in, 9 times out of 10 that girl winds up over here looking at the engagement rings." Thus her style preference is less elusive and get an idea for what she wants."

Baha. Brilliant. And girls will be girls, apparently. I know I would.

January 25, 2010

Moore and Giles Leather Goods

Head over to The Love List to see my guest blog about Moore and Giles!
When the going gets rough, a Southerner gets going. That's how Donald Grame Moore handled losing his job during the heart of the Great Depression. Since its 1933 founding in Lynchburg, Moore and Giles leathers now grace some of the most prestigious and artfully designed interiors in the world.

Polished, timeless, and like any good Southerner, maybe a tad rugged 'round the edges--these bags exude enduring allure. Leather has long been an icon of style and sophistication, and the mission of Moore and Giles is to reveal its inherent beauty and preserve the natural character.

Photos courtesy of Melanie Rebsamen and Brooks Morrison at Moore and Giles.

Continue reading my guest blog on The Love List...

January 22, 2010

Planning ahead.

Last semester of college = final glory days of living in a sorority house.

And in my (premature) future-apartment-planning mindset, I'm like a cat distracted by shiny objects when I see pretty interiors. Take these from 25-year-old designer Ryan Korban. They're polished and traditional yet allow for lots of personality. I'm in love--these were promptly drug to the "Future Apt" folder on my desktop.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Korban.

Yeaaahhh. Cause an entry-level journalism career probably has a lot of wiggle room in the budget for things like orchids and art work.

January 21, 2010

Alabama Boy

So what does being a Southern man mean to you?

"It means everything. We have better manners. The other day, this lady's umbrella blew away, and it just made sense to go and get it for her. Some men forget that."
- Channing Tatum, InStyle magazine

Preach it, Chan.

January 19, 2010

Smart Shopping: How to Get a Deal

Head over to Saving Money & Loving Life to see my guest blog for my two entrepreneurial/role model sorority sisters.

Like the sweet sounds that Chicago belts out, Carrie Bradshaw, "you're the inspiration."

When Heather approached me about a guest blog about saving money on fashion, I think my head cocked to the side. You see, I'm a more, um, how do you say..."sacrificial" buyer. 

   Example thought process:
   Spring Break 2009. Saks dressing room.
   My mind: "Ashlyn. So you really want these Hudson jeans?"
   Me: "Um, DUH. Did you just hear Sloan?" (she's my bestie)
   My mind: "Yup. She wore up and down they made your butt look awesome."
   Me: "Yeeaaahhh. Sooo...."
   My mind: "Done. I just hope you enjoyed your last supper here on spring break. No more eating."

The good news is, I'm growing up. Be it the copy of "Financial Peace" by Dave Ramsey my Grandfather gave me for Christmas, or just the fact that I can't be a 4-year-old with money any more, I'm getting better. Sacrificial spending is no way to live, especially when great deals are honestly, not that hard to find. 

Frugal Fashionista. Drop everything. Click through this blog. Piece of cake, huh?
The Budget Babe. Repeat above instructions.
TJ Maxx. Never underestimate the Teej. The bigger the city, the better the selection. Stock up on Lilly Pulitzer sundresses, Juicy Couture flats, BCBG heels, and Calvin Klein dresses.
ModCloth. Check out the under $50 dress section. All a little "Anthropologie," in my opinion, perfect frocks to carry you through church, sorority formal, and game day.

All above dresses under $50. Photos courtesy of ModCloth.com.
Lulu's. Similar to ModCloth.
Forever 21.
Charlotte Russe.
Etsy. This open marketplace boasts everything from frocks to baubles, to precious aprons that would be perfect for Supper Club night.
Aprons made by Rosewater Kitchen are $26.
Web. Overstock.comBluefly.com
** If you're serious about fashion, consider joining sample sale websites, where you'll get the heads up on Kate Spade, Tibi, Burberry, and more at unreal prices. Gilt Group, Rue La La, and Haute Look are a few of the favorites. If you need memberships, just shoot me an email!

Forever 21. I'm a pearls-watch-and-same-two-bracelets-everyday girl, but for a Saturday night out, Forever 21 is always dependable. Try this necklace ($5.80) with a LBD and sky-high stilettos. Cough*Yurman*Cough.
Girlprops. .You're a Southern girl. You've got pearls. But sometimes, you need just a little bit bigger studs. Enter Girlprops 12-pack of pearls for $3.99.
Fred Flare. Just don't be distracted by the shiny objects.

Sephora. Head on over during January for a free skin consultation and product recommendation/samples.
The Cosmetic Company Outlet. If you've got a spring jaunt to Destin planned, hop into this store (it's next to J. Crew). Bobby Brown, MAC, Clinique--all major price-slashed.
T. J. Maxx. Perfume. That's all I gotta say. Okay, I'll also add that's where I get my Tom Ford Black Orchid, Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, etc. Wow. I feel like I just bore my soul.
Elle's Counter Culture page. Top dermatologists and makeup artists peruse the aisles of Target and WalMart, tossing the best cheap products your way. 
Elle's February Counter Culture column points out the best your local drug store has to offer.
Web. TheFairest.com (Another sample sale site. I can give you a membership, shoot me and email!) BeautySteals.com

Other tips...
Sign up for email lists for your favorite stores--you'll be the first they alert when the sale section is updated.
Use ShopStyle.com to tailor your search, example: Black, pumps, size 7, $20-$50.

Where do you go to get a deal? 

January 15, 2010

Happy 101

Thanks, Elizabeth and Grace in Her Step for tagging me! So I think I now list 10 things that make me happy...

Award Rules:
1. List 10 things that make you happy.
2. Tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day.
3. If you are one of the 10 bloggers awarded, link back to this blog, and pass it along.

1 :: Moments every day when the Lord reminds me that when the world is falling out from underneath me, I'll be found in Him still standing.

2 :: The Pebbles {My 5 besties. How'd we get the name? The Wise Camilla said, "God is my rock, but y'all are my pepples. Aww, shucks.}

3 :: Alpha Delta Pi {Yeahyeahyeah, I know, sappy. But to me, this sorority is more than chanting Pi, Pi, ADPi during rush--they are the net to catch me here at Samford. "We live for each other and for Alpha Delta Pi."}

4 :: Toes in sand, Lilly bathing suit on, waves crashing, and skin warm. Then Bud & Alley's or The Red Bar. Done and done.

5 :: Live music. Correction: DANCING to live music. From Charleston bars to Destin digs, just give me a beat and I'm bouncin'.

6 :: Sundresses + cowgirl boots. Or Jack Rogers.

7 :: Tailgating on the rolling plains of Auburn.

8 :: These ballets - Giselle, Romeo & Juliet, Swan Lake, Serenade, Western Symphony. {True, I haven't been a company member since '06. But I proudly retain my slightly snobbish "ballet is the basis of all dance" mentaility proudly. Go ahead, try me. I'll even wiggle my scarred 10 toes to prove it.}

9 :: Sweet little Montgomery, Alabama. It's family.

10 :: New York City {First trip: an entire summer studying ballet at Joffrey at age 14. Last trip: showing God's love to the roughest parts of Brooklyn and Spanish Harlem. From the glitz to the grime, I ADORE this city and the people that inhabit it.}

Buckhead Belle
The Modern Traditionalist
Starfish and Sundresses
All That Inspires
A Day in the Life, My World, & The People in It
Something Beautiful
Let the Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore
A Trip Down South
Southern Gent
Living the Dream

Note to those tagged: The blog gods will probably throw lighting at me, but I have seen some writers not include the award picture when reposting this. I dunno. It may mess with your aesthetic. Plus, I tagged some guys and that gingham is super June Cleaver.

January 13, 2010

58 Days 'til Spring Break

As my dream life involves trotting up and down the isle of Manhattan, I usually (cough*make myself*cough) greet the cold with a "this is nothin'" kind of attitude.

Not so much this year.

My chilled fingers aren't texting well. My teeth are chattering. The seat warmers in my car are my new BFF. And um, I live in Alabama.

Spring Break = 58 days away. There's snow in Florida and we're confused in Alabama. But you can bet, as good as our Northern counterparts are with driving through the drifts, we can handle spring/summer/fall humidity like champs. Dear SB10, my closet and I are ready for your presence.

January 12, 2010

Get Up, Samford University

Dear Michael,
If you ever want to make a buck, I will pay to see this performed.
Love, Ashlyn

p.s. I swear I think I had a caf crush on you freshman year. But I can't exactly remember that long ago. There were a lot.

This is why Samford U is legit--kids leave and do stuff like this.

January 11, 2010

Mac & Murphy, a Charleston Paper Haven

Head over to The Love List to see my guest blog about mac & murphy--in usual The Love List style, you can enter for a giveaway!

The mac & murphy storefront looks out onto 74.5 Canon Street.

Tucked on a street deep in the Lowcountry is a paper shop as charming and gently sophisticated as the city in which it resides. mac & murphy swung open it's Charlestonian door in May 2009 with a grand opening fĂȘte fit for the fabulous owners, Ami and Liz. The Love List spoke with the duo about their inspiration and how mac & murphy stands out among the paper set and captures the Charleston spirit.

"Our reason for opening mac & murphy was to provide a fresh take on the classic courtesy that makes Charleston and the South proud. "

- Ami Murphy

To read the rest of my post and enter the giveaway for this Linda & Harriett stationery, click here.

January 9, 2010

Whistlin' Dixie

Photo courtesy of Kelly Braden.

The Southern lifestyle magazine I write for, MyScoop, boasts a brilliant new post: a listing of purely Alabama songs. Slight issue--the "Yea, Alabama" fight song was included. Now, I'm as proud of Dixieland as the next belle, but I HATE the university (lowercase) of Alabama. The first bars of that fight song make this Auburn girl's blood curdle. I found it flawless that they displayed the championship trophy at WalMart. Ha...

So, here's my Southern playlist.

It's a hybrid of the playlist that I've had for years and MyScoop's list. Whatcha think? What is on your list?

p.s. I'm sorry for what I said about UA. It's just hard to live in B'ham this week. I beg your sympathy.
  1. Dixieland Delight :: Alabama
  2. Song of the South :: Alabama {I mean, you knew they'd be on here more than once.}
  3. Sweet Home Alabama :: Lynard Skynard {Never. Gets. Old. If I get the band to play this at my wedding, does that make me a redneck?}
  4. Miss Magnolia :: Matt Costa {Bingo--that's where the blog title originated.}
  5. Oh, Susannah :: James Taylor & Johnny Cash
  6. Midnight in Montgomery :: Alan Jackson {As a wee Montgomerian, I used to get Mama to change the station when this came on because it was "scary." I can handle it now.}
  7. Southern State of Mind :: Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers {Yup, I play this erytime I cross over the Alabama River going home.}
  8. Sorority Girl :: Luke Bryan {We may or may not have morphed this into a rush song. Bhaha.Gooo ADPi!}
  9. Louisiana Saturday Night :: Benjy Davis Project
  10. Sweet Southern Moon :: Benjy Davis Project {Ah, young love. Add boys in SUV's, and I'm in.}
  11. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down :: The Band
  12. Take Me Home, Country Roads :: John Denver
  13. Carolina On My Mind :: James Taylor
  14. Auburn Fight Song/Insert Your Team's Song here. {Let's be politically correct little ladies, y'all.}
  15. If Heaven Ain't a Lot Like Dixie :: Hank Williams, Jr. {Shout out to a true Gumptown Baller.}
  16. Alabama Song (Whisky Bar) :: The Doors
  17. South On 65 :: Ryan Kinder {"Find a Southern girl, wants to rule the world..." Don't we all?}
  18. Magnolia Tree :: Drew Holcomb {I swear, if this song happened to me I could just scoot on to heaven.}
  19. Sweetness :: Drew Holcomb
  20. Something About a Southern Girl :: Amos Lee {By golly, I think he's got it!}
  21. Gin and Juice :: The Gourds {Great message, huh? But it's no band party without it. CoughCourtneyMcAlisterCough}
  22. Stars Fell on Alabama :: Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong {The guv'nah does his inagural ball first dance to this.}
  23. Georgia On My Mind :: Ray Charles {Rip my heart out. And I'm not even from there.}
  24. Welcome to Atlanta :: Ludacris {Yeah. And I'm not apologizing.}
  25. Ramblin' Man :: The Allman Brothers Band
  26. Angel From Montgomery :: Dave Matthews Band
  27. Pearls On a String :: Ryan Adams {That voice can describe a Southern Belle to me any 'ole day.}
  28. If I Could Do It Again :: Corey Smith
  29. 21 :: Corey Smith {Couldn't have been college without you, Cor. SB 'O6! And '07, and...}
  30. Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours :: Stevie Wonder {A classic on the Montgomery ball circuit in high school.}
  31. Domino :: Van Morrison {See #30. And Camilla, this will always remind me of you!}
  32. September :: Earth, Wind, & Fire {See #30. And Bec, this one has your name all over it.}
  33. Rich Girl :: Hall & Oates
  34. Who Do You Love? :: Bo Diddley {Thank you for rock and roll, Bo.}
  35. Carolina :: Eric Church {Melts me. Ha, Sloan and I sang this the whole way to Nashville this summer.}
  36. Love Your Love the Most :: Eric Church {If I weren't Southern, I'd roll my eyes at this song. Instead, it wins me over EVERY time.}

January 6, 2010

MAC, meet your new friend Lilly.

I adore Lilly Pulitzer a whole lot. We're talking, a chunk of my wardrobe could be similarly rocked (and probably is) by a 5-year-old. And I love it. I mean, doesn't every loud floral wearing kindergardener with a bow in hair radiate confidence? Yes. So I relive the glory days.

Anyway, I just don't know what to think about Lilly's new line for MAC:

A collaboration that feels like the best tongue-in-chic resort retort delivers that joyously bright and refined Key West bloom: new floral patterned Pearlmatte Eye Shadow and Face Powder, plus all the retro-modern colour combinations that Lilly is famous for.
-MAC Website

Some of those colors are awfully bright. I'm kinda a neutral girl myself. (Essie Ballet Slippers, anyone?) But I do have to say, that bronzer could be good news for my Snow White winter complexion.

But there's gotta be some appeal in my lips matching my Easter Dress, right?

Can't Help My Roots.

Photo courtesy of Pink Wallpaper.

Gotta love email forwards from Mama. Also gotta love inheriting the following mindset:

As a die hard Auburn fan, I recently had a co-worker who was a Bama fan lean into my office and ask me if I was going to cheer for Alabama in the National Championship. As they looked at the Auburn decor in my office, they informed me that I should always cheer for the SEC. As I pondered my response I finally came up with one:

I would have to say not "no" but "hell no." In fact, on the day of the National Championship I plan on waking up and eating some Tex-Mex food which would include Texas Toast dipped in Texas Pete hot sauce. Then I will sit down and watch episodes of Walker Texas Ranger on TV. Then I might rent the movie Texas Chainsaw Massacre. When I tire of that I will do the Texas Two-Step while listening to the band Little Texas singing my new favorite song, "Deep in the Heart of Texas". All while wearing the hat of my new favorite baseball team the Texas Rangers. I wouldnt cheer for Alabama if Charles Manson was playing for the other team. Hook 'em horns!

- Email circulating amongst diehard Tiger Fans

Yup, tomorrow I'm gonna be wearing orange. Lord knows I sure own enough. WAR EAGLE, HEY!

January 5, 2010

Something Radical

Photo courtesy of Becca Beers.

"If i find in myself desires nothing in this world can satisfy,
I can only conclude that I was not made for here."
-C. S. Lewis

As of 2:10 p.m. yesterday, I'm back in the 'Ham. Quite obvious by the absence of flat plains, which morphed into hazy rolling mountains on the drive up. My church here, Church at Brookhills, started on 01/01/2010 an experiment: a commitment to unite as a faith family and pray for the lost, the poor, the global church, to sacrifice of our money and time, and to read through God's word. The Radical Experiment, it's aptly dubbed.

It's got my mind reeling...
What will it take? What can I spare?
And what if what I am able to give more than I can simply spare...

The Radical Experiment is wide open--I urge you to look into joining me. Keep me accountable. I realize I've never really posted anything about my faith before. I originally wanted this blog to further my journalistic career, ha--and aren't you supposed to refrain from super personal info while job searching? But the thing is, my God is my everything. I'm commanded to become invisible for the sake of His magnificent glory.

For we are not made for here. Our time is but a breath, we'd better breathe it. And I, I was made to live, I was made to love. I was made to know You.
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