Inspired By

via Fashion Toast

I hope y'all enjoyed your respective weekends as much as I did. Friday and Saturday could not have been nicer, with temps in the high seventies and nothing but sun in the sky.

Our glorious weather is due to come to a screeching halt in T-minus 24 hours, but I'm still pretending that it's April and I can wear shorts and peep toes again.

I had time over the weekend to pour over some of my favorite sites and magazines for my latest lookbook. I'm currently trying to decide in which direction to take my spring wardrobe, (i.e. what to donate, what to keep and what to send to the dumpster), so I was hoping to garner some inspiration online to guide my decisions. I walked away from the computer both confused and elated at the possibilities that a new season and new collections bring...

via Celine

via Fashion Toast

via Cover Magazine

via Cover Magazine
Kate Moss photographed by Juergen Teller

via Fashion Toast
via Chloe Spring 2011

Where do you get your inspiration for your wardrobe each season?

Be blessed, lovelies-


Is There Nicotine in Sonic Hot Chocolate?

Let's get down to brass task, eh? First thing's first, we have a winner of the Charli Girls giveaway and her name is CeCe from Frugalista Getting Married. She chose the Godet Cardigan and the Linen Cardigan, (which I totally would've picked if I'd won...just sayin), valued at $260!

Y'all give her a semi-forced round of applause (kind of like the Runners-Up do at the Miss America pageant when you know they wanted to win, but totally didn't ; ) Seriously though, CeCe, enjoy your prizes! You are beautiful and will more than do justice to these clothes ; )

Moving right along........

I have completely foregone my beloved Starbucks lattes, but don't cry for me Argentina! I did a little simple math the other day and, in addition to getting a migraine headache, discovered that my $5 a day gourmet caffeine habit was costing me more per year than I spend on my gym membership. Oh irony.

Sewwww, I have switched to a much cheaper and less calorie laden seasonal beverage (enter, hot chocolate) from my local Sonic and I'm already hooked. I crave them, have dreams about them and might want to marry them if I wasn't already committed to S.

 If you live in the South where we're lucky enough to have Sonic Drive-Ins, go getcha some. If you don't, my condolences.

My girls at Maude Boutique posted some new pics the other day of recent arrivals to the store. Why oh why must they have such ridiculously cute merchandise all the time? My body and closet love it, but my wallet...eh, not so much.

Luckily, everything there is super affordable, which is why I go often. Just doing my part to support the local economy in Northwest Arkansas.

I had a request the other day to start doing an Outfit of the Week post. I'm not sure what I wear on a daily basis is that noteworthy, but my weekend wear is a tick better, so I'd be glad to give it a shot. Except when it's "that time of the month" because I'm all puffy and preggers looking. That will be my "bye" week.

Maybe I'll start incorporating it into my Trend Watch Wednesday posts? To be continued....

Y'all take care this weekend.

Be blessed, lovelies-


This, That and the Other

image via - I kind of want to emulate this photo in an upcoming outfit...hmmmm

Oh heavens, did I dream this or is today really Thursday? If so, let us breathe a collective sigh of relief.

For newcomers, (we seem to have quite a few of y'all here lately, which is beyond cool), every Thursday I like to expel all of my random thoughts on life that I've had during the week. Some are poignant (and by some I mean almost none), some are ridiculous, and a few are downright strange. But it is what it is.

Care to join me for some randomness?

1. Let's talk about HAIR! Styles that somehow got left out of yesterday's hair-tastic post. I also love these two 'do-s a lot. A whole, whole lot:

via Elle.com's 21 days of Hairstyles

And for some reason, though it could potentially result in a disaster, I do not hate this. Hmmm...

via Elle.com

2. Do any of you watch Modern Family? Oh, you really should! This show never ceases to make me pee my pants laughing (ok, not really, but almost!) Did anyone watch the re-run last night where Mitchell participates in the flash mob dance and Cameron gets upset about it? "You're cheating on me with choreography and that's the worst kind!"= best quote ever. Comedy.

3. Do you guys ever put up pics or status updates on FB and people you haven't talked to in like 10 years or peeps you only met once comment? Does anyone else find this amusing? I'm like, "I think we talked once at a marketing conference and you're commenting on photos of my engagement ring??"...Weird and kind of funny : )

4. Has anyone seen True Grit? S and I saw it last Saturday and LOVED it. Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn is just brilliant. On a similar note, have any of you seen The King's Speech? Did you like it? We're thinking about going this weekend, so I was just curious...

5. Thanks for being awesome. Y'all really are.

Be blessed, lovelies-


Trend Watch Wednesday: {Mane Event}

Models walk the runway at Richie Rich Spring '11
Hi Girls and Guys!

For all of the new readers here, we usually take time out on Hump Day to do some trend watching, hence the name Trend Watch Wednesday or TWW, as it's called around these parts ; )

It's still a few months before spring officially hits, so wearing thin blouses and shorty shorts is out of the question right now (hello 27 degrees!) Howevs, I thought we'd take a look at some hair trends for the warmer months that you can start wearing right now. Many of the same trends that were big last fall are still going to be hot this spring, so keep your teasing combs, ladies!

The Hair Up There

At shows like Richie Rich and Diesel, models clomped down the runway with teased-out-to-there tresses, giving a nod to one hair trend that never ever goes out of style: volume. Coiffed bouffants and beehives, as well as extreme pompadours reached new heights and spectators ran to the nearest drug store to pick up their rat tail combs.

Messy Jessie

Messy, bed-head waves ruled the catwalks at shows like Cynthia Steffee and Thakoon. The undone look has never been so soft or chic, so don't be afraid to give your 'do a little muss before you walk out the door in the morning.

Woven Locks

Remember last summer when braids were all the rage? Well, you might want to brush up on your fishtailing technique, because plaits are back again. Behnaz Sarafpour and Georges Chakra featured braided manes in their shows and critics loved it.

One Sided

Another resounding favorite hair trend of the spring '11 collections was the severe side part. DKNY, Lacoste and Prabal Gurung used the side part to showcase the voluminous necklines and structured collars of their runway looks.

Oh So Low

Catwalkers at Carlos Miele and Carolina Herrera rocked low ponytails; a throwback to some of the spring collections of years past.

I'm With the (Head) Band

Design houses like Rag & Bone accentuated ragamuffin styling by utilizing black bands atop messy updos. At shows like Vena Cava, there was a distinct '70s vibe with winding rolled scarves over updos. One word: LOVE.

Pray tell, what do you think of the hairstyles for spring? Got a fav?

P.S.- All photos courtesy of Marie Claire! Pick up the latest issue if you have a chance...it's good!

Be blessed, lovelies-


Pink, Blue and Gold, Too!

I was flipping through sites online last week and stumbled upon these gorgeous photos from the spring 2011 campaign for Blumarine's latest Blugirl line. The pink, blue, hot red and gold were almost too much to stand, and I mean that in a good way.

With model Leah de Warvin carrying the campaign, this line is bound to sell. I mean, it sold me almost immediately. Gaw...perfection.

all images via Blumarine

This playful and flirty photo spread makes me want to don some pink and blue and paint my nails fire engine red.

And, um, not that I'm biased or anything, but I love that they featured a blonde : ) We do have more fun after all...ha!

I positively die over the Blugirl line, howevs, my budget doesn't always allow me to spend $400 on a dress, (and I have a feeling I'm not alone.) Don't be afraid to create your own "inspired by" look with less expensive items from other retailers. I did below:

(Clockwise from top left); Kate Spade Licorice in Pink Suede, MAC lipglass in Steal My Heart; Joan & David Flipp heel; Wanda Dress by Jones and Jones via Topshop; Polka Dot Animal Coat Hook from ModCloth

Does this campaign make you swoon as much as it does me?

Be blessed, lovelies-

This is Her Story: {Kellie}

Hey girls! Today's "This is Her Story" is a bit more serious, but I felt completely compelled to share this incredible and important story with all of you out there. Kellie came to me a few weeks ago when I asked for "This is Her Story" entries. After reading her email, I knew this is one story that had to be told.

I hope you are all as moved by precious Kellie's post below as much as I was. Without further adieu, here's my girl, Kellie:

A million Thank You’s to Leslie for being gracious enough to share the stories of these fabulous and inspiring women. While I’m new to her blog, Leslie’s heart is so visibly in the right place-she is truly a gem. For her kindness and generosity, I am very thankful.

When I first read about Leslie’s new feature, “This is Her Story”, I felt an immediate pull to share my mom’s story. My mom, Laurie, is not only my best friend, but also one of the 72,000+ people in the United States actively waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.

My mom was ill through much of my childhood, suffering from what at the time was somewhat of a mysterious illness. There were many hospital stays (especially during stressful times in life, like Christmas), lots of testing-just a lot of confusion about what was going on with her health. She was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in the mid 1990’s, and for a short time, was able to improve her quality of life through medication and diet.

Kellie (right) and her mom Laurie, baking up a storm in the kitchen

Several years after the Ulcerative Colitis diagnosis, we learned that despite a 2:1 male to female predilection, and only a 5% chance of occuring, that my mom was also suffering from an autoimmune disease (a predecessor of Ulcerative Colitis), called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. This was a much more dire diagnosis, as the only long-term treatment is liver transplantation.

For the past five years or so, I’ve watched my mom’s health steadily decline. She suffers from an array of life-altering side effects directly related to PSC ; most prevalent are jaundice, severe itching, painful abdominal swelling, pancreatitis and chronic fatigue. Though she is on a reduced work schedule, she must continue working despite her advanced liver failure to make ends meet financially.

Through all of this, my mom’s spirit and heart have persevered in a way that amazes everyone around her. Despite never feeling well, and a future that is unknown, she is able to continue smiling and laughing, providing emotional support to my sisters, dad and I. At a time when we should all be lifting her up as much as we can, she continues to be the heart and rock in our family.

Laurie (second from left) and Kellie (far right) pause for a pic with family members.

With certain factors of her disease, the reality of my mom ever making it to the top of the waiting list for the full liver we so desperately need is at best grim. Her team of transplant doctors at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minnesota) has advised that we begin the search for a live donor. Given the damage a failing organ and PSC can cause, we must act as quickly as possible. Waiting too long would increase the likelihood of different cancers and the possibility of missing the window for transplantation.

We are asking that anyone who is between 18 and 55, O+ or O- in blood type and who is open to the thought of live donation to contact us to begin the screening process. The search for a viable donor is incredibly challenging, but we feel confident that someone will step forward and save our family.


If anyone out there feels compelled to learn more about the screening process for donors or just to offer an encouraging word or prayers to Kellie and her family, you can email today's author at kellie.koppes@gmail.com.

Be blessed, lovelies-


Made You Blush

Hi, howdy and hello...welcome back from 'le weekend.

Lately, I can't help but notice all of the pale blush tones sweeping the fashion world. Like the dresses of Emma Jones and Claire Danes at the Golden Globes last weekend, peachy pinks, roses, tans and nudes will be de riguer this spring.

Vince Camuto Norda; Steve Madden Mercyy; Marc Jacobs 615976; Elizabeth and James Mazi; Hive & Honey Genne; Jessica Simpson Brinna
collage by A Blonde Ambition (please seek permission for re-use)
 I'm not especially wild about the Day-Glo neon shades that will also be popular in the coming months, so this color trend is like a breath of fresh, flowery air.

Cream Cornelli Neck Dress from Topshop; Cream Tassel Sleeveless Blouse from Topshop; Apricot Double Ruffle Tunic from Topshop

Nude Curly Ruffle Mesh Push-up Bra from Topshop; Balm in Sheen from Topshop; Street Level 103 Clutch; Nails in Hide and Seek
above collages by A Blonde Ambition- (please seek permission before re-use)

Some tips for wearing blushes and nudes:

-If you're pale, go for rosey hues and pinks. If you're olive, peachy corals and nudish tans are the way to go.

-If you're wearing a blush colored dress, go for a gold shoe. It will contrast nicely with the lightness of the dress but is easier on the eye than a heavy black shoe.

-Gold jewelry goes best with all shades of blush. Steer clear of silver- go for the gold.

Are all things coming up rosey for you this spring?

Be blessed, lovelies-


Viva 'La Weekend

Not relevant to post...but how fun is this?
via FGR

I don't usually blog on giveaway days, save for football season when my Hogs are playing and I feel the need to give pre-Saturday encouragement. But alas, I can't stand to send y'all off with no parting words of wisdom for the weekend. Sewwwwww.....blogging it is!

How 'bout that giveaway this morning? (I feel like I sound like my dad, "How 'bout them Saints?"...our family likes NOLA.) I was pretty pouty that I will not get to partake in the goodness of Charli Girls too, but that's how the blog giveaway cookie crumbles.

...and speaking of cookies, I'm PMS-ing and that sounds superb right now. Know any fabulous online recipes y'all would like to share? I mean, Bakerella and PW are always golden when it comes to delish, calorie-laden treats.

But maybe I'll bake these instead of cookies:

Holy mother of Snickers...

I saw this recipe on Kevin and Amanda and thought, "Hmmmm, that's just what my hips need!" If y'all all lived close I'd invite you over for one tomorrow afternoon when I bake. But my apartment is small and there's only one potty and parking can be tricky at my complex. So, instead I'll just describe how it tastes in great detail Monday, m'kay?

In case you live under a boulder, you probably know that Kelly is doing her latest installment of Show Us Your Singles over at her place today. I feel like one of those spokespeople on an infomercial, "It worked for me and trust me, it will work for you too!"...but no, for serious, if you are single or know a great soul that is, go over there and enter them. I found my fiance hanging out in space #32 last summer : )

I can assure you, you will get tired of this pic.

My e-Style queue is filling up for February, but I still have 2 spots left. If you want an e-Style, send me an email and let me know! (Or send your fellas over there and tell them it's your early Valentine's Day present.)

Y'all have a happy weekend.

Be blessed, lovelies-


Big Slice 'O Random

Thursdays have unofficially turned into the day when I spill all of my random thoughts onto 'Ye Olden Laptop (it's a 2006 Gateway with Vista...yeah, I like to stay ahead of the curve...)

This week, the following thoughts have crossed my mind:

1. My soon-to-be niece created a new hair accessory for herself the other night out of a gummie vitamin.

photo via Adventures in Ava-land

This got me to thinking about the time I put a piece of corn (yes, as in "from the cob") up my nose when I was 3. Just for the hey of it. I mean, I've never particularly liked corn and thought my nostrils were a much more well-suited environment for it than my plate.

I remember my mom being very flustered and worried that it wouldn't come out with the tweezers. She also missed a Tupperwear party because she and my dad were busy extracting said corn from my wee little nose. This is why I had flashbacks when I read my future SIL's post about Ava the other night.

2. Do y'all watch the trainwreck otherwise known as Bridalplasty?

Ok, so I love this hot mess. I'm really rooting for Janessa, even though she is as mean as a snake (as my Memaw would say.) Anyone who goes that far out of her way to kill the competition, deserves all the lipo and collagen injections she wants.

3. My attempt to get my Christmas tree down by the second week in January has been a massive fail. Yup, she's still standing right where she was on December 25, 2010. I'm thinking about keeping it up 'til February 14, which is the next major holiday. Makes sense, right?

4. Ok, so a rather funny (and slightly inappropriate) email chain went around my office yesterday discussing what we thought Amy Winehouse carried in her hair poof.

My bets? A fifth of Jack Daniels, carton of Marlboro Reds and some sort of emergency contraceptive.


5. I'm not particularly a veil kind of bride. I don't like fussy things and to me, a veil (although classic and beautiful) would add yet another layer of stress to my day. I like this alternative, the Ban Do headband and head piece. Carrie Underwood actually ordered hers here for her wedding last year!

I love each of these equally and immensely:

What say you on this chilly Thursday?

Be blessed, lovelies-

Cakes and Veils and Venues- Oh My!

via Canvas and Canopy

Hello beautiful blog friends! Hope everyone's Wednesday is just peachy ; ) I realize we usually do TWW on hump day, but I just wasn't feeling any of the "trends" on my radar this week...even fashion has its lulls, I suppose.

Now that the engagement hooplah is starting to die down a bit, I'm beginning to realize just how much there is to do! I may need to change my blog name to "One Clueless Bride", ha!

I have a small confession to make; as much as I've always dreamed of finding my soulmate and starting a family of my own, I've never really pondered my wedding. I've just never been that girl. I just figured it would take a miracle from God to even find a husband, so never in my wildest dreams did I think I would actually be planning my own wedding anytime within the next century.

S is such a dear and he really does want to be fully involved in this planning process, so I know he'll be a huge help. But let's face it, there are certain details that only a woman can handle. I mean, I seriously doubt he'll be as pumped as I am to shop for monogrammed napkins and table decorations : ) Men tend to be indifferent about those types of deets.

Thus far, I have made a BIG HONKIN LIST of what needs to be done. That's where my Type A personality begins when faced with a huge project. To me, whenever life gets stressful, make a list and check it twice thrice.

Other than making said BIG HONKIN LIST, I've managed to choose my shoes. Not actually purchase them, just pick them out. Purchasing them means I've committed to footwear and my tastes could change completely by September  : )

Committing to the man? Easy peasy. Committing to the shoes? Eeesh.

But as of today, I'm loving these beauties by Badgley Mischka:

Badgley Mischka "Oliver" shoe in navy...my "something blue"
 Additionally, we have chosen our photographer. Meet the awesomesauce known as Jeremy Cavness. Check out his website and you'll be inspired to get your "picture made" too : ) We heart him and can't wait to see his genius handiwork. You can see a couple of his shots from former engagement/wedding sessions below:

by Jeremy Cavness

by Jeremy Cavness

by Jeremy Cavness

by Jeremy Cavness

And finally, we've also chosen our colors. We actually did that eons ago...(read: 2 weeks ago). We've chosen steely blue-gray and ebony, with bone white accents.

Altogether now....OOOOOO....AHHHHHHH.

Now what's left:
-Pick a cake
-Start our pre-wedding couple's marriage classes at church and meet with our mentor couple
-Reserve the reception venue
-Book a honeymoon
-Get the bridesmaids dresses chosen (luckily, I do have the actual bridesmaids selected!)
-Get our wedding bands
-Choose our flowers and decor for the church and venue
-Arrange a rehearsal dinner and hotel accomodations for our guests
-Register (now THIS we're pumped about)

...and oh-so-much-more!

Ok, here's where you ladies are going to come into play:

I need help. If you have planned your own wedding, your friend's wedding or your dog's wedding, please send me any advice you have! Single ladies, if you've been planning your future wedding, feel free to send your ideas, too!!

How did you stay organized during the planning process?
What websites or magazines were most helpful?
Did you have a director for the ceremony?
How far in advance did you mail invitations?
Did you do "Save the Dates"?

Please help, y'all!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go divide my BIG HONKIN LIST into several, categorized smaller lists.

It's how I roll.

Be blessed, lovelies-