7.29.2011

One Year Later





On this very Friday only one year ago, my now-fiancee Stephen picked me up for what would be the last First Date of our lives.

We had spoken twice that week leading up to the Big First Date, both conversations lasting 2+ hours each. I already felt like I knew so much about him, but still had major butterflies because, let's face it, he's a hottie : )




I left work half an hour early to head home and start getting ready. I primped in the bathroom for 2 hours, making sure my dress was perfect, my hair was in place and my make-up was sweat proof and flawless.

He picked me up promptly at 7:00 p.m.....actually scratch that. He was 5 minutes early. Which, as Patty the Millionaire Matchmaker would say, is a good sign.

I'll never forget the way I felt when I first laid eyes on him. It was like 6 feet and 170 pounds of light and positivity walked through my front door. It was as if God said at that moment, "Screw all those bad dates and not-so-nice guys before. This is the one for you. It's your turn to be happy."

I was immediately comfortable and at ease, knowing full well he was a legitimate guy with good intentions.

We went out to dinner at Copeland's, a New Orleans style restaurant that's close to where we live. I really don't remember how the food tasted, the specials, or anything else about the restaurant. But I can tell you exactly what he wore, what he said and the way I felt staring at him from across the table.

We saw a movie after dinner and then he walked me up to my door at the end of the night. A perfect, southern gentleman. (The beauty of this date is in the details, but those memories are ours : )

Two days later, we were hanging out again, watching True Blood and playing with Ari (our dog) in the backyard.

We've never been apart since.

Did I know I'd marry him the moment I saw him? Yes. (And I've always made fun of people that said that.)

As I type this, it's amazing how my life has done a 180 in just 365 short days. We're only 50 days away from our wedding and sometimes I have to pinch myself to remember that this is reality. It's true what my mom (and Flannery O'Conner) always said - a good man is hard to find, but they're out there.


My favorite things about Stephen are his sense of humor, his wit, the way he can work a room full of people, his kindness, his love for God, the way he treats his momma, his honesty, his loyalty to the Chicago Cubs and the Arkansas Razorbacks, the way he treats his little niece Ava, the way he makes me feel pretty, (even when I'm wearing gym shorts and tennis shoes), his homemade spaghetti sauce, his dedication to our relationship....

In other words, I'm still smitten.

One year later.



P.S.- These babies popped up on my desk yesterday after I got back from lunch. Two dozen red roses polished off with white cala lillies for moi. He's spoiling me rotten!

Be blessed, lovelies-

7.28.2011

Arm Parties and Ink On My Face

1. My current favorite obsession is the Arm Party. See Exhibit A below:



I can’t get enough of the bangles lately. Oodles and oodles of bangles….bwhahahaha! (That’s my evil laugh.)

Go ahead…throw yourself an Arm Party.


2. A few of you peeps have asked about my jeans- what style I wear, brand, etc. Here, my dears, is your answer:

-Joe’s Jeans, Muse style (bootcut)

-Seven for All Mankind, Kaylie style(bootcut)

-Genetic Denim, Shane Skinny Faux Front (skinny)


I know what you’re all thinking. “Man Leslie, you look way better than that model with her 18 inch waist and perfectly tan tummy!”

I know, but I try to stay humble.

I’m sort of a jeans snob. If they’re cheaply made, I don’t touch ‘em. When it comes to denim, you ABSOLUTELY get what you pay for. I recently got rid of a pair of Citizens that I’ve owned since my SOPHOMORE year of college. They lasted forevs.

If it’s not one of those three brands above, I’m probably wearing a dress : )


3. Y’all.

My wedding diet has completely derailed over the course of the past week. Yikes-a-be! Mexican food, ice cream and pizza…oh my! Thankfully, my eating like a ravenous dog has only lasted the past 7 days or so, but MY WORD…I have got to get back on track.

I blame Aunt Flow and her awful, awful hormones and cravings that she brings me on the very last week of every month.


4. Would anybody that lives up North, possibly Canada, be willing to let me move in with them for the remainder of the summer? I’m a great houseguest and excellent shopping buddy and I’ll even pay rent. Because OH MY FREAKING GRACIOUS this heat is killing me. I’m so over Arkansas and it’s blistering summers, despite having lived here my entire life. I seriously cannot remember one quite as hot as we’re having right now.

My buddy Eunice and I went to Sonic for a drink break yesterday and the thermometer at the bank said 105. 105!!!!

Mother Nature, please, please give us some relief. If for no other reason, just so the guy below can be a little cooler during the day. His massive amount of fur is going to cause him to have a heat stroke.



5. I went three-fourths of my workday yesterday with a pen mark half-way down the side of my face.

Dunno when I got it, but I noticed it in the bathroom around 4:59 p.m. at work.

I thought the mailroom guy was staring at me because he thought I was hot.

In retrospect, he was staring at me because I had a ginormous streak of ink down the left side of my face.

I’m cool. Let this remind you all of that.


Be blessed, lovelies-

7.27.2011

Trend Watch Wednesday: {Rachel Gilbert}




Another day, another fashionable gal named Rachel.

What is it with these Rachels and their fabulous style?

Anywhoodle, I’m not exactly certain of why I hadn’t heard of Rachel Gilbert until very recently, but whatever the case, I’m glad we’re getting acquainted now. For the past few days, I’ve been swooning over every collection on her pretty, pretty website and wishing I had a spare $2,000 to spend on evening dresses.







Rachel’s work has been seen on such celebs as Guiliana Rancic and Taylor Swift, and on shows like Gossip Girl.



And you know you’re big timin’ it when GG features your dress.

You may also remember Princess Beatrice’s beautiful white gown at Kate and Will’s wedding back in April. Yup, that was a Rachel Gilbert, too!

Her trademark is luxurious embellishments and princess-style silhouettes on her dresses. Her necklines typically feature shiny gems, stitching and intricate bead work, making them truly one-of-a-kind.

And ‘spensive.

It’s darn near impossible to replicate such a uniquely made dress, but you CAN emulate her style for a fraction of the price.

These dresses from ASOS.com feature a few of the same cuts and embellishment work seen on Rach Gib’s gowns and the price tags are working-girl friendly.

TFNC Embellished One Shoulder dressFrench Connection Tiered Shift Dress

Drop Back Metal Maxi DressFrench Connection Precious Gem Maxi Dress

Cut-Out Shift Dress in Heart Applique, TFNC Deco Embellished Chiffon Dress

What say you about Rachel Gilbert? Are you as swept away by her glorious frocks as I am?

Be blessed, lovelies-

7.26.2011

Zoe-M-G

via Pinterest

Remember when QVC was kitschy and silly and no woman in her right mind under the age of 60 would admit to buying anything there? Like, when all they sold were Marie Osmond’s porcelain dolls and tacky cubic zirconia jewelry?

Well, dare we say, QVC has gone and gotten themselves quite the makeover.

Gone are the days of Thighmasters and ceramic knick-knacks, a new era of merchandise is reigning supreme on the television/online mega-store.

And its queen? Why none other than our favorite fashionable minx, Ms. Rachel Zoe herself.

I die.

RZ has added Accessories Designer to her already bursting-at-the-seams cache of titles for a line of handbags, jewelry and clothing for QVC.  To say I’m a fan, well, that’d be a redonkulous understatement.

These Goldtone Beaded Doorknocker Earrings make me weak in the knees, y’all.


…and so do these Chic Cabochon Drop Earrings in Onyx.

This Geometric Link Bead Necklace is the epitome of versatile. It would look amazing with a tunic and jeans or a dress for a fancy night out with le boy.


I’m a sucker for cute, unpractical purses. This Sequin Ombre Bag, I’ve decided, needs to be in my closet ASAP. Like, before our honeymoon. It would look real nice on my shoulder prancing around Charleston, paired with a mini-dress and sky high heels, don’t y’all think? : )


Check out more of her goodness online at QVC…I pinky swear you won’t be disappointed.

Oh and she does her own clothes now. Meet Rachel Zoe, Fall 2011 RTW.



Sickly amazing.

Until tomorrow…

Be blessed, lovelies-

7.25.2011

A Blonde Wedding: {Getting Ready Pics}

Welcome back from the weekend, girls! I hope you all had a great couple of days of rest and relaxation. Ours was wonderful, just wonderful : ) Saturday, we went to a couple of local jewelry stores to look at wedding bands. We both found styles we really liked and it made everything even more real! Only 55 days to go...eep!

All this wedding band finding business made me crave looking at wedding photos on Style Me Pretty this morning. It also made me crave being able to look at our own wedding album in a few weeks...

One of the parts of our wedding photos that I'm most excited about are the pre-ceremony pics of us and our wedding party getting ready. I've always loved "getting ready" pics because they are delightfully candid and, at the same time, touching.

By Heather Kincaid via Style Me Pretty

By Georgetown's Finest via Style Me Pretty

By Twin Lens via Style Me Pretty

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By James Abel Events via Style Me Pretty

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By Georgetown's Finest via Style Me Pretty

By Aaron Delesie via Style Me Pretty

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By Twin Lens via Style Me Pretty 

By Twin Lens via Style Me Pretty

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Did you take any "getting ready" pics before your walk down the aisle?

Be blessed, lovelies-

7.22.2011

My New Cut-Out Dress + Randoms

It’s Friday…let’s get our random on!


1) I’m positively over the moon, in love with this dress I got Wednesday from Maude Boutique! This is the first cut-out dress I've bought this summer and I LOVE it! The length is short (about 3 inches above my knee) so it's definitely a going-out-on-a-date-with-the-boy dress : )



In case y’all aren’t familiar with their fabulousness, they are a local Fayetteville, AR boutique that specializes in trendy clothing for us girls in our twenties and thirties! They carry the latest styles and brands and have the BEST staff ever. Even if you don’t live in AR, you can still shop via their FB page. Just leave them a comment on items you like and they’ll reserve and ship it to you!

Capicé?

They’ve been such a phenomenal supporter of the blog and I’m more than game to spread the word about this Arkansas gem…check out Maude now!



2) Can I vent for a sec? I’m sick and tired of hearing about how as soon as Stephen and I get married that we’re going to “let ourselves go”. Example, a lady in the break room at work yesterday,

Random lady: “How’s the wedding planning going?”

Me: “It’s great! We’re almost ready! Just finalizing details.”

(Out of left field, as she’s looking me up and down…)

Random lady: “You two better take a good, long look at each other now because you’ll never see each other look this way again. It’s all downhill after marriage in terms of looks.”

Me: “We’ll see.”

Let me go on the record saying, I fully intend to wear make-up, shower, fix my hair, wear cute clothes and brush my teeth after we are wed. Heck, I may even rock some sexy lingerie from time to time. (Woah Leslie, slow down there…)

I don’t anticipate gaining 1,000 pounds or becoming unrecognizable to my husband. I realize that things change, gravity takes a toll and babies do their wear and tear on your body, but I intend to make every effort to ensure that I look my best for my husband in each season of life.

I realize that I won’t always wear a size 2 or that my boobs won’t always, ahem, “stand at attention.” I realize that if we have kiddos, my rear may temporarily become the size of a washing machine.

We are realistic. We realize things change physically. It’s our spiritual and emotional connection that will take us to a 50th anniversary; not the size of our waistlines.

But MY WORD, is it a crime to at least TRY to look nice for your spouse? I don’t think so.

It’s funny, when I’ve asked southern elderly women what their best marital advice is, many tell me, “Always try to look nice for your husband” or “Even if you don’t have on a full face of make-up, swipe some lipstick on before he gets home.”

Truer words have never been spoken, in my opinion. As anti-feminist as it may seem, I think that’s great and REAL advice.

My fiancĂ© is attracted to me now and I’d like to keep him being attracted to me for the rest of our lives. I intend to work hard at it.

If that’s a sin, you better call this girl a preacher.

Rant over.


3) Any predictions for who will win The Bachelorette? I’m putting all my chips on J.P. I think Constantine is going home Monday. I think she’ll waver back and forth about Ben, but ultimately she go with J.P. from New Yawk City.


4) I have eaten enough Mexican food during the past two weeks that I may turn into a walking chimichanga very soon. I’m retaining enough fluid from all the salt I’ve consumed that I feel like I may burst at any given moment. Tell me, what is it about queso, chips, salsa and fried tortillas that are so yummy and addictive?

In fact, we’ve eaten so much Mexican food lately, that our waiter Chris (yes, we have our own regular waiter) at Abuelo’s (our fav local place) brought us a gigantic complimentary dessert the other night for being “such loyal patrons.”

This was both embarrassing and awesome.


Y’all have a great weekend. Be happy, be safe and most importantly…

Be blessed, lovelies-

7.21.2011

Media Day 'n Fall Fever

via Shop Riff Raff
I have it. A severe case of Fall fever that doesn't look like it's going to be cured anytime soon.

The SEC Football (GO HOGS!), Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-consuming, leaves on the ground, brisk chill in the air, boot-wearing season we call Fall.

Can you feel that it's right around the corner?

Um, yeah. Me either. Because it's like 190 degrees outside right now and we still have another horrendous month of summer left.

But we ladies can dream, can't we?


In honor of College Football Media Day yesterday, I sported my U of A halter top! I actually got it at Victoria's Secret earlier this year as part of their collegiate collection and LOVE IT. Since I don't do flats, (icky, icky flats!!) I rocked a white, platform heel.


So do tell...are you anticipating Fall as much as I am? What's your favorite element of Fall? The clothes, the cooler weather, college football, perhaps?

And, because this is a football-related post and I'm extremely mature...


Texans, you know I love y'all : ) I just couldn't resist. But, um, don't forget about this...I'm just sayin...

Be blessed, lovelies-

7.20.2011

Trend Watch Wednesday: {Sheer Bliss}

Button Down Top from Planet Blue
Sheer shirts are tricky business. If worn correctly, they can be beautiful, romantic and effortlessly sexy. If worn incorrectly, well, they can look downright tramp-tastic.


I, Leslie, am quite the sheer shirt fan.

I love every last sheer lovely in my closet and covet new ones every time I peruse the web.

Sheer shirts are my fashion crack.

Planet Blue* has some to-die-for sheer tops that make me swoon and gaze dreamily at my laptop. Every blouse is unique and romantic with a vintage flair about her and frankly, I can’t get enough.


Stone Cold Fox Sunflower Crop Top

Ruffle Wrap and Stone Cold Fox Bali Blouse

Longsleeve Lace Trim Sheer Blouse

Button Down Top

There are many ways to dress sheer duds up or down, depending on where you’re going or the time of day. Take note:

1) Dress a sheer top down by pairing it with tattered denim shorts. It gives a hippy-ish edge to an outfit without looking dated.

2) Try pairing a tucked-in, sheer top with jeans and heels for an office appropriate nod to current style.

3) Accessorize with bulky pieces for a balanced outfit. Sheer is, well, sheer. It’s light and airy. Therefore, you can accessorize heavily with chunky necklaces, door knocker earrings and bubbly, bobbly rings.

Have you taken the plunge into sheer this summer? What do you rock your sheer blouses with? Skinny jeans, maxi skirts, daisy dukes??

*Planet Blue did not pay me or ask me to post the above. It all boils down to the simple fact that I lurve them and think they are awesomesauce. Consider yourself fully disclosed.

Be blessed, lovelies-