Thursday, May 31, 2007


Put your best feet forward in these summer sandal must haves! Now that your twinkling toes have been treated to a pedi, it is time to let them enjoy the sunshine. And what is almost as energizing as a beautiful sunny day? Why shoe shopping of course! Post a comment on your favorite summer sandals and you will be entered to win your very own pair of Coach Grace Espadrilles! Make sure to leave your contact email as well.

New Fabulous Summer Sandal Find!!! These spiffy Madras wedges at Target are on sale for $22.49 as well as a slew of other wedges and espadrilles too. Madras is very in style making this the perfect summer sandal. Xhilaration Tosca Madras Multicolor Wedges $22.49 available at Target

The design of these seersucker basket weave wedges with ankle wraps is fantastic. And of course every Southern fashionista needs seersucker in their wardrobe. Anthropologie at The Summit $288

Let me see that thong sandal! These silver 'Summer' Sandals by Stuart Weitzman are a must! The shoe department at Gus Mayer at Colonial Brookwood Village $225

For a fun, stylish yet comfortable espadrille try this one by CastaƱer. As these shoes run small, Saks suggest that half sizes order the next size up. Saks Fifth Avenue at The Summit $165

This gold thong sandal is great to slip on with a casual jersey dress or can add a little style to your beach get away. These shoes were actually featured in Us Weekly. Oka B Savannah flip flop $30

This sassy gingham sandal looks great paired with white shorts or denim walking shorts. Slip these on to conjure up your inner Mary Ann. Francesca's Collection at The Summit $16

These polka dot basket weave wedges by Madeline are not only adorable, but also comfy and easy to walk in. Find your pair at Shoefly in Homewood on 18th Street $58.

These earthy thongs by Me Too are sophisticated enough to pair with a sun dress or casual enough to slip on with jeans. Me Too can be found at Parisian-Belk with locations at Colonial Brookwood Village, The Summit, Trussville, and Riverchase Galleria.

These Grace espadrilles by Coach are Fabulous with a capital "F"! Available in 2 fabric choices - the rainbow stripes are a must for all you daring fashionistas. Coach at The Summit or Riverchase Galleria $178

Remember wearing jellies when you were a kid? Well, I was stunned to find these on Francesca's website - just for the record I am not recommending these, but thought you would be just as amazed as I was that they are BACK! Jelly Shelly shoes Francesca's Collection $12


YP Birmingham hosted a fabulous Derby Party at Historic Rucker Place May 4 featuring mint juleps by Wild Turkey and Russell Reserve, catering from Whole Foods, jazz by The Music Caterers, a hat contest with a Furla Bag from Gus Mayer as the winning prize, a celebriducky derby race with Gene Simmons duck beating the odds, and of course great fashion! Proceeds benefited Junior Achievement. Next event Young, Hot Birmingham June 28 at The Wine Loft visit for tickets. Photos by Arden Photography.

Brooke Maness, Brittany Maness, and Beth Hummel strike a pose in the garden at Historic Rucker Place in their derby attire and fab hats!

Joy Ryder and Emily Peers sipping on juleps on the wraparound porches at Historic Rucker Place both wearing hats by Scala, isn't it great to be Southern!

Hat contest winner Nina Reynolds looks darling in her gorgeous hat and navy eyelet dress. Nina won a Furla Bag from Gus Mayer!

Hat contest winner Nina Reynolds pictured center with her fashionable entourage!

Jeane Lee Fleming sporting this absolutely fabulous brightly colored hat and gorgeous sundress with Arden Ward wearing a 'too hot for words' vintage hat and strapless seersucker dress with pencil skirt.

Capt. Tyler Brown shows that men can wear hats too! Pictured here with Joy Ryder looking very Memphis bound.

The darling Elizabeth Sparkman in a beautiful light blue and brown strapless dress photographed with Rashada LeRoy looking very chic.

Jennifer Hatchet and her sparkling derby hat judge the winner of the celebriducky derby race as Gene Simmons edges out the Wicked Witch.

Enjoying a little porch sitting, Brooke Maness is wearing a dress from Bebe and Brittany Maness is wearing a sun dress from Soca Clothing in Southside. Kelly LaFleur is wearing a dress from Ann Taylor and hat from Hemline in New Orleans and Sarah Thrasher is wearing a dress by Miss Me which can be found at Francesca's Collection.

On what may have been the biggest party weekend of the year with a slew of activities from Schaeffer Crawfish Boil to Cinco de Mayo, UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Young Supporters Board hosted the first annual Fiesta Ball May 5 at Workplay. It was a huge success and of course where there are YPs there are fun times and fun fashion! (And of course your fashion friendly neighborhood Fashionista was there!)

Ashley Clanton is wearing a printed dress from Loehman's in Atlanta along with accessories and espadrilles from Imelda's Fine Shoes in Atlanta. Leah Allen is wearing pants from Ann Taylor Loft, top from Bebe, shoes from Parisian, purse from Purse Picasity in Mobile. Emily Buckner is wearing an outfit from Summit Parisian, shoes from Target, belt from Fashion Bug, jewelry from Accessory Heaven in Trussville, and purse from Urban Outfitters.

Katie Walls is wearing a dress from Francesca’s Collection, jewelry from White House Black Market and shoes by Nine West; Lindsay Whittington is wearing a dress and jewelry from Express and shoes by XAppeal; Amy Coppock is wearing a dress and Barse earrings from Parisian and shoes by Bandolino.

What incredible dresses - I just adored both of these the great colors and the easy breezy fabric - these are 2 reasons it is the "Season of The Dress"! And see once again - men can wear hats!

Rachel Waters is wearing a Mixie dress from Theadora in Homewood , jewelry and shoes from Parisian. Jessica Thuston is wearing a BCBG top from Saks, Citizen jeans and Sigerson Morrison flats.

In a long jersey dress which is so very in style right now, this fashionista looks so elegant sporting her baby bump! Oh, if we could all look like that when we are preggars.

Camille Amos in a casual yet hip black jersey dress with Betts Johnson in a black sun dress with colorful Mexican accents - a perfect dress for a Fiesta!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Open air dining is truly a delight to the soul and Birmingham has plenty of patios to indulge your senses:

A Little Paris? Oui, Oui! - Chez Fonfon, Frank Stitt's french bistro located next to Highlands Bar and Grill in Southside, is one of Birmingham's best dining experiences. The outdoor patio is somewhat of a secret, located out back this hidden treasure features a bocce ball court and lit trees, perfect for a romantic evening or a great together with friends. (Must try: Steak Frites)2007 11th Avenue S Birmingham, AL 35205

Mambo Italiano - Cafe Ciao located in English Village is the spot on Wined Down Wednesdays when the restaurant has half price bottles of wine to sastify the vino lover in you. It is also quite the scene for professionals ages 25-50. So for a Bella Noche make this patio part of your weekly happy hour.
2031 Cahaba RoadBirmingham, AL 35223

Ain't Lookin' For Nothin' But a Good Time - Open Door Cafe located in Crestline Village off Hagood is notorious for a great crowd and great music almost any night of the week and especially on the weekends. Noted home to the now-famed Soul Patrol parties, Open Door also has a great patio perfect for enjoying Sunday Brunch. (Must try: Steak Benedict)
1115 Dunston Ave, Birmingham, AL 205.879.6659

I'm Going to Jackson's - Jackson's Bar and Bistro located in SOHO in Homewood is a great spot for lunch or brunch. In this pet friendly al fresco atmosphere, you can enjoy great salads and sandwiches. (Must try: Salad Nicoise)
1831 28th Ave S Homewood, AL 35209

Fiesta, Fiesta - The Cantina located at Pepper Place is equipped with one of Birmingham's best patios. Grab your fish tacos and a pomegranite margarita and snag a table outside to take in the energy of Birmingham's Pepper Place stocked with art galleries, martini bars, and modern furniture galleries.
2901 Second Avenue S Birmingham, AL

A Bottle of Red and a Bottle of White - The Grape, with 2 Birmingham locations and over 120 different wines, is a unique al fresco dining experience. Pair your favorite red and whites with The Grape's recommended food pairings for a delightful night in the Ham.

Five Points South
1101 20th Street S Birmingham, AL 35205
The Summit
214 Summit Blvd Birmingham, AL 35243

Jambalaya on the Bayou - The Cajun Steamer located at Patton Creek in Hoover is always fun and festive. Enjoy live music and outdoor dining on the patio or on the balcony while sipping on gumbo, devouring a shrimp po' boy, or cracking into crab legs.
180 Main Street Hoover, AL 35244

That Funky Monkey - Blue Monkey Lounge located on Cobb Lane this patio is the place to strut your stuff. This lively atmosphere is chocked full of young professionals looking for mingling and martinis. Big plus = great martini prices. Don't forget to try the Chocolate Martini - always a great choice.
1318 S Cobb Ln Birmingham, AL 35205-4918 205.933.9222

Sunsets and Seafood - The Lakeview Oyster House patio is a must sit! In the heart of the Lakeview District across from favorites like Lou's and Innisfree, this outdoor dining atmosphere has quickly become a Birmingham favorite. (Must try: Oysters on the half shell, of course!)
731 29th Street S Birmingham, AL 35205

The All Time Favorite - Bottega Cafe is one of the city's best and most energizing experiences. If you are lucky enough to find a table outside, sit back, relax, and people watch as this patio which boasts fabulous food and drinks is also the place to be and be seen. (Must try: Chicken Scallopini)
2240 Highland Avenue S Birmingham, AL 35205

For The Fabulous - A very notable and swanky open air dining restaurant is Twenty-Six. With garage door style windows that open up on a warm breezy summer night, this dining al fresco experience is a little slice of South Beach right in our own Southside. Monday enjoy Crustacean Sensation. Twenty-Six also has a fun Late Night Menu.
Next door to Ocean
1210 20th Street South Birmingham, AL 35205


The thought of heading to a big city in the summer may not revel your inherent desire for sand and water, but with Millennium Park bustling and the sun shining Chicago is a great place to visit in early summer.

One of the aspects that impresses me most about Chicago is the green space specifically the newest green space addition, Millennium Park, opened in 2004 with a world class pavilion designed by Frank Gehry, an interactive water fountain, and the Lurie Gardens. Seeing people outside enjoying this amazing park - walking to Lake Michigan to the Art Institute of Chicago up and down Michigan Avenue, truly makes me yearn for the proposed parks in Birmingham. Green space is an incredible part of a city's energy and something our city needs more of. (Visit for more information on the park initiatives going on in Birmingham). Chicago's Millennium Park is a wonder of modern art and architecture located right in the heart of Chicago and throughout the summer there is no shortage of activities

Another outdoor experience, Ravinia Amphitheatre located in Highland Park boasts incredible summer concerts and theatrical arts. You can splurge on tickets close to the stage or grab a picnic basket and bottle of wine and relax on the lawn for an unforgettable Chi-town experience.

Where To Eat:
For a truly Chicago meal, don't miss Gino's East with its legendary deep dish pizza and locations downtown and in the suburbs. Visit

For a great steak house and exquisite dining, The Capital Grille boasts the finest dry aged steaks, award winning wine list, and impeccable service. Visit

For Italian dining that will leave you saying "bellisimo" Cafe Spiaggia is nestled in the heart of the Magnificent Mile and has evolved into a well-known favorite. Chef-Partner Tony Mantuano and Executive Chef Missy Robbins have created an impressive menu, celebrating the ingredients of the Italian pantry.

For the biggest sundae your eyes can digest, Margie's Candies has been offering up delicious chocolates and old fashion ice cream treats for 80 years. Located at 1960 N Western Avenue 773.384.1035 or visit for more information and a photo of Margie herself! Margie's is open until midnight.

Where To Get Your Drink On:
There is no shortage of pubs and hometown brewed beer, but for some interesting finds that you are not likely to experience elsewhere try these hot spots:
Butterfly Social Club - Open Tuesday through Saturday 9pm - 2pm, Butterfly Social Club is the first of its kind - eco-built with an eco-friendly menu. The artistic facade looks like a living thing, a hobbit hole growing out of the urban landscape. Inside, natural builder Miguel Elliott used a mixture of sand, clay and straw to hand sculpt curving walls and trees that double as seating nooks. Mark Klemen opened this spot on Earth Day 2007, offering an array of alcohol, juices and tonics that are either certified organic or grown and produced in an eco-friendly environment. Visit

Funky Buddha Lounge - From hip hop to jazz, this lounge is the place for young professionals. Great decor with long black leather and leopard skin benches and ottoman-table furnishings occupying the wall opposite the bar. The Lounge also has an open dance area. Visit

Where to Stay:
For history and romance, look no further than The Drake. This hotel has hosted celebrities and politicians since 1920. Rates start at $239 per night and you may be able to find an Internet special on Travelocity or Expedia Visit

For something modern and urban, Hotel 71 is conveniently located near major area attractions at Michigan Avenue and Wacker Avenue. This boutique hotel offers all the amenities you need in a contemporary setting. Rates start at $219. Visit

For something opulent, The Ritz-Carlton is always a fine choice. With exquisite guest rooms and incredible views of the city, if you are in the mood to splurge and impress rates start at $495. Visit

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


These local Birminghamians share where they plan to summer this year. Do you have exciting summer plans? Post and you will be entered to WIN a fabulous wicker beach bag!

"My summer getaway is usually at Lake Martin . Our lake house has been a home away from home for 20 something years. I LOVE IT! From the moment I get up, I enjoy every bit of that lake....walk straight out onto the deck to experience its pristine calmness with my cup of coffee. About mid morning, even if you don't exercise, most people tend to get out beneath ALL of the pine trees for a stroll or jog to pull in some of that clean, fresh air. Then off to the lake for a float...there are no waves crashing up against you, and you can just sit and RELAX and do NOTHING for hours. It is just heavenly! And of course for meals, you can always head over by boat to Sinclair's (the old Kowliga restaurant) or other lakefront restaurants to enjoy a peaceful bite while watching the sun set. Oh, and how could I forget about the unlimited amount of water sports and activities……….from skiing to fishing and the list goes on!! This place is paradise in Alabama." Ryan Graham, Masseuse
For more information on Lake Martin visit

"I'm very excited about going to Sun Valley, Idaho this summer. I've never been before, but my aunt and uncle go almost every year, and they are very gracious to let us use their place during our trip. When I was young, my cousins would regale me and my sister with stories of their trips to Sun Valley, so I can't wait to finally see for myself. It seems like there is an array of outdoor activities to enjoy--from biking to hiking and even fly fishing. But there is also a resort town to enjoy when you might not be feeling quite as outdoorsy. It's the best of both worlds! Plus, it will be a nice break from the hot and humid Alabama July." Callie Sullins, Burr & Forman
For more information visit

"When I have a free weekend over the summer (which isn't often), I go to my parents house on Lake Martin. It's right outside of Dadeville and just about 1 1/2 hours away, so an easy drive and quick getaway! I never was a lake person growing up, but going to Lake Martin this past few years has changed my perspective! I could lay out there all day reading books and magazines, swimming, or going on the boat or seadoo. Of course you have to take the trip to Chimney Rock! I've jumped once, but just from the middle level. It's always a huge party there, especially on the holidays! Usually other folks from Birmingham are down there too and it's a great place to anchor down and meet up!" Lacey Bacchus, Vulcan Park

"I can't wait to go to San Diego. You can lie on the beach all day, and there's lots of sunshine without all the humidity. The pool at the historic Hotel Del Coronado is fun too. It's a great place to people watch and they have delicious frozen drinks. Or, you can rent a convertible and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway to La Jolla to do some shopping. I love to cruise along with the top down and the radio up and take in the ocean views along the PCH, they are beautiful. At night you can do dinner and dancing at an number of fun places in the gaslamp quarter. And, although it sounds cheesy, the zoo and Sea World are great too." Emily Peers, Bayer Properties/The Summit
For more information visit

Friday, May 11, 2007


For a summer on the go whether you are frequently going to the lake or hopping on a plane, here are must haves that are making our vagabond lives so much easier. Let me know what product you can't leave home without or you can't wait to own. One lucky respondent will win their very own Pouchee (respond by May 17)!

Making women's lives easier across the country - is the Pouchee. This cute little pouch epuipped with multiple pockets and small handles is made for your purse necessities (i.e. debit cards, cell phone, keys, license) to easily fit in almost any size purse. The result: an easy and organized way to change handbags. Great for traveling too - say you need to make a quick swap and get all your necessities in your carry-on or you are heading for the beach and want to keep everything in your beach bag without lugging around your bulky purse. Voila - the pouchee is a great invention that every fashionista needs. It also makes for a great gift!
The Pouchee can be found in Birmingham at Monograms Plus in Vestavia off Highway 31 and in Huntsville at The Interior Marketplace in Hampton Cove off Highway 431 $21.99.

The Pashmina has changed my life. Going from freezing on the plane and yearning to wrap up in something soft to cuddling up with my Pashmina and drifting off above the clouds. Whether you choose to buy one from Saks at a premium ($75 plus) or have the opportunity to snag one from a street vendor in New York ($10), stock up on these cuddly soft wraps that come in handy for travel and of course make a great accessory for any party.

Passport Panties - Get Your Wings! A great pair of underwear can make even the worst day seem so much better, even if you are the only one who knows your sexy little secret underneath. But for us women on the go sometimes we don't have time to pick out cute knickers before we dash off for the weekend or hop on a plane. Even worse, heaven forbid we encounter a panty problem in the midst of our day. For just such occasions a group of three best friends who graduated from the University of Alabama created Passport Panties.
Inspired by the daily dilemmas that modern women face, clever packaging allows for Passport Panties to fit discreetly inside a handbag, carry-on, backpack or even your back pocket. The concept is perfect for the girl-on-the-go! Each panty is crafted using soft and sheer, high quality mesh fabric finished with a delicate lace border. The sexy little design creates the comfort and confidence that every woman wants in her lingerie. Passport Panties are offered in Window (small), Middle (medium), and Aisle (large) size seats in four colors including black coffee, pink lemonade, champagne and sparkling water. Passport styles include: Playful Panty, Predicament Panty, and Primping Panty.
Passport Panties are available at Shoefly in Homewood on 18th Street. Visit to learn more!

These swimsuit bags serve the purpose to keep in your suitcase and keep the rest of your clothes soft and dry, plus they look cute! Visit this particular design is on sale for $16!

Perfect for travel, the ultimate product from Apple - the iPhone. The iPhone combines — a revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, maps, and searching — into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone also introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting you control everything with just your fingers. Visit the newly opened Apple Store at The Summit for this product that is all the rage!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


From Cobalt to Navy to Aqua, this summer is all about the blues! Here are some cool tones to find locally:

This Bread and Butter dress is made from the softest jersey and is so flattering with its low cut back. Gus Mayer at Colonial Brookwood Village $178 and up.

This jumper by Walter is perfect for the summer. Throw it on to go have lunch with a friend or to catch a date movie. Walter can be found at The Clothes Tree off Acton Road and Rocky Ridge. They have an amazing selection of brands you will love!

Tag Jean shorts are the must have of the moment with everyone from Jessica Simpson to Shannon Elizabeth sporting these. Don't worry all you anti- shorties, they also have Bermuda shorts that are very in style and very cute! Tag Jeans is found locally at Swank 35223 in Mountain Brook Village. Visit

Frenzii is my new favorite brand. These jersey dresses are so comfy and so flattering you will have to own more than one. Going long makes this look sophisticated but still very casual. Frenzii can be found at Lara at Patton Creek $79 and up.

These Stuart Weitzman flats. Aqua washed boa makes these shoes so unique. Available at Gus Mayer at Colonial Brookwood Village $225.

Just Add Water at The Summit is a great place to shop for bathing suits because you can actually by tops and bottoms separately. This blue hipster suit is very flattering top $59, bottom $59.

Cobalt blue is an eye catching must have color this summer. Another great jersey dress from Francesca's Collection $42.

I had to add this fabulous find since shopping for business attire is always such a struggle in the summer. This navy and cream Charles Nolan contrast jacket is on sale at Saks Fifth Avenue at The Summit and is so chic!