Wednesday, July 10, 2013

High School Reunion Time!



Hello Everyone! I guess you thought I dropped off the planet, huh? Sorry that I haven't blogged in so long - life has been crazy busy and that's really my only excuse. I seriously underestimated how my life would change when I went back to working a "real job"! Many of the changes have been great, and others - not so much! I am going to try blogging again on a limited basis, maybe 3-4 days per week at a maximum. I have really missed interacting with you all and hope you will be happy to see me back! 

One of the things that has been keeping me busy as of late - my 25th High School Reunion. I know, I know...even I cannot believe I'm old enough to be out of high school for twenty-five years. It doesn't even seem real - but yet, it is. As an official member of our planning committee, I have been working on the reunion for months. Last weekend, it was finally time for our festivities and oh.my.goodness! What an amazing time we had! My class had both a 10 and 20 year reunion previously, and honestly I think this was our best reunion yet. 

Our venue was the Mobile Carnival Museum, and it made for a perfect "party atmosphere". Even though it's not exactly Mardi Gras time during the middle of the summer, it didn't matter. We had a local Mardi Gras association come in and have a little parade (complete with throws). Classmates who had moved away from the area really appreciated this - many of them hadn't attended a Mardi Gras event in 25 years! 

Of course, the best part of the weekend was having the opportunity to reconnect with old friends. Many of my girlfriends I see and speak with often (Facebook has helped us stay in touch more than anything). However, some of them I have not seen in years! I was amazed by how wonderful everyone looked - as if time had stood still. (We wish!) 

Here are some fun pictures with my friends - enjoy! 

With my friend Amy...we were the best of friends all during high school and then lost touch for many years. We reconnected at our 20 year reunion and have stayed in touch ever since! 

With my friend Gwen...she hadn't been to a reunion since our 10 year. We reconnected on Facebook several years ago, and have seen one another sporadically since then. It was great to be able to spend a little more time with her, even if it was short!  

With my friend Melissa...we chat frequently on Facebook but don't get to see each other often because she lives in Daytona Beach. Just for fun, I'm also giving you and "before and after" picture of us. We were big buddies in high school - had several classes together, lived in the same neighborhood, and have so many fun memories. Do you think we have changed? (in the before pic, we're at some type of awards banquet for our Senior Class - sad that I can't remember exactly!)

This picture was taken at our Friday night "Meet and Greet" before the big reunion on Saturday night. It was so fun to serve on the planning committee with some of my favorite girlfriends from school - Jill, Paige and Stephanie. I anticipate our committee will be getting together quite often, as we had such a fantastic time working together! 
Naturally, the DH accompanied me to all the events. He was such a good sport and loved meeting all my friends. I joked with him that I needed to make flashcards as he was having a difficult time keeping all the names straight. At the Friday night event, I wore Lilly Pulitzer and he wore Southern Tide. We coordinated our wardrobes so the pictures would look better - hence all the blue! What do you think?
And in the picture at the very top of this post, DH and I are both wearing Lilly Pulitzer to the Saturday night event. He is wearing dress pants and dress shirt with his Lilly Pulitzer Dark N Stormy necktie, and I'm wearing the white Delisa dress. They were perfect wardrobe choices - we weren't overdressed, and we certainly weren't under dressed either. I was thrilled with our choices. 

I do know one thing - I was totally exhausted on Sunday! I suppose because I am getting old (joking, haha). Recovery from a two day party is tough! 

Have you been to your high school reunion(s)? If not, I highly encourage you to go to the next one. It's a wonderful time, and obviously everyone changes when they become an adult. It gives you an opportunity to reconnect with your old friends, and maybe become better friends with someone you knew previously but didn't hang around. It's the beauty of these events - we receive another opportunity to have a friendship as an adult. 

Have a wonderful day and see you again soon! 

P.S. Another place you can find me often is Instagram - my user is @shopaholicinal. Come follow me for OOTD posts, scenery from the Alabama Gulf Coast, and more fun! 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Salt Water Sunday: Beach and Happy Easter!


Happy Weekend and Happy Easter! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful time with family and friends. This weekend I am feeling especially grateful because my dear hubby is at home, and we are concentrating on spending quality time together.

Today we are planning to attend a "Worship On The Water" service before driving over to Mobile to visit both of our parents and families. The service on the water is very casual, so I won't be dressing up today. This feels a little strange for me, even DH is wondering "what should I wear"? HA, feels weird to go to "church" on the sand. 

Saturday we spent the day at the beach (after I went for my 4 miles, which I haven't been doing lately). The day was gorgeous and temperatures were in the low-mid 70's. I captured some pictures to share - hope you enjoy! 



How are you spending this holiday weekend? Hope it's a great one! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shopaholic Favorite Sunless Tanner - And It's Buy One, Get One!

What an amazing deal - I just had to share this with you all! As you might have noticed, I am an Independent Consultant for Rodan + Fields. I signed up after falling in LOVE with all their products, and have enjoyed sharing my enthusiasm for the brand with my friends and family. 

Rodan + Fields is helping us get ready for Spring Break and Summer vacations by running a flash sale from now until March 29, 2013 at 10AM PDT. For this extremely limited time, when you buy one Essentials Foaming Sunless Tan, you get another one FREE! Two for the price of one - you can't beat that. These are normally $24 each, so you get $48 of product for $24. One for you - and one to share with a friend! (Or stockpile for yourself!) And if you're a Preferred Customer, the deal is even better as preferred customer price is just $21, so $48 worth of product for $21. (View the deal HERE

A little product detail: You can achieve a sun-kissed glow the healthy way with this lightweight, oil free and mess-free sunless tanning foam. It applies easily and dries quickly - plus the effective dual-active formula ensures even, natural looking color without exposure to the harmful UVA and UVB rays. This product contains Rodan + Fields' RF-Dcell technology, which is derived from dormant narcissus bulb extract, to "quench" the rate of cell hyper-proliferation and extend the duration of the sunless tan. Added bonus: Antioxidant vitamins A, C and E protect skin from free radical damage. 

Another thing that is important to me personally: Rodan + Fields products are not tested on animals, and we're on the PETA "good" list. 

Be sure to place your order quickly - these flash sale items tend to sell out quickly! Here's to a healthy tan! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meet The Pink Silhouette: Spring Lilly Pulitzer GWP



Hello, Shopaholics! Everyone knows it by now - I'm a lifelong lover of all things Lilly Pulitzer, and I prefer to buy from small, female owned stores. Have you heard of The Pink Silhouette? They are a Mother and Daughter owned boutique located in Bel Air, MD. Mom Susan is an interior designer and Daughter Christina has a business degree and brings her business expertise to the table. These ladies make The Pink Silhouette a pleasure to shop with, and you can feel their enthusiasm for the business in every interaction with their customers. 

From now until March 30, they are offering a fun Lilly Pulitzer GWP promotion. With a $250 spend in Lilly, you receive a Lilly Pulitzer Easter Hat. See the pictures below for how they styled the hat with beautiful dresses from the Lilly Pulitzer Spring Collection. Don't we all NEED a little more Lilly Pulitzer in our lives - and a free Easter hat too? Sign me up! (Admission: you'll find me wearing my hat on the beach this summer...)




The Pink Silhouette has a very active Facebook page (link HERE). They often host flash sales on Facebook, and I personally have purchased from them during the flash sales. Shipping is always fast - and free! Matter of fact, I recently purchased this pink and green anchor tunic and can't wait to wear it! (remember how I told you guys yesterday, I'm obsessed with anchor prints lately?)
My sister has also ordered from The Pink Silhouette several times, and she is always pleased with their service and attention to detail. It's the little things that keep us coming back - the fast and free shipping, the thoughtfulness to send a handwritten thank you note with your package, and knowing you are supporting a small, female owned business. 

You can sign up for email updates from The Pink Silhouette with the link HERE. Also, if you're a lover of all things Vineyard Vines, be sure to check out their sister store B. Fabulous. You can "like" their Facebook page HERE

If you're interested in the Lilly Pulitzer Easter Hat GWP, contact the store via Facebook, email (pinknet@verizon.net), or telephone them at 410-420-6372. Be sure to tell them you heard about their special on Shopaholic In Alabama! 

Which Lilly Pulitzer ensemble above is your favorite?

p.s. If you're on Instagram (who isn't?), follow The Pink Silhouette @thepinksilhouette. They post fun flash sale previews and merchandise on Instagram as well. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Anchors Away!

Do you ever go through a phase where you are obsessed with a certain theme or design in your clothing purchases? Suffice to say, I'm going through an anchor phase lately! Some of my new favorite anchor themed purchases include the following:

J. Crew Factory, Charley sweater in Scattered Anchor, $74.50 (link HERE
J. Crew Factory, Scoopneck Button Blouse with Anchor Design, $74.50 (link HERE)
J. Crew Factory, Nautical Sequin Tank, $61.50 (link HERE
J. Crew Factory, Intarsia Charley Sweater in Nautical Rope, $54.50 (link HERE)

In case you can't tell - my little beach town doesn't have a local J. Crew, but there is a J. Crew outlet within 10 miles...so I've been wearing it out! HA! 

If you want to see how I style my anchors for "everyday wear", be sure to follow me on Instagram. I'm @shopaholicinal - and of course, I will follow you back! 

Are you also obsessed with anchors? Any recent themes to your purchases? 

p.s. Anyone else ready for spring and summer? I'm so tired of cold weather! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Affordable Fashion from Paisley of Daniel Island


We all love to shop designer - and we all love a great deal. Right? And how about knowing that we are supporting a small business that is female owned? That makes it even better! And getting FREE shipping every day - that's just the icing on the cake! 

Meet my friend Anna's store, Paisley of Daniel Island. Paisley is a fun, upbeat boutique that specializes in affordable and unique clothing and accessories and is located in beautiful and fashionable Charleston, South Carolina. Paisley carries fabulous brands like Tracy Negoshian, Escapada, Hatley, Jude Connally and many others. But the good news is that even if you're not local to Charleston (and not lucky enough to be on vacation there) - you can still shop with Paisley. 

And today only - Paisley is offering 20% off one item. It's a great opportunity to pick up a new dress or tunic from some of our favorite designers! Or - maybe you need a new monogrammed clutch? Here are a few of my favorite picks that are included in today's 20% off event. (please note all prices listed are before the 20% discount and don't forget about the free shipping). 
Monogrammed Clutch, $36
Tracy Negoshian Joy Dress, $139
Tracy Negoshian Lana Dress, $129
Escapada Tayla Tunic, $70

Hatley Tunic Dress, $62

Assorted Jude Connally Dresses, $168-178

Jude Connally Nancy Dress, $178

I am considering either an Escapada tunic or a new Jude Connally Dress today. How about you? To shop Paisley outside of the local area, be sure to "like" their Facebook page HERE. They always post new arrivals on the Facebook page, making it easy to shop. Of course you can call the store at 843-471-1310 and place your order over the phone. 

Let me know what you find, and help us spread the word about Paisley. If you place an order be sure to tell Anna and her staff you heard about them on Shopaholic In Alabama. Anna is really sweet and I love to see her success!  

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Favorite Eye Cream: Rodan + Fields Redefine

You know by now - I am totally addicted to skin care, hair care and makeup products. There is nothing I love more than trying something new. Once I find something that works, I stick with it. 

For years, I had been using ____ brand of eye cream. It wasn't doing a bad job, but it seemed like my eyes weren't looking so great anymore. Father Time was beginning to catch up to me - along with a consistent lack of sleep and immense stress. I tried many concealers to make me look more "awake" and "bright eyed" but they didn't deal with the source of my problem - dark, puffy eyes with the beginning of crows feet. Time to bring out the big guns - something new and more powerful! 

Enter Rodan + Fields Redefine Multi-Function Eye Cream. From the first day I used this product, I knew it was something special. The formula is highly concentrated, and it only takes a little bit. (A full jar lasts me almost sixty days, and I use it morning and night). The Redefine Eye Cream has powerful peptides to help minimize crows feet and wrinkles, and it also has special optical diffusers to noticeably brighten the eye area. Another added bonus for me, it has helped to reduce the appearance of darkness and puffiness under my eyes. 

I have used some type of eye cream since I was a teenager, and as a result I'm a big believer in a preventative skin care regime. I have always been a sun worshipper and as such, knew I had to take care of my skin. I believe it's never too early (or late!) to begin a skin care regime. Matter of fact, I use the entire Redefine Regime by Rodan + Fields, and get so many compliments on my skin. You have to remember - I am 42 years old, and trying NOT to look like it! :-) 

This eye cream is reasonably priced at $59 (preferred customers only pay $53 and get free shipping on scheduled orders). One of my favorite jobs is being a R+F Independent Consultant, and I would love to answer any questions you may have regarding the products. Whether it's the eye cream, a skin care regime, whatever! Feel free to comment here - message me - or check out my R+F website HERE

Whether your skin care concerns are aging, blemishes, redness or reversing previous damage - there is a Rodan + Fields solution for you. See the solution tool on my website HERE and remember - we wear our skin every day! 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day


It's Valentine's Day! I hope you are having a great day with your sweetie - whether it's your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, son, daughter, parents, pet or BFF. 

The hubby and I usually go to eat and he usually brings home flowers for me. We really don't make it a big deal around here. It might sound silly to some, but I feel like every day we are together is a version of Valentine's Day. My husband is always doing sweet things for me (and I don't mean just buying presents). I mean the small things - opening doors, always considering me first in every decision, picking up something he knows I will love from the store. Those kinds of things. 

Today he is out of town on business, and I am home with the flu. Needless to say, there will be no celebration here tonight. However - I am looking forward to recovering from this sickness very soon, the arrival of the weekend, DH will be home, and we can have our belated Valentine's date. 

In the meantime, I plan to bake him some red velvet cupcakes with butter cream frosting and make the "X" and "O" designs on them with red hots. How are you celebrating Valentine's Day?


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Diet Coke Detox


Hi Everyone! Seems like it's been forever since I posted to the blog - so much has been going on in my life, and there's never enough time in the day. Now I happen to be home suffering from the flu (ugh!) so I had a little time to update you on what's been happening around here. 

#1: I joined Instagram (yes - finally!) and I am obsessed! If you're on IG, be sure to look me up (I'm @ shopaholicinal). Follow me and I'll follow you back! Watch for my #OOTD posts (which have come to a halt this week because of the flu) - as soon as I'm well they will return.


"The First Step to Recovery Is Admitting You Have A Problem" - Twelve Step Recovery

"To Thine Own Self Be True" - Shakespeare

#2: I am on Diet Coke Detox. Recent health concerns of mine, as well as others in my family, really caused me to examine my Diet Coke habit addiction. You see - in the spirit of full disclosure, I am a full blown Diet Coke Addict. Some people will say "I am addicted to Diet Coke" but yet they "only" drink a few servings a day. Me? I would conservatively estimate that my Diet Coke consumption is somewhere in the neighborhood of two 2-liter bottles per day. That means at least 120-130 oz. of Diet Coke is making it's way through my veins.

I have an unhealthy obsession with Diet Coke, similar to the obsession of a cigarette smoker. I am scared I'll end up running out of Diet Coke. I have been known to stop by the grocery at midnight to be certain I don't have to wake up without a Diet Coke. I stockpile them - and I don't always tell the truth about how many I drink in a day's time. However - this is the truth. 120-130 oz per day, on average.

It started innocently enough...when I was 13 years old. You see, I'm one of those people who always has a drink in her hand. When I'm working - when I'm cleaning - when I'm on the computer - when I'm driving - you get the point. I even go to sleep with a drink on my bedside table. Sooo back to when I was 13 years old, I was gaining weight. No one wants to be the "fat kid" in high school, so I had the big idea that I would drop all drinks with sugar. No sweet tea, no regular Coke (was a big Coke drinker then), etc. I immediately replaced all of these with the low or no-calorie versions - unsweetened tea, Diet Coke, unsweetened Kool Aid - and the results were AMAZING. I lost 15 pounds in less than 60 days without making any other changes to my diet or lifestyle. I was thrilled, it was a miracle.

Fast forward - I am now 42 years old. I can eat healthy at less than 1500 calories per day, work out 4-5 times a week, and lose weight. But the weight loss stops at 15-20 pounds, past that I just can't lose any more. Turns out - the Diet Coke is probably keeping me from losing weight. Go figure! The Aspartame in Diet Coke is literally poison to our bodies, and has been linked to type 2 diabetes, excess weight around the stomach, bloating, and possible cancer. 

Type 2 Diabetes runs in my family and I have no desire to deal with that for the rest of my life. So - over the past two weeks, I've been trying to gradually decrease my Diet Coke consumption. 

Last Saturday, I had the equivalent of two glasses of Diet Coke. On Sunday, I went cold turkey. I am now on the fourth day of zero Diet Coke. Let me tell you - it's tough. 

Withdrawal symptoms include: nausea, sweating and then cold chills, the worst headaches EVER, muscle soreness (to the point that it's difficult to climb our 16 stairs at home), complete fatigue, and a total fuzz in your brain. At work Monday, I could barely put two sentences together. I could hardly function and do the basic math required to answer a question about a mortgage loan. It has been awful. 

I will say this: if the withdrawal symptoms are this bad, what are those chemicals actually doing to my body!?!?! I'm really not sure I want to know. When I went to the doctor yesterday (the flu, on top of all this, ugh!) we had a long conversation about the Diet Coke and the dangers of aspartame. How it affects our blood sugar is very scary. And for someone with a family history of diabetes, it's even scarier. 

My advice: if you also consume massive amounts of Diet Coke, consider trying to quit. It took YEARS for me to find the guts to do this but I think the results will be worth it. I would advise seeing your doctor first, to work out a "quit plan". My doctor prescribed anti-nausea and migraine medications to get me through the next 7-10 days, and I am using them. Get some carbonated water with natural flavors (I recommend LaCroix or Seagram's, both available at Target and in most grocery stores). I find that I miss the "bubbles" of the Diet Coke more than the actual taste, and the carbonated water really helps gets me through those cravings.

Above all, don't let your habit drag on for 29 years like I did. If I can do this, anyone can. 

Do you have an addiction? Are you worried about trying to quit?

p.s. Please forgive disjointed writing - another withdrawal symptom!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Danger Zone: Bed Bath and Beyond


We all have those stores that are "Danger Zones". Perhaps yours is clothing, shoes, accessories, crafting, home decor, furniture, or electronics? Most of us have several of those type stores (I have more than I'd like to admit) - but one of my all time favorite "Danger Zones" is Bed Bath and Beyond. 

The reason for my visit to BB&B is usually pretty simple. Last week, I needed a new pair of sheets for our master bedroom. Easy, right? Perhaps if you can go in, get the one item you're looking for and then leave - yes. Easy peasy. Thank goodness I have a stockpile of those "20% off one single item" coupons! (Did you know - you can use multiples of those at one time? My store will allow me to use 5 coupons per transaction.) I picked up these sheets, and if you need new ones too, I highly recommend these. A dreamy night's sleep awaits!  

Naturally, while I was in the store I found other things we "needed". I fell in love with these new beach chairs from Tommy Bahama. Before I left, I took the following picture and sent it to the DH. His reply via text? "I Like". I took that as an invitation to purchase (haha) and picked up two of them. When spring rolls around, we will be ready with our new beach chairs. 



Then while perusing the holiday clearance section, I found the cutest elephant cocktails napkins. They were cheap too - just $5 per package with an additional 20% off before the coupon. Wow! I picked up several packages, I like to have these on hand to toss in hostess gifts or use when friends visit for cocktails. 
I have to admit, I also found a new bedding set that I am dying to purchase. We've had our same master bedding for several years, but lately I've been feeling it was time for a change. Bed Bath and Beyond always does that to me - makes me want to redecorate an area or sometimes, an entire room. 

Do you have the same problem? What stores are your "Danger Zones"?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A January Birthday Celebration


Last night, we went to dinner with my sister and brother in law. Both of their birthdays are in the month of January, and my parents kept their two little boys (my nephews). So it was a great opportunity for the adults to have a fun night out! 

Of course we headed over to one of our favorite restaurants here at the beach, Louisiana Lagniappe. They have an amazing menu - the drinks are fantastic and the food is to die for. My sister and I started out with a King Cake Martini, which is one of their specialty drinks. 
And how does this sound - pan sauteed grouper topped with hollandaise sauce and grilled shrimp, served with a side of lump crabmeat and a twice baked potato? I will have to atone for this meal all week.
We finished the night by having one of my sister BFF's and her boyfriend over for drinks and conversation. They have been friends for over 20 years, and hadn't spent any time together in years. There were lots of laughs and it was fun to see Angie again, I can remember these girls cutting up together as teenagers. This picture proves a point: no matter how old we get, some things remain the same!  
How did you spent your Saturday night? I hope you're enjoying a great weekend. 

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