Monday, December 26, 2011

The Day After the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!

Whew!! We made it!! Huge wonderful family meals, festive holiday parties, all the shopping (with only one "conversation" about how much money was being spent), the wrapping of gifts (don't ever buy Target wrapping paper - it's terribly thin), all the food, food, and more food...and enough mimosas and red wine to finish off a large bottle of ibuprofen from Sam's!! And, even though Christmas Day has come and gone, Darling Husband and I feel it was one of our best Christmas seasons ever!!

Just like preparing for a fantastic gourmet meal...it takes days to prepare and only about 45 minutes to inhale...I feel like the excitement of the arrival of Mr. Claus and "his gifts" on Christmas morning had the same effect!! It took weeks, if not months, to prepare and and only about 45 minutes for the excitement to wear off!! Which was good for Darling Husband and me...we were back off to bed for a long winter's nap (minus the kerchief...which acording to wikipedia, is a "small square piece of cloth tied around a women's head or neck for protective or decorative purposes"...ok) while the little elves played quietly with their new found treasures!!!

Speaking of elves...I was pleasantly surprised at how creative some Mom's (and even Dad's) were with their "Elf on the Shelf" this year. I saw different ideas daily on Pinterest (my new addiction!) and Facebook of the 6 inch tall, candy cane striped, stuffed doll strategically being laid out by their owners to see delight from their children each and every morning. No longer did Darling Husband and I get our morning hugs and kisses...it was straight to find out where and what our little elf was up to during the middle of the night!!! Sometimes our elf was very adventurous and/or mischievous (usually after Mommy and Daddy had a few glasses of wine). And others, well, he just got thrown onto another lamp or the Christmas Tree while (I) dazedly walked to the Keurig early the next morning (this can also happen after Mommy and Daddy has had a few glasses of wine the night before!!!) Although the little elf is a cute holiday tradition, it is always nice when he catches a ride back to The North Pole on Santa's sleigh!! Until next year, Mr. Elf!!

Speaking of wine, we consumed quite a bit this holiday season (maybe that is why it was one of our best!!) and good wine, at that!! And, with wine comes food, and good food, too!! I love cooking during the Holidays, old (mostly from my mom) and new recipes, and the multi-day feast of cooking will continue in our house until after the New Year (and the NEW work-out program will start shortly after!!!)

Last year, someone gave our children an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. This Christmas, it found it's way to THE TRASH CAN!! What a waste!! There is nothing "Easy" about it! I consider myself a pretty decent at-home chef who always has room for improvement. But, Darling Husband and I tried to "Bake" a stuffed pizza kit that "Santa" brought our kids yesterday afternoon and it completely fell apart and looked inedible!! How do you make a child-friendly, decent tasting pizza that comes out of a paper packet that says, "Just Add Water?" (Macaroni and Cheese I understand) We have only used that damn oven twice!! What was I thinking...that it made for good stocking stuffers? God Bless our troops that have to eat out of similar paper packets!!! In the trash!!!! No tears shed and our children will learn how to bake the real way!!!!

As I said, it was one of the best Christmas seasons for our family to date, including some of the best gifts we have ever given and received. Even the Dirty Santa Party we attended was amazing!!! But, besides celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the best gift to me, was the cherished time we spent with ALL of our wonderful family and friends!!! I truly hope yours was just as fabulous as ours!! Bring on 2012...and some more wine!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

xoxo,

Dixie Chic

Happy Holidaze!!!

Hey everyone!! After a little break from my blog, I decided on this rainy day, to check in. Wow!! I have an audience of 557 and all in the United States, Germany, China, Finland, Singapore and Canada!! I had no idea!!

I love reading blogs, but get a little bugged by one's that post everyday!! I mean...these people must only "blog" and nothing else!! Life, for me, just gets in the way...but in a good way!!

Life is good right now! After a crazy busy Fall, Darling Husband and I are ready for a nice holiday season!! And, for the first time EVER, I am almost done with all of my shopping!! So, feeling a little creative!!
In saying that, I have found a new interest...Pinterest!!! If you haven't discovered it...you should!! I guess that is where my creativity has been living lately!! For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it is basically a social network of boards that contain everything that interests you!! Shopping, Design, Home Decor, Cooking, Books, Entertaining, Kids, Inspiration, Crafts, etc, etc, etc!!!! Check it out!!

Happy Pinning!!

xoxo,

Dixie Chic

Monday, September 12, 2011

Girls of Fall!

What a great summer... and, what a great blessing to have our children back in school again!! I don't know about y'all, but summer flew by!!! It just seems like yesterday that I wrote my first post on the Beginning of Summer!! I truly did not want summer to end, but then those last few days (maybe weeks) seemed to have taken FOREVER!

But, now it is quiet! At least until 3:00 pm (and right now while I am typing away at 5:30 am)! And...what have I found myself doing with all my newly found "free time"? SHOPPING!!! And, dreaming!

I titled this "Girls of Fall" because of the show by Kenny Chesney "Boys of Fall". It is one of Darling Husband's favorites to watch (as I do to, being a football fan, as well). If you have not seen it, even if you aren't a fan of the sport, is really is a great documentary, especially if you have a rising football player. But, when I say "Girls of Fall", well...what is our favorite thing to do in Fall...Shopping!!!

With Fall and the lovely weather we had this past week, comes new fashion and new ideas all around! Football games, warm and hearty soups, bourbon and cokes, fishing turns into hunting, shorts turn into jeans, falling of the leaves and the changing of times!!

But, who could not love the rich colors of Fall (especially on jeans now!), a Fall favorite...animal print, soft leathers, plush furs (and fur trimmed), and my favorite...beautiful basic blacks!!!!

These are just a few of My Favorite Looks:

My wallet is jumping out of my handbag for this look!
Shopbop! My go to for everything!
But, my secret...some looks can be recreated or bought from our local stores!!


Love this! Shopbop.


Great Colorblocking - Shopbop!


I must find or travel somewhere to wear this, it is gorgeous!!! Again...shopbop!


Love this look by J Brand available at Sadie's and CK in Fairhope.


Elegantly Casual look from Rag and Bone which is available at East Bay Clothiers in Fairhope.


Look by Elizabeth and James from Shopbop.


More casual colorblocking from Shopbop!


This is just perfect for a date night out (I am thinking around the holidays) or a weekend in New Orleans!!!
Look from Shopbop!


Luxurious Casual!! Shopbop!


Fun, Fun Fun!!!!! Thank you once again Shopbop!!!

This dress and shrug by Gucci is to die for...if I were...maybe...going to the Emmys!!!!
Just had to throw that one in for a Grand Finale!!!


Happy Shopping! More to come!!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Help - "Law...that's a good book!"

"What was the point of the book? For women to realize, We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought." - Kathryn Stockett

This is a quote from Kathryn Stockett's bestseller The Help. But, if you missed it, that is because it was in the "Too Little, Too Late" section after "The Acknowledgements". Not even a part of the novel, but this quote from Kathryn Stockett's own words, spoke to me the most! It is so true, on so many levels! Although Mrs. Stockett was speaking of the difference in White and Black Women in the South, while I was reading this amazing manuscript, I could not help but analyze my own relationships with my friends and other women in my little world and wondered what separates us?

Then, I started asking myself some questions. Do I treat everyone equally? Or, do I only care about my own little group of friends? Who is really important to me, who makes me feel as equally important to them (no matter the social status, income level or neighborhood they live in)? Do I support my friends as much as I should or do I tend to show my selfish side a little, yet unintentionally? Are some people really not worth my time anymore or do I continue to try to keep up the friendship (even though they aren't putting up the effort)? What am I really worth to them? Do the people in my life share the same ideals and goals? Am I being the best possible person, daughter, sister, mother, wife, friend that I can possibly be and who is helping me accomplish that? Am I helping them accomplish that same goal? Because isn't that really what is important in life? Or, am I asking all these things because I hear other women asking these questions?

Although I would not consider myself a Hilly Holbrook (and there are several in our area who need to eat a slice of some "humble chocolate custard pie") but are there some Hilly's in my life that I need to get rid of so that I can be my best possible self? Am I an Elizabeth who
seems to be a pushover to people, like Hilly, and just longing to be accepted for who I am (homemade slipcovers and all!)? But, what about Skeeter who is a strong woman who just sits back, analyzes and wants and decides to make a little change in the world (or maybe just her little world!) no matter the consequences. As for another character we unfortunately did not hear much about, Lou Anne Templeton, who I believe just could not take the pressures of life anymore and attempted to take her own. I wish we could have heard more of her story! This all sounds a little too familiar...even almost 50 years later!

Then there is Abileen and Minny! Both of these women are amazing and have been through so much! I don't want to go in to too much detail for those of you who have not had the pleasure of soaking in this amazing "must-read". But, Abileen has so much to say, a little afraid to do it, but aren't we glad she finally got the strength and brought it! And, then at her "early retirement" decides to reinvent herself! Women in Hollywood always try to reinvent themselves and succeed, so why can't we? (Maybe I am trying to do it through this little blog?) As for Minny well...you gotta love her because she just don't give a shit!! Literally!!! And, I truly respect her for being Miss Celia's friend when no one else would. Oh Miss Celia...just another
woman trying to find her place in this world. All Miss Celia wanted was a friend (maybe one who is not quick to pass judgement) and maybe someone to take her shopping! How hard is that?Which brings up another question... Are we all a little too judgmental?

Mrs. "Bestselling Novel" Stockett, please write us a sequel to The Help!! I know these characters were fictional, but I fell in love with them all! Except Mrs. Hilly Holbrook! She can kick it for all I care! (I may just decide to kick out all my Miss Hilly's, as well!). I even liked Elizabeth in some ways, because she was vulnerable, as we all tend to be, given the occasion, but she really needs to step it up in the Mommy Department!!! I would really like to know how she survived with out her Help or if she kicked Hilly out of her life and had the privilege of hiring Abileen back with the condition that she (Elizabeth) had to treat her with some respect (and not make her wear those stockings!)? I wonder if strong-willed Miss Skeeter survives in the big city (her way of re-inventing herself and with all that shopping she probably won't be doing) and what her next book will be? Can't you imagine how much money her first book would have made (I guess Mrs. Stockett has a good feelin!). I also wonder what Minny becomes without that deadbeat husband, if Miss Celia is unanimously voted in as the new president of the Junior League and the sad issues behind Lou Anne Templeton! I even wonder what happens to ole Stuart. In a way I liked him for Skeeter, but cheered when her mother said, "Don't let him cheapen you!"

Ok, maybe, I have now told you too much! Maybe this is Mrs. Stockett's way of telling us there will be a sequel?! Let's all hope because I cried when I finished this beautifully written Southern novel...I did not want it to be over! (Law...someone could write a book about our little slice of life, too!)

Do we compare ourselves to these women (no matter black or white, good or bad) or have we been like them at some point in our life? Maybe...just a little...or a lot?! No matter the color of our skin, the price of our house, the size of our jeans, the brand of our sunglasses (we hide behind) or the schools our children go to, if we can take anything away from reading this book, for me it would be that we are all just God's equal children and not that much separates us (not even for the Hilly's!!!) Thank you Miss Skeeter (and Mrs. Stockett) for trying to make a change and giving us permission to re-invent ourselves!!!

"We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I'd thought." - Kathryn Stockett

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Boxwood...if only I could...

...move right in!!!! Seriously, everything in this new Fairhope jewel is amazing!!

I had the privilege of visiting Fairhope this past week and stumbled upon this little haven nestled on De La Mare Avenue across from Mr.Gene's Beans and CK Collection.

Boxwood Home and Garden  (also on Facebook) is everything I want in Interior Design and at great prices!! If I weren't on a tight schedule, I simply would have made myself at home and stayed for the day! Fran Cobb, way to go! Custom design work, slip covered pieces, beautiful antiques, rustic outdoor pots, one of a kind lamps, pillows and accent pieces for the water and horse country we live in! Look at the pictures and you will see why!




Driftwood Art is everywhere now, but I still love it!



Even Darling Husband would love this store (one of his favorites places to browse and eventually purchase is Atchison Imports)! This is a must see on our next First Friday Art Walk visit!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic



Fish Overload...Bring on the Meat!


Last Night's Dinner - Filet Kabobs!!! Tonight, Bone-In Pork Chops! Then, back to fish!

Happy Eating!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Guilty Summer Pleasure - The Bachelorette!

And, another one bites the dust! Goodbye Constatine! He was a favorite of mine, but maybe a little too good for Miss Ashley!

As far as Miss Ashley goes, she  is a cute girl, but not Chris Harrison's best pick for The Bachelorette!

Now, Darling Husband and I are not fan favorites of this show, but have picked it up this summer! I really prefer to watch it to see all the exotic destinations and creative dates that the producers come up with (hoping that Darling Husband with take note!) because, you know, those dates are so realistic - that is why it is called a reality show!!!

And, poor Ryan, can't take no for an answer! He just wants to be loved! I wonder who picked up that tab for his travels?

But, because of the Presidential Address on the Debt Issue (Circus!), our DVR missed taping the end. Was there a Rose Ceremony? Did the remaining two guys leave, leaving Ashley alone on the alter? Did Ryan try to creep back in again? Is Bentley back?

I guess DH and I will have to wait until next week to get answers to our guilty pleasure!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fish Stories!!

Snapper season is running out! Make room in the freezer, pile all the kids on the boat that you can possibly find (to increase those numbers) and get out there!!!! Don't have a boat, make friends with someone who does...real fast! Don't have any friends with boats, go to your local fish market!!!

I love seeing all the (bragging) pictures on FB of the wonderful summer fishing going on!!! Good memories and great stories (even if some of those are a little exaggerated - you know they are and we have our husbands to blame). But, most of all - Good Eating!!!!

Which brings me to my latest Snapper Recipe. Bear in mind, I kind of threw it together, but Darling Husband loved it!!

Red Snapper with Creamy Polenta, Mushrooms and Lemon Butter Sauce


Two big Snapper fillets skinned and marinated in Olive Oil, Orange Juice and salt and pepper
One Bag of Polenta - I buy Bob's Red Mill Polenta - Publix I think?
Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (A Fresh Block is the only way to get Parmesan!)
One container of Baby Bella Mushrooms cleaned and sliced
One Stick of Unsalted Butter
Two Large Lemons
Fresh Thyme Sprigs - A handful will do


Cook/Grill your Snapper to your liking. We pan seer it in a Cast Iron Pan for about 4 minutes on each side then broil it, still in the cast iron pan, in the oven until the top is a little crispy. Cook the Polenta as suggested on the packaging (I cooked about a cup and a half for the two of us and there was enough left over for breakfast the next morning!!) and add a little of the Whipping Cream and the Parmesan Cheese to give it a creamy, rich consistency. Saute the Mushrooms in a little olive oil, salt and pepper (I always add a little truffle oil to my mushrooms while they are cooking - Publix again!). Combine the Butter and Lemon in a small sauce pan and cook until the butter is melted stirring every once in a while.


To plate, first spoon on the Polenta in the center of the plate, place the Snapper on top, then sprinkle with mushrooms, drizzle the lemon butter sauce (I tend to pile it on) and top with the Fresh Thyme leaves leaving a few on the sprigs on top for show!!!!

It really is quite tasty, is great for leftovers and will work with any type of good eating fish (Sea Bass, Trigger, Amberjack)! Darling Husband, who is from the South as well, does not care for grits. I don't know what is wrong with him!!! But, if I call it Polenta (which is actually "corn grits") he will eat it!! So, much that his (and my) plate were licked clean!!!!

I will, however, have to brag on my fish story...Darling Husband asked which famous chef takes credit for this meal, and I proudly answered, "Me!"

Enjoy!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

Holiday weekends!! If only every day could be a holiday! Family, friends, great food, fun drinks, possibly a new outfit is involved!?! Mornings in the water or in the sand playing with the kids, grilled hot dogs and soggy chips for lunch, late hot afternoons sipping on cocktails while chit-chatting and watching the kids run freely until they start rubbing their little eyes, and finally, at nightfall, having a big beautiful dinner with a smooth bottle of Pinot and watching the starry sky light up with an abundance of magical fireworks!! Oh, how I love a holiday!!!!
I have a wonderful weekend planned! I only hope yours is as amazing as ours will be…wherever you are! Darling husband is, of course, grilling! Kids are ecstatic about the upcoming fireworks! And, I am joyously cooking up a storm in my little ruffled apron (to not mess up one of my cute summer rompers!) Reminder to myself, purchase an apron that says “Kiss the Cook!”
But, how great are holidays, especially summer holidays! It is a wonderful excuse to take a day off of work (if I were still a "working-woman" I would take the whole week!). And, why is it that sometimes holidays are the only time we get together with the ENTIRE family. Some of you may prefer that?! Not going to elaborate on that one!!
Holidays also make a great excuse to eat and drink whatever you wish without worrying about the caloric intake! Go ahead and eat that loaded burger or slab of ribs!!! Drink that Bushwhacker instead of that Ultra! Order that appetizer of Fried Pickles and Ranch (the pickles are a vegetable!) And, don’t even think about passing up on that dessert that looks like an American flag (it’s healthy – 1/4th of it is strawberries and blueberries!!!). Work it off on Tuesday, or maybe Wednesday, depending on how many Bushwhackers you choose to partake upon!! I do not suggest Pilates though, it will come back to haunt you (try a good, long run to make you sweat it out!!!). But, have fun because this holiday, the fourth day of July and our day of declaring Independence, only happens once a year!
Which sadly reminds me that this day also marks the middle of summer, which means that summer is half-way over! Seriously! Half-way over!! Some of you may like the sound of that – meaning the kids being back in school, is just a sling-shot away! I, personally, am saddened! Our summers, here on “The Gulf” are a treasure! And, I look forward to spending every day of the rest of my summer doing just that! Treasuring it!! To be continued!!
Let’s make every day a Holiday!!
Happy 4th!!
XOXO,
Dixie Chic

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

During a Hot Snap...Run to Cold Snap!!

Swirl it, Top it, Weigh it, Eat it!!!!

Gotta love this new place!! It’s fun for kids and the adults! Cold Snap has 16+ Low and Nonfat Frozen Yogurt flavors (who can't resist Dreamy Chocolate, Pink Lemonade Sorbet and Birthday Cake!!!) and over 60+ toppings (crunched Girl Scout Tag-A-Longs, frosted Animal Crackers and my son’s favorite – Sour Gummy Crawlers!) and with two locations in Mobile and one in Daphne, you need to go try it!! With its fun “Zoe’s-like” d├ęcor, I see Cold Snap as your go to place during a hot snap!!! Not, to mention how busy they are going to be when school resumes after the afternoon carline!! Brilliant!

My only request, Cold Snap, please put weekly coupons on Living Social!!!

Tuesday nights are kids night (12 and under) get 10% off plus balloons, stickers and prizes. What more can you ask for!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When it rains…it pours!!

For the next three days, we are scheduled for rain and my yard is soaking it in!!
But, when it rains, there are some essential and cute pieces that are a must have!! Some are for children (if my children could live in their rain boots, they would!) and some are for us Mom’s who tote these little ones around in this wet mess!
It’s a little too warm right now for a heavy trench coat, so be on the lookout for a lightweight version. I don’t mind spending a small fortune on a good trench coat, it is a necessary piece that is timeless and can be worn throughout the year in our area! I recently spotted a few classic looks at CK Collection and East Bay Clothiers in Fairhope.  But, if you are staying in during the downfall and waiting for the sun to shine, look for the following few finds online (don't forget your husband's/boyfriend's Columbia jacket makes a cute oversized look, as well!!).
Shopbop - Marc by Marc Jacobs - Celeste - Sale price $229.60

Shopbop - LAMB - $350

Shopbop - VPL - Extend Deltoid Trench - Sale Price $486.50

How cute with your work-out clothes!!!
Don't want to cover up? Opt for an umbrella! These two are adorable, and Target has Clear Bubble Umbrellas with colorful bands on them for $19.99!!!


 

Shoes? Not for this weather! It's all about Wellies!!!! And, I could buy them in every color...for me and my kids!! Darling Husband is a hunter green man.

Hunter - Original Tall - $125 - Available in many great colors!
Hunter - Andora Wedge - $175

As for the kids in your life, here are some great little finds for a "dirty cloud" day, birthday presents or for when they simply want to play dress-up!!
 

DLL Rainwear - Hatley - Kid's Animal Rescue Umbrella - $14.95

DLL Rainwear - Hatley - Kid's Animal Rescue Rain Jacket - Sale Price $44.95



Chasing Fireflies - Butterfly Rain Slicker -  Sale price $29.99



Hunter - Kid's Original Boot - $75 Also, available in many colors!

Kamik - Stomp - Kid's Boot $34.95 - Available in Navy/Grey and Pink/Lavender


Happy Shopping and Stay Dry!!!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day to my thighs!!!

Change of plans!!!

After playing all day at the beautiful, white sandy beach, (oops, "The Gulf") Darling Husband (DH) and I decide to stop by The Wharf on our way home for a quick, light dinner with the little ones. Bad mistake, unless you are in 80's concert mode!! Def Leopard was playing there with Heart!! Not quite the venue for little innocent ears (the kids, that is!).

So, DH decides we are going to have a fish fry!!! Oh yea!! This includes snapper, shrimp, oysters and, of course, okra!!! And, let's not forget the Homemade Peach Ice Cream I made (I meant the kids and I made) this morning for dessert!!!

DH's recipe for the batter: Pour Flour into a Gallon size Zip-Lock Bag, sprinkle in Lemon Pepper Seasoning, Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper and Garlic Powder. Add Seafood, Shake then Fry!!! I usually like to start everything in a milk/egg wash before I batter it up, but he totally skips this step! It's still all fried and it's still all good!!!

Gonna have to workout extra hard tomorrow!!!!

Until next year, Happy Father's Day, again!!!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Happy Father's (Darling Husband) Day!

Father's Day! A day for celebrating the men in your life! A day for remembrance, honor, love, homemade cards (I always prefer a homemade card - they are free and from my favorite little hearts), and usually includes grilling a large piece of meat over a big beautiful fire.


Our grilling of three huge New York Strips took place last night. But for today, all my Darling Husband has asked for is some Homemade Peach Ice Cream!! Along with the kids "help", I am happy to comply!! Last year for Father’s Day we gave the DH an Aroma Ice Cream Maker, from Target of course! It is the old school, churn style that my father used! We love it and it is so easy to use!


Here is the (eggless) recipe:

Ingredients:
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup white sugar
A Pinch of Salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
A basket of fresh, peeled and sliced peaches from your local market
Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Pour the mixture into the freezer bowl of the ice cream maker, and churn according to the manufacturer’s directions!

How easy is that!! And, it is delicious!!! Takes about 30-45 minutes from start to finish.
Result – Happy Husband!!! Which is always a good thing!!
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful Father’s in this world, including my amazing father who I miss dearly!!
XOXO,
Dixie Chic

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Pop-Up Thunderstorms and Tornado Relief"

It’s that time of year again! Afternoon, pop-up thunderstorms! It’s steamy hot during the day, then along comes a nice afternoon shower, making it quite nice to sit on your back porch in time for a glass of wine!
Yep! It’s June! And, we (or should I say my yard) needs the rain! Although sometimes it can be a little bit of an inconvenience, for instance, if you just arrived at the pool with the kiddos (all lathered up in sunscreen, of course, still using the spray), if you are out on a joy ride in the boat or running by the bay or in Springhill, if your kids are at sailing, golf or tennis camp or the ballpark (is baseball still going on?). But, the good news is, these pop-up thunderstorms only last around 20-30 minutes!!! Leaving us with a little bit of a cooler, steamy evening!! That’s when the glass of vino kicks in!
Fortunately for our little area, these are simply that – a thunderstorm. But, last week when the wind was blowing a little bit more sideways than usual, I was reminded about our friends in Tuscaloosa!! My poor college town! It brings a tear to my eye to view the damage in pictures, and to think about visiting the area I once called my beloved sweet home for four years, is unbearable.  
The concern about the destruction, the clean-up, the rebuilding of not just the homes and buildings, but the hope of the people who lost everything including loved ones, is simply heartbreaking!! We know a little about that down here during Hurricane season! But, another question on everyone’s mind is, is it going to be ready by football season - a mere 82 days away? Yes, that is a little selfish to ask, but this is the SEC!
There are some amazing organizations that went to work immediately after these mean wind tunnels hit Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and the surrounding areas that are making a huge difference:  Alabama Forever, T-Town Never Down, Toomer’s for Tuscaloosa (very cool of Auburn fans to do this!). Check them out if you haven’t already and do what you can to help!! You never know when we may need their help down here again! Roll Tide...(and War Eagle)!
So, enjoy the showers, the cooling off and most of all that glass of wine!!!
XOXO, 
Dixie Chic



Monday, June 13, 2011

SPF (Spray, Play, and be Free of harsh chemicals and God's ray of light!!)

Sun Protection - Oh, let me count the ways!

Spray, Lotion, Oil, Oil-Free, Stick, Wipes, Powder, Mineral, Moisturizing, Tinted, Zinc (remember when this was the only option and it came in fun colors!), Kids, Baby, Sport, Sensitive Skin, Acne-Fighting, Anti-Aging, Unscented, Lightly Scented, Clear, Biodegradable, Organic...where do you start!!!!

I am officially going on the 4th week of summer and I have already been through about 30 bottles of spray sunscreen - which I thought was a brilliant idea for impatient kids!!! Conclusion - burnt free but will a little nice tan for us all! However, I am not sure if the bottles I grab off of the Target shelf are the best, but it is the quickest at hands reach when I have the little guys with me on a short leash!

But, isn't a little Vitamin D good for us? And, a little glow!!

There are so many brands to choose from! Neutrogena, Aveeno, Blue Lizard, Coppertone, California Baby; to name a few off the store shelf. Then, there are brands, such as, SkinMedica, Kate Somerville, La Roche-Posay, Elta-MD, Obagi, Rodan and Fields that include about 10 additional reasons why we should buy it along with the sun protection it provides. (Don't get me wrong - I buy into all these promises and my little wallet purchases them from my local dermatologist!)

And, even better, I just found one product by Coola that is called "Citrus Mimosa Natural Mineral Sunblock". If only it infused a little Champagne into our skin!!!

Then, there are the questions of what number SPF (is SPF 98 just as effective as 50), use nothing less that SPF 35 on your face, UVA/UVB, are zinc and titanium minerals the only ingredients we should be looking for, is it waterproof or water resistant, is it necessary to reapply after every hour (or so), do the SPF shirts really work, and finally, how early should you apply before exposing yourself to the world's largest and brightest star?

Lately, I have been hearing about some hazardous chemicals (oxybenzone and Vitamin A) in sunscreens that are considered to be a potential hormone disruptor. So, should we be using Organic sun protection? Or, should we all just go back to old school ways and always wear a hat and shirt and stay under an umbrella? But, that's no fun! It has also come to my attention that sprays and powders are potentially harmful (good to know, now that I have been through approximately 30 spray bottles in 3 weeks).

So, what are the answers to these questions? What are the safest products to protect my sweet little children and myself? And, in the process what is going to make me look younger?!?!

This, I know, is not the most medically efficient post on sun protection; I am not claiming to be a doctor, just raising some questions on this subject that we all ask ourselves!! I am simply a mother wanting to get a little more educated about this ever changing topic!!

Please let me know what you think and what you believe are your favorite sunscreens or sun prevention methods out there for kids and women during this fun yet blazing hot time of year!!!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Window Shopping for Cover-Ups!

I love window shopping! It is usually my only way to shop (look) when I have the little mini me's in tow!!

Earlier this week, I was driving by one of my favorite stores, Uptown,  in downtown Fairhope and saw the cutest dress in the window. I am not quite sure if it was a dress or a cover up, but for me, it would have been my cover up for the summer!!!! But, seeing as I am sitter free for the week, I have yet to be able to take a kid-free shopping trip. That window at Uptown has now been replaced with another amazing dress, but I'm hoping that it is still in the store next week for my little wallet to purchase!!!

On another (very hot) day while walking to Mr. Gene's Beans to get the little guys some ice cream, I passed by the following look in Sadie's window!!!
How fun is that!!! 

Window shopping on my laptop is also another "downtime" love of mine. Here are some more great looks for your summer from two of my favorite websites!!! I just might have to buy them all - when a few go on sale!!!

Beautiful and timeless!

Also, at Shopbop but on sale for $121.10
So sweet!

I love the idea of this skirt!! Great with the matching bathing suit, but could also wear it with solid color, too!!

Shopbop - Zimmermann - sale price $88.90
I also love the concept of a little tee - hen it gets too hot, or if you aren't wanting to show too much!!

Shopbop - Brette Sandler - sale price $84.00

Shopbop - Indah - sale price $65.10
Fun and flirty! Would look cute with white short shorts, too!!


Happy Window Shopping!!!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Local Summer Produce!!

Bring it on!! The table, that is!!

There is nothing like fresh southern fruit and veggies from your favorite local produce stand!! Mine include Hazel's on Hwy 98 and Allegri on Cty Rd 64. I love shopping at produce stands and so do my children! I have never seen prettier okra just waiting to be fried!!!!

Mornings include fresh peaches with milk, tomato sandwiches for lunch and some sort of fresh vegetable/salad with a piece of fish for dinner!! And, of course, homemade peach ice cream for dessert topped with blueberries! Let's not forget the wine - a really cold Pinot Grigio!!

My husband and I made a great pasta dish this past weekend with fresh, right off of the boat Red Snapper. It was basically cooked whole wheat pasta drizzled with olive oil, we choose spaghetti, mixed with fresh white corn kernals, cherry tomaotes, cooked purple hull peas, a ton of fresh herbs and topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese (fresh parmesan cheese is SO much better that the kind you buy in the tub!!!) Speaking of herbs, my herb garden is out of control right now!! It's ridiculous! I need to bag it up and sell it at the Windmill Market. We added chopped mint, basil, chives and parsley!!!! Then topped it off with pan seared Red Snapper that was marinated in olive oil, orange juice and salt and pepper. It was delicious!

Oh, if you have time, fried okra pairs great as a side (and it is yummy to munch on while you are cooking)!

Have fun shopping and cooking!! And, most of all eating!!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

TJ tips!!

Good morning!!! So, yesterday while the kids were otherwise occupied with a summer activity, I made a quick trip down to TJ Maxx in Daphne. TJ Maxx to me is always a hit or miss. Sometimes I leave with nothing and other times, when I go in just looking for something like a new workout shirt, I leave with a basket full ($200 later)!! I have this problem at Target and Sephora, too!!! I try to go to these places when I have a very small window to "play", but it never works out for me. My wallet always wins!

So check out what was a Hit on my list!!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Donna Dixon Bags - Regular Price $100
TJ Price - $29.99

They had about 6 in different colors!!

Ran through the back real quick, looking for a pepper grinder, and saw these adorable fish bowls! If only I had a beach place on "The Gulf!" Someone must go get these!! And, let me know if you see a pepper grinder - no luck this trip!

May have to go back and get this one for a friend!

Ran quickly into Pier 1 on the way back to rescue the babysitter. I have been looking at this lamp for about 6 months. And, it just so happened it was on SALE!!! Regular Price $125 - Sale Price $99 and yes, it made it's way to my car!!!! Only one left!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Bikinis - Ruffles!!

As I mentioned before, one of my favorite things of summer is a cute ruffle bikini. They are flattering on almost every body!! And, as I mentioned, I love shopping and fashion. One of my favorite websites I shop/play on (for the past 6 years), is Shopbop.com. It is a website I consistently know I will always be able to find what I am looking for. The following 5 looks are all from Shopbop - some even on sale. I love buying local, but it is hard to find cute swimwear locally that is not from Target (and, I have found cute swimwear from Target!!) Don't forget your sunscreen!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic



 
Red Carter - $49-$49. LBB!!! Also, in Olive and Pink!

Shoshanna - $84-$92. Love it!! Comes in white, pink, purple!!

Thayer - $121.10. Great Floral Ruffles!


Tyler Rose in Peach - $86-$86. May have to get this just because it is called "Girls of Summer"!!!


Red Carter - $105. If you like a one piece!! May have to get it in black!