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!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Facebook: "Like it" or Love it?

Facebook! What an amazing and brilliant idea!!! A place where you can post pictures of kids, trips, tell people where you are, how good a restaurant/meal was, etc, etc, etc. In a nutshell, a way to brag!!!

It's fantastic!! You can sell stuff, cheer for your favorite SEC team (RTR!), reconnect with old friends or ex's (which I really don't care to reconnect with ex's - there is a reason they are ex's!) and basically communicate without ever having to pick up a phone or open your mouth!! I guess this is what the world is coming to!! But, it works!!

For a second, I thought about taking the summer off from FB to put my attention on more important aspects in my life...but why??? It's so fun and a little addictive!!! And, it's free!!

But, at times I do get a little tired of all the free advertising on FB and all the corny posts. It's almost like some people need an outlet to just freely talk (type) or should I say vent...I am a little guilty myself.  Solution, start yourself a blog!!!

Hopefully, I can use this blog more as an positive outlet that as an addiction!!! We'll see!!! I have some great summer recipes and cute coverups coming soon!!!!

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

The beginning of my summer on "The Gulf"

Yeah!! Summer on Mobile Bay!!

Weekends on "The Gulf" boating around from island to island, fishing trips without oil spills, mornings/afternoons at the place of your choice (Mobile/Heron Lakes Country Club, The Grand or The Colony), adorable ruffled bikinis, flirty summer dresses and short shorts, heirloom tomatoes, fried chicken and okra (but not too much so that you can't fit into your short shorts), fun play lists that include everything from Zac Brown Band to a little Katy Perry but so over Lady GaGa, concerts at The Wharf, crisp white wines and Skinny Girl Margaritas, Keratin treatments/Brazililan Blowouts (minus the formaldehyde), and so on!!! I love summer!!

As you can see, I started that last sentence with "Weekends on the Gulf". I quickly learned after moving to "The Gulf" area that "the beach" is no longer called "the beach." It is Mobile Bay proper to call it "The Gulf!" I did not grow up on "The Gulf" except for a few weeks in the summer with my family, so all us other Alabamians called it "the beach."
My years as a sorority girl at The University of Alabama, my Mobile and "Over the Bay" girlfriends (that's a whole other post to come soon) always said they were spending their summers at "The Gulf". And, I have also capitalized it as if it is a proper name. Because, after all, it is "The Gulf of Mexico" in which you could probably "check in" to on Facebook!!

So, here's to a wonderful and exciting new summer on "The Gulf!"

XOXO,

Dixie Chic

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hello!!

Wow!!

It is the second week of summer and I am already looking for more to do. I have only been home for 2 days from my little vacation to my hometown and the kids and I are going stir crazy! There aren't enough popsicles or little summer camps to treat the heat outside right now! 

So, why not start a blog! Because everyone is doing it (I believe I used to tell my parents that when I was a teenager and I am sure that will come back to haunt me one day...with my youngest child!) But, it gives me an excuse to bring the kids inside, out of the summer sun, sit them down with a craft (or maybe a little tv) and let my conscience do the typing.

I am an outsider, to some extent, to my new hometown on Mobile Bay, Alabama. Not an outsider like some would call it in High School, but I like to call it an outsider looking in! I am originally from a more metropolitan area and moving down to Mobile Bay many years ago, was a little daunting to say the least! Most would consider me a local now, which I would agree, but it did take me a few years to appreciate this little slice of heaven! So, this little blog I hope to continue everyday do to my patience of my precious children, can maybe tell you a little about what I have discovered and are still discovering about this most unique area.

So...now what to talk (type) about?

Last summer I was obsessed with cooking and wanted to start a blog on cooking. That did not happen. I gained 5 lbs and the kids, well, to put it nicely, always confiscated my computer when I sat down to write!! Soon, I will have an iPad all to myself!!!

Then I thought about starting one on shopping and fashion - my other obsession!!! Well, that, as always, put me in the poor house!

I also love interior design, reading, exercising (to curb my cooking obsession), traveling, lunches and GNO with my gals, and of course spending time with my sweet little family!!

So, I hope to bring to you my little version of what I believe are fun happenings, fabulous finds, hilarious stories with maybe a little gossip, and most of all everything I find a little bit interesting on Mobile Bay and possibly some of my travels away!

For any local businesses, if you have any great deals or services, let me know and I will try to promote it!!! If you are a follower and see something interesting in the area or would like to learn more on a specific topic, let me know!!

So, stay tunned! It is ten o'clock on a beautiful Saturday morning and I gotta head to "The Gulf!!"

XOXO,  

Dixie Chic