Weekly Whistle: Dreaming of a Safari Adventure

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

Woo hoo! It’s Wednesday…finally *wink* That means the work week is half way over. My brain already wants it to be the weekend because I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday. Obviously, I did not have enough coffee yesterday *wink*

Between this beautiful spring weather we are having here in Tennessee + the VIP safari theme this week–I am craving adventure…especially one to South Africa *wink* BUT since visiting South Africa is out of the picture at the moment, I am just going to show y’all this week’s Weekly Whistle + pretend I’m Meryl Streep in Out Of Africa (minus the scene where she battles the lion–that’s just too scary for this chickadee). 

Look 1:

I changed up the accessories in this week’s Weekly Whistle to show how something as simple as a different belt can take an ensemble from event-to-event in a snap…or a buckle, if you will *wink*

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Blouse: Anthropologie | Skirt: J.Crew | Shoes: Kork-Ease, DSW | Necklace: Hearts of Stone by Rachel Leathers | Cuff: Luke & Lyla Designs | Belt: Anthropologie

Look 2:

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Belt: Target

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Weekly Whistle: No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn (OOTD)

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

It’s Weekly Whistle time on the blog again, which means it is time to showcase my outfit of the week…BUT before I do, I must tell y’all about my crushed dreams of hopping in Leo and driving to Brooklyn, NY while wearing my “Brooklyn” tee. Wouldn’t that have been super cool *wink*

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The picture says it all. Brooklyn is a 10+ hour, 635 mile drive from apartment, and I was going to go into this elaborate explanation on how much it would cost and how many times I would need to refuel Leo before reaching my destination; however, I suck at math. #IAmNotAMathMajor

Now that we have discussed my crushed dreams of driving to Brooklyn and my lacking of math skills, let’s take a look at this week’s Weekly Whistle outfit details *wink* 

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Tee: American Eagle

Skirt: BCBG

Jewelry: Sparkle Cat Studio, BluKatDesign, & Hearts of Stone Jewelry

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Wait! Before you go, don’t forget to check out the awesome giveaway I am hosting on my VIP Facebook page NOW! You can enter to win a suprise Summer Essentials Beauty Bag…ooo la la! Click here for details and to enter.

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Blue Plum Festival 2014 Johnson City, Tennessee

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

I am so excited to share with y’all all the fun at Blue Plum + the fabulous people I met that I could not wait until Monday to post this blog! Oh–Blue Plum was plum-ty of fun–see what I did there *wink*

Now, before I get started, I must ask--are you ready? *wink* Note:  That was my shameless way of including this photo I took at the festival *wink* I loved all the sidewalk writing at the Urban Art Throw Down.
Now, before I get started, I must ask–are you ready?
Note: That was my shameless way of including this photo I took at the festival *wink*

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To start out--the ice cream to my right in this photo wins the "Most Adorable Food Truck" award. I could not get over just how precious it was! Oh, it was love at first sight *wink*
To start out–the ice cream truck to my right (in this photo) wins the “Most Adorable Food Truck” award. I could not get over just how precious it was! Oh, it was love at first sight *wink*
Speaking of food...this, in my opinion, is taking bacon a little too far. Personally, I prefer my bacon at breakfast with eggs *wink* I am sure my mom will also have something to say about this interesting festival food on her blog *wink*
Speaking of food…this, in my opinion, is taking bacon a little too far. Personally, I prefer my bacon at breakfast with eggs *wink* I am sure my mom will also have something to say about this interesting festival food on her blog *wink*

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WOWZA! This is just a peek at a few of the terrifically talented graffiti artists that were at Blue Plum 2014. Be sure to check out Sweet Sorghum Living for interviews with some of the artists + photos.

A beautiful street shot of some of the booths at Blue Plum.
A beautiful street shot of some of the booths at Blue Plum.
Speaking of booths at the Blue Plum Festival--big shout out to Rachel Leathers of Hearts of Stone Jewelry for virtually introducing me to jewelry artisan Jessica  Klaaren! Oh, Jessica is so extremely talented, and I cannot wait to share the VIP interview with y'all soon! Whoo hoo! Meanwhile, check out Jessica Klaaren Jewelry online here.
Speaking of booths at the Blue Plum Festival–big shout out to Rachel Leathers of Hearts of Stone Jewelry for virtually introducing me to jewelry artisan Jessica Klaaren! Oh, Jessica is so extremely talented, and I cannot wait to share the VIP interview with y’all soon! Whoo hoo! Meanwhile, check out Jessica Klaaren Jewelry online here.
Also while Blue Plum-ing it up, I met local blogger Fifty, Not Frumpy. Susan Street and I have never met each other; however, we started chatting like we had known each other for years! It was a plum good time--see what I did there *wink*
While Blue Plum-ing it up, I met local blogger Fifty, Not Frumpy. Susan Street and I have never met each other; however, we started chatting like we had known each other for years! It was a plum good time–see what I did there…again *wink*
Doesn't Susan look absolutely stunning?! Learn more about her trip to Blue Plum  + a helpful outfit hint on her blog here.
Doesn’t Susan look absolutely stunning! Learn more about her trip to Blue Plum + a helpful outfit hint on her blog here.
In addition to the amazing graffiti art, vendors, and snacks--the music was UNBELIEVABLY great. Here are clips from some of my favorite performers.
In addition to the snacks, amazing graffiti art, and vendors–the music was UNBELIEVABLY fabulous. Here are clips from some of my favorite performers.

Josh Oliver

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 Humming House–I love this band…LOVE!

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John Cowan Band

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A selfie while enjoying some of the mid-day performers. It was so very hot outside, but it was so very worth the sunburn *wink*
A selfie while enjoying some of the mid-day performers. It was so very hot outside, but it was so very worth the sunburn *wink*
And...another selfie while watching some of the afternoon performers. Of course, I had to change my outfit for the night activities *wink*
And…another selfie while watching some of the afternoon performers. Of course, I had to change my outfit for the night activities *wink*

I had a total BLAST at Blue Plum 2014. Next year, I hope to see my two favorite music artists/bands there–Gabriel Tajeu and The Bonfire Orchestra *wink* Now, that would make for an absolutely blissful Blue Plum *wink*

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Want more Blue Plum fun? Check out Sweet Sorghum Living tomorrow for interviews + pictures + more!

http://instagram.com/p/o9OG4oNJvy/

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

VIP Interview: Jewelry Artisan Rachel Leathers of Hearts of Stone Jewelry

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

To help celebrate the two year anniversary of VIP, I decided to follow up with another one of my favorite handmade jewelry artisans. This fabulous jewelry artisan was the SECOND PERSON I EVER INTERVIEWED, and today is Throwback Thursday…soooo… *drum roll* Rachel Leathers of Hearts of Stone! Yay!

I absolutely love Hearts of Stone Jewelry because Rachel creates magnificent pieces with natural stones such as agate, jasper, and geode. Each piece is beautifully unique which makes her jewelry very appealing to the VIP–I am always a sucker for one of a kind pieces *wink* To be perfectly honest, I simply adore everything in the Hearts of Stone Etsy shop. My goodness! How will I ever decide which new piece to add to my collection? Hmmm….

Now, while I go browse Rachel Leather’s Etsy shop, y’all enjoy this fabulous VIP follow-up interview with jewelry artisan Rachel Leathers of Hearts of Stone Jewelry. :)

VIP sporting some lovely handmade earrings by Rachel Leathers of Hearts of Stone Jewelry.
VIP sporting some lovely handmade earrings by Rachel Leathers of Hearts of Stone Jewelry.

VIP: What’s new with Hearts of Stone?

Rachel: The newest thing that happened for HoSJ this past year was a new collection, the Black Hearts Collection. I had a heart-breaking break-up with a man [George] I loved who I thought I was planning a life with, but I found out he was seeing someone else whom he married. I discovered what a black-hearted person he really was, so the name of the collection was easy to come by! I wanted to take a bad and ugly situation and turn it into a positive situation, on many levels. Taking the black and gray hearts I already had, I came up with the collection as a way to spill my guts and do some healing along the way. Being busy and creative did the trick, and now I can add to the collection and continue to make pretty things, regardless of the original inspiration.

Necklace: Hearts of Stone Jewelry
Necklace: Hearts of Stone Jewelry

VIP: Are you working on any new projects? If so, spill the beans! *wink*

Rachel: My newest project for HoSJ is making a necklace to be gifted to the stylist for the next season of “The Bachelorette” in hopes it will be worn on the show! I have made a beautiful white jade heart that I plan to pair with lots of tiny crystals and smaller hearts, and call the necklace “Falling in Love”. Cascading chains will drip from the heart and create a waterfall effect. I’m excited about it and can’t wait to give you a picture! I’ll have duplicates available for sale in the shop, along with a rose quartz option.

Earrings: Hearts of Stone Jewelry
Earrings: Hearts of Stone Jewelry

VIP: What is your 2014 inspiration?

Rachel: My inspiration for 2014 is renewal and reclamation. Before I met George, I was a happy and content with myself, and part of my discovery after the break-up was the surprise that I wasn’t even happy when we were together. I had accomplished so much in my personal life before we met, and I want that back. I’ve already reclaimed my personal happiness, and now it’s time to get back the skinny body! Finding my joy again has been huge for me, and it will only show itself in my work. I haven’t really created much for HoSJ since the Black Hearts Collection…So, I’m so excited to make a necklace inspired by love, and I want to carry that over into an entire line. It will be a good year!

VIP: What is your 2014 motto?

Rachel: My motto for 2014 is to just give it a try. Regardless of what “it” is, I do best when I just jump in feet first and give something a go. Personally or professionally–it doesn’t matter. You never know until you try, right?

Earrings: Hearts of Stone Jewelry
Earrings: Hearts of Stone Jewelry

VIP: What color best describes you?

Rachel: Blue has always been my favorite color; however, these days red is what makes me happy! I want a new car and have my eye on a bright red one, my phone cover is red, and I bought a red raincoat that made me feel bold, LOL! Red is a passionate color, and I feel passionate about life right now, so…red it is!

VIP: What is your favorite song of 2014 thus far?

Rachel: My favorite song for this year is one that was a favorite five years ago when I was originally losing weight–Boz Scaggs’ “Get On The Natch”, from the album “Dig”. It’s like an anthem for me, and the song basically says small steps add up when you’re working towards a goal. It has a funky groove to it–it might not be a typical Boz song, but it speaks to me. I’ve been listening to him since I was 17, so his music has been part of my life’s soundtrack, and it is a kick-booty song to work out to!

Paw Riley sporting his Genuine Leathers Designs shirt I got him for Father's Day.
Paw Riley sporting his Genuine Leathers Designs shirt I got him for Father’s Day.

VIP: Tell us a little bit about your new shop.

Rachel: The new shop is called Genuine Leathers Designs, which confuses a lot of people because there are NO leather garments or accessories! When I was in design school 23 years ago, it was a name I came up with for an assigned collection I designed. My instructor scolded me over it, since I only had one leather garment. I simply said, “but it’s my name.” She looked me in the eye and dead panned, “that’s funny.” How could I not use that to my advantage? And I understand the confusion, considering it is a line of men’s shirts made from 100% cotton!

My hope is to add to the line over the years and not just make shirts. They are fun casual shirts based on bowling/Hawaiian styles–I like to call them “A new twist on an old favorite!” What makes my shirts different is that I use bold prints, but instead of using the print all over the shirt, it is only on the front and back yokes. I then add coordinating solids at the rest of the body and collar to make said print stand out even more. I think a bold print needs a frame to make it special, and by only using the prints sparingly, I accomplish that. Several shirts also include coordinating prints, so each shirt has its own personality. They’re great for any age, from the hipster to the oldster!

Paw Riley, my mom, and the VIP being silly on the front porch swing in Mississippi.
Paw Riley, my mom, and the VIP being silly on the front porch swing in Mississippi.

VIP: What inspired you to start Genuine Leathers Designs?

Rachel: The inspiration for opening the new shop was to put myself back to work. I’ve been a professional seamstress for 24 years, and the economic downturn really hit me hard. The majority of my career was in the costume industry and work has been beyond sparse. I like the idea of working for myself, and if possible, hiring others to work for me for a change. I’d love to be able to put others back to work as well as myself, and since I’ve been active in the Made in America Movement, that has become part of my mission. Being an entrepreneur never crossed my mind until I began the jewelry and then the shirts. It has been very eye-opening and scary, but so very worth it. I just jumped feet first! Also, I recently participated in the 2014 Golden Globes gift lounge with GLD, displaying miniature shirts and gifting handkerchiefs to the attendees. I’m hopeful this will bring much needed exposure to the brand. 2014 should be a good year for shirts, too!

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Check out the VIP’s first interview with the jewelry artisan here.

In love with Hearts of Stone Jewelry? Shop online here.

Shop Genuine Leathers Designs here

Connect with Rachel Leathers:

Hearts of Stone Jewelry Facebook

Twitter

Genuine Leathers Designs Facebook

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

3 Ways to Wear: Cynthia Rowley Owl Sweater Outfit #1

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Hello, fabulouses!

Today, I would like to introduce my new styling challenge: 3 Ways to Wear a Cynthia Rowley Owl Sweater. Yay! I was given this sweater for Christmas, and what I love about it is the fabulous cobalt blue color–oh, and the owl is too adorable *wink*

Now, how many different ways can you wear a statement sweater like this? Well, over the next few days, I am going to show y’all three of the many looks I was able to create with this magnificent Cynthia Rowley Owl Sweater! 

Now, let’s take a look at Outfit #1!

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Sweater: Cynthia Rowley, Belk

Skirt: Guess, The Outlet Shops of Grand River

Heels: Nine West, DSW

Earrings: Hearts of Stone by Rachel Leathers

Watch: Kate Spade (Kate Spade at The Summit, Birmingham, AL)

Bracelets:

Ethereal Energy by Liz Stechschulte

Sparkle Cat Studio by Stephanie Grantham

Beadsoul by Lisa Hamilton

Thumb Ring: Beadsoul by Lisa Hamilton

Midi Rings: Beadsoul by Lisa Hamilton

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn