J.Crew Challenge: Outfit 1; Book Sale

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome to the 2014 J.CREW CHALLENGE! Ahh!

Can you believe it is finally here! Oh, it’s as exciting as Christmas morning. You know there are presents under the tree…you can see them…you can count how many…BUT you do not know what’s inside. Oh, decorating my apartment for Christmas is going to be so much fun! I think I want a navy blue tree with silver and gold decorations! Wouldn’t that be fab!

Okay–I am so sorry, y’all…I am quite distracted today. Perhaps three Pumpkin Spice Lattes were two cups too many *wink* Now, before I get distracted by something else, let’s take a look at the FIRST outfit of the 2014 J.Crew Challenge. Whoo hoo!

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Tee: J.Crew (get the look here)

Skirt: J.Crew (get a similar look here)

Socks: Ralph Lauren (get a similar look here)

Shoes: J.Crew (get a similar look here)

Headband: personal vintage collection

Bracelets/Necklace: personal vintage collection

Glasses: Kate Spade (get the look here)

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Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

J.Crew Challenge: Back and Better Than Ever

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Hello, fabulouses, and welcome back to the blog!

Oh, my goodness! I cannot believe it–the J.Crew Challenge is finally back! It’s been a full YEAR now…phew, time sure does fly when you are having fun *wink*

Before I reveal the very first outfit of the brand new J.Crew Challenge tomorrow, I want to give a little info on how many pieces I am going to be working with this year + how many outfits I have planned + a brief throwback to some of the hottest outfits from the 30 Day J.Crew Challenge! Ah–we have lots to do, so let’s quit our lollygagging and get to work *wink*

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For this year’s J.Crew Challenge, I will be working with 16 items (that’s 4 more than last year) to create a variety of lovely looks. It is going to be so fabulous, and I cannot wait to share all of the awesome outfits with y’all!

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For all of the new readers out there, here are the goals of the VIP J.Crew Challenge:

  1. Encourage y’all to invest in quality and versatile clothing items and accessories.
  2. Inspire y’all to get your money’s worth out of your apparel. 

Now, let’s take a look back at five of the hottest J.Crew outfits from last year’s 30 Day J.Crew Challenge. Whoo hoo!

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Bright Florals

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Dots on Dots

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Fun on a cool Autumn Day

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Taking Care of Business

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Friday Night Lights Inspiration

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Saks Fifth Avenue: Bobbi Brown and ReVive at Beauty Week

The VIP at the Bobbi Brown event at Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham's beauty week.
The VIP at the Bobbi Brown event at Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham’s beauty week.

Hello, my fabulouses! I had such a wonderful time at the Birmingham Saks Fifth Avenue Bobbi Brown Beauty Team Event with National MUA Carrie Wilson. Oh, my fashionistas, Bobbi Brown makeup is so fresh and clean–I absolutely love it!

The VIP chatting with MUA Carrie Wilson at Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham.
The VIP chatting with MUA Carrie Wilson at Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham.

At the event, I had the pleasure of meeting MUA Carrie Wilson. I was so spectacularly excited as Carrie dolled me up with the popular smokey eye. “At Bobbi, we are all about teaching you how to be your own makeup artist,” explained Wilson as she was showing me how to add some pizzazz to my daily eye makeup routine. “The smokey-eye is pretty easy…I did not use a ton of products on you, and that is what Bobbi is all about…I certainly love the smokey-eye, and with the products I used on you today, you will be able to go home and repeat it yourself.”

Abby: What is your favorite product?

Carrie: I have a lot of favorites; however, my latest favorite is the Brightening Brick Compact because it looks good on everyone! It takes the lines out of the blush and gives the skin a nice, smooth, airbrush finish. I also love our gel eyeliners! Oh, I cannot forget about our foundations! They [the foundations] are great because they look like skin–not like makeup.

To learn more about Carrie Wilson please visit www.carriewilsonmakeup.com

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When it comes to trying out new makeup trends, I tend to be a little iffy about doing it myself. If you have ever watched the GoGurt commercial  where the mom scares her kids with her overdone smokey-eye, you will understand why the VIP is a bit wary!

Well, I NEVER want to look like that and scare my precious furbaby, Ziva…

Super big thanks to Carrie Wilson and her lovely tips because I now feel more confident with doing the smokey eye trend!

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The VIP and Carrie Wilson at Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham.

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The VIP with Peggy Lee at Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham.

The fun did not stop there! I dropped by the ReVive counter where I spoke with Peggy Lee about the fabulous products that the line has to offer for all ages. “ReVive is a great alternative to Botox treatments or going under the knife…We offer products to moisturize and tighten/firm the skin as well as treatment for acne prone skin…the ReVive line is truly amazing,” explained Peggy Lee at Saks Fifth Avenue.

I am currently trying out the ReVive Acne Reparatif treatment gel. Stay tuned to the blog every Tuesday for Beauty Tues where I will talk about all things VIP beauty!

To learn more about ReVive products, please visit www.reviveskincare.com

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Saks Fifth Avenue Birmingham is such a fabulous place. At beauty week, I learned so much and met so many super sweet people. I was truly amazed at the wide array of makeup, fragrance, and skincare S5A Birmingham offers. Oh, my! Two stories of superb apparel, handbags, makeup, fragrance, and skincare…it does not get much better than that! Head on over to S5A Birmingham for a terrific shopping experience.

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One thing I have started to do is invest in myself by buying good quality makeup and skincare products. My mom has always told me to invest in my appearance because I will not be young forever. So, I have made it my mission to take care of my skin from every aspect–whether it is with fabulous makeup like Bobbi Brown or with skincare products like ReVive, it is important to invest in yourself…keeping yourself beautiful while feeling beautiful…at the same time!

IMG_5338Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

30 Day J.Crew Challenge: The Final Look

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Hello, my fabulouses! Today is the last outfit of the 30 Day J.Crew Challenge *sad face*…That’s okay, do not cry! Tomorrow, the VIP will be kicking off the “Lucky 13” series! The what? huh? Hmm…I guess you will have to come back tomorrow to see:)

Need to catch up on the 30 Day J.Crew Challenge outfits? Click here to view the category’s archives.

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The furbabies, Mattie and Ziva, decided they wanted to be models too. How precious are they!

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Blazer: J.Crew Factory, The Outlet Shops of Grand River

(get the look here)

Flannel Shirt: J.Crew Factory, The Outlet Shops of Grand River

(get the look here)

Shorts: J.Crew Factory, The Outlet Shops of Grand River

(get the look here)

Shoes: Korks, Belk

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Accessories:

Necklace: BluKat Design by Heather O’Cain

(get the look here)

Earrings: BluKat Design by Heather O’Cain

(request a similar look here)

Wrap Bracelet: Beadsoul by Lisa Hamilton

(get the look here)

Bracelet: Sparkle Cat Studio by Stephanie Grantham

(get the look here)

BLOOPER: Ziva decided she was done "modeling" for the day.  Ziva: "I am done! Can I have my treat now?"
BLOOPER: Mattie (Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier) and Ziva (Giant Schnauzer) decided they were finished “modeling” for the day.
Ziva: “I am done! Can I have my treat now?”
Love my Giant Schnauzer, Ziva! Sappy dog momma moment: Ziva holds the key to my heart:)
Love my Giant Schnauzer, Ziva! Sappy dog momma moment: Ziva holds the key to my heart:)

IMG_4626Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn

Project Runway: Season 12 Episode 8

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Hello, my fabulouses and welcome back to the blog! Today, I want to chat about Project Runway Season 12 Episode 8. How did the designers start off the challenge? Well, with Tim Gunn waking them up in a referee outfit! What? Tim Gunn in a referee outfit rather than a tux? Let me tell y’all, Tim Gunn worked that referee outfit like a pro!

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Tossing on some snazzy sports apparel, the designers were off to have a Project Runway field day with the winning team being rewarded with one extra hour of sewing and first pick at fabric.

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Project Runway added a new twist to the show this week by asking the designers to create performance wear for Heidi Klum’s New Balance collection that was not only fashionable but functional. The winning runway look was to be manufactured and sold at select New Balance stores under Heidi Klum’s collection. Phew…talk about motivation!

Ken using his GoBank card at Mood!  Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Ken using his GoBank card at Mood!
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

With a $50.00 GoBank spending budget, designers Dom and Justin had first pick at fabric because they won the Project Runway field day challenge.

After the designers chose their 10 yards of fabric and paid with their GoBank mobile phone apps and debit cards, it was time to head back to the workroom! Go, team, go! Give me a P-R-O-J-E-C-T  R-U-N-W-A-Y…What’s that spell? PROJECT RUNWAY! Go, Team!

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Lessons I Learned From the Workroom on Season 12 Episode 8:

  • Secrets and Name Calling are Never Good:

Secrets and name calling are never good…especially in high-pressure situations. “Pressure pushing down on me. Pressing down on you, no man ask for under pressure…” (Under Pressure by Queen)

  • It is good to have a mentor, spiritual mom, and/or Tim Gunn to talk to and give you advice.

D. Green (Ken’s mentor/spiritual mom): “You can’t give up now. Do you hear me?”

Ken: “Yes, ma’am.”

D. Green: “Ken, you were born for this.”

Tim Gunn (talking to Ken): “You wouldn’t be here, if we didn’t believe you’ve got the stuff not just to sustain this but to win.”

Ken: “Yes, sir.”

  • Pep talks refresh the memory.

Ken: “After speaking with Tim Gunn, it refreshed my memory of why I am here and, in that moment, I just really needed to hear that.”

  • Nonverbal actions speak just as loud as verbal actions…sometimes louder.

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Is Helen smiling like a Cheshire cat while tattling on Designer Ken? You tell me…
  • When under pressure, it is not uncommon to lash out at someone and say things one later regrets.

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  • Some people will do anything to win…even ruffling a few feathers.

Helen: “It is a competition. I cannot comprehend what set Ken off. This is all about strategy; and if you’re going to win this competition, like I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to ruffle a few feathers.”

  • Don’t judge.

Ken: “You should never actually judge a person because you don’t know what they are going through….That struggle [see explanation below] has made me a very, very, very independent person.”

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In an exclusive interview, Ken and I chatted about his struggle and how he arrived to where he is today.

Ken: “I have been designing clothes since I was about 10 years old…and the dream has come true with Project Runway….I have been homeless before…having to live in my car…and all of the struggles I have been through have made me into the person I am today. I am very independent because of what I have been through. If there is one thing I have learned from these struggles is that it is important to have faith in God that your dreams will come true…don’t let the distractions stop you from reaching your dream.”

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  • It takes a strong person to apologize.

Ken (talking to Helen): “I’ve been frustrated all day–”

Helen: “I know.”

Ken: “–I like you, and I flipped out on you for no reason, honestly.”

Helen: “Okay, no worries.”

Ken: “I just needed to apologize. Can I have a hug?”

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Tim Gunn: “I feel like a proud dad!”

Designer Dom (commenting on Ken’s apology): “It felt genuine. I think he just got really stressed out.”

Okay…that’s enough with the life lessons. Let’s get back to the runway!

Image provided by The Weinstein Company.
Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

What do you wear when you work out? Are you sleek and chic or comfy and casual? I completely understand what Heidi Klum’s vision for this challenge was…but when the VIP works out, I like to dress very basic and carefree. I do not care if my outfit could hit the runway after an hour of booty-kicking Insanity with Shaun T…Oh, Shaun T is such a motivating cutie.

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Image provided by The Weinstein Company.

Designer Ken’s athletic wear outfit is something I could wear during my work out–while being covered up and feeling confident. I like the approach with the longer shirt because let’s face it…we all worry about what our booties look like when we are running or doing squats in front of an entire gym of hot guys.

Designer Ken’s look was basic and wearable for the everyday woman; however, Helen took home the win with this challenge because her performance wear jacket exemplified Heidi Klum’s concept of bringing the runway to the treadmill.

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Man…Episode 8 was quite the doozy! Now, I feel like I should go throw on my slouchy work out clothes and go for a run with my precious Giant Schnauzer, Ziva! See y’all next week for yet another VIP Project Runway recap post!

Stay Fabulous,

Abby Hathorn