Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fashion Friday - ASOS Trousers and a Fabulous Vintage Mink Fur Coat

Happy Friday, Everyone!  I'm so excited for the very first Fashion Friday which was inspired by these insanely Uh-Maze-Ing trousers I recently purchased on ASOS.  I was delighted and equally excited by the number of emails, texts and calls I received from many of you about these pants.... SO FUN!! 

I was milling around on line one day, and with no intention what so ever, I found myself back on the ASOS website.  It is one of my favorite overseas hubs for fabulous garb.  Don't ask me how or why, but all I know is the blogging is VERY dangerous for me.  I mean, it has me looking at images of beautiful clothes, decor, furniture, jewels, and every other type of stylish thing to have me drooling in nothing but desire.  But really, I love the inspiration these images give me, and I am so excited to share that with you.  

Back to the trousers... I saw them and could not say no. 

I was so excited upon their arrival that I photographed the welcoming party...

I just want to swathe my entire self in this fabric.  How divine?

I think they fit right in at their new home.  Don't you?  They were welcomed with open arms by all their new friends.

So, what are you waiting for ladies?  Click here to see if they are still available in your size.  (As a side note, sizes are also European, but there is a conversion chart.  I found my pair to be true to my exact size).  Are you seated for the best part?... Because ASOS is an online retailer based in the UK, prices listed are in Euros. Well, these trousers are on sale for 18.00 Euros, which right now means $23.32!  If the pants are no longer available your size, do not dismay, there are plenty of other fabulous designs on ASOS over which you may drool.

As you can see, I had probably the most fun ever playing dress up in these trousers.  I wore them to a friend's holiday party, and what better occasion for a little sparkle and shine? 

For the accessories, I paired my ensemble with this bright green resin wrist bangle that belonged to my Great-Grandmother.  I call it my Wonder Woman bracelet.  It is so strong and sturdy, and of course, it possesses super powers.

The Mod Glam earrings are by JewelMint.  These are SO fun, and they are clip-on's!... #1-Who knew clip on earrings were still made?  And #2-Who knew they looked this good?  I'll be bringing you the 411 on JewelMint in a post to come.  Quite honestly, I am a little silly over this on-line jewelry club.

I recently took a photo inventory of every piece of clothing and accessory I own that belonged to my Grandmother or Great-Grandmother, which serves as my inspiration for Fashion Friday.  The newest piece in that inventory is a mink fur coat that did not belong to my Grandmother but my Grandfather's mother.  The coat was passed down to my Aunt, and upon the recent sell and downsize of her home, she needed to shed some of her possessions.  I was beyond flattered, delighted and excited when my mom called to tell me my Aunt asked if I wanted it.  It is too large for me as is, but I have zero problem with that!

Her monogram, Elizabeth White Whitley...

And so, this night was the first I have ever worn a fur of such sorts, and I thought about it for about...oh, two seconds... then knew I had to wear it!  With sheer joy, excitement, and serious warmth I might add, I did.

I love the oversize collar and bell sleeves.

Oh my, I love everything about it.  I'll admit I wasn't 100% comfortable wearing it.  Just not quite the same as my good ole stand-by Gap demin jacket, you know?  However, I do think with a little practice I could get used to the feeling prrrreetty quickly.  It makes me feel very old Hollywood wearing it.  I can close my eyes, or not, and in my mind be taken to some fabulous time and place in the past.  I'm seeing a brisk wintry night strolling down Madison Avenue, peering in the boutique store fronts with little twinkly stars all around up in the sky.  Can you see it?  Oooohhhh, I can.  Are we there yet?

For the love of Old Hollywood glitz, glamour and fabulous feel good fashion, I wish you a most stylish New Years Eve Weekend!  Be safe, and wish upon your star, xo-Whitley

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Merry, Merry Feast!

Happy Day after Christmas Everyone!  I hope yours was wonderful.  Mine was.  It is such a busy day for everyone, and such a whirlwind. All of the preparation... it all happens so fast, and the day comes to a close, it seems, before you can say "Merry Christmas!"  Being with friends and family is a treasure.  Life is so dear.  Through the tough times, and every single one of us faces them in our own fashion, we all have so many blessings for which to be grateful.  I am so grateful for all of mine.

Did I just go all Barbara Walters on you or what?

All that mushy stuff aside, I am abso-freaking-lutely exhausted.  It is all self-induced, so I got no one to blame but myself, but I'm not even blaming myself, because I do love this kind of self-infliction.

Me, Self-Inflicting

Did anyone say  "Do you like to entertain?"  Does it get dark at night??  And, when it comes to this stuff, I ain't missing a single stone.  Yes ma'am, they are ALL right-side up. I know there are plenty of you out there who are just as nutso as me.  But in all seriousness, I do love to entertain, and I love to cook.  And, I looove to set a beautiful table, and what better time than Christmas to do it?  So, here's my table on Christmas Eve.

It's funny.  We have a perfectly suitable dining room, yet I still prefer to just put a leaf in the kitchen table.  We cooks know everyone always ends up in the kitchen no matter how hard we try to keep them OUT of the kitchen.  I suppose of all rooms, it most feels like home, and I am happy to oblige family and friends for just being with us.

I set a table using a variety of bright green dishes and chargers by VIETRI in pattern Foglia.  The founders and owners of this company, sisters Susan and Frances Gravely, and mother Lee Gravely, are long time family friends of my mother's family. I've always loved the rich colors and textures of VIETRI tableware.  I own several pieces in another VIETRI pattern, but I chose this one specifically with Christmas in mind.  I love the brightness of the green and the textured edges of each piece.

Cranberry Fruit Conserve and Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I use my everyday plates which are a simple, easy to go with anything, cream china by Williams-Sonoma.  Click here to see them.  For the pop of red, I accessorize with deep cranberry red linens, also from Williams-Sonoma, and throw in the touch of holiday sparkle using gold leaf napkin rings from Pottery Barn.

Fond D'Artichauts Aux Champignons

I love my Edward Wine & Water Glasses, also by Williams-Sonoma.  Click here to see.  Come to think of it, all of the pieces are wedding gifts in VIETRI, Williams-Sonoma or Pottery Barn, all of which you can get right here in the Queen City.  Belk carries an array of VIETRI patterns.  Click here to search Belk.  I feel like current day society is a lot less formal on a day to day basis, so I registered for more casual pieces.  However, I do enjoy hosting a shower or party for someone, in which case I just borrow all the dressier china, glassware and silver from my mom.

Sesame Ginger Garlic Pork Tenderloin
Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

What do you think?  For you cooking enthusiasts, below is the dinner menu with links to the recipes, or a description.

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
  • Maple-Orange Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Fresh Cranberry Fruit Conserve
  • Marinated Sesame Ginger Pork Tenderloin stuck with fresh ginger and garlic cloves.  Most wonderful man in the world is in charge of any dish that involves meat, since I only eat it in the way of fish.  Basically, he grills the pork first on high heat to char the outside just a bit, then turns down the heat to low-medium, and continues to grill for about 20 minutes.  Easy, inexpensive and delish!
  • Fond D'Artichauts Aux Champignons.  Fancy name, huh?  This is a casserole dish of artichoke bottoms smothered with marinated mushrooms, light cream and fresh grated parmesan cheese.  I make this a lot, because it is so delicious and SO easy.  Fresh lemon juice.  Two cans artichoke bottoms, 2 lbs sliced mushrooms, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 cup light cream (I use fat free half and half), LOTS of fresh grated parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle shrooms with lemon juice. Heat butter and saute shrooms for few minutes.  Arrange artichoke bottoms in buttered dish.  Pour shrooms over and sprinkle with cheese.  Put under moderate broiler and heat until cheese melts.  Serves 8.
Here are a few more images of some festive table settings.

This next one is by the very talented Eddie Ross.  There is nothing he does that I don't absolutely love.

Click here to see more images from this table setting.

And last, but certainly not least, I had to share with you a couple images of my friend Heather's table from her Christmas party this year.  When it comes to parties, the girl does NOT hold back on her table setting!

Did you serve for your holiday meal anything of which you are exceptionally proud?  I would love for you to share with me some of your favorite holiday recipes, and I would REALLY love to see your holiday table!

For the love of entertaining in the most fabulous holiday style, Whitley

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fashion Friday in the Works!

Hello all you fabulous, stylish readers!  I am going to keep this short, because I know your focus is not on my blog, but rather, it is on Christmas.  May I please grab your attention for just a brief moment?

I thought that might do the trick.  Okay, so don't go anywhere just yet...

This has been a great week for me.  My dear friend Ashley introduced me to the Editor of the wildly successful and popular fashion blog Fashion Foi Gras, Emily Johnston.  Read more about Fasion Foi Gras HERE.  I will just say that Emily gave me some awesome tips in working to grow the Queen City Style.  I mean, the girl only has 18,295 followers on Twitter as of the last time I checked. I got some catching up to do, no?  Thank you, thank you Emily!

I created a Facebook fan page for the Queen City Style, click HERE, and in 24 hours 115 of you LIKED me. THANK YOU!!!!  I am working so hard to take this blog by storm. I have no idea where my efforts will lead, but my goal is absolutely no less than super stardom.  I am going for it!

One last thing.  I have decided that each Friday I will be bringing you... Fashion Friday!

Vintage Valentino... REALLY.  Does it get anymore fabulous than this?  I say no way.

I will share with you articles of clothing, ensembles, accessories and more, but only what I consider to be the very most stylish.  Then on Sunday, I will follow up by bringing you Styling Sunday in which I will share with you ideas for styling similar articles of clothing, ensembles and the like.  This will be a lot to keep up with, but I like a goal, and I like a challenge.  I've got my first edition ready to roll, but I'm holding out for you, since I know your mind is on this...

And not this...

I'm speaking of the wardrobe, of course... wink.

Signing off until after Christmas!  I hope yours is nothing but merry and bright.

For the love of the most stylish gift of all--being with loved ones...
Warmest Holiday Regards to you and yours, Whitley

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yarn Wreaths with Felt Flowers... Love!

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are enjoying a lovely week of Christmas!  Are you ready?  Got your presents all wrapped?

Got your Christmas dinner menu planned?  Do you have your tree up?  (I had to share with you this one again... Who doesn't love a wine bottle tree?!)

Well, if not... good luck to you!

As you may have seen in a previous post, I got busy this year making several of our Christmas gifts.  I took on a new project this year making Yarn Wreaths with Felt Flowers.  I love this one from the so fun blog, a home in the making.

Yarn Wreath from a home in the making

I have seen these on several other blogs and thought they were so adorable that I would take a swing at them myself.  They were not difficult to make at all.  Just a wee bit time consuming.  I would say laborious, like painting, but the good news is you can do it while watching your favorite episode of... I'll let you pick your own poison!  Here's mine...

Sometimes I wish it were still this...

But heck, if wreath making got my worn out tushy some much needed snuggle time on the couch, then I'll take it! Even most wonderful man in the world digs a little wreath making, 90210in', tushy snuggle time...

At any rate, I was so pleased with the outcome, I wanted to share with you a glimpse of these precious bits 'o love in the making.  Naturally, I headed over to my arts 'n crafts home away from home, Michael's at Park Road Shopping Center, where I purchased all of the materials.  For a step by step guide, I followed the one Here on the super adorable and creative blog, take heart.  If you do decide to make these, I wanted to show you below that it is virtually impossible to get the string to line up perfectly, since the outside of the wreath is wider than the inside portion.  Do not worry, you are on the right track, and it all works out in the end.

Here are all the wreaths with yarn wrapped around them, and you can see the colors of felt I chose for making the flowers.  I love the red, cranberry and hot pink jewel tones together.  You can also see my arts 'n crafts BFF, Mr. Glue Gun there, ready at the helm.

I love bright colors!

I hope you enjoyed!  A couple of you have let me know that you too have made felt wreaths.  I'd LOVE to see pictures of yours.  Or, please, please let me know if there are any other fun holiday crafts you recommend.

For the love of making and giving it all in style... Happy Holidays to you and yours!  Whitley

Friday, December 16, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Well, Christmas is just one week away as of today!!  Merry, Merry everyone! I wanted to share with you some beautiful and unique Christmas trees in Charlotte, as well as a few iconic trees beyond the Queen City.  Naturally, I will start with one of my very own.  Actually, my mother's.  I would be remiss if I did not share the tree I grew up with each year.  It is the only tree I have ever known with all red lights.  One thing I love most is that I've never seen another of its kind, but regardless, I think it is so magical and pretty.

A peak from the street.

It's like fire!
My husband grew up with white lights, so we compromised on a tree with lights of red and white.  Admittedly I was a little sad we would not have an all red tree.  However, I quickly grew to love our own unique "Candy Cane" tree!  When my friend Lauren told me the new Food Lion on Park Road was selling trees for $29.99, we were there in a skinny minute!  Skinny?  All of the trees were just that.  Hank pointed out immediately the one he wanted, so we strapped it on the top of our car and head for home.  If our tree was a gawky lad, our excuse was Hank.  Ha!  No, never... that sweet baby.  Besides, what could be more stylish than saving money during the holidays?!
We'll call him Super Skinny...

Just like this beastly man!

The sweetest little helper on the planet.

Fits PERFECTLY in the corner since
I've recently rearranged the living room floor plan.

Our Candy Cane tree of red and white lights.
It's perfect!  Way to go Hanky!

Disco ball has got his eyes on a few
bright and shiny's there on the tree.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has been a NYC Christmas Tradition since 1931.  Who doesn't love the city at Christmas time?  Just thinking about it makes me want to go there now!

The White House Christmas tree, also known as the Blue Room Christmas Tree is the official indoor Christmas tree at the White House.  The first indoor tree was installed someone in the 19th century and since 1961, the tree has had a themed motif, at the discretion of the First Lady.  The tree, which is selected from various growers nationwide, has been provided by growers in North Carolina 11 times, more than any other state.  Go one which ya bad self Tar Heel tree growers!

White House Christmas tree arriving via horse drawn carriage.

Blue Room Christmas Tree.

I have always been mesmerized by the magic of Biltmore at Christmas time.  All of the decorations are so lovely and amazing.  It is hard to find proper words to describe the towering trees at Biltmore House.  The scale of everything is so grand.  Since George Vanderbilt moved into Biltmore House in 1895, the Banquet Hall has served as the focal point for Christmas celebrations at Biltmore House.  If you haven't been, it is a real treat for the entire family, and it is just a two hour drive from Charlotte.  Click here for information on visiting Biltmore House at Christmas through January 1.

Biltmore House at night.

The Banquet Hall at Biltmore House.

And just a few more I think are pretty...

In an otherwise lovely traditional  interior, this tree throws
 in a little glam with aqua and metallic matched to the decor.
It seems that turquoise is a hot color for Christmas trees right now.  What's not to love?  I particularly love the way bows are wrapped around this tree, and check out those super fun feathers on the top. I spotted this tree on the ultra cute and hot for turquoise blog, House of Turquoise. I think the tree should never leave the room, it's so pretty.

Ironically enough, the next image was a lovely bar cart stocked with tasty looking little holiday cocktails.  Um... yes please!

And check out the pheasant feathers on this beaut.  Isn't this SO creative?

So Stylish and Original

My mother informed me that my Great Grandparents also had a totally unique Christmas tree, one completely smathered with white Ivory flakes, creating the look of a lush powdery snow.  Here's a totally gorg all white tree belonging to local Charlotte designer Holly Phillips of The English Room.  I want this NOW!  

Of course, I had to Google Ivory Snow Flake Christmas tree, and HERE is what I found.  This Blogger was also compelled to try it for herself.  Isn't it lovely?  Click on the link to see the step by step guide to making a "Glowy and Snowy Flocked Tree". So Heavenly...

And to top it all off...

A little bit of modern glam using an urn as the base and a disco ball
hanging  from the ceiling in lieu of a traditional tree topper.  Love this!

As if a disco ball could be any more fun and festive than it already is!  I think I'll have to do this with mine!

Here's a beautiful bow used for a tree topper custom made by Black Lion here in the Queen City.

Last, but not least, I thought I'd share with you a gift that keeps on giving!  Here's one way to put those empty wine bottles to good use.  Maybe I'll start saving all of those bottles of wine given as gifts and one day have my very own wine bottle tree.  I mean, in all seriousness, how pretty is this tree?!...

I'm ready for Christmas.  Are you?

For the love of fabulous holiday style, Whitley