Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dance the Night Away, Queen City Style (This one's for you, Dad!)

I was raised, unequivocally, on two things:  Music and Dancing.  Both of my parents love to dance and both have GOT the Boogie Woogie, which they've passed on to me.  I'm not saying I am the world's best dancer. I'm just saying that if biology and environment are impact factors, it would be next to impossible for me not to inherit some similar level of passion for the fun.

My Mom and Dad 

My parents divorced when I was 12 years old, and so my weekends often consisted of road trips to the Palmetto State to visit Dad.  More specifically, the Grand Strand, and once more, Georgetown, Pawley's Island and you got it... Myrtle Beach, Baby.  My Dad has been Shag dancing since he was a teenager.  Think...

This meant that most of my weekends with Dad were fairly dance-centered.  So fun.
Since this blog post is about dancing in the Queen City, I'll just show you this one pic of me and my dear 'ole Dad having some fun on the dance floor the night of my wedding.  Thanks, Dad, for the exposure, the continued good times and too many memories to count!

Dad and I recently attended a Shag and Swing class at local dancing hot spot, Thoroughbred Lounge, off of Highway 16 in the northwest pocket of the Queen City.  On any occasion at Thoroughbred Lounge, you can count on some of the best Shag records spinning via some of the area's best beach music DJ's. But on this occasion, two of the best Shag dancers to ever grace the dance floor were teaching the class.  If you haven't already, meet LeAnn Best and Michael Norris.

I have been watching these two for as long as I can remember. Though Michael and LeAnn are now Mr. and Mrs., they weren't always a couple.  They began dancing in competition against once another. Two years later they joined forces on the dance floor, at which time they began sweeping the competition in both the Junior Division and later in the Professional Division. They are also considered Professionals in the world of Swing dancing.  Click HERE to visit their website, and catch a video of Michael and LeAnn dancing which will knock your socks off.

Michael and LeAnn taught smooth moves to both Shag and Swing dancers alike.  

The gals and guys line up to learn their steps...

If this isn't a sign that more men need to put their big boy pants on and hit the dance floor, then I don't know what is.  What IS it?? Do I hear a little Cyndi?... Girls, they wanna have Fuh-un... Come on now, fellas.

It wasn't long before the lights went down, and everyone took to the dance floor...

If you live in the Queen City and want to put on your boogie woogie shoes, you are in luck with a host of Shag clubs across the region.  I most commonly frequent Lynn's in South Charlotte, where the Charlotte Shag Club meets, in addition to Thoroughbred Lounge, home of Boppers Shag Club. Visit both websites to learn more about Beginner and Intermediate lessons, or just show up for the fun.  There really is no better way to learn than through exposure.

To get your Swing Dance fix, contact the Queen City Keeper of the West Coast Swing, Tommy Ballard, at Tommysellsbmw@gmail.com, or via phone at 704-634-3959, or visit the Charlotte West Coast Swing Facebook Fan Page...

Charlotte West Coast Swing on Facebook
For the love dancing the night away in great style... you don't wanna miss out on this fun!  Whitley

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stylin' Sunday - Spring is in the Air at J. Crew

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!  
Just another calm and relaxing Sunday morning here at the Hamlin Household.  
Oh, my life with boys!!  I'm not totally outnumbered with sweet Macy girl.

Anywho, it has been a very busy weekend!
Lots of activities, appointments, hosting duties, housekeeping and more. I am too pooped to pop.
I even managed to squeeze in a quick visit to Coral over on East Blvd. for a little style session 
with our very own Queen City Stylist, Franklin Headen, on his birthday of all days!  
Happy Birthday, Frank!!

Stay tuned to this week's Fashion Friday.
You are going to love the adorable, fashion forward ensembles from Coral that Frank styled for me.  
I wonder who he expects to be looking lovely for tonight's Oscars?

For last week's Fashion Friday, I shared with you delicious cool hues of the rainbow 
from the consistently magnificent J. Crew...

Click on the images below to shop the look, and hurry while the gettin's good!  

If you get one shoe for summer, this needs to be the one.  Hues of nude and tan go with everything in your wardrobe, and because this one is a wedge, they make your gorgeous gams look even longer than they already are.  The shoe is well made and comfortable.  This is the shoe!

One last thing... I am learning how to code!  You may or may not know that most wonderful man in the world is my little computer genius.  For the last few weeks, he has so kindly lent his skills and talents to me for assistance in sharing with you all the fabulous fashions you see here on Stylin' Sunday.  
I've been watching, listening, practicing, trying SO hard to learn it, so I can do it myself.  
Well, I am very proud to share that today I posted all the above images myself in HTML.  I coded!
I'm not sure if this is even proper terminology to explain my mean new computer skilz to you, but HOLLA!!!

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday, and enjoy the Oscars!

For the love of Easy Like Sunday Mornin' livin', in great style, of course... xo Whitley

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Artist Avett

If you are a lover of all things home grown, in this case music, and you are a person who considers themselves to be at least somewhat established in the Queen City, then it is more likely than not you've heard of the Concord based band, The Avett Brothers.  This trio consisting of brothers, Scott and Seth Avett, and honorary brother, Bob Crawford, has gained rapid national attention on the Americana music scene in recent years.  

Image Via
Growing up in Asheville and attending college in Chapel Hill, my formative years were spent surrounded by  musical talent of similar magnitude.  In my household, instead of television in the background, music (and the high pitched shrills of little people) plays throughout the house via built in ceiling speakers.  We love music.  I know the Avett Brothers, but I don't know enough about them to write confidently without some research.  Chances are, some of you reading this are just like me.  On the other hand, some of you reading may know way more than I do about the Avett Brothers, but did you know that brother Scott Avett is also a fine artist?

Today I had the privilege of viewing some of Scott's art work which is currently on display to benefit The Educational Center here in the Queen City. The display will continue tomorrow, Saturday, February 25, 10:00-4:00, for a one day public exhibition at Morrison Place in the South Park area. 

Included in the display is a series of six large portrait paintings.  
Impressive in scale and creation, the paintings are nearly nine feet tall.  
Some of the art work included has already sold, but as of my visit today, a few remained available for purchase.

For more information on the event, including directions, sponsors and a list of those involved 
in the creation of this event, visit HERE
For more on Scott Avett, visit his website HERE.

For the love of style, exploration and interpretation through art, I wish you a most joyful weekend- Whitley

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fashion Friday - Preppy Please, With Yellow On Top

There are two things I'll never stop loving - J.Crew and Color.  
And so you can imagine how good it feels when you put the two together... 
Hallelujah!  Home Run!  It's Friday, I'm in Love!  
I am so happy to see the first signs of Spring all around, including those in my yard. 

If bright and happy clumps of yellow bring a smile to your face like they do mine,
 then J.Crew's Spring 2012 line will make you swoon.  I drooled over the warm pinks, oranges and reds in my EVERYBODY, everywear challenge, all a la J. Crew.

And I couldn't resist going back for more.  This time for some cools...

My ensemble?  The work of J. Crew South Park's Personal Shopper Extraordinaire, Meghan Stevens.
Did you know J. Crew has personal shoppers? 
Well they do, and these ladies are good.  Meghan isn't the only one.   
I worked with the lovely and talented Lucia Ekberg to style the aforementioned red and pink look of love.
If you are short on time or just need a little wardrobe design assistance, 
J. Crew's got the Gold ... and every other color in the rainbow.

For the love of fun, colorful style, Happy Weekend to all!  xo-Whitley

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Can't Take My Eyes Off...

My most stylish friends... I just wanted to say hello to you and tell you that I hope you are having a wonderful week so far.  Oh, and here are a few images I could stare at all day.  I hope they bring a smile to your face too.

Bianca Jagger

Asheville, My Hometown

Magnificent Table Setting by the Magnificent Eddie Ross
So Romantic
Aaaaaaaawwww, Yeah!
Unfreaking Believable Neck Love by Noble House Designs.  To all my lovers out there... My big 35 is just around the corner. Hint Hint. :)
It's been at least seven years since I first saw it, and I still love this design.

Nighty Night, Y'all! 
For the love of all things stylish bringing you joy... I wish you nothing but the sweetest dreams - Whitley