Archive | March, 2011

City Girl Explores the South: Candy Throwback

24 Mar

Classic Gum


It can be hard to find fun gifts in the land of Walmarts. But on my  inaugural trip to a local Cracker Barrel I was more taken with their retro-inspired candy selection than their fried apples.

I ventured out to an early morning breakfast to the Sanford Cracker Barrel. Half awake,  I didn’t have high hopes for yet another chain restaurant in Sanford. While pacing through the gift shop and waiting for my table to be ready – I stumbled upon the candy section.

Lollipop Tower

This brightly colored corner is stuffed in the back behind piles of other gifts only a grandmother could love. I found the displays and individual packaging a gorgeous sight and perfect for photographers who love bright colors and high contrast shots.

The display setup is busy and bright, as if a slice of Wille Wonka’s factory had been sandwiched in between the typical scented soaps and gardening hats. Brightly colored sweets of all shapes and sizes in tall piles were overflowing their containers.

Much of the packaging appeared to be a throwback to vintage designs or at least retro inspired. This, coupled with the choice of colors left me with camera in hand more interest in capturing some high contrast shots than eating my breakfast.

Moon Pie Minimalist Design


The product choice is unique and ranges from classic Hershey bars, to the Remember When candy box collections with an assortment of goodies from decades past, from 1950s-  through the 80s.

Remember When?

Often in a sea of Walmarts it’s hard to find unique gifts. It was a pleasure to stumble on something so different in a chain restaruant on Route 87. Cracker Barrel’s candy collection is a one stop shop for both my inner photographer and someone who is always trying to find a gift. Wether your shopping for the hipster in your life or a vintage relative these treats are sure to please.

Goo Goo



Target – Aim- Vintage

23 Mar

Spring is here and as The Vintage Fashion Guild noted, the newest trends still pay homage to vintage classics. Most of the designers they highlighted can be pricey but if you browse regularly you’ll find Target is actually a gold mine of vintage inspired wears that won’t strain your pocketbook.


Joan on a Budget: Courtesy

Wether your a Joan or a Betty the thorough shopper will be able to find outfits that are both adorable and affordable.

The Wear-to-Work section on the Target site is usually the best bet but a quick trip to the store can reveal some amazing finds.


A Few Current Favorites:

A shift dress to add a little va-va-voom to the work day $24.99

Brilliamt Blue


A gorgeous rich plum color, perfect for your Betty Draper moments $27.98

Plum Delicious


A lovely peach number with a flattering belt $39.99

Sweet as a Peach


Pink party dress with a flared skirt $49.99

Jackie Pink

City Girl Explores the South

15 Mar

I am a city girl. I’ve lived in London, New York, and Washington DC to name a few. I love the noise, the busyness, the grime and graffiti. But, as a new army wife I now live in the South, in the middle of nowhere.

It’s not all bad, life and work does move slower here, which means I’ve regained the time to enjoy all the little moments my big city job had distracted me from. Searching out interesting things to do, food that’s not from Olive Garden is a serious activity. And around here, more people need to write about it.

So here’s my first adventure -exploring a local ghost town, and like a true city hipster I loved it’s raggedy, industrial feel.

Photo Credit: Caitlin Williams

As the nearby Fort Bragg community expands and is expected to grow larger with the transfer of U.S. Forces Command (FORCSCOM) staff, Sanford lays in wait for the increasing number of new homes and business to deliver a resurgence.

But in the meantime, as old downtown Sanford may look distressed, much of which has been forgotten proves to be a photographer’s dream…

Read more & photo slide show after the jump

Forgetting Feminism? Or Just a Different Type?

10 Mar

This article from the Daily Mail profiles the Dutch women who mostly work part-time and let the men in their life cover the rest. The headline dubs it “the land feminism forgot” as only 10% of Dutch women work full-time.

First, the author only quickly mentions that not all women in the Netherlands can afford the luxury of working par time, if not at all. This is a nice quandary to even be able to ponder.

And there’s no mention of single women. Even if less than 10%  of women work full-time there is no way 90% of Dutch women are in a relationship. And while the low divorce rate in the Netherlands is attributed to the happiness that comes with less work and more coffee shop time – maybe this lifestyle an incentive to stay in a marriage.

Perhaps this is a feminist move. These women are comfortable with themselves, who they are and what they deserve from their counterparts. You have to give it to those who have the balls to sit back, enjoy life and be taken care of without worrying about their monetary contribution or defining themselves through their work.

Most likely, this blissful set up works because it allows women to strike a balance between our own independent life, interests, hobbies, work and family.

The Power of the Pencil Skirt

8 Mar

I am proudly “Just a Skirt”.

After a decade of assuming my work would speak for me I am finally realizing that femininity is as a serious part of my identity, personal and professional.

There are millions of us go to work every day with drone-like rhythm and work so vigorously to reach the top. Days stretch beyond the 12-hour mark, and there is no time or passion left for our personal style and hobbies until we leave them behind all together.

Last summer I found I wasn’t alone. My fellow work-a-holics were feeling down in their mismatched pants and jackets we felt unconfident, men and women both saw right through us. We were taught our work defined us, if the work was strong so were we. But when we walked into the room, our rumpled demeanor wasn’t enough to command any confidence, or any attention at all.

The Power of the Pencil Skirt

Despite the obvious challenges and restrictions of the day we coveted the style of vintage days “when men were men and women were skirts”. On the occasional day when we found the time and to slip into skirt we felt different, carried ourselves differently, a transformation of poise inside and an outer presence that people noticed.

Of course we enjoyed the IT department swivel around to watch us eat sushi during a lunchtime meeting- and our computers fixed much more quickly. But we found there was more than the typical leverage in sexuality. To project and communicate that preparedness outwardly was staggeringly powerful. The upkeep of our femininity turned out to be as important as keeping an agenda organized, answering every client email, and being prepared for every presentation. People knew, when we walked into the room we were on top of it- it being everything.

Here I invite you to play voyeur as I fumble through my life experiment, learning and attempt to reclaim the delicate balance of what it means to be a woman, professional, on top of her shit while a wife and style lover.