Auld Lang Syne

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It’s has been a year…

A year of growth

A year of humbling

A year of what ifs and why nots

A year of who me and why not me

A year of opportunities given and missed

A year of stepping up and reaching out

A year of retreat and exile from my comfort zones

A year of realization

Of my strength , my talent and my worth

It has been a year…

2022 started with a campaign with DIOR. Yes, DIOR!!

It was only up from there.

I was invited to several Girl Tribe Events.

I took in the sites and sounds of Charlotte Shout. It’s the first year that I went several times. It’s such an incredible experience I wanted to see it all.

I got to attend two birthday parties that were so amazing. Just like my friends Danielle and Maurice that were celebrating.

2022 was the year of unbelievable interviews.

I was invited to a Sony Music Album release party for recording artist Suzanne Smith. I got to meet and interview the artist and mingle with the music moguls.

I was invited to the book launch party for local author Shelly Rozell Clark.

I met and interview the co-founder and CEO of Orlane Beauty, Elisa Giraudi.

Not in a million years would I have believed I would meet, let alone interview, Designer Christian Siriano!

He was always my favorite member of Project Runway and I’ve been awed by his designs for years.

This was definitely a highlight of my career!

I was invited to the VIP opening of the Art Gallery/Night Club Bazal. Such a surreal experience.

I was invited to a private beauty event at Neiman Marcus. I discovered lots of new brands and got a huge bag of goodies!

I attended my first opera!

I was invited to view Aida. I’d never been to the opera before and I was so excited!

Two of my favorite things brought together.

Michael Kors, one of my favorite brands, was in Charlotte Fashion Week. Yes, MK was featured on the Charlotte Seen runway! It was a moment I had anticipated for a long time!

I was also invited to cover Atlanta International Fashion Week!

I took this opportunity to show up and show out! I’ve always seen ATL as a major fashion hub and I wanted to leave my mark on the city!

While in Atlanta I finally got to visit The Slutty Vegan! What an experience! I loved it and the food is delicious!!!!

And the most incredible part of 2022 is….

🥁Drum roll please…

My blog, Living La Vida Diva, won Carolina Fashion Awards Fashion Blog of the Year for both North and South Carolina!

I truly don’t think I can top ‘22.

But I most certainly will try my best!

Christmas Memories

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Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.

So I’d like to share some of my fondest memories from Christmases past.

I longed to have real tree but my mother said she was allergic. As an adult, I now realize she probably didn’t want to deal with the mess.

So I enjoyed the real trees at my grandparents house, school and church.

They had the big, colorful lights. You know the ones. If one goes out, they all go out.

Church on Christmas Eve was a treat.

All the kids would receive a brown paper ‘poke’(bag) filled with fruit, nuts and candy. Sometimes a small little toy.

We would take the train into Knoxville or ride with my aunt and uncle to watch the lighting of the Christmas Tree downtown at Miller’s Department Store.

We would park across the street and go through the underground tunnel to the store.

The basement was transformed into Santa’s Land and it was simply magical.

The tree lighting was spectacular as well.

Local school choirs would line the steps in front of the huge windows and sing Christmas carols.

My favorite aunt would always buy me a flannel gown. I would wear it until it was completely worn out the next year. I felt so fancy in the lace and bows!

Every December I would wait for our newspaper. It only came twice a week because the town was so small, not much went on.

However, the huge announcement would come on the front page every year.

The time and date that our local radio station would be playing Alvin and The Chipmunks Christmas Song.

Aaaaalllllvvviiinnnnnnn!!! Would kick off Christmas for me every year.

I had my share of Barbie’s and baby dolls. But my favorite gift was something I asked Santa for one year.

We were going to visit relatives out of town for Christmas and I was terribly worried all month that Santa wouldn’t find me.

I had asked for a ‘Snoopy Dog Sitting Down’ much like this one.

My mother insisted that we would celebrate Christmas once we returned home from our visit.

I had gifts from our family where we were staying but I remember crying myself to sleep Christmas Eve night

The next morning my brother woke me up and took me to my aunts Christmas tree.

There sat my Snoopy Dog sitting down.

My brother passed away when I was seven.

It wasn’t until many years later I learned that he used his own money to by my Snoopy and hid it in his luggage. My mother had no idea he was doing it.

As I grew up and had kids of my own I continued to make memories for them as well as myself.

My father was a Sheriffs Deputy and always worked Christmas Eve .

He would have the dispatchers call him over his radio when I was little with reports of a red blinking light in the sky and people reporting someone on their rooftops.

I would rush to bed since Santa was in my town at that moment!!

When I had kids of my own he would come over when his shift was over and wait until my kids woke up so he could see what Santa brought them.

My family has never had a proper Christmas Dinner. We have a ton of appetizers and graze on them all day.

24 Hours of A Christmas Story plays in the background and we randomly blurt out lines from the movie and laugh like it’s the first time we’ve seen it.

Christmas is a precious time for me. Family is everything.

The best gift of all is Memories.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas.

Dappy Holidays

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Dapper Dan has once again teamed up with Gap for a holiday inspired collab.

The limited edition drop offers four different hoodies.

There are three plaid-patterned hoodies available in red, yellow, and forest green, and a houndstooth-patterned design in brown and camel.

Each hoodie features a “DAP” gold applique across the chest with “Harlem” embroidered underneath.

“I’ve been having this feeling about hoodies, and how they always represent a hoodie as being dark, sinister or criminal,” he said. “So when they offered me this opportunity to be on a famous Gap hoodie and have it say ‘Dap’ instead, I say, this is a perfect opportunity for me to destigmatize the hoodie.”

Dapper Dan, the 78-year-old born and bred designer who had a store, Dapper Dan’s Boutique in Harlem, won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award last year,

“Gap speaks to all of us, but it’s a part of who I am and who we all are. So I love that.” Dapper Dan stated.

Stay Dapper my friends and have a very Dappy Holiday Season!

On Wednesday We Wear Black

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Who else is loving the new Wednesday Addams show on Netflix??

Wednesday is a long time favorite character of mine. She normalized the Resting Bitch Face.

I’ve found some Wednesday worthy grunge outfit options .

J.Crew Tippi Sweater With Lace Collar
Diane von Furstenberg High Neck Maxi Dress
Pure Morning Vintage 90s Black Dress
& Other Stories Velvet Pearl Button Mini Dress
Peter Pan Collar Flare Dresses from Amazon

All black with white trimming.

The notorious, overly dramatic white pointed collar can be toned down a bit for day to day wear.

EN SAISON
Eiffel Organza Midi-Dress

This dress channels the Alaïa prom dress Wednesday wears in the series.

Women’s Classic T-Strap Platform Shoes
Platform Naked Wolfe trainers

Her fancy footwork on the dance floor wouldn’t be the same without these 90’s inspired chunky soled black shoes.

In a world full of Kardashians, it’s ok to be a Wednesday!

Christmas Movie Binge Watch

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December 1st marks the official beginning of the Christmas Movie Watching season. I’m not going to lie, I started in mid November!

I want to take a look back as some of my favorites.

These are in no particular order. I am saving my favorite for the end, however.

Miracle On 34th Street usually kicks off my binge watching season.

Along with A Christmas Carol, Holiday Inn and White Christmas.

It’s never really Christmas without Bing Crosby.

Rudolf and Charlie Brown will always be dear to my heart.

The Land of Unwanted Toys and Charlie’s pitiful Christmas tree showed me love can make anything possible.

Newer classics are a must as well.

We can all identify with the Griswalds attempt at the perfect Christmas Vacation.

I love the Grinch. From the cartoon to Jim Carrey’s perfect rendition.

Jingle Jangle and Elf bring me so much joy. Sometimes we need a little magic to spark our Christmas Spirit.

I get my yearly reminder that it’s A Wonderful Life.

Jimmy Stewart is my all time favorite actor and this I my favorite of all his movies.

My most beloved movie is A Christmas Story.

From as far back as I can remember, this movie has been a family tradition.

As a child, as a mother and now as a grandmother, we play this movie for 24 hours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. And nobody is allowed to touch the remote. NOT A FINGER!!

I love the occasional sappy, Hallmark holiday movie. But these classics will always be part of my Christmas.