Tag Archives: fashion

Virginia Made

Meet Lora Cartrett of Tater Tot Trends

Written by Faith Jones, Hill City Handmade

Tribe. Sisterhood. Movement. All things that today’s woman longs for and needs as she battles the day to day of balancing family, career, life, and self. Lora Cartrett, the founder of Tater Tots Trends, is no different. They are words that she never expected to use to describe the business. Yet, it has become everything the 35-year-old founder wanted her Concord, VA based trendy jewelry line to represent. 

Tater Tots Trends began as a creative outlet for Lora as she transitioned from working outside of the home as the director of a daycare to a stay at home mom. As her children were so young, she naturally began making a variety of unique and fun baby items. The brightlycolored and whimsical bows, headbands and bowties quickly took off. Between pop up shops in her mom’s home, craft markets and selling on social media, Lora found herself busier than she ever imagined. Then life threw more than a few major curve balls and Tater Tots Trends took a backseat to personal and family well-being. 

There is nothing quite like going through a storm that gives a whole new perspective on life. Lora’s journey took her down a path of insecurity, hopelessness, postpartum depression, devastation, and loss. In her survival, she discovered a new self-awareness that needed to be reflected in the business. As Tater Tots Trends began its return, the name remained the same, but the vibe was different. Jewelry was the focus and women were the priority. This revitalization was for Lora and every other woman who longed to feel accepted and beautiful wherever they are in the journey. 

Visiting Tater Tots’ social media pages, one can’t help but notice the diversity of women (and their daughters) posting daily photos wearing TTT. Women are complimenting, supporting and cheering each other on. They are proudly shouting that even though they may not be feeling their best or having the best day, one pair of earrings can evoke the TTT motto, Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful. It is a safe space to post filter free and feel a certain celebrity status throughout the day as likes and comments promote the “You go girl!” feeling. It is then that you realize, this is not just about accessories. 

“Tater Tots Trends is a movement. It has evolved into so much more than ladies’ jewelry. It has moved into a tribe full of women who empower and inspire one another!” 

Even as she sits on the first day of a beach vacation, Lora assures her customers turned sisters, that the TTT team will take good care of them in her absence. Her two daughters and son (whose nickname inspired the business name), plus her husband Joe (deemed her fourth child) will always take priority. The journey continues and storms may still arise but with a supportive family and thousands of “sisters” by her side, Lora is at peace in her newfound purpose. 

FindTaterTotTrends: 

www.tatertotstrends.store

Instagram: @tatertottrends 

Facebook: /tatertottrends 

BELLA MAGAZINE DEAL!

Use code BELLA for a FREE pair of earrings with purchase during August.

 

Faith Jones is a local entrepreneur, creative, and believer. Her businesses include Faith Inspired and The Hill City Handmade. Faith has a degree in Art and Photography and is a former high school art and culinary teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family and travelling. Faith’s motto is, “Paris is always a good idea.” www.thehillcityhandmade.com 

Take Us to Piccadilly

‘Tis the season to uphaul your winter closet because summer is in full swing! The shops at Piccadilly Square on Franklin Road in Roanoke are stocked with perfect essentials sure to fit every plan on your list.

Punch Boutique

Featuring a fun and classy atmosphere with a “punch” of bright summer colors, Punch offers a variety of clothes and accessories to fit every personality. Quirky and sophisticated patterns are a popular trend this season and these blue lemon and lime shorts will sure to add some charisma to your closet. Pair these shorts with a classic white shirt and these geranium and gold tasseled earrings for a casual day on the town.

Lusso

Translated to “luxury” in Italian, Lusso’s relaxed atmosphere highlights unique upscale clothing items and accessories. This mint green multi-textured maxi dress would be great for a Sunday brunch and is a staple item for warm summer days. Add in an over-sized beach hat and espadrille sandals for a chic tropical look. Maxi skirts are also a popular trend for European summer vacations and can be styled in various ways, eliminating space on your luggage. This feather-patterned sheer soft pink skirt is ideal for strolling around town and has cut-out layers for a breezy look.

Yarid’s

If you’re looking for a fun summer shoe collection, Yarid’s will complete your look with high-end brands featuring Tory Burch, Jack Rogers, and TOMS. New to their store this month is a peach suede cross-body bag from See by Chloé. This simple bag matches with about any outfit and is a great alternative to a shoulder bag when going out. The gold rings indented on the outside add a pop of glitz to the classic look. To continue the fun colors, add these blue tasseled Brenle flats bySchutz, simple white jeans and a patterned top for the famous summer Palm Beach style trend.

 

 

 

 

Magnolia

You can’t complete your summer without a little home décor to splurge on. These greenery items from Magnolia will complement the natural look of your home and still keep the modern design with the engraved faces in the vases. The plants would be great on a sidetable or placed above books on a coffee table.

 

A shopping destination of women-owned boutiques featuring designer clothing and accessories to exclusive home décor and professional interior design services. Everything is at Piccadilly Square!

Written by Cassandra Kuhn

Fashion: Pardon Muah

Summer Trends to Try

Written by Amanda Marshall, Pardon Muah

Summer will be here soon and there are several new trends you’ll definitely want to try! If you haven’t done your Spring cleaning, now is the time to empty out those closets. Fortunately, many of this year’s popular warm-weather wearables are quite versatile! Which means you can mix and match them, wear them often, and hopefully keep them for years to come. Here you’ll find some of my favorites!

Blue & white stripes made their big debut (again) this Spring and will carry over into the Summer months. Blue and white striped pieces have never really gone out of style but this year they are bigger than ever. You’ll see lots of tops in all kinds of styles in light blue & white and navy & white. Button ups, off the shoulder, tees, embellished blouses, etc. It’s a trend you can take with you on vacation to the beach, wear casually on the weekend, or bring into the office when worn appropriately.

Bright pops of color are going to be everywhere! No matter the occasion or your style, you can easily incorporate your favorite hues in vivid shades. And if you’re not comfortable wearing brights for your top or bottom you can easily grab a colored shoe, bag, or cosmetic! It’s also easy to incorporate these items into your usual wardrobe. 

Ripped knee jeans may initially seem overly trendy, but there’s a way to wear them so that they are feminine and age appropriate. My favorite way to sport ripped knee denim is to pair them with a simple white button up and a pair of mules, either flat or heeled. It’s a casually chic statement you can wear without having to feeling too edgy. 

Floral embellishments are everywhere on dresses, tops, bag, shoes, and even denim shorts! Weather its embroidery, a pattern, or actual flower accents, you really can’t go wrong. This print is versatile enough for any occasion… bridal shower, wedding, a luncheon, hanging out with friends, etc. You can even mix a flower heavy print with another trend like ruffles or off the shoulder.

Clear components on bags and shoes are super popular. At first, this trend may seem strange, but hey, it goes with just about everything! My favorite way to wear clear is on the toe strap of a sandal. It gives them a fashion forward flair perfect for pairing with any color combo. Clear cosmetic bags and beach totes are also a great way to show you know what’s up this season!

For more summer trends and ways to wear them, check out pardonmuah.com or @pardonmuahinsta on Instagram. 

 xo Amanda

Amanda is a Kentucky native and author of the lifestyle blog Pardon Muah. She shares beauty products, motivational stories, and fab fashion finds weekly. www.pardonmuah.com

Pardon Muah: Spring Makeup

Spring Makeup Favorites

Written by Amanda Marshall, Pardon Muah

 

Spring isn’t just for closet clean outs. It’s also the perfect time to sift through your cosmetics and get rid of anything old or unworn. It’s important you consistently check your lipsticks and mascaras, as they can collect germs quickly. Powder products can be kept longer, but if you don’t wear it, toss it… at least that’s my personal policy. The best part of the process is purchasing new products you’re in need of! Lately, I’ve added several amazing glosses, lipsticks, brighteners, and even a drugstore mascara to my makeup arsenal.

One of my favorite high-end glosses is by Chantecaille in the color Charm (found at Nordstrom) and has a luxuriously fabulous formula. It’s super smooth and doesn’t get sticky or cakey throughout the day. I’ve been wearing it paired with a lipstick by Charlotte Tilbury called Kim K.W. (also found at Nordstrom) and absolutely love the combo. For any nude lip lovers out there, this duo is for you! The second gloss I’ve been obsessing over is called Fortune Cookie and is a drugstore gloss by NYX that really surprised me. It has a candy sweet smell, looks really beautiful worn over a lipstick like Blush Nude by Tom Ford (also pictured), and only costs $4.99.

For a tired under eye, I’ve been wearing an instant brightener by Maybelline and love how it really wakes up the eye. Sometimes I wear it alone when I’m in a rush or under my usual concealer if I really want a stark highlight. And for those really tired under eyes, I’ve been loving no more baggage by dr. brant (found at Sephora). It’s best used on bare under eyes (I wouldn’t use anything underneath like moisturizers or serums) and has an orange coloring to counteract any darkness. It instantly tightens the skin with a nice cool feeling!

Additionally, you’ll find some products that bring color and life to the skin. The first is by Charlotte Tilbury and called Healthy Glow. I’ve been using this when I self-tan since I don’t tan my face but still want some color. It comes out of the tube white and self corrects to a nice bronzed glow when rubbed into the skin. Great for no-makeup days! And for the perfect punch of blush, Tom Ford’s Frantic Pink gives a nice peachy-pink glow to the skin. 

I also threw a new mascara in the mix by NYX called worth the hype. I’m so impressed by it! It’s an awesome price point and gives the lashes a ton of length! FYI, I suggest using with a lash primer for even longer lashes.


When in doubt, check out pardonmuah.com for more beauty product suggestions and tutorials on Instagram at @pardonmuahinsta.

xo – Amanda

Pardon Muah: Trends for Spring!

Is it that time already?! Time for spring cleaning and setting a date for a good ole’ fashion closet clean-out. Yes, it might take you a full weekend to get everything ship shape (okay, maybe two weekends), but in the end, it means lots of room for new clothing and accessories! This is the perfect time to add in new trends and a fresh color palette. Remember, there are several items you may want to have on hand year-round like camis & tanks, white tees, lightweight knits, jeans, and a legging or two. You never know when temperatures will fluctuate! And don’t pack or throw away your neutrals… those will always be seasonally appropriate.

Lately, I’ve been crushing on several trends and love when one piece of clothing can combine with more than one outfit. Bell sleeves, pops of pink, off the shoulder, ruffles, and oversize knits are some of my favorites. The olive gilded ruffle hem bell sleeve top shown meshes two of my favorites! The detailing works well for a casual look with jeans and mules, or can easily be dressed up with a skinny pant, a pump, and a statement earring. I decided on a mix of casual and dressy with a flared jean and a pink heel.

You may be wondering now if flared jeans are really back in style… and yes they are! It’s another trend I just can’t get enough of with a shape that helps bring proportion to the body. The pair shown is by STS Blue and under $60, making them incredibly affordable. Other retailers to check out for bell bottom inspired denim are Nordstrom and Express. I highly recommend adding a pair to your closet if you don’t already have some!

If you hadn’t already figured it out from last month’s edition, I’m obsessed with a pink pump and colored aviator–a winning combo! I love them worn with a bright top, because of the fun color contrast. Vivid colors (and a mix of lighter hues and patterns) will be all the rage this coming season. Lots of yellows, pinks, and mint mixed with navys and whites. You could even wear this bell sleeve top with colored shorts and sandals as the weather warms up!

For trendy items, I always try to keep price points in check (this top was less than $50). One of my favorite local retailers for affordable and stylish pieces is H&M because they offer so many great finds and a wide range of styles.

To find out more about this season’s hottest trends and for more outfit and beauty inspiration, head to my blog Pardon Muah (pardonmuah.com) or check out my Instagram @pardonmuahinsta.

xo – Amanda

Virginia Made: The Importance of Self-Care

February is here and we are finally adjusting to writing 2018 instead of 17. It is a month often associated with love and one dedicated to celebrating Black History. As women, there’s one form of love that sometimes finds itself at the bottom of the list. That is self-care. Whether through body, fashion, or art, these women have their priorities in order.

What woman doesn’t dream of soft skin and fragrant products that make you say, “Mmmm…”? Janie Brodie captures that with Herbal Body Blessings in Henrico. Receiving testimonies from customers of how the products have helped them in some way keeps her creating. Janie feels blessed to have her husband, three sons, and goddaughter always ready to pitch in. Body butters, made up of natural ingredients including cocoa and shea butters, combined with scents like coconut lemongrass and honey almond are the company’s best sellers. “Beauty is broad and diverse to me. There is no limit and it can be found everywhere. I find beauty in nature, people, and art. It is truly in the eye of the beholder.” For Janie, self-care involves a cruise to a warm beach. (On Instagram @herbalbodyblessing)

Growing up in England, Nicole Rule became fascinated with garments of her Ethiopian culture. “Even thinking about it now brings back great memories of my mom with a scarf draped over her head as either a fashion statement or to keep warm.” Fast forward a few decades, living in Lynchburg and married with kids, Danicole Accessories was born. Her designs include pieces for infants to adults like headbands, turbans, berets, and bonnets. Nicole also offers specialty pieces such as fascinators, hats, and silk flowers. With a husband and four “love bugs” (five and under) while running a business, life has challenges but Nicole handles them with grace. Her family and serving at church are top priorities while self-care involves sneaking in date night, a delicious meal (dessert included), uninterrupted talk, and a new pair of shoes. (On Instagram @danicoleaccessories)

“I don’t remember having a dream of being an artist, I just was.”

Raised in Lynchburg, Christina (Ball) Davis was homeschooled allowing time to explore her creativity. Growing up in a generation where African-American princesses and strong women figures on posters were few and far between, Christina created her own images. Her (mostly acrylic) paintings reflect emotion through expressive eyes, bold lines, and strong color palettes. Two of the best things about being an artist for Christina are pet commissions and the diversity in creating something unique for each client. Road trips, hiking, good food (Thanksgiving being her favorite holiday), and drinking wine with her new husband are Christina’s ode to self-care. (On Instagram @artistchristinaball)

Written by Faith Jones of The Hill City Handmade.

Bella Reads: Mod New York

Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip was written by Phyllis Magidson and Donald Albrecht. Both authors work as curators for the Museum of the City of New York; Magidson for costumes and Albrecht for architecture and design. Fashion Takes a Trip goes through the important moments and times of fashion history. Walking through the years from the 1940s to the mid 1970s, this book will tell you about Jackie Kennedy and how she impacted the fashion world with the clothes she wore; changes made for youthquake (a time when fashion changed to aim more towards youths); and what New Bohemia was. Its language is simple, and easy to understand and the images used help to play into this as well. Instead of the clothing and styles being described within the texts, images are used to show exactly what was being worn. This also makes it easier to compare fashion between sections and time periods. Followed by images, these sections aren’t too long, and they are straight to the point. Mod New York confirms that fashion is in fact changing all the time, and we are shown this between the matching coat and dress combination of Jackie Kennedy all the way to the colorful, flower printed chiffon dresses of the New Bohemia.

Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip is a very informative book about the history of fashion and what impacts it has had, and the added images show you the changes between the years. This book is one that would be beneficial for someone who has an interest in either the history of fashion, or just fashion in general. It shows where fashion has been, and it just might inspire ideas on where it could go next.

 

Written by Samantha Fantozzi 

The Most Popular Print of the Season!

It’s hard to believe that January has already rolled around. Doesn’t it seem to come quicker every year?! It feels like yesterday I was putting my winter clothes away and here we are with winter coats and heavy knitted scarves again. But there are always fun ways to embrace cold weather attire and to still look chic. A new year is the perfect opportunity to try new fashion trends. This year, one of the biggest trends is a pop of print, specifically leopard. You may be asking, “How do I add print without looking overly trendy, especially if I dress for an office atmosphere most days?” “How do I wear leopard without leopard wearing me?”

Great questions! Let me tell you how.

I’ve personally, always has a soft spot for a splash of animal print. Fortunately for me, leopard is one of my favorites. It makes small appearances around my home and is present in many of the accessories I add into my daily attire. This year you’ll find it in all sorts of places and on all sorts of things. Sassy shoes, cozy cardigans, printed pillows, and even bags & beanies. You could easily wear an entire outfit solely made up of animal print if you really wanted… but let’s talk about how to seamlessly incorporate it without it overwhelming your look.

I find it best to add a punch of print to a monochromatic or understated outfit. For example, in my look shown, I’m wearing a simple olive blouson sweater with a crossbody bag to match, paired with a classic skinny jean. I decided to add in my printed pieces with a fun beanie, some leopard loafers (the most popular shoe style of the season), and a tassel keychain. All are small additions to my attire and simply say, “I’m embracing the print of the season in a trendy way” without loudly screaming, “I love leopard!” Although, if you’d like to add more, shout away! You’ll also find that these pieces won’t be covered up with a coat so you’ll still be able to show them off in the cold Virginia weather.

A few other suggestions for adding a feline flair: Try pairing a sleek black dress with black pumps and a leopard cardigan for work. Or add a leopard clutch to your ensemble. You can even wear a leopard ball cap on the weekend with a cute sweatshirt and leggings. Some of my favorite retailers embracing leopard print this season are Nordstrom, J.Crew, and Loft. I usually type “leopard” into the search bar to see what pops up. You’d be surprised how many options you’ll find!

To find out more about this season’s hottest trends and for more outfit and beauty inspiration, head to my blog Pardon Muah (pardonmuah.com) or check out my Instagram @pardonmuahinsta.

xo – Amanda

 

Written by Amanda Marshall of Pardon Muah
Photos by Cricket Maiden