Alexandria Stylebook

A few months ago, Angela, the owner of Bellacara, approached me with a kind of genius idea: to collaborate with a handful of other stores in an effort to cross promote and show our customers what our stores have to offer, and how it all works together. We weren’t really sure at the time what that would look like, but we partnered up with Kiskadee in Del Ray and Zoe Boutique in Old Town, and got to work. Alexandria Stylebook is what came of it–a website that will bring you the newest trends, tips and insight on all things style and beauty in Alexandria.

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Logo and website design: check.
First photo shoot: check.
Introductory video: check.
Email designed and (almost) ready to send: check.
More great content ready to be loaded: check.

We have worked so hard on this project, because we believe in it. Actually, you helped us believe in it. We put out a survey in March in an attempt to assess interest, and 350 people responded! I couldn’t believe it! We are attending to a few last details–final website changes, email template design, etc.–but as soon as that is all finished, we will launch tomorrow: May 1.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@alxstylebook), Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I can’t wait to show you guys what we’ve come up with! It’s gonna be good, folks.


Anniversary Countdown: April

It’s as old a question as the chicken and the egg. Which comes first: the shoes or the outfit? Even before I owned a shoe store I tended to buy shoes first and the outfit second. But sometimes even the most shoe-obsessed must make a purchase to solve an outfit problem. Sometimes these shoes become one of our favorites, as is the case with my shoe of the month for April.

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For the first, and hopefully last, time, I’m showcasing shoes that did not come from The Shoe Hive. I was headed to an outdoor wedding in Lancaster, Ohio. I needed something suited to a lot of standing and complimentary to the most-perfect-est DVF long wrap dress that I didn’t want to shorten. I happen to be at the mall, something that almost never occurs in my Old Town-centric life, and I spotted this pair at Nordstrom. I not only bought the size 7s for me, I went home and ordered a whole case for the store! That’s one of the great perks of owning a shoe store — you never have to settle for just one pair of any style you like.

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The shoe is the Micheal Kors Vivian and it’s the perfect platform wedge. It comes in every shoe fabric and color. It also comes in a non sling-back version called the Vail. Both styles have earned a regular spot on our shelves. The only problem with this April Shoe Of The Month is they sell out so quickly!

Asha Trunk Show for Mother’s Day

In case you hadn’t heard, we are having an Asha trunk show all weekend long in preparation for Mother’s Day. The classic zodiac rings are entirely customizable–pick out what you want and we will make it happen! If the rings aren’t your thing, I feel confident that you will find something else to make your Mother’s Day special this year! And it’s all 20% off through Sunday!
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Tale of Two Cookies

Have you ever watched a cooking show, gotten inspired, and thought you could do what they are doing on tv? That same thing happens to me when I go in La Cuisine. Since we moved here 14 years ago my husband has shopped there. Yes, this is an admission in public that I, myself, am not a cook and for years only went to La Cuisine to buy gifts.

Then I became friends with the owner. Nancy is who all merchants want to grow up to be. I also consider her the Queen of Old Town retail. She has owned her store more than 40 years all while raising her two daughters — in a cool apartment above the store, no less. She also owns her building and encouraged me to buy mine. So now, basically I try to buy things there and cook in the hopes I can be more like Nancy. She also really has changed with the times and has embraced technology and all the changes that come with it.

Okay, I digress. Back to the cookies — you saw that in the title and knew it was in here somewhere, right?

So I also subscribed to the La Cuisine newsletter.  I had that same, “I can do that” emotion that I do when I watch the Cooking Channel. There was a photo of beautiful butterfly cookies, iced to perfection — more of a piece of art than a cookie.

I decided to try it, deputizing my  5 year old and 3 year old to help. The results were not quite Nancy-ish. You can see them below.

Finally, my artistic brother arrived from his Easter weekend round of golf and decorated the last butterfly so we could save some face.


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Spring Break: Todd Family Style

I just got back from spring break with my husband and kids although it already seems very far away. We were in Vero Beach where my parents retired. My sister Rebecca and her husband were there, which was exciting for my kids because she used to live in Alexandria until last October and she is having a baby in May. I think her belly got lots of kisses from my little ones. Later in the week my brother, his wife and the ever popular Emma and Zoe arrived. The countdown for their arrival began the minute we touched down in Orlando.

Take off: Me unsuccessfully trying to read Elle on the plane. Not sure how Brad figured out how to sit solo on the flight.


Spring Training! The first two days weren’t too warm but it didn’t matter. Brad, Papa, Bear and Big Boy hit spring training to watch the Nats.

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Once it did warm up we hit the pool and the beach. Bear is finally swimming and was doing cannon balls. I couldn’t believe it since she screamed so much at lessons last year people approached me at the pool to give me advice on not to wait so long to start lessons. We started lessons when she was 8 months old. Big boy was obviously looking for treasures.

Vacation4 Vacation5Easter prep: SO my mom was green before green was green. Many who know me find this shocking. We had cloth diapers, I have recycled since I can remember and my mom had a huge garden that was probably not allowed in our country club neighborhood. This easter my mom decided to die easter eggs the natural way. Below is the before and after. I rest my case for chemicals.


The kids were up early for the egg hunt. I was still in my Elizabeth Cotton pjs. Below is our attempt at a family photo.