Redbook Magazine Real Women Style Contest – I’m a Finalist!!

Friends of Chic in Academia –

A few weeks ago, Redbook Magazine held a call for submissions to be considered for their annual Real Women Style Award competition.  I submitted the following seven photos and guess what?!  I’m a finalist!  I am among 25 women being considered, and there is now a voting process to select this year’s Reader’s Choice.

I never imagined I’d be selected out of the hundreds – perhaps thousands – of entries submitted, but it happened!  I am thrilled, but more so, excited to possibly have the opportunity share my thoughts about fashion and the professional woman on a larger platform.  When I started Chic in Academia, I wanted to show the world that one could be a woman in academia and do all that academics do – nerd out, indulge in science, change the world one scientific discovery at a time, be professional, be a boss, etc – and still maintain a feminine identity.  There appears to be a disconnect in many a workplace:  a woman cannot be both fashionable and a superstar in her field.  Especially in academia, paying attention to one’s attire might be construed as not paying enough attention to one’s science.  Ruminate on that for a minute.

I don’t deem myself the best in my field.  I am far from being the perfect or most successful woman in academia.  But, I do my best and have achieved my share of success, all while wearing stilettos and bright colors to work.  I get ready in 30 minutes or less every single morning and then turn my attention to science.  The fact that I put some thought into what I wear every day, does not in any way distract me from my work or my science. My message to other academics and professional women was was: You can too!  And you can also choose NOT too!  But the choice should be yours.  To quote the old adage, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’.  A fashionable woman does not a dud make. 😉

A second goal for this blog was to help demystify shopping and debunk the myth that high-end, designer fashion was only attainable if you had loads of money.  My blog helps women shop for the items they covet at affordable prices by sharing information about sales, second-hand or consignment shopping, rebates, coupons, making cash from closet inventory.  I focus on making fashion affordable and attainable for all.

And so, although it’s been a great journey thus far, I see this opportunity to compete for the Real Style Award as a way to share this with even more women!  Women who may not yet know about my blog, but who could benefit from reading the information I share, or possibly even gain inspiration on a daily basis from the outfits I share on Instagram.  So, if any of this resonates with you, I would be so grateful if you would take a second to vote for me:  a real woman, scientist, momma, wifey, and sartorialist!  Go to this link

Vote here!

to vote. You’ll see this on the website, but just in case, here are the photos I submitted:





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Photos taken by (in no particular order): my hubby – Michael Frymark; Mariana Pimiento; Rachel Tindall, and Rachel and Noah Ray.

Thank you so much in advance and wish me luck!!!


To vote, click here:  

Real Women Style Award


Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

2016 Bargain Carousel Giveaway!


Guess what time of year it is?!  It’s Bargain Carousel time!  You and a friend have the opportunity to win free tickets to this year’s event.  How?  Well, simply leave a comment below telling me what it is that you hope to find at this year’s Carousel.  Simple as that!   But, “you’ve never been to this event”, you say and need to know more about it??  No worries!  Here’s a little about about the event for your reading pleasure:

Bargain Carousel 2016 Brings Unbelievable Finds

Fundraiser Supports Community In Several Ways

For some there is nothing more fun than bargain hunting! What if you could find a wide variety of unbelievable items at low prices and buying them would mean you were improving lives for women and children? The Junior League of Birmingham’s (JLB) annual Bargain Carousel makes this shopping experience a reality.

Called the “largest garage sale in Birmingham,” the event offers two distinct experiences. Bargain Bash, held this April 21, is a casual cocktail party that offers first-chance shopping of Bargain Carousel items and impressive silent and live auctions, with more than 150 items, including original artwork and VIP travel packages. For shoppers wanting the best selection and smaller crowds, VIP admission is the best choice, with 6 p.m. entry at $40 a ticket. Shoppers receive one hour of early bird shopping before general admission patrons enter. All guests enjoy food, beverages and the auctions. Guests will also enjoy entertaining commentary from Mark & Stephanie with 93.7 WDJC. VIP admission is $40 a ticket and general admission (7 p.m. entry) is $30 a ticket. All Bargain Carousel items sell for double the ticket price during Bargain Bash.

Saturday and Sunday are a bargain hunter’s paradise, with more than 100,000 items for sale including art, appliances, furniture, heirloom items, baby and children’s clothing and furnishings, home décor, outdoors and sporting goods, and much more. This year, a local business liquidated their office furniture, providing Bargain Carousel with dozens of high quality desks, chairs and other office furniture.

“Bargain Carousel’s purpose is two-fold,” said JLB volunteer and Bargain Carousel chair, Haley Holden. “The sale raises money for the League’s 31 projects serving women and children in the metro area and it allows us to sell items at deeply discounted prices to individuals who can benefit from them.”

Both Magic Moments and Every Moment Matters will benefit from a portion of the funds raised at Bargain Carousel 2016.

“Many people return to the event year after year,” said Holden. “We have our Bargain Bash faithful who can afford to come in and buy antique pieces at double our retail price that night and we have hundreds of people who line up overnight for the general sale because they know they can get gently-used necessities at a price they can afford.”

Thanks to Baptist Health System, Bargain Carousel will be held in Hoover just off of Exit 10 from I-459 in the old Princeton-Hoover location.

In 2015, more than 500 tickets were pre-sold the day before Bargain Carousel opened its doors. People began lining up the night before to reserve their spot to pre-purchase tickets. This year, the pre-sale will be held at the sale location on Friday, April 22 from 3 – 7 p.m., where shoppers may purchase up to four tickets at $10/ticket to the Saturday sale.

Bargain Carousel 2016 will begin on Saturday, April 23 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.).  Tickets from 8 – 10 a.m. are $10/ticket and from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. they are $5/ticket.   It continues Sunday, April 24 (1 – 5 p.m.) with free admission and half price merchandise.

A special note for the Saturday sale, all tickets are numbered, and shoppers will enter Bargain Carousel in the order of their ticket number. For information about Bargain Carousel 2016, call 205-879-9861, visit,“Like” Bargain Carousel on Facebook, or follow @jlbbargaincarousel on Instagram.

Check out some of the goodies from last year’s Bargain Carousel:






Don’t forget to leave a comment and good luck!!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

A Chic Thrift Store Experience with America’s Thrift Stores


Disclaimer:  I collaborated with America’s Thrift Stores for this post, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Two outfits under $10!!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to visit America’s Thrift Store in Gardendale, AL.  With a $50 budget, I set out to see what treasures I could find.  Now, this was not my first time at the rodeo, so I had an idea of what types of items I was interested in and what things I needed to keep in mind while shopping.  Here are a few of my tips for thrift store shopping:

  1. Use signage to guide your shopping:  Thrift stores can be overwhelming.  Rows and rows of racks packed with clothes often characterize these stores.  Thankfully, they are often marked with signs (e.g. Tops, Skirts, Dresses, etc), to help guide your shopping.  If you have an idea what you’re shopping for – perhaps you are looking for an interview suit or a dress for a wedding – then use the signs to help guide your visit that day.  In my case, I was open to everything and anything, so I shopped ALL the areas of the store. 😀
  2. Know the store’s discount policy and pricing for the day:  Thrift stores often have discounts they offer on certain days of the week.  Thursdays may be the day they discount all blue tagged clothing an additional 50% off, for example.  So, before you begin shopping, know what color tags have additional discounts.  This is especially helpful if you are shopping on a budget.
  3. Inspect all clothing carefully:  I cannot emphasize this enough.  I once found a pair of designer jeans that were priced at $5.  I was super excited until I got home and realized they had a huge gash on the inner thigh area and were completely unusable.  Sigh.  So, carefully inspect the clothing for holes, stains, tears, the works.  It will be worth the extra two or so minutes to make sure you’re actually getting a good deal.
  4. Wear fitted clothing:  This may sound silly, but you some thrift stores don’t have fitting rooms.  They do, however, often have full-length mirrors.  So, if and when they are void of fitting rooms and you want to make sure a garment is going to fit, you’ll want to be able to try the garment on over the clothing you are wearing.  This may mean wearing a fitted top and leggings if at all possible.  This will allow you to try on dresses, skirts, tops, and jackets.  Pants get a little trickier.  For pants, it helps to wear flowy skirts so you can try them on underneath the skirt.  Which begs me to tell you about the next tip…
  5. Plan head:  If you know you will be shopping for pants, plan to wear a skirt so you can try those pants on even if you don’t have a fitting room to use.  Also know what price you are willing to pay for said pants.  Have you already checked clearance racks at your favorite retailers?  A brand new pair might be priced similarly or sometimes less than what you might find at a thrift store…and they pants will be brand new.  So, do your research in advance of your visit!

So, with these tips in mind, I got to work.  I found A TON of stuff.  I’ve been meaning to post all my finds, but time has gotten away from me, so I’ve only managed to photograph two of the looks thus far.  That said, they are probably the best two looks I found at America’s Thrift!  The first look is a suit from The Limited.  The suit was originally $5, but was marked down an additional 50% off that day!  Score!  I wore it to an important meeting last month and loved how it fit, looked, and most of all, how versatile it was.  I wore the suit on the first day, then wore the jacket with a different outfit the second day.  A $2.50 suit and two outfits!




I also found a brand new (or maybe used once) Ellie Tahari dress which I wore to a wedding this past weekend.  I gasped when I saw how much it was…$5 buckaroos!!  I could not believe it.  I’m telling ya, treasures await your discovery at these stores!!


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Why am I so tan in this pic, and so pale in the one above?!

So, if you’re looking for a good thrift store experience, be sure to visit any of their seven locations in the southeast!  Also, if you happen to have items to donate, you will get an additional 10% off your purchase.  So, be sure to keep them in mind next time you are in the thrifting mood, OR on a super limited budget for clothes-shopping!  Finally, stay tuned for the second round of outfits from this shopping trip.  I’ve got 5 other outfits to show you from this single trip and my $50 budget!

Be sure to check out America’s Thrift Stores on Facebook and Instagram!

Until next time!  Stay ‘Chic’!

Founded in 1984, America’s Thrift Stores is a for-profit company that supports Christian ministries. A significant portion of our net profits are donated to local, regional, national and international family-centered ministries and charities. This funding enables these organizations to carry out their charitable works. America’s Thrift Stores pays federal, state and local taxes and receives no government funding. We provide over 1,000 jobs, as well as pay all of our operating expenses such as rent and utilities. This allows us to support the local community while providing quality products that everyone can afford.

America’s Thrift Stores relies on the generous donations of the local community, to collect used clothing and household items. We resell those items back to the community and share our profits with local Christian-based charities, providing vital funding to help serve needy families and individuals in your community. Your donations empower these ministries in their ongoing efforts to strengthen families, improve lives affected by substance abuse, and teach others about the love of Christ.

America’s Thrift Stores has 18 stores in the following states. Find a location near you.

  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee

What You Will Find In Our Stores:

  • Name Brands & Great Values
  • Gently Used Clothing and Household Items
  • “Thrifty Treasures” (Unique finds and one-of-a-kinds)
  • Friendly and Helpful staff
  • Quick, courteous, and reliable donation pick-ups and drop-offs
  • Over 8,000 items added daily in every store