Taste of the South | Red Ball Gown and Glitter Clutch
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Last weekend, I was invited to attend the Taste of the South - an annual gala benefitting southern charities in the US. It was a black tie affair. My work’s foundation donated money to TOTS so they were given a few free tickets, and I asked Brian to dust off his tux so we could go together and eat all the delicious food! Seriously, there was a booth for every southern state, though there were a few questionable ones like Missouri (isn’t it technically in the midwest??) and Texas (I always thought Texas was its own thing). Each booth had so much food and free swag. I was pretty much full after booth number five, but I kept trudging! I had such a great time and it was fun to dress up!
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Taste of the South
Despite this gala being black tie, the food was supplied from a lot of fast food places from the south. For example, Georgia’s booth had mostly Chik-fil-A. Don’t get me wrong, Chik-fil-A tastes fine, but I honestly don’t get the obsession over it by some. When I visited my parents in South Carolina last Christmas, their neighbors were getting so excited about a new Chik-Fil-A opening in their neighborhood with all of them saying it was “the best.” I beg to differ. Chik-fil-A is just fine. It’s not bad by any means, but it’s not Shake Shack (which is absolutely the best - fight me). But you guys get the idea. It wasn’t catered by a fancy chef, it was food sponsored by fast food restaurants, not all of which I’ve heard of or had before and I’m always up for trying new food. Of all the booths, I think my three favorites were Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. Mississippi supplied us with the most delicious seafood gumbo from Mary Mahoney’s, though my only issue with it was that the rice pilaf they served it with was very much undercooked. I don’t think it’s the restaurant’s fault, but rather the hotel’s (it took place at the Washington Hilton - where the White House Correspondents’ Dinner takes place). Louisiana also had gumbo but from Off the Hook Restaurants and they really played up the Mardi Gras theme. Free beads were given and a few were most definitely taken… by me (hehe). Finally, Florida had this awesome “Saigon” sea scallops and shrimp noodles dish from Bonefish Grill that I went back for seconds. I’m starting to drool just thinking about it.
The event also had a live band and a dance floor, though Brian and I were way too preoccupied with the free food to concern ourselves with dancing. We did try to take photos at the photobooth but they ran out of physical photos they could give us. They promised to email us the photos we took but I haven’t gotten them :( Still, I had a great time, even though I ended up crashing before midnight. Getting old is rough - I can’t stay out as late as I used to!
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As for my outfit for the gala, I wore this dress I got several years ago for a different black tie dinner I had to attend for work. I really love this dress because it’s great for Fall/Winter weddings and excellent for keeping yourself warm in air-conditioned buildings. The color is very bold and vibrant and the side slits add something unexpected and prevents the dress from looking too matronly. The middle wrap slit goes literally all the way up. After walking in it for these photos (taken before we went to the gala), I started to worry about it revealing my underwear if I walked too fast or if the wind started blowing. I got fashion tape and stuck it just at my thigh so it wouldn’t fly up too high. I added my gold sequined clutch I got from Amazon years ago and I decided to go with my block heel sandals from Steve Madden. I thought of a stiletto heel but realized that as I would be on my feet for most of the night, a lower heel that’s comfortable may be a better bet.