I'm very excited to share a behind the scenes look at the making of a local lookbook. It combined two of my absolutely favorite things (Old Town and dressing up Lulu), along with a few things completely out of my normal comfort zone (getting gussied up and wearing very tall heels). If you follow us on Instagram or Facebook, you may have seen a few of the preview photos we were posting during a photo shoot for the Cobblestone Runway Lookbook.

At the expert hands of professional stylists, makeup artists, fashionistas, and other willing participants, they had this normally paint splattered girl looking cleaned up and almost unrecognizable.

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

Now let me tell you a little something about myself. I like to think of myself as a real trend setting fashionista, as comfortable on the catwalk as I am with a nail gun or paint roller. 

Wait a second, that's not right at all. In fact, it's perhaps one of the most egregious falsehoods I've ever uttered.

In reality I consider myself decidedly the antithesis of fashion forward. I might try to act the part of from time to time, I might even secretly want to be looked at as "stylish", but for will or ability, I'm sort of unapologetically not that person. Instead, I'm more of a "ready and out the door in 20 minutes" girl, and I have no qualms with walking around town in my dog walking attire, despite the fact that someone might :gasp: see me. 

It's for this simple reason that when a few local boutique small businesses approached me to see if Lulu and I would be interested in modeling a few Spring looks for the first ever Cobblestone Runway Lookbook, I was quite literally speechless. All I could muster was, "Me? Really?" 

How did these great local shops want to use a girl who rocks half a fake front tooth thanks to a washing machine mishap nearly 15 years ago in their spring trend guide? (That's a long story that I'm sure Alex would be glad to fill you in on if you'd like.) 

To participate, all Lulu and I needed to do was—along with three other local bloggers: Rachel of My Fair Vanity, Tammy of A Loyal Love, and Bryarly of Everything That Flickers—go with the flow for a day of fun and pampering in order to help these local Old Town Alexandria small businesses showcase their Spring finest. Sign. Me. Up.

The end result is the first ever Cobblestones Runway Lookbook for Old Town Alexandria.

Though the photo shoot itself was scheduled for only one day, the prep for the event actually kicked off a week ahead of time when I had an opportunity to get together with the style mavens behind the boutiques that make the lookbook possible. In these first few days we picked out our outfits from Zoe Boutique, great shoes and accessories from Bishop Boutique, and even a little skin color from BronzedBerry organic spray tanning.

Everything from trying on pair after pair of gorgeous shoes that made me feel quite glamorous in spite of my pale "winter feet", to my first ever experience with spray tanning, was well outside the bounds of my typical DIY wheelhouse, but I have to say I really enjoyed it.

When we actually reached the day of the shoot it was largely a blur of excitement. I was treated to professional hair and makeup at Sugar House Day Spa and Salon, and the results were impressive. My hair took on a whole new shape and my complexion looked like it never has before. If only I could learn how to do this myself!

Photo Credit: Carlis Sanchez, Spicy Candy DC

While I don't consider myself a model in looks, measurements, grace, style, posture, appetite, general fashion sense, or really anything that would typical qualify one to realistically call themselves a model, the concept of supporting local small businesses by participating in a fun daylong photo shoot sounded like something I could completely get behind. But I know the real reason they contacted me to participate was simply to get to the true model in our household, our canine companion Lulu. The truth hurts, but I have to accept it.

After all of my very taxing pampering, it was time for the shoot to begin. I ran home to collect my four legged sidekick and we headed over to Morrison House, a local Kimpton Hotel. We met up with the other ladies representing all of the behind the scenes support making the whole production possible, as well as the other canine models (including two dogs who are looking for their forever homes). 

Before I knew it Lulu was dressed in her first look from The Dog Park, a colorful collar and dainty beaded leash, and we were on our way. We took several photos at the hotel in different locations, my favorite being the shots as we walked out the door and down the hotel's curved front staircase. 

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

No Cobblestone Lookbook would possibly be complete without a feature in its cobblestone namesake, but wouldn't you know it that you can find some just a stone's throw from Zoe Boutique. We headed down to Zoe at the bottom of Prince Street so we could change into our evening wear then lined up for a series of photos on the nearby cobblestone-lined Captains' Row. These photos are some of my favorites because they showcase the charm and history of Old Town alongside the style of its retail offerings.

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

Throughout this whole adventure, there are two primary things that I learned. First, cobblestones are beautiful and charming, but they're not easy to walk on with heels. And second, Lulu really looks great in a pink tutu.

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

Our final stop of the night was at Jackson 20, a local restaurant and bar that is well known for it's courtyard doggy happy hour, or "Yappy Hour" as it's more locally known. In a nod to the weekly event held Tuesday and Thursday nights throughout the summer in the courtyard of the Hotel Monaco, we sipped wine (ugh, such a tough job!) alongside our four legged friends, and toasted to the success of the day.

Photo Credit: Alumbra Photography

I think this was easily Lulu's favorite stop of the day. She and her new best friend, Merci (pronounced Mercy), the French Bulldog puppy, chased each other all over the courtyard. It was easily the highlight of my day, and that's saying a lot!

The Cobblestone Runway Lookbook was officially unveiled yesterday and I must say that it's spectacular. I may be a little biased due to many photos of one wrinkly faced dog that I can't seem to get enough of, but I think it's definitely worth an in-depth perusal. To take a look at the beautiful photos, gorgeous clothing and accessories, and of course, to see my sweet puppy in all her glory, you can view it here or on Bishop Boutique's blog.

Thank you again to Bishop Boutique, Zoe Boutique, The Dog Park, Sugar House Day Spa and SalonBronzedBerry, Alumbra Photography, and Carlis from Spicy Candy DC for not only making Lulu and I feel like princesses for a day, but for representing small businesses whose shops and services make Old Town Alexandria an even better place to live and visit. 

Comments 19


4/16/2014 at 4:13 PM

Beautiful pics Wendy! You and Lulu look great!


Thanks so much, Phoebe!

Kate 'Katya' Viar
4/16/2014 at 4:34 PM
That video is hysterical! Love this! You look like a real model!

I love the video, and am obsessed with Merci. She and Lulu make quite the pair!

4/16/2014 at 4:43 PM

Beautiful Wendy. Loved your outfits. Did you get to keep them??


Thanks, Margie! Two of the beautiful pieces made their way into my closet, but I may need to go back and buy that necklace! ;)

4/16/2014 at 5:14 PM

You look gorgeous as always Wendy! And Lulu of course!


:) Thanks, Sarah!

Kelly Nelson
4/16/2014 at 8:55 PM
Lookin' good!

Thanks, Kelly!

Laura C
4/17/2014 at 9:27 AM

How fun, and you look great! That haircut is fantastic.

4/17/2014 at 2:57 PM

Agreed! The first thing I thought was Wendy's hair is amazing! Would you be willing to post a 360 so those of us with hair envy can see if our local stylists can re-create?!


Thanks, Laura! It's my same old haircut, but the professional styling really made it look different...and great! I must learn how to dry my hair like this.

4/17/2014 at 10:21 AM

Hello lovely blog you have! Now there is both a Blog Hop and a giveaway on my blog if you would like to participate! http://gladalinjen.blogspot.se/2014/04/blog-hop-blowout.html

4/17/2014 at 5:05 PM

I love that all your efforts to promote Old Town are getting the attention you deserve - I'm visiting this year thanks to all your beautiful photos and stories. Please tell me that divine little French Bulldog has a family who love her. Seeing her running style in slo-mo is LOL funny. Beautiful shots, cheers


We're so glad you're coming to visit, Kerrie! And yes, Merci has two wonderfully kind parents that love her to pieces.Alt smile

Karin K
4/18/2014 at 11:23 AM

Wendy, you look gorgeous! And Lulu is the best! How does it feel to know that your bedroom is far better designed than the one they posed you in? You should feel smug. I would...LOL!


Too funny!Alt smile Thanks, Karin!

4/30/2014 at 10:36 PM

Wendy - you look beautiful and I love the hair!

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