Polka Dots and Pearls

I love old family photos–even when they’re not of my family! The stories behind them, the awkward poses and bad hairstyles…I just can’t get enough!

Karen Alexander, known to me and many others as Auntie Karen, took our family photos and other special occasions to the next level with Polka Dots and Pearls! From new babies to beach days and random cousin play dates–Polka Dots and Pearls adds a fun twist to our favorite memories. I love all of the images, but this post is to show-off the ones that are special to me!

 The “Back in the Day” is my personal fav because it features my 2 cousins, baby sister and yours truly. If you go to the house of any of my family members, chances are they have a version of this picture hanging around somewhere.

Polka Dots and Pearls--The Palmetto Peaches

The Proud Brown Lady also holds a special place in my heart. Auntie Karen created it after we went to SC Pride last year. It was done in just enough time for me to wear to Atlanta Pride a few weeks later!

Polka Dots and Pearls--The Palmetto Peaches

The Bourgie Baby is my super cute little cousin, who is now 13. He’s not so bourgie anymore. Haha.
As awesome as my family is, not all of the Polka Dots and Pearls images are based on our portraits. The African-American culture and traditions are also an inspiration.
Does your family do anything special with old photos? What are some of your favorite family traditions to capture? Comment below or tweet @PalmsInATL! Don’t forget to like Polka Dots and Pearls on Facebook:, and follow on Twitter @PolkaDotsPearls!
Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches

School Daze

Back in the days when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore. But some days I sit and wish I was a kid again.

Now everybody say, “I remember way back when..”  When I was younger, going back to school was a big deal. Buying school supplies and new clothes completed overshadowed the thought of waking up at 7am instead of 2pm. The first day of school was probably the only day we got up with out a struggle in my house. Who could sleep with all the excitement: new crayon smell, shoes still in the box and laid baby hair? YAASS QUEEN.

Now that we’re all “grown-up”, the roles have changed. My former elementary and middle school classmates are posting pictures of their little ones heading to school, and I’m just here waiting for my nephews’ summer break to be over. But I will admit, it has me thinking about (and missing) the good ol’ days. Here’s a list of the things my mama made sure we had to start a successful school year.

Book bag

My School of the Arts school supplies list was unlike anything my family has ever seen. While everyone was rocking their Jansport or embroidered L. L. Bean’s, ya girl had to rock a rolling book bag. It was way too heavy to carry. My uncle still jokes with me, “Baby girl–remember when I had to help you carry that heavy ass book bag? Looks like it paid off.”  I guess.
School Daze--The Palmetto Peaches


First day of school outfit

My curves never did fit in to Limited Too clothes, and my mama heard JNCO was racist–so FUBU & Southpole were my go to back to school #OOTD in middle school. Basically, I dressed like a grown man until I was 14. But my favorite back-to-school outfit has to be the one I wore the first day of 9th grade: DEMO jeans with brown patches on them, a matching shirt from Old Navy, Coach shoes (the ones that looked like Converse) and a name belt. The name belt was super exclusive, because I got it from New York before everyone could buy one in the mall. *hair flip*

School Daze--The Palmetto Peaches

photo from


School supplies

Remember when it was a big deal to have those obnoxious Lisa Frank school supplies? I do. As if the 10 boxes of Kleenex and 20 composition notebooks weren’t enough, kids begged their parents for a pack of flashy $10 pencils, and stickers they didn’t even need!

The summer before 6th grade, I was obsessed with Clueless. Those pens with the feathers on on top were the only school supplies I cared about. First of all, nobody used those pens in real life–especially middle schoolers in the south. Second of all, I didn’t write with pens in school until like high school.
School Daze--The Palmetto Peaches



The first day of school was a way to reinvent yourself. How you started the year was how you’d be remembered until the next school year (returning from Winter Break was a chance to redeem yourself). So the hair had to be laid hunty! My little sister and I always got matching braids. One year, my mama even let us get blonde & burgundy crochet braids. [My keyboard is wet from the tears I’m shedding while laughing.] I won’t even tell y’all the story of how I got cut all my hair off & rocked a 1980s texturizer, and looked like this…
School Daze--The Palmetto Peaches


Words of encouragement

My family is super corny. LOL. My cousins and I would call each other every first day of school talmbout, “Have a great day! Love you. Miss you. See you soon!” I think it worked, because we were all good kids and students. Maybe we should’ve kept the tradition going when we got to high school. HAHA!

As motivating as our pep-talks were, we had nothing on Kid President!

Never thought I’d admit to missing those days, especially the embarrassing ones! Do you remember how you felt when it was time to go back to school? What were the “must-have” items on your list? Comment below or tweet me @TheAceAlexa!

Ace Siggy--The Palmetto Peaches