Category Archives: accessories

In the Details: JORD Wood Watch

As I get older and my style gets less fussy, I’m really into the idea of investment statement pieces that get a lot of everyday mileage: a great leather handbag, simple stud earrings, delicate gold necklaces; little details that speak to your style and live with you for years.

Like a really good watch.

JORD contacted me recently about their line of eco-friendly wood watches and kindly offered to send one. I thought the maple Ely series would be a good fit for me: the compact design wouldn’t overpower my wrist, the neutral color would go with just about everything, and the scratch-proof face just might survive the flower shop.

When the watch arrived a few days later, it was love at first sight. It’s incredibly lightweight, making it super comfortable for everyday wear, and the maple finish is really beautiful. It’s a modern take on a classic style, and I’ve worn it every day since.

in the bag: summer carry-alls

IMG_0001

A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Big Buddha Fiji Tote A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Mara Hoffman Vinyl Tote A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Sole Society Kat Oversize Canvas Tote A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Urban Originals "Wonder Dots" Faux Leather Tote

 

IMG_0002

A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Gap Canvas Tote A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Tory Burch Brooke Small Tote A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Joie Kennedi Tote A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Splendid Tulum Canvas Bag

IMG_0003

A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Herschel Supply Co. The Market Tote in Malibu Street A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Mar Y Sol Caracas Tote A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Nine West Prep It Up Multi-Stripe Shoulder ToteA Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Fossil Keyper Beach Tote

 

IMG_0004

A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: BCBGeneration Wilson ToteA Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Zara Perforated Shopper Bag  A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Vince Camuto Jace Clear Pool Tote A Pretty Penny | Summer Carry-alls: Kate Landry Palm Print Tote

 

‘Tis the season for go-everywhere bags that carry all your essentials  from work to errands, the pool, weekend BBQs, summer classes, the beach… you see where I’m going here? Ain’t nobody got time for changing handbags, because it’s going to be fall before we know it and, dammit, we’re making the most of these carefree, ice-cream-binging, sunshiny months.

From neutral canvases to bold prints and perforated leather, I can’t get enough of these carry-all totes that work just as well with a sundress and sandals as they do with a swimsuit and coverup.

 

the bucket {bag} list

Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag

{source: Steven Alan}

Style Imported Mansur Gavriel Bucket Bag Illustration

{source: Style Imported}

If I had a handful of extra Benjamins lying around, I would happily throw them at a Mansur Gavriel leather bucket bag. In Cammello with Antico lining, please and thank you.

It was love at first sight when I spied this beauty on Pinterest a few months ago. It’s perfectly simple and elegant; one of those bags you can carry for decades that only gets better with age.

The women behind the up-and-coming brand, Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel, came together in 2012 to create a line of high quality, timeless bags for ‘real women’ at mid-range pricing. Their vegetable tanned leather creations are an investment, with prices ranging from $350-600, but they’re made to last with leather that patinas to well-worn perfection over time.

It’s pretty tough to get your hands on one — they’re selling out as soon as they hit retailers’ shelves and there are waiting lists involved — so I have plenty of time to sell some extra flowers to save up for it. ;-)

In the meantime, here are some great leather bucket bags you can add to your spring wardrobe right now!

Elizabeth-and-James-CynnieJoie-Mabel-BlackTopshop-DuffleCalvin-Klein

{Left to Right}: Elizabeth and James Cynnie (Topshop, several colors available, $545); Joie Mabel (Joie, $388); Topshop Embossed Check Duffle Bag ($130); Calvin Klein Drawstring Bucket Bag

sack dress save

IMG_9393

IMG_9389

IMG_9396

All the donuts and fast food of Mother’s Day week caught up with me, and come Monday zipping my jeans was a bit of a problem. Big boxy shift dress to the rescue! Oh, 20-year-old metabolism, why have you left me?!

IMG_9416

Wearing: MNG by Mango Single-Pleat Shift Dress (jcpenney clearance, $20); Duro Olowu Tapestry Tote (found in-store for 50% off!); Nine West sandals

retail therapy {and a budget update}

IMG_9361

Duro Olowu Wood-Handled Tapestry Tote; Target clearance top; Lucky Brand jeans; 

Last October, I decided my shopping habits needed a reboot; so I embarked on a four-month journey to spend just $100 per month on clothes, accessories, and beauty products. It went so well for those four months, I proclaimed, “Hey, Internets! I’m going to keep this biz-ness up for a whole year!” To which my husband cocked an eyebrow and gently asked if I was really up for such a task, and I was all, “where’s your faith, dude?! I got this!

Have I told you before that for a type-A control freak, I can be really impulsive? When I get excited about something, I must do it now! Planning be damned! Leap and the net will appear! It’s going to be awesome! Like the time I decided to become a Stella & Dot independent stylist, and spent an ungodly sum of my husband’s money on samples, just to quit in the red less than a year later. Or, most recently, when I almost accidentally murdered this blog trying to move it to a self-hosted platform one afternoon after deciding that morning to make the switch (a Google search and a credit card does not a tech-savvy blogger make, friends.) This impulsivity gets me in trouble now and then, and sometimes my “mouth writes a check that my @ss can’t cash.”

IMG_9357

By now, you may have deduced that this is a confessional post about the status of that overzealous budget proclamation of yore, as well as a reluctant admission that my husband was {cough} right. It felt weird to take such a stance on the issue on my blog, and then just forget about it and let it fade into oblivion, you know? It felt like I had some ‘splainin’ to do…

This is not to say that I’ve been out making it rain in my favorite outlet stores; but the truth is, in the last couple of months, I haven’t been as meticulous in tracking my spending as I was in the beginning. It started with a girl’s trip last month, for which I needed at least two new bathing suits, and then it was new sandals for warmer weather, and then an overhaul of my spring/summer makeup routine. Then a couple of nights ago, after a brutally exhausting holiday week, I needed a little “me time” to relax and unwind and ain’t no therapy like retail therapy, and I thought I’d earned a teeny spree! Call this ridiculous justification, or epic failure, or just jumping the gun on a goal without really thinking it all the way through — I haven’t figured out what to call it yet myself…

IMG_9370

Despite a derailing, I’m not naming the whole budget experiment a wash; it really did help me push the reset button on my spending, cleared up my prior confusion of needs vs. wants, and made me a smarter shopper. I achieved about 6 months of solid commitment, and for a girl who’s never budgeted in her life, I’m proud of what I accomplished! However, I’m cutting myself a little slack and saying maybe this experiment has run its course for me. 

So what’s worse: being a big quitter, or setting yourself up for failure with a lofty 12-month goal you didn’t think through? Either way, sometimes you have to know when to say uncle.

Uncle.

Thoughts?

P.S. I have a whole new level of respect for the self control of the people who’ve accomplished a year-long shop fast! Like my friend, Cathy, who’s in the midst of one now and sharing her journey on her blog. Go cheer her on, will you?

dirty little secret

IMG_8456

IMG_8423

IMG_8416

See that cute little scarf trick I did there? It’s hiding my hasn’t-been-washed-in-9-days hair. Are you judging? Hang on, lemme explain…

First, I should probably tell you that I’m totally skeeved out by all of the crazy chemicals found in cosmetics and body care products; things like formaldehyde, lead, and mercury, oh my!! While I’ve always tried to be conscientious about the things I eat, I never paid much attention to what I slathered on my skin. That is, until my mom-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2008. During her treatment, she spent a lot of time researching the possible links between these chemicals and our health, and some of the facts are pretty scary. Since then, I’ve done my best to stock our medicine cabinet and shower caddy with all-natural and organic products, including aluminum-free deodorant, handmade goats milk soaps from a local farm, and olive oil moisturizers, to name a few.

But hair is tricky! I’ve yet to find a line of {affordable} natural haircare products that keep my thick hair shiny and manageable, so I try to compensate by only lathering up every 7-10 days. And it turns out shampooing less has made my hair and scalp so much healthier. I get through the week with dry shampoo; but by day 7, hats and scarves are a girl’s best friend.

Does anyone remember the big “no-poo” craze that went around a few years ago? Girls were forgoing shampoo for up to 8 weeks at a time, and claiming it gave them magical unicorn tresses. My girlfriends and I were fascinated — but too chicken to try it out. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sudsing up?

And natural haircare recommendations welcome!

recharged

IMG_8178Last Saturday, I skipped out of the shop at noon on the dot. It was a beautiful afternoon, my schedule was clear, and I was on a mission: to make it to the Lakeland Farmers Curb Market before it ended at 2:00, get my hands on some beignets from The Poor Porker, do a little thrifting {which I haven’t done in ages}, and stop in Marshall’s to find a few inexpensive dresses for work because by March it will be too hot to wear anything else.

You guys, it was just the loveliest. An entire day to myself: puttering around town on a powdered sugar high, taking my sweet time picking through every pair of designer jeans at the Goodwill, taking mental notes of cute outfits — you Lakeland girls have some serious style! — and walking up and down each aisle at Hobby Lobby in search of studs for my denim jacket (sadly, no dice). I shopped ’til I dropped, but at the end of it all I felt so… rejuvenated. Sometimes a girl just needs a little distraction-free “me time” to recharge her batteries, you know?

The spoils of the day included a pair of Joe’s jeans scored at Goodwill for $10, Gap denim cut-offs scooped up for $3, four cute and comfy day dresses from Marshall’s, and a pair of LC Lauren Conrad polka dot jeggings spotted (pun intended?) on my last stop at Kohl’s  — all purchased under my February shopping budget of $100; huzzah.

{ Wearing: Romeo & Juliet Couture dress (Marshall’s sale, $20) and bag (Hautelook, $35); Hue purple tights; Daniel Wellington watch }

seein’ stars

IMG_8060

IMG_8107

IMG_8078 IMG_8126

Please pardon my mess of a top-knot. While I finally had a chance to wash my hair this morning {God bless my sweet husband’s heart for letting me sleep in and stroll in to work two hours late} I’m afraid I didn’t have the energy to do much else. I did manage to slap on some makeup and put on a clean pair of jeans, so two out of three ain’t bad.

My head is still spinning from last week. I snuck in a luxuriously long nap Sunday afternoon  — and several generously poured glasses of Merlot — but I haven’t completely recovered from the holiday. Maybe I have a rare florist-attacking strain of lovesickness? Symptoms include extreme fatigue, aversion to glittery hearts and red roses, body aches, memory loss, and reckless consumption of leftover Valentine’s Day chocolate. Any other flower veterans that can confirm this self-diagnosis?

{ Wearing: Target sweater; thrifted denim button-down; Gap jeans; JCrew espadrilles; Romeo & Juliet Couture handbag via Hautelook }

keeping it together, part II: my work bag

IMG_7409

Remember my first Keeping It Together post back in March? Several of you asked for more details about my daily organization and favorite tools, so here I am — just a short nine months later — spilling the contents of my work bag!

IMG_7426

If you were to catch me traveling to or from work on a typical day, you may expect that I’m headed to the airport or somewhere similarly exciting by the sheer magnitude of luggage I tote back and forth. Handbag, camera bag, and workbag – always. Sometimes a lunchbox, when I’m on one of those “eating healthy and saving money” kicks. Maybe a jacket, or on rare occasions a bag or two from some errand pitstop I made on the way.

Let me paint you a picture: Tiny 5’4″ lady with lotsa hair struggling across the parking lot with up to six bags balanced precariously on her shoulders and elbows as she’s pulled by an excited 75-lb Goldendoodle that is literally as big as she is, dropping things and muttering expletives along the way while trying to steer said dog toward the front door. This is why I can’t wear heels or wedges to work; I wouldn’t even make it inside.

Why subject myself to such graceless schlepping day after day? Because without all that gear, I’d be a mess. Let’s delve into the depths of the Billabong tote bag that currently serves as my mobile office. {We’ll go through the camera bag and handbag some other time.}

tapestrips_grey_stripes2

Finding the perfect carry-all can be tough, and I’ve gone through several in the last year. A few candidates couldn’t handle the weight of so much responsibility and their straps eventually succumbed to the pressure (once in the parking lot on the way to my car, when in an uncharacteristically coordinated act of valor I managed to catch the bag before my Macbook shattered on the concrete). The ideal bag has sturdy construction, isn’t too heavy — I love a studded leather situation as much as the next girl, but if it weighs 5 ell-bees empty, she’s out — and be cute {duh}. The current iteration is by Billabong, and I scooped it up at m.marie back in November. You can find new spring styles on Billabong’s site.

IMG_7419

My work bag carries all the stuff I need to well, work from anywhere — for both the flower shop and the blog. My daily essentials are a mix of old-school office supplies and modern techie tools, and just about everything is printed and colorful because work is more fun with cute provisions.

If I don’t write things down, I’m doomed to forget them. Even if I never look at the note again, just the simple act of writing it out helps commit it to memory. So I keep lots of notebooks around for jotting down to-do lists and scribbling out important details. I love Martha Stewart’s notebooks from Staples; they come in great colors and prints, and they’re college-ruled. And because everything is better color-coded, I keep a stash of bright pens and highlighters in a cosmetic bag. For me, it doesn’t get better than a big pack of assorted Paper Mates! {Letting my nerd flag fly in this post, ya’ll.}

Fortunately, I don’t have to handle a lot of paperwork — I leave all that fun stuff to the hubs — but I try to keep the small amount I am responsible for organized in pretty little file folders. Notes from bridal consultations, price sheets from suppliers, wedding orders, and other important docs all have a place in folders from Martha and M by Staples. Are you getting the impression that I can’t be controlled in an office supply store? Because it’s a problem.

IMG_7427

Now let’s talk about my technology dependence.

My Macbook Pro is my sister from another mister, and without her I’d be a stone cold disaster. My in-laws bought her for me when I started working at the flower shop a few years ago, and we’ve built a beautiful bond over hours of photo-editing, writing, inbox wrangling, and web surfing. I haven’t named her or anything, but I’m pretty crazy about her.

I’ve had my eye on a Wacom Bamboo Connect Pen Tablet for a while. Elsie uses hers to add handwriting to her blog, A Beautiful Mess, and Linda creates all of her adorable Little Tin Soldier illustrations on one! When my mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas back in the fall, I told her about it. I was so excited to open it on Christmas Eve, because I’d honestly kind of forgotten I asked for it! {Thanks for remembering, Mom!} It’s lightweight and portable, and now it goes with me everywhere.

IMG_7417

My final favorite gadget — and a recent addition to my work bag — is my new HTC One X+. I’m partnering with HTC as part of #TroopOneX to capture all my crazy moments on the new Android smartphone and share them with all of you over the next six weeks. More to come on that later (including a big major perk for you, dear readers!) but for now let me just say that I’m in love with this smartphone. It’s the perfect pocket-sized partner in crime for someone who loves pursuing creative interests but has to handle business, too. Like moi.

So there you have it! The only thing missing is a little stack of floral trade magazines that I tote around in the hopes that I’ll catch a spare minute or two to leaf through them for ideas.

What are your favorite organizational tools of the trade?

 

restless…

IMG_7368

IMG_7394

IMG_7372

IMG_7403 IMG_7380

My mom called at the shop this afternoon, and asked about my day. “Mmm, okay. It’s kind of slow,” I replied. “Good,” she said, “you need a little break to catch your breath!” She’s totally right, as per usual. But why didn’t I think of that?

Chad and I are both guilty of catching ants-in-the-pants when our plates aren’t as full as we’d like them to be. And after the crazy shuffle of the holidays, our perception of busy gets a little distorted.  With volume nearly doubled on some business days in December, we have to reset our expectations to what’s “normal” come January. Sometimes this takes a little while. Hopefully we’ll figure it out in time to enjoy some downtime before Valentine’s Day; which ohmigosh, is just five weeks away.

{ lace top and scarf (Beall’s Outlet); Mossimo skinnies (Target); Stampede boots c/o Wanted (ON SALE!); Steve Madden foldover clutch (Marshall’s); watch c/o Daniel Wellington }

budget update: week 10/52

IMG_7280

Remember my less-is-more budget project that I launched back in November? In case you missed it, in an attempt to reform my shopaholic ways I gave myself a strict budget of $100 per month for clothes, shoes, accessories and beauty buys. Originally, I planned to stick it out for four months; but I’ve been so encouraged by my progress I’m stretching it to a year!

Giving myself a little accountability in my spending has reframed my perception of wants vs. needs. It’s also helped me patch the holes in the other areas I tend to overindulge in, like pricey drugstore hauls — am I the only one that can’t make it out of Walgreens without three different kinds of lipgloss? I knew I was doing something right when the extra cushion in my checking account came in handy for some unexpected year-end expenses, and it was just the little boost I needed to stay on track.

I almost made it through December without buying a thing {what?! who am I?!} but alas, I caved at Marshall’s last Saturday after delivering a wedding order nearby. It didn’t take long for those old familiar feelings to kick in, and before I knew it 45 minutes passed and my arms were filled with cute spring tops and clearance temptations. I took a beat. Pulled out my phone and started tallying up the damage on the calculator. All of my finds added up to around 90 bucks…

I thought about it. Reasoned with my newly responsible self. Even if I bought all the things I pulled, I’d still be under my budget. But did I need it? Where would my hard-earned money be better served elsewhere? A special date night with my mister? Applied toward a credit card balance? In that weird subaccount that’s attached to my checking that I think they call savings? ;-)

I took another lap around the store and carefully returned everything to the racks; but I held on to two pieces: a Violet & Claire blouse in the most gorgeous shade of orangey red, and a Steve Madden foldover clutch on clearance (an item that’s been on my wish list for a while now). I made it to the checkout, paid in cash, and for the first time in a looooong time I drove home without the tiniest bit of buyer’s remorse.

getting back in the swing…

polka dot scarf

glasses

denim on denim

IMG_7246

The dust is beginning to settle from the busy holiday, and I think I’ve finally swept up the last of the glitter that seems to form a fine layer over every surface of the flower shop from December through the new year. Now if I could just get it out of my hair…

As much as I love the hustle and bustle of Christmas and the new year, I’m looking forward to getting back to a semi-normal schedule. Until Valentine’s Day.

thrifted denim shirt; DL1961 jeans; Romeo & Juliet Couture pleather jacket (Hautelook); gifted polka dot scarf (thanks, Mom!); Nine West clutch; Seychelles leather loafers (Hautelook)

 

market colors

Market Colors Scarf

Let’s kick off this week with something uplifting, shall we? I’d like to introduce you to Market Colors, a nonprofit organization that’s bridging the gap between quality handmade products from skilled African craftsman and American buyers. Here’s how it works: (1) Market Colors orders products from groups of African craftsmen (everything from scarves and jewelry to tech accessories, and lots in between). (2) The craftsmen make products from native materials. (3) Market Colors purchases the items. (4) Products arrive to MC headquarters in Orlando, FL — just a hop, skip and jump from my hometown! (5) Market Colors markets and sells the products on their website. (6) All proceeds are reinvested in Africa as the cycle repeats.Market Colors Packaging

Each product is beautifully packaged, and includes a postcard that introduces you to its creator! This is an extra-special touch that makes you feel connected to your accessories in a whole new way. I’ll wear this scarf and bracelet proudly, knowing that they were carefully handmade in villages far away by Samson and Kolida. They’re gifts I’ll treasure for always.

Market Colors IMG_7131

IMG_7097

IMG_7119

IMG_7125 IMG_7110

Each purchase from http://store.marketcolors.org/ helps a craftsman to provide for his or her family. Check out this video for details (and when you have a free moment or two, I encourage you to watch the others as well).

Market Colors Promotional Video 2012 from Market Colors on Vimeo.

Still have a few special people to check off your Christmas list? Order before December 20th for delivery by Christmas!