Category Archives: casual

Calling all t-shirt hoarders!

A Pretty Penny - T-Shirt & Jeans

{ Aeropostale reverse stripe tee, Apt 9 cropped jeans (Kohl’s) and ban.do canvas tote }

Aeropostale is having a major sale right now, and while I’m pretty sure I’ve outgrown — out-matured? — 85% of their inventory, I really love their basics.

Right now, tees and camis are buy one get TWO free.

I’ve been stockpiling their v-necks when I can find them on sale, since I basically live in t-shirts and jeans through the workweek. They have just the right amount of stretch, and hold their shape through lots of wash-and-wears. And, at around 6 bucks a piece, it’s no big loss if they fall victim to bleach or lily pollen stains (hashtag: florist problems).

Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday!

Sunday Best

A Pretty Penny | Sunday Best

{ LOFT sweater; Joe’s jeans cut into shorts; Cynthia Vincent snakeskin flats; Lauren Merkin bag }

Last Sunday, the spring cleaning bug bit C; he came home from the gym with my father-in-law’s pressure washer and big plans to clean the exterior of the house. While he busied himself blasting the mildew from our stucco, I threw on my old Sunday standbys headed out for some errands and shopping.

My spring weekend uniform is typically some simple variation of this: cut-offs (I made these from a pair of extra-long Joe’s I found at the Goodwill for a 10-spot) with flats, a comfy top, and a hat. For now, I’m wearing my cozy sweaters as much as I can, until the summer heat makes it impossible.

When I made my way back to our freshly washed house that afternoon, I threw a big salad together with chicken, bleu cheese and fresh Florida strawberries. Later, I swapped the sweater for a t-shirt and spent some quiet time poolside to soak up the extra hour of sunshine.

Since Sunday is our only full day off during the week, we always try to make the most of it; a successful one is equally productive and lazy with lots of good food and a good dose of quality time together.

Last weekend we nailed it.

Overdrive

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Happiness is: a big ol’ pom-pom sweater and leggings.

I snapped this photo on my way to the shop early Saturday morning. When I have to schlep my haggard behind to work on weekends, I like to throw on easy outfits that can transition to cozy nap-wear without a hitch.

Speaking of naps, I’d like about a dozen of them.

I’m feeling the burnout hard this week. Things are slowing down to a normal pace after a demanding February, but after spending the last month in productivity high gear, I’m having a difficult time down-shifting. I just want to sputter out and stall. In my sweatpants. With a pint (or three) of gelato and a Netflix marathon.

Hurry, weekend!

{yawn.}

leggings are not pants. but gosh, they are comfortable.

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Today, in lessons of thou shall never say never:

Once upon a time — when my closet was filled with pencil skirts, Express Editors, stilettos and all other manner of 9 to 5 attire — I put my nose in the air and proclaimed, “I will never wear leggings out of the house!” I relegated them to loungewear and workout gear; which means I mostly just wore them while lounging because I don’t work out enough to need gear.

Cut to present, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather pull on for a crazy day of running around the flower shop than some soft stretchy leggings, a long [read: bum-covering] tunic or sweater, and flats. If 23-year old corporate Keira could see me now, she’d shake her head in shame.

However, I’m still adamant that I will never leave the house wearing leggings as pants. See: Am I Wearing Pants?

Wearing: LC Lauren Conrad top; Simply Vera Vera Wang denim leggings; Op floral cami (Wal-Mart), Bucco boots and Romeo & Juliet Couture handbag (both via Hautelook)

weekend wear

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{ Mossimo sweater (Target clearance, $11); Gap “Always Skinny” jeans; Amrita Singh handbag (Hautelook, $29); Goorin Bros fedora (m.marie); Candies leopard slippers (Kohl’s clearance, $9.99) }

We had an absolutely lovely weekend filled with cool weather, football, warm and hearty home cooked meals, and just the right amount of laziness. I only bothered getting dressed on Saturday — for work in the morning followed by a local college tailgate party later in the afternoon. There just so happened to be a Pioneer Days festival across the street from the stadium, and I spied a “Handmade Chocolate!” sign so we moseyed on over to check things out.

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Did I ever tell you Chad grew up on a cattle farm in Canada? A man of many hats, that guy; and he knows his farming equipment. After a quick lesson on the anatomy of a tractor, all the attachment possibilities, and who makes the best ones, I tried to convince him to buy one for me. Because the possibilities for a suburban girl with a tractor are endless, amiright? Get a big basket for the front to carry all my necessities [read: gallons of iced tea, sunscreen, smutty fiction novels and fashion magazines] and then: Drive it to the community pool! Drive it around the neighborhood while Doak trots alongside! Drive it to work! Okay, now we’re stretching…

But I found one that was just my size! And then offered to drive it home (it’s just 15 miles or so with a long stretch of busy highway, but I had it covered, ya’ll.) The mister wasn’t buying what I was selling, so I went home tractorless; but we did pass a gentleman riding his through town on our way home.

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On a serious note, my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the northeast facing Sandy. I almost feel guilty enjoying all of this lovely weather when I know the nightmare many of you are facing today. We’ve experienced our fair share of scary hurricanes living in Florida, but looking at the radar of this storm is almost unbelievable. I hope you’re all prepared (as prepared as can be, anyway) and that you’ll weather the storm safely with your loved ones.

hot & spicy

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{ Lucky Brand tunic; Mossimo Premium Skinny jeans (Target, 2011); Simply Vera Vera Wang wedges }

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I certainly wasn’t feeling very “hot and spicy” yesterday…

We snapped these outfit photos in the morning when we dropped off our delivery van for new vinyl graphics; just hours before a 24-hour bug hit me like a Mack truck. It started with the tiniest of headaches and an itchy throat, and ended… well, badly.

Fortunately, a few bottles of Gatorade and 14 hours of sleep later, I woke up feeling much better, but kind of like I’d been drained by a Cullen. It was a good reminder to take better care of myself during this cold and flu season. Between long weeks without much time off, my horrible hydration habits, and    a less-than-stellar diet as of late {more BBQ, pizza, and fast-food breakfast sandwiches than you can shake a stick at} it was only a matter of time before my body called for a time-out. Point painfully taken.

I’m just grateful it was a quickie. “Sick days” aren’t really an option for me right now, so it’s time to get serious about staying healthy. Suggestions and home remedies welcomed. Tomorrow’s a busy day with wedding consults, a hair appointment (I’ve already texted this photo of Kate Beckinsale to my stylist for inspiration) and then dinner with my favorite blogging bestie, Anne!

bloomin’ bloomers

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{ shorts: MNG by Mango (jcpenney, spring 2011); button-down: Tommy Hilfiger; clutch: vintage eelskin (thrifted); wedges: Antonio Milani (Dillard’s) }

I was thisclose to giving these shorts the boot during my last closet cleaning. Sometimes my compulsive purging leads to lots of regret, so I’ve made a new rule for myself: keep the cast-off bags around the house for at least four weeks, then go through them one last time before dropping them in the donation bin.

I’m glad I rescued them! They’re linen and elastic waist. So basically, they’re like fancy pajamas.

oh, hi!

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American Eagle sweater | LC Lauren Conrad cut-off shorts | Jessica Simpson scarf | Vera Bradley Take Me With You Tote (a pretty penny, available online!) | Bamba coral penny loafers c/o Wanted

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Whew, I really dropped the updating-the-blog ball last week!

I was a little distracted. We had our biggest wedding of the season last Saturday for a very special couple, Vera and Mikal. It was the first big wedding I’ve taken the reigns on, start-to-finish. I wanted everything to be perfect. We spent three days designing the flowers for the ceremony and reception; an elegant mix of white orchids, calla lilies, hydrangeas, and white roses. I spent Saturday decorating the church and the reception hall, and I loved every single minute of it. There are very few situations when my control-freak perfectionism comes in handy (just ask my husband), but it turns out it’s great for designing weddings.

I wanted Vera to walk into her venue and just be wowed. I spoke to her mom this morning, and she said everything was beautiful, and the reception arrangements “took Vera’s breath away.” I’m not going to lie, I got a little choked up. What an honor to be such an integral part of someone’s big day!

Of course, I didn’t take any pictures. I was so consumed in the process, I didn’t have time to document. {Bad blogger.}

No big weddings on the docket this week, so hopefully we’ll be back in business on the blog. I have lots of great new things to add to the boutique, too, so stay tuned!

half and half

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Old Navy v-neck cable sweater | striped tee picked off a clearance rack somewhere | LC Lauren Conrad yellow cut-off shorts (Kohl’s clearance, $13) | TOMS ballet flats (m.marie) | Olsenboye foldover tote c/o jcpenney | watch c/oKenneth Cole | nail color: Essie in Sand Tropez

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Today’s look is cool early spring on top, warm summer on bottom. It’s been awfully windy the last few days, requiring a little extra cover to ward off the chill. Like a mini-hurricane, but without the rain and projectiles.

Unless you count flying food… Yesterday Chad and went to our favorite little burrito place for lunch and thought we’d take advantage of the gorgeous afternoon and dine al fresco. By the end of lunch, half our tortilla chips blew away and Chad’s Landshark nearly capsized twice.

While we’re on the subject of halves, here’s a useless random Keira fact for your Monday: I live on half-and-half iced tea. Half sweet, half unsweet, extra ice. All day, every day. It was my pacifier when I quit my Diet Coke habit, and has since spiraled into an addiction all its own. I love it so much I’m naming blog posts after it. {help.}

reincarnated

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restyled denim vest (originally this jacket) | Theory scoopneck tee (a pretty penny) | Blank ankle cords (m.marie) | Dollhouse sandals (Ross) | Jessica Simpson scarf | Olsenboye foldover tote c/o jcpenney

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Yesterday afternoon, while watching a marathon of the second season of America’s Next Top Model and recovering from a nasty stomach virus {hi stress, thanks for rendering my immune system completely useless} I gave my INC cropped denim jacket a new life as a denim vest.

I’ve worn this jacket to death and it’s gotten a little… stale. I went back and forth about putting it in the shop, but something made me rescue it from the sell pile time and again. Since a denim vest has been on my DIY list for over a year now and I haven’t found the “perfect” jacket to hack, I just decided to go for it.

Using a big sewing needle, a small pair of sewing scissors, and a whole lot of patience, I removed all of the seams from the sleeves while Yoanna rose to the top for the win. I’m super happy with the way it turned out!

Now I need a new denim jacket.

how quickly things change…

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vintage silk button-down (gifted from Little Tin Soldier!) | Old Navy oatmeal sweater | Romeo & Juliet Couture faux leather jacket (Hautelook) | INC ankle zip skinnies | Apt. 9 boots (Kohl’s) | Burberry bag (a pretty penny) | knitted beanie c/o Seams to Be 

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I wore this two days ago. It was in the 30’s, and even under three layers and a beanie I shivered. Today I’m wearing the same sweater [it’s Friday and it’s been a long week, fashion police] and although it’s gorgeous out, I’m uncomfortably warm.

Dear Mother Nature, puh-lease make up your mind. Or start laying my clothes out every morning.

son of a bleach!

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windy city trench coat c/o ruche | blank ankle cords and GLAM dress worn as top (m.marie) | candies boots (2008) | ruffled scarf scooped up at beall’s outlet for less than $10 last year

Today I made a very important business decision: I should remove all responsibilities involving chemical cleaning agents from my job description. {You hear that, Mr. Lennox?} This afternoon while scrubbing out buckets to prep for a huge shipment of flowers, my brand new colorful cords had an unfortunate run-in with a rogue splash of bleach water. As my friend, Iris, would say, “it is so sad.” I pouted and whined for at least 30 minutes. And then pouted again when we took these photos. And just thinking about it now as I type this post makes me want to pout some more.

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So, um, what’s a girl to do? Try dying the entire pair in a closely matching fabric dye? Get a little rock ‘n roll and spray them down with bleach water to make it look intentional? Get all Julia Roberts and fill in the spot with a red Sharpie? Stop being so OCD and just pretend the glaring spot doesn’t exist?

Help a sister out! 

good jeans are a girl’s best friend.

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{the money shot}
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DL1961 Angel Ankle Jeans c/o INVISTA | Express tee | Simply Vera Vera Wang Shimmer Brooch Slouch Hat (Christmas gift from Mom) | Jessica Simpson Landen platforms | JustFab tote bag

There is nothing I hate more than shopping for jeans. I’d rather spend an afternoon trying on swimsuits — an equally loath-able experience. I have a petite curvy frame, which makes finding the perfect shape in denim damn near impossible. If they fit my butt, they gap in the back. If they hug my curves just right, they’ll stretch out into boyfriend jeans by 5:00. And don’t even get me started on muffin tops…

I think that denim is one of those staples worthy of investment. You’ll never see me drop more than $100 on a pair of shoes, but if I find a pair of jeans that fit just right and I know I’ll wear for years, budget-smudget. When INVISTA — the geniuses behind LYCRA fiber — contacted me about trying a pair of jeans from their new “POUR IT ON” campaign, I was all in.

During Fashion Week, INVISTA partnered with six leading denim brands: 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, DL1961, Henry & Belle, Marc Allison and Calvin Klein. In a “POUR IT ON” rain theme inspired by the fluid and intimate feel of water on the skin, they promoted the never saggy, never baggy, custom-like fit of jeans with LYCRA fabrics. INVISTA’s technology allows designers to develop denim that stretches and recovers in all directions, resulting in jeans with exceptional comfort and fit. In 2011, LYCRA dualFX fabric was added to INVISTA’s line of denim concepts, fulfulling customer demand for jeans that could stretch 30 percent or more without compromising lasting fit and recovery.

What does this mean for us, ladies? No more stiff denim, dreaded saggy butts, or jeans that look amazing in the morning and dumpy by sundown. Rejoice!

I received my pair of DL1961 Angel Ankle Jeans in the mail on Christmas Eve, and wore them to family dinner that evening, all of Christmas Day, and then threw them back on to go to work this morning. Tons of wear, and they look — and fit — just like they did when I pulled them out of the box.

Not only do they look great, they feel even better. 30 percent stretchability is a wonderful thing, my friends.

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holding on (a sequel).

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vintage silk blouse (a gift from my favorite style penpal, Little Tin Soldier) | INC zipper detail skinnies (Macy’s clearance last year) | Nila Anthony flower petal handbag (a pretty penny, available online) | Chicos leather boots 

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A few months ago I shared my struggle with letting go. When cute things come into your shop every day, the temptation to buy everything for yourself can be more than a little overwhelming. But every once in a while, something comes in that you just have to hold on to. Meet my new-to-me genuine leather Chicos boots. My friend Meghan’s mom brought them in the bottom of a bag filled with adorable dresses and pants, and when I spotted their intricate stitching I was intrigued… Then I pulled them out and saw they were boots — leather boots, in my size — and I knew I had to make them mine.

Don’t worry, I won’t keep all the good stuff! I updated the online shop this weekend with 30 new pieces — jackets, handbags, dresses, and sweaters — and there are more coming this throughout the next several days.

This week’s Manic[ure] Monday post will be up later this afternoon!