Category Archives: fall

Gimme All the Cozy Cocoons

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Olive + Oak open knit cardi – m.marie
Vince Camuto leather “Colby” bag – Hautelook
La Mer Collections leather wrap watch

My friend, Meghan, recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of her boutique, m.marie. She had a big open house a few weeks ago, and I scooped up this Olive + Oak cocoon sweater. It called to me from the rack: big chunky knit, neutral color, long enough to cover my butt in leggings; checkity-check-check. When I tried it on and got the nod of approval from my girl, Lisa, it was a done deal.

Now I’m thinking I need a couple more open knit cocoon sweaters to get me through fall and winter; they’re kinda like wrapping yourself in your favorite throw blanket, and I’m alllll about it.

Window Dressing

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We had some downtime at the shop yesterday, so we busied ourselves fall-ifying the place.

{Speaking of fall: in the spirit of the new season, I’m burning a gifted Rafa Natural “harvest” soy candle as I pound out this post; it’s warm, spicy heaven in a jar.}

When all the day’s deliveries were done, my right-hand lady, Shanna, stopped at the local market for some big pretty pumpkins. Armed with an inspiration photo from Anthropologie — where creative merchandising dreams come true — we got to work on the front window display.

Shanna and I spent the afternoon making dozens of simple little garlands by tying dyed oak leaves onto strands of raffia. I hung the garlands from our drop ceiling, knotting them together as I went until they made a web-like curtain.

When that was finished, I spent a couple of hours pretending I was on Project Runway in an “unconventional challenge” (aren’t those your favorite?! mine too). I individually wired silk flowers and sheet moss to our wire mannequin until she had a fabulous (albeit revealing ;)) floral frock. I placed her in front of the curtain of leaves in the window, next to a big vintage metal trough filled with more flowers and pumpkins.

As soon as I figure out how to take a photo of the whole set up without mega-glare on the glass, I’ll share it!

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Oh hey, it’s fall!

Hi 23rd day of September!

I’ve peeped you on my calendar at least a dozen times over the last several months in an effort to keep a mental note of the inaugural day of Autumn. And then you just kind of came and went, and I durn near missed you!

Thank goodness for style blogs, or it might have blown right by me. Bee-tee-dubs, Kendi’s outfit today is basically how I plan to dress all fall; in fact I happened to wear something super similar today with this LOFT utility blouse, which I bought in every color during their last pre-season sale. Note to self: Add “stockpiling the same article of clothing in every available shade” to the list of Ways I’m Becoming My Mother.

There were no pumpkin lattes to commemorate the first day of fall — seriously, you guys, they’re just chemical cocktails; make them at home instead — and I’m not even thinking about boots and scarves yet. We’re making the transition at the flower shop with lots of sunflowers and burlap and such (and loving it) but I haven’t even done my windows yet, so I already feel behind… I’m excited for the season, I just can’t believe it’s, like, here.

You have pretty big shoes to fill, fall. Summer was all kinds of wonderful, and she’ll be tough to beat.

Now Florida, can we get under 90 degrees?

while I was out…

Remember when I used to blog? 

Life’s been crazy, but so good. I took a little break to soak it all in, away from my laptop.

Since we last saw each other, I designed two weddings, a rehearsal dinner, an 18-table brunch, and a sweet 16 party (and those were just the big ones). A few new clients hopped on board, we booked several upcoming events, and we added a sweet and talented lady to our little flower family. She’s already made my life so much easier.

And since every rose has it’s thorn: Quickbooks ate five weeks worth of irretrievable data, the air conditioner in the flower van petered out, and my delivery driver took a two-week leave of absence. Small business ownership, man. “It’s like a box of chocolates…

Oh, and I turned 29. My family and friends went above and beyond to make this birthday extra special. There were celebrations and cupcakes and the most thoughtful gifts; text messages and singing voicemails and sweet handwritten cards. It was a lovely beginning to what I’m sure is going to be a really great year.

I always thought I’d dread the end of my 20s. But here I am, more content than… maybe ever? Not because things are perfect or easy. They’re messy, restless, and peppered with {ever-increasing} grey hairs; but I’m surrounded by amazing people, making my dream happen one day at a time.

And I’m proud of who I’m growing into…

Getting older ain’t so bad after all. 

cold therapy

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As C headed out the door this morning — and I struggled to make up the time I overslept — he uttered the sweet words I’ve waited weeks to hear…

Baby, dress warm!”

Glory be, a real live fall day! I zipped up my favorite boots, wrapped a (lightweight) scarf around my neck, and left the house determined to let the crisp air blow away the frustrations of a trying hump day. You didn’t think yesterday’s pep talk was just for you, did you?

So far, it’s worked. Things are looking up. And just in time; tomorrow we’re back in the 80’s.

 

sew psyched

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I’m really digging olive-hued nails for fall.

Last night, I slapped on a couple coats of Essie’s Sew Psyched — a “soft cashmere sage pewter-grey” — while I watched The Big Bang Theory reruns in bed. I sealed it with a swipe of Good to Go quick-drying topcoat, and dozed off for a luxuriously interrupted 8 hours.

I woke up this morning to a perfect mani; not a smudge, bubble, or sheet mark. Have you tried Essie’s Good to Go yet? Doooo it.

a few of my favorite things

 

It’s been over a month since my epic closet purge. Since weeding out and paring down, I’m beginning to appreciate the value of everyday basics. My favorite pieces are getting more mileage than ever, and I’m cozying up to the idea of a practical daily uniform.

My new style is alarmingly casual for a girl who once lived in dresses and high heels, but comfort is my new M.O.

Philip Lim for Target crossbody // TKEES Foundations flip flops // Alex & Ani “Love” bracelet // v-neck tee // chambray boyfriend shirt // Nixon Kensington watch // American Eagle skinnies // Michael Antonio Massey ankle boots

 

 

5 reasons I “need” a [faux] leather skirt this season

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Never did I ever think I’d consider a black leather mini skirt a versatile closet basic, but Pinterest has me convinced — I need one for fall/winter.

I think there’s a fine line between a leather skirt that looks chic and edgy, and one that looks, uh, you know. I have a few requirements (standards, if you will) for the perfect pleather mate: (1) Fit – it should sit at the waist and fall just a few inches above the knee. (2) Fabric – it should be thick and matte, like a quality authentic leather; no flimsy patent, please and thank you. (3) Flair – the simpler the better; no fussy studs, peplums, zippers, or unnecessary accouterments.

The hunt is on…

I bought stuff. let’s discuss.

Billabong tote bag

Last week, my friend Meg celebrated the 3-year anniversary of her boutique, m.marie. I decided it was the perfect opportunity to spend this month’s hundred bucks on some new things and support her.

Since giving myself a strict monthly budget, shopping has become more strategic — less compulsive snatching and spending. I went in with a plan: Resist the urge to buy a cute dress or top that I may wear once or twice, and instead look for items I can get lots of mileage from. Pants or denim (I love the Blank NY brand she carries), a great everyday carry-all bag, a unique piece of jewelry, or maybe a cute pair of shoes. While I usually like to stock up on lots of smaller-priced items on a shopping trip (like, ten $10 things) I’m realizing that it’s worth it to make investments on pieces you’ll use over and over again. Quality over quantity. A closet full of well-made basics that you can spice up with accessories, as opposed to twenty varieties of cheap tank tops and stacks of ill-fitting junior’s clearance skinny jeans because “more is better.” Follow me?

So after a blood orange and prosecco cocktail and a few trips around the shop, I settled on this graphic Billabong bag — perfect for toting back and forth to work every day with my Macbook and notebooks — and a pair of black suede lace-up wedges that were half off. My total was $92 and change, and I left excited about my purchases and so proud of Meghan for all of her success in her small business!

That leaves me with about $8 for the rest of the month. Just enough for a new Essie nail polish, or a replacement tin of Rosebud minted rose lip balm (I lost mine when my purse was stolen over the summer). But I think I’ll just let it ride, and wait for next month.

Who am I?!

bundled

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{there’s home-brewed Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas coffee in that cup! hurrah for seasonal treats!}

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It’s a rare day when a girl can walk around Central Florida with a jacket, boots, and a beanie without getting strange glances from passerby. With temps in the 60’s (that’s cold for us “thin-blooded” southern folk) I’m breaking out all of my cool-weather artillery, because who knows when we’ll get it again!

Let’s break it down, head-to-toe:

I bought this beanie at The Wal-Marts last year for something ridiculous, like, a buck-fifty? Then I buried it under a stack of September issues on our desk at home, and rediscovered it when cleaning up the house over the weekend.

This pretty lace blouse is one of my favorite purchases of late. I scooped it up at Beall’s Outlet a few months ago for $12. It’s the perfect lightweight layering piece! You can find similar wallet-friendly styles here, here, and here.

I’m pretty much living in these Stampede riding boots from Wanted Shoes this season — cold weather or no. I’ve already scuffed the toe and put a scratch on one of the uppers, which just adds to their charm and yeah-I-just-got-back-from-the-stables appeal {she tells herself}.

the start of something new!

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{wearing: Mossimo sweater (Target clearance, $11); Simply Vera Vera Wang black skinnies; thrifted button-down; Seychelles loafers (Hautelook); watch c/o Daniel Wellington; Tom Ford sunnies}

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{“Pleeeease, momma, let me at those blowing leaves!”}

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Fall seems like a great time to turn over a new leaf, don’t you think? Let’s hope so… ’cause today’s the first official day of my new budget experiment!

Here’s the 411: I’m a long time over-shopper in desperate need of a detox. For the next four months, I’m holding myself to a strict $100 spending allowance for personal purchases of clothes, accessories, and beauty products. To keep myself motivated, I’ve also set a goal to use the money I’ll save to pay off all of my remaining credit card debt by the end of February. This may sound simple to some, but I’ve never had much success in sticking to a restrictive spending plan, and my hands are shaking a bit as I type this post in anticipation of the retail DTs…

I’ve put myself on countless “budgets” over the years, but always in my head; and always with a laundry list of mental loopholes {ahem, excuses} that quickly deteriorated my resolve — and bank account. Example: “I know I said no shopping this week, but when am I ever going to find [insert item] in my size at this price again?! This is fate. And this purchase doesn’t count.” Neither did the next five. What can I say, I’m my very best (or worst) enabler. So this time, I’m proclaiming my mission to all the world in hopes that a little accountability will lead to a life-changing, habit-breaking, confidence-boosting triumph!! {Huzzah!}

for all you ghouls and goblins…

halloween

I made these sweet little mummies for a Halloween party that I co-hosted with my friend Perry at the shop last year (you can read about it here). They’re one of my favorite spooky treats!

Here’s the easy-peasy rundown…

You’ll need:
Oreos, a bag or two of white chocolate chips for melting (it’s gotta be Ghirardelli in the Lennox kitchen), and Reese’s Pieces.

Carefully heat the white chocolate in a saucepan until it’s melted and smooth. Then dunk your favorite Oreos in the chocolate one at a time until they’re completely covered. {Tip: use a fork to gently remove the cookies so the excess chocolate can drip back in the pan; good chocolate is a horrible thing to waste}.

Lay the chocolate-covered cookies on wax paper, and gently press Reese’s Pieces “eyes” into place before the chocolate hardens. When you’ve dunked cookies to your heart’s content, let them cool on the wax paper until the white chocolate hardens into a delicious creamy melt-in-your-mouth shell of goodness. Then, using the remaining melted chocolate from the saucepan, drizzle “bandages” over each cookie. You can do this with a spoon, or fill a ziplock bag with the melted chocolate and cut a tiny hole in the corner to make a piping bag — but be careful, because the chocolate will be warm! Let the mummies cool completely (or pop ’em in the fridge to speed things up) before serving.

What are your Halloween plans? We’ve had about three trick-or-treaters in the six years we’ve lived in our house, so C and I have a tradition of take-out and scary movies on the couch. I’ll make a pit-stop at the drugstore on the way home for other essentials, like fun-size candy bars and a six-pack.

Hope your holiday’s a scream!

tuesday*

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{ Classic St Andrews Lady watch c/o Daniel Wellington. Order before the end of November and save 15% with the discount code “Pretty” }

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{ LOFT sweater; DL 1961 skinnies; Amrita Singh handbag; Stampede boots c/o Wanted }

Well, I’ve spent the entire amount of time I allotted for writing this post reading Suri’s Burn Book, so uh… there’s that. Add to that an empty stomach that’s yet to have lunch (or breakfast, for that matter) and my brain is pretty much mushy-mush.

So um, this is what I wore today.

And that, my friends, is all I’ve got.

* It took at least three minutes of brain-dead staring at the screen to come up with that award winning post title… Today is Tuesday, right?