Category Archives: inspiration

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pretty little {web} things

designlovefest dress your tech free downloads

DESIGNLOVEFEST’s Dress your Tech downloads. Fun and pretty wallpapers for all your devices that are super easy to use and change; like outfits for your iPhone and iPad. Best of all, they’re free!

justina blakeney face the foliage

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Instagrammer @justinablakeney‘s #facethefoliage portraits. Every time one pops up in my ‘gram feed, my heart stops a little. I’d love to try this with the scraps around the flower shop.

kris atomic illustration kris atomic self portrait illustration

Kris Atomic’s blog. Her illustrations make me so happy —  I want to be besties with her little top-knotted, bespectacled self-portrait — and her colorful photography and behind-the-scenes fashion posts  feel like a fantasy.

{ featured image via DESIGNLOVEFEST }

monday mood board | 05

This week: Oh, my darling, clementine!

clementine print | Rachel Zoe Scarlett flats | orange lips | hydrangea + clementines | darling clementine print | Fossil Cecile watch | orange tutu | floral design | Marc by Marc Jacobs clutch | Camille Styles Cucumber-Clementine Salsa | Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAC | Sea of Shoes orange coat | Late Afternoon orange leather dress | citrus print street style | Atlantic-Pacific dress and bike

I was going to post tonight…

{image via Iowa Girl Eats}

… but I’ve been fantasizing about this recipe since I pinned it last week, and nothing cures a case of the Mondays like a home cooked meal. I’ve managed to tear myself away from the stove and my tasting spoon while this beautiful concoction simmers to final perfection to tell you this:

Point your browser to Iowa Girl Eats, and bookmark that shiz immediately. Kristin’s blog is chock-full of recipes that are easy to follow and replicateand everything I’ve made has been just… yum. Plus she’s adorable and witty, and as you read through her posts and peep her pictures it feels like you’re sitting in her kitchen while she whips up a meal.

So I’ll be back with our regularly-scheduled programming tomorrow, but until then — chili mac and cheese until our faces fall off.

play with your food: artichoke stamped tote

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Another fun project that Anne and I tackled during our crafting night, inspired by a recent fruit + veggie stamping post by A Beautiful Mess. I picked up a 3-pack of natural canvas tote bags a while ago to design some cute carry-alls. They were a bit smaller than I’d hoped, but they’re perfect as a lunch bag or for carrying my planner and a couple of notebooks back and forth from the shop.

For some reason, my artichoke didn’t look a thing like Elsie’s, but I really like the way the pattern turned out!

whatcha readin’?

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If you’ve been a reader for a while, you’ve probably noticed that things are pretty different around here. I touched on the hows and the whys in this post back in May. The gist: after more than two years of posting the same type of content, my blog and I were getting a little bored with each other. Our relationship was getting stale… We needed to spice things up and rekindle the passion.

The changes have been good for us! I’m happy to report that we’re more in love than ever; by opening up this space to share more of my life, I have a renewed appreciation for my little corner of the Internet.

Now, by venturing out of the personal style niche and into the vast world of lifestyle blogging, my blog reader could use a new crop of inspiration. I have a list of blogs I read regularly, but I know there’s a whole wellspring of creative content out there just waiting to be tapped…

So I want to know your favorites. Which URLS do you visit faithfully to see what’s new? What makes them special and keeps you coming back for more?

I’m looking forward to exploring your recommendations!

smell the roses

garden rose

{we received a shipment of these garden rose stunners for a special event this weekend. I promptly stole one for a small vase on my desk. All the better for stopping and smelling.}

When you’re surrounded by beautiful things every day, it’s easy to become a little jaded to their loveliness. I imagine the same goes in places like bakeries, though I can’t believe cupcakes and fudge frosting could ever lose their appeal.

I’m trying to make an effort to spend more time in the present, instead of always thinking a few steps ahead. To stop and smell the roses, if you’ll pardon the obvious florist pun. In my heart of hearts, I want to be the person that puts the art/love/passion first and lets all the technical stuff follow suit.

While we’re on the subject, here are a few recent posts from around the interwebs that I’m particularly inspired by:

 

I love Sydney’s perspective on being ‘busy’, and overcoming our self-imposed overloading.

The next time I’m in a creative rut, I’ll remember Elsie & Emma’s advice that good ideas take time.

I really appreciate Kendi’s thoughts on being true to yourself within the parameters of your blog.

 

 

 

 

 

shop design files: window dressing with ribbon

One of my favorite things about our new shop is how colorful and creative it is! It inspires me to think outside the box, and come up with fun design ideas for the space.

Summer is a slow season for us, and we had several big moving expenses — dismantling and relocating the walk-in cooler, for one — so we’re trying to be really smart about our spending, especially when it comes to decorating. Armed with Pinterest inspiration, some spray paint, a glue gun, and supplies we have hanging around the shop, we’re DIY-ing up a storm to make our new space feel like home. While you may not have a flower shop to decorate, I thought it would be fun to share some of the projects we’ve tackled that you may be able to use in your own spaces. Starting with a super easy ribbon curtain I used to jazz up one of our window displays.

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I have a slight obsession with window displays. I could spend all day perusing photos of Anthropologie storefronts {does anyone do it better?!} If the eyes are the windows to a person’s soul, a shop’s windows are equally compelling. They’re the first impression someone receives of your business, and set the tone for what a customer can expect to find inside. I want our windows to send a message that we’re creative, professional, approachable, and fun!

The inspiration for this project came from The Glamourai. When she posted photos of the window displays she styled for Cynthia Vincent earlier this season, I pinned this image immediately and made a mental note that I. must. have. ribbon. curtains. I finally got around to it today.

Source: theglamourai.com via Keira on Pinterest

Fortunately for me, ribbon is a well-stocked staple in a flower shop. We have a lot of it around here. In fact, I didn’t realize just how much until I hauled it all out of the boxes from the move. (This is one of two wall racks, and there’s more stored in the back.) I figured we wouldn’t miss a few yards…

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I started by measuring the space in the window I wanted to fill. I didn’t want all of the ribbons to be perfectly symmetrical, so I chose different colors, widths, and textures and cut them to various lengths that fit my measurements.

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I bought a yardstick last week that I planned to spray paint and use as the “curtain rod,” but later found this cardboard tube lying around that was even better. I’ll have to use that yardstick for something else.

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Here’s where things get tough. I wrapped one end of the ribbon around the tube. And secured it with a staple. Repeat. Whew!

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If you’re less lazy or impatient, you could probably glue the ribbons, or get fancy and secure them with cute colorful brads. I figured people wouldn’t notice the staples from a distance.

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We have great exposed ceilings in the new shop, with tracks that make suspending things super easy. I hung the lightweight ribbon curtain with clear fishing line, and once it was centered and straight, trimmed each ribbon to clean things up.

Voilà! 

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Side note: In case you ever wondered, our flower shop’s name is pronounced Lass-uh-ter. It was the last name of the family that originally started the business more than 50 years ago! In all those decades, it’s been owned by three families, the last of which is ours :)

my {shop design} shopping list

There are a few things on my radar that I’d really like to get my hands on for the new flower shop. As soon as I have a free Saturday, I’m hitting up all my old favorite thrift haunts to see how many of these treasures I can check off my list.

1. Old window frames to share seasonal specials and promotions.

Source: stylemepretty.com via Shelby on Pinterest

2. Lots of vintage glass.

Source: elementsofstyleblog.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

3. A graphic floral rug or two.

Source: urbanoutfitters.com via Kristen on Pinterest

4. Pretty prints.

Source: denisbloch.com via Laurie on Pinterest

5. A hefty antique butcher block table.

Source: absolutelybeautifulthings.blogspot.com via Lisa on Pinterest

6. Stacks of old fruit crates.

Source: bride2be.tumblr.com via Alicia on Pinterest

7. Oversized mirrors.

Source: massivbrand.com via Massiv on Pinterest

8. French buckets.

new directions…

 

Now that Mother’s Day is behind us, things will slow down a bit at the shop through the summer months. It’s a chance for us to catch our breath, reflect on the first quarter of the year, and think about ways to keep improving and growing the business. It’s also the perfect time to brainstorm new ideas to freshen up the decor!

Pinterest is one of my favorite places to go to check out what other florists around the world are doing with their storefronts. Unfortunately, the heat and humidity in the sunshine state prevent us from displaying all of our fresh flowers market-style, but I love incorporating other market elements like steel buckets, old world tables, chalkboard signage, beautiful dried flowers, and lots and lots of plants and foliage. We’re also always seeking new ways to package our product, like the doily wrapped potted orchids in the first photo. So cute!

Speaking of improving and growing, I’ve been thinking a lot about the blog lately…

If you’ve been a longtime reader of APP, you may have noticed that things are slowly changing around here. There are fewer daily outfit posts and more snippets of our business and life sprinkled in. When I started the blog over two years ago, I was looking for a way to share my love of style, and to find ways to get creative on a budget after losing my generous corporate salary. Our lives have changed in so many ways since then, and I’ve shared our journey with all of you in small doses over months and months of outfit posts. It’s been so much fun to watch how I’ve evolved in my style and grown into myself through the lens of this URL, but lately I’ve found myself wanting something more from this space.

In a nutshell, I want to get real around here. Style will always be a big part of A Pretty Penny, because it’s one of my passions — especially inspiring other women to empower themselves through style without going beyond their means or digging a deep dark debt hole to do it. But I’d also like to share some of my other passions with you all, too: our blossoming businesses, life and marriage, good food, and my other creative outlets, to name a few. I’d love to use the blog to paint a more complete picture of my life, as a day-to-day journal of our adventures {and misadventures!} and a collection of all the things I love.

I hope you’ll hang around as this space evolves and grows!

makes me wanna twirl…

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M.S.S.P. embroidered skirt (Dillard's sale last year) | thrifted belt | Gianni Bini ankle wrap sandals (Dillard's, many seasons ago) | Vera Bradley wallet as a clutch (a pretty penny, available online) | drugstore sunnies

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This morning I was putting off getting dressed for work – -as per usual — and browsing Instagram, and I spotted the #StyleMeMay challenge in the feed. I was intrigued… The idea of someone giving me a little style direction every day in May {and in turn, having one less thing to think about in the morning} sounded pretty appealing.

It also led me to the blog of the challenge’s creator, Hilary at Dean Street Society. In the five or ten minutes I spent perusing her blog and catching up on her online style channel, I kind of fell in love. And I knew that I wanted to play along.

So let’s begin, shall we? We’re kicking off the month-long challenge with something that makes us “want to twirl.” Since I got kind of a late start, I grabbed the first thing in my closet that seemed twirlable, ending up with this full embroidered chambray a-line skirt. Remembering The Mister’s warning about rising temps this afternoon, I paired it with a super easy tank and flat sandals.

You can keep up with my progress here on the blog, twitter, and on Instagram (username: @keiralennox)!

Anyone else joining in?

I spy, I buy: a short shorts story

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Printed chino shorts (Target) | Lauren Conrad top (Kohl's sale last year) | Nine West wedges | vintage eelskin clutch (thrifted) | Kmart sunnies

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Do you ever check out a favorite blogger’s outfit and think to yourself, “I must. have. that.” Twenty times a day, you say? Yeah, me too. But sometimes a particularly tempting item is just impossible to pass up…

Last week while perusing The Book, I spotted a link to a new post on a local friend Aimee’s blog, The Chiffon Chronicles. I love Aimee’s style, and her anecdotes on balancing mommyhood, a career, and the hectic day-to-day usually crack me up and make me nod subconsciously while clucking, “Amen, sister,” at my Macbook screen.

I clicked over. She was wearing these adorable mustard printed shorts, and I thought to myself, “hmm, so cute… probably JCrew.” Then I scrolled to the bottom of the post and read that said shorts were from Target. Recently.

It all happened really fast — like a bargain high induced out-of-body experience — but the next thing I know I was at Target.com, adding a pair to my cart and checking out before my PayPal account even knew what hit it. Two minutes. Max. If that’s not impulse buying ya’ll, I don’t know what is.

Most of my impulse buys {especially those of the e-tail variety} and up disastrous, but this one had a happy ending. The shorts arrived late last week, and I was quite impressed with the quality and fit. Even The Mister commented on their quality and style. Way to go, Tar-jhay; you never let me down. And thanks for letting me steal your britches, A! ;-)

Check out how Aimee styled hers here!

taking a cue from jcrew.

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LC Lauren Conrad gray cut-offs (Kohl’s clearance) | Anthropologie plaid blouse (secondhand) | Madison cardi (Belk sale ages ago) | Antonio Milani yellow leather espadrilles | Olsenboye foldover tote c/o jcpenney 

 

Last night, my friend Lauren and I glanced through her February JCrew catalogue as we semi-watched the end of the Superbowl and cooked up the most amazing bite-size s’mores with Perry and Meghan (Pinterest has changed our lives… or at least our get-togethers). We were smitten with the bright color palettes, creative pattern mixing, and bold bags and accessories. We decided we both need skinny leopard belts, more vibrantly hued pants, and a bevy of candy-colored ballet flats. For starters.

While I rarely shop at JCrew — as in, my last purchase was over three years ago, and it was from an outlet  — I always defer to their catalogues and website for new styling ideas. That Jenna Lyons is a genius, and her style guides are cool, sophisticated, and completely wearable. I took bits and pieces from the catalogue as inspiration when I dressed myself through my Superbowl food hangover this morning.

I’m craving more color in my closet for spring. I fed this craving by binging on colorful pants and shorts at Kohl’s Saturday afternoon after a whirlwind day at the shop {three cheers for retail therapy!}. All on clearance, of course. I’m a reformed shopaholic, remember?

It’s gonna get Rainbow Brite up in here, ya’ll.

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“steal the real”: make-it-yourself glitter pouch

Inspiration: this Kate Spade sparkler known as the Little Gia Pouch. She taunted me from Pinterest and the pages of my favorite magazines, and retailed for $75.

I first spotted this flashy number on Pinterest. My friend Anne pinned it, and soon after posted a simple DIY of her own version on her blog, WobiSobi. I wanted a glitter pouch to call my own!

Being the type A perfectionist I am, I had to find a gold pouch with a gold zipper to get as close as I could to the look and style of the original. When cleaning out my handbags last weekend, I found handfuls of long-lost lipgloss and the perfect gold pouch — the little forgotten travel pouch that came with my Dr. Scholl’s Fast Flats.

Pouch in hand, I headed to the craft store for shimmer supplies. Up close, the Kate Spade pouches have a beautiful texture made up of several sizes and shapes of glitter, so I knew one bottle of sparkle just wouldn’t do. I picked a few different types: a traditional gold glitter made of circles, a confetti-style gold glitter that looked like tiny rectangles, and iridescent fairy dust with itty-bitty gold stars.

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I made a thick paste with the three types of glitter and Mod Podge, and — with my hand inside the pouch — painted the mixture on thickly with a brush on both sides. It took a couple of healthy coats to get the full coverage I wanted, but the entire project took 15 minutes, start-to-finish. I propped the pouch open over a water bottle to dry overnight. Easy peasy, and about $70 saved.

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If you want to recreate this project for yourself, look for cosmetic pouches with metallic or brightly colored zippers. Raid your bathroom cabinets for gift-with-purchase makeup bags from the department store. Mix things up with multi-colored glitter or trade the gold for silver. Happy sparkling!

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on second chances. and glitter!

Last month, my real-life BFF and DIY maven, Anne, revamped a pair of stilettos on her blog, Wobisobi. The shoes in question were in great condition, but had an unfortunate run-in with a parking grate resulting in a ravaged heel. [Collective sighs from readers as they fondly remember favorite heels that met a similar fate.] She covered the damaged heel with a clever coat of glitter that camouflaged all traces of the grate incident, and in turn, made a basic pair of heels pretty spectacular!

Shortly after seeing the post on her blog, I met Anne for dinner and drinks and she was wearing the sparkly spikes. And let me tell you, it looked like she picked them off the rack. I love a DIY that doesn’t look… well, DIY. And since that night, I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of stilettos to shimmer up myself.

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While putting away laundry over the weekend, I found these Jessica Simpson pumps hiding in a dark corner. I bought these when I  landed my first big corporate job out of college, and it was one of the only times I’ve paid full retail for a pair of shoes. I wore them all.the.time with pretty dresses and pencil skirts and Express Editors {all of which were later donated to various women’s charities and consignment stores}. I guess I’ve held on to them all this time because they remind me of a Keira that I hardly recognize these days. One that wanted to climb the corporate ladder and get her MBA and have a closet full of Calvin Klein suits. My, my, life can surprise you.

But I digress.  They’re still in decent shape considering how much biznass I did in them, but the heels were a little worse for the wear. I’m pretty sure Doak got his paws on the one shown above.

Armed with Anne’s easy tutorial, Mod Podge, painters tape, and dark copper glitter from a variety pack scooped up at Joann’s, I got to work on giving my classic corporate pumps a new life.

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Note: I think I made my glitter glue a little too thin. I had to do several coats to get the coverage I wanted, letting each coat dry a bit before applying the next.

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I read magazines and ate candy during the drying times. I suggest you do the same.

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Because I used so many coats, when I initially tried to remove the painters tape it wanted to take the glue and glitter with it. Yikes!! Easy fix: use an exacto knife and gently cut the glitter glue along the edge of the heel before removing the tape. And voilá! My once 9-5 pumps are ready for a night on the town.

Not a fan of glitter? Anne did a similar tutorial today using a pair of classic pumps and gold leaf!