Category Archives: sponsors

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.

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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!

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?

and summer faded into the fall…

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{ Metallic Stripe Dress c/o London Times; Big Buddha bag (Hautelook); LC Lauren Conrad ballet flats (Kohl’s clearance) }

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There’s the tiniest hint of crisp coolness in the evenings, my Facebook news feed is filled with stories about Starbucks pumpkin lattes, and my allergies have waged a full-on assault from the neck up… and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Scarves and boots are just around the corner! Right behind them are hearty crock-pot comfort dinners, football parties, colorful tights, pumpkin everything, cinnamon brooms, tailgates, lazy weekend afternoons with all the doors and windows open, autumn crafts, and — perhaps best of all — the end of swimsuit season.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

this is BIG: 100-winner INPINK Jewelry giveaway! {CLOSED}

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So, I’m pretty ecstatic to share this huuuuuge giveaway with you guys!

A Pretty Penny is partnering up with INPINK — an on-trend online jewelry retailer that offers quality boutique jewelry at affordable prices — to offer 100 APP readers a $40 voucher to shop INPINK’s adorable selection of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings. That’s a whole lot’a cute jewelry, my friends!

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To enter:

“Like” INPINK on Facebook.

Then fill out this entry form, and tell us your favorite way to accessorize with jewelry. Stacking up an arm party, layering on necklaces, dressing up a t-shirt and jeans with chandelier earrings… whatever. Inquiring minds want to know: How do you style up your baubles?!

The deets:

  • – This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian readers.
  • – Only one entry per email address, please. All duplicate entries will be deleted.
  • – All entries must be received by Wednesday October 3, 2012 at midnight EST.
  • – 100 winners will be selected at random, and will be contacted by INPINK via email to claim their prize!

{This giveaway is now closed.} 

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Privacy Disclosure: Please note that, by entering this giveaway, you agree to share the email address provided in the entry form with A Pretty Penny and INPINK to receive special offers, promotions, and discounts in the future.  A Pretty Penny is not handling any fulfillment for this giveaway; INPINK will contact the winners and handle all prize disbursement. Good luck!

tailor-made

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Mitred pleat-front dress c/o eShakti | ikat scarf: Adrienne Vittadini (Beall’s Outlet) | sunnies: Tom Ford c/o RueLaLa | embroidered leather handbag: Gianni Bini (A CUTE ALTERNATIVE) | leopard sandals: Castlefranco (SIMILAR

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Fit is always a challenge for me. I’m little, but curvy: 5’4″ with a 27″ waist and 37″ hips. This often leaves me perplexed and frustrated in the fitting room… I can wear anything from a 2 to a 6, depending on the garment and designer.  Petite sizes are the perfect length, but are often too narrow across my hips and derriere. Average sizes fit my curves but are too long. The ideal solution would be to bring everything I buy to a tailor and have it custom-fitted. Or take up sewing. But time and my bank account don’t allow for such extravagances, so I just make do.

eShakti contacted me a few months ago and offered to send me a piece of my choice from their dress collection, customized to fit my size and my style. I was intrigued; could this be an answer to my fit conundrum? I was surprised to find a really wide selection of apparel and super cute handbags. Each apparel item is available in ready-to-wear, but for a small fee of $7.50 any piece can be custom-fitted to order. You can specify your measurements, preferred hem length, and — on many pieces — color. {Psst, customization is free on your first order!}

It was nice to pick a dress I loved, skip the fitting room, plug in my measurements, and slip it on upon arrival and have it fit like a glove. A girl could get used to this made-to-order thing…

 

mad about melon

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{dress: The Webster for Target, $36.99; bag: nicole by nicole miller Phoebe clutch c/o jcpenney; necklace: m.marie; sandals: American Eagle via Marshall’s; nail color: Essie’s playdate}

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When I was shopping earlier this week, I kept gravitating to all shades of coral and orange. Blouses, denim, handbags, shoes, jewelry… I’m officially obsessed. I especially love this particular shade of melon. It’s flattering on every skin tone — even fair skin like mine that can’t pull off bold orange hues — and oh-so-summery.

I hope you all have fun plans in the works for the holiday weekend! I’m kicking things off with drinks with the girls in t-minus two hours. The countdown is on…

tribal and tropical with jcpenney

Tonight I ventured into unknown territory for me these days — the local mall. The 14-year old Keira never would’ve imagined that she’d grow up and lose her affection for big indoor shopping centers.

jcpenney gave me a $100 gift card and a mission: find some tribal and tropical pieces to add to my spring and summer wardrobe and share them with all of you on the blog. My closet really needed a shot of color, so I was excited to get shopping. I found so many great prints and vibrant colors, and was pleasantly surprised at how far I was able to stretch my funds!

Here’s a little sneak peekage of the items I came home with…

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I’ll work all of these pieces into outfit posts through the rest of the month, and keep track of all of my tribal and tropical inspirations from around the interwebs on Pinterest.

What’s your favorite way to work a little tribal or tropical vibe into your style?

{when it’s all about} the shoes

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Sunny Leigh button-down (Macy’s) | Mossimo premium skinnies (Target sale) | Tyler Rodan bag (outlet) | Bamba patent penny loafers c/o Wanted

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A statement shoe works in much the same way as a statement necklace: throw it on with easy basics and, voilà, instant outfit.

This morning I overslept by about an hour, and left myself with 20 minutes to get dressed and haul my groggy behind to work. Seeing as how I spent 15 of that 20 minutes sleepy drunk in a hot shower — I know, so not green — I didn’t have much time for primping. Enter tinted moisturizer and crazy lady up-do (which is looking way crazier in that top photo; thanks a million windy weather) and a frantically pulled ensemble of skinnies and a button-down. Original. My new coral patent penny saved the day by adding a pop of color to spice things up.

wish you were here! {product review}

I’m teaming up with Anastasia Beverly Hills and The Confluence again to spread the word about Anastasia’s latest limited edition set — Wish You Were Here! — that’s available exclusively at Sephora. What better way to chat about fun new cosmetics than via a little video review, hmm?

To celebrate this cool new kit, one lucky winner will receive a round-trip ticket to Los Angeles, a two-night stay at a Los Angeles hotel, a brow appointment with Anastasia, a hair and makeup makeover featuring the Wish You Were Here! kit at the Anastasia Beverly Hills Salon, and a photo shoot with the ABH team!

Here’s what you need to do…

· Take a postcard-worthy photo of yourself in front of your favorite local landmark!

· Like Anastasia Beverly Hills on the ‘Book (www.facebook.com/AnastasiaBeauty). Then upload the aforementioned photo on Facebook, and tag Anastasia of Beverly Hills in the photo to enter.

· Not a Facebooker? Email your name, home address, and photograph to “wishyouwerehere@anastasia.net”.

· One entry per contestant only by 11:59 PM PST on February 3, 2012.

· You must be a United States citizen to enter.

Good luck!!

* This post was sponsored by The Confluence for Anastasia Beverly Hills, and I received material compensation for publishing it. However, as always, the statements and opinions in the video are 100% APP-authentic and honest. 

freshly scrubbed: Simone France skincare review

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I don’t often post naked (that’s pronounced “neck-id” here in the south) photos of myself on the internets, but sometimes a girl’s gotta make a point and drastic measures are required. So here it is: un-edited photos of my freshly scrubbed face in all its makeup-free glory. My skin is better than it’s ever been, and I owe it to an online skincare company called Simone France.

I’m pretty blessed in the skin department (my mother has an amazing complexion) but it’s really sensitive and I’ve had my fair share of woes, including cystic acne. I’ve dropped big cash on department store brands and tested everything available on a drug store shelf. Everything I tried either irritated my face, or offered instant gratification but led to breakouts after a few weeks.

About two years ago, I tossed out all my heavy foundations and cosmetics and drastically simplified my makeup routine (more on that later). It made a huge difference in the health of my skin, but I still couldn’t find my holy grail skincare system to keep my skin fresh and glowy.

Simone France contacted me about reviewing their line, and after checking out their website and learning more about the brand — which focuses on simplicity, deep pore cleansing, and mild daily exfoliation — I agreed to give it a try. I told them about my skin concerns and my daily routine, and they sent back a detailed product recommendation and step-by-step instructions. I received the products the week of Thanksgiving, and I’ve used them religiously since.

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The principle philosophy of Simone France is this: it’s all about the way you clean your skin. On their website, they debunk 3 skincare myths and offer gentle, effective products for all skin types. Not sure what system will work best for you? Contact them! They give detailed email consultations to any customer that requests it to help you find the best Simone France products for your skin.

I’ll leave you with this final note: Skincare is investment-worthy. I always tell the Mister that it will cost us less in the long run if I use quality products now vs. doing expensive damage-control procedures down the road. And finding a quality line that you know works for you will save you lots of dough in experimental beauty binges.

Keep reading for the personalized consultation I received from the ladies behind the brand. Reading it was an Oprah “Ah-ha!” moment for me, and it made perfect sense!

Read more…

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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baby it’s cold outside!

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Windy City Tote c/o Ruche | Calvin Klein leopard sweater | Tommy Hilfiger button-up | INC gray zipper skinnies | Apt. 9 midcalf boots (Kohl’s sale)

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Tuesday I was wearing shorts with bare legs. Cut to two days later, and it’s full-on fall gear. ‘Tis the season for seriously unpredictable Florida weather. Fa la la la la, la la la la! 

Doak loves this change in the weather. I worked from home today [I left my car keys at the shop last night, thereby stranding myself after C left early this morning] and he spent the majority of the day outside. The chill in the air brings out the frisky puppy in him, making him extra sweet and adorable. And a little uncooperative…

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weekend giveaway: love your “assets”

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bisou bisou sweater dress, Decree utility jacket, and floral ASSETS by Sara Blakely Shaper Tights in Floral c/o jcpenney | Target boots (2009) | sock bun!

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Okay ladies, imagine your beloved SPANX and your favorite patterned tights falling in love and having a super-shaper-legwear baby. It has happened, ya’ll. And it’s beautiful. Meet ASSETS® by Sara Blakely — pretty shapewear that flattens your tummy while simultaneously smoothing your thighs and rear, created by the lady who made butts and thighs better all over the world with SPANX.

jcpenney shipped me a pair, and then sent me on a little shopping trip to find a fall outfit to “show off my ASSETS®,” if you will. So I decided to put them to the ultimate test with a snug little sweater dress from bisou bisou — a style I usually wouldn’t dare wear without substantial leggings or skinny jeans underneath. The ASSETS® didn’t disappoint. Not only do they deliver on the shaping promise SPANX is famous for, they’re cute and comfortable, too! And — here’s the best part — available at a lower price point than the original, with prices ranging from $14 to $18.

Want to see for yourself? jcpenney is giving away one pair of ASSETS® by Sara Blakely Shaper Tights in floral to one lucky APP reader! To enter, leave a comment telling me what item of clothing you usually avoid, but may be brave enough to try with a little help from ASSETS®. No international entries, please. You have until Monday night at 11:59PM EAST to enter!

**GIVEAWAY CLOSED!**

hot and cold

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Tipper Braided Hobo c/o Handbag Heaven | thrifted denim shirt | Romeo & Juliet Couture pleather jacket via Hautelook | JCrew favorite fit crops (a pretty penny, available online) | Jessica Simpson scarf | Seychelles Gypsy sandals

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This is the extra-frustrating time of year in the south, when Thanksgiving is literally right around the corner {can you believe it?!} and you’re dreaming of pumpkin lattes, and boots with knee socks, and plush knitted scarves… and it’s 80 degrees outside. The time of year when you sulk in your closet and begrudgingly pick the open-toed sandals over the new cognac boots your husband bought you for your birthday, and throw on a linen scarf because —dammit! — it’s fall. Then, throughout the balmy day, you listen to your staff’s teeth chatter because you cranked the A/C down low so you wouldn’t have to sweat it out in your completely inappropriate seasonal layers, and you nearly have a heat stroke every time you make a trip to the dumpster or help a customer to their car. They say a “cold front” is coming this Thursday, which means it may get down to 70.

I’m sure some of you are freezing your backsides off in other areas of the world, and would love to trade places. To which I say, if you’d like to swap homes for a couple of weeks a la’ Cameron and Kate in The Holiday, I’m in.

Please, Mother Nature, just don’t make me wear shorts and flip flops to Thanksgiving dinner.