Category Archives: summer

Hey, August, where’d you go?

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{ s’long white jeans… see you next summer. }

I’m sitting on the couch in my sweatpants because I got greedy with the long weekend, slowly tapping out my first blog post in over a week (I’m rusty) and choking down a giant green smoothie to atone for the sugary sins of the holiday (more on that tomorrow).

I don’t know about you guys, but it seems like I blinked and August disappeared.

This summer was so good to us: the flower shop was much busier than I anticipated, we made it to the beach, C spent a week in Canada with his family, our friends had a beautiful baby girl, we celebrated birthdays and holidays with our favorite people, and I tackled some overdue projects on my to-do list. It was pretty perfect, as summers go.

At the start of it, I decided to cut myself some slack. I took a break from blogging regularly, let tumbleweeds roll across my Instagram for days at a time, and skipped out of the shop as often as I could manage. I cooked a lot for C and me, read several books in the sunshine, watched two seasons of Once Upon a Time on Netflix, and went to bed early almost every night. Good grief, it was lovely; and it made me realize that maybe I really can have a better work/life balance if I just slow down and make it a priority.

The end of August marked the one-year anniversary of C’s job (I keep wanting to type “new job,” but nope, no longer applicable) which also means I officially survived the first year of running the flower shop on my own. I feel like there’s a blog post in there somewhere about the things I learned about myself over the last twelve months, but it will have to wait because my brain still thinks it’s Labor Day.

Now that September’s here, it’s back to business as we head into our wedding/event season. But I’m going to hold on to summer for as long as I can; at least a little of the work-less-relax-more part.

Little Black Romper

A Pretty Penny | LOFT Romper and Isola Adette Sandals

LOFT Roll Sleeve Romper
Isola Adette Sandals (via Hautelook)
Big Buddha wristlet
JORD Ely maple watch (c/o)

If they weren’t such a pain every time you use the loo, I’d happily live in [tasteful] rompers and playsuits.

“Here, put on this one thing. Ok, good to go.”

I bought this one from LOFT at the start of summer, before it went on sale. It seemed like a big splurge to drop $80 on a romper, but I’ve worn it no fewer than twenty times: dressed up on a date night, dressed down to the shop, over a swimsuit with my Havaianas; it’s one of the most versatile pieces in my closet right now.

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taking stock | 08

Making : plans for Labor Day weekend. It’s our last shot at a good break before the busy season kicks in.
Cooking : EVOL frozen dinners in the microwave.
Drinking : Tito’s and soda with lime in cute mason jar tumblers.
Reading: The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank. It’s kind of, meh.
Wanting: a pair of classic black leather boots for fall. I’m peeping Hautelook sales every few days to find the perfect pair.
Playing: the “All About that Bass” video on repeat.
Wasting: rainy evenings cuddled on the couch with Doak and C and Netflix.
Wishing: this three-day work week business was reality.
Enjoying: some peace of mind about the flower shop’s current space. After being on the market for over a year, our building sold to a wonderful family who wants to extend our lease. So many prayers answered.
Waiting: for Sunday morning and blueberry pancakes with my parents at our favorite little cafe. It’s one of the best parts of my week.
Liking: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation. I bought this kit with foundation, primer and powder from Sephora last weekend after reading so many good reviews. It’s like magic: it gives medium-to-full coverage that somehow looks totally natural and lasts all day.
Wondering: if it would be weird to take myself back-to-school shopping. I miss getting new notebooks and pens! I wouldn’t be mad at a leather backpack, either.
Loving: Justina Blakeney’s beautiful and inspiring blog.
Marvelling: at my little brother turning 11 last month. I was a freshman in college when he was born; queue the whoa-I’m-getting-old panic.
Needing: not a thing; I’m totally content.
Smelling: NUXE Huile Prodigieuse dry oil, the gateway drug of my new Urban Outfitters beauty addiction.
Wearing: a t-shirt and jeans and red lipstick.
Knowing: my annual football widowhood is right around the corner.
Thinking: Once Upon a Time may be my favorite TV series since LOST.
Opening: my Whitney English Day Designer, after months of looking at it on my desk. August, prepare to be supremely organized.
Giggling: at this cute kid, who apparently has a big future in television broadcasting.
Feeling: good.

Inspired by Sydney, who was inspired by Pip!

t-shirt + jeans

A Pretty Penny | tshirt + jeans

LOFT curvy ankle zip skinnies
Tahari t-shirt (via Marshalls)
Isola Adette sandals (via Hautelook)
Big Buddha wristlet

Sometimes I wonder if I should bother posting photos of my outfits anymore, because they’re basic.

Like, Lauren Conrad in Allure basic. Which by the way, why they hatin’? I love LC’s easy feminine style and if it’s wrong I don’t wanna be right; as I tap out this blog post with a ballet slippers manicure {cough}.

Summer Lovin’

I’ve been lusting after these studded leather sandals since I spotted them on @studiomcgee’s Instagram way back at the start of the summer, so I was pumped to find them in a Hautelook sandal sale recently. Patience and discounts, amen.

Can someone ‘splain to me how we’re already in the last week of July? Slow it down, summer; I’m just starting to get a decent tan…

While I hear others whispering about the anticipation of fall and boots and pumpkin lattes — seriously, already? —  I’m holding on to the rest of this season with clenched fists. Give me all the afternoon thunderstorms, lazy hours by the pool, weekend BBQs, sunny boat rides, and naps. Lots of naps.

Beauty on a Budget: My Summer Drugstore Picks

A Pretty Penny | My 2014 Summer Drugstore Picks

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Glow Sheers – If you’re looking for an inexpensive tinted moisturizer with SPF, this is an awesome option. It’s really sheer, and dries to a soft natural glow. Bonus: it has an antioxidant blend in the formula for an extra shot of skincare.

Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm – These easy-to-apply lip crayons give lots of color payoff in bright, bold hues for summer; #210 Unapologetic is my favorite shade.

Flower Color Play Creme Eyeshadow  – I’ve been wearing Geranium every day for about two weeks. It’s the lazy girl’s answer to eyeshadow: swipe it on your lids with clean fingertips and you’re good to go. It holds up surprisingly well to heat and humidity with minimal creasing or slippage, but use an eyeshadow primer for extra “insurance.”

Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator – I have this in Bronze Light and Peach Light, and I love that they’re illuminating without being sparkly. I use them as highlighters, or mix them with sunscreen for an easy all-over glow.

Maui Babe Browning Lotion – My girlfriend keeps a bottle of this stashed in her beach bag. This java-scented tanning accelerator oil is safe for use over sunscreen, promises a golden tan in less time, and moisturizes your skin with natural oils and aloe. I like that the built-in tint gives you a little extra glow while you’re soaking up rays.

Yes to Coconuts Ultra Light Spray Body Lotion – I love a light, quick-absorbing moisturizer after long days in the sun. This one gets extra points for coming in a mess-free spray bottle; just spritz it all over, rub it in, and go. Plus it smells like fresh coconut, which is quintessential summer.

Arm & Hammer Essentials Natural Deodorant – I feel like I talk about armpits way too often on this blog; I just really want everyone to get on board with exploring aluminum-free deodorant options. I prefer the unscented version of this baking-soda-based deodorant because it gets the job done without interfering with any fragrance I’m wearing.

SheaMoisture African Black Soap Body Wash – If you’re prone to body acne, or get breakouts on your back and arms from sunscreen and tanning oils, this natural healing cleanser can help clear skin without dryness or irritation.

Sally Hershberger Glam Waves Texture Spray – This is a good wallet-friendly beach spray for fine hair that needs a little roughin’ up and grip to achieve those coveted “beach waves.” I went through an entire bottle last summer; I’d curl my hair all over with a 1.5″ curling iron, pull the curls out with my fingers, and spray this texturizing spray throughout.

Eco Tools Konjac Pure Complexion Facial Sponge – My husband, the first morning he spotted it drying on the bathroom counter: “Hey, what’s that rock thing that looks like it came from outer space?” I don’t know if the new konjac craze is all it’s hyped up to be, but I do know that I could use a little extra muscle when I’m cleansing my face in the summer; there’s a lot of SPF and makeup primer buildup to contend with. This handheld sponge is really gentle and gets my face squeaky clean with minimal effort.

I love reading recommendations for drugstore diamonds-in-the-rough. Share your summer favorites in the comments! 

 

Summer Beauty Looks That I Love

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Bronzed Skin & Bold Lip

Bronzed Skin & Bold Lips: I think this is perfect for a weekend BBQ or pool party. The coverage is super sheer; pick a lightly tinted sunscreen, like COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30. I love Revlon’s COLORBURST Matte Balm lip crayons for bold lips that are easy to apply and stay put.

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Glow

Glowing Skin: Illuminators can be tricky; I want to look fresh and dewy, not glitteryBenefit’s Watt’s Up is my favorite: the stick makes application really easy, and the cream-to-powder formula blends into your skin and leaves behind a luminous champagne glow.

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Bright Eyeliner

Bright Eyeliner: This is really fun for a night out. You can create it with a bright eyeliner — Makeup Forever makes a great range of colors in their Aqua Eyes liner collection — or turn any bright eyeshadow into a long-lasting eyeliner by adding a couple drops of saline solution (the kind you use to clean your contact lenses) to a clean liner brush before dipping it in the shadow and applying.

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Liquid Liner

Classic Cat Eye: A good swipe of black eyeliner is great year-round, but in the summer you can tone it down with sheer foundation, a hint of blush, and a light pink or peach lip. The trick is finding a liner that can survive the heat and humidity; my girlfriend who’s a professional makeup artist swears by Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner.

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Golden Eyes

Barely There: This “no-makeup makeup” look is my favorite for every day: a simple golden eye paired with a nude lip and tinted moisturizer. I love Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Tenderheart and LORAC’s Little Black Eyeshadow Palette for recreating this easy natural face.

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my summer {beauty} top 10

I love sharing my seasonal beauty favorites on the blog. This summer, I’m focused on good sun protection, more natural products, and a low-maintenance beauty routine with a little glow.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk – It’s a splurge at around $30, but this is one of the best sunscreens I’ve ever used. The paraben-and-fragrance-free fluid absorbs quickly and dries to a matte finish, making it perfect for everyday protection from head to toe. On pool and lake days, I know I’m covered; it’s nice to relax and skip the constant reapplications I always think I need with sprays.

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream – If you’ve ever found yourself on a search for an effective natural deodorant, it can seem like an awkward/smelly exercise in futility. Before you run back into the arms of aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex — yikes! — give Soapwalla’s all natural deodorant cream a try. I started using it a few weeks ago, and so far so good. C and I spent a very hot and humid afternoon bartending at an outdoor fundraiser recently, and I left fresh as a daisy.

Some people complain about irritation from the baking soda in the formula, but I haven’t had an issue; maybe because I used Arm & Hammer’s Essentials deodorant before making the switch. If you’re concerned about possible reactions, check out this Crunchy Betty post on pH spray for baking-soda-based deos.

Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Balm – If I had to choose just one lip product to use for the rest of my days, I’d happily pick this one. It’s a must-have for me 365 days a year, but it gets extra points in the summer for having SPF 15 built in.

thebalm Balm Shelter Tinted Moisturizer SPF 18 – Confession: before I buy almost any beauty product, I turn to Beautypedia.  I tried this paraben-free tinted moisturizer purely because it was recommended on Beautypedia’s Best of the Best list, and it’s fantastic for sheer-to-medium natural coverage with sun protection. To make it hold up to the heat and humidity, I set it with a little Koh Gen Do Natural Lighting Powder.

Psst: If you keep your eyes peeled, you can find discounted products from thebalm on Hautelook every few months.

Durance Nourishing Dry Body Oil – I’m already on bottle #2. I use this after every shower. It smells light and clean, and keeps my skin lightly moisturized without feeling heavy or greasy; there’s nothing worse than thick lotion sitting on top of your skin when the heat index is pushing triple-digits.

Lush Vanilla Puff Dusting Powder – This stuff makes me smell like a sweet tart, but in the best way. I use it all over after a shower or bath on days I know I’ll be outside to stay fresh and dry. Bonus: This dusting powder has a real vanilla pod inside that keeps the fragrance going strong through the end of the bottle.

TooFaced Lash Injection Mascara – I feel like this mascara ends up on every “beauty faves” post I write, but I especially appreciate the tubing formula in the summer. Florida humidity is no joke, and nearly every other mascara runs down my eyes by lunch.

Gillette Venus disposable razors – I’m insanely loyal to these disposable razors. I literally won’t shave with anything else, and I have a stockpile in the event of apocalypse or discontinuation (don’t do it, Gillette!). A good, sharp razor that minimizes nicks, irritation and razor burns is a summertime staple.

Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights Face Illuminator in Bronze Light – I’m so glad Revlon brought Skinlights back; the liquid and powder illuminators were mainstays in my highschool and college makeup bag. I’m currently using the Bronze Light over my tinted moisturizer for a subtle sunkissed glow, focusing on the places I usually put powdered bronzer: my cheekbones, hairline, nose and neck.

Shea Moisture Hand & Body Scrub – I love a good scrub in the summertime. Whether I’m exfoliating my heels for sandals, prepping for self-tanner, or scrubbing off layers of built-up sunscreen after a day outside, there’s nothing better than a good old fashioned body scrub. Shea Moisture’s sugar scrubs are the best: they’re inexpensive, all natural, and combine natural exfoliants with nourishing oils for double-duty sloughing and moisturizing.

What beauty products are getting you through the summer months?

Image source: weheartit

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#luckylovesessie: manis meet their {blooming} matches

 

Essie recently teamed up with NYC floral designer, Flower Girl, for a special feature with Lucky: pairing their summer 2014 color collection with unique bridal bouquets for the modern bride.

Pretty manis and even prettier blooms? A match made in heaven.

Images source: @essiepolish on Instagram

simple summer

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My style always gets a little lazy in the summer. I make myself feel better about it by using words like carefree, easy, and simple; but what we have here is a slept-in ponytail and a cotton dress that’s as comfy as a nightgown, friends.

Give me all the breezy dresses and flip flops through August, please.

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LOFT crossover cut-out dress 
Nine West sandals (SIMILAR)
Duro Olowu clutch (last year) 
Nixon Kensington watch 
Tom Ford sunglasses

in the bag: summer carry-alls

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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

 

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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

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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

 

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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 LBT: little black tank

A Pretty Penny | Little Black Tank

A Pretty Penny | Little Black Tank

{ bar III zipper-back tank; LOFT curvy ankle zip skinnies; Jessica Simpson cross body bag (SIMILAR); Steven “Shelli” sandals; La Mer Collections leather wrap watch; Nine West sunglasses }

A Pretty Penny | Little Black Tank

 

I’m wearing this simple black tank more than anything else in my closet these days. It zips up the back, and pairs perfectly with jeans, pencil skirts, shorts; everything.

I’m all about the easy basics this summer.

growing up and paring down, part 1: the purge

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I spent a good chunk of Labor Day knee-deep in a closet edit of epic proportions. I sorted through every rack, rod and cubby, pulling the items I couldn’t see myself wearing in 3 years and tossing them in a pile on the bed. After a couple of hours, a mountain of ill-fitting trendy printed denim, flimsy clearance bin tops, and elastic-waist polyester dresses covered the bedspread.

I surveyed the teetering stack of clothing — the spoils of years of bargain shopping and too much style “inspiration” — and thought to myself, You’re doing it wrong. These things don’t look like they belong in the same woman’s closet. 

I’d created a monster, fed by blog trends and Pinterest and deep discounts; and I’d lost my point of view along the way.

Then I made a rash decision: I couldn’t move forward with creating a well-edited wardrobe with all this stuff taking up valuable closet real estate. I bagged it all up neatly (it took three Hefty’s and a good dose of resolve) and drove it to the local women’s resource center the following morning.

For the last two weeks, getting dressed has been so much easier. I’ll tell you more about it in part two.

To be continued! 

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Wearing: 

Cynthia Rowley dolman tee via TJ Maxx (SIMILAR) | American Eagle skinnies | Nine West sandals | Olivia & Joy Dynamo bag

If too much denim is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

The Canadian tuxedo is a polarizer; folks either loathe denim-on-denim with a deep fiery passion, or pair up their blue jean favorites at least once a week. A chambray top with comfy skinnies is a win in my book.

Britney and Justin ruined it for all of us back in 2001.