Category Archives: Uncategorized

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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

shopping list | 01

Spring Shopping List

Quay Harper sunglasses | Cuyana leather tote | Gap destructed sexy boyfriend jeans | Pour la Victoire Dagney sandal | RMS beauty lip2cheek | Essie Style Hunter nail lacquer | JCrew Collection shorts

In my quest to build a well-edited, workable style to take me into my {cough} thirties, I’ve started keeping mental wish lists of pieces I’d like to add to my closet. Like grocery lists, but way more fun. It helps me keep tabs on what’s “missing” in my wardrobe from season to season, and narrows my purchases down to things I know will get lots of mileage. I’m coming to terms with the idea of investments, cost-per-wear, quality over quantity, and all that jazz. It’s a far cry from my clearance-bin-loving, shopping binge fests of yore.

I guess this is growing up, you guys.

Since RAM is in short supply in my aging and overworked brain, I thought I’d make some space up there by sharing these shopping lists on le blog.

Kicking it off the things I’m hunting for this spring!

I’m all about easy basics that multitask, from an everyday leather tote that works for the workweek and the weekend (bonus points for color) to an organic “lip2cheek” beauty product that cuts my morning routine in half.

Relaxed fit ankle jeans are my jam right now — all the better if they’re a little distressed — and I’d like a pair in white for the season. Cute printed shorts in a substantial fabric like jacquard can be dressed up or down, and JCrew has them in spades. On sale.

I’m also loving low-heeled stacked sandals for spring and summer; they give a little lift, but are comfortable and practical, even for us flat-dependent ladies. I’m on the prowl for nude leather ones!

And don’t even get me started on my obsession with beige sunglasses…

What’s on your spring shopping list?

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taking stock | 04

Making : room in my schedule for more “me time.”
Cooking : lots of salmon lately.
Drinking : home-brewed Tazo iced green tea with lemon.
Reading: Emma by Jane Austen. I just finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn after half a dozen starts-and-stops, and loved it!
Wanting: a weekend beach getaway.
Looking: for the perfect pair of overalls.
Playing: my old John Legend Get Lifted CD.
Wasting: hours watching House of Cards on Netflix.
Wishing: I had an Anthropologie designer to help with my spring window displays at the flower shop.
Enjoying: daylight savings, now that I’m adjusted to the time change.
Waiting: for a nice neighbor to move into the empty space next to the shop, so I can stop sweating a possible relocation for a while.
Liking: clean, manicured nails with a coat of clear polish.
Wondering: if I should give my hair a good healthy chop.
Loving: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate. I read about the paraben-free multitasking moisturizer on Emily Weiss’ Top Shelf, and found it on Hautelook a week later.
Hoping: for some good quality time with my  girlfriends soon. We’re seriously overdue, ladies.
Marvelling: at the loveliness of spring —  the weather, the flowers, the fresh starts…
Needing: to start or join a book swapping club; I’m nearing hoarder territory and need some fresh reads.
Smelling: the first blooms of spring (achoo!).
Wearing: my Brian Atwood flats, like, errday.
Noticing: more gray eyebrow hairs, which is troubling.
Knowing: that change is the only constant in life, and trying to learn to roll with it.
Thinking: this HuffPo list of 16 Habits of Highly Sensitive People sums me up to a T.
Bookmarkinghttp://www.polienne.com.
Opening: all the doors and windows at home to let the spring air in.
Giggling: at this cupcake-loving future debate club president.
Feeling: content.

Inspired by Sydney, who was inspired by Pip!

bag

Bare Minimum Makeup

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When things get really busy at the flower shop (i.e., holiday weeks) my morning M.O. becomes maximize sleep, minimize beauty routine. These are the healthy paraben-free products I reach for in a groggy haze when I want a quick natural face.

pürminerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup Foundation with Skincare Ingredients: I love an all-in-one multitasker! This one scores extra points because it packs in skincare benefits and SPF with buildable coverage.

thebalm Cabana Boy powder blush: A perfect everyday dusty-rose that isn’t too shimmery.

Lorac Creamy Brow Pencil: Even on the laziest of mornings, I can’t neglect my eyebrows. I really like this creamy pencil; it quickly fills in my sparse spots and looks natural.

Too Faced Lash Injection mascara: My favorite mascara, three years going. I’m all about tubing mascaras. They don’t smudge or flake, and wash off easily at the end of a long day.

Fresh Sugar Lip Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 Rose: The best lip balm of all time, ever. You’ll going to balk at the $22 price tag (I did, too) but you’ll use it to the last drop. It’s that good.

Bite Beauty High Pigment Lip PencilI bought the four pack from Sephora last season, and I wear one of these pencils every day.  The matte color sticks around for a long time, and the formula is packed with antioxidants. And they’re small enough to fit in my wallet!

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my newest hobby is all sewn up

This is the year I start my couture collection!

More likely, I’ll make some curtains and a sofa full of throw pillows; every Project Runway contestant has to start somewhere, right? ;-)

I was so excited to open a shiny new Singer sewing machine from my Mom on Christmas Eve. I’ve wanted to learn to sew for as long as I can remember… When my parents were young and on a tight budget, Mom made a lot of her clothes, both from scratch and altered pieces from consignment stores. I shopped for patterns with her when I was tiny, and thought that one day I’d make all of my outfits, too.

I’ve always loved creative things (I get it from my momma). Since I parlayed it into a career a few years ago — which I’m so grateful for — I’ve found that sometimes I just run out of fresh ideas for the shop. Trying new outlets that flex my right brain muscles and spark new inspiration helps refill the well, and makes me a better designer/merchandiser.

While I probably won’t be cranking out a wardrobe any time soon, I’m looking forward to setting up a little sewing space at home and getting started on some small projects!

If anyone has recommendations on resources for beginners, I would love to hear them. Sewing blogs, books, classes? Send ’em my way!

kinda sorta almost fall.

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Florida’s holding on to summer for as long as it can. When it’s not raining cats and dogs, it’s a brisk 85 degrees in the shade. Ankle booties are my new best friend; I can pair them with dresses or skinnies and pretend it’s fall around these parts without the threat of heat stroke. I found these on Hautelook for [wait for it…] $35.

I missed my hair appointment two weeks ago. I was four weeks overdue then, so you can do the math (and count the inches of my roots). I can’t stop thinking about my blog pal Carrie’s new bob… the idea of fuss-free shoulder length hair is awfully tempting right now.

pizza in the park and other current events

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{ a sweet lunch date in the sun with C this afternoon }

In Lennox news of late:

{Or, in other words, why I’m off my blogging game.}

After a particularly wretched July that left our bodies battered and our entrepreneurial confidence a little shaken, August tossed us all kinds of fresh starts!

We booked weddings for every weekend this month, welcomed a handful of new clients to the roster, and lined up several events for next season. Sometimes it seems like we’re on a feast-or-famine roller coaster in this business, and we’re still learning how to navigate the highs and lows without losing our marbles.

Speaking of crazy, I lost my right-hand man last week. After two+ years of running our small business side-by-side, I turned C over to an amazing — and unexpected! —  career opportunity in commercial real estate. Happily, his new office is downtown near the shop, so daily lunches and carpools help take the sting out of my separation anxiety. Who knew I’d miss his mug so much?! At least I still have Doak.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about managing the flower shop on my own. With C out of the picture five days a week, there’s no security net for oversleeping, iced tea emergencies, or terrifying bug encounters! Seriously though, he did half of the Big Important Boss Stuff, so it’s going to be a major change. I’m still sorting through all the details, while filling notebooks and Wunderlist with new to-do lists and schedules.

Part of said sorting includes figuring out what’s next for this blog. More responsibility in my day job means less time for my fun job, so I’m working on a plan to balance it all. But balance it I will. More on that later.

faith over worry

small steps

{source: Pinterest}

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone for the sweet and uplifting comments following Monday’s post! You guys really know how to brighten a girl’s day. I’m happy to report that things are looking up: the delivery van is back in action, we’ve had an uptick in business, and over the course of several evenings I’ve perfected the homemade Tennessee Twist cocktail.

I took a break from the blog this week while Chad and I focused on getting things back on track. I poured all of my energy into marketing projects for the flower shop: I jotted down two pages of promotion ideas, scoured the Internet for inspiration, set up new Instagram and Pinterest accounts and gave the Facebook page some extra TLC. We also got around to some long overdue spring cleaning projects — nothing calms my nerves like a good scrub-down — and met with other downtown merchants to brainstorm ways to beat this summer slump. All this to say, we’re working hard to pull ourselves out of this rut and we’re confident that with a little elbow grease and a lot of faith, everything is going to work out exactly the way it’s supposed to.

I’ve balanced all this daytime productivity by relishing lazy nights; watching Real Housewives reruns, lurking on GOMI forums (my guilty pleasure) and pinning up a storm. While searching for the perfect ombre highlights and Olivia Palermo street style snaps Wednesday night, I stumbled upon this quote:

There isn’t enough room in your mind for both worry and faith. You must decide which one will live there.

I pinned that business immediately, shoved my iPad under Chad’s nose and declared, “This!! This is our new mantra!”

I often tell my husband that I’m convinced when we’re old and wrinkly and reminisce about our lives together, the years of running this flower shop are going to be some of the best of all. Even through the challenges, hard days and sleepless nights. Because we’re in it together, through thick and thin.

And this too shall pass.

photo shoot fun with m.marie!

Last month, I tagged along on a summer photo shoot for my friend Meghan’s boutique, m.marie! I snapped a few photos of the action before my camera battery died. {I never remember to charge that thing until it’s blinking the flashing light of death.}

I wish I had more to show you, but as soon as Meg posts the professional images (which are uhh-mazing) I’ll pass along a link!

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Model: Sian Hurst | Photography: Michael Flores | Makeup: Perry L. Oakley | Clothes & Styling: m.marie

Psst! For cute styling ideas and behind-the-scenes peeks of boutique ownership, follow m.marie on Instagram! 

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one year later…

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{photo credit: Black Oak Creative, 2012}

Today marks the one year anniversary of Chad and I moving our flower shop and officially becoming the new owners of the family business. It goes without saying that it flew by. 

Here’s what I’ve learned in our first year as small business owners (although I could’ve used some of these lessons years ago, with or without the entrepreneurship):

1. You’re going to make mistakes — even big ones — and things won’t always turn out exactly the way you planned. That’s okay! I’ve learned the most valuable lessons through my mess-ups.

2. You can fix just about anything by accepting responsibility and offering up a sincere apology. Bonus points if that apology includes a speedy solution.

3. Be open to feedback, new ideas, and even criticism. No matter how much you want to believe the contrary, you don’t know everything.

4. Your employees are your best and most important asset. Take care of them, and they will take care of you.

5. You can’t be all things to all people. Sometimes you have to break up with a client, employee or vendor when you don’t jive. Do it respectfully. Pull the old, “it’s not you, it’s me,” move if you have to.

6. Never, ever burn a bridge. You may need to cross it again someday.

7. Make your business a drama-free zone. Don’t bad-mouth the competition or fan the local gossip fires with your customers or vendors. It breeds negativity within your company and damages your credibility.

8. It’s durn-near impossible to finish everything every day. Triage your to-do list, cut yourself some slack, and go home at a decent hour.

9. There is no end to the city/county/state/federal/insurance/accounting paperwork. Seriously, it’s overwhelming and will drive you to drink.

10. Make time to relax, unplug, and let your hair down. Your business will be so much better for it.

I have a theory that your first year as a business owner is similar to your first year of marriage; it’s exciting and new, but also awkward and challenging — and sometimes maddening! — with a great big dose of personal growth. This is not to say that I think it’s all smooth sailing from here, but I definitely feel better equipped to ride the wave.

Can’t wait to see what unfolds in year two!

find me on instagram!

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I’ve been a lazy blogger for the last week or so. I’m cutting myself some slack; lazy is summer’s middle name, and I don’t have the motivation for much besides reading books on a lounge chair, gorging myself on fresh berries, and drinking peach iced green tea by the bucketfuls. Summer, you’re lovely.

Since I don’t have anything to share today, I thought I’d remind you that you can find me on Instagram! My username is keiralennox (totes original) and I post lots of updates from the flower shop, cute snaps of Doak, outfit ideas, and snippets of life around the Lennox camp. I promise not to flood your feed with pictures of my breakfast.

Are you on Instagram? Share those usernames so I can peep ’em!

out with the old, in with the bloglovin’

[Not so] breaking news: As of July 1st, Google Reader will cease to exist! What does this mean for you? If you use Google Reader or Google Friend Connect to keep track of your favorite blogs, you’ll need to find a new form of RSS syndication, STAT.

I’ve been using Bloglovin’ for as long as I’ve been blogging. It’s a user-friendly RSS reader that aggregates the new posts of all the blogs you follow into one clean and customizable space. You can group blogs into custom categories, share posts on your favorite social media sites, and “like” posts to show the author some love. It’s also a great tool for discovering new blogs in style, beauty, design, food, and more!

Getting started with Bloglovin’ is simple. Register and set up your profile, and if you have a blog, follow the easy directions to claim it. When you’ve set up an account, click “Settings”  in the dropdown menu under your profile photo in the top right corner.

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Then scroll down on the Settings page until you reach the “Import blogs” button. The import time will depend on the number of blogs you follow on Google Reader, but the 150 blogs I imported took about 3 minutes!

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To add new reads to your Bloglovin’ feed, just copy and paste the blog URL in the search bar! You can find APP on Bloglovin’ right here.

Prefer to catch up on your favorite blogs on the go? There’s an app for that.

 

#DARETOBARE giveaway winner!

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Congratulations, Denise! You’re on your way to soft summer skin, and a little Shopbop spree, courtesy of Nivea! Keep an eye on your inbox for information about claiming your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered! More fun summer giveaways are coming up, so stay tuned!