Category Archives: winter

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military shirt

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{ J.Crew military shirt; American Eagle high rise skinnies in washed black; Lauren Merkin bag via Hautelook, Nixon Kensington watch; Alex & Ani bracelets }

I don’t shop at J.Crew often, but my search for quality basics (and a glass of wine) led me to their website during the after-Christmas sale.

Extra 40% off sale prices? Fill up the cart! Fill up the cart! Do we need it? Don’t think about it. Fill up the cart! 

Please tell me you watch Girl Code.

Anywhoozle, these kinds of shopping sprees are typically followed by a good dose of buyers remorse, but everything I ordered from the Crew has been on heavy rotation. I think I’m really getting the hang of this edited wardrobe business!

weekend style

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{ Mink Pink pom pom sweater (m.marie); American Eagle black high rise skinnies in washed black; Nine West hat; Sole Society boots (last year); Nixon Kensington watch }

What I wore for a busy, chilly Saturday! It got me through a morning at the flower shop, a family reunion, an outdoor water ski show, and a birthday party in total comfort.

sweatshirt chic

Here are 8 reasons we all need a good basic sweatshirt or two in our closet this winter. In high school, I had a hand-me-down Navy sweater from my cousin who served, and it was one of my favorite things in my closet. I don’t know what happened to it — Mom, do you have it? — but I wore that sweatshirt all the time with jeans and cut-offs.

I love how these girls paired their sweatshirts with colorful skinnies, cute skirts, and fancy [faux] furs!

Now let’s all run to the Wal-Marts and stock up on Hanes sweatshirts. Because seriously, they may be the best basic since sliced bread.

Sweatshirt up! {Said in a Barney Stinson voice, of course.}

sweatshirt + striped skirt | sweatshirt + bright skinnies | sweatshirt + fur stole | bejeweled sweatshirt | sweatshirt + distressed jeans | sweatshirt + boyfriend jeans | sweatshirt + pleated mini | sporty sweatshirt

comfort zone

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{ Blu Pepper sweater (m.marie) | INC International Concepts Stretch Leggings | Bucco boots via Hautelook | La Mer Collections leather wrap watch (c/o) }

I could happily live out the rest of my days in giant sweaters and good leggings. By “good leggings,” I mean high quality ones made of substantial fabric for grown ladies; not the flimsy show-every-bit-of-your-business leg wear found in the juniors department. I know it’s tempting, but just, no.

I found these INC stretch leggings at Macy’s just before Thanksgiving — because, hello, comfy glutton pants — and forked over the retail price because they’re that awesome.  Now they’re on sale, so you can scoop them up for almost half of what I paid and pair them up with your favorite boots and chunky knits this winter. And I can get a backup pair (or two).

bargain basics

bargain basics

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{ Aeropostale sweatshirt ($8 on clearance) | Gap Always Skinny Jeans | Michael Antonio booties ($35 via Hautelook) | La Mer Collections leather wrap watch (c/o) | Alex & Ani Bracelets }

For the first time in years, I ventured out to shop the after-Christmas sales last Thursday. After stopping in Bath & Body to see my friend, Anne, and spend the gift card that burned a hole in my pocket on a 50% off Tuscan Herb candle, I strolled a few doors down and hesitated at the entrance to Aeropostale.

Am I getting too old for this place?

I have a simple formula for determining whether I’ve outgrown a store: If, 1.) I can’t squeeze my almost-30 thighs into the skinny jeans, 2.) the graphic tees make me blush or leave me befuddled, 3.) the teenaged staff calls me ma’am, 4.) the cologne-soaked inventory gives me an instant migraine, or 5.) there are words embroidered on the seat of any sweatpants/swimwear/undergarments, I accept that I probably have no business shopping there.

I’m definitely approaching the Aero expiration date (see numbers 1 and 3) but that afternoon I gathered an armful of clearance sweatshirts and cotton tees priced from $6-12, perfect everyday basics for working in the flower shop.

out of focus

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Since my resident blog photographer and right hand man left our blooming business, I’ve been working on ways to keep this place updated semi-regularly. {Admittedly, some weeks are better than others.}

So I’m working on cozying up to my tripod. Which is exactly as awkward as it sounds. Since I don’t have a remote-capable DSLR, I have to set the continuous-shot timer, run in front of the camera before the last warning beep, and pray for the best through 10 consecutive shutter snaps. All while trying to look cool and nonchalant in front of passerby, you see.

It’s a work in progress.

Out of 50 self-timed snaps yesterday afternoon, I managed to get one focused shot of my shoes. The rest looked something like this…

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Don’t give up on me, friends. We’ll get there.

Photography tips welcomed ;-)

florida winter

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{ Romeo & Juliet vegan leather jacket via Hautelook; Forever 21 favorite v-neck tee; American Eagle high-rise skinnies in washed black; Philip Lim for Target cross-body bag; Candies leopard loafers (SIMILAR under $50) }

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In case you missed the “We Hate You, Florida” weather map last week, the sunshine state isn’t participating in winter right now. But despite this hot and balmy December, the holiday festivities are going strong. I am so in the Christmas spirit, ya’ll!

We’ve enjoyed lots of quality time with our friends. More are coming into town in the next week, and I can hardly stand it. We pulled all the decorations down from the attic, found things from our first Christmas in our home that made me sentimental and weepy, trimmed a perfect tiny tree, attended a few work-related holiday parties, and baked a holiday treat or two. I even finished my shopping early!

For the last couple of years, C and I have been so consumed with the business we kind of passed right over the holidays. We went through the motions with family and friends, but didn’t buy a tree, decorate the house, or even exchange gifts. This year we made a pact to slow down and savor the season, and it’s lovely.

So even though I can’t comfortably cuddle up in a chunky sweater with a cup of cocoa just yet, I’m loving every minute of this December. I hope you are, too!

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late adopter: neon skinnies

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Okay, so I’m a little late to the neon party. In my marketing 101 classes, they called consumers like me late adopters. Simply put: we’re not exactly the first in line to buy the next big thing. Case in point: I didn’t have an iPad until about two weeks ago, when my hip (and somehow surpassing me in technology lately?) parents surprised me with one and brought me into the 21st century.

In the case of florescent apparel, I figure I met my lifetime quota of day-glo outfits by around 1996. Once again, it took an act of major clearance to get me to jump on the trend train.

Last weekend, I was on the prowl for swimsuits for a special girl’s trip next month. {Sidebar: swimsuit shopping is just the worst kind of torture.} My hunting led me to Marshall’s, Target, and later to Kohl’s, where I’m powerless against the pull of the seductive 70% off racks. I found these soft stretch ankle skinnies in bright lime green and soft baby blue for $14.50 each and scooped up both pair.

Wearing: LOFT tee, Simply Vera Vera Wang ankle skinnies, vintage necklace (m.marie), Seychelles gold Vulture pump and Romeo & Juliet Couture bag (both via Hautelook

dirty little secret

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See that cute little scarf trick I did there? It’s hiding my hasn’t-been-washed-in-9-days hair. Are you judging? Hang on, lemme explain…

First, I should probably tell you that I’m totally skeeved out by all of the crazy chemicals found in cosmetics and body care products; things like formaldehyde, lead, and mercury, oh my!! While I’ve always tried to be conscientious about the things I eat, I never paid much attention to what I slathered on my skin. That is, until my mom-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2008. During her treatment, she spent a lot of time researching the possible links between these chemicals and our health, and some of the facts are pretty scary. Since then, I’ve done my best to stock our medicine cabinet and shower caddy with all-natural and organic products, including aluminum-free deodorant, handmade goats milk soaps from a local farm, and olive oil moisturizers, to name a few.

But hair is tricky! I’ve yet to find a line of {affordable} natural haircare products that keep my thick hair shiny and manageable, so I try to compensate by only lathering up every 7-10 days. And it turns out shampooing less has made my hair and scalp so much healthier. I get through the week with dry shampoo; but by day 7, hats and scarves are a girl’s best friend.

Does anyone remember the big “no-poo” craze that went around a few years ago? Girls were forgoing shampoo for up to 8 weeks at a time, and claiming it gave them magical unicorn tresses. My girlfriends and I were fascinated — but too chicken to try it out. What’s the longest you’ve gone without sudsing up?

And natural haircare recommendations welcome!

leggings are not pants. but gosh, they are comfortable.

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Today, in lessons of thou shall never say never:

Once upon a time — when my closet was filled with pencil skirts, Express Editors, stilettos and all other manner of 9 to 5 attire — I put my nose in the air and proclaimed, “I will never wear leggings out of the house!” I relegated them to loungewear and workout gear; which means I mostly just wore them while lounging because I don’t work out enough to need gear.

Cut to present, and I can’t think of anything I’d rather pull on for a crazy day of running around the flower shop than some soft stretchy leggings, a long [read: bum-covering] tunic or sweater, and flats. If 23-year old corporate Keira could see me now, she’d shake her head in shame.

However, I’m still adamant that I will never leave the house wearing leggings as pants. See: Am I Wearing Pants?

Wearing: LC Lauren Conrad top; Simply Vera Vera Wang denim leggings; Op floral cami (Wal-Mart), Bucco boots and Romeo & Juliet Couture handbag (both via Hautelook)

tuesday.

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I’m a little short on words today. It probably has something to do with coming down off that big ol’ banana pudding cupcake. Yep, that’s what I said. Banana. Pudding. Cupcake.

I bought it at a new cupcake shop last night in a moment of weakness {and maybe three others, too, but who’s counting} and it made its way to work with me this morning. I hid it — from myself — in the break room, and spotted it when I went in there to get paper towels or a cup or something. So I brought it back to my desk. Just to look at it. Maybe smell it. Taste a teeny tiny bit of the yellow frosting sitting underneath the vanilla wafer that topped it off? But that’s it.

Now half of it is missing. There are crumbs on my keyboard, and my belly hurts. And I have all the foggy-headed mental incompetence of a real good sugar coma.

I am powerless against baked goods.

I need a nap.

recharged

IMG_8178Last Saturday, I skipped out of the shop at noon on the dot. It was a beautiful afternoon, my schedule was clear, and I was on a mission: to make it to the Lakeland Farmers Curb Market before it ended at 2:00, get my hands on some beignets from The Poor Porker, do a little thrifting {which I haven’t done in ages}, and stop in Marshall’s to find a few inexpensive dresses for work because by March it will be too hot to wear anything else.

You guys, it was just the loveliest. An entire day to myself: puttering around town on a powdered sugar high, taking my sweet time picking through every pair of designer jeans at the Goodwill, taking mental notes of cute outfits — you Lakeland girls have some serious style! — and walking up and down each aisle at Hobby Lobby in search of studs for my denim jacket (sadly, no dice). I shopped ’til I dropped, but at the end of it all I felt so… rejuvenated. Sometimes a girl just needs a little distraction-free “me time” to recharge her batteries, you know?

The spoils of the day included a pair of Joe’s jeans scored at Goodwill for $10, Gap denim cut-offs scooped up for $3, four cute and comfy day dresses from Marshall’s, and a pair of LC Lauren Conrad polka dot jeggings spotted (pun intended?) on my last stop at Kohl’s  — all purchased under my February shopping budget of $100; huzzah.

{ Wearing: Romeo & Juliet Couture dress (Marshall’s sale, $20) and bag (Hautelook, $35); Hue purple tights; Daniel Wellington watch }

and the winner is…

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Thank you to everyone who entered the #TroopOneX giveaway! I wish I could give every single one of you a new HTC One X+; I loved reading about all the great ways you would put it to use. I was touched by many of you who wanted to give it to family members and friends in need. You guys are just awesome.

But alas, there can only be one winner. I’m sending out a great big Interwebs {{squeeze}} to the rest of you, though!

Drumroll…

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Congratulations, Elizabeth W! Your new HTC One X+ will be perfect for capturing special moments with your new little bundle of joy! SocialChorus will be in touch for your shipping information. 

new connections

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Last night I spent a lovely evening at my friend Cathy’s, in the company of some seriously talented — and equally sweet and warm — local folks to learn about an exciting fashion event we’re putting together in September (stay tuned, more on that later). As we sipped cocktails and enjoyed dinner at Cathy’s beautiful home, I learned about their businesses, their families, and these beautiful handcrafted farm tables that I’m coveting for the flower shop. How lovely would one of those babies be as a design table?! I digress…

Before last night, I was familiar with most of the group through mutual friends or stalking their creative work through social media, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to officially connect with all of them face-to-face. I was a little nervous on the drive over; meeting new people always gives me butterflies, and they flutter more ferociously when I’m awestruck by their talent. Everyone was so gracious and welcoming, and I soaked up their creative energy throughout the night like a sponge. Before driving home, I called Chad and chattered away about all these new friends. And now I’m going to tell you about a few of them, too.

Ashley & Andy of Indie Atlantic Films: These are the folks behind the poor porker video I shared last week. They’re a full-service video production company, and you can check out their other videos here.

Andrea of SweetCakes Bakery: Ohhhemgee, what this sweet woman can do with homemade fondant. Her cake designs are impeccable, and equally delicious. Last night she made a flourless chocolate cake that was to.die. And she’ll probably kill me for throwing this out, but she’s going to be on Sugar Dome this Saturday at 1PM EST on Food Network!

Courtney of Style by Courtney: Cathy introduced us a couple years ago, and we’ve stayed connected through Facebook. Courtney has a great eye for style, and can turn the most basic of outfits into stunners with well-placed accessories. Her latest venture is with The Lakelander magazine.

Laura of Ashton Events: Laura takes wedding planning and event design to a whole other level. I’ve been lurking around her blog for a while now, so I was really excited to meet her. Just look at her gallery!

I also met Trisha, a lady of many artistic talents that I hear has mad restyling skills (perhaps a future blog collabo is in order?!)

Cathy is the driving force behind getting us all together, and I’m so grateful that she brought me on board to work on this exciting project. Thank you, Cathy!

Stay tuned for details about the event, and ways you local readers can get involved…

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Top – Marshall’s, $16.99 | Skinnies – Simply Vera Vera Wang | Sandals – Seychelles via Hautelook |  Bag – JustFab | Necklace – c/o LydellNYC | drugstore sunnies