Fall Planters…Finished!

The weather has been wonderful (and very un Ohio-like) with bright blue skies and warm fall days. The garden and produce markets are overflowing with gourds and pumpkins and inspiration for me to revisit my fall planters–see blog post here.

I’ve been scouring Pinterest for ideas and adding them to my Fall Planter Ideas page.  I found so many beautiful ideas for my urns (as did many of you, from your comments – I’m so glad!) but there was one picture that really stood out to me.

I love the planters with the pretty yellow mums and although I wanted to stay away from stacking pumpkins yet again this year, I thought using the metal obelisks filled with colorful gourds and pumpkins was so unique. This picture appears to be at some sort of public place (if you look closely there are museum style directional signs and railings) and their planters and obelisks are huge but I figured I would give it a try on a bit of a smaller scale.

Off I went in search of the perfect metal obelisks. Luckily, I didn’t have to go far. Graf Growers, one of the best garden stores in town, is mere minutes away from my home, and they had these pretty obelisks sitting in the back of one of their greenhouses as if they were just waiting for me!



Bird Detail

Bird Detail













I liked these because they were not too tall–about 3 feet high. I thought the twisted wrought iron was a little different and might make it easier to balance my pumpkins and gourds inside. I also love the sweet little birds – what a nice detail!

My next step was to buy the gourds, pumpkins and two 12″ mums. Luckily, Grafs also has a large supply of those so I could get everything in one place. I gathered up what I thought was a ton of gourds in a box and off I went to start my urn masterpiece…

My big box of gourds. I thought this would be more than enough. Was I wrong...

My big box of gourds. I thought this would be more than enough. Was I wrong…

First, I planted the mums in my urns:

The empty urn

The empty urn

I chose plants that have not yet flowered so that I could get some longevity out of them. The flowers will be bright yellow













Then, I began stacking my pumpkins and gourds. I started with the larger ones on the bottom and built up from there, only to find that what I thought was my huge selection of gourds was not even enough to fill up the obelisks half way! Back I went to get more pumpkins and gourds…

Ooops. Definitely need some more supplies!

Ooops. Definitely need some more supplies!

With more gourds and pumpkins at the ready, I began stacking again. It was sort of like a puzzle. Even my 3 year old son got into the action.

My pumpkin puzzle

My pumpkin puzzle

My last step was to lift the obelisk up and place it in the center of the urn, on top of the mum. It took a little work to get it centered and well placed so that it was deep enough in that it didn’t fall down. It was at this point that I realized it would have been easier to place the obelisk in the urn before I placed all the pumpkins and gourds, because they were heavy! Live and learn, I guess…

And finally, the finished product. My Fall Planter problem solved? What do you think?


The Fall Planter completed! Now we just need the yellow mums to bloom!

The Fall Planter completed! Now we just need the yellow mums to bloom!

View from the front

View from the front

Both planters from the side

Both planters from the side

Leopard Love – My Hunt for the Perfect Leopard Print Flats

Leopard Love...my hunt for the perfect pair of leopard print flats

Tory Burch Reva Flats

My worn out Tory Burch Reva Flats

These are the ones. The ones that started it all–my love for leopard print. They are sad and worn out now but when I found them at a Tory Burch outlet about 5 years ago, they called to me. The price was great, they fit perfectly, and looked good with so many things in my closet because they add a stylish punch without being too wild.

As you can see, they are well worn–a shadow of their former stylish selves. These babies have gone to dinners, school festivals, vacations, baby showers, luncheons, outside to get the mail (got to look good going to the mailbox, right?) and caught in countless rainstorms. But, alas, with all of that wearing, they are scuffed and tired. They look so bad, I finally had a friend kindly tell me that it was time to replace them. That was about two years ago and I have been on the hunt ever since.

My first thought was that I would just buy the same pair again but when I started looking for them, I found that Tory Burch stopped making this exact style.

Here are a few nice options I’ve found along with some ideas from Pinterest about how and what to wear with leopard print shoes. And for even more Leopard Love, check out my Pinterest page. Meanwhile, I am still on the hunt. So far, nothing matches the fit and comfort of those first Tory Burch Reva flats. Tory–please! Bring them back!


Tory Burch Leopard Print Reva Flats

Tory Burch now makes these leopard print Reva flats. They are very cute and I liked them a lot. Unfortunately,  I have terrible feet and when I tried them on they were just not a good fit for me.


J. Crew Nora Leopard Print Flats

My next try was the Nora leopard print flats from J.Crew. J.Crew has an assortment of great leopard print shoes-from heels to loafers. I ordered these on the web site and ended up sending them back a couple times for the right size, but once I got the right fit, they were perfect. They are very sweet, comfortable and look great. These are the closest replacements I’ve found to my original pair.


Chloe Scalloped Leopard-Print Calf Hair Ballerina Flat

My latest find are these Chloe flats. I have been wearing them non-stop. I love this scalloped design and have bought them in other colors because they are like wearing slippers. They look great but are definitely an investment price-wise. You don’t want to get caught in a rain storm in these babies!


Steve Madden Elusionl

These Steve Madden flats are a perfect example of great style for less money. I found these online and have not tried them on but the price is great ($79.00) and I love the cut out D’Orsay style design. Very cute option!


Pinterest Outfit Inspiration

Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamt of incorporating leopard into my wardrobe. Now, I almost consider it a neutral.  All it takes is a little inspiration and where better to find that than Pinterest? Happy hunting!

Leopard Outfit Inspiration

Image via Polyvore.com

Image via WhippedStyle

Image via WhippedStyle

What Are You Waiting For?

 So many of you probably didn’t notice but I didn’t post last week. When I started this blog, I told myself I would post once a week and I have stuck to it so well. Except for last week. I was busy, but in a good way busy. I went on a girls trip with a bunch of friends that I grew up with. I’ve known some of these girls since we were 4 and 5 years old. We all have small children and it was an absolute miracle that most of us could make the trip.

We came from all over–Colorado, Boston, Charleston, Cleveland–and it was fun. Like pee in your pants laughing most of the time fun. It was hard to get away (a NASA shuttle launch might be less complicated than the list of logistics I left my parents and baby-sitters before I left) but so worth it. Being with friends that you have known all your life and having all the pieces fit together so easily is a gift and something that really hit me while I was there with them. When you have great opportunities that build you up, make you a better person and make you happy–like spending time with lifelong friends–don’t pass them by.

So when this image popped up on my Instagram feed the other day, it really struck me.

Image via

Image via Lara Casey Shop

I think it was the simple white paper and pretty gold lettering that first caught my eye but it is what it says that has stuck with me. Damn right. I should go do them.  What am I waiting for? Long pause…um…I think I’m not sure of the things that I’ve always wanted to do. I honestly don’t know what my “them’ is. Going back to school, starting my own business, doing a triathlon?

I do know that the thing I do–my them–has got to be something creative. I’ve been reading a lot and following blogs and Instagrams of people who are considered “Creatives,” a buzz word for artists, writers and designers who work in creative fields. Many of them show their own Inspiration Boards–a collage of images and ideas — and advocate for other Creatives to build an Inspiration Board to kick start a project or get inspired.

So I figured what better way to get started making my list of things I’ve always wanted to do than an Inspiration Board? So here goes…Let the magic begin!


Inspiration Board

This is just a selection of what I gathered digitally for my Inspiration Board. For more images, visit my Pinterest Board. Want to create your own Inspiration Board? I found this great article on The Decorista about How to Create Stylish & Successsful Vision Board and hope to create a non-digital version for my office that I can look at everyday. You can bet the print above will be on there (I just purchased it from the Lara Casey Shop!) For a collection of images of beautiful Inspiration Boards, click here.