B&W Dodo Bar Or

August 29, 2016

I'm having a big case of the Mondays today. I haven't slept at all the past few nights and have self diagnosed myself with insomnia. Being dramatic? Maybe. But I felt like a zombie all weekend and after another night of being wide awake I just want to sleepppp. If anyone has some go-to methods of getting out of a string of sleepless nights, please do tell.

In an effort to put some personal pep in my step, I'm sharing what has been one of my favorite purchases of the summer: this black and white Dodo Bar Or skirt. I snagged it while it was on sale at Intermix (it's since sold out at the sale price) but it's still available herehere and here.

 

I haven’t bought a mini skirt in a while – I generally opt for dresses since they don’t require me matching a shirt – but after eyeing many of the Dodo Bar Or pieces for months, I decided I needed this skirt in my life. It’s been so easy to wear the black and white checked scarf print with white, black, and grey tops and I have plans to wear some sweaters and sweatshirts with it as it cools down. Though it’s a shorter length, the full pleated skirt feels flattering and I love the fringed trim and grommet detailing around the pockets. I repeat: pockets. Gotta love that!

Now excuse me while I go take a nap…

More black and white Dodo Bar Or pieces to love: this is the same print as my skirt in a longer version, this maxi skirt dress, this caftan, this long-sleeved mini dress, this tank, this wrap maxi dress, this skinny strap mini dress, and this lace-up front dress.

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Embroidered Sweatshirt

There are sweatshirts you put on at home for some quality time on the couch and then there are sweatshirts that are so cool they demand to be styled and seen. This Embroidered Sweatshirt at Topshop is begging to be worn with some denim shorts and wedgesskirts, trousers…even flares. The soft blush color and embroidered details take away sporty factor and make for feminine fun.

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Anne-Marie Gingham

Summer’s not quite over yet! The Texas heat and upcoming beach trips this fall have made it so that swimsuits are still on our minds. The Anne-Marie Gingham in burgundy brown by Solid & Striped is a great way to get the fall colors we’re craving into our wardrobe. We’re loving how the fresh check pattern looks with this color combination – the classic tank style just seals the deal!

Lifestyle

@APIECEOFTOAST

This + That // Sales + Steals

August 26, 2016

FridayFridayFriday! This has been somewhat of a strange week with a roller coaster of emotions going on around here. Happy to have the weekend to snuggle our pups in bed and hang as a family. Also hoping to finish my current book ("The Girls") and start a new one in an effort to put social media on the back burner! Any book recommendations? I always love to read books before the movies come out, so I am thinking its high time I read "The Light Between Oceans." It's been on my list for what seems like years! I also have this one on my list. (read on to get the sales + steals)

This + That:

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: 40% off your wardrobe refresh through Monday night with code SHOP40! (How great are these mini scarves? At 40% off they are a complete steal.)
  • Anthropologie: Extra 25% off sale items + all orders ship free. (I’m partial to a lot of Anthro’s classic shapes and would wear this all the time. I also love this lace up dress.)
  • Banana Republic: Now and Later event – up to 50% off pieces to take you from summer to fall. (I couldn’t help myself and ordered two of these, they look like the perfect tee and I could always use more. Also how good are these?)
  • BaubleBar: Special deal for A Piece of Toast readers only! Get 20% off when you spend $50+ now through August 31st with the code APOT20 at checkout!!
  • Bloomingdales: Take 15% off with code FASHFUND through 8/28. (Don’t this and this both look like they could be by Self Portrait?! And for under $100!!)
  • Bluemercury: Free shipping on orders over $25! (I’m dying to try this eye serum after reading its amazing reviews. Molly and I also got a sample of this in the store and we’re both not sure how we ever lived without it.)
  • Calypso St. Barth: Enjoy an extra 50% off sale!
  • Crate & Barrel: The annual upholstery sale – 15% off through September 11th!
  • domino: The sofa sale – up to 60% off! (How fun is this!?)
  • Gap: 40% off with code STYLE. (This indigo jacket is pretty cute and I love that it is lightweight enough to wear early in the fall. A different take on a denim jacket!)
  • H&M: Free shipping on orders over $40 with code 0040! (How cozy does this look in every single color?)
  • Intermix: New styles added – extra 30% off sale! (How fabulous are these!? I’ve also been eyeing this dress allll summer.)
  • J.Crew: 25% off styles for work, school, and meetings + extra 30% off sale styles with code WEEKOFSTYLE. (Remember when I said I loved this the other week? The price is even better this week! I’m also obsessed with this tote.)
  • J.Crew Factory: Online only – extra 50% off everything! (These booties are perfect for fall and have SUCH good reviews.)
  • LOFT: 50% off summer styles + all sale styles. (Even though its mid-August, I still feel pretty strongly that I would get lots of wear out of these guys.)
  • Lou & Grey: Free shipping on every order! (I love, love, love this!! So. Much.)
  • Lulu Frost: Best selling sale styles up to 60% off! (These would go with just about anything from a white tee to a cocktail dress and they’re such a good price.)
  • Madewell: Get a $25 treat yourself card when you spend $125 or more! (I am dying for this because I would wear it now with my white denim and later with blue jeans or black denim. How pretty are these in the pink color?!)
  • Old Navy: 40% off everything through 8/28! (This heavy knit ponte blazer is pretty much genius – I think I’ll take the navy and the black. Really like this as well.)
  • Saks: Online and in stores up to $250 off your purchase when you shop women’s contemporary clothing through 8/27 with code CNTMP16. (This NEEDS to come live in my closet now.)

Some Steals:

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$12 Bandana

Bandanas, scarves, neckties – whatever you like to call them, there’s no denying that they are having a style moment. We have been playing around with the trend ourselves and tying printed pieces around our necks and wrists, draping them over our shoulders, and knotting onto bags for accessory action. If you’re wanting to tie yourself up in a similar fashion, we suggest this bandana from Madewell. At $12.50 it won’t break the bank and it comes in three color and print options (the coral is our favorite).

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Studs on Sale!

The lovely Ariel Gordon is hosting her first ever ONLINE Archive Sale. If you’re fellow jewelry lovers like us, you know that smaller brands like AGJ rarely have sales that this is a huge opportunity to save on some amazing pieces! There’s so much to love – from the Jacks Studs  (we’re loving them in rose gold!) and Diamond Droplet Hoops to the sweet Etched Heart Ring and cool Carmella Diamond Bracelet. Hurry, take advantage of the discounted offerings before the sale ends on 8/26!

PHLUR Fragrances

August 25, 2016

You smell that? Well, no. You can't. Because you can't smell scents through whatever screen you're viewing this post from. And that makes buying the perfect fragrance tough. But let's be honest, shopping for perfume, or eau de cologne, or what-have-you can be just as tough in person when you have your nose working with you. You could go to the mall and be bombarded by department stores firing all types of sprays in your direction - then get a headache and have to go home and shower off the combination of 13 too many scent combinations. You could track down then buy the perfume that you smelled on a friend (and harassed her til she told you the name) only to discover it doesn't smell anything on you like it does on her - then refuse to wear it out of disappointment and jealousy. You could test a fragrance for a week, fall in love with it, and then try to justify spending your month's disposable income to buy the smallest size it's sold in.

Le sigh. Le snif. We felt your fragrance pain. But we were recently introduced to PHLUR - an entirely new concept in fragrance - and though the journey towards finding our individual fragrances started at home and via computer screens, we were able to test scents at home and ended up smelling pretty and feeling beyond happy. We loved our experiences with PHLUR (pronounced "fleur," which is French for flower) so much we almost wanted to keep it to ourselves. Like a secret. But that would be crazy. Because everyone deserves to enjoy the process of finding the perfect fragrance!

 

.Meet the Fragrances. As we mentioned, experiencing PHLUR starts via their beautiful website. You might be surprised that as you start viewing the list of fragrances that 1) there are only six of them, and 2) no ingredients are listed. We were surprised. Mostly because we kind of know what we do and do not like after years of scent smelling and personal time at perfume counters. We’ve bought most of our past scents having bottles lined up in front of us with sales people cooing about “notes” and “essence” and flowers that are harvested at certain times, and babies tears, and blah, blah. PHLUR realized that this type of scent selling is, quite frankly, just as much of a mind game as fragrances endorsed by celebrities.

So the first step in meeting the unisex PHLUR fragrances is through rich imagery, descriptors that go beyond ingredients, and very specific Spotify playlists. There are also amazing “tech specs” with helpful info graphics that advise tips for wearing, approximate hour ranges how long each scent lasts, and even a diagram showing the distance the fragrance can be smelled by others from your body. And while we might have giggled reading info like that the Hanami scent has the weight of “a butterfly ice skating” the visuals totally registered! We didn’t need our noses or a complicated list of ingredients to tell us which of the six spoke most to our personalities…and after drinking in what each fragrance felt and sounded like via the quick but in-depth profiles, we picked two to try.

.Get the Sample Set. PHLUR isn’t the first to offer sending scent samples that can be tried on at home. But we know from previous experience dabbling in this “try before you buy” offer with other brands that it’s not always cost effective. Yes, we paid $10 each to receive two 2ml bottles of the scents we selected. BUT we then got $10 credited towards our purchases of full sized bottles. Pretty fantastic considering that PHLUR is already very fairly priced at $85 a bottle.

Back to the sample set. They are tiny but actually useable in that you can actually spray the scent on your body like you would with an actually sized bottle (no strips of paper to vigorously rub on your wrists or little vials that you have to carefully un-cork and worry about dumping). The two samples arrive in a very well designed, beautiful box that includes your name (such a personal touch) and a guide for how to experience each scent. We were all business when it came to our testing and tried each scent separately – spending one full day with each – before deciding on final favorites. How we ended up with our selections is pretty fun…

Sally: “I have been searching for a new scent recently because my husband has been complaining about my perfume selection for years. Everything is either too overpowering, too floral, or too something. So, I spent a lot of time on PLUR’s site before selecting my two samples. I chose Olmsted & Vaux – loving how it was described as “crisp and clean” and that the imagery was tied to that of Central Park and the idea of taking a brisk walk, energizing – and Greylocke – the image of the couple in the car together wasn’t lost on me (maybe my husband would tolerate it!) it sounded like it would have an earthy element that was more home-y and less outdoors-y.”

Molly: “Masculine. That’s what I know about scents I like. I don’t want to smell like my dad but I don’t not want to smell like him either. The fact that all the PHLUR scents are unisex assured me that nothing would be too floral or too heavy (like the man who’s cologne you can smell a block away). I tried to push all my pre-identified ideals about actual scent from my mind and go more with the vibe descriptors. I landed on Moab – really liking the note about how ‘it’s not for everyone. It’s for you. And whoever might be lucky enough to be with you’ – and Hepcat – not because it should feel like a favorite whiskey (which I do not drink) but because many of the songs on the playlist are personal favorites.”

.Add a Bottle. Once you’ve gotten through the gut-wrenching experience of choosing between the two try on samples, you should be ready to order a full-sized bottle. Obviously that gut-wrenching part is a joke – the try on part is extremely enjoyable – though it is hard to pick. Both of us were pleasantly surprised by how much we loved both our samples. We really shouldn’t have been that shocked though…PHLUR really does an insane job making the scents come to life on their site and once we smelled the fragrances it was like an “ohhhh, yup, this makes sense!” moment as we connected the scents to the images, songs, and descriptors we associated with each fragrance variety. But after spending time with our samples we were able to determine what individual scent we couldn’t live without.

Sally: “I loved Greylocke but Olmsted & Vaux really won me (and my husband) over with its clean scent. No part of it was overpowering – I literally can’t detect what the ingredients are because the combination is just one of brightness. The best part is that the fragrance lasts on my skin all day! I usually have issues with a scent wearing off and I’m so glad this one doesn’t.

Molly: “Well, I managed to find the most masculine scents PHLUR has! Moab was actually a little too much for me – though I think it would be great for a guy – but Hepcat was perfect. It had the right amount of spice but also wears like something familiar (when I get a whiff of it on myself or clothes it feel like ‘me’ not something manufactured.”

It should be mentioned that we love PHLUR’s branding. From the site’s design and easy navigation to the smart and special try on box, we were in love. But the final packages that arrived with our fragrance bottles really put us over the edge. The square bottles are painted white to protect the oils and ingredients within (something a lot of skin care lines also do with their packaging to maintain the integrity of the products) and though it’s more common to see clear bottles, we love the look and feel of the opaque cube with round lid (and it’s nice to know that no chemicals were added to make the fragrance light friendly). Another fun fact: the minimalistic bottle isn’t just chic, it’s made with 20% recycled glass – the highest percentage possible in the fragrance industry.

.Feel Good. While we’ve been busy spritzing and spraying our scents everywhere from our wrists to the back of our knees (an actually pressure point the brand recommends for certain scents!) PHLUR has done a lot of hard work behind the scenes to make the fragrances that smell good actually be good. The scents feature ingredients grown and cultivated with innovative, environmental methods and they all exclude raw materials that damage ecosystems. We can all enjoy smelling great while being worry-free because PHLUR’s scents don’t contain any known skin irritants, parabens, phthalates, unnecessary stabilizers or animal products. But the conscious choices don’t stop there, for every bottle sold PHLUR donates $5 to support sustainable initiatives (the Central Park Conservancy and the IUCN’s Red List for threatened plants).

Scent is one of our strongest senses – it ties us to memories, evokes feelings, and can captivate attraction. Shouldn’t the experience of buying a favorite fragrance be as memorable as the scent? Or if not memorable, at least enjoyable? PHLUR hasn’t just changed the concept of how we purchase fragrances, they’ve literally thought of everything – from beginning to end – and we have to give them some sincere slow claps (with well-scented wrists) for having one of the best 360 brand experiences we’ve experienced in a while.

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Nicolette Heels

We know that we might have an over-sharing issue when it comes to Loeffler Randall but we can hardly be blamed when the Fall/Winter ’16 collection includes shoes like the Nicolette Heels. The ankle-tie sandals adorned with fox fur might not be for everyone, but we’re absolutely loving the soft + bold statement they make! The bordeaux hue is fantastic for going into colder weather but the multi-color option is pretty incredible…don’t forget, you can get 15% off our Loeffler Randall Pre-Fall picks till 8/22!

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Carmella Dress

Blush isn’t just a pastel for spring and summer – we can easily see this gorgeous Carmella Dress going  into fall. The pretty pleats and tucks, smocking and subtle beading make it so it could be dressed up for a cocktail occasion with heels or worn with booties and a leather or suede jacket for a more casual, yet feminine outfit. While the mini length is perfect for multiple shoe options, an opening between the bodice and hooked neck shows just a little skin and keeps things from looking too covered.

Current Vibes

August 24, 2016

Part of me cannot believe that today is only Wednesday. Is it just me or does this week seem to be moving slower than normal? I'm not necessarily complaining, but let's not pretend that I want the next few days to fly by so the weekend can hurry up and get here. Alas, today is kind of a big day because I am finally going to attempt to take the necessary steps to change my last name - almost a year and a half after our wedding, whoops! For some reason, they make this seemingly simple task super difficult, so we will see how successful I am! My first stop is the DMV and I'm hoping that I have all of the right documents. Who doesn't love a visit to the DMV on a Wednesday? Send good vibes pleaseandthanks. (go get the scoop on the vibes, you know you want to...)

1. SWOONING // REBECCA LOUISE LAW INSTALLS: I’ve talked before about my love and fascination with flowers in all forms, so when I discovered the work of Rebecca Louise Law my jaw literally dropped. An artist based out of London, Law is most well known for her installations of hanging cut flowers. She originally started her career with abstract floral paintings, but quickly felt tied down by the two dimensionality of her work and moved on to the real deal. In each installation, the flowers gradually decompose and then eventually dry out, creating a whole new sculpture than the one originally placed. Laws work has been seen all over the world and most recently was featured in San Francisco at the Chandran Gallery. I am sick that we just missed this with our move, but I will just have to add seeing one of her works to my bucket list! Maybe the permanent installation known as “The Canopy” in Melbourne? I also read that some flowers end up encased in glass and kept by patrons. How do I become one of those patrons?! My dream at our wedding was to be able to some how encapsulate the three floral pieces we had done in acryllic boxes, but after much research I couldn’t seem to find a way to do it. I still think about finding a way to recreate them to this day.

2. BRONZING // CLARINS LIQUID BRONZE: I got a little bit of color on our beach trip, but it is sadly very quickly fading. I wear 30-50 spf religiously, but still selfishly like a little bit of tan on my cheeks and bod. Not good, I know. I just recently bought the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanner to use on my face and am pretty pleased with the results. I have always been a big fan of the Clarins tanning products because they give a natural-looking glow without the gross smell of most sunless tanners (which I hate). I did a lot of research on this particular Clarins product, and decided that it was the best one for me because it doesn’t give too much bronze action. So far, so good.

3. FALLING // STRIPED LACE-UP SWEATER: I love a good stripe (who doesn’t?), especially when paired with classic blue or white denim jeans. If I can’t fall into the fall season right away, then I’ll just fall in love with this sweater! I noted the traditional stripes and fabulous lace-up front among the new arrivals at Madewell and with it being just days away from September (the unofficial start of fall in my opinion), I think I need to scoop it up. I mean, I’ve already been dreaming up ways in which I can wear it with my favorite jean shorts and then later with my cropped flares. The lace up feature is on the “trendier” side, but it pairs perfectly with the stripes keeping it classic and timeless.

4. CARRYING // NEW TRUFFLE CLUTCHES: It’s no secret that Molly and I can’t live without our TRUFFLE bags, and for very good reason – they are the absolute best. There truly is nothing like them, and I don’t know what I did before TRUFFLE. On any given day, you will find me with at least two Clarity pouches in my bag. They keep the chaotic contents of my handbags slightly more organized that they would normally be. Truffle recently came out a new clutch size – the Privacy Clutch Skinny –  and I’m already toting it around town. It’s such a great size for travel  (perfect for holding a passport and tickets) and is the ideal height to grip in one hand. I also love the new two-tone pink Clarity Clutch Mini + Card Case Duo. It is the perfect solution for those times that I don’t want to lug around my usual giant bag and it will be even better next month when we fly out of town for a wedding. Aside from the Clarity products, I swear by my Privacy clutches and own one in every single color. They are literally the only clutch I carry and I recommend them to everyone. The price + quality literally cannot be beat!

5. WANTING // TIBI LOAFERS: With all of the rain we have had in Dallas recently came much cooler temperatures. We literally went from being over 100 every single day to days that are in the high 80’s or low 90’s. It is actually blissful. White jeans are no longer sweat-tastic and short sleeves are even in the books. That being said, I am even more excited for fall and have high hopes that its coming soon. As much as I love (!!) summertime, there is something exhilerating about the fall and crisp weather. At the top of my wish list for cooler temps is a pair of loafers like these. Molly got some Tibi loafers last season and wore them all fall/winter and I may have been a little jealous. I like the new take on the older loafer style in that the back looks like the heel was folded in (pretty cool). The “Marsalla”color is kind of a cross between a brown and red and I seriously think the hue would also go with just about anything. And I could totally start wearing them now and. Those are win/wins in my book!

6. LOVING // SILK TASSEL ORD EARRINGS: Lately I have been on a statement earring kick, and I am not mad about it. Because I generally wear simpler, solid pieces of clothing, I can always seem to find a place for a pretty pair of statement earrings like these. To me, the key to a great pair of earrings is that they be versatile enough for day to night looks or else I just won’t wear them enough. If I can wear a pair of earrings during the day with my favorite tees and then to a wedding with a cocktail dress, that is a major bonus in my book. I am especially drawn to this pair by Oscar de la Renta because the pale pink color could be pretty versatile and year-round. They’re just as classic and cool as the ORD beaded tassels and look like they may not be as heavy to wear!

7. WATCHING // THE NIGHT OF: A few weeks ago my husband suggested we start a new show he had heard was good. Enter our new obsession with “The Night Of.” We ended up watching every episode that was out over the course of two days, and now there is just one episode left. Not sure what we are going to do after next Sunday, but it looks like “Stranger Things” may be what’s up next. I just hope I don’t get too scared…

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