This + That // Sales + Steals

July 29, 2016

Today's post is short and sweet seeing as my computer is acting funny and could quite possibly be due for a replacement. No one likes buying a new computer - am I right? Especially after the expenses of a move. Womp womp. (Cue emojis here.) Computer issues aside - we are having the best time at the beach with our pups and always feel such a sense of nostalgia while we're here - it is where we got married after all! Between our beach time and my book reading, I have scoped out the latest sales and steals for you all...including a friendly reminder that the Nordstrom Anniversary sale ends August 7th. I know you all might be a little over hearing about this particular sale but it's really one that needs to be taken advantage of. I for one continue to find new amazing things each time I page through the selections of items and I've linked my latest favorites below!  (read on to get the sales + steals)

This + That:

Some Sales:

  • Anthropologie: Limited time – extra 30% off sale items + free shipping on all orders (free shipping ends TODAY) with code STAYCOOL (Really wishing I had these shorts right about now at the beach. I also LOVE the colors in this.)
  • Avenue32: Extra 10% off sale with code EXTRA10! (Obsessed with these boyfriend jeans, this white top, and this frayed edge shirt!)
  • Banana Republic: 30% off regular priced items with code BREAK (the color and style of this is pretty much perfection, but I might love this top even more. I may have ordered this striped tee in two out of the three color options!)
  • BaubleBar: Amazing sale! See and shop all the pieces here, prices are marked as is, no coupon code required – Ends Sunday 7/31.
  • Calypso St. Barth: 30$ off all sale styles (This looks so comfortable for this time of year when it is SO hot out.)
  • Club Monaco: Up to 70% off sale and clearance when you take an extra 40% off with code KEEPCOOL (I have my eye on this romper because I love the back details combined with the classic front.)
  • Equipment: Extra 20% off sale items with code EXTRA20! (Great classics in the selection…love this dress, this eyelet sleeveless shirt, and the color of this blouse!)
  • GAP: 35% off regular priced styles + 50% off sale styles with code HAPPY (I ordered not one, but two pairs of these white jeans after seeing them on my friend Hannah. White jeans are something I feel like I can never have enough of and I can never seem to keep mine clean, so multiple pairs feels like a smart decision. If I like them, I may be tempted to order the black, too.)
  • GiGi New York: Final days to shop the sale items that are now all 60% off! (So many amazing bags and accessories! Loving this silver rolled over clutch and this bucket bag!)
  • J.Crew: Extra 50% off final sale styles (only with 30% off regular priced items as marked) with code SALEONSALE!! Ends Sunday, 7/31. (I debated about ordering this so many times, now that it is on sale, I’m considering going for it!) 
  • J.Crew Factory: Online only – lots of wear now styles under $50 plus an extra 50% off clearance with code SHOPNOW (My mom and Molly have this shoe in black from a few seasons ago and I can’t believe how amazing the price is – for that good of a deal I may be buying them in the black and the nude.
  • LOFT: 40% off tops and sweaters + extra 50% off all sale styles! (I really love the white version of this blouse to wear now with white jeans and in the fall with blue jeans. How cute is this jacket for fall paired with a white tee? Good jackets like that can be hard to come by – I’ve already added it to a cart! Not at all surprised that this found its way into my cart too.)
  • Mignonne Gavigan: Get 20% off sitewide with code JULY20! Offer ends Sunday 7/31.
  • NORDSTROM: I know y’all don’t need me to tell you that the Anniversary Sale is still going strong…but I can’t help throwing in a little reminder. The sale ends August 7th so there’s a little over a week to shop! Every time I go back to page through the offerings I add more stuff to my cart. Here’s my latest obsessions: this and this throw blankets (pom-poms!), these jeans (only $65!), these ripped jeans (Molly’s favorites and now just $58!), Dana Rebecca fine jewelry pieces like this necklace, these and these earrings. And again, this bra is flat out the BEST one I own (it’s perfect for smaller chests like mine and I know it works for ladies with more cleavage) and I don’t want anyone to miss out on getting one at the $45 price (vs. normal $68).
  • Old Navy: Online only – 25% off any amount, 30% off $50, and 40% off $75 with code SMART + 30% off clearance with code JACKPOT! (You can’t beat the price on these – I’m thinking of ordering a few to pair with everything from jean shorts to white jeans.)
  • Steve Madden: Last day to buy one, get the second 25% off on all clearance items! Use code HEAT at checkout
  • Vince: New pieces added to sale and an additional 25% off with code SUMMER16, ends Sunday 7/31! (So, so, so many good pieces! Two long drapey vest [this and this], this amazing linen romper, and these wide-leg trousers are among my picks…)

Some Steals:

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Style

Lele Lily Ring

Statement earrings and necklaces get a lot of worthy attention – but let’s not forget about the power of a statement ring. When it comes to show-stopping finger accessories, the more unique in design and bigger in size, the better. We think the Lily Rings by Lele Sadoughi has the aforementioned qualities in spades. It comes in pearl white and jet black but we adore the honey blush hue!

Style

Crochet Cover-Up

Sometimes you meet a cover-up that’s so cute it totally outshines whatever swimsuit it pairs with. This metallic gold crochet-knit dress by Melissa Odabash is one such piece. Of course, we love the gold open knit weave – perfect for throwing over a black, white or colored suit – but the drop-waist, button front, and scalloped edges really make it a star for the pool, beach or boat.

Lifestyle

@APIECEOFTOAST

Lemonade Cocktails with Evolution Fresh

July 28, 2016

When it comes to making cocktails at home, I prefer simple, straightforward recipes that yield delicious, fresh flavor. I faced the fact that I'm not a mixologist wizard a long time ago - anything with more than four steps or hard-to-find ingredients (dried lavender? candied sugar? sage leaves?) usually leaves me feeling defeated. Summer is not about feeling stressed...especially over cocktails. Summer is the familiar taste of lemonade, crisp and icy drinks, easy and satisfying flavors. Squeezing lemons and limes to get juice for cocktails is a time-honored tradition but I've been skipping the hand squeezing and jumping to pre-made lemonade or limeade when making drinks and it's made life a lot easier and super delicious.

What I've been using isn't just lemonade or limeade, but cold-pressed, high-pressure processed lemonade and limeade by Evolution Fresh. By cold-pressing their lemonades, limeades and other fruit and vegetable juices and using high-pressure processing (HPP) instead of heat pasteurization, the end result is more of the flavors, vitamins and nutrients of raw fruits and vegetables. So, so, so yum. Any variety of Evolution Freshwould be great for incorporating in summer or year-round cocktails but I've been using and loving their four organic lemonade and limeade flavors: Spicy LemonadeStrawberry LemonadeGreen Lemonade, and Ginger Limeade, .

 

Feeling thirsty? Good! Because  I have four simple recipes each using a different Evolution Fresh lemonade variety. I did the hard work of taste-testing all of them so hopefully you’ll be inspired to try one (or two, or all four) and enjoy boozy lemonade as much as I do!

Spicy Lemonade Margarita // makes 2 drinks

  • 8 parts/12 ounces of Evolution Fresh Organic Spicy Lemonade
  • 1 part/1.5 ounces of tequila (I like Casamigos)
  • 1 part/1.5 ounces Cointreau
  • Chile salt to rim glasses (I mix equal parts sea salt and chile powder)
  • About the lemonade: A hint of ginger juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper turn up the heat on this zesty organic lemonade.

Vodka Strawberry Lemonade // makes 2 drinks

  • 8 parts/12 ounces of Evolution Fresh Organic Strawberry Lemonade
  • 2 part/3 ounces of vodka (I like Titos)
  • A generous splash of sparking water (Topo Chicco is delicious!)
  • Garnish with small strawberries
  • About the lemonade: Sweet strawberries and tangy lemons are soul mates in this Evolution Fresh favorite.

Boozy Green Lemonade // makes 2 drinks

  • 8 parts/12 ounces of Evolution Fresh Organic Green Lemonade
  • 2 parts/3 ounces of gin (I like Hendricks)
  • Garnish with lemon slices
  • About the lemonade: Lemonade got a leafy green makeover with this newest addition to Evolution Fresh’s suite of limeades and lemonades.

Lime-y Moscow Mule // makes 1 drink

  • 4 parts/6 ounces of Evolution Fresh Organic Ginger Limeade
  • 1 part/1.5 ounces of vodka (I like Titos)
  • Fill rest of cup with Ginger Beer (I used Reed’s)
  • Garnish with lime wedges
  • About the limeade: Combines the divine tartness of organic limes, picked at their peak, with the pep of spicy-sweet organic ginger. A concoction with a kick.
  • Notes: you don’t need a shaker for this one! Using crushed ice and a copper cup or mug is standard Moscow Mule practice but not a must.

More notes: You can use a shot glass to measure 1 part, which is technically 1.5 ounces, but as long as you maintain the right ratios of juice to alcohol, your drinks will taste just fine! I use this jigger (the small size is 1.5 ounces and the larger is 3 ounces) for measuring and this cocktail shaker for the obvious required shaking. For more fun, you can use ice molds – I used this tray to make big square cubes and these sphere molds to give some of the drinks a good chill without diluting them too quickly.

So what do you think? The lemonade recipes are a little like childhood nostalgia, meets unique flavors, gets turned into a grown-up refreshment. Evolution Fresh always uses the most flavorful fruits and vegetables so your lemonade cocktails will taste just as fresh as if you had squeezed the juice yourself!

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Lifestyle

Bartender’s Prep Board

If you’re one of those people that likes to go off register for wedding gifts (and we don’t blame you for wanting to stand out versus buying two plates) let us suggest this Bartender’s Prep Board from Mark & Graham. We love that it can be personalized with a couple’s last name or initials and that it serves as both a decor piece and an ever so functional prep board. It’s perfect thing to catch spills, a place to slice citrus, and spot for prepping garnishes while making cocktails at home!

Interiors + Decor

Brass Lamp Under $50

Have y’all seen the home decor items to be had at Target? Surely we aren’t the only ones impressed by the options…especially when it comes to the lamps and lighting. With both of us having moved recently (Molly in May and Sally in July) we’re still looking for a few items to round-out our respective homes and after hopping around Target’s site we’ve found more than a few great things. This mid-century (and under $50!) brass table lamp is perfect for a small side table.

Current Vibes

July 27, 2016

We are at the beach this week with my husband's family enjoying some R&R, which seems to have come at the perfect time after working like little goats on our move. My favorite thing about the beach is spending alll day down by the water and reading book after book. I am currently on book #2, "Orphan Train," and just finished "Sundays on the Phone to Monday" yesterday, which I absolutely loved. Also on my list are: "The After Party," "The Girls," and "Truly Madly Guilty" which is Liane Moriarty's newest book and brand spanking new. Aside from reading and relaxing, we will be eating at all of our favorite places here. The only thing missing is sister Molly to share our favorite almond croissants and frappes with me! (keep reading for the vibes)

1. COLLECTING // BOTTLE VASES: I don’t remember how I discovered MK Porcelain, but all I know is that I instantly fell in love with their solid colored, sculptural vases that make such a simple but beautiful statement. I then came across a collaboration between MK and Foekje Fleur (a dutch product designer) that features solid-colored vases in the form of bottles. The series of bottle vases are inspired by plastic trash collected by Fleur from the 1960’s until current day. The porcelain is finished with a “bisque,” matte finish that lends itself to a similar look of the plastic. The bottle series is all handmade by Middle Kingdom Porcelain in Jingdezhen, China. I am completely enamored with these vases and love the idea of collecting of them. Since yellow is my favorite color, it seems natural to start the collection with this guy. The color is perfection. Also cool: the designer (Foekje Fleur) partnered with design agency KOREFE to create a line of biodegradable household cleaner that not only avoids plastic waste but also helps to remove it from the beaches and the oceans. Hoping that the “Clean the Ocean” line gets put into production so I buy the chic-looking bottles that also serve a great cause.

2. WANTING // SHORE RUGS: It’s no surprise that I have my eye on things for the home with our recent move, and Shore Rugs is just one of my latest obsessions. Shore Rugs are indoor/outdoor rugs that are waterproof, non-slip, easy to clean, and super durable. With a mess of a husband and two big dogs, these sound absolutely ideal. Even better than the durability and functionality of the rugs is the beauty and composition. The rugs are done in three different weaves depending on what suits your taste and the aesthetic of your space, but each is as unique and interesting as the next. I’m finding it hard to pick a favorite! All I know is that the sliding doors to our backyard are in serious need of one of these guys as is the area in front of our kitchen sink.

3. SPRAYING // MOLLY’S JO MALONE: Not so long ago I mentioned being on the hunt for a “signature scent” of sorts. This has been quite the conquest that seemed nearly impossible! My husband is quite picky (ie bratty) about what he likes and claims that everything I spritz causes him to sneeze or feel nauseous. If you ask me, it is all quite dramatic. When Molly was in town for my birthday we did a little bit of a test where she sprayed her newest Jo Malone London scent and went out to ask Robert what he thought of it. “Way better than anything Sally wears” was his response and I am taking that as a form of approval and running with it. Straight to the Jo Malone store for my very own bottle of Blue Agava and Cacoa. Thanks, sista!

4. WEARING // NEW GINGHAM: The second I saw this top on Shopbop, I knew that I had to have it. I love everything about it, from the gingham to the color, to the tie front and the ruffled sleeves. After receiving the top and wearing it to a birthday dinner with my husband last week, it is the new favorite piece in my closet. I wore it with my new white flared jeans, but already envision myself wearing it with my favorite pair of cropped flares and flat sandals or a pair of black skinnies and flats come fall. Unfortunately, the lavender version that I got seems to be sold out at the moment, but I also love the other colors it comes in just as much. Molly is thinking about ordering the navy gingham version after loving mine so much. Its just that good!

5. PACKING // HATS (but I need a hat box!): It has been a long time running joke about how frustrating it is to travel with me when I travel with a hat (or two). There never seems to be a convenient way to do it and I spend the entire time concerning myself with not crushing the hat. I can’t place it in the overhead bin because its bound to get smashed there, but also don’t feel like I can put it under the seat in front of me where my feet usually go. It seems like traveling with a hat is just one huge inconvenience, yet I continue to do it, especially in these summer months. Imagine my excitement when I discovered that Steamline Luggage makes a hat box (!!!!!) just for travel. I have long admired Steamline Luggage for their ability to create timeless, vintage-style luggage that not only looks amazing, but is functional too. As part of their Editor Collection, Steamline created both a small and large hat box for travel. It is as if all of my traveling woes/wishes have been answered and I am not one bit surprised that it was Steamline who made it happen. It could be the perfect excuse to purchase a piece of theirs for myself once and for all:)

6. EATING // SWEET POTATO TOAST: As much as I love toast, I have come to realize that what I love most about it is that it can be a catalyst for some really yummy and nutritious toppings. Toppings that give me the protein and good fats my body craves for energy like avocado or almond butter. Despite this, I don’t love the idea of eating bread often, so I was pretty pumped when I learned of the recent trend of sweet potato “toast”. It sounds like the best of both worlds – I can still get my yummy toppings and nobody loves sweet potatoes more than I do. Domino created a video and shared their findings as well as lessons and tips here. Thanks to Domino, I cannot wait to try this when we return from our trip.

7. LISTENING // THE LUMINEERS: I cannot tell you the last time I found an album that I could listen to the whole way through. Maybe since high school, possibly college. For whatever reason, music has made its way to the back burner the older I’ve gotten and its something I devote very little time to. Which makes me sad in a way. The Lumineers latest album makes me feel like I am back in college with my ability to sing along to every single song from the album and listen to it over and over again. Any suggestions on other music I should look into to get myself back into the game? I’m all ears.

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Style

Ankle Tie Heels

Both of us are feeling tied up in the best way possible thanks to the ankle-wrap heels in Loeffler Randall’s Pre-Fall ’16 collection. Molly has the Ellie Sandals (which are 4.3″ tall) and Sally wears the Elyse Heels (3.5″ in height). Both are suede and have thin straps that wrap and tie around the ankles. And because both pairs are among our LR Pre-Fall Picks, you can use the discount code TOAST15 when checking out to get a 15% off discount applied to the shoes and bags on our pick list!

Style

Caramel Cami

When it comes to silk camisoles, sometimes super simple is just so much better. We love the ultra skinny straps on this bias-cut Kate Silk Cami by Tibi and find it nice that it comes in four great color options. Although we usually always gravitate toward white tops (we have an unhealthy obsession), the caramel hue is such a refreshing neutral that we’re seeing more and more of with pre-fall ’16 collections. Perfect for wearing with white jeans, blue denim, tonal tans, and even black.

Basics for Normcore Living

July 26, 2016

Normcore. How I am just now learning that there is an actual word that sums up "a style made of unisex, ageless and time-tested pieces" is shocking. As someone who appreciates fashion but knows that trends shift constantly, I generally gravitate toward pieces that are timeless classics since they suit my day-to-day style. Normcore style definitely has some hallmarked favorites (think striped shirts and unpretentious denim). And though the word (which is a blend of the words "normal" and "hardcore") is new to me, it doesn't come as a surprise that the attitude towards dressing has evolved into a lifestyle approach - and one that is here to stay.

Don't just take my word for it, celebrity stylist Brad Goreski is obsessed with the Normcore trend, too. Brad recently shared a list of the best and most functional items that encompass the Normcore lifestyle and I was inspired to borrow from his list, add a few of my own pieces, and demonstrate a little Normcore action of my own.

 

“Normcore is about simplifying your life with staple products that are unisex, ageless and time-tested. With Normcore, you’ll recognize favorites that rarely go out of style because they’re functional and work for just about anyone—from timeless white sneakers to classic moisturizers like Lubriderm” – Brad

Brad Goreski’s Basics for Normcore Living:

  • White Sneakers
  • Baseball Cap
  • Chapstick
  • Oatmeal
  • Backpack
  • Nintendo 3DS
  • Striped Tees
  • Headphones
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • 90s Stitcom Reboots
  • Birkenstocks
  • No-Fail Moisturizer (like Lubriderm!)

Striped tee? Check. Macaroni & Cheese? Check. Birkenstocks? Check. No-Fail Moisturizer? Check. Brad’s list is definitely an amazing assortment of clothing, food, accessories, and beauty items that fit the Normcore definition. I think that white jeans, a white tee, and jean shorts can easily slide into his list. But I love that Brad’s Normcore list included Lubriderm as a no-fail moisturizer. I’ve been using the dermatologist-tested lotion for years and it’s so gentle and hydrating that it’s really all my skin needs (aside from SPF when getting sun exposure). If push came to shove (or if I decided to give up my worldly possessions Shailene Woodley style), I could simplify my clothing to be t-shirts and jeans and my beauty products to be Chapstick and Lubriderm lotion. When it comes to shoes and food, things would be a little more tough for me. If pizza and black pumps were added to the list I think I’d happily then agree to go Normcore for life.

What would your personal Normcore trends be? Bravo TV? Great Lash Mascara? Carrots and humus? Share and tell! Just think of the most classic styles you have loved in the past and know will last a lifetime when carried over to your future.

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