Some Sales + Steals

December 17, 2014

The countdown to the holidays (read: break) is more than on and in two short, but busyyy, days I will be en route to Dallas. I am spending Saturday seeing friends and a sweet new baby, then Molly and I are loading baby Blue into the car to head home on Sunday. Thanksgiving always seems like such a teaser and goes by way too fast, so I'm pretty screaming excited for this longer break. Did anyone watch the VS Fashion Show? I finally caught up on it and have been listening to Ed Sheeran on replay ever since. Our car ride home is definitely going to contain some equally good tunes. Anything suggestions of songs we need to download? I've heard that Serial is all the rage and I've already got that cued up for my flight to Dallas - so excited!

There are so many good sales this week that its making it slightly hard to shop for others…keep having to sit on my hands to keep from adding things for myself to my digital shopping baskets. Please agree with me so that I don't feel like the only one out there that has this issue. (read on to get the sales + steals)

 

Sales:

Steals:

 

Clockwise from top right: Ben-amun Moroccan Coin Bracelet // J.Crew Diamond Stitch Glittens (extra 40% off with code 'JINGLE' // Madewell Skinny Skinny Zipper Jeans (super on sale and great reviews!) // Sloane Stationery Naughty & Nice Journals // Cooper & Ella Zoe Blouse // Tory Burch Original Fur Funnel // Drew Peyton Jacket (extra 25% off with code SHOP25)

Beauty + Gifting

T3 Dryer

Life is short – and the time it takes you to dry your hair should be, too! We literally cannot live without our T3 hairdryers. Sounds silly but once you use one you will never go back. Molly has the Featherweight 2 and Sally uses the Featherweight Luxe 2i – both are on sale at Nordstrom right now and they make for fantastic gifts! Also, the travel size = amaze.

Lifestyle + Gifting

Pretty Pet Collars

If you know us – or even follow us on Instagram – you know that we are obsessed with our dogs. We think of them as children and are fond of telling Blue Moonbeam that he’s “an angel from heaven.” What kind of loving dog owners would be be if we didn’t shower our babies with gifts…this year they are all getting new, pretty pet collars from BaubleBar! Paw-sitiviely adorable indeed.

Lifestyle

@APIECEOFTOAST

Ellie Jay December Promotion!

December 17, 2014

Six days till Christmas! We can hardly contain our excitement as we get closer and closer to making our way home for the holiday. To make this time of year even more merry and bright, our dear friends at Ellie Jay Jewels want all you readers to feel like you can indulge in a little sparkle...

When you spend $200 or more on the Ellie Jay site, you'll get $50 off! Just use the code 'APOT50' at checkout to redeem. The code is good till December 31st (12/31/14)! How's that for an awesome gift? With all the affordable pieces EJ has, you're bound to find something you want need. To help you get started, we've picked a few of our favorite jewels - all $175-$325 - just click to read more to see them!

 

Thank you so much, Ellie Jay!!

Lifestyle + Gifting

Onward is Best

We’re wanting to buy multiple copies of the darling holiday storybook Onward is Best: A Christmas Journey. The sweet story about Dolly and her adventures took author and artist Sarah Jean Linquist over 6,000 hours to create and was completed by her family after she passed away from cancer. It’s a beautiful, special, and enchanting book for all who love the spirit of Christmas.

Style + Gifting

Saftey Pearls

Edgy safety pins, meet pearls. Traditional pearls, meet safety pins. You guys might think you’re different but Woulters & Hendrix prove you belong together. We have a huge crush on these gorgeous earrings at Club Monaco and think they’re be a nice addition to the jewelry box…how can we resist the humorous mix of simple gold safety pins mixed with classic pearls?!

Holiday Cheer in Dallas

December 16, 2014

One week till Christmas Eve! Whether you can believe it or not, it's happening. I finished all my holiday shopping yesterday (humble brag) and now I'm really getting into the spirit of the season. There are many ways to be festive in Dallas and I'm into doing all of them - but I definitely miss having sister Sally by my side to take it all in with me. So, as a little pre-xmas gift, I thought I'd put together a little video so she could feel like she was here with me! Not going to lie...this video might purely be for my benefit as she's all cozy in San Francisco with a live 7' tree in her living room and it's me who is missing her (and her tree decorating skills) the most.

 

I’m not sure if all cities do this but Dallas restaurants and bars (and salons, and stores) really like to go all out with the holiday decor. It’s like getting a hug from a mall Santa every time you go out but much less creepy. One place that totally matches their holiday game to their year-round vibe is Truck Yard – an open outdoor space with rotating food trucks that park and serve throughout the day. I love food truck food and the laid back atmosphere that this place has to offer and it’s become a fun favorite. And, it’s impossible not to adore the scene even more when it’s decked out in Christmas lights, clusters of ornaments, big red bows, and other festive fun stuff. Sally, I ate an extra slider for you!

All the great holiday decorations happening around me inspired me to make my home feel more festive. First I brought out a strand of lights. Then I put up my two faux trees. The trees are cute but not having a real one made me super sad and I decided not to go all out and put my ornaments on them this year. Such a Grinch move, I know! To save some face and bring up my overall holiday morale, I went and picked out some baby Poinsettias (found at Trader Joe’s). Living things in miniature form are just the best…I have to be careful with Poinsettias because they are SUPER poisonous to dogs so I picked a few and have them sitting high and out of reach from Blue in my kitchen. Sister Sal, do you approve of the baby plants even though they aren’t as epic as your tree?

There’s no better way to warm up on a chilly day than with a cup of hot chocolate. I usually prefer coffee when I go to Mudsmith – a fave local spot – but the past couple week’s I’ve been ordering hot cocoa and haven’t regretted it once. Sally and I have a tradition of topping of our “frappés” with whipped creme in the summer so why not add the goodness in the winter? Luckily, this is one Dallas thing that is easy to replicate when Sally and I are at home in Kansas City for Christmas!

Aside from all the aforementioned activities that have made me feel super holly jolly, dressing festively has also been a big part of me feeling the holiday cheer. Decking the halls is fun but being personally decked out in lots of red, plaid, fair isle, and warm layers is fantastic. If you’re feeling like you need a little boost to get into the holiday spirit, this kind of sartorial holiday cheer does the trick!

So – check out the video. I hope it inspires you to get into the holiday cheer zone and maybe get out and explore the festiveness of your own city. You can get all the info on the Old Navy outfits I’m wearing below!

 

Style + Gifting

Snow Cloud Slippers

Slippers are always a good idea. Let’s not pretend that we don’t love a fresh pair of them for at-home coziness 360 days a year. In fact, both of us could use a new pair of fluffy slippers! Which is why these “snow cloud” guys at Madewell caught our eye. They are simple and have a throw-back design we love. Definitely ideal for lounging around the Christmas tree. And they are on sale!

Lifestyle + Gifting

Metallic Playing Cards

It’s not Cards Against Humanity but regular playing cards are a nice, civilized way to engage in a little gaming with family and friends. But these aren’t just regular playing cards – they’re metallic rose gold and add a lot of sparkle to your average game of go fish or gin rummy. Put them in a stocking or bring them to your next holiday party. Then play like a shark.

Toast Talk

December 15, 2014

Yesterday - Sunday - started nicely. I washed my sheets and ate some breakfast tacos. Then around 10am, once my bed was freshly made, Blue and I climbed on top and took a nap under some blankets. I set an alarm (which all practiced nappers know to do) for an hour later but ended up sleeping for a good two and a half hours. Part of me felt guilty and I started to mentally go through all the things I should be doing: more laundry, editing photos, grocery shopping, accounting, emails, etc. Even though I knew I should have been productive I went from napping to book reading to putting on a face mask and decided that doing nothing was as important as doing all those other things.

 

There’s a great part in Elizabeth Gilbert’s book and movie, Eat Pray Love that goes like this: “Il bel far niente means ‘the beauty of doing nothing’…[it] has always been a cherished Italian ideal. The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work, the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement. You don’t necessarily need to be rich in order to experience this, either.” How wonderful that the Italians have this ideal! As an American I think we are almost engineered to feel a certain amount of guilt when we literally “do nothing.” How lazy, unproductive, and unambitious of us to waste time when we could be doing something to do nothing.  

Knowing that I was willingly doing nothing yesterday made me cherish every minute of my time alone. I didn’t even beat myself up about the choice to be in bed for hours on end once I consciously made up my mind that I was okay with it. By the time 4:45pm rolled around I was back to doing normal things…wine with Brittany, more laundry, some emails, vacuuming, dinner, and more reading. I can’t tell you how awesome I felt once I turned out the light and called it a day. I was happy, recharged, and my mind was still laughing and buzzing from Lena Dunham’s writing (more on that another time). Maybe we all need to give ourselves periodic permission to experience il bel far niente. It seriously made my soul feel so good.The trick, I think, to keeping it an indulgent act and not an explanation or excuse is to do it frequently but not so often that it’s not a revered time. It’s like anything…if not done in healthy moderation it is less of a treat.

I’d be interested to know what you all think about doing nothing when there are other things we could be doing. Is it something that’s reserved for when on vacation? Only on Sundays? During the holiday season when given a break from work? How and when do you determine it’s reasonable to do nothing just for you? And if you’ve never really done the whole “nothing” thing – you need to try it and get back to me.