Meet Annabelle

October 31, 2014

There are a lot of details when it comes to planning a wedding - choosing bridesmaid dresses is just one of many. For Sally's upcoming wedding (in April!), Molly has tried on just a few dresses that would be considered for the 'maids on the big day. What makes the selecting difficult is wanting to choose a style that will flatter each lady in the wedding party. When BHLDN asked us to test drive their Annabelle Dress by Jenny Yoo we of course said yes as we're still determining what the bridesmaids will be wearing and we love that the already gorgeous sweetheart-style gown can be tied and styled in more than eight ways - making it easy for each lovely lady to personalize her gown. We put together a little video of styling the dress so keep reading to check it out!

 

There’s a BHLDN boutique location in Houston (if you live close by you must go – it’s such an experience!) that we were hoping to visit for the trying on but logistics got in the way so the store sent the Annabelle and all kinds of accessories our way for a intimate try on session. Getting to play with the ties that blend into the skirt was a pretty fun bride + maid-of-honor activity. One thing Sally did know when first starting to look for dresses was that she wants something long…even though the wedding isn’t black tie, long dresses always look so gorgeous in photos and since the hem lines all hit the floor, the look is consistent among the various heights of the girls. So the Annabelle Dress already appealed to us with its long length and layers of luxe but soft and light tulle.

Bridesmaid dresses can get a bad reputation for being “never wear again” pieces but after seeing all that the Annabelle can do – not to mention all the colors it’s available in – we’re convinced that any girl would want to pull this out of her closet for more wearing past the wedding day!

On Molly: The Annabelle Bridesmaid Dress by Jenny Yoo // Belts // Jewelry  •  On Sally: Gardenia Dress (on sale!)  •  All BHLDN pieces are borrowed

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Style

Star + Moon

Sometimes it’s itty bitty accessories that make the biggest statement. Case and point with this asymmetrical pair of moon and star earrings. You really need to click and see what they look like on the model to really appreciate how mini they are. The small stone and brushed gold make them tiny but mighty! Tai always gets it right with their jewelry. We also love these screw studs.

Style

Amma Pumps

Sophia Webster x J.Crew. Each shoe Sophia designed for the second collection she collaborated on with J.Crew is beautiful. Little works of art. But we are head over…heels (hehe) for the Amma Pumps. Gold, Navy, Peep-toe, Buttons, Cut-outs, Above-the-Ankle = too good to handle and too awesome to not want pairs for ourselves. Get 30% sale and 25% full-price styles with code STYLETREAT!

Lifestyle

@APIECEOFTOAST

Picking Up A Few Things

October 30, 2014

I think most of us can relate to the phenomenon of going into Target for a "few things" and leave with 10-15 other things. How do they do it? I'll never know. But I'm pretty sure it has to do with the convenience of having so many needs (household items, groceries, office supplies, etc.) and wants (cosmetics, clothes and accessories, books, etc.) in one place. For efficiency and spending reasons, I try to limit myself to two Target runs a month and I never go without a list in hand - otherwise things can get, well, out of hand. I stopped by one of my neighborhood locations the other day with the intention of grabbing some Tide Pods and a "few" other things. Read on to see if I was successful in my outing!

 

I know I have mentioned this a lot, but my recent move from the two-bedroom apartment I shared with Sally to a one-bedroom spot for myself has made me hyper-aware of what I buy and what I already have – there’s only so much storage for so much stuff! For instance: my laundry “closet” is tiny but mighty. I’ve managed to arrange the two small shelves above my washer and dryer to hold a faux christmas tree, beach towels, cleaning supplies, ironing stuffs, and all my stain treatment products. But there is nooo room for an industrial-sized container of laundry detergent like the kind I typically buy. Sally and I have always bought and used Tide products – it’s what our mom uses at home and we know it works – but I hadn’t tried using Tide Pods until a few weeks ago while we were at the beach doing laundry.

First of all, I’m kind of mesmerized by the Pods themselves. I always think of Dory in Finding Nemo saying, “I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy.” They are just so squeezy and cute. Laundry is cute now guys! But in all seriousness, I wanted to get some Tide Pods of my own because they are such a mess-free way to do laundry (no measuring liquid) and they have 3x the stain remover power compared to traditional liquid detergents. I mean…that right there had me ready to convert to a new way of washing!

Before making my way to the laundry section of Target I had to stop by the pet aisle and get a new toy for Blue. Don’t worry, he has already chewed off and consumed the front arms of his squirrel-raccoon thing. Thumbs up! I resumed my mission and made it to the selection of Tide Pods. I had four scent options to choose from and several size options. Love the idea of the 35 size that comes in a re-sealable bag (hello, storage!) but I went with the 57 wash selection that came in an equally great hard-case container. I’ve never tried Tide’s “Free & Gentle” formula – probably because my brain things anything fragrance-free can’t clean as well – but I decided I would try it out in my Tide Pods.

The rest of my time at Target was spent buying other necessities: cookies, a birthday card, coffee, chapstick, picture hooks, and a 2015 monthly calendar (which wasn’t on the list but I thought it would be good for editorial planning in the new year). Multi-task buying at it’s best! Usually I dread hauling detergent inside after a buying a trip because three flights of stairs with heavy stuff isn’t always fun but the Tide Pods are so much lighter than the liquid detergent I’m used to dealing with. And the best part, the cute container fits perfectly in my laundry closet. Boom. I didn’t think I’d ever be looking forward to doing laundry as much as I am but my growing pile of “things to wash” has me excited and ready to try out my Tide Pods. Now…about those cookies…

If you’re trying to streamline your laundry routine or even looking to maintain space, you can buy Tide Pods at any Target store and online! (coupon here)

Wearing: Athleta Drippity Jacket // Club Monaco Dress (old, similar, similar) // New Balance 580 Sneakers // kate spade bag (old, similar, similar) // Gaia Beaded Bracelets // Daniel Wellington Shefield Watch (get 15% off with code "apieceoftoast")

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Style

Birds on Black

End up getting anything from the Altuzarra for Target collection? We’re always the last ones to the party when it comes to the fab collabs but are glad this one is still available via Target and Net-a-Porter. Our favorite piece is this sleek black dress with its blazer-inspired collar and embroidered gold cranes. You’d never know it’s just $50

Interiors + Decor

Embroidered Evil Eye

We’ve never met an evil eye we didn’t like. Meant to ward off bad energy and bring good luck, we find them interesting and appealing. So when we met this framed Embroidered Evil Eye it was total love – eyes locked on eye. Not into having the eye as artwork? Maybe this dish, this bracelet or this necklace are more your style!

Some Sales + Steals

October 29, 2014

Guess what's back? Sales + Steals! Some of you mentioned that you missed my weekly round-up of retailers and brands offering sales and fab items I thought were steals so I brought it back. I'll admit that I might have an unhealthy passion for buying new things - but there is nothing I love more than the thrill of a sale. I rarely buy anything that's full-price and sometimes I'll stalk items for months before seeing the price drop and pulling the trigger. Something to remember when shopping in general but especially when buying a sale or steal: always check the return policy! I've made the mistake of buying "final sale" shoes that didn't fit and was stuck with them…now I only buy non returnable items that I know will fit or am completely in love with. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this round of S+S and I look forward to sharing a new round-up each week! (read on to get the sales + steals)

 

Some Sales:

  • ASOS: Extra 10% off with code 10MORE through today!
  • Ann Taylor: Extra 60% off sale styles! (this coat is so pretty)
  • Anthropologie: Extra 25% off sale with code EXTRAEXTRA -ends today! (adorable for fall with boots or booties)
  • BaubleBar: Additional 20% off sale items with code SPOOKY – ends on 10/31 (want these, have this and love, this is too cool)
  • C. Wonder: 30% off clothing and shoes – in store and online! Excludes outerwear (adore this simple top!)
  • Daniel Wellington Watches: Get 15% off your purchase with code APIECEOFTOAST (Molly wears this watch in silver and I have it in rose gold!)
  • Need Supply: Friends with Benefits Sale 20% off with code FWB20 (loving everything about this, including the price – same goes for this sweater)
  • Old Navy: Extra 25% off with code SAVE
  • J.Crew: Extra 30% off final sale and extra 25% off full price styles with code STYLETREAT (ordering this for sure)
  • Lo & Sons: Get 20% off all orders over $150 with the code FALLFRIENDS14
  • Loft: 15% off select fall styles – including Lou & Grey! (how cozy does this zippy tunic look?!)
  • Piperlime: Extra 25% off sale with code SHOPSALE
  • Shopbop: New items added to sale – up to 70% off (this color block jacket is too cute)
  • West Elm: 20% off rugs, lighting, and all coffee and side tables (love this little marble side table…)

Some Steals:

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Style

Blind Mouse Pouch

Here’s a fun party trick: wear something super ladylike and pretty and add a wickedly interesting accessory. Molly recently carried a conversation-starting holograph clutch to a wedding and it was a total hit. We like the metallic finish and cute factor of this Blind Mouse Pouch by Yazbukey. It will go with anything and it’s guaranteed to get some attention. Also in burgundy!

Lifestyle

Men’s Pajamas

There’s something that feels right about borrowing certain pieces from the boys. Socks, sweatshirts, and pajamas are favorites. And while we’re not complaining about our options, we think the men in our lives could benefit from having a nice Cotton Poplin Pajama Set. J.Crew makes the same pair for women but we think the men’s pair looks pretty cozy. Get 25% off with code TGIFALL!

One Room Challenge | Week No. 5

October 29, 2014

It's crunch time, it's go time, it's "light at the end of the tunnel," time! Basically, it's week number five of the One Room Challenge and that means there is only one teeny tiny week left before the big reveal of all the rooms! If you've been following along with the other bloggers listed below (and I hope that you have!) you know how much time, effort, and talent has been poured into each and every space. I can't wait for my own room to be finished but I'm just as excited about getting to see all of the other completed rooms! This week is an update on progress (yay!) and also a tale of issues, roadblocks, and tantrum-induced set-backs (boo!). Stuff has been getting real…but things are coming together and Bailey (who is my designer) and I have been mentally high fiving between Dallas and Houston as we see things coming together. To help with the sharing and telling, I've got emojis and numbers. Why? Because I love a good numbered list and because I pretty much think with applicable emojis in mind.

 

  1. Paint. I mentioned in the first ORC post that my walls were originally a pale beige/tan color. So, NBD, I painted them white. Bailey told me to swatch test and I was like “Pshhh, who has time for that?” and chose Benjamin Moore Ultra White (A.). Once painted, my first thought was, “These walls are blue.” But I tried to control myself and reasoned that it was just a “cool white” and that I would a) get used to the color once things got into the room. After four weeks I determined I hated the color and couldn’t live with cold white walls. So I did the proper thing and swatch tested two other whites: Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White (B.) and Benjamin Moore White Dove (C.). White Dove won because it had the warm undertone I needed/wanted after living with blue and a second coat is being painted on the walls and ceiling as I type. Emoji: Prayer Hands (because I pray that I love it as much now as when everything is moved in)
  2. Ceiling Fan. I know they are “ugly” but I love ceiling fans. They make a nice little sound and keep me cool at night. I was prepared to fight to keep the one in my room but once the canopy bed got set up the height and structure was so pretty and sleek – and the ceiling fan just sort of ruined the look. So the fan will be leaving me but will be getting replaced with a very pretty and very sleek Studio Flushmount Pendant from Room & Board. Bailey and I loved this option because it’s good-looking but will disappear onto the ceiling and not flight with the canopy bed. Emoji: Thumbs Up (this is a good thing)
  3. Table Lamps. This is a sad story…as soon as I found the dream console to go across from my bed, Bailey and I started talking about a pair of lamps to sit on it. She had used the Lydia Lamps in her “Project Holly” master bedroom and loved the brass detailing. Sold! I ordered them in white from Lulu & Georgia. Then I got a very sad email that said they were actually out of stock. Cue the 27-year-old temper tantrum. My mom suggested I look on the internets to see if any other retailer had them (le duh – she is such a smart lady). I found the exact same pair on Amazon and bought them. Then I got another email saying they were out of stock. Um…this was so not okay. Then I was on a mission to get my hands on the lamps and was literally trying to get in touch with the manufacture (Safavieh) to find out where the heck all the white lamps were before Bailey told me to slow my roll and promised we would find a replacement pair this weekend (since I will be in Houston for Halloween with the McCarthy fam). I’m still upset but hopeful we will get something just as pretty and lovely in time for the reveal. Emoji: Crying Face (for obvious reasons)
  4. Art. From the beginning of our original plan, Bailey and I knew there needed to be a big piece of art hanging above/behind the bed. I started looking. I found very great options that were completely out of my price range (C.). I found options that were in my price range but after lot’s of thought I realized I either didn’t love them or didn’t feel were ideal for the room (A., B., D., E.). Then I found some topless blonds on a San Tropez beach as shot by Slim Aarons and I was like, “Bingo!” (F.). I was going to order the piece from One Kings Lane but it wouldn’t have gotten here in time. I saw that the OKL print was actually from Ghetty Images…which sells prints on Photos.com. I found the exact same print, for less money, and it shipped to me in 5 days. Boom. I got the 46″ x 34″  frames in white. It’s large and in charge and I can’t wait to hang it. Emoji: Hearts for Eyes (because I love my new piece)
  5. Rug. Wall to wall carpet in beige = standard situation with apartment living. The carpet is brand-new and I’m thankful for that but my pretty new canopy bed doesn’t need a bed skirt and so the carpet is very, very in-your-face. Getting a rug to sit on top of the carpet was the simple solution. The first choice was a rag-rug from Dash and Albert (A.). But the size I needed wasn’t available to ship till December. What? No. Not okay. Luckily, Bailey found another option from Wayfair that was actually an even better choice from because it’s thinner and we won’t have the issue of the door that leads into the room possibly hitting the height of the carpet + rug. Emoji: Ok (because this will look very nice)
  6. Hardware. Ooooh I just love my vintage console from Scout! I cannot wait to see what he looks like in a high-gloss coating of Benjamin Moore Gentleman’s Gray (B.). It’s going to be magical. The pretty gold diamonds on the doors are staying but the original drawer pulls had to go. I ordered the 8″ Edgecliff brass drawer pulls from School House Electric and can’t wait to see how they finish off the piece! Emoji: Glowing Star (because I get a gold star for buying vintage – a new thing for me – and because this baby is a total star)
  7. Side Tables. As per the plan Bailey so lovely designed, a West Elm Mid-Century mini desk (A.) was to go on one side of the bed and a West Elm Mid-Centry side-table (D.) was to go on the other. Great! What wasn’t great: the three drawer side-table is backordered till December. Ughhh. Sure there are other Mid-Century options (like this guy) but I wanted the three drawer. That’s three drawers of storage! And rather than budge from the plan, Bailey and I decided to wait for it to come back in stock and in the meantime we would use my West Elm Buttler’s Tray table (E.) as a side-table. It’s not ideal, but it’s the real world. And I’m glad to wait for the piece I really want rathe than “buy to buy” for the sake of the challenge. The good news is that my Jonathan Adler Maxime Chair (B.) from Shop 219  arrived and sometimes I just get lost staring at her, she is so pretty. She’ll be paired with the mini desk and the desk will get the 1″ Riverwood brass knobs from School House Electric. Emoji: Flushed Cheeks (not ideal but I’m trying to deal)
  8. Rawr. The accent pillow is done! Bailey ordered the fabric and had a workroom in Houston make the pillow and I’ll be taking it home with me after I visit this weekend. Scalamandré’s cut velvet “Tigre” has never looked better than in pink (in my honest opinion). Emoji: Tiger and Hearts (for obvious reasons)
  9. Accessories. When I moved, I realized just how much “stuff” I own. Knick-nacks, while adorable and sentimental, are wildly abundant in my one bedroom apartment. So even though I wanted to go crazy buying stuff for my room re-do, I had to pull in the reigns and limit myself to pieces that I looooved and opted for buying “special and few” rather than “meh and many.” Jana Beck’s hand painted Brush Stroke Lamp (A.) will sit on the mini desk along with the Duck Leg Mirror from Maddie G. (F.). Jonathan Adler’s “Happy” pillow (D.) will go on a chair and I can’t wait to put some white roses in the JA vase (J.). My collection of Fornasetti face plates – including the winking one I got for my birthday! (E.) – will be hung on either side of a mirror and above the console. Some new books (B.C., G., H.) and a wicked-cool and delicious-smelling candle (I.) will be the other new additions that will be mixed in with my preexisting loot for what I hope is a non-cluttered look! Emoji: Face with Sunnies (because these cool accessories and decor items make me feel way cooler than I am)
  10. Seven Days. The next week will be exciting and hectic as I wait for the final items to arrive and for the custom projects to finish. I am SO thankful, grateful, and appreciative that my mama is going to come down to help me hang all the art, fluff the room, and accessorize perfectly before the room gets photographed. She’s the best at wrapping up projects and making a house instantly feel like a home and her visit is long over due…next Wednesday I’ll be celebrating with champagne and toasting all the other ORC bloggers on a job well done! Emoji: Face Crying Tears of Joy (sad that the process will be over but so, so happy the project will be finished!)

>> Previous One Room Challenge posts: Week No. 1 // Week No. 2 // Week No. 3 // Week No. 4

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