The Art of Bundling

January 31, 2014

Things I’ve been thinking about today: 1) I may or may not be causing Blue Moonbeam to have puppy separation anxiety due to all the time we spend together; 2) it’s 77 degrees and sunny in Dallas today but is going to be cold and rainy this weekend, and that is annoying; 3) thanks to a comment from Kerry & Tory on this post, I’ve been stalking the USPS tracking of when my RMS Beauty ‘raw coconut cream’ will be arriving and preparing for my life (or at least skin) to be changed; 4) are dark nails still cool?; and…

Things I’ve been thinking about today: 1) I may or may not be causing Blue Moonbeam to have puppy separation anxiety due to all the time we spend together; 2) it’s 77 degrees and sunny in Dallas today but is going to be cold and rainy this weekend, and that is annoying; 3) thanks to a comment from Kerry & Tory on this post, I’ve been stalking the USPS tracking of when my RMS Beauty ‘raw coconut cream’ will be arriving and preparing for my life (or at least skin) to be changed; 4) are dark nails still cool?; and last but not least 5) how the heck am I going to stay warm while in New York next week?!

Big problems, I know…just slap me. Or thank me for inspirational images of ladies looking stylish while also working to stay warm. If there’s an art to bundling up (and I believe there is) these girls are killing it. From the looks of it, more-is-more, and I need to pack lots of layers and oversized scarves.

TGIF, chickens! But really, are dark nails still cool?

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(Bright) Sporty Style

January 30, 2014

You guys might get sick of hearing us say it, but we live in activewear. So much so that it feels more natural for us to take and share pictures wearing our favorite workout gear than it does the outfits where we are all dressed up with heels and such. Over the past year we both have built quite a collection of great active gear basics—pants, crops, tops, and jackets in solid colors that we could mix and match. Lately we’ve been feeling like spicing up our plain pieces with more bold, bright, and crazy separates that while a little…

You guys might get sick of hearing us say it, but we live in activewear. So much so that it feels more natural for us to take and share pictures wearing our favorite workout gear than it does the outfits where we are all dressed up with heels and such. Over the past year we both have built quite a collection of great active gear basics—pants, crops, tops, and jackets in solid colors that we could mix and match. Lately we’ve been feeling like spicing up our plain pieces with more bold, bright, and crazy separates that while a little more wacky and wild, make us all the more excited to wear them for working out or lounging. Nordstrom has an insane collection of familiar activewear products with brands like Nike, Under Armor, North Face, and Hard Tail as well as new-to-us names like Zella, Karma, and Lole. Slowly but surely, we’ve been making a Nordstrom activewear wish list of pants and jackets and taking home favorites one at a time…if we’re going to make a habit of dressing sporty all the time, we might as well make things interesting and fun!

And because I know y’all will ask—yes, Blue really lets us put that coat/vest on him and he doesn’t hate it. It has cozy fleece that’s perfect for the 30 degree and windy weather we’ve been having in Dallas lately…and he looks like a superhero pup when he walks around with it on. Which is adorable.

Images taken by MBM + SAM for A Piece of Toast

(On Sally: Nike ‘Rally’ Funnel Neck Top // Zella ‘Live In – Triple Blocked’ Leggings // Ray-Ban Clubmaster Sunnies // Nike Trainers (similar, similar) . On Molly: Zella ‘Miss Moto 2’ Jacket // Lulu Lemon Crops (old, similar, similar) // Nike Lunarglide Sneakers // Ray-Ban Aviators // Dana Rebecca Lauren Joy Necklace // Minor Obsessions Evil Eye Necklace // Helen Ficalora 24″ Necklace // essie ‘Smokin Hot’ Polish . On Blue: TopPaw Thinsulate Reflective Coat)

// Bright Activewear //

This post was sponsored by Nordstrom, thank you so much for supporting the great companies that make A Piece of Toast Possible!

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Beauty Dish

January 29, 2014

Sally and I are on a mission to get the healthiest skin possible. Right now, my face is in a big transition phase because after publishing this post, I took the advice left by several readers who left comments and decided to try Retin-A…holy dryness and redness. I’ve been powering through the “has to get worse before it can get better” early weeks and months because I do believe that the prescription will work wonders on my face, but finding products to counder-balance the cream I use every few nights has been trial and error. If you don’t know anything…

Sally and I are on a mission to get the healthiest skin possible. Right now, my face is in a big transition phase because after publishing this post, I took the advice left by several readers who left comments and decided to try Retin-A…holy dryness and redness. I’ve been powering through the “has to get worse before it can get better” early weeks and months because I do believe that the prescription will work wonders on my face, but finding products to counder-balance the cream I use every few nights has been trial and error. If you don’t know anything about Retin-A, I suggest reading this and this because they definitely convinced me to try it. When the first and second week of using the cream murdered my face (peeling like I’ve never experienced), I read this article for tips on how to deal with the side effects and have since been moisturizing like crazy during the day. The two hydrating products that have steadily been helping to make things better are above. A bit about why I love them…

Aveda all-sensitive Moisturizer: any lotion or moisturizer I would put on my face once I started using Retin-A made my skin feel like it was on fire…except this stuff. It’s not a joke that it is called “all-sensitive.” The thin formula is hydrating but gentle (at least for me) and even though I use three pumps for my whole face, it doesn’t feel dense or heavy. It contains no added fragrances or SPF (which tends to make my skin even more red and irritated) and is the basic I really needed and now can’t survive without.

Aveda Intensive Hydrating Masque: this stuff is like giving your skin a huge drink of water. I got it and the moisturizer above after a facial when I was told that I wasn’t giving my skin enough moisture. The esthetician suggested using the hydrating masque a few times a week after washing and drying my face and told me that it was gentle enough to sleep with it on. Since it’s a clear formula and sinks into the skin (versus sitting on the surface or feeling sticky) I tried going to bed with it on and was obsessed with the results when I woke up. The added hydration doesn’t cause me to breakout but it does add visible plumpness to my dehydrated pores.

In the past I’ve always tried to brush off how drying the elements are during this time of year—but the drop in temperatures (or arctic vortex, depending on where you live) really does take a huge toll on your skin. Probably not the best time to start using Retin-A (I got my prescription right after Thanksgiving) but at least it’s making me extra diligent on keeping my face moisturized at all times!

Images taken by MBM for A Piece of Toast

(Aveda all-sensitive Moisturizer // Aveda Intensive Hydrating Masque // Peace Sign Stamp // Tory Burch Lucite Letters)

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Hot + Crispy

January 28, 2014

Hot and crispy…two words to describe a delicious chicken sandwich and the ultra chic “Crisp Packet” clutch by Anya Hindmarch. Described by the brand as wearable art and inspired by “space litter,” the metal bag is crumpled and creased to perfection—its high shine finish, sleek closure, and thin detachable chain strap making it ultra luxe. If I had an extra $1,595 laying around I would definitely try to bring one of these evening packets into my life. You can order the “London Blue” and “Pale Gold” bags from Anya’s site and snag the Orange one here…just don’t tell me if…

Hot and crispy…two words to describe a delicious chicken sandwich and the ultra chic “Crisp Packet” clutch by Anya Hindmarch. Described by the brand as wearable art and inspired by “space litter,” the metal bag is crumpled and creased to perfection—its high shine finish, sleek closure, and thin detachable chain strap making it ultra luxe. If I had an extra $1,595 laying around I would definitely try to bring one of these evening packets into my life. You can order the “London Blue” and “Pale Gold” bags from Anya’s site and snag the Orange one here…just don’t tell me if end up making one yours because I will be way too jealous to handle it.

(Images via Anya Hindmarch)

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Scenes by Julie Blackmon

January 28, 2014

The artist’s own personal statement about her work truly does say it best: “The stress, the chaos, and the need to simultaneously escape and connect are issue that I investigate in this body of work.  We live in a culture where we are both “child centered” and “self-obsessed.”  The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate.  Caught in the swirl of soccer practices, play dates, work, and trying to find our way in our “make-over” culture, we must still create the space to find ourselves.  The expectations…

The artist’s own personal statement about her work truly does say it best:

“The stress, the chaos, and the need to simultaneously escape and connect are issue that I investigate in this body of work.  We live in a culture where we are both “child centered” and “self-obsessed.”  The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate.  Caught in the swirl of soccer practices, play dates, work, and trying to find our way in our “make-over” culture, we must still create the space to find ourselves.  The expectations of family life have never been more at odds with each other.  These issues, as well as the relationship between the domestic landscape of the past and present, are issues I have explored in these photographs.  I believe there are moments that can be found throughout any given day that bring sanctuary.  It is in finding these moments amidst the stress of the everyday that my life as a mother parallels my work as an artist, and where the dynamics of family life throughout time seem remarkably unchanged.  As an artist and as a mother, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy and reality:  to see the mythic amidst the chaos.”

Ever since my boyfriend moved to San Francisco and into a new place, I have become enamored with home decor which then sparked me to check in on Julie Blackmon and her most recent work – all of which can be found here. It is my dream to someday make one of her pieces my own!

(All images via Julie Blackmon)

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