Born Free + Shopbop

April 25, 2014

Victoria Beckham, Gisele Bundchen, Tory Burch, Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen), Consuelo Castiglioni (Marni), Alberta Ferretti, Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan (DKNY and Urban Zen), Liya Kebede, Clare Waight Keller (Chloe), Jenna Lyons (J.Crew), Isabel Marant, Marchesa, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo (Celine), Miuccia Prada, Rachel Roy, Ivanka Trump, Donatella Versace and Vera Wang. — Just the list of incredible designers who lent their talents to create pieces for Born Free, the limited-edition collection available on Shopbop.  The collection’s mission: to raise awareness and support for the elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission. All of the 22 designers who contributed are mothers…

Victoria Beckham, Gisele Bundchen, Tory Burch, Sarah Burton (Alexander McQueen), Consuelo Castiglioni (Marni), Alberta Ferretti, Diane von Furstenberg, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan (DKNY and Urban Zen), Liya Kebede, Clare Waight Keller (Chloe), Jenna Lyons (J.Crew), Isabel Marant, Marchesa, Stella McCartney, Phoebe Philo (Celine), Miuccia Prada, Rachel Roy, Ivanka Trump, Donatella Versace and Vera Wang. — Just the list of incredible designers who lent their talents to create pieces for Born Free, the limited-edition collection available on Shopbop.  The collection’s mission: to raise awareness and support for the elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission. All of the 22 designers who contributed are mothers themselves…the 50 items include clothing and accessories for both women and children and are based on prints from Wangechi Mutu, a celebrated Kenyan-born visual artist based in New York. 

I want everything (including the adorable baby an children’s items). And not just because the pieces are lovely and almost all are below $250 (Prada skirt for $245, Isabel Marant blouse for $190, Vera Wang mini dress for $95) but because the objective of ending the transmission spread by December 31, 2015 is so powerful. MAC Aids Fund will be matching all donations and the total purchase price of all items sold, up to $500,000. If that’s not an incentive to shop, I don’t know what is. I have a feeling many of the beautifulness will sell out soon…so I’ll hope to scoop up this top and this dress before my size is gone!

P.S. how stunning are the ad campaign photos of models and their children? Heart melting…

(Images via Shopbop)

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Grown Up May Day

April 24, 2014

When the two of us were little our mom taught us that the first day of May was “May Day” and that it could be celebrated by hanging flowers on your neighbors doors. Being the crafty chiclets we were, we made cones out of construction paper (decorated with markers, obviously), stapled handles to the sides and filled the cone with flowers we picked from outside. We proudly delivered the baskets up and down our street and happily ding-dong-ditched so our May Day surprises would be discovered. Mom’s are really good at keeping their children occupied! We haven’t thought of May Day…

When the two of us were little our mom taught us that the first day of May was “May Day” and that it could be celebrated by hanging flowers on your neighbors doors. Being the crafty chiclets we were, we made cones out of construction paper (decorated with markers, obviously), stapled handles to the sides and filled the cone with flowers we picked from outside. We proudly delivered the baskets up and down our street and happily ding-dong-ditched so our May Day surprises would be discovered. Mom’s are really good at keeping their children occupied! We haven’t thought of May Day flower baskets in years…but May 1st is a week away and this year we wanted to capitalize on the start of the month by delivering to our friends a grown-up version of our childhood gift complete with flowers and breakfast.

We nixed the construction paper and markers and decided to create a custom set of cards, stickers, and tags with Makr. The free app is a design studio program (think Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign but without the learning curve) specifically designed for iPads that allows anyone to create custom products for entertaining and events, small businesses, and everything in between. Invitations, stickers, tags, postcards, announcements, labels, cards, stationery – you can literally get as creative as you want or build off one of the many customizable templates. Designs can be ordered and shipped to your door or you can buy hi-res PDFs of your creations to print from home.

Any of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that we aren’t DIY bloggers…at all. Molly loves a contained meticulous craft now and then and Sally gets her art on while teaching but DIY blog posts are not easy to execute and we know our place in the world of blogging and leave the step-by-step tutorials up to professionals (like Grace and Honestly WTF). But we wanted to try and downloading the Makr app on our iPad and playing around with the colors, text, and themes made it easy to get an end result that looks polished and cohesive.

What’s in our May Day “Baskets”:

  • Flowers: we wanted a sunny baby bouquet of yellow and white and arranged roses, hydrangea, and snapdragon in a small jar. Each jar has a hanging tag for a personal branded touch. (jars found at Michael’s, flowers from Central Market, hanging tag from Makr)
  • Millet Muffins: our mom’s recipe, these muffins are SO good and we made ours gluten-free. Each basket has four muffins in a clear chinese takeout box with a sticker. (takeout boxes from Michael’s, sticker from Makr)
  • Kale Lemonade Juice: Dallas is juice crazed and this fresh concoction is our latest favorite. For a more gourmet look, we used jelly jars with stickers and a bit of string. (jelly jars from World Market, juice from Central Market, sticker from Makr)
  • Card: we used a Makr postcard template for our “Happy May Day” card. A little note and the recipe for the millet muffins is on the back.
  • To give the clear box that served as our basket (from The Container Store), we added two small stickers to the sides.

Voila! A thoughtful little something from APoT to our sweet friends. Let us know if you’re interested in seeing the full recipe for the Millet Muffins and we can post it (: To get YOU started on a project of your own, our friends at Makr are offering all A Piece of Toast readers a credit AND 20% off a print order! Just register with the referral code ATOASTFANS and enter same code at checkout.

Images taken by MBM for A Piece of Toast // This project was made special and sponsored by Makr. We hope you’ll download the app and be inspired to create your own perfect projects!

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Terra New York

April 24, 2014

I kind of have this thing for outerwear and jackets. Molly would most definitely agree with me. I’ve hardly ever met a jacket that I didn’t like or justify “needing” for that matter. I honestly think that they are one of the most practical purchases because they can often be worn through various seasons and with a variety of pieces. This and this are my two recent jacket buys. Told you, I’m obsessed. Terra New York is my latest love when it comes to jackets, particularly, rain jackets. In my opinion, its hard to find a waterproof raincoat that is actually…

I kind of have this thing for outerwear and jackets. Molly would most definitely agree with me. I’ve hardly ever met a jacket that I didn’t like or justify “needing” for that matter. I honestly think that they are one of the most practical purchases because they can often be worn through various seasons and with a variety of pieces. This and this are my two recent jacket buys. Told you, I’m obsessed.

Terra New York is my latest love when it comes to jackets, particularly, rain jackets. In my opinion, its hard to find a waterproof raincoat that is actually cute and work-appropriate. You know, something that could be worn over a dress if need be. Started by two designers and and bicycle lovers, Terra New York began with the intention of creating stylish rain wear that is both good-looking and 100% waterproof. Each piece is made to protect from the rain and contains features that allow the coat to breathe and move with you – bicycling friendly! The translucent, polyurethane material of the Terra New York jackets is what initially drew me in. The pieces themselves are practically like art. You should see some of the photographs that have been taken of these guys – fantastic. My personal favorite amongst the collection? The Lafayette 2 Cape – a hooded cape with horn buttons and trench-like details. It comes in both the Frosty White and Smokey Grey, and I really can’t decide which one I like best. All I know is that I am pretty much in love with it. I don’t own a single cape-style jacket and this seems to be the most perfect one yet, plus the easy on and off of the cape would be ideal in a downpour, right!?

(Images via Terra New York)

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Spring Poppy

April 23, 2014

Pastels vs. Primary – it’s a battle between the color hues this time of year as far as my closet is concerned. As much as I’m loving being able to wear the lighter washes and pale colors, the vibrant nature of the season has me also reaching for bright cobalts, reds, and yellows too. Poppy-colored pants (well they’re actually jeans that feel like leggings) were my feel-good choice the other week. I wore the pants a lot last fall and love being able to recycle them into new looks…because I’m boring (and a creature of habit addicted to white shirts),…

Pastels vs. Primary – it’s a battle between the color hues this time of year as far as my closet is concerned. As much as I’m loving being able to wear the lighter washes and pale colors, the vibrant nature of the season has me also reaching for bright cobalts, reds, and yellows too. Poppy-colored pants (well they’re actually jeans that feel like leggings) were my feel-good choice the other week. I wore the pants a lot last fall and love being able to recycle them into new looks…because I’m boring (and a creature of habit addicted to white shirts), I kept the outfit simple with the top and shoes  and added a whimsical clutch for some added pops of color. Sometimes bright is very, very nice.

Images taken by SAM for A Piece of Toast

(Otte NY Muse Top // Henry & Belle Super Skinny Jeans in Poppy (on sale!) // Ivanka Trump Maxy Sandal c/o (on sale!) // kate spade Via Limoni Vivi Clutch c/o // Elizabeth & James Fairfax Sunnies // Dana Rebecca Sylvie Rose Necklace // Maya Brenner Mini Letter Bracelet // Eddie Borgo Small Pave Pyramid Bracelet //  Zoe Chicco Rings: Pave TriangleHorizontal BaguetteVertical Baguette // essie ‘Lapis of Luxury’ Polish // NARS Heat Wave Lipstick)

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The Wig Vase by Tania de Cruz

April 23, 2014

To say that I have a green thumb would be lying, because I honestly don’t do a whole lot of “green” around our apartment. Without a yard or a sunny front porch, the opportunities to actually grow things become pretty slim. I am, however, fascinated with the flowers that I receive or pick up at the store. Particularly my orchids. I like to see just how long I can keep an orchid plant alive, and have actually become quite good at it. If you were to gift me flowers, rest assured I would do everything in my power to make…

To say that I have a green thumb would be lying, because I honestly don’t do a whole lot of “green” around our apartment. Without a yard or a sunny front porch, the opportunities to actually grow things become pretty slim. I am, however, fascinated with the flowers that I receive or pick up at the store. Particularly my orchids. I like to see just how long I can keep an orchid plant alive, and have actually become quite good at it. If you were to gift me flowers, rest assured I would do everything in my power to make those puppies live the longest lives possible – trimming the stems and changing the water daily.

When I cam across Tania de Cruz’s Wig Vase I pretty much died and went to “pretend green thumb heaven.” What better place to try your hand at growing and caring for flowers than a vase that is practically a piece of art in itself? I love the idea of a grouping of these in the middle of a round dining table or an odd number lined up on some sort of a console table. They would make the perfect statement and make changing things out for each season effortless – all you’ve got to do is switch out your flowers. I personally love the white version just because I love the way something of color looks against a stark white, but I think the black is pretty amazing as well. Wouldn’t these make such a great gift for mother’s day? Our mom (and grandmother too) loves to plant and grow things, but also has an appreciation for unique and beautiful pieces, so these would be right up her alley.

(Images via Tania da Cruz)

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