Some Sales + Steals

May 29, 2015

I am feeling fringe at the moment…if you can't already tell by the sale pieces pulled together for today's roundup. Robert and I are heading to Houston next weekend for the Free Press Summer Fest music festival and as I've been planning my ensembles, I've noticed so many great fringy pieces. Fringe is fun - it moves, it adds texture, it comes in so many varieties (leather, thread, cut strips of fabric, etc). Depending on the application and how it is styled the detail can come off hippie-ish, but I love how it can also make a conservative piece more funky. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to work any fringe into my festie outfits - but I figure as long as I'm wearing some sort of headband/flower crown and mirrored sunglasses that I'll be fine.

Make sure you all take a good look at the sales this weekend - Net A Porter just launched their sale and the Nordstrom half yearly ends this weekend!! (read on to get the sales + steals)

 

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: Get 40% off all tops – ends 6/1. (this peplum top is so pretty and fresh)
  • Banana Republic: Extra 40% off women’s sale styles with code BRNEWYOU – ends 5/31. (this easy black dress needs to get in my closet asap!)
  • GAP: 30% off online purchases with code HAPPY, and get 40% off all dresses – both promos end 5/30. (omg, they brought swim back! how cute is this scallop bikini and this stripe one piece?!)
  • J.Crew: Extra 30% off sale styles with code SALENEWS – good till 5/31. (this beach cover-up is perfection)
  • J.Crew Factory: Up to 50% off everything – ends 5/30! (the infinity shirt in the sleeveless version is a summer must-have!)
  • Lo & Sons: The Memorial Day sale is still running with pieces up to 30% off – ends 6/1! (if you don’t have one, you probably need a Catalina Bag in your life for weekend trips – so perfect for summer!)
  • LOFT: 40% off full-price tops and sweaters! (this open linen cardigan is perfect for summer and I’d live in this stripe tee)
  • Lulu & Georgia: Get 20% off purchases for a week till 6/3 with the code APOT20 at checkout! (highly suggest checking out “The Vintage Market” that runs through this weekend!)
  • Madewell: 25% off select swim and coverup styles. (this dress is so cute it could be worn without a swimsuit underneath…)
  • Net A Porter: Huge SALE kickoff! Shop a selection of items that are up to 50% off…(these Marni sandals? so much Isabel Marant. the most colorful Sophie Anderson tote. this sale is the best kind of trouble!)
  • Nordstrom: HALF YEARLY SALE!!! The big event ends 5/31! Make sure you start shopping to save up to 40% on Men, Women & Kids styles, while supplies last. FREE Shipping. FREE Returns.
  • Old Navy: 50% off select spring/summer styles! (these tassel tie shorts and this sleeveless dress are such great summer staples)
  • Shopbop: Designer Sale! So many new items added! (I’m drooling over all the FRAME denim on sale!)
  • TRUFFLE: Flash Sale! Get 30% off select items and free shipping – ends 5/31. (I personally cannot live without the privacy clutches and the document cases are a work essential…)

Some Steals:

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Mirabelle Rug in the SF Bedroom

May 27, 2015

When it came to furnishing the San Francisco apartment I share with my husband, rugs were actually one of the trickier decisions. I have such a hard time picturing how a rug will look in a room and often times it seems hard to see the actual color details in a photo online. However, rugs (along with lamps) are what I think helps make a home feel cozy and lived in. Our place is SF has wall-to-wall hardwood floors so we needed to pick rugs for both practical (we had to cover 75% of the floors for lease purposes) and decor purposes (the spaces flow together and needed to be anchored as separate).

The rug we envisioned for our bedroom was the hardest to find but we love it so much that its become our favorite room. With the exception of two lacquered bright orange night stands we got from Scout in Dallas, all of the furniture we had for the space was pretty neutral and we needed the rug to tie everything together. Thanks to the help of Bailey, who I default to for just about every single design decision, we narrowed in on the Mirabelle rug from Lulu & Georgia as the perfect choice.

 

The classic design with the central medallion is exactly what we had in mind but the worn-in look and the multiple color options available proved to be both a blessing and a curse. For us, the cobalt version was a favorite because of the hints of orange in the details that seemed perfect for our bright nightstands – but really, I think we could have ended up with the grey and teal or pink and been equally as happy. In the end we went with the blue it felt like the most classic color to be in a bedroom and I knew that we wouldn’t tire of the it in the long run. The mostly cool colors in the cobalt Mirabelle created great contrast for the warm-tones in the leopard x-benches I had planned to place at the end of our bed.

It’s funny how much has changed since we had these photos taken a little while back. I hated that bed from the moment Robert purchased it – from One Kings Lane or maybe Wayfair. I always thought that it was awkwardly low and not great quality, but it definitely did the trick for the time being. Since these photos we have switched the bed out with a white, four poster bed that seems much more suitable for the room. It also opens up under the bed storage space which is a must in our SF apartment. Our new bed sits higher off the floor and seems to show off the beauty of the rug even better, which I love! We also have new bedding on the way from Biscuit and Leontine that I am so screaming excited for and thanks to the layered color-scheme in the Mirabelle rug, everything will still look nicely pulled together.

To celebrate that the rug is finally back in stock, our friends at Lulu & Georgia are offering all A Piece of Toast readers 20% off purchases for a week (5/27 – 6/3) with the code APOT20 at checkout!

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Beauty Dish

May 26, 2015

I don't have overly dry skin - even in the dry winter months - but my eyelids get crazyyyyy dry. It's a mystery to me how this can happen when the rest of my face and bod seem to be fine…but flaky skin around my eyes isn't only unattractive but it was making me itch and rub my eyes like crazy. Back in February I started asking some make-up artists what kind of eye creams the loved. I was already using some great products (this and this) that I liked a lot but they just didn't hydrate enough and layering makeup (concealer or powder) on top make the dryness look horrible. Jamie, makeup guru who did Sally's wedding beauty told us during her trial run in mid-February that Bobbi Brown made fantastic eye creams and after reading tons of the reviews online I decided it was worth trying.

 

Do you guys read reviews? I’m addicted to them – especially when it comes to beauty and skin products. God bless the people who take the time to write about whether an item proved to live up to its hype, did what it promised, and was worth the cost. I’ve avoided a lot of unnecessary purchases and been able to compare and contrast similar products I’ve been torn between just by reading what fellow beauty junkies on Nordstrom and Sephora have to say.

Even with all my online review reading, I still prefer to buy my skin and beauty stuff in person when I can. I like to feeeeel the product. And mostly, I want instant gratification of buying and being able to use right away. When I went in to buy Bobbi’s eye cream, I came out with another skin product and both of them deserve to be shared because they are truly my two “can’t live without” skin items. Who knew that Bobbi Brown was such a skincare wizard? Just getting these two things led me to a major overhaul of my beauty brushes and products – but that’s a Beauty Dish post for another day. Let’s talk skin.

Bobbi Brown Extra Eye Repair Cream ($70): Bobbi makes a ‘Hydrating’ Eye Cream with a nice light texture (and it garnered fabulous reviews) but I thought that the ‘Extra Eye Repair’ Cream was the one for me to try since it my lids were flaking on the regular. The description mentions that the Extra Cream is rich and thick and it doesn’t lie – it definitely doesn’t have a light, lotion feel. I had never used something so thick around my eyes but found that I liked patting the thick cream under and around my eyes until it felt like it had sunk in. I let it sit and soak for a probably ten minutes before I put any makeup on and have never noticed any issues with makeup not going on well or greasiness…if anything, my concealer and powder goes on better now that my eye area is so hydrated and smooth. The super-concentrated formula is meant to help “reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness while boosting moisture levels” and after using it twice a day for a few months I’ve got to say that my little eye areas have never looked more refreshed or healthy! If you have hyper dryness under your eyes or your eyelid areas I’d definitely suggest trying this.

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Supplement ($72): Once I had the Extra Eye Repair Cream in hand, I scanned the other Bobbi Brown skin products and my eye locked on the yellow-brown dropper bottle of Intensive Skin Supplement. I was mostly intrigued by the packaging (always liking a book by its cover) and put a few drops on the back of my hand to see what the texture was like. I have used a lot of serums…some feel like a light lotion and some feel like water. This formula felt like the constancy of a skin cleanser (more like a light gel?). It glides over a large surface easily and doesn’t sink in so quickly that you can’t get all the spots covered. But it does sink in nicely – hydrating without leaving a sheen or wet look. I use this both morning and night after I wash my face and immediately after putting on this toner. Sometimes I put a thick cream on top at night (I rotate between these three: 1, 2, 3) but during the day I will but on a light spf lotion (currently using this one) or just be good with the serum. One time I forgot to put on the supplement before my evening cream and it was shocking to feel how differently the cream felt and absorbed…with the supplement on first cream and lotion sinks in like water but without it on first creams take a lot longer to rub in and I my skin feels more greasy. This is my favorite serum I’ve ever used and I think the proof is in how little is left in the bottle. Usually I never finish the products I have (don’t judge, it’s terrible I know) but I’ll be using this till it’s gone and immediately buying a new bottle.

If I were going to be stranded on a dessert island I would want: a toothbrush, Bobbi’s eye cream, her skin supplement, and some sort of heavy duty SPF (since I would be on an island). I told you these two skin guys were very important to me!

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Three Beachy Looks

May 22, 2015

Two things: 1) I watched When Harry Met Sally... for the first time last night and loved it. There's sadly a long list of classic movies like these I haven't seen (ex: Steel MagnoliasFlashdanceSt. Elmo's Fire, etc, etc.) and I need to make a habit of crossing them off my list. 2) Houston reminds me of being at the beach, specifically a beach in Florida. It's not because we have a coastline and an ocean but because similarly to what happens daily at the beach, it rains for some length of time almost every day in H-town. I don't hate this - mostly because I work inside and the rain doesn't last the entire length of the day - but it does contribute to the humidity factor. The tropical-ish climate is something I'm adjusting to but my view is to embrace it with open arms since hating on it won't make living in it any easier. I love dressing for the summer so now I get to wear my beachy stuff more often and I just add layers for when I'm working in the air conditioning.

 

When I did a massive closet clean-out before my move I noted that I don’t wear or buy a ton of prints and patterns. There’s nothing wrong with this – I’m glad I know what I gravitate towards because it makes me purchase what I’ll wear the most – but I also felt the itch for some variety. I love white (most of you should know about my white shirt addiction by now) so I told myself that if I saw a not-too-loud-or-busy print with a mostly white background that I should bring it into the closet fold of friends. The lack of striped pieces I owned shocked me (I love them! why don’t I have any?) and since that’s the most classic pattern ever I mentally have been keeping an eye out for what I deem to be “good stripes.”

What I’ve got for you today are three beachy outfits that just happen to be great for the Houston heat – all with pieces that were purchased with my pre-move closet observations in mind.

Look One: Cover-ups are one thing I never regret buying. I don’t have a tonnn of them but I can genuinely say that I wear every single one and like to add one or two new styles each year. I’ve had good luck with finding cute coverups at Old Navy but I was particularly impressed with this embroidered stripe one…I mean, it kind of resembles Lem Lem. But with the addition of really adorable trim. The colors used in the stripes are subtle enough that it can go with any color of suit and I’m a big fan of the overall fit.

Look Two: Black and white stripes! Old Navy dresses are some of my spring and summer staples but this is the first “fitted midi” version I’ve tried and I’m kind of obsessed. I love an oversized shirt/top but fitted dresses sometimes feel more comfortable to me (and look better on my bod?) than a-line pieces. The addition of stripes on this just makes it even better…it also has a little slit up the back that makes it easy to move in. It’s an easy beach look but I even wore the dress to work yesterday with a distressed jean jacket.

Look Three: If you told me I’d ever own a kimono-style piece I would have held your hand and said, “Oh gosh, that’s just not going to happen. Where would I wear something like that?” But my bestie Brittany rocks them so frequently and so well that I came onto the idea that they made great outwear accents without adding much weight (re: a great layer for a hot climate). When I saw this printed (a print!! I need a good print!) chiffon kimono-style cover-up I thought it was worth trying. Not only was the print on a mostly white background but I loved the cute trim around the edges. It designed to be worn as a cover-up but I’ve also been wearing it with jeans over tanks and tees…I feel way cooler than I am and I feel like Stevie Nicks (and Britt) would approve.

Let me know if there are any 80s classics on your movie list I need to watch! And happy long weekend!

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