Current Vibes

August 31, 2016

PSA: I'm moving! Next weekend. I've been living in Houston for about 16 months and though I have loved it, I'll be packing up and heading back to Dallas - the city I called home for five years before venturing south to Houston. Why? Well...I honestly didn't think that when Sally and her husband (my fab brother-in-law) Robert moved from San Francisco to Dallas in July that I would mind us living in different cities. After all, Houston and Dallas are close (a mere 3.5 hour drive on a good day) and I have truly been happy in Houston. But it only took me one visit to see them in Dallas for me to know that I wasn't going to last long with us being apart.

Because here's the deal: if I'm going to be single (a reality I am completely fine with and one I've accepted and embraced) I want to be living close to my family. The older I get (I say that and I'm not even 29 yet) the more I feel attached to my parents and siblings. I'm not saying I want to move next door to them...but living in the same city will be so nice. There were more than a handful of times in Houston when I would be knee deep in some sort of issue and realize, "Oh my gawd. I don't really have anyone to lean on here." Of course my friends are wonderful. But nothing can take the place of family when it's 11:45pm and you have to take yourself to the emergency room and leave your dog at home. Or when your house gets a rodent problem infestation and you're slaying mice and trapping rats on your own. (Note: I'm not admitting those incidences happened, but I'm not not saying they didn't)

This move will be bittersweet and I'm already feeling all the things having to say goodbye to friends and the familiarities that have made Houston feel like home. But I'm truly excited to be back in Dallas and even though I hate moving, I know it will be a great change and a fresh new chapter. (so go get the vibes - and sorry a lot of them have to do with my move!)

1. MOVING // BACK TO DALLAS: Moving. The word is enough to send chills down spine. I hate moving, and the fact that I’m doing it again after having conquered a move just months ago in May makes me feel like a bit of a crazy person. But life is short and I actually feel that with each subsequent move I learn how to tackle the process in a better, more efficient way. I’m definitely doing the whole “take, toss, donate” routine a la Sex And The City (minus the champagne and adoring audience, unless you count Blue) and this week has been all about tying up loose ends (canceling utilities, setting up new utilities, scheduling installations…) and errands (like yesterday’s car servicing, visiting my favorite tailor one last time…). I’ll start packing next Tuesday and then I’ll be moved Friday and Saturday. If you think I’m insane for starting the packing process on Tuesday, let me tell you my secret: I’ll be renting big plastic crates instead of boxes.

This difference is a TOTAL game changer. BungoBox – the company I’m working with – delivers the crates with them stacked one inside another, I start loading them and labeling what room/area the contents go, and then the lids snap shut and I stack the bins on top of each other. The plastic is super strong (which is why they can be stacked up safely when loaded without any worry of damaging what’s inside) and because they are so large, I can actually pack in a much more organized way. Any one who has moved before knows that buying boxes can get really expensive – I even bought used boxes for my move from Dallas to Houston over a year ago and it was still pricey – BungoBox is more cost effective (true) and environmentally friendly because the plastic bins get reused. I really cannot recommend this method for packing enough…the only catch is that most crate companies don’t also move you. They deliver the bins, you pack them, move them, and then they pick them up from you when everything is removed. I’m using Square Cow Moovers for my move this time. They’ll come next Friday, load all my furniture and the pre-packed bins into a truck, store the truck overnight, then drive it to Dallas Saturday morning and unload that afternoon.

Having used another crate company and several movers in the past I can say that the people at both BungoBox and Square Cow have already completely exceeded my expectations in that are beyond nice and extremely professional. The individuals I’ve been coordinating with at both companies have given me amazing individualized attention to make sure that the move goes as smoothly and safely as possible. I cannot recommend both of them enough. BungoBox has a national presence and Square Cow has locations in Houston, Dallas, Austin and Denver (they’re expanding to more cities soon!) and they do everything from packing and unpacking to cross country moves. Look ’em up!

2. READING // LIVING WITH PATTERN: If you don’t know about Rebecca Atwood – the talented artist and print designer – then you need to run to her beautiful site and gawk at her products and process. Sally and I have been fans of Rebecca since she launched her name-sake brand years ago and have loved watching her grow while staying true to her love of the handmade, artisans process that is print design. Just this week, Rebecca came out with her first book: “Living with Pattern: Color, Texture and Print at Home.” I was lucky to get my hands on a copy early and have been pouring over the pages. I can sheepishly admit that I never really read a lot of the design books I own (so bad, I know). But once I started reading the first pages about Rebecca’s journey from RISD, to Anthropology, to consulting, and finally to starting her brand I couldn’t stop and am still going. For someone like me who has always dressed my living spaces like I do myself – neutrals, basic, lack of pattern – this is changing my whole way of thinking. I’m SO inspired to start layering pattern into my new home as a way of personal storytelling. Whether you’re already a home decor and pattern lover or someone like me who’s been shy to experiment, “Living with Pattern” is a beautiful book to own as a resource. You can even get a copy signed by Rebecca via her website, here!

3. USING // DETOX OIL: Sally has been telling me how great skincare and beauty store Blue Mercury is for months after she visited a location in San Francisco. I didn’t understand how it was any different than all the Sephora’s and Ulta’s I already shop at till we went to the store in Dallas’ Highland Park Village the other week. Let me just tell you: it’s different. It’s small, and curated and the staff is SUPER educated and gives you amazing recommendations. And even tough I posted about an oil in my last Current Vibes (the NARS Monoï Oil, which I still love) I’m sharing another oil today (because the NARS stuff is for body and today’s is for face, mmmkgood). After chatting with a Blue Mercury beauty guru about my recent skin woes (forehead and chin breakouts, redness that wouldn’t fade from past blemishes, dry patches, etc.) and asking for some suggestions for a new cleanser, she led me to a few cleansers (which I love and can talk about at another time) but then said, “Want to know what changed by skin overnight the first time I used it?” WTF. Is that even a question? Yes. She pulled a modest bottle from a shelf with Claudalíe products and put a bit of the brand’s Polyphenol C15 Overnight Detox Oil into a sample container. She advised to use that night without any other oils, serums or moisturizers to see what happened.

Guys. I have own and use many a legit oil (Vintner’s Daughter, Maya Chia, Sunday Riley, the list goes on) but nothing – and I mean nothing – has done what the Overnight Detox Oil. It doesn’t claim to clear up acne or blemishes or to reduce redness (all it promises is to give fresh, plumped up skin and  a revitalized complexion) but this is kind of miracle oil. With just the first use, my spots of redness were soothed to being barely noticeable and it had really helped calm my current blemishes – brining a few to the surface, kind of zapping ones underground, and soothing those needing to heal.  I did a little looking around the Internets to see if anyone else was all “this stuff is a miracle oil!” and read that many people swear by it for rosacea and redness, acne (even cystic), and to maintain clear skin. If you do your own research, don’t believe what people write about it smelling badly – it just has a bit of an earthy scent because there are no added fragrances or ingredients. Just 5 essential oils and 3 vegetal oils, making it a 100% plant-based formula. I now use it every night and it’s making my skin look better than it has in years. GET IT. (also find it at Sephora, Amazon, Nordstrom and Birchbox)

4. EYEING // TIMOTHY HOGAN: As a self proclaimed Loeffler Randall stalker I’m ashamed that I had never seen the post on the LR Blog that showcased their new headquarters until yesterday. No joke, I felt legitimate guilt and like I should apologize to someone. Because the office is beautiful and I want to move in and sleep under Jessie’s leather-topped desk. The blog post was actually quite short because it directed fans like me to more photos of the space and a great Q+A with creative director Jessie to the One Kings Lane Blog. There were many “get the look!” items that caught my eye and I clicked my way over to “Pink Flight” – a serene and sparse blush pink photo piece by Timothy Hogan. Then I had to see what else Hogan (a photographer based in LA) had on One Kings Lane and of course found more pieces to love. Like the Single Geode. I’m very into the dramatic scale and love intricate the natural details are. Thinking it could look great on my art ledge among my other framed pieces… crystals. white background. detail.

5. WEARING // DILLEN BANGLES: I couldn’t tell you how Sally and I came to know Dillen Jewelry but I know it started from finding then following their Instagram account (Instagram, you are a rabbit hole). The brand is the brainchild of mother-daughter duo Jan Carlson and Jordan Carlson Dillenburg – two women with a passion for jewelry and timeless, classic design. They have created the most simple and perfect bangle – available in brass, sterling silver, and nickel – that can be personalized with stamped letters and symbols. After seeing one too many Instagrams of the bangles stacked up and looking pretty, I couldn’t resist the call any longer and acquired a few of my own. You may have noticed by now that I regularly wear a mixed collection brass bangles in a lot of outfit posts – I’ve been unofficially collecting them over the years but have never had a true “set.” I love that I can wear my four Dillen bangles together and alone or mix them with my vintage pieces…having them personalized (mine say TX Forever, Blue Moonbeam, APOT, and one has a row of little crosses) makes them all the more special. Most circular bangles are too large for me but Dillen makes theirs to be 2.5″ – a little smaller than standard bangle size – and they are nice and heavy. Thought I would share since I know they would make for great gifts…especially for brides looking for bridesmaid gifts!

6. EXPLORING // TROVE APP: The lovely (and kind, and beautiful, and smart) Mary Orton of the blog San Francisco-based Memorandum recently launched something pretty big….for the past two years she and her husband have been working on a unique concept for bloggers and those who love to read and shop from blogs. What they came up with is TROVE – a new mobile style destination app that automatically pulls in fashion blog content (style posts complete with images, copy, and product links) into one place. We all know that on Instagram bloggers can repurpose a photo from a post and use a LIKEtoKnow.it link so that followers can shop the link – but the process of checking email, then following a link to the product, and finally checking out isn’t totally seamless. TROVE is completely seamless in that you scroll between a bloggers posts, can easily save favorite looks (or even save specific products) and the link to the original blog post always stays with you as you save so you can continue to reference it.

As someone who has really struggled with latching onto Instagram when it takes time to re-link, re-post, and re-share the content I’ve already spent time putting on my blog, I love that TROVE makes the content easy to consume and shop without ANY work on my end. And, as someone who loves to shop from other blogger’s but has little time to click to sites and/or remember to search Instagram feeds and actually open the LIKEtoKnow.it emails I get, I love that I can see what my favorite fashion spirit animals (like Mary) are posting and not have to jump from site to site or account to account.

You can read more about TROVE in Mary’s announcement blog post but I suggest downloading the app and playing around…once you see just how easy it is to follow your favorite bloggers and save looks and items you’ll be just as hooked as I am.  on her blog of TROVE in blog post   get the app here! Three really loud freaking cheers to Mary and her husband for making the concept come from an idea to a reality!!!

7. MISSING // HOUSTON FAVES: So. As I mentioned, my move is going to be very bittersweet. I’m thrilled to be back in the same city as Sally but I will definitely miss Houston. I was lucky to meet incredible people, develop some great friendships, eat a lot of delicious food, and spend a little too much shopping. Before I take off I thought I would list some of my favorite places…as a shout out for anyone who might be visiting Houston and looking for places to go!

Shopping (boutiques):

  • Biscuit Home
  • Brooke Feather
  • Cakewalk
  • Kuhl Linscomb
  • Kick Pleat
  • St. Cloud

Shopping (areas/centers):

  • Highland Village (Madewell, J.Crew, Anthropologie…)
  • River Oaks District (Roberta Roller Rabbit, St. Bernard Sport, NARS, COS…)
  • The Galleria (has everything!)

Coffee:

  • Antidote
  • Boomtown Coffee
  • Common Bond (coffee + pastries)
  • Kraftsmen Coffee
  • La Table

Lunch/Dinner:

  • Coltivare
  • Coppa
  • Dolce Vita
  • Downhouse
  • Lee’s Friend Chicken & Donuts
  • Local Foods
  • Paulie’s
  • Pizarro’s Pizza
  • RDG Bar Annie
  • Roost
  • State of Grace
  • Tiny Boxwoods and Tiny’s No. 5 (“The Cookie” – best chocolate chip you’ll ever have in your life)
  • Uchi
  • Underbelly

Mexican:

  • Armandos
  • El Tiempo
  • Escalantes
  • Hugo’s
  • Torchy’s Tacos
  • Velvet taco (my personal favorite tacos!)

Cocktails and Libations:

  • Anvil
  • Camerata
  • Eight Row Flint
  • Hay Merchant
  • Kirby Ice House
  • La Grange (great outdoor patio situation)
  • The Pastry War
  • West Alabama Ice House

You may also like

Basic Olive

August 30, 2016

Guess where I am right this minute? Getting my car serviced at the dealership. Pure glamor. I'm sipping black coffee from a styrofoam cup in my workout clothes and trying (unsuccessfully) to follow the storyline of whatever soap opera is on the tv. If it sounds like I'm complaining, let me assure you that I'm not...I actually get so much work done when removed from my "home office" (which many days, is the couch) and I secretly love that I'm stuck here till my car is ready. The coffee isn't great but the wifi is free! Nothing pleases me more than a little multitasking action - and I'm excited that I get to cross this car "to-do" off my list while also getting a post published...

 

I’m really trying to channel fall in the olive dress and neutral accessories you see here. Nothing makes a very basic $20 dress (from Zara, such a steal!) look expensive quite like great shoes and gorgeous jewelry (if I do say so myself). I love a solid-colored dress because it acts as the perfect base for statement ‘ssories.

The Ashley Pittman stone cuff and chandelier earrings are recent additions to my life and I don’t know how I ever lived without them…I mean, I know how I lived but they have add a lot of fun to any outfit and I’m going to be wearing the heck out of them year-round but especially with other neutrals this fall. If you’re not acquainted with designer Ashley Pittman and her pieces yet, make sure you check them out – Sally and I love the handmade designs (each one is carefully crafted by artisans in Kenya) and could easily put her entire collection of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings into our daily style rotation!

You may also like

B&W Dodo Bar Or

August 29, 2016

I'm having a big case of the Mondays today. I haven't slept at all the past few nights and have self diagnosed myself with insomnia. Being dramatic? Maybe. But I felt like a zombie all weekend and after another night of being wide awake I just want to sleepppp. If anyone has some go-to methods of getting out of a string of sleepless nights, please do tell.

In an effort to put some personal pep in my step, I'm sharing what has been one of my favorite purchases of the summer: this black and white Dodo Bar Or skirt. I snagged it while it was on sale at Intermix (it's since sold out at the sale price) but it's still available herehere and here.

 

I haven’t bought a mini skirt in a while – I generally opt for dresses since they don’t require me matching a shirt – but after eyeing many of the Dodo Bar Or pieces for months, I decided I needed this skirt in my life. It’s been so easy to wear the black and white checked scarf print with white, black, and grey tops and I have plans to wear some sweaters and sweatshirts with it as it cools down. Though it’s a shorter length, the full pleated skirt feels flattering and I love the fringed trim and grommet detailing around the pockets. I repeat: pockets. Gotta love that!

Now excuse me while I go take a nap…

More black and white Dodo Bar Or pieces to love: this is the same print as my skirt in a longer version, this maxi skirt dress, this caftan, this long-sleeved mini dress, this tank, this wrap maxi dress, this skinny strap mini dress, and this lace-up front dress.

You may also like

This + That // Sales + Steals

August 26, 2016

FridayFridayFriday! This has been somewhat of a strange week with a roller coaster of emotions going on around here. Happy to have the weekend to snuggle our pups in bed and hang as a family. Also hoping to finish my current book ("The Girls") and start a new one in an effort to put social media on the back burner! Any book recommendations? I always love to read books before the movies come out, so I am thinking its high time I read "The Light Between Oceans." It's been on my list for what seems like years! I also have this one on my list. (read on to get the sales + steals)

This + That:

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: 40% off your wardrobe refresh through Monday night with code SHOP40! (How great are these mini scarves? At 40% off they are a complete steal.)
  • Anthropologie: Extra 25% off sale items + all orders ship free. (I’m partial to a lot of Anthro’s classic shapes and would wear this all the time. I also love this lace up dress.)
  • Banana Republic: Now and Later event – up to 50% off pieces to take you from summer to fall. (I couldn’t help myself and ordered two of these, they look like the perfect tee and I could always use more. Also how good are these?)
  • BaubleBar: Special deal for A Piece of Toast readers only! Get 20% off when you spend $50+ now through August 31st with the code APOT20 at checkout!!
  • Bloomingdales: Take 15% off with code FASHFUND through 8/28. (Don’t this and this both look like they could be by Self Portrait?! And for under $100!!)
  • Bluemercury: Free shipping on orders over $25! (I’m dying to try this eye serum after reading its amazing reviews. Molly and I also got a sample of this in the store and we’re both not sure how we ever lived without it.)
  • Calypso St. Barth: Enjoy an extra 50% off sale!
  • Crate & Barrel: The annual upholstery sale – 15% off through September 11th!
  • domino: The sofa sale – up to 60% off! (How fun is this!?)
  • Gap: 40% off with code STYLE. (This indigo jacket is pretty cute and I love that it is lightweight enough to wear early in the fall. A different take on a denim jacket!)
  • H&M: Free shipping on orders over $40 with code 0040! (How cozy does this look in every single color?)
  • Intermix: New styles added – extra 30% off sale! (How fabulous are these!? I’ve also been eyeing this dress allll summer.)
  • J.Crew: 25% off styles for work, school, and meetings + extra 30% off sale styles with code WEEKOFSTYLE. (Remember when I said I loved this the other week? The price is even better this week! I’m also obsessed with this tote.)
  • J.Crew Factory: Online only – extra 50% off everything! (These booties are perfect for fall and have SUCH good reviews.)
  • LOFT: 50% off summer styles + all sale styles. (Even though its mid-August, I still feel pretty strongly that I would get lots of wear out of these guys.)
  • Lou & Grey: Free shipping on every order! (I love, love, love this!! So. Much.)
  • Lulu Frost: Best selling sale styles up to 60% off! (These would go with just about anything from a white tee to a cocktail dress and they’re such a good price.)
  • Madewell: Get a $25 treat yourself card when you spend $125 or more! (I am dying for this because I would wear it now with my white denim and later with blue jeans or black denim. How pretty are these in the pink color?!)
  • Old Navy: 40% off everything through 8/28! (This heavy knit ponte blazer is pretty much genius – I think I’ll take the navy and the black. Really like this as well.)
  • Saks: Online and in stores up to $250 off your purchase when you shop women’s contemporary clothing through 8/27 with code CNTMP16. (This NEEDS to come live in my closet now.)

Some Steals:

You may also like