A Piece of Toast
So, what’s in a name? A Piece of Toast spiraled from many ideas, but to make the long story short – Sally and Molly liked the idea of doing a piece of something but thought “A Piece of Cake” would have signified a charmed life. Cake is not an everyday something you get a piece of. Toast is simple, but beautiful. It’s versatile – you can pair it with other foods or top it with an endless list of delicious things. But, no matter what, toast is warm and yummy and makes you feel good. This blog is a place where the simple things in life are just as grand as the finer things. The content is for fun and inspiration. The blog authors vow to post with honesty, humor, and a true sense of self in hopes to hold your attention and keep you coming back for more.
Sally + Molly
Sally Ann (left) and Molly Bernadette (right) were born 15 months apart. The oldest two in a family of many siblings, the sisters grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. Sally went to college in Texas and followed a degree of Early Childhood Education. Molly later left home to pursue a degree in Interior Design at a university in Ohio. Having graduated in May 2010 (same day, same hour, different states), Sally is now married, living and working as a teacher in San Francisco, California and Molly manages A Piece of Toast full time in Houston, Texas.
Both girls have grown up around lovely, beautiful, and unique things. Drawn to pretty packaging, lush interiors, great fashion, and yummy food, they credit this innate style and taste to their mother. Influenced and inspired by many things, the two sisters found that their creative sprits needed a place to thrive. Thus, A Piece of Toast was created in November of 2010. Neither of the two consider themselves writers (ha) or style gurus – this place is nothing more than a virtual sketchbook that archives what catches their eyes and fuels their appreciation for things they like.
WHY DID YOU TWO DECIDE TO START A BLOG?
We kind of caved to the advice of friends saying we should start one… and we thought, if we do it together we always have someone to lean on and talk out ideas. Starting a blog was a nice way to virtually store all the things we love at a given time and talk out our ideas. Blogging has made us ever closer as sisters, best friends, and business partners.
DO YOU TWO WORK OR BLOG FULL TIME?
Sally works full time as a teacher and Molly left her full time job in October 2013 to work full time on the blog.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR BLOGGING INSPIRATION FROM?
Everywhere. Lame answer but we are inspired by anything and everything and since we have a lifestyle blog we feel like there is no limit to what we can post about… we only post about things we like and love – things that interest us, catch our attention, make us obsessed, and make us want to pass along. We adopted this philosophy of being open to posting about anything in the beginning and it just seems to work for us.
HOW/WHEN DO YOU DECIDE WHAT TO POST ON EACH DAY?
Many times we write our post(s) the morning they go up on the site. Some times we have images edited or collages ready the night before posting but many times it's rare that we know in advance what topic we will be posting on. We work best under pressure - what you get from A Piece of Toast is always what is most fresh on our minds .
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO POSTS WHEN?
We don't always. There's an editorial calendar to keep our big projects in order but aside from post with physical dates, we don’t have a “both of us must post every day” mandate.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE YOU DO WRITE EACH POST?
It varies but we estimate 60-180 minutes. The photography and editing, or finding images and working to properly source those images, writing copy, tagging, linking, spell checking (sometimes) - it adds up. And it took us double the amount of time in the beginning stages because we had no idea what we were doing.
LOVE YOUR WRITING AND VOICES! DID YOU BOTH TAKE WRITING CLASSES?
Hilarious! No, we did not take any writing classes outside of the normal curriculum and our brother (a true writer and journalist) is probably laughing reading this right now…there are bloggers that write a little and bloggers that write a lot – we are obviously the later. We do love to write and it’s so flattering to get complements on our “voices.” Makes up for the typos and bad grammar.
We try to write each post as if we were talking to each other, or mom, or our best friends. It helps us keep things casual, humorous, informative, and uniquely us. We never, ever, ever copy and paste text off the web and if we do use direct text – because it’s sometimes impossible to summarize in our own words – we always give credit and put it in quotes.
I LOVE YOUR BLOG'S DESIGN AND TEMPLATE! HOW DID YOU DO IT/WHERE DID YOU GET IT?
WHAT PROGRAMS DO YOU USE TO EDIT YOUR PHOTOS AND MAKE COLLAGES?
WHAT TYPE OF CAMERA DO YOU USE?
Molly uses a Canon 5D Mark III and a 50mm 1.4 lens. You can read more about Molly’s take on photography and camera usage here! Just want to add a caveat that we don't consider ourselves "real" photographers.
CAN YOU RECOMMEND ANY GOOD DALLAS-BASED CLASSES FOR PHOTOGRAPHY?
Molly took a full day beginners workshop class at the Dallas Center for Photography, located in Dallas.
I’M IN THE PROCESS OF STARTING MY OWN BLOG. WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH DID YOU DO BEFORE STARTING A PIECE OF TOAST? DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR ME?
So humbling to be asked this question. We didn’t do a whole lot of research before getting started, we just knew that we wanted a lifestyle blog and that we wanted to be ourselves and not a carbon copy of all the other ones out there. We also had a wonderful friend, Fallon of A Lovely Being, holding our hand through the initial set up phases and we had each other for the growing pains.
We wrote this post which gives ten steps for getting started. Basic advice: get involved in social media early on, comment to get your name out there, be original, always link back, be constant with posting. If you have zero idea how to get started we recommend reaching out to someone that can walk you through all the early phases… our blogging friends Victoria of vmac + cheese and Mary of MAS fashion are excellent consultants.
HOW DID YOU GROW YOUR READERSHIP?
It took time…the best advice we can offer for gaining more readers is to comment on other blogger’s posts with your name and site. The more you comment, the more chance you have of bloggers and readers checking out your site. Sounds ineffective but it’s how we found some of our favorite bloggers that led to the best friendships.
THERE ARE SO MANY BLOGS – IT SEEMS PRETTY EASY… WHAT ARE SOME MISCONCEPTIONS?
It looks easy because bloggers make it look easy. To quote Emily Schuman (via Into The Gloss), "The goal, of course, is to make it look easy and seamless. I think people look at blogs and think that we’re sitting in our pajamas writing about whatever comes to mind, but so much work goes into it. There are no accidents—from content to social media. When you are really passionate about something, you’re thinking about it all day, you’re living it, you’re breathing it."
In our humble opinions, the most common misconceptions about blogger are: 1) That it is easy and anyone can do it/be good at it, 2) that you make tons of money or that all bloggers are in it for the money, 3) that bloggers don’t have real jobs/full-time jobs aside from blogging.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING?
Connecting with readers, other bloggers and amazing brands and companys - many of which we now get to call good friends . We have had the privilege of getting to know some incredible people that we never would have had the chance to had we not started the blog. We are constantly blown away by the wonderful readers who comment, the bloggers who email and inspire, and the brands who reach out to speak to us.
WHAT’S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT BLOGGING?
The hardest part is churning out content every day… sometimes it feels easy and most of the time it’s second nature but there are days when we feel like we are grasping at air to come up with something. The most not fun (not fun?) side of blogging is dealing with copy-cats , which sounds horrible and petty but it can be a bummer.
I'M VISITING DALLAS, WHERE SHOULD I EAT?
Mi Cocina or Mesero Miguel for tex-mex and margs. Javier's for Mexican. Rusty Taco or Velvet Taco for the obvious. R&D Kitchen for all around good food. Twisted Root or Maple & Motor for burgers. The Porch or Sissy's Kitchen for Southern-with-a-twist. Victor Tangos for tapas style, The Cedars Social for craft cocktails. Hibiscus for a steak house that isn't stuffy. Taverna for Italian. Oishii or Little Katana for sushi. True Foods or HG Supply for healthy and delicious. The Grape, Breadwinners, Dream Cafe, and La Duni are all great breakfast spots. Eazti's is a Dallas institution and famous for their salads, sandwiches and deli stuffs.
I'M VISITING DALLAS, WHERE SHOULD I SHOP AND STAY?
Northpark Mall has everything, Highland Park Village is beautiful and carries luxury for window shopping, Knox Street has all the home/decor/interiors stores, and best boutiques are Canary, Cabana, Forty Five Ten, Gypsy Wagon, and V.O.D. We recommend staying at: The Joule, The Lumen, The Stonleigh, The Highland Hotel, or The Belmont Hotel.
WHERE IN DALLAS SHOULD I GO FOR "XYZ"?
Haircut or color: LARC Salon, Osgood O'Neil, or Muse Salon // Manicure or Pedicure: Bellacures at Preston Center // Facial: Renée Rouleau // Lash Tinting and Extensions: Lashing Out // Spa: ESPA at The Joule // Workout: Exhale (Core Fusion Classes)
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