Boll & Branch for the Guest Bedroom

March 24, 2017

A few months ago my husband and I realized that one of our dogs was sneaking out of our bedroom and sleeping in the guest bed each night. Our dogs are too big (both are labs) to both sleep in our bed at night, so they usually end up on their dog beds on the floor by our bed. Or so we thought. The big guy was really making himself quite at home in that bed and I noticed that the bedding was really starting to look worse for the wear (to say the very least). With Spring finally here and our new baby's due date around the corner, my nesting mode has kicked into high gear and sprucing up our guest bedroom (which will be used by my mama and other house guests when the baby arrives) has been high on my "to-do" list. The other week I was washing the duvet cover (yet again) and couldn't take it...the bed was in major need of a refresh after being disrespected by a sweet but super large white dog for so long. After doing a little web research to find some pretty white linens I fell for the selection of modern classics, organic cotton (!), and fair trade mission from Boll & Branch...

With so much color in the room coming from the side tables and rug, Boll & Branch’s crisp whites instantly spoke to me. Selecting the white banded duvet cover and coordinating standard shams with just a hint of pale, “shore” blue in the clean border seemed like the perfect choice to pair with the blues in the rug and complement the orange bedside tables.

I didn’t just stop at the duvet and standard shams…this nesting mama-to-be needed the full bedding fix! I also got two hemmed edge euro shams – in plain white – to sit behind the banded standard shams. And since the sheets that were being used on the bed were a set that my husband picked up when he moved to San Francisco (from God knows where), I determined those needed to be updated those as well and I’m so in love with the Boll & Branch pleated sheet set. The small amount of tailored detail on the edge of the flat sheet and pillow cases makes for an understated statement that’s really nice alongside the duvet and shams.

The first thing I did when getting all the bedding in was marvel at the thoughtful packaging. Each piece came in a separate drawstring bag – perfect for when storing the sheets in our linen cabinet (though I don’t know when the linens will leave the bed now that they’re on and I’m so happy with the look!) – and in really nice, sturdy white boxes that are so great, I’m saving them to use for gifting purposes. Compared to the bedding I replaced, I was really impressed by the detail – though I was prepared to be blown away after reading about how Boll & Branch sweats the designs with exacting intention…each step of their construction (from the dyes used to every thread and stitch) is obsessively thought through to create beautiful products. Upon washing the fresh sheets, duvet, and shams I noticed that they felt even softer and I was impressed by how well they fit (fitted sheet wasn’t too small or too big, the duvet wasn’t oversized, etc.).

I’ve been kind of a nut trying to switch my husband and I over to as many green/organic/clean products as possible and knowing that all Boll & Branch is made with 100% organic cotton definitely makes my heart happy. You’d think that “100% organic” coupled with beautiful designs would make for a high price tag but Boll & Branch sells directly to consumers (no middle man wholesaling) which means that they manage their transparent supply chain (with equal consideration given for the human and environmental resources) and are able to sell at fair prices while creating economic opportunities for each person involved in their business. It’s both comforting and inspiring to know that Boll & Branch is committed to ensuring fair working conditions, living wages and medical benefits are available to all workers, from cotton farmer to factory worker. And, with full transparency and traceability into the origin of their cotton, it’s empowering as a consumer to know that the bedding is truly of the highest quality and, most importantly, ethically sourced and made. You can read more about Boll & Branch’s fundamental beliefs of being a better business via the “our story” on their site!

Does all of this white bedding make me nervous about our dogs? Not necessarily, because I’ve invested in a multitude of “dog blankets” (not gross or anything, don’t worry!) that I wash almost every other day to go on the beds in our house since we are long past the point of training our older dogs not to get on the beds. Those dog-only blankets will just come off when guests come to town and our friends and family can snuggle up with the super soft cable knit throw I couldn’t not add to the mix.

Although we still have a little less than 6 weeks left until my due date, it feels good to make small changes like this around the house so that everything is ready. And really, is there any better feeling than crisp, clean, beautiful linens? I have no doubt that our guests will love sleeping in this fresh bedding goodness…though it is nice to know that Boll & Branch offers a 30-day trial period and complimentary shipping to ensure every customer is happy with their  purchase. Why can’t more companies be this incredible and thoughtful?!

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Current Vibes

March 22, 2017

Did anyone else watch Sweet Home Oklahoma on Bravo Monday night? I was kind of skeptical of the new series when seeing commercials for it but now I'm fully obsessed. It's one part Real Housewives (three women, all moms, all divorced), one part Southern Charm (fun and with a more realistic cast of people) and the rest is an unparalleled combination of reliability and hilarity. I could not stop laughing through the first two episodes that dropped on Monday and already feel like I want to be friends with the three besties that make up the cast (Jen, Lee, and Pumps). If you're a reality/Bravo addict like me def give this a go. (now go on and check out my vibes for the week!

1. WEARING // LAKE ABSTRACT PJ’S: I’m a pajama girl. Whether it’s a nightgown, matching top and bottom set, or great robe to wear before bed and upon waking up – bedclothes are a necessity for me to feel like I’m bedtime ready. My fave pj’s are of the super soft variety and LAKE pajamas definitely falls into this category. Their pieces are made with Peruvian Pima cotton (re: the softest) and I feel in love with the fabric and fit after discovering the brand years ago. If you’re someone who likes wandering around in jammies a few hours after waking (guilty) and often take your dogs outside before changing into civilian clothing (so guilty) you’ll love that LAKE’s designs are so cute, simple, and flattering that they can almost pass as clothes. While most of the prints LAKE uses are simple stripes and clean checks, they recently released a new abstract pattern with painterly brush strokes. Available in two color ways – “mood” (a soft lavender) and “dream” (a light blue) – the new additions to the short sets and nightgowns are just as cozy as the others and really fun to wear…I should know. I’ve been loving the mood set!

2. OBSESSING // MIRTH S17: My sister sweet friends in Houston that mastermind MIRTH Caftans – Katie and Erin – recently released their Spring 2017 collection and I’m obsessed. I lived in their easy, breezy, chic caftans from the summer collection and have been waiting for warmer weather like a kid waits for Christmas so I can bring them out of the closet and also finally get to wear the styles I scooped up from the Resort 2017 release. I’m telling you, I’m addicted to these dresses. No surprise…I’m screaming over the S17 stuff. Last weekend I got to visit with Katie while I was in Houston (she’s the sweetest and I love her) and try on some of the newness, taking home the Ojai and Zermatt Blockprint with me. Guys, I really can’t tell you how special and beautiful all the MIRTH pieces are…the hand-loomed, woven and block-printed fabrics blow my mind and the amount of care and consideration Katie and Erin put into the styles and silhouettes makes the artisan textiles insanely wearable. Perfect for the heat and just as great for the beach as they are in the city. Will be styling and sharing my new MIRTHs soon. And I’m sure I’ll get the Bali Oatmeal and Seville in the coming months now that Dallas is in the 80s!

3. NEEDING // PINK SUEDE BIRKS: I know that Birkenstocks aren’t for everyone (even with their resurged popularity they still have a little hippie granola feel) but I love them and have worn my Arizona Taupe Suede pair for several seasons now. Sally and I were having a sisterly online shopping moment recently and saw that the classic Arizona style now comes in a pretty Rose hue with a while sole. In unison we both said, “Ohhhemgeee I’m getting these.” Now it’s just a race to see who can get them first. I have a feeling that I’ll win. Because I’m feeling competitive to defend my title as the Birk-wearing sister and also because I just need them in my life, like yesterday.

4. GIFTING // LIBERTY TRACK SHORTS: Gift-giving can be a struggle no matter who you’re buying for but I find myself struggling most when it comes to getting a great present for girl friends. You want to find something they’ll love and use that’s also budget friendly and hopefully not something they’d buy for themselves. Jewelry is so personal and coffee table books/candles are almost too easy a go-to…the solution I’ve found? The Liberty of London print track shorts by Ann Mashburn. To give credit, Sally was gifted a pair of these for her birthday a couple years ago (good work, Keila!) and after buying two pairs for myself that I wear all the time, I found myself buying and giving them to friends, too. The sporty style paired with legendary floral prints is the ideal blend of form and function that most any girl will love and wear!

5. TANNING // FLASH BRONZE: Yesterday my friend Mary told me that she has never seen me looking so pale. My Casper-like glow is so alarming it’s almost impressive. I could kind of get away with it while being covered by jeans and long-sleeves but now that it’s warm/hot and my limbs are coming out of hiding, I desperately feel the need do to something about my un-flattering complexion. Sunless/sef-tanner scares me and I have yet to find a formula that I can apply tip-to-toe that looks natural and doesn’t leave me a streaky mess. After reading snippets of OG sunless tanner user Jean Godfrey-June (current beauty editor at goop) in  Cat Marnell’s memoir “How To Murder Your Life,” I did a little googling to find what the beauty guru uses. (Side note: HTMYL is such an insane read. Both Sally and I were in awe of the craziness of it.) Luckily, Cat (who used to work for Jean G-F at Lucky mag) published a self-tanner blog post to xo Jane in 2011, dishing on what Jean deemed the best of the best. Lancôme apparently has the best self-tanning products and Cat mentioned the Flash Bronzer to be a fool-proof go to for face and body. Obviously, I ordered it immediately. It just arrived yesterday and I plan on covering my entire self with it asap in hopes that I look…healthy.

6. PLANTING // CACTI POTS: It could be the start of spring and the green stuff coming to life outside, but I have been staring at these sad little shelves in my living room that are desperate for some sort of decor situation and I decided that some plants needed to happen. Baby cacti plants to be specific. They don’t get bugs like succulents and being in Texas means that I can get away with having them in my place. Rather than run to Home Depot for a few spikey friends, I first started looking for pots/vessels to hold said plants. Don’t judge me…these shelves are on either side of the fireplace in my living room and the highly visual nature of them combined with the tiny shelf depth means they call for a considerable amount of attention. A quick Pinterest search of “cacti + potted” lead me to finding Black Rooster Decor and their incredible assortment of pots and vases. So many good options! I’ve got thisthis and this (two of each) in my cart and can’t wait to get them so I can make my symmetrical cacti shelf dreams a reality.

7. WAITING // VB FOR TARGET: Mark your calendars…Victoria Beckham’s collection for Target becomes available April 9th. The collaboration includes more than 200 spring pieces for both women, girls, toddlers and baby and is as good as it sounds. You can get a good sneak peek at what to expect from this feature via VOGUE but the range of goods includes scallops, pastels, florals, whimsical touches (bunnies!), and more and looks like it is not to be missed.

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Current Vibes

March 15, 2017

I firmly believe that pregnancy brain is a very real thing and I must admit that it was quite prevalent while writing this post (took me forever to finish)! Sort of felt like a Loony Tune trying to tie my thoughts together so I'm hoping that it makes sense for those of you reading, ha! (vibes after the click for more)

1. ADORING // LITTLES + BIG DOGS: We are beyond excited for the day that our pups get to meet their baby brother bear and talk about it almost daily, predicting what they’ll do, etc. I’m not sure if they have any idea what’s coming their way, but I’d like to think they do! When I came across the darling portraits in “Little Kids and Their Big Dogs,” I couldn’t help but order the book for the bookshelves in the nursery. There is nothing sweeter than the relationship and bond between babies and their dogs and we cannot wait to witness it with our own little ones.

2. THINKING SPRING // WIGGYWiggy Kit is another one of those brands that I came across somehow on Instagram. Molly and I have a running joke that I follow wayyy too many people on our Instagram account, but when I come across great brands like this one, I can’t help but quickly click the “follow” button. The resortwear labelstarted by Wiggy Hindmarch is compiled of easy, breezy pieces that will literally hang in your closet forever. I had a hard time narrowing down my favorites as I would easily wear each and every item, but this dress and this top are both screaming my name.

3. OBSESSING // BOY SMELLS: With two dogs in the house, burning candles is a regular occurrence in our house. Even though the dogs are “indoor dogs” and act more like humans than animals, they do have a certain smell about them that isn’t necessarily my favorite. As much as I love candles, both my husband and I are pretty picky with certain scents. Anything too fruity or too floral-ly is completely out of the question. A favorite boutique in Dallas owned by one of our most favorite people in the world, Cabana, posted on their Instagram account a new to us candle company called “Boy Smells” which had me quite intrigued. The pale pink, simplistic logo is anything but what would be considered “boyish”, making the brand that much cooler in my book. I am also loving the descriptions of each scent on their site. Molly and I will most definitely be making a trip to Cabana to sniff these out to our hearts content and hopefully scoop some up for our homes, so stay tuned!

4. USING // BELLYBUDS: I briefly mentioned in my last Current Vibes that my husband and I had just started using a set of BellyBuds for the first time. Now that we’ve had a chance to use them pretty regularly, I had to report back on how much we love them. In the beginning of my pregnancy, we actually bought a baby monitor off of Amazon to listen to our baby boy’s heart beat between appointments each night. It may sound completely crazy, but it eased my anxieties between appointments and was a great way for my husband to connect with the baby, too. We did this up until the point where I could feel him moving. That nightly activity was so fun for us and something I truly cherished. At 33 weeks, we know that our baby’s hearing is fully developed and that he is able to form memories from what he hears in the womb. We had already made a playlist to play with our little one once he’s born, but with the BellyBuds, we’ve been able to introduce these songs to him even before then. Its crazy because I will be laying in bed and not feeling much movement from him, and then as soon as we turn on the music and put the buds on, he starts moving. We love to see which songs he moves to more and are SO curious to see if he recognizes these same songs after he’s born. We think hes a big fan of the Beatles! On this same topic, I found this TED talk about how much babies learn in the womb to be absolutely fascinating. Pregnancy truly is the most incredible miracle that is constantly amazing me.

5. ORDERING // GOLD LEATHER EARRINGS: It’s been awhile since I last bought a great pair of statement earrings and after seeing a friend wearing a fun pair last weekend, I went on the hunt for my next pair. BenuMade is a creative jewelry brand based out of Prague and each piece is made to order. If you can believe it, the pieces are actually made out of a shiny, metallic leather! The oversized earrings featuring abstract shapes are like small works of art for your ears. I would imagine that them being made out of leather would mean they are quite lightweight, too. I love them all, but this pair is currently in my cart! When nothing else fits me at the end of my pregnancy, at least I’ll have these!

6. NESTING // HOUSE WALL SHELF: When it comes to resources for great children’s decor items, Land of Nod seems to always get it right and to stand out among the usual contenders. I love checking the site for their new arrivals, because they always have such amazing and unique pieces that are just the right mix of whimsical and tasteful for little ones. My latest favorite from the siteThis Invisible House Wall Shelf. I’m a sucker for all things acryllic, which is what first drew me to this guy, but I also love the house shape as well as the teeny tiny compartments for all of the little trinkets that kids seem to accumulate. We’ve already been gifted some special, smaller pieces that would look beyond sweet on this shelf. Our nursery is tiny and cozy which I love for a nursery, but due to the room having two closets, we are also lacking in available wall space. I am bound and determined to find a way for the Invisible House to work in the room!

7. FEELING INSPIRED BY // CHRISTINA BRYANT’S HOME: While living in San Francisco, I had the pleasure of meeting and spending some time with the talented Christina Bryant of St. Frank. Its no secret that Christina has an eye for all things unique and special. Her store is truly a jewel box brimming with treasures and curiosities – each one with a story and carefully selected by Christina and her team. I absolutely love reading the backstory behind each product on their site, it makes you appreciate the pieces that much more. Recently, Lonny visited Christina’s San Francisco apartment and as one can imagine, it is nothing short of incredible.  Christina’s ability to layer and mix the old with the new is beyond inspiring and the feature is not to be missed.

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NIGHT Pillow for Pregnancy

March 9, 2017

Sleeping while 32 weeks pregnant requires some serious creativity! I laugh when making our bed each morning due to the number of pillows we have acquired + other accessories that have made their way into our bed like the heating pad that is my new bff at night. My other new best friend? Our king-sized NIGHT Pillows. After hearing Molly regularly rave about how much she loves her NIGHT Pillows (read her post about them here), my husband and I were dying to try them for ourselves. The king size seemed perfect for our new(ish) big bed, and also because it could double as a "body pillow" which is a complete game changer for this girl. Since I've loved bringing NIGHT Pillows into my life - and especially during this pregnancy - I thought I'd do a little post noting the ways it's been such a great (can't-live-without) addition...

.Side Sleeping: Being a stomach sleeper, I slept on my stomach as long as possible (with approval from my doctor), but there came a point where this was no longer comfortable with a growing belly and I had to move into side-sleeping-mode. Side sleeping, particularly sleeping on your left side, is recommended for pregnant women for multiple reasons. It increases the blood flow and nutrients that reach your growing baby as well as a woman’s heart, uterus, and kidneys. I read this information early on in my pregnancy and almost “trained” myself to prefer my left side while sleeping.

.Body Pillow Action: Since developing a real “belly,” I have found that I am most comfortable sleeping with a pillow between my legs as it takes the strain off of my hips and tailbone where I can often experience pain throughout the day. The NIGHT Pillow has become key for this sleeping position because I use one of them as an actual body pillow while laying on my side (yes, I’ve taken my husband’s NIGHT pillow hostage). These days this is the only way I can fall asleep at night!

.Less Sleep but Better Sleep: Now that I am in my third trimester, the amount of hours I sleep in a given night is dwindling. This honestly doesn’t upset me because I feel like it is preparing my body for sleepless nights with our baby boy once he arrives! Despite getting less hours each night, I feel like the quality of the time that I am sleeping has improved with the introduction of our NIGHT Pillows. I am able to fall asleep much faster and stay asleep – which has never happened, even pre-pregnancy.

.Keeping Me Cool: With a growing baby and the temperature heating up in Dallas, I tend to run super hot, especially at night. The silk pillowcase has helped immensely with this as it just feels cooler.

With as much as I love the NIGHT Pillows now while pregnant, I know that I will find them equally as amazing once our sweet baby is here and I am only sleeping a few hours at a time. They’re also great to use when sitting up in bed (because they stay upright) and I can visualize them being essential for back support since I’m doing feedings. Also, I have big plans to bring at least one of the NIGHT pillows with us for our hospital stay. I stand with Molly when I say that these pillows are game-changers for anyone…but especially lovely if you’re pregnant 😉

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Current Vibes

March 8, 2017

I really don't have much of any life updates to report...except that Rosie has been losing so may of her bigger baby teeth and I have five of them cleaned and sitting in a teeny jar. Unlike when Blue was in this phase, Rosebud is all about involving me in the teeth-losing process and basically jumps in my lap when there's one hanging by a thread that's about to come out. It's super weird but also adorable (the other day one popped out of her mouth right into my hand) and I feel like she's becoming such a big girl. God, I am such a dog mom. (read on for the vibes...which surprising, have nothing to do with my pups)

1. SEEING STRIPES + MORE // CUYANA SS17: Are y’all sick of us talking about the spring 2017 collections and collaborations? Sorry. ‘Tis the season for newness and we can’t get enough. I took note of Cuyana’s sweet new selection of pastels, earthy neutrals, and stripes when they introduced the Spring Mood Board last month and continue to re-visit the site to look at the prettiness. The concept for the season, “pause,” is like a palette cleanser taking us from the cold winter months to spring’s warm temps and freshness. I’m loving the new colors of some old favorites (the silk slip dress and poplin pleat back shirt) and really adore some of the new styles (the classic trench and silk wrap blouse are both calling my name!).

2. TAKING TIPS // WHITNEY WOLFE: Social media and online dating can be fun, exhausting, self-esteem boosting, frustrating…I personally find myself a skeptic that it can work but am also resigned to the fact that it’s the “modern way” of dating I can’t completely ignore. If you’re also dating in the digital age, I’m sure you can relate that there are ups and downs, fears and expectations associated with the process…reading the the Q+A “Tips for Meeting The Right Guy” Camille Styles did with Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe was surprisingly helpful and I dually noted several of her tips, suggestions, and insights when it comes to bios, setting up meetings, etc.

3. WANTING // MAY’S BLUE COCOON: I really love beauty and skincare stuff but when presented by tons of options when shopping in store I get a little scared to open jars and test stuff. And when the store is Forty Five Ten and the beauty offerings in question are all top line and super luxurious I get even more cautious. When Sally and I were visiting the store a couple weeks ago (lots of looking, no buying) we gravitated toward their little jewel box of a “room” with all skin, makeup, and more. Our focus was learning more about their foundation offerings (we’re both currently on the hunt of the perfect fit for our skin) but I randomly walked up to the carefully arranged May Lindstrom products and smeared a little dollop of the Blue Cocoon beauty balm concentrate on the back of my hand. Truth be told, it was the color that got me so curious – I wanted to see what it would do once on my skin. And like a magic trick, the solid almost instantly went to an oil consistency then melted into my skin with a fantastic silky texture. But what I really freaked out over was the scent – it’s kind of like a light chocolate fragrance combined with these other soothing natural undertones and…it is just so nice. Then when I was told what the lovely little balm does – delicately relieves inflamed and irritable skin – I was like “Oooooh I want this stuff!” The price tag ($180) gave me pause and had me returning it back to it’s spot on the shelf but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it and keep reading reviews and have it in my mind that it’s just what my super dry, always red and irritated skin needs. I just might have to pull the trigger. If anyone has it or has tried it please gimme your thoughts!

4. READING // “THE 4-HOUR WORK WEEK”: A drinks date with Hart Hagerty – the very lovely lady who is rocking the world with her gorgeous tassel earrings – resulted in a bonding over self discovery, share experiences as “entrepreneurs” (I put that is quotes because it feels odd to describe myself as such, but Hart is definitely a killer entrepreneur!), and an instant friendship. We covered such a range of topics and I keep thinking about her recommended reading: Timothy Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Work Week.” I’m always on a quest to work smarter, not harder and am desperate to reignite my work ethic (still feeling like a lazy sloth since the start of the new year) so the New York Times Bestseller is next on my reading list!

5. LOVING // EMJOI DESK CARDS: I saw this lucite boxed set of beautiful emoji embossed cards while walking through Ellis Hill the other week (prettiest place for all things custom including invitations, birth announcements, holiday cards, etc.). No surprise, the set is the work of Bell’INVITO – Dallas printers known for their gorgeous craftsmanship and traditional engraving and embossing processes. As someone who is all about making lists, leaving notes, and sending snail mail, I think these note cards would be a worthy splurge to add to my desk! P.S. See the other emoji offerings from Bell’INVITO right here!

6. WATCHING // THE ARRANGEMENT: Did anyone else tune in to watch the new scripted series The Arrangement on E! this past Sunday? I didn’t have high expectations but the storyline is one that brings to mind Tom Cruise’s mysterious marriage to Katie Holmes (star actor, wholesome but lesser known actress, whirlwind romance, a controlling organization tied to star actor, contract marriage agreement…) and it wasn’t hard for me to get into it from the first episode. The pretty people and cheeky script didn’t hurt, either. Excited to see how the upcoming episodes play out and really excited that I now have a Sunday night show to look forward to.

7. DROOLING // SELF-PORTRAIT: If I had a million dollars I would do a lot of things (so fun but slightly overwhelming to think about). And one of them would be to buy just about everything that Self Portrait makes. You know their stuff…feminine, lacy (but not in a granny or bridal way), and just the right amount of lady-like mixed with sexy. Their Azalea Sweetheart Midi Dress was a huge hit among bloggers and replicated (cough, nocked off) by several fast-fashion brands but it I’m really feeling everything they’ve recently come out with. Namely: this dress (I mean, has pink ever looked better?!), these shorts, this dress, and this top. As someone who loves investing in solid-colored pieces versus bold prints and patterns I love that Self Portrait still packs so much visual interest with their unique silhouettes and use of amazing textures, layering and detailing. Off to buy a lottery ticket!

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