Baby’s First Year Get-and-Giveaway!

November 6, 2017

One of our favorite parts about having a blog is the relationships and connections with both brands and people that we have formed over the years. Molly and I consider ourselves huge supporters of small brands and businesses as well as women entrepreneurs. So many of whom we look up to and are a constant source of inspiration to us!

Living in Dallas, we find ourselves surrounded by some pretty incredible, hardworking, and talented women. Today, Molly and I are so thrilled to be working with and sharing some local retailers and women entrepreneurs who have very generously combined their products and services to create the ultimate "Baby's First Year" Get-and-Giveaway! These vendors will be gifting TWO adorable baby gift baskets to one A Piece of Toast reader. The winner will receive one gift basket for herself as well as one to gift to a friend. What could be better than getting and giving? Keep reading for all the details of the $820 value prize package!

  • $150 gift card from Miracle Milkookies: The most delicious lactation cookies that really work! I ordered these by the dozen – they do local Dallas deliveries – and love that mama’s outside of the DFW area can order them frozen or pre-baked. Seriously amazing cookies!
  • 1 fifteen minute mini baby milestone studio session + 10 edited digital images OR a credit towards a full newborn or family session with Natalie Yates Photography: Natalie is of the most sought after maternity, newborn, and baby photographers in Dallas…I can personally say that she’s a dream to work with and takes the most beautiful photos!
  • 1 seersucker backpack and 1 bloomer with custom monograms from SB Monograms: The winner and friend will get to work with Skyler to select the backpack and bloomer for either a girl or boy and choose perfect custom monograms.
  • 1 hour nursery interior design consultation from Peyton Riley Design: Peyton is a Dallas native and talented interior designer offering distinctly classic taste and chic sophistication to interior decoration. The nurseries and children’s rooms she designs are precious!
  • Set of 2 onesies and 1 teething bib from Pure Child Clothing: A precious line of soft, versatile, and all-organic pieces that are designed for maximum comfort. Winner and friend will get to select colors and sizes.
  • $100 gift card to The Tot: The Tot is the go-to for mindfully curated, safe, non-toxic, innovative and stylish baby and child products. We’re so lucky to have their retail locations in Dallas but their website is full of even more products and the best resource!
  • Wood keepsake box, children’s book, and wood teether from To & From Gifts: To & From is a Dallas-based gift concierge company that specializes in creating custom curated and sourced gifting options.

So many incredible gifts and services that any mom/new mama would absolutely love to receive. Each package is worth $820. The winner of the giveaway will get two packages (each worth $820) – one to keep and one to gift to a friend! Even if you aren’t a mama or don’t have a baby, we encourage you to enter and gift both baskets to friends! Giveaway starts today (November 6, 2017) and ends on November 17, 2017. The winner will be selected at random and contacted on November 18, 2017. Entries are only valid via the ViralSweep widget below. Must live in the United States to win. Spread the word and GOOD LUCK!

 

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Current Vibes

November 2, 2017

Welp. This was meant to post yesterday, but I am a day behind and have no real excuse besides the fact that my days are crazy and I don't like to sit behind a computer unless its during naps. Sorry friends! Now that I've checked finishing this post off my to-do list, I'm off to bake some banana bread and finish laundry - exciting stuff over here:) (read on for more vibes that are a littttlee more thrilling than my never ending pile of laundry and bananas that are going bad.)

1. BOOSTING // TRUE BOTANICALS ANTIOXIDANT: I’ve mentioned before that with pregnancy, and now while breastfeeding, I developed some Melasma on my face that seems to want to stick around. Aside from freckles that I’ve had since a young child, I’ve never had any sort of brown spots or discoloration until now. It was quite alarming initially, but now I think I’m just used to it. Ugh. Because many treatments for this aren’t safe while breastfeeding, I just try to use lots of Vitamin C (love this one by Ursa Major and this is unreal, but I always have to borrow/steal from Molly) and Indie Lee’s Squalene Oil (purchased from The Greenway Shop here in Dallas!). The other week I saw that Jessica of Bare Beauty Blog posted about True Botanical’s new Antioxidant Booster on her Instagram stating that the product improved her melasma x100. After reading these I quickly researched the Antioxidant Booster and found these before and after photos that have me convinced the Booster is just the ticket to solving my melasma drama.

2. WATCHING // STRANGER THINGS SEASON 2: We finallyyy started the second season of Stranger Things on Halloween after setting the remaining candy on our front porch and turning the lights off – oops. When we watched the first season I was the biggest skeptic. I admittedly hate all things Sci-Fi or Fantasy related – I never could quite jump on the Harry Potter bandwagon. Not that this is any comparison, but you catch my drift. After countless friends told me of their Stranger Things addiction I decided to give it a shot and am so glad I did. If you haven’t watched, nows your chance to spend the weekend binge watching Season 1. We will be doing the same for Season 2. Any other skeptics turned fans out there?

3. PLANNING // GRAPHIC IMAGE 2018: Each year Molly and I have the best time picking out our Graphic Image “desk datebook” planners for the new year and this year is no exception. There’s nothing like a new planner to help you feel organized, am I right? I can never quite seem to get around typing calendar items into my phone and much prefer the pen to paper method. There is something so therapeutic about taking the time to write things down, too. I am just now sitting down to look at the 2018 offerings from Graphic Image and trying to narrow down my favorites. Every year I have the hardest time deciding. Kindddd of into this moss green color.

4. RESORTING // MARYSIA SWIM: The other day Molly and I were talking about brand loyalty and how we both feel as if Marysia is a brand that we are completely and utterly devoted to in the swimwear department. Over the years I have amassed a decent collection, but I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon! Not to mention that with each new collection, the brand is pretty hard to resist as everything is next level amazing – always. And what I do know about my Marysia suits is that I wear them. Over and over again. And they last! Making them worth every single penny. I also find the fit to be amazing and think they really do offer something for just about everyone in the swimwear department, depending on what you like. With a Thanksgiving trip to Hawaii in just two weeks, I am really wanting to add a new Marysia suit to my collection. So when Resort 2018 launched I felt as if it was meant to be that it happened just weeks before our trip. Aside from white and black, it doesn’t get any more classic than a great red bathing suit and red makes up the better part of the latest collection. How good is this one??

5. SEEKING // BLACK BOOTIES: If there is one item my closet seems to be desperately in need of this Fall/Winter it is a great pair of black booties. I am torn between wanting a pair that is more of a “nighttime” pair vs. one that can be worn both day and night. Realistically, I don’t get out that much, so it seems to be a better buy to get something that I can wear white running around during the day. I’ve long loved the Isabel Marant Dicker booties and don’t really care if they had their moment years ago. They’re comfortable, easy, not a high heel, and can go with pretty much anything. Thats a win in my book. Also love these and the price is ideal. Also the heel height! This pair is fairly similar to the J.Crew version, but an even better price and they have awesome reviews. Decisions, decisions.

6. COZYING // SHEEPSKIN MOCCS: When the weather in Dallas cooled down, albeit temporarily, I was so excited to break out my UGG slippers. I have this weird thing where I can’t walk around in our house barefoot and always have to be wearing flip flops, but when it was chilly, slippers felt much more appropriate. Much to my dismay, I learned that with my foot growth that happened during pregnancy, my slippers that were brand new last Christmas are toe-crunching small. Not. Ideal. I had seen the Sheepskin Moccasins by The Small Home awhile back and loved the look of them, but two pairs of slippers is excessive for someone living in Dallas. Buttttt, now that my others no longer fit, I can surely justify them – right?! The Moccasins are all 100% handmade in the Polish Mountains using traditional techniques making them that much more special. I of course love the various embroidery colors, too. This pair may be my favorite.

7. READING // OLIVA WILDE’S ITG TOP SHELF: Speaking of True Botanicals, my curiosity in Olivia Wilde’s beauty routine peaked when I found out that she was the chief brand activist for the company. Since then, Wilde has been very outspoken about her journey with nontoxic skincare. Excitingly, her partnership with True Botanicals represents the first prominent celebrity signing of a natural skincare line in the beauty world. I remember reading that Olivia first became interested in nontoxic skincare when she was pregnant and decided to put more thought into what she was using on her body. That was years ago. Its safe to say that since then she has most likely amassed quite a few natural beauty favorites, especially being in an industry where she is required to wear a lot of makeup. Hence why I couldn’t wait to read her Top Shelf. In the article she shares her love for all things True Botanicals (le duh) as well as various rms products and the amazing Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes. Now if onlyyy she would have shared her favorite all over foundation/tinted moisturizer, specifically what is making her skin look pretty and glowy in the feature’s photos. For now I will just slather my face and body with every single Olivia Wilde endorsed beauty product. Starting with ordering the Stretch Concealer from Glossier because I have yet to find a natural concealer that I love.

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Current Vibes

October 25, 2017

Step right up for a random bunch of vibes! Kind of makes me think of when I go to Target and checkout with the weirdest basket ever (think toothpaste, wine, dog treats, birthday cards, and light bulbs). No rhyme or reason today but I guess that makes it a little fun? (keep reading to actually see what the randomness entails)

1. INDULGING // GUILT-FREE COOKIE DOUGH: My friends from The Greenway Shop did an Instagram Story sharing that they made four ingredient brownie batter fudge a la @thebigmansworld. The ingredients they listed were so healthy – and they noted that the end result was out of this world – that I had to get more info on this…Big Man’s World person. Well, turns out Arman is the man, and his world is original healthy recipes with a heavy hand on sweets. When I say healthy I’m talking about paleo, vegan and gluten-free. I might not be any of those three things but I DO have a massive sweet tooth and love to bake. After scrolling through Arman’s Instagram account then jumping over to his site, I’m fully convinced that I need to be making one of his sweet treats a week…at a minimum. Just to experiment, you know? First up: Healthy Edible Egg-Free Unicorn Cookie Dough. It’s no bake (wonderful), made with minimal ingredients (ideal) and ready in five minutes (why haven’t I been making and eating this every day?!).

2. INSPIRED BY // HAPPY MENOCAL’S NEW SITE: Sally and I have had a longstanding crush on Happy Menocal – New York based artist and designer – and her one-of-a-kind work. Go to vogue.com and search “menocal” to get a glimpse of the stunning wedding suites she’s created. Or see some of her work in action via the @happymenocalstudio Instagram. Or visit her recently re-designed website to find out how to try and lasso the designer into a collaboration. Though it seems there’s nothing she can’t do (restaurant design, murals, custom fabric) he true specialty and famed calling card are the custom emblems she dreams up for weddings, stationery, and more. Many people have tried to imitate Happy’s painterly hand, trademark crests, and whimsical touches but no one can really compare. Her hand-lettering alone is so special! I could stare at her site all day.

3. WANTING // SHEARLING-LINED BIRKS: I have a pair of Birkenstock Arizona sandals. They are the taupe suede and every bit as granola and comfy as you’d think. They add great juxtaposition to certain outfits. I was starting to think Birks were already back out of style (or “trend” if you will) but then I saw these Arizona Shearling-Lined Sandals on Jenni Kayne and immediately thought two things, 1) thank gawd Birks aren’t totally “out” (Jenni always knows what’s up), and 2) omg shearling-lined Arizonas?! Give. Me. It’s fall – so I should have booties and other closed-toe shoes on the brain – but I can’t get these furry friends off my mind. Maybe the shearling + sandal look is the perfect thing for the radical Dallas weather (50s in the morning, mid 70s by the afternoon)? Either way, I have the black on black bad boys on my wish list. Also find them here, here and on Amazon!

4. READING // “THE AUTHENTICS”: “Authentic” is one of my favorite words…genuine, original, real. So it wasn’t a surprise that when I caught wind that friends Dara Caponigro – creative director of Schumacher and founding editor of domino magazine – and Melanie Acevedo – talented and well-known photographer – were coming out with a book called The Authentics” my interest was already piqued. Getting said book in the mail was like Christmas. Not only does it feature true originals and tastemakers that have shaped our current culture, it also features said talents in their own homes. What’s more authentic than seeing the private lives and homes of creatives in art, design, and fashion while reading fascinating interviews of what makes them, well, them. Trust me when I say, you’ll want “The Authentics: A Lush Dive into the Substance of Style” on your book shelf or sitting on your coffee table. I don’t want to give away everyone featured but you can expect to see Miles Redd, Kelly Wearstler, Christian Louboutin, Jonathan Alder, and more.

5. DREAMING // SOUND MACHINE: When I moved into my new place at the end of August I didn’t have to buy much at all (if anything, I purged, sold and donated as much as I could before the move) but the one thing I got that I was so excited about was a sound machine. Before my move I slept with a floor fan turned on just for the added noise. But having a fan blowing year round wasn’t ideal and it also got absurdly dusty. And the sound…it wasn’t perfect. I wanted pure white noise – something that would prevent total silence but not be so loud that I couldn’t hear my iPhone alarm in the morning or my dogs causing mischief at night. Sally suggested I get the Marpac Dohm-DS All Natural Sound Machine. It was recommended to her when she was making her baby registry, has two speeds and sound adjustment, and the reviews looked great so I ordered it. Since my move in, not a night goes by that I don’t use it. Call me high maintenance but I can’t dream without it (and my ability to fall asleep and stay asleep has vastly improved!).

6. LOVING // ALISON LOU ENAMEL: Every time I say I’m putting a pause on my jewelry lust I see something that I can’t resist. Since these Current Vibes sometimes act as a place for me and Sally to express love for all the things we do not buy, I’m going to keep including the jewelry designers and pieces that are fabulous and fully lust worthy. Alison Lou fine jewelry is made up of playful designs born from the creativity of Alison Chemla. Her Emoticore collection put her on the map but it’s her use of symbols, color, detailing and enamel that keeps her line so fresh and fun. The latest Custom Enamel collection has a range of teeny symbols that come in a variety of enamel colors and I die for all the options. If money were not object I’d take an ear full of flower studs and a few little necklaces and bracelets, too…they just look so great layered, don’t they?!

7. LASHING // MAGNETIC LASHES: Please tell me I’m not the only one who has seen magnetic eyelashes pop up on their Pinterest scroll? I guess eyelashes are a big interest of mine and Sally’s because the same magnetic lashes kept popping up. So I did what any bored procrastinating girl scrolling pins would do and clicked to see what it was all about. Enter One Two Lashes – patent-pending micro-magnetic technology and the first to introduce magnetic lash strips that sandwich your natural lashes and stay together to give the look of volume and length without the ritual of mascara, mess of false lashes + glue, expense and upkeep of extensions, or hassle of lash growth serums. Sounds pretty great, right? I have to say that the before and after photos/videos have me really curious to try them myself. Has anyone given them a go? Eyelashes are my favorite beauty feature to pamper and play up and I really like the idea of achieving a look with minimal effort. Will be doing more research on if the product works as well and is as easy as they say…

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Current Vibes

October 18, 2017

With October already halfway over, we are trying to fit all of the fun fall things into our schedule on the days that the weather allows us to. Last week the weather got HOT again, so we decided to put off a visit to the Texas State Fair until the temperatures cool back down a bit. Thinking next week we'll make it happen - all in the name of a Fletcher's corny dog and some pretty fantastic people watching. Its crazy to think that in less than a month we leave town for a Thanksgiving trip - it always seems like once October is here, Christmas really is just around the corner. (read on for this weeks vibes!)

1. DREAMING // BLISSHAUS: Who doesn’t dream of a Pinterest-worthy pantry and kitchen? Amiright? Suffice it to say, our pantry is anything but organized or enviable. There’s no doubt that I was initially drawn to Blisshaus by way of a pretty Instagram photo of a perfectly organized pantry. Blisshaus was created from the German tradition of “elegant and clean living”, specifically in the kitchen. The company specializes in in providing kitchen makeovers that include so much more than just organization. Eco-friendly pantry solutions include picture-perfect glass jars, labels, and pantry ready recipes. As well as shopping tips to help with cutting down on food and packaging waste. Blisshaus claims to cut your household waste and grocery costs between 30-80%, while also making your kitchen shelves look like that of one straight out of the pages of a magazine. Sign. Me. Up.

2. SHOPPING // LOLA + LINA: Molly and I have become fans of bold statement earrings and over the years have amassed a great collection that we wear time and time again. We find that a pair of earrings can really take a classic outfit to the next level and instantly make you feel that much more put together. Lola + Lina is our new favorite online shop to find the best selection of said earrings (and other great pieces of jewelry!) all in one place. The shop has the most amazing pieces – many of which I had never seen before. Have a wedding/event coming up? Or looking to jazz up your your date night outfits? Lola + Lina are your girls. How freaking cool are these!? We’re also huge fans of all things Lele Sadoughi (these and these) and Lola + Lina has one of the best selections we’ve seen. There are also so many great gold options that are anything but boring!

3. LAYERING // CUYANA FALL: When Molly and I popped into the Cuyana + Outdoor Voices event this past Sunday, one of the cute Cuyana girls was wearing a sweater coat/cardigan (coatigan?) that stopped us both dead in our tracks. Literally. We looked at each other and turned back to her, asking how we could make it ours. Luckily for us, it is a brand spanking new arrival to Cuyana and one that we know we can’t live without. Ever since we lived in San Francisco I have had my heart set on a really great sweater coat, but never found something I really loved. Until. Now. The Oversized Reversible Alpaca Cardigan is the answer to all of yours/mine/ours sweater coat dreams and so much more. I personally love the fact that it is collar-less making it a little bit more wearable and layer-able with collared shirts, scarves, etc. The fact that the cardigan is reversible is also amazing because you can cuff the sleeves for a two-tone look and basically get two for the price of one. I personally have visions of wearing it with my new Outdoor Voices set (these + this) when I want to look a little bit more put together while running around town “momming” it. The perfect piece for our Dallas weather that stays in that “in between” stage for months.

4. COLOR PROTECTING // RAHUA: I’ve mentioned before (in this previous Current Vibes post!) my love for Rahua’s lovely Shampoo and Conditioner as the best natural shampoo/conditioner that I’ve tried – and I’ve tried a lot of them! But this was posted before I had the chance to try their new Color Full line, which is now a new favorite obsession of mine. I have found that since pregnancy and now with breastfeeding, my hair just does not take to color the way it used to. Which is slightlyyy upsetting for this blonde. I thought that maybe using a shampoo and conditioner specifically geared towards colored hair may help with the fading, but also didn’t want to forgo using a natural product since I had already made that switch. Rahua’s Color Full Shampoo and Conditioner are color-preserving while also being formulated from plant-derived and Amazonian ingredients. The Rahua Oil molecules push color pigmentation deep into the hair for lasting color. Just what I needed to help with my current hair color woes. I instantly fell in love with both the Color Full Shampoo and Conditioner, and its not just the lavender hue that got me. First off, the smell is beyond amazing. Like addicting-good, and almost indescribable. Aside from the smell, the products left my hair feeling soft and shiny without being weighed down, which is a rarity for my hair. Time will tell with how well my color holds up, but I have high hopes. It looks like I may not be the only one whose fallen in love with Rahua’s Color Full line, seeing as its already sold out. Now I’m feeling like I need to stock up… Also a new favorite from the brand – their Dry Shampoo.

5. COOKING // SMITTEN KITCHEN’S SECOND BOOK: ‘ve followed Deb Perelman of the Smitten Kitchen blog for what seems like forever. Over the years, I’ve pulled many favorite recipes from the site – mostly sweets and baked goods (shocker). These were a regular (weekly) part of my pregnancy diet and I loved every minute of it. What I love about Smitten Kitchen is that the recipes contain simple ingredients and nothing uber fancy, making everything attainable and totally doable. I recently saw that Deb was coming out with with a second cookbook, “Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumph and Unfussy New Favorites”, that contains all of her new favorite things to make. If they’re Deb’s favorites, they’re bound to be mine too. I’ll be honest, I haven’t done much cooking at all since having a baby in May and we generally eat grilled chicken and vegetables for dinner 4+ nights a week, but maybe this is just the inspiration I need? The book would make for a great Christmas gift, too!

6. READING // REESE’S BOOK CLUB: Yesterday my sister in law and I were talking books and she recently started a book that Molly had also started and told me about – Little Fires Everywhere. I mentioned that Reese Witherspoon had apparently bought the movie rights to the book (that’s when you know its going to be good!) and Jenna quickly informed me of Reese’s book club #RWBookClub / @rwbookclub. How. Did. I. Not. Know. This? Needless to say, Reese’s recommendations are where I’ll be turning to the next time I need a good read. Just downloaded “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng (thanks Molly, Jenna, and Reese) after finishing “Emma in the Night” by Wendy Walker which was SO good.

7. SPOOKING // HUDSON GRACE: When it comes to ranking holidays as favorites, Halloween isn’t necessarily high on the list. But I know I need to learn to love it a little bit more now that we have a little one in the mix. I think what has always turned me off to the holiday is the creepy/scary side of it that I just can’t seem to embrace. I absolutely hate all things scary and have vivid memories of terrible haunted house experiences growing up. If the holiday could only be about pumpkins and cute ghosts and adorable children dressed up, I’d be all over it. But the neighbors down the street with a zombie family, including a zombie baby, set up in their front yard has me concerned on all levels. WHO would spend money on a life-sized zombie family? Zombies aside, in an effort to not be the grinch of Halloween, I’m thinking of adding some of Hudson Grace’s “friendlier” faces to my holiday decor. I can always count on Hudson Grace to offer tasteful holiday decorations – I still love my Christmas gnome I got there when we lived in SF.

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Current Vibes

October 12, 2017

I probably should have included "The Paris Architect" by Charles Belfoure in this round-up of vibes because it was the book I finished for my book club - and I really loved it and so did the whole group. But I was already behind on getting this posted and happen to have a grouping of stuff I'm really, truly vibing for...so ya, the book club book didn't make it this time. But I host the next meeting (yay!) and chose "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng as the book and I can't wait to start it! (keep reading to actually get to my vibes for the week!)

1. LELA LOVING // LELA ROSE BRIDAL FALL 2018: No no no. I am not bridal shopping. But I’m still a girl and that means that I can’t totally turn a blind eye to weddings, dresses, etc. And hey, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I love bridal dresses. When Sally was planning her wedding, watching her try on gowns was my favorite part of the process. Lela Rose has always been a favorite designer as far as bridal collections are concerned. Her ready-to-wear is always beautiful but her bridal…I mean, each season is totally breathtaking. I don’t know how she turns it out time after time but each new gown design feels fresh and thoughtful – classic silhouettes are restructured and new textiles and touches are introduced. Bridal Fashion Week for the Fall 2018 season was the other week and I’ve obviously been drooling over all the white confections. And Lela’s collection did not disappoint. I mean…this, thisthis, and this. Can someone get engaged and let me come play dress up with them?!

2. SEASONING // JENNIFER FISHER SALT: When I think Jennifer Fisher I think jewelry (duh), gothic fonts, Savannah Guthrie (she’s never without her “v” and “c” pendants and usually has her long chain with mixed charms on, too), edgy…I do not think food or cooking. So small minded of me. Jewelry designers can be foodies! Under the Lifestyle tab of the site, there’s a “JF Kitchen” section with some delicious-looking recipes (the Mediterranean Chicken Burgers look unreal) and you can shop a selection of salt mixes. Universal Salt and Curry Salt to be exact. Based on how great her jewelry is, my interest in the Jennifer Fisher salts is quite piqued. As someone who cooks a fair amount at home (scrambled eggs, veggies, pasta…it’s all impressive) I love the idea of changing up my usual pinch of kosher salt with the Universal Salt (it has not onion or garlic and is said to be great on everything) and trying out the Curry Salt for marinating.

3. VELVETING // SEASONAL SOFTNESS: You can’t really wear velvet year-round. It’s one of those textiles with such a cozy, luxe vibe that only really works for fall/winter/cold-weather. I had this deep green velvet blazer for years (since freshman year of college) and finally consigned it last year…now I’m kind of kicking myself because velvet is so on trend! I’m not totally one to be all “ahh! Trendy! Buy it now, wear it once, forget about it after that” but I do think that velvet pieces can be very timeless when made well and with the right silhouettes. The pieces that have been catching my eye are of the tank variety (probably because I picture them with lighter wash jeans as a way of taming the glam nature of the fabric). Loving this simple scoop style, this button-front cami, this high-neck racer-back, and this bustier style. And I really can’t help but love this bodysuit (especially in dusty pink) and this slip dress (so elegant).

4. ADORING // TEENY T-REX STUDS: If you haven’t thought about checking out the jewelry collection at Coach in a while (they are more all about leather, after all) let me re-direct your attention. What you’ll currently find are classics like bangles and cuffs and then a selection of pieces adorned with whimsical and cute little charms. Skulls, a rocket ship, T-Rex dinos, a feather, a tea-rose…the mini symbols hang on necklaces, sit on rings, anchor delicate bracelets, and stand as earrings. They caught me by surprise in the best possible way and I’m starting to justify buying more than one set of the studs due to their teeny size (the Rexy Studs are a quarter of an inch!) and the fact that I can wear up to for earrings in each ear.

5. COOKING // “CHERRY BOMBE: THE COOKBOOK”: I know, I know – it seems like I’m always talking about Cherry Bombe – the biannual magazine that celebrates women and food with stunning images, fantastic cover girls, glorious recipes, great stories and more. After producing nine issues over the past four years the “Bomb Squad” team (led by Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu) has finally released their first-ever cookbook. 100+ recipes from 100+ of the most interesting chefs, bakers, food stylists, pastry chefs, and creatives on the food scene today (all women!) along side beautifully styled and shot images. “Cherry Bomb: The Cookbook” literally dropped three days ago and you can do yourself a favor in making your eyeballs, your heart, and your tummy happy by ordering a copy right here (yup, mine is on its way!). Pssst see if your city is a stop on the cookbook tour!

6. CONTAINING // CABLE BOXES: So, I’m type-A and organized. Open any drawer in my house and you’ll find some sort of divider situation, drawer liner, and everything in it’s place. Maybe even color coded. As sentimental as I am I’ve tried to declutter as much as possible with each passing year and I’ve gotten pretty good at either a) pairing down and parting with “stuff” or b) containing clutter. One of my favorite can’t-live-without things (that I’ve convinced several family members to buy): BlueLounge Cable Boxes. They’re so simple but so genius. A power strip or surge protector with multiple outlets sits inside and feeds through one side opening while all the cords that plug into your TV/computer enter through the other side opening then get power from the power strip. It hides the mess that comes with excess and abundant cords in a contained, safe space. I keep one below my desk and one by my TV. And call me a nerd, but I think everyone needs at least one of these in their lives to recognize their magic.

7. COSTUMING // HALLOWEEN INSPO: I’m sure there was a time in my life when I was really into dressing up and costumes and Halloween in particular. My mom always made us the best Halloween costumes so I know there’s no way I didn’t love it. But with all the theme parties that came with college whatever love I once had for dress-up became a total anti feeling. Spend money to buy weird clothes and props to not look for feel like myself? Whyyyyy? The last time I got excited about Halloween was when my housemates and I (seven girls) dressed up as garden gnomes (white beards, giant pointy hats – nothing slutty involved). I like I was into the inexpensiveness of the whole look and the fact that we all looked like weirdos together. Alas, I’m friends with so many fun-spirited adults that love costumes, dress-up, theme parties, and going all out for Halloween. So this year I’m trying to get into the spirit and embracing the idea of getting to costume. Thank gawd for Camille Styles and her team for all the great costume inspiration they produced for this season! I’m *this* close to convincing a group of girl friends to dress up as “A League of Their Own” Rockford Peaches players thanks to this amazing DIY. And if I can’t sell the baseball players idea, I’m going to pout for a minute then suggest Tropicana Girls!

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