This + That // Sales + Steals

December 15, 2017

Apparently today is "Free Shipping Friday"? Who knew? I think a new day is created each year to give shoppers an excuse to shop. And also, don't most sites generally already offer free shipping? I mean, it is 2017 after all. I have nearly crossed everyone off my list, minus needing some stocking stuffers for my husbands stocking. I am majorly failing on that this year and the clock is seriously ticking. Too bad I am far too scared to visit the mall this close to Christmas. It gets pretty crazy out there. (read on for this weeks sales and don't forget #freeshippingfriday)

This + That:

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: Free shipping + 50% off almost everything! (This could be cool for New Years Eve? Love this in the black.)
  • Anthropologie: Extra 40% off select styles. (I’ll take this in every color! Perfect for this time of year and such an easy piece to throw on.)
  • Banana Republic: 40% off your purchase of $200+ with code BRWINTER. (So pretty – really liking that its a pale grey. How cute is this?)
  • Bluemercury: 12 days of beauty! Free full sized item each day!
  • BURU: 12 days of mom style sales! Every day = a new sale!
  • CB2: Up to 30% off select gifts! (Is this not the most perfect white elephant gift? Kind of amazing. These are so cute for a stocking. This too.)
  • Chicwish: Enjoy an extra 10% off orders over $70 with code PRS10. (How precious is this for little girls?)
  • Gap: Up to 50% off everything + extra 20% off your purchase with code GIFTNOW. (I just reserved this in white at a local store because I cannot.resist.cozy.things. Send help! Also, this in the black. See? Its a problem!)
  • H&M: Sale – up to 60% off! New styles added! (Ugly Christmas sweater party on the books? Not sure I’ve seen anything worse than this one. Ha!)
  • J.Crew: 40% off full priced styles and free shipping with code TIME2GIVE. (Does this mean time2give to yourself? Because I’m ordering three of these for myself in black, camel, and grey to fill a little bit of a sweater void I have in my closet. I only wish they had an off white version this year, too! These are awesome! I love that this is festive and fun while still remaining classic and simple.)
  • J.Crew Factory: 60% off everything with no exclusions! Use code DASHING. (Need this to come back in a small in the ivory – such an incredible price and great basic. This is such a good sweater dress.)
  • kate spade new york: Extra 30% off all sale styles with code EXTRATREAT! (Some of mine and Molly’s faves are on sale…this top, this red dress, this cherry dress, and this great black jacket!)
  • LOFT: The merriest of sales – 50% off everything! (Obsessed with these. Also this is SO cute.)
  • Madewell: No time like the present – 25% off your purchase! (Madewell rarely does sales, so when they do I always feel like I have to take advantage. There is nothing more classic than a cream cable knit sweater – this one is perfect. This is a great piece.)
  • Old Navy: Entire store on sale! Up to 60% off. (Ya’ll know how much I love my sweatshirts. I would wear just about every single one of these. Such good prices too! I’m kind of over plaid flannel shirts, but how good is the striped version of this?)
  • West Elm: Up to 40% off in stock items + free shipping with code MERRY! (Ohmygosh how cute/cool are these? SUCH a fun gift. We love our Sonos speakers and these are a great price. This is perfect for the chef in your life. Or the husband that is obsessed with his kitchen knives like mine is.)

Some Steals:

1. H&M Kids Faux Fur-Lined Slippers ($12.99) // 2. Kate Spade New York All Dolled Up Sweaters ($228 → $160 → $112 get 30% off with code 'EXTRATREAT') // 3. CB2 18" Disco Santa ($129 → $90) // 4. Banana Republic Bell-Sleeve Top with Pearl Accents ($68)

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Night Roses

December 14, 2017

Moody blues versus red and green going into the holiday season? I'll take it. Sally already mentioned it in this post from the other week, but I also love that kate spade's holiday collection is more about blues and metallics than the usual bold brights they go for this time of year. The more subdued colors are still incredibly festive - and perfect for holiday - thanks to ksny putting their usual special touches on everything. Who knew that a navy velvet dress with dusty blue roses was exactly what I wanted and needed for this party season?!

 

With velvet being such a big trend I’m slightly surprised to admit that the Night Rose Velvet Dress is the first and only velvet piece I’ve added to my closet as of late. I’m not sure if it was the soft fabric done up in navy or the pretty rose print that first got my attention but the a-line fit is what sold me. The fitted bodice is instantly flattering and the gathered skirt gives some nice volume. My favorite detail is the small sheer ruffle that trims the neckline and arm openings.

The yo-yo weather that Dallas has been having means that one day calls for tights and a long coat while the next is warm enough for just booties and a cape. So on the day I happened to be shooting the dress is was mild enough that my Garnet Booties could be worn with a bare leg. Not complaining…I’m such a wimp with the cold!

And for anyone curious: yes, the Knollwood Buckle Bag is even more adorable and amazing in person.

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Pollock Jeans

December 12, 2017

Both of the star players in this outfit - the sweater and jeans - are by Baldwin. Both of them are unlike any other pieces in my closet. And for that reason, they are both so fun to wear...and I have been wearing them often! Oh and both are on sale. And Baldwin is doing an extra 35% off sale items with code EXTRA35. Ho, ho, ho - just call me Santa for sharing that shopping gift!

 

Cardigan style sweaters are among my favorites because they allow me to layer (something I do more now than ever with a baby) but most all the ones I have are of the neutral variety. Which is exactly why I went for the Eve Sweater in the green cedar color while shopping at the Baldwin store in Dallas. After the store peeps informed me that the braided sleeve detailing was inspired by the woven wheat that’s native to the Midwest – I was sold. The emerald green color is a nod to the trees and plants of the plains (the plains of Kansas, that is) and it’s such a perfect hue for the cozy cashmere/mohair. I loved styling it as it started to get colder this fall but the color is even more festive for this time of year!

These jeans – The Kennedy in Pollock – were so far out of my comfort zone when I pulled them from the Baldwin shelves. For one, boyfriend-style jeans have never been my friend. So the low rise, relaxed fit combined with rips, distressing and tons of handpainted marks had me raising my eyebrows more than just a little when pulling them on in the dressing room. Imagine my surprise when I realized they were so comfortable and I felt like I could carry off their coolness. Word on the street is that the Pollack is beloved by Vogue and Elle editors…a tidbit that made them seem even more cool.

Dear Baldwin, thanks for making me take wardrobe risks and for helping me feel like a cool mom.

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Giving Warmth

December 11, 2017

If you're anything like me, you've been counting down the days till Christmas since Halloween. I just love, love this time of year...it'a a combination of the build-up that comes with knowing I'll be with all my family for a long stretch of time, being surrounded by festive lights and decor, the giddy excitement I get just thinking about our holiday traditions, and reminiscing over favorite Christmas memories. Some of my strongest and fondest memories are from Christmas' past and with each year new magical memories are made.

To me, Christmas is all about family, friends, and giving. The older I get the more I realize just how much I have - when asked what I want for Christmas I'm always answering with, "I don't need anything!" - and while the abundance makes me feel so much gratitude it also shines perspective on the reality that so many go without. This year I'm inspired by Altar'd State to re-thinking what it means to give. Altar'd State is a retail brand with a core mission of giving back in everything that they do and this season they're encouraging everyone to give warmth with their #ASGiveWarmth campaign. The idea is up to interpretation but I have a few ideas of how to put the idea into action...

Does anyone else nerd out for nostalgic Christmas movies and books? Sally and I recently inherited a huge collection of holiday children’s books (our own from way back when) from our mama and as I was going through them the other week I felt a rush of memories then quickly recognized how so many of the stories share common themes. From The Polar Express” and How The Grinch Stole Christmas” to A Christmas Carol,” so many of the tales we’ve loved since childhood focus on believing (faith in what can’t always be seen) and share the message of the holidays being about people (and not things).

A Christmas memory that really hit home for me happened as recently as a few years ago. My grandparents have always been notoriously generous when it came to holiday gifts – think thoughtful, exciting, and typically grand. But several years ago we (my siblings, cousins and I) didn’t get presents to unwrap, but modest envelopes containing a simple message: this year we were being given the gift of giving. Our grandparents told us that we each had a sum of money that they would donate to the cause or charity of our choice in our individual names…all we had to do was write to them with the name of an organization and why we went compelled to give to it. Such an incredible moment. Not only did they demonstrate how important it is to practice what you preach (my grandparents have always voiced how important it is to be generous and philanthropic) but their gift made us all feel so much happier than any sort of item that we would have unwrapped and kept for ourselves.

At a time when influencers like me are encouraged to treat Christmas as a an opportunity to buy, buy, buy it feels like a breath of fresh air to have Altar’d State promoting the type of thinking that’s more like, “Of course, buy pieces that feel special and authentic to you and those you love! But also consider giving back.”

Altar’d State has never been shy about stating that they’re a retail company wanting to fill a gap in the industry and change the world for the better. With a mission to “stand out for good and do their part to change the world for the better” guiding all that they do, they’ve been successful in growing their presence to over 80 boutique locations across the country. With values, faith, and a strong commitment to community Altar’d State has been able to offer fashionable and quality goods while inspiring customers to give back. To spark that inspiration, the brand is leading by example…funding local community service hours for employees, donating a portion of sales from each store to local communities, partnering with brands that have similar missions of giving back, and starting an Altar’d State Brand that helps feed, clothe, and educate children around the world.

I’m really happy to say that all my Christmas shopping is finished. I went with a “less is more” approach but I really feel like what I bought is special and specific to each of the people on my list. I even found some cute chew toys for my pups and a cozy pair of mittens while looking through Altar’d State’s gift guides! Since I’m feeling compelled to join the #ASGiveWarmth initiative I’ve come up with a few ideas of how to do more than just making my list, shopping, and crossing off to-do’s.

For my family and friends I’m going to spend time writing handwritten notes. Some will be serious, some will be funny, but I hope that all of them convey how much these individuals mean to me and how grateful I am to have them in my life. No gift could compare equate to the love they show me on a daily basis and I’m hoping that putting pen to paper will give them warm fuzzy feelings and maybe even result in a Christmas memory they’ll always cherish.

To give warmth to those I don’t know I’ll be continuing my annual tradition of selecting several names from the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree. Sally and I have been doing this ever since we moved to Dallas and it always feels so good to be contributing to the cause that serves over 45,000 children in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Taking a cue from my grandparents, I’m going to be contributing to a couple of my favorite non profit organizations. Whenever I start to think that what I have to give seems monetarily insignificant I try to remind myself that giving is giving is giving and that all donations make a difference towards a greater goal.

If you’re feeling inspired to join the #ASGiveWarmth campaign I highly encourage joining in the movement to spread the message about how it’s the season for giving and doing good for others!!

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Special Signet Rings

December 8, 2017

As Molly's 30th birthday was approaching, I wanted to think of something special to gift her that would always commemorate the big occasion. On top of wanting to make her feel really loved and celebrated, I also wanted a gift that would say "thank you" because with a 7 month old I quite literally would not be surviving without my sister/best friend living in the same city. Molly watches baby H for us every.single.day while I work out and my husband and I are forever grateful for every ounce of help she has given us over the past seven months - and beyond! This mama has yet to leave her baby at home with anyone other than family (I know, I know - it's time!) and even though no gift could equate the selfless generosity Molly's given me, I wanted to at try...keep reading to see what I gifted her and what makes it so special!

Those details aside, I felt that Molly deserved something fantastic from our little family. I’m a big believer in jewelry as a gift for special occasions – especially if it’s jewelry that is worn every day. You are constantly reminded of who gifted the piece to you and what it was for. I still to this day regularly wear the Van Cleef necklace that our mama gave me for my 21st birthday and a diamonds by the yard necklace that I received for my graduation. So many of my most treasured jewelry pieces are ones that were gifted to me and I wear nearly all of them daily. I like to think that if I have a daughter someday that I’ll definitely be passing a few on to her which makes them that much more meaningful. My Mimi passed down an incredible pair of Michael Good gold hoop earrings to me that I had always admired. I could keep going with my list of beloved jewels but basically, I love that these pieces have a story to them.

Shortly after baby H was born, Elizoebeth Jensen made me the most perfect gold signet ring (to wear on my pinky) with his initials. I’m still blown away by her thoughtfulness – it was one of the few gifts I received for myself to mark the occasion. I love having something so personal with my sweet baby boy’s little initials and ever since I slipped it on my pinky I’ve rarely taken it off.

Delicate signet rings have always been something I admire thanks to my mama. Growing up I remember pawing through her jewelry selection and noting that one of the few rings that fit my small fingers was a gold one engraved with her maiden name initials. She explained to me that it was called a signet ring and that was gifted to her back in high school. I had always admired the classic look of the ring and loved when my mom started wearing it regularly on her pinky several years ago. No matter what other rings she wore along side it, the signet ring always stood out as being classic, feminine and personal. And really, I just loved the look of it worn on her pinky. Since the days of trying on my mama’s ring I’ve always perked up when I saw other signet styles…I envisioned having something similar to hers for myself someday but I wasn’t totally on the hunt. Imagine my surprise and serious delight when Elizobeth reached out to me just after baby H was born and offered to make me one of her 14k gold classic signet rings! Elizoebeth’s design is so strikingly similar to the one my mom has and the hand engraving makes the ring unique and gives it a look and quality of an heirloom piece. I will forever cherish it!

With our mama and me both wearing our signet rings on our respective pinky fingers, I felt like Molly most definitely needed to join the club. No one loves jewelry more than her and she had been lusting after one for years (even more than I had!). Her 30th birthday seemed like the perfect excuse to have Elizoebeth Jensen make her a signet ring of her own. When October 21st rolled around and I got to give Molly her gift I was basically jumping out of my skin with excitement. To say that she was surprised and elated is an understatement…she was so shocked by the sentimental treasure that she got a little teary-eyed (which then made me cry). It was the most perfect 30th birthday surprise and I’m so thrilled that it made her feel so loved on her special day. She couldn’t be happier with her ring, and just like me, has been wearing it ever since.

You all know that Molly and I love any excuse to match (in good taste, of course), so matching sisterhood signet rings are just the cherry on top. I just love that mine and Molly’s knowledge and fondness for signet rings came from the one our mom has had since high school and that the three of us now each have one that we wear on our pinkys. I’m so grateful to Elizoebeth for bringing her classic signet ring into our lives!

P.S. Elizoebeth (who could not be sweeter) would love to help you celebrate the special people and occasions in your life – whether it’s a gift or a little self-gifting love – and she’s offering A Piece of Toast readers 20% off online purchases on her site through the month of December. Enter ToastToLove at checkout to redeem!

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