This + That // Sales + Steals

April 21, 2017

Even with a baby due in less than two weeks, things are anything but slowing down around here. Which I actually kind of like. I think sitting around all day would make me go slightly crazy. Although I definitely need an afternoon lie down most days, I'm still trying to stay busy by getting things on my never-ending to do list done and walking the dogs at least once a day. I had been working out up until this week and even pulled into the gym for my class on Tuesday morning only to decide that maybe I needed to take it easy and skip the classes from here on out. I'm hoping the regular work outs will help with an "easy" labor, but who knows! We have a busy weekend planned with family and friends who happen to be in town for the weekend which will be SO fun. (read on to get the sales + steals)

This + That:

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: The warm weather warm up – 40% off select full priced styles with code WARMUP.
  • Anthropologie: Extra 25% off sale items! (Love the black version of these – the price is SO good.)
  • Ariel Gordon Jewelry: Get 25% off between now and 5/4 for Mother’s Day! Use code MAMA25 at checkout!
  • Banana Republic: The iconic spring sale – extra 40% off sale. (The back detail of this is so pretty!)
  • Bloomingdales: Private sale – take $25 off on every $100 you spend with promo code PRIVATE. (These are super cute – love the heel height and tie detail.)
  • Calypso St. Barth: Friends and family – enjoy 25% off full price styles with code FRIENDS17. (I would like to own this in every single color. Thank you very much!)
  • Club Monaco: The mid-season sale – up to 60% off when you take an additional 30% off all sale styles! (The sleeve details on this – love, love, love.)
  • Gap: Last call – super spring sale. Up to 75% off! Plus, 40% off everything, no exclusions with code FORME. (Still obsessed with this guy.)
  • H&M: Free shipping over $40 with code 0040. (This is SO pretty and would make for a great spring/summer wedding guest dress.)
  • J.Crew: In stores and online – 25% off your purchase + extra 40% off sale styles with code HOPTOIT. (Love a good white top and this one is especially amazing.)
  • J.Crew Factory: In store and online – 40-60% off everything! (These scalloped camis are such a good buy and great for layering, too!)
  • kate spade new york: Enjoy a handbag charm with a full-priced handbag purchase of $278 or more!
  • LOFT: 40% off everything! (I think I would wear this daily if I had it in my closet.)
  • Old Navy: Online only, through today – 30% off your order! (This comes in white! Such a great summer, throw on and go tank.)
  • Roberta Roller Rabbit: Friends and family sale! 25% off with code BFF25. (Molly and I went into our Dallas store yesterday and stocked up on a few things for baby – two onesies and two coated cosmetic pouches to keep things organized in the baby bag.)
  • Serena and Lily: Everything ships free! Use code FABULOUS. (Can’t get enough of this.)

Some Steals:

1. Roberta Roller Rabbit Heart Onesie ($40 → $30 with code "BFF25" at checkout!) // 2. J.Crew x Dragon Diffusion Small Tote Bag ($300 → $173 with code "HOPTOIT" at checkout!) // 3. Mango Gingham Off The Shoulder Blouse ($49.99)

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Nellie is Nice

April 20, 2017

At this point, our/my love for all things HATCH is no secret. I had really tried to limit my maternity purchases and make what I had in my closet work, up until discovering the brand, which is now my latest obsession. What I love most about HATCH is that their products are made to fit you before, during, and after your pregnancy making it the best possible purchase while pregnant. I remember visiting our local Pea in the Pod to buy jeans and watching women spend so.much money on items that they could only wear while pregnant - items super specific to pregnant women. Although these pieces are great and practical, I just couldn't wrap my head around doing this - with the exception of my jeans of course, which are a no-brainer and truly not optional! I wanted to be able to make items in my closet work or spend money on pieces that I could wear after giving birth. This has been easy with HATCH because I know that every piece from them is an actual investment piece that I can wear now, postpartum, and later on. Each style is also timeless enough that they could be worn for future pregnancies, which I love. Even with only a few weeks left in my pregnancy, I am still pining for pieces of theirs because I know that I would actually continue to wear them!

HATCH’s Nellie dress has become an instant favorite of mine. The swingy, light chambray dress is comfortable and flattering in all the right places. The darling grosgrain-trimmed, ruffle sleeves are right up my alley and the perfect compliment to the chambray. I love the fact that it has pockets, too, which is always an added bonus in my book. I have absolutely zero doubts that I will continue to wear the Nellie dress throughout the summer here in Dallas, seeing as I’ve already worn it once a week thus far! HATCH truly does make it easy to feel put together while pregnant, even at 38+ weeks!

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Setting Up the Snoo

April 20, 2017

Since the beginning of my pregnancy, we always knew that we wanted our little one to sleep in a bassinet in our room for the first few months. We're telling ourselves that we will do this for ideally 6 months, but I know that realistically, there are hundreds of things you tell yourself before you have a baby and that can all go out the window once they arrive!

I remember coming across the SNOO Smart Sleeper by Happiest Baby when I was very early in my pregnancy and before it was ever officially launched. I stalked the site - reading everything I could and watching testimonials from families who had been given the opportunity to try the SNOO before its launch. With each testimonial, I became completely sold that this was something special. I had heard of the well known Dr. Harvey Karp and his life-changing "Happiest Baby on the Block" methods from many friends with little ones (specifically his method of the 5 S's - meant to calm fussy babies) so when I learned that the SNOO Sleeper was the brain child of Dr. Karp and a product many years in the making, I felt sure that the SNOO should be the place where our baby sleeps in his first several months. The SNOO was actually the first baby product I decided we needed and it arrived to our home before we'd even selected a paint color for the nursery. My husband and I have been so excited to get it set up and after packing our hospital bags last weekend we finally did just that...

Dr. Karp has been an advocate and national leader in the promotion of children’s rights to a healthy and safe environment for over 20 years and the SNOO is being touted as the safest, most effective baby bed ever made – while also solving the #1 new parent stress of exhaustion. Let me explain…the sleeper is made with a “responsive, robotic system,” with microphones that respond to your baby’s cries and fussing with varying degrees of white noise or safe jiggling motions. The degree of motion (a slow swing or faster jiggles) or the type of white noise (soft rain or a womb-like sound) are all dependent on whether the baby is sleeping or fussing. These gentle movements encourage the baby to fall back asleep when they’re not fully awake – creating a habit of healthier sleep patterns, earlier. The SNOO will attempt to calm crying with fast jiggles and a womb sound for three minutes, but if unsuccessful, will stop to alert parents that the baby has other needs that must be met like a diaper change or feeding. This amazing technology is why it’s being compared to having your very own night nurse.

On top of its ability to literally run 24/7, the sleeper is also as safe as they come. Each SNOO comes with a “five second” swaddling system (in sizes small, medium, and large) to grow with your baby. The swaddle sacks are all hip-safe and made with 100% organic cotton. Each sack features wings that slip securely into the sides of the bassinet – ensuring babies stay on their backs all night long. In fact, the rocking and sounds will start only if the swaddle is properly anchored. When the time comes to transition your baby to the crib (which is recommended to do at 6 months with the smart sleeper), the SNOO has a gradual weaning feature to help make that transition as smooth as possible.

While I cannot speak for the SNOO and its abilities yet, I can safely say that it is hands down the one product my husband and I are the most excited to use. Even if our nursery isn’t completely ready or all else is up in the air (did I mention we are moving – again – and on my actual due date?), we feel quite confident knowing that we have the SNOO in our arsenal and that it’s set up and ready, should baby come early. I cannot wait to report back on our findings once our baby bunny is here. In the meantime, our family (including the pups) is quite enjoying the pretty new addition to our master bedroom. Have you ever seen a cooler, sleeker looking bassinet?  I already knew I’d love the simplistic design (in the world of baby products and devices, it’s nearly impossible to find something that blends with the rest of your home) but it  looks even better than I imagined with our master bedroom.

P.S. I wasn’t watching, but Molly did tell me that Dylan Dreyer from the Today Show is a user and lover of the SNOO. She said that her 4 month old baby sleeps 11 hours a night in this episode!

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Current Vibes

April 19, 2017

The past few weeks have been a little...loco. Traveling is fun but totally zaps my energy and the back-to-back trips I've had in the past month have made me feel like my head is about to pop off. Looking forward to being in Dallas for the next seven consecutive weekends (I counted. I'm just that desperate to be at home) and will be making the most of this one with tons of downtime. Weird that I'm talking about the weekend when it's only Wednesday? Wait, is it Wednesday? I don't even know anymore. (just ignore me, and get on to the vibes!)

1. DETOX DRINKING // DIRTY LEMON: There’s been quite a bit of buzz around Dirty Lemon – a beverage brand with a detox drink and other tonics that are designed to be added to your regular diet (no fasting!). So if you’re not starving yourself and doing a liquid diet, how is the “detox” drink suppose to help? The ingredients (a blend of water, raw cold-pressed lemon juice, activated charcoal sourced from coconut shells, dandelion-root extract, and ginger-root extract) act together to “calm the stomach, support liver/kidney function and trap impurities before they can be absorbed by the body.” Basically, if you drink the recommended one bottle per day for six+ days, the result should be improved digestion, balanced body pH levels, and toxins should have been absorbed and flushed out. Though it’s not going to melt off any unwanted pounds, it will help reduce water weight. Word on the street is that the Dirty Lemon detox (and other tonics) tastes wonderful, is an easy incorporation into a daily routine, and does produce healthy body results. As someone who has always been scared of juice cleansing and detox beverages, I have to say that Dirty Lemon Detox is super intriguing…have any of you tried it?

2. BUYING BERRIES // J.CREW: I’m not usually a big wearer of prints and patterns – my closet skews more towards solids and textures – but the sweet and vibrant berry print in J.Crew’s spring collection keeps drawing my attention. The realistic-looking raspberries and blackberries floating on a white background just looks so fresh and gives an Americana vibe (red, white & blue) that screams “summer!” The Crew put the berry print on just the right amount of pieces – a flat, pump, one piece swimsuit and a bikini, a pop0ver shirt, pleated skirt, short-sleeve sweater, a light beach button-up, and bandana – and I definitely want to add at least one piece (thinking the shirt or skirt) to my closet to wear in the warmer months. Right now is a pretty good time to scoop something up…J.Crew is offering 25% off purchases (and extra 40% off all sale items!) between now and April 23rd with code “HOPTOIT.” Go get some berries!

3. COPYING // ROPE NECKLACES: After getting to meet Bird Bakery owner Elizabeth Chambers Hammer last month, Sally and I quickly fell in love with her. Not only is Elizabeth absolutely gorgeous, but her down-to-earth personality, commitment to her business (she can be found behind the counter and bussing tables at Bird when visiting Dallas), love for her family (she’s married to actor Armie Hammer and they have two precious little ones), and enviable style makes her a very easy person to be drawn to. I could go into more details about how cool Elizabeth is but I’m going to try and curb the stalker vibes…and talk about the braided rope lariat-style necklaces she recently wears (re: total evidence that I’m a super stalker). The simple but statement-making pieces are by Cynthia Cazort Collins, come in three colors (white, black, and ecru) and are super versatile. Call me a copycat, but I’m coveting one of each!

4. WANTING // SPRING LBD: Normally, as soon as the temperatures drop below 70 you can find me favoring white jeans and white dresses over any other color…especially black. But I came across this black eyelet dress by LoveShackFancy the other day I just love it. The skinny straps (my fave), handkerchief hem, and seasonal fabric make it the perfect spring/summer little black dress that can transition from day to night. (Psst, find it in white here!)

5. LOOPING // LEATHER POMS: I’m feeling all the pompoms that are infiltrating fashion. Aren’t they just adorable? There’s a small part of me that feels like the trend will come and go but the texture loving side of me loves the punch they pack (how fun is this dress, these slides, and this bag?!). To have the best of both worlds – getting the pom pom look but having the option of adding or subtracting when I wish – I love the leather pom pom loops from Clare Vivier. At $55, the poms (which come in several colors) are an accessible price point and a great way to add the pom pom look to your favorite bags. Kind of a perfect gift for girl friends!

6. DRINKING // VINEBOX ROSÉ: Nothing says spring like rosé. AmIright? When it comes to wine, I’m all for grabbing a random bottle or sticking to an old favorite, but in the spirit of trying new things and improving my wine-tasting skills, I love the concept of VineBox and their cool wine vials. “Perfectly measured 10cl pours (restaurant pours, not home-style pours). Hand-selected by a team of wine-obsessed sommeliers. All with curated notes and pairings. Delivered.” The single serving packaging of VineBox is awesome for people like me who often like to indulge in a glass of wine one or two (or three or four) nights away but hate the idea of opening a full bottle and risking it going bad before getting to finish it. You can shop individual wines (priced from $7-$11) but in the spirit of it being rosé season, I’m leaning towards getting the Rosé Pack – a six pack package that includes two servings of three of VineBox’s favorite rosés from France and Italy. The pack is $49 (including shipping!) and I’m picturing the tubes being great for a get together with friends and looking awesome displayed chilling in ice for people to choose their own variety.

7. OILING // ESSENTIALS: I’ve heard about essential oils being a “thing” but really dismissed the idea of them being life changing. That is until, Marissa of Style Cusp told me how incorporating them into her daily routine has been, well totally life changing. Getting to spend some time with Marissa while at MacKenzie-Childs #CampCourtlyCheck meant that I got to ask her a lot of questions about oiling, how to use them, and even get her to mix me a custom roller ball with a combination of oils that would help with my low energy. Marissa’s knowledge and passion for using essential oils is infectious and she quickly made me want to give essential oils a try. But where to start? Well, Marissa has that covered…she’s got an instagrm account (@cuspessentials) where she posts advice for those starting an oil journey, favorite blends, tried and true wellness practices with the oils, etc. and she also does Facebook Live sessions to answer specific questions and talk various topics. The idea of sleeping through the night, reducing stress, gaining energy, improving my health and more with just the addition of the right essential oils is enough for me to drink the kool-aid and jump on the oiling bandwagon…placing my order for a Young Living starter kit today. Highly suggest following Marissa and trying for yourself!

1. Dirty Lemon Beverages ($65 for case of 6) // 2. J.Crew Berry Print // 3. Cynthia Cavort Collins Ecru Braided Necklace ($120) // 4. LoveShackFancy Melody Dress ($385, also here) // 5. Clare Vivier Pom Pom Loops ($55 each) // 6. VineBox Rosé Pack ($49) // 7. Cusp Essentials (order here!)

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MacKenzie-Childs Taylor

April 18, 2017

If you read this post from last week, then you already know I'm riding a MacKenzie-Childs high. Something I touched on - but am really really excited to talk more about with today's post - is how I came to know the brand. For almost as long as I can remember my mom has had a collection of the the MacKenzie-Childs Taylor pattern. Each spring and summer Taylor would make spectacular appearances for holidays (starting with Easter), birthdays (Sally's a July baby), dinner parties, and big family meals. Sally and I came to relish the ritual of setting the table and getting to mix-and-match the colorful patterns - making sure that each of the flat dinner plates went with a different fluted luncheon plate and that the tea cups and saucers were juxtaposed with non-matching prints as well. This past weekend I got to spend Easter at home and I employed the same table setting tradition using pattern I've all but memorized since childhood.

If you're a MacKenzie-Childs fan you might know that the company got its start in 1983 with the Taylor ceramic pieces. The colorful, energetic, and eclectic patterns that comprise the collection - there's 20 total! - are a fundamental building block for the brand but also a labor of love...so much so that the nearly all the Taylor prints and pieces have been retired. BUT, for one month only, MacKenzie-Childs is offering the retired Taylor patterns for purchase! Each pattern is available in 17 silhouettes (from a teapot and butterhouse to dinner plates and serving platters) and you can stock up in just one print or do what MacKenzie-Childs encourages (and what our mom does) and mix-and-match a selection! Just hurry and get your orders in before May 14th...when the Taylor collection goes back into retirement.

 

Truly, it was in getting to know our mom’s Taylor pieces that Sally and I learned about MacKenzie-Childs and began a life-long love affair with the brand. Our mom told us that each piece was hand-painted (still true to this day) and even as little girls we knew that the happy, playful set was something really special. So special that Sally and I still fight joke about which of us will end up with our mama’s collection someday. Perhaps we should take this month as a sign to get some pieces of our own!

For those curious, these are the ten Taylor patterns our mom has had since 1995: Aalsmeer, Aurora, Brighton Pavilion, Heather, King Ferry, Madison, Myrtle, Rose Cottage, Stoke Gabriel and a simple yellow lattice and blue dot pattern that’s sadly completely discontinued. After this past weekend, my mom and I think it would be a great idea for her to take advantage of the collection being available again and add two more dinner plates and luncheon plates to her collection so she 12 pieces for our growing family. We’re favoring the Bearded Iris, Summer Frock or Poplar Ridge.

As I mentioned earlier, each of the 20 Taylor prints is available in 17 different MacKenzie-Childs silhouettes. I’m definitely biased but I think mixing flat with fluted (ruffle) pieces gives such a great dimensional quality to a table and makes for great height when stacking!

*  = the silhouettes our mama has

While on my trip visiting the MacKenzie-Childs headquarters (read all about it here) I asked where all the Taylor pieces were…it seemed like the shop only had a select pattern or two and the same showed true online. That was when I was told about the collection being in retirement and learned about the limited-time opportunity that was happening for us Taylor-lovers to get our hands on the historical and fantastical pieces! I’m sure growing up with my mom’s set of Taylor has influenced my feelings about the collection as a whole, but I really feel like the whimsical patterns do such a great job representing the handmade, artisanal quality that is the hallmark of MacKenzie-Childs.

A huge and special thanks to my wonderful, creative and selfless mama for helping me pull this post together. Could not have done it without her help and of course, her beautiful collection of MacKenzie-Childs Taylor pieces. Don’t forget…you have until May 14th to place your order for Taylor goodness!

Pieces From The Post

MacKenzie Childs Taylor Patterns show in photos and in images above: Aalsmeer // Aurora // Brighton Pavilion // Heather // King Ferry // Madison // Myrtle // Rose Cottage // Stoke Gabriel // Bearded Iris // Summer Frock // Poplar Ridge

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