Author: Molly Miller (Left)
Location: Dallas, TX
A little bit: Owner of white lab pups blue moonbeam and Rosebud, Molly's primary job is running the blog and keeping up with her collection of white shirts. She tends to be the more tomboy + edgy sister and she's crazy about pizza and ripped jeans.
Toast: Butter + Strawberry jelly, or avocado + red pepper
Author: Sally Miller Walker (Right)
Location: Dallas, TX
A little bit: Sally's passion and career is as an early childhood education teacher. she has a weakness for sweets and shopping on line and plays more with pinks, pattern, and color than Molly. Currently listening to: vampire weekend.
Toast: Butter + Cinnamon + Sugar, or peanut butter
We (my husband, le bebe and I) are in Kansas City for a long weekend to visit family and friends and couldn't be more excited! The weather is supposed to be amazing - high 70's and low 80's - which will be such a nice break from the heat of Dallas. We went on a walk last night and it was brutal! Can't wait for a little change of scenery and our mama's yummy cooking. (read on to get the sales + steals)
B.FAVORITE PIN // this via Architectural Digest (I’m nowhere near considering designing a big kid’s room but I love the whole look of this bedroom – and the whole house for that matter – designed by Joe Lucas)
C. FAVORITE INSTAGRAM // @johnderiancompany (Hats off to whomever runs this instagram – it’s always so beautiful and inspiring!)
D. FAVORITE OUTFIT // Brooklyn Blonde (Hurry up fall weather! I want to copy this look…)
Gap: Up to 50% off everything + extra 20% off and free shipping on all orders. (How pretty is this top? Perfect for going into fall.)
H&M: Summer blowout sale – up to 80% off. (This would look great with a crisp white button down for early fall.)
J.Crew: Extra 30% off final sale styles with code HOORAY. (If you don’t already have these, now’s the time to stock up! Such a steal. Thinking I may need the black pair. I wear mine allll the time. This nursing friendly top might just have to come home with me – would be cute with jeans once the weather cools down just a bit here.)
J.Crew Factory: Online only – 40-50% off top of the class picks. (Of course I want the white version of this, because what other color would I be drawn to in a top!? The gingham is pretty cute, too!)
It was always my hope (or dream, if you will) that my husband and I would eventually live in a place that included a backyard area that could have an outdoor furniture set up. After living in San Francisco - he was there for three years, I joined him for the last two years - one of the things we were most excited about with our move to Dallas was having a yard for our pups and getting a private space of our own. Don't get me wrong, the mild and typically chilly weather in San Fran makes being outside year-round an actual thing...Dallas might be warmer (ok, a lot warmer and borderline boiling in the summer) but having access to more housing options (especially ones with outdoor space) along with several other factors made it somewhat easy to leave the city we grew to love. After being in Dallas for a year and moving three times - not a joke and yes, it nearly killed me - we're renting a home that we loooove and one of our favorite parts about it is the backyard set up. It might not have a pool or an acre of grass but it's perfect for our pups to romp around in, has a great garage set up, and it has a covered patio area that's the perfect size for an outdoor living situation!
Before we even moved I was so excited about the prospect of potential outdoor furniture, it was all I could talk about. Molly (and my mom, and my husband) all told me to cool my jets and get through the move, birth of my baby (he came two days after our move in day, yes it was crazy), get settled then jump on outdoor furniture. Well, Frontgate must have heard my frantic thoughts of making an outside gathering space become a reality because they reached out and generously offered to help us find pieces that fit our vision and lifestyle. To say that we're loving our simple, comfy set up is an understatement!
If you already known of Frontgate, then you know that they’re a one-stop-shop for all things home and that they especially excel in their outdoor furniture and outdoor living offerings. There’s an abundance of styles – from ornate and traditional to sleek and modern – and they truly have something for everyone no matter what your aesthetic. I enlisted the help of my mom to hone in on what pieces would be the best fit for us and our outdoor space.
The first place we started was the seating. The main thing I wanted was something comfortable and clean looking that wouldn’t be a nightmare to take care of. Given that I’m not super traditional I determined that the aluminum pieces, while absolutely beautiful, weren’t going to be for me. And because I’m all about durability and ease I also knew that upholstered items (also insanely beautiful) wouldn’t be a good fit. After going back and forth between various wicker and teak options I became convinced that teak furniture would be the best fit. Teak is a hardwood that’s naturally resistant to moisture and fairly low maintenance compared to other types of outdoor wood due to the natural oil it produces. It’s a really pretty honey color and left untreated or sealed it develops this weathered, silver grey hue over time.
I fell in love with the low profile and simplistic design of the Harbor Seating set and liked that the pieces looked very sturdy but not so heavy or dense that we couldn’t move them around or re-configure the set-up whenever we wanted. I figured that the couch and two chairs would be just what our space needed and I was definitely right. And of course, the comfy-looking seat and back cushions fit my “comfy” criteria. The cushions are available in a really pretty pale blue and white stripe fabric but I went with the “salt” color to keep things clean and neutral.
Speaking of neutral, when looking at the options for an accent table and rug I wanted them both to compliment the couch and chairs while not looking super matchy-matchy. My mom’s the one who suggested the Ensoleille Coffee Table and at first I was unsure about it looking too modern…but she assured me that it would anchor the whole set up with it’s weighted look and she was completely right. When it first arrived I was so scared that it was solid stone or concrete and that I wouldn’t be able to lift it! But it’s made of “monolithic crushed stone” and while not light as a feather, it is easy to move and not nearly as heavy as it looks to be. It’s also incredibly easy to wipe down and the perfect size for holding food and drinks – the bigger diameter means that it’s not as easy for our dogs to snag snacks! My family jokes that I’m an absolute freak when it comes to rugs. I’m honestly so obsessive about keeping the ones I have inside clean and constantly scolding our pups for tracking in mud or shedding all over them. The one thing I wanted for our outdoor rug was for it to be something that looked great and could withstand the elements (and dogs) so I wouldn’t freak out over it all the time. The Avoca Braided Rug was just the right amount of “pattern” – the contrasting camel colors in two sizes of braids make it have a subtle stripe – and it promises to be exceptionally durable and able to stand up well to high-traffic areas with strength and endurance. Maybe I need one of them inside my house! I love that the tones of the rug compliment the teak hue now but will also still look good when the furniture eventually gets a patina.
Last but not least, I couldn’t say no to a couple of throw pillows. Frontgate has just the right amount of options when it comes to their pillows…great styles and color combinations to choose from and no cheesy patterns. Who knew weather resistant pillows could look so good?! To add some color without going over the top, I picked the Scalamandre Oasis Sky Pillows. I’m always a sucker for anything Scalamandre (so classic, amIright?) and the blue and yellow were the perfect happy addition to the set up.
Like I said, it’s a pretty simple look but the un-fussy and relaxed vibe is exactly what I was wanting and after wanting an outdoor living space for so long it feels like a “pinch me” moment to have such beautiful pieces from Frontgate. Even better is how much we’ve used it in the past months! We can’t wait for fall to hit so that we can spend even more time alfresco.
P.S. My MacKenzie-Childs butterfly pieces were another summer addition and I specifically picked them out for the purpose of using them for all our outdoor dining and entertaining (the pitcher, serving platter, and dinner plates are hopefully just the start to my collection). They might be hand-wash only but the enamelware is ideal for using outside!
This isn't one of my vibes today, but I just finished reading "Eligible" by Curtis Sittenfeld and love, loved it. It's a "modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice" which, I'm embarrassed to say, I've never read. But I just might have to the beloved Jane Austen tale after loving Sittenfeld's retelling so much. Aside from the never-ending family drama (five sisters, so much happening) it was very fun that nearly the whole story took place in Cincinnati - a city I'm fairly familiar with thanks to my college days in Ohio. Even more crazy that "Hillbilly Elegy" (the non-fiction book that was part of my Current Vibes two weeks ago) takes place in Middletown, Ohio. Very interesting to read one right after the other and note the socioeconomic differences. Highly recommend both! (if you didn't realize, I just gave you a bonus vibe. Now keep reading for the others)
1. SOFA SHOPPING // INTERIOR DEFINE: I love my dogs, sometimes in an unhealthy way. They sleep in bed with me and have free range of all the furniture in my place. Including my sectional sofa. This said sofa has had a good seven year run with me and I love it for that. But it’s sustained a lot of puppy love (re: too much) and given that it was a generous family hand-me-down that Sally and I slipcovered yearssss ago, I think I’m ready for an upgrade. Sally and her husband got a sectional from Interior Define when they moved to San Francisco about four years ago and I’ve always been really jealous of it. Besides the fact that Interior Define has incredible sofa style options that are both superior in quality and affordability, they offer a whole range of fabric options that are pet and kid friendly. Cue angels singing. I’m moving to a new place at the end of the month (for anyone counting, this is my eighth move in seven years) and I’m thinking that a new sectional (I can’t part with the L-shape – it really is the best) might be a joint housewarming and birthday gift to myself. I turn 30 in October…nothing says “adult” or celebrates a milestone birthday quite like a new sofa, am I right? About to order myself a set of free swatches from Interior Define to narrow down the fabric while I still deliberate on style.
2. WONDERING // WOWDER: It’s hard to miss it when Glossier announces a new product – they have the marketing and hype down. They also have such a tight assortment that you know each new addition is something that’s been very well thought about. The latest offering is part of their makeup category: Wowder. I’ve been experimenting with “face makeup” formulas for the past year (powders, tinted moisturizers, liquid foundations, stick foundations, etc.) so I was very intrigued to hear what this powder would be be like. It doesn’t sound like it’s a foundation powder and Glossier says that it’s in fact not powder (hence the name). Said to “cut shine, blur the appearance of pores, set makeup, look like skin.” To me it sounds more like a tinted setting formula than one with coverage – the promise of it not caking into fine line or flatting skin’s texture reaffirms my suspicions. I’m always looking for some sort of coverage so I’m not totally positive this is for me, but I do love the thought that Glossier put into the design (trampoline mesh!) and that they created a non-sheding brush specifically for application. But does anyone else think that the name and graphic adorning the top of the packaging look more like Benefit (known for their puns and cheeky designs) than Glossier (known for their sleek minimalism)?
3. PERFUMING // BYREDO KABUKI: Don’t spray it, brush it. Perfume that is. And only Byredo. The beautiful fragrance company known for its stark branding and curated selection of scents has launched a revolutionary way to apply perfume with a kabuki brush that dispenses micro-fine translucent powder is housed in a sleek black tube. As someone who also feels like scents disappear from my skin (not sure if I have some sort of internal chemical repellent thing happening) I wonder if this powder perfume would linger longer than the liquid variety. Alas, I haven’t found any of the sites offering the new Byredo Kabuki to acknowledge or address this suspicion. I guess I’ll just have to track down a tester in Dallas (luckily, Forty Five Ten carries the product!) and try it for myself. The Kabuki is offered in Byredo’s famed Gypsy Water (Violet Grey touts that “the aroma evokes fresh soil, deep forests, and campfires”), Bal d’Afrique and Blanche.
4. WRAPPING // ACLER MARENE TOP: It might still be super hot in Texas but the constant blast of ice-cold air conditioning means that styling long sleeves with shorts is possible. My latest long sleeve top crush is the Marene wraparound number by Acler. Like a traditional button down but with a nice twist (pun intended), I love the stripes, longer length and the fact that it can be worn more off-the-shoulder if wanted (see how it’s styled here). This may be a buy-now-wear-now-then-wear-like-a-uniform-come-fall piece for me! But I mean…should I get it in the white version to add to my white shirt collection?!
5. BOOTING // MIRON CROSBY: Beautiful, unique, and creative cowboy/cowgirl boots are not an infrequent site in Texas but getting your hands on a pair can be quite the process. It typically involves going to a custom-boot place (and there’s not as many as you might think), picking from a dizzying amount of options (from toe shape, stitch-style, motifs, leathers and more), then waiting for like, ever, for them to be handmade and ready for wear. Recognizing the beauty that are handmade artisanal boots – and having quite to collection of custom pairs themselves – sisters Lizzie Means Duplantis and Sarah Means have introduced Miron Crosby. What makes Miron Crosby unique are their not-so-typical designs in ready-to-wear styles and the option to create a custom bespoke pair to your own specifications via a concierge design service. Also special, these boots are a blend of western sensibilities and fashion-forward aesthetics. In a sea of boots that all tend to start looking the same, Miron Crosby’s hand-lasted boots (done in Texas by the legendary Rios of Mercedes, I might add) are creative kicks destined to become heirlooms. Live in Dallas? Visit their studio in Highland Park Village! Live anywhere else? Shop the styles for men and women online! To say I’m wanting a pair for myself an understatement…
6. LOVING // MIRTH’S INDIAN-STYLE PICNIC: More sisters! Y’all should know by now that my love for Mirth Caftans and the women behind the brand runs pretty deep. If you can catch me on a summer day when I’ve showered and taken myself out of workout clothes I’m most likely wearing one of their breezy, elevated caftans. While reading and viewing the entertaining feature they did with Camille Styles I had the goofiest grin on my face…it just makes me so happy to see all their pretty styles being worn and them sharing aspects of the Indian culture and traditions they’ve picked up from their frequent trips to and from for their handmade manufacturing process. Total eye candy. And fun to learn even more about them!
7. WANTING // RICE BEADS: I’ve been seeing Charleston Rice Beads adorning some of most stylish friends for years. Confused why the strands look like actual pieces of rice and how they’re unique to Charleston? Well, being the nerd I am, I can answer your curiosity! The story dates back to the 1690s, when a Madagascar ship en route to England got off course due to a storm and landed in the colony of Charleston. After receiving a friendly and kind welcome, the ship’s captain gave the governor a handful of rough rice grains. From this handful, Charleston colonists used the grain for seed and enough rice was produced to supply South Carolina and other colonies. Cool, right? I’m really working to plan a trip to Charleston this fall and hope to bring back some rice beads as a souvenir. After all, Candy Shop Vintage (a local Charleston shop with a great selection of rice bead pieces) has proclaimed that rice beads are “the new pearls.”
Guys, this isn't a slip dress! Can you believe it?! Yes...I love a slip dress and that's been evident in the dressier dresses I've been styling here all summer. But I also adore pieces that have more of a drape and flowy silhouette. Case in point with the one sleeve ruffle dress by Cynthia Cazort Collins you see here. I've been a long-time fan of Cynthia's rope necklaces but it didn't even register with my brain that she also made incredibly beautiful clothes till I saw this dress in pale pink styled on Kathleen (side note, if you're not reading and following Carrie Bradshaw Lied yet you're seriously missing out). I've never said "no" to an off the shoulder frock but ruffles...they're not always my thing. That said, I couldn't get Cynthia's dress with the exaggerated single shoulder ruffle and tied waist off my mind. I welcomed the dress in black to my closet and couldn't be more pleased.
Something you should know – besides the fact that this dress looks even more amazing in person – it’s ridiculously soft. Like butter. Or a baby bottom. But better than both because it’s a polyester and silk blend that you can hand wash. Do you know how excited I feel knowing that something doesn’t have to be dry-cleaned?! It means that I end up wearing the piece even more often because I feel safe in knowing that I can get it clean and pretty at home. And really, the silky soft texture is beyond.
What else? It’s Tuesday but feels like Monday? #nevernotworkingfortheweekend
It's hard to believe that its already the first week of August - where has the summer gone!? We have been having unusually mild weather for August in Dallas - low 90's, which has been amazing. It has been SO nice. Lets hope it sticks around for a little while longer! (read on to get the sales + steals)
This + That:
A.IMPORTANT READ // “Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?” via The Atlantic (While it’s not a happy topic, the rise of teen suicide has been one of the most talked about stories this week. This article in particular has been referenced a lot…interesting, informative, sad, scary. I think it’s an important must read despite the dark topic)
B.FAVORITE PIN // this (Having “take me back to the beach!” feelings like whoah)
CB2: Pre-fall! 800+ new arrivals! (This serving bowl is so pretty and would look great sitting out all of the time. Would make for the perfect gift, too!)
Gap: Friends and family event! No exclusions – 40% off everything online + 50% off your purchase in stores! (A classic trench for $80 is a steal! Even more so with the 50% off.)
H&M: Back to school! 20% off orders over $60 plus free shipping with code 7013. (Love this in the blue version. Perfect with black jeans for fall.)
J.Crew: Online only – extra 50% off sale styles with code YAYSALE. (This in the black version is great to wear now and into fall layered under a cute jean jacket.)
J.Crew Factory: In stores and online – up to 60% off everything! (How had I never seen this? So good. This also looks promising!)
kate spade new york: New fall arrivals! (Realllly into skirts as of late and this one is amazing paired with a crisp white shirt. This could not be a more perfect black dress that would hang in my closet forever! Everyone needs one of those.)
LOFT: $25 off dresses! (Love everything about this dress! This one, too.)
Lou & Grey: Free shipping! (How perfect is this for airplane travel? Looks beyond cozy. Realllly wishing this guy came in white – obviously.)
Lulu Frost: Free shipping on orders of $150 or more!
Nordstrom: 3 days left of the Anniversary Sale! (I live for this stuff and this is a great deal!)
Old Navy: 30% off your order! No code needed. (Like the split hem denim look but don’t want to spend a fortune? These look so good! Ordering now! These are an amazing price and such a good staple.)
Saks: Final sale up to 70% off! (Obsessed with the fit and wash of these! Perfect for this time of year and into the early fall. Gimme all the loose pants.)
Serena and Lily: Summer tent sale! 30-70% off. (Great time to stock up on extra sheet sets like these, which are adorable.)
Steve Madden: Free shipping over $50 with code SMFREE50! (These in the camel color are the perfect transitional shoe. Love that the heel isn’t too high!)