Two Black Dresses: Blooms + Cherries

August 31, 2017

Two black dresses. Different silhouettes. One with a pretty floral print, one with sequin cherries appliquéd. Both idea LBDs for taking into fall!

When we were shopping for dance dresses (you know, homecoming, prom, etc.) our mom always told the two of us, "Pick a color! You have the rest of your life to wear black." She was right...many of the dresses hanging in our respective closets are indeed black. And that's okay. Is there anything more versatile than a little black dress? No. But an LBD can be made even better with the addition of a thoughtful pattern or artful embellishment. And when it comes to this kind of dress, kate spade, well, they have them in spades.

 

Cheesy pun intended aside, we heartfully stand behind the fact that ksny has a way with taking an ordinary black dress to the next level with their feminine and flattering silhouettes. And the brand truly up the ante when they bring in the playful detailing they’re famed for.

Sally: As a new mama, I’m all about wearing what feels most comfortable…but that doesn’t mean I don’t love having a need to dress up! It’s almost like the In Bloom Fit and Flare dress was made for me and the special occasions I have coming up. I’m obsessed with every part of the fit – from the  a high neck (love the square cut!) and slightly accentuated banded waist and box pleats to the below-the-knee length and flounce hem. Normally I’d be skeptical of a larger-scale floral but the amount of black background showing is the perfect balance to the playful flowers. It’s girly but not in a juvenile way. Love the print but not sure the style is for you (I admit that the fabric does lend itself toward more fancy occasions), this, this or this might be just what you need…

Molly:  Only kate spade could present a Sequin Cherries Shirtdress and make me want it. Seriously, the brand can take nearly any motif or symbol and apply it in a way that’s stylish and not silly. And while this shirtdress is stylish, it’s obviously anything but serious. The playful appliqué mixed with the short shirtdress silhouette is kind of what makes the whole thing work. If the hem had been even an inch longer it could have veered into silly territory but the mini length (balanced by sheer sleeves and a tie neck) is sassy perfection. kate spade didn’t make a ton of pieces with the sequin cherries but what they do have – this little bag, this cardigan, this pencil skirt, and this sticker – are just as fab.

Black dresses as an adult = inventible. But why not spice up the somber color with a little fun?

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Flutter, Chiffon, Sequins

August 28, 2017

Ohhhh boy. I moved yesterday and my place is just...a wreck. Lots to unpack and organize but I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The only good thing is that my old place and new place are very close to each other and before I had movers bring over all my furniture and boxes (BungoBoxes - the BEST way and only way I pack!) I was able to move over all my closet stuff. Clothes and shoes. Got it all organized (re: color coded) and when I feel overwhelmed by all the piles of stuff I just open the closet and...feel better. Type-A? Yes.

How can I not feel better when I spy this pretty, flutter sleeved chiffon top adorned with sequin flowers? It's feminine perfection.

 

I don’t always lean toward feminine pieces but this top was just calling to me. Probably because kate spade always gets it right when it comes to embellishments. The sparkle of the sequins is made a little more edgy with the black chiffon and I love the proportion of the flutter sleeves and loose peplum.

Here’s to hoping that I can plow through all my unpacking sooner rather than later so I can make plans to get out of the house and have a reason to put on this top again!

P.S. The MOTHER jeans I have on fit like a dreammmmm and they’re on sale (30% off)! Scoop them in your size if you can…you won’t regret it.

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SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

August 24, 2017

I love the idea of a multi-step skincare routine. Cleanse, tone, moisturize. But that's just three steps...and I think we all know by now (via the Korean skincare and beauty regiments that have become so widespread) that there are a lot more steps to be had. Multiple steps call for multiple products. Pardon me, but this sounds expensive and involved and I have some questions: What do I need and what do I not need? What’s the layering process? Do I have to get rid of all the stuff I already use? And, last (but maybe most important) are these products going to make a difference?

Based on the small amount of research and reading I've done on the multi-step skincare phenomenon, I've concluded what I think is the most important nugget of information: a facial essence is key. What's an essence you ask? Well for one, it's not a toner. It's a liquid formula designed to restore moisture into your skin, and can help the products you layer on top be more effective. People that incorporate this one step into their routine say they notice an almost immediate difference in brightness and hydration. Incredible, right? Not so fast. Not all facial essences are created equal...and if you want those incredible results, you need an incredible product. SK-II's Facial Treatment Essence was one of the first essences to be created (nearly 40 years ago) and contains a key ingredient that is so powerful, it's often referred to as "miracle water."

I had heard about the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and it's magic powers. My friend Grace has called using it "Benjamin Button-ing" (because it makes your skin look like it's aging backwards instead of forwards. Given all the hype and praise you'd think that I would have been adding the Facial Treatment Essence to my regiment years ago. Better late than never - I embarked on a skin transformation journey. If SK-II can really change my skin with just one bottle, why wouldn't I try it?!

 

Here’s the thing…I’m turning 30 in October. And while I’m not all gloom and doom about the number or the age, there is something about the milestone that feels big. And it’s made me evaluate a few things. For one thing, I can 100% say with a straight face that my skin is not what it used to be. To anyone in their early-mid twenties, I’d just like to tell you: your skin will probably never look better than it does right now. It almost feels like someone has been punking me for the past four years because dark circles I never had under my eyes have made themselves right at home, layers of moisturizer don’t ever feel like enough to quench constant dryness, that youthful “glow” is a distant memory unless I get strategic with highlighters, and you never realized the tightness your skin once had until it’s all but gone. Boo. Nature can be a tough lady. That being said, I’ve spent the past several months trying to get my skin looking and feeling as pretty and healthy as possible…saying “hi!” to 30 in less than two months seems like it will be easier if I’m feeling like my very best self. My skincare diligence has gone from focused to downright obsessive but hey, I’ve been feeling pretty darn good about my skin as a result.

I wasn’t banking on SK-II Facial Treatment Essence making me feel above and beyond. I thought, “Why not give it a go?” but not, “THIS IS GONNA BE THE HOLY GRAIL.” Basically, I’m always open to taking things from good to great in the skin department – especially if it’s as easy as adding one extra step and/or product – but my expectations were low that one bottle of SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, used daily, morning and evening would totally rock my world. But I wanted to take a journey and the promise of Cate Blanchett-like skin (she’s been using the essence for 15 years!) before 30 was too good not to jump in with both feet. If you’re potentially one bottle away from greatness, why not give it a go?

Spoiler alert: it’s that good.

Before I go into my results I want to talk about what exactly makes the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence so special. That key ingredient I mentioned earlier is called Pitera™, an ingredient derived from a unique yeast strain from a natural sake fermentation process. SK-II discovered this powerful ingredient after scientists visited a Japanese sake brewery and observed the wrinkled faces of aged sake brewers in contrast to their soft youthful hands. Realizing there was something special happening in the sake fermentation that was causing this anti-aging effect, the scientist began the process of pinpointing what this “miracle” water was. After years of exhaustive testing they were able to isolate the single yeast strain that was the secret key to flawless skin. Called Pitera™, the clear liquid is full of vitamins, amino acids, minerals and organic acids that allow the skin’s natural surface to rejuvenate at its prime and balances the moisture barrier for overall hydration and youthful-looking skin.

Though SK-II has many products, the Facial Treatment Essence has the most concentrated amount of the miracle ingredient – it’s more than 90% pure Pitera™. In addition to Pitera™, essences are more easily absorbed than creams and give your face an extra boost of moisture for a more beautiful, glowing complexion. Beauty pro favorites like SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, help stimulate the natural renewal process of the skin’s outer layer to expedite your way to glowing skin.

One product, one additional step, twice a day = transformed skin.

When I started using the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence I wasn’t peering into my mirror each morning and night looking for changes. I was just doing my normal double cleanse, followed by toner, then sprinkling about five splashes of the Facial Treatment Essence onto my palm, spreading the liquid across both hands and fingertips, and gently pressing all over my face and down my neck. Followed by moisturizer and eye cream. My three step routine got bumped to four but I hardly noticed the extra step.

After a week of using it I started telling Sally that my skin looked even more clear than before. I figured it was because I tried a new exfoliator. A week after that I was going without makeup and not feeling like Charlize Theron in Monster. I chalked it up to the added humidity Dallas has been blamed with (strangely, my skin seems to adore the extra moisture and heat). Each day my skin seemed to be looking better and each day I was thinking, “Oh! It must be XYZ.” It finally dawned on me that it was the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence literally working transformative magic.

You’d think that I would have had this “duh” realization immediately but the Facial Treatment Essence is so easy to use and so light and non-irritating that I just used it diligently without thinking…but it works. Texture: check. My pores are minuscule and adorable. Firmness: check. I feel like I have the happy skin of a teenager. Wrinkles: check. The lines on either side on my mouth are basically gone. Skin tone: check. OMG this has been the biggest difference – my redness (which I struggle with almost as much as I do acne) is so much better it’s insane. Radiance: check. I’ve never believed that skin can really “glow” but that’s exactly what I’m experiencing. Seriously noticeable results that totally snuck up on me. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced with another skin care product.

But what I love most about the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is that I can use it along with the skin products I already have. I can swap around my cleansers, toners, and moisturizers/lotions/balms – as I frequently like to do and have been while integrating SK-II Facial Treatment Essence – and by keeping the essence as a consistent step, my skin maintains a balance like I’ve never had before.

Now I totally get why Cate Blanchett looks like such a goddess…good genes and SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. Totally worth the hype, worth the investment, and worth the extra step! I’m here, declaring myself authentic proof that with SK-II you’re just #OneBottleAwayFrom younger looking skin. Hey big 3-0, I’m ready for ya!

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Current Vibes

August 23, 2017

​Ever since our trip to Kansas City which was almost two weeks ago but seems like it was mere days ago, I cannot keep track of which day of the week it is. Even though we got back a week ago, I still feel like I'm trying to get my bearings and get organized around here. Oh wait, maybe I just always feel like that. Ha. Aside from that, I am counting down the days until cooler weather when I can regularly wear jeans. It always seems like this time of year I am desperate to be able to wear jeans without feeling like they are sweating off of my body. Anyone else? Read on for this weeks vibes! And please, please, please be sure to enter to win The Great Giveaway and donate to the #whatwouldyougive campaign and our team. (vibes, vibes, vibes - right this way)

1. DRINKING // HOLY KOMBUCHA: Before we moved to San Francisco from Dallas, my friend has gotten me hooked on the Holy Kombucha on tap at the Juice Bar in Dallas. Sadly, I was unable to find that particular brand of Kombucha sold anywhere in SF and was too nervous to try anything else (I’m weird, I know), so I sort of fell off of the Kombucha bandwagon. Now that we’re living in Dallas again and I can find my favorite Holy Kombucha in the Green Apple Ginger flavor at Central Market, Royal Blue, and a bunch of other places, I’m once again obsessed. In fact, I have taken to drinking one a day. I am convinced that I can tell a difference when I don’t drink them and have come to crave them. Neither of which are a bad thing since Kombucha is so good for you! I also swear that it helps with sweet cravings – even better. If you are able to find it, try Holy Kombucha’s Green Apple Ginger – it’s the best. I only wish that I could order the stuff in bulk online and have it shipped to my house! ​

2. NEEDING // VELVET SWEATSUIT: Raise your hand if you had and loved a Juicy velour sweatsuit. Guilty. In fact, I still own my black velour sweatpants and consider them one of my favorite articles of cozy clothing in my closet. I even wore them up to the hospital when I went into labor ​- ​they are that much of a comfort item! With as much as I love sweats, a pair that looks “presentable” enough to wear out of the house would be ideal! Even if it’s just to run out and grab coffee. In a few months, mind you, as it is hotter than hot at the moment. When I came across AMO’s velvet sweatsuit (matching sweatshirt here) ​on their Instagram account I had alllll the heart eyes. A grown up version of one of my favorite pieces of clothing from my teenage years? Count. Me. In. Plus, there is nothing cozier than velvet. Am I right?

3. BURNING // OVEROSE: Since having a babe in the house, I have become extra sensitive to having “fragrances” around. I rarely wear perfume because I feel like it just seems too strong when I’m constantly holding baby H and I worry about the strong fragrances to some of our candles. But, these candles are necessary because #dogssmell. Overose is a luxury French perfume house founded just last year. I, admittedly, was initially drawn to the pretty pink packaging – specifically the custom made pink-colored wax. Even better than its appearance though, is the Overose candle’s makeup. The company “believes that improving environmental and health conditions requires a high-performance sourcing sourcing policy and an increase in the use of organic and natural oils”. Therefore, each candle is made up of raw materials of natural origins and natural essential oils. This sounds like just the answer to my pretty candle, safer alternative to fragrances, dogs that constantly seem to stink – prayers. I only wish that I could smell them in person first! You can also find them at The Stell online!

4. PRE-ORDERING // DONALD: It’s been awhile since I’ve added a coffee table book to our collection, but Assouline’s newest (not even out yet!) “Donald” definitely needs to make its way to our bookshelves. I can’t help but love Donald Robertson aka “Drawbertson” and his entire aesthetic/being. If you’re not already following him on Instagram, do yourself a favor and add him to your list. His feed is a combination of his seemingly hysterical family mixed with his playful artwork ​and it just gets me every time. How fun would it be to call Donald your dad?! “Donald The Book” features the best of Robertson’s artwork as well as original work that was created especially for the book – making it a true collector’s item.

5. WANTING // RODIN LIPSTICK: The other week my husband and I were visiting Sid and Ann Mashburn and I made my way over to the women’s section to pick up some shorts. While checking out, I was playing around with their pretty Rodin lipsticks and found my new favorite lip color​ “So Mod” – housed in an irresistible pretty see-through case. Rodin’s “So Mod” smells amazing, is a nice creamy consistency, and the color is the perfect nude/rosy pink color. I also appreciate that its a natural product since we inevitably end up swallowing so much of what we put on our lips.

6. INCORPORATING // FOODS FOR PRODUCTIVITY: With a baby at home, the time I have to spend on eating or meals in general has significantly lessened. Unless it’s dinner with my husband, I generally don’t sit down to eat anymore. So it’s all about ease while also getting good proteins that I know will fill me up more. I found this article on foods for productivity fascinating. Don’t we all want to be more productive?! Luckily, the foods listed in th​e​ article aren’t anything crazy and are super easy to incorporate into your diet pretty regularly. In fact, some of them I already have been eating daily. The one thing I always tell myself I’m going to eat with my scrambled eggs in the morning but then never do is avocados. We buy them and they just sit there. Something about the task of slicing them and then attempting to keep the other half from going brown becomes the last thing I want to do. Clearly I need to get over this and just make it happen.

7. LOVING // RRR GIFT SETS: I admittedly have an obsessive love for Roberta Roller Rabbit and their 100% Pima cotton Jammies. For both babies and myself! Molly and I have mentioned how their onesies and pjs are a go-to gift for us to gift to friends with little ones. Their darling prints are hard to resist! Recently, Roberta Roller Rabbit came out with an adorable, gender-neutral duck print that they are selling in various gift sets. Genius, right? They have completely taken the guesswork out of picking out a thoughtful gift for a new mom/baby. The “First Day” set is both practical and sweet. Every new baby needs lots of gowns (much easier diaper changes!) and every new mom needs a comfy robe to wear in both the hospital and at home. Plus, there’s nothing more fun than matching. ​Equally as sweet is the “Bundle of Joy” set that has all the things for a new babe.​

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Olive Green Outing

August 22, 2017

Molly and I took these shots while the eclipse was happening. While it was happening! Ok, we didn't. But we did shoot them yesterday afternoon after partaking in the pandemonium that was the eclipse...by checking out the cool half moon circle shadows cast by the trees (re: we were too slow to buy the "don't go blind" glasses. Next time).

Regardless about how you feel about the total eclipse and all the hype, I'm sure you have to agree that this embroidered skirt is pretty fantastic. After scooping up two other tiered and smocked-waist skirts from kate spade this summer (this and this - both so good) I felt like it was only fair to welcome the same style done in olive green with open arms.

 

Olive green just feels like fall. So I figured this skirt was an ideal “buy now, wear now – and later” piece. The poplin makes it super light (which means it can be worn with the Texas heat) but I love how the black and white folkloric embroidery gives it an eastern european flair in hues that lean towards the fall season. Hurry up, fall! I want to wear this skirt with my over-the-knee boots!

P.S. this J.Crew tee was a purchase from the weekend and I also got it in black. And so did Molly. Trust me when I tell you it’s a wardrobe essential.

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