Tag Archives: accessories

Holiday Shopping Guide!

UPDATED: 12/5/13!

I recently sent some friends an e-mail with things I bought (or will be buying) for my holiday gift list. Then Monica from Wired Momma asked if she could feature it on her blog. THEN I thought, “wait a minute…I have a blog, and back when I was actually writing stuff on it, I would have TOTALLY posted this list.”

Duh. So here we go. My personal list of suggestions for holiday shopping this year! I’ve also added some suggestions from friends (since of course, I asked for THEIR favorite resources too).

FIRST – a few bargains. While I don’t typically work on non-special needs deals for CertifiKid, I offered to help bring in a few for the holiday gift guide this year. I only approached a handful of designers/companies who made “pretty stuff” that I like – so I could get a good discount on something I already planned to buy. Here are the FOUR “personalized” gift options that I hand picked:


2-Month Subscription for Appleseed Lane STEM (science/math) experiments and projects – this is currently running as a CertifiKid holiday gift guide deal: $28 (40% off). My kids LOVE this kind of thing and I was a terrible math and science student. With STEM jobs on the rise, those poor Hood children need all the help they can get. Thank you Appleseed Lane!

appleseelane photo

1. Monogrammed clutches from Social Monograms – $26 (40% off). Lots of color and monogram style options (if I was getting married this would totally be on the list for possible bridesmaid gifts). THIS DEAL HAS ENDED – but you can still order directly from Social Monograms at www.socialmonograms.com.


I’m getting a few – including one for myself in either green or orange with a white block monogram:


2. Matching monogrammed t-shirts for a girl and her 18″ doll – $28 (32% off). Eleanor is really into her American Girl Doll and I bought this for her birthday. THIS DEAL HAS ENDED – but you can find another American Girl (18″) doll deal HERE.


Sadly – this was before I brought in the deal, so no discount for me. There are only 100 available at this price and half of that has sold just today.

3.  50% off personalized kids’ stationery from Smilegram Paper (including LINED PAPER – which the little ones love). You can buy $10 vouchers for $5 (50% off) – up to $100 to apply to your order. I haven’t placed MY order yet…but here are some possibilities: THIS DEAL HAS ENDED – but the same one is running on CertifiKid’s Special Needs page since the lined stationery is great for kids who struggle with the fine motor skills required for handwriting. Get your Smilegram at 50% off HERE.

lined paper

note cards

4.  $25 (45% off) in personalized silhouettes from Le Papier Studio Both traditional (you know…heads-only) or unique figures – and lots of different styles. I LOVE the idea of sending in an “action” picture and having it made into an art print silhouette. Here is what I JUST ordered to feature some of our recent beach pictures of the kids (made into silhouettes): THIS DEAL HAS ENDED – You can order directly from Le Papier Studio at www.lepapierstudio.com.


Here are two others that I love:

Le Papier Studio 4


Full disclosure – I will make a small commission on sales for the FOUR items above since I brought in the deals (so  if all goes well, I may be able to cover the cost of my own purchases – ha!) Alternatively, I get zippy for featuring the rest of the list below.

ANYWAY – If you want to see the other CertifiKid holiday gift guide deals you can find them HERE. Moving on – here are a few [more] of my favorite things…

1. Cozy cowels from Elizabeth Keohan of The Knotti Klinic.


2. Gorgeous fair trade jewelry from Kiran Ferrandino of Simply Om. A portion of the proceeds from all Simply Om sales go toward training and empowering women in oppressed areas to develop a sustainable trade and help them overcome poverty. I own several Simply Om pieces including one of these bracelets from Ecuador (turquoise blue) that I wear daily:


And here is Kiran wearing one of her new designs produced by artisans in India.

simply om kiran

3. My favorite new novel (just finished it and I’m buying it for some friends/family members), The Lunatic Parlor by Adrienne Cunninghame-Blank. I describe this book at Royal Tenenbaums meets Running with Scissors – I’m sad it’s over and still thinking about the characters…

Lunatic Parlor

4. My favorite humor book on Motherhood (well…tied with the first one) from Scary Mommy. Buy one for every mother you know!

Scary Mommy

5. Adorable wooden teethers and rattles from Little Alouette. I have a new nephew and this little guitar has his name on it!

Little Alouette

6. Beautiful prints, paper goods, etc. from one of my favorite artists, Anne Harwell of Annechovie. I have this print hanging in my house:

Annechovie 2

This is one of my current favorites:

Annechovie 1

7. Fabric clutch purses in fabulous textiles from Bee Gee Bags. If you have been following The Big Piece of Cake for any length of time, you will know how much I LOVE these bags! I think I first featured them in 2008 when I started the blog. I have several and the compliments flow every time I take one out. Here is one of mine that is currently available on the site:

bee gee

8. Some warmers and wax from my friend Tina O’Flynn who sells Scentsy. The fact that I like this product was a big surprise since I have an extreme aversion to all things Yankee Candle…I’m pretty sensitive to smells and Scentsy has a good selection of subtle scents that don’t make me feel like passing out. Also – the whole “wick-less” thing is huge for me since I’m terrified of matches (true story). Hey – a birdcage!


FINALLY: Suggestions I received from friends include…

Kim loves jewelry from designer Heather Raabe. Her pieces range in price from $20 to over $800 – but I think my favorite was a simple hammered silver necklace for $40. Affordable and goes with everything:

Heather Raabe

Check out her Etsy shop HERE.

Mickie highly recommends Thumb and Pinky for unique handmade kids clothes. My favorite on the site is this African Wax print sun dress:

Thumb and Pinky 1

Not exactly seasonal for the East Coast…but I’d buy a size up for summer 2014! Visit the Etsy shop HERE.

Kristen reminded me of the Haitian Creations party she hosted earlier this year. I purchased a gorgeous long necklace that I prefer to wear in a 1920’s House of Eliott style. This is what the beads look like (in green – thought there are many color variations):

Haitian Creations

And here is the process:

Haitian Creations is a non-profit organization rooted in empowering the women of Haiti through education & design. Check out the site HERE.

FINALLY, for my DC area friends – here are the local shops I’ll be visiting:

Zoe Boutique in Old Town Alexandria


Covet in Arlington


The Nest Egg in Fairfax

Nest Egg

How about you? Have any great finds you’d like to share? Tell me in comments or e-mail me, bigpieceofcake@gmail.com. I’ll add them!

Happy (almost) holidays!

What I’m wearing this week…

…at BlogHer! I’m leaving on Thursday and will be gone for three nights. And I’m not at all kidding when I tell you that I LOVE packing for any trip – so packing for three days in NYC is more fun (for me) than you can imagine.

Okay – so I’m not going to give you a blow by blow of the outfits I’m bringing  – but here’s an assortment of items that will be in my suitcase.

Of course, there will be more – but really not that much. I try to keep my bag as small as possible. And I prefer to have a plan for what I’m wearing each day so I don’t waste time on wardrobe angst in my hotel room. In fact, a couple of years ago, I wrote about some thoughts on this. After re-reading them, I think they still apply, so I’m posting them again.



Since I have done the “conference thing” for years and I have a little insight into that, I was trying to think of any tips I have that I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere. Here are a few:

1. Some people will tell you to wear great shoes and others will tell you to wear comfortable shoes – but I’m telling you now that it’s all about “the devil you know.” Maybe all of your comfortable flat shoes look like they belong at the community pool OR maybe you have plenty of comfortable shoes, but you don’t think they’re nice enough. My advice is DON’T go out and buy some Easy Spirit semi-heels expecting them to feel like clouds strapped to your feet after a day of walking the exhibit hall floor. They won’t. I’ve done that and paid for it in very painful blisters. I suggest picking some of the most comfortable shoes that you actually own, and go with them. And they may be heels. In fact I’m going to be wearing a pair of heeled sandals at least one day and two nights simply because they’re really are comfortable and will look good with outfits that I’d like to wear. Will my feet be sore at the end of the day/night? Probably, but I know exactly how sore. AND I know that I won’t get blisters. If you are just casual and that’s it? Own it. Wear whatever makes you feel great and don’t feel intimidated by shiny new stilettos. Just picture the blisters forming on the heels of the women wearing them and have compassion. Know they may be crippled for the second half of the conference. Offer them your seat on Saturday. It’s the kind thing to do.

Also? Open toe or sandals will make a world of difference if you have anything like that.

2. Sticking with the superficial stuff… I also suggest that you pick your most time consuming maintenance issue and have a plan for streamlining it. Do you really want to spend hours of your precious conference time in your room getting ready? I think not. And if that means adding a flat iron to your already bulging suitcase – do it! Spending an hour with the hotel supplied hair drier and your brush will be a huge waste of time you could be spending with friends. Hair is definitely my most time consuming “get ready” activity if I wear it down. So instead of running out for the trim that I really want, I decided to leave it alone and go with the low pony tail for most of the weekend. I can get ready in five to ten minutes (including a shower) with the exception of my hair. My hair is fairly short now, so I part it on the side and pull it into a low pony tail while it’s wet. Takes two seconds, lasts all day, and looks (dare I say it) incredibly chic when paired with pretty much any outfit. And if it’s imperative that you look perfectly coiffed (and you can afford this…) have your hair done professionally. For god’s sake, it’s New York! You have tons of nearby salons at your disposal. Book an appointment and make a mini-event of it. Grab a glass of champagne afterward. Live a little.

Maybe hair isn’t your issue. Talk to someone who is an “expert” in whatever you’re dealing with and have them help you plan some time saving shortcuts.

3. This tip I read somewhere else – but I think it’s just so ridiculously smart, and deserves repeating. Have a plan for what you will be wearing each day and night. I know – again with the superficial… What can I say? I fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to social stuff, but I need to have a plan for the clothes and styling. Either way – this applies to everyone since it will simplify packing and keep your suitcase as small as possible. I can’t remember where I read this…but the person who suggested it even put accessories an plastic bags to attach to the hangers! I doubt I’ll be that organized – but before I zip up my suitcase, I know it will include everything I need for:

-(wearing) Thursday day – travel
-Thursday evening parties
-Friday – conference day
-Friday evening parties
-Saturday – conference day
-Saturday evening parties
-Sunday morning
-(BONUS: Sunday mid-day travel, one to two back up outfits for day/night in case I spill a Diet Coke down the front of my shirt…it could happen…)

That’s a maximum of 10 outfits; and for me, jeans will be involved in at least five to six of them. I’m not going to be wearing LBDs and Louboutins (I wish!) each day – so I’m definitely coming from a regular girl perspective here…my clothes will be a mix of J. Crew, Anthropologie and Target. And no – I won’t state the ratio on that.

4. MORE SUPERFICIAL! But seriously – this is practical travel advice when it comes to accessories. Put the family heirlooms back in the lock box and wear fashionable fakes for a weekend like this. If you have both diamond anniversary earrings and a pair of cubic zirconia? Bring the CZ. The last thing you want is a ruined day/night that involves lost jewelry and security reports. No one will notice the difference. Try to be as Holly Go-Lightly as possible with what you pack. You don’t want to arrive home in tears over what you lost – you do want to be emotionally filled to the brim with what you gained.

5. Finally, this is non-superficial advice for myself as well as anyone else. Act about ten times more confident than you actually feel. Not cocky or obnoxious…just happy. When in doubt? Smile. BIG. And walk up to people to introduce yourself. If anyone seems less than thrilled to meet you, assume you caught them at a bad time and move on. Seriously – from my personal life experience combined with what I’ve read about this particular conference, you will find plenty of people who WANT to talk to you, who are THRILLED to meet you and who may even become close future friends. But only if you try. Only if you put yourself out there. ONLY if you don’t let the little things get to you and appreciate the wonderful people right next to you at the moment.


I guess that last part wasn’t fashion/styling-related… Oh well – if a smile is the best accessory, then I suppose it applies.

This was pretty text heavy for Wishing True! Sorry about that. I’ll be back next week with more pretty pictures. See you then!

sneakpeeq: Cuffs!

Do you know about sneakpeeq? I think I got a marketing e-mail a while back, and while I never followed up with the contact about whatever freebie or giveaway or discount code she was offering, I WAS smart enough to click the link and sign up.

And I have to say, I find some really fantastic and unique items via sneakpeeq. Pretty sure you need an invite from friends (I’m happy to send you one) and you may even earn points for that or something…(not sure since I have a big fat 0 for “friends” right now). BUT I’m just enjoying getting a “peeq” at some products I wouldn’t know about otherwise – ones I can feature HERE.

Today I’m loving the cuff bracelets. How great are these?

This Melinda Maria Cage Cuff would be perfect for sleeveless summer outfits. I’d use it to dress up a tank top and jeans (I’m pretty much always in jeans – even in the summer). But it could also be a nice addition to a more dressy outfit (thinking LBD here).

The same could be said of this woven sparkler:

This cuff from Julie Rofman (the Ibiza Bracelet) is little more rock and roll with the leather fringe detail…but I think I could still pull it off.

Wish List for June 4, 2012

After a year without posts (and a brief attempt at a return), I’m bringing back my Wishing True blog!

Now a page on The Big Piece of Cake, I’ll use this space to write about all of the beautiful things I find online (and there are many). This will include everything from jewelry and fashion to textiles and art – but every Monday I’ll post a little “wish list.” (I know! An actual feature that requires consistency – I’m nuts.)

Today, I’m feeling inspired by Etsy… So I’ve pulled two “new to me” shops as well as a couple of old favorites.

First – a cheerful little gem from my friend Anne Harwell of Annechovie. I love her perfume bottle paintings with their bright background colors. And this one is an original!

Find full details on how to buy it HERE.

Then there is this oktak chevron print bag that caught my eye recently – it also comes in a lovely blue. But yellow is my favorite color…

Buy it HERE!

And speaking of yellow… This fluttery Holly Stalder number has LONG been a favorite of mine. Gorgeous canary yellow – perfect for summer.

More details HERE.

Finally – How great are these bracelets from Leather Wraps? I JUST found them a few minutes ago when I logged on to Etsy. They come in an array of colors and silver/gold options. Something for everyone!

And? They are a STEAL at $23 for a set of six.

So that’s the list for this week. Let’s see if I can keep it up with another list next Monday. And if you have any suggestions for items to add to future lists (something from your own shop?), drop me a line!

Needful Things: Jill Rosenwald Studio

How cute is this little lamp?

What about this tall one?

Or this one?

This would be great for holding keys by the front door (do you think anyone would get the Greek Key thing?)

Probably not. So I’d just tell them.

Also loving…

She also does monogrammed pieces!

And custom work. I could go on – but preschool pick up is in 20 minutes and I STILL need to write something for The Big Piece of Cake. And speaking of having too many blogs – new posts are up at Style Key West!

Check out Jill’s website HERE and her blog HERE. AND of course, the fab interview on Annechovie (where I discovered her work) HERE!

Happy Monday!

5/17/11 UPDATE: My friend just informed me that not only is she familiar with Jill’s work and owns several of her pieces, but that Jill will actually be in my area doing a show this weekend. Obviously – I’m going. I’ll be sure to take some pictures and report back!

Jessie Lauren Online Boutique

A little over a month ago (right before my unplanned blogging hiatus), I found a brand new blog, Jessie Lauren.

Jess is a cute, young Aussie with a background in the fashion industry and fabulous taste. And her posts promised the imminent launch of a new online shop.

Since I was working on something similar, I was doubly intrigued. But falling off the map for a few weeks made me miss the official launch. Oh well – better late than never!

I just perused the boutique and found so many lovely (and surprisingly affordable) items. Here are some of my favorites:

Her lines include home furnishings and accessories as well as fashion and jewelry. And some beautiful art prints! Truly something for everyone. See more HERE.

Remember when…

…it was the ’80s and you could buy espadrilles almost anywhere for less than $10?

Aren’t these cute?

You can buy them HERE. For $48.

I’m sure that the craftsmanship is far better than that of the espadrilles I used to buy on street corners… But at the end of the day, you’re wearing baskets on your feet. No matter how well made they are, one puddle and your cute kicks are trashed.

Alternatively titled: When I Realized that I Am Far Too Old And Practical.

Plümo Pretties

I bookmarked Plümo a while ago when I saw some images on An Indian Summer.

There isn’t that much detail to be found about the company on the site, but it sounds like they look for original products that can’t be found in your typical retail mall setting. All from “artisans, co-operatives from Africa to Asia, designers that have just come out of college and any kind of creative people that just make beautiful things.”

Here are some of my favorites from the “fashion” items:

I love that these pieces look unique and exotic, but are also so versatile and wearable. They’re on trend but not “trendy.” And any clothing and accessories that can work with the changing styles over years to come will always be a good investment.

See more HERE. And check out Style Key West tomorrow when I feature some of the colorful home products!

Did you Like Natalie’s Tassel Earrings?

I thought they were an elegant alternative to the usual sparklers that are borrowed for the red carpet. Not that I have any problem with the sparkle mind you!

I recently bookmarked an online jewelry shop, A Little Hamster, that works with pretty silk tassel details.

Obviously not the same kind of tassel that Natalie paired with her Rodarte gown…but if you’re looking for that, there are now TONS of DIY posts floating around online.

Personally? I’m wishing – for the very first time in my life – that I was an accountant. Why? To best pull off that adorable abacus (fifth pic down) of course! See more pretties HERE.

First image via Blame it on the Boogie.