Tag Archives: fashion

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!

Attention DC Fashionistas: Kathlin Argiro Trunk Show in Alexandria this Saturday!

If you have been following Wishing True over the past few years, you have read many posts about my friend Kathlin and her fabulous dresses. I love that someone I went to high school with is now a successful fashion designer in NYC. Makes me feel very important…by association – but still!

Kathlin is known for both her wrap dresses (comfortable AND stylish)…

…and semi-custom cocktail dresses (a three step process: pick your silhouette, pick your fabric, pick your embellishments).

Going on vacation somewhere warm? Get multiple outfits out of her famous “Dressong.”

Really, she can dress you for pretty much any occasion.

And if you live in the DC area, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to meet the designer herself! She’s having a trunk show at Zoe Boutique (130 South Union Street) in Alexandria, VA this Saturday. Kathlin will be there from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. (and possibly longer), offering styling tips and personal fashion sketches.

ALSO: Zoe will be offering fantastic discounts (one day only)!

  • Buy 1 item, get 10% off
  • Buy 2 items, get 20% off
  • Buy 3 items, get 30% off
  • Buy 4 items, get 40% off
  • Buy 5 items, get 50% off

I’m planning to drop by early. Meet me there?

Wish List for July 16, 2012

Feeling pink and gold today…

Inspired by this blazer/jacket I think:

And isn’t it great with that Anthro necklace? I’ve been a longtime reader (i.e. lurker) of Erin Gates’ blog, Elements of Style. And she has recently teamed up with a friend to start a line of blazers. The label is Two Penny Blue, and the styles are super cute. But really – this one is the stand out. Very unique – wish it came in other colors!

For a dash of gold, how about this cuff bracelet from Pondicherry?

Excellent price for something that looks far more expensive. I would wear it with everything!

Back to pink… I love this painting of pink cosmos:

Kelley MacDonald is one of several artists I follow who blog regularly about their work. I’ve been a fan for a while (in fact – I’ve posted about her before!)

And finally – something that I will forever kick myself for not buying at a private show last year…

A good friend saw a post I wrote about Jill Rosenwald’s ceramics and invited me to join her at a special showing that takes place every year in DC (which takes place at the home of one of Jill’s friends – who is a friend of my friend – SMALL world!) The timing was perfect – but I ultimately didn’t buy anything. Worries about money and that kind of thing… And I so regret it. Maybe next time.

This is a wish list after all…

Until next time!

Wish List for June 11, 2012

Today’s list includes a true range of affordable to attainable to maybe when the kids are out of college-able. For ME, that is…as a ring that has four digits in the price (BEFORE the decimal point) isn’t a priority for our family right now.

ANYWAY. How fab are these?

First – a pretty top from Rickshaw Design:

I picked this particular style/fabric because of the picture (most are just a garment shot – no model). But I would also love the tuxedo kurta in tangerine or navy.

And how gorgeous is this ring from oli + me?

This image is from LA artist, Jeana Sohn’s beautiful website (a picture she took when the designer, Grace Lee came in for portraits). I love Jeana’s style and always find fantastic new-to-me designers on her blog.

Want to see a close up of the ring (in three different colors)?


And back to the realm of retail reality (again – for ME)… Here is a super cute bag from Charm Design:

I’ve had this shop in my Etsy favorites for a while. So many pretty fabrics and simple, elegant designs.

Finally – here is a print from Driftwood Interiors that combines two of my favorites things (art and textiles) in another of my favorite things (interiors in art):

I want a real life version of that ikat upholstered couch! The artist, Kerri Shipp also does beautiful paintings of Chinoiserie and sea coral.

Do you have anything new on your wish list this week?

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!

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!

Perfecting the Fine Art of Parisian Chic?

There have a been a number of books and articles written about Parisian style – specifically how the decidedly un-Gallic can achieve it.

In general – style is a difficult thing to imitate, as it rarely rings true when forced. So the idea that anyone can just pick up a new image and make it believable in ten easy steps is somewhat unrealistic. It’s a novelty topic for fashion-minded consumers.

But that said, there is no reason that you can’t perk up your own personal style with some inspiration from others. Mix things up a little. And if you find that these new affectations are really working for you – enhancing your own look – then your style may in fact, evolve in that direction.

So instead of trying to adhere to a set of rules for a desired outcome, these tips and tricks sources should be approached as an a la carte menu of options.

Here is a fun list from Inès de la Fressange (author of Parisian Chic) in the current issue of Lonny (with Caitlin McGauley’s adorable illustrations!):

Simple, affordable and open to interpretation. It challenges you to be creative with your choices and put your own spin on the offhand irreverence that the French are known for in their own everyday style.

I could totally do that.

Images via The Sartorialist, illustrated list via Lonny.

Interiors on the Runway

Yesterday, I posted some amazing images that I pulled from Miss Moss. All of which were inspired by fashion designer, Mary Katrantzou.

When I followed Diane’s links to see the original collection, I read reviews referencing how her Spring/Summer 2011 collection (titled C’est Ci Nes Pas Une Chambre or This Is Not A Room) would be a hard act to follow. So of course I had to check that out as well.

And I’ve never seen anything quite like it. She actually used depictions of interiors as prints on her textiles. Here are several of the designs, each with close ups of the room scenes and accessories:

Pretty cool. But probably not all that wearable for everyday life. At least not for me. But I can definitely see many of these looks (some with a few revisions) on socialites and celebrities who like to make fashion headlines.

What do you think? Lovely, innovative or weird? Or all of the above?