7.29.2011

roar


Just a note that I have the Tory Burch Eddie ballet flats in camel and they are the most comfortable flats I have ever owned. Love the leopard ones! I die.

What are your thoughts on leopard? Love it or hate it?

And because it's Friday, a few good things this week:
Monday marks one year in Chicago. Cannot believe it.
I gave my blog a new look! Visit my website for more info.
Epic lightning this week. More fun than fireworks.
Having a little get together with friends on Sunday.
Last min dinner on the patio at Japonais Thurs night.
So excited for the Randolph Street Market.
Making plans to complete the summer bucket list. Water taxi + bikes soon! Fun.

 Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

7.28.2011

Kassapanola pillow GIVEAWAY

This giveaway has ended!

I love being able to share some of my favorite things on my blog! I found Kassapanola on etsy and ordered the most perfect ikat pillow for my sofa. One of my readers has the chance to win $25 credit to Kassapanola!
Enter the code BFASTTOAST to receive a 20% discount. The store credit cannot be combined with the promo code or any custom order. The pillow on the top left can be found on my sofa. I actually chose this one for Lesley's apartment and loved it so much that I ordered one, too!

  To enter, become a follower of my blog + ...
Like Kassapanola on Facebook
{mandatory}

For extra entries
leave a separate comment for each entry
Visit Kassapanola and leave a comment with your fave item in the shop
Follow me on Twitter
Follow me on Pinterest

You have until August 2nd to enter!

this + that. & the zoku winner.

I would like to thank the wonderful people at Williams-Sonoma for giving away a Zoku Duo on my blog! I am so excited for the winner + hope that those of you who did not win do not wait over a year to purchase the Zoku like I did. I am having so much fun with mine and cannot recommend it enough.

A big congrats to the winner + a thank you to everyone who entered!

And now, for a little bit of this + that.

You may or may not have noticed, but this blog designer finally got a fancy new look! I wanted something to celebrate my 1 year in Chicago + felt that it was time I treated myself to some pretty extras. I am not set on this color scheme so don't be surprised if you come back to find a new one very soon. I especially love the buttons under "blog series" and "I love" up top. What do you think?

I finally caved and purchased the Wisteria wall clock {20% off} that I have been pining over for forever + a new mirror from Ballard {10% off + free shipping}. I had ordered another mirror but it was really heavy + I was afraid it would fall and crush my dresser. I will see these items in the middle and end of August.



I am having a pillow made {for my bed} with one of my favorite fabrics by Kelly Wearstler. Much to my own surprise, I did not go with the imperial trellis. The fabric should bring a much needed pop of color to my bedroom. My place is really coming along + should be done within a month.

Hanging a perfect grid of 6 frames on a wall is MUCH more difficult than one would anticipate. Fortunately, I was hanging these frames with a friend.

Made coconut ice pops last night + the recipe was an epic fail. One should probably add sugar to coconut milk and coconut shavings.

I actually enjoyed Weeds on Monday.

I have a great giveaway for the home coming very very soon. It's a good one.

7.27.2011

Concert in the park.

I had plans to watch Weeds + The Big C with Sarah on Monday until she called to see if I would be up for going to a concert in Millennium Park instead. Sit inside + watch TV or spend a perfect summer night outside at a free concert?

Great music, the best people watching {group of people in front of us were doing some crazy acrobatic stunts} + we sat outside with our drinks and snacks, talking and enjoying the gorgeous weather.

Lots of navy stripes.

 A little blurry, but I still love it.

 My drink of choice. And my havaiana flops.

You know I love the bean.

had to convert to b&w. the color + quality weren't so great
...but I love it anyway.

This was very last minute so I just had time to grab a towel, drinks and slice some cucumber + strawberries. I'd like to do something a little nicer next time. Maybe plan picnic? Have to get outside while we can!

What would you put in your picnic basket?
I love summer in Chicago.

7.26.2011

In the kitchen: fruity zoku ice pops.

It's official. I am obsessed with my Zoku Duo. I have lots of recipe ideas spinning around in my head and look forward to having some fun with this brilliant little gadget. I also think I'll need the Zoku tool kit. I made the first two recipes with Shari on Saturday night + the third on Sunday. The lighting in the first 3 pics - not so great. Sorry.

The zoku doing it's thing just moments after pouring the mixture in there.
I got a little sloppy with the pouring but she cleans up easily.

 Pineapple + coconut ice pops
1/2 cup pineapple juice
3 tbsp coconut
1/8 cup of almond milk
1/2 cup frozen pineapple tidbits
Recipe inspired by this.

Blend ingredients, pour a little bit of coconut into the zoku, place ice pop stick and fill with blended mixture. Wait a few minutes and enjoy.

Shari's strawberry mint ice pops
1/2 cup almond milk
4 mint leaves
6 strawberries

Blend ingredients, add 2 strawberry slices to the zoku, place ice pop stick + pour ingredients. Wait a few minutes and enjoy. If you would like your ice pops a bit sweeter, add a teaspoon of organic sugar.

Pineapple coconut + kiwi ice pops
Sprinkle some coconut shavings into the Zoku
Add 2 slices of kiwi (one for each side)
Fill with pineapple juice
This recipe doesn't require blending. Fast, easy + delicious.

Watermelon pineapple coconut ice pops
Sort of winged it with this one. You really can't screw it up.
A little sliced watermelon
Frozen pineapple pieces from TJs
Coconut shavings

Mix ingredients in blender. Add frozen pineapple or watermelon pieces to mold and insert stick. Pour mixture + voila. Instant ice pop.

Someone please tell me why I waited so long to get one of these! 

7.24.2011

top 10

10. It looks like last week's top 10 was my 500th post! Work until 2:00 am every night and you're sure to miss things like this. I am exhausted.

9. I teamed up with Williams-Sonoma to give one of my readers a Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker. You can enter the giveaway here. So excited to work with them!



8. Girls night with Shari last night. Cooking, zoku pops {recipes + pics coming soon} and lots of girl talk. Had a great time.

7. Took some photos of my neighbor/friend today. I need Jess to come visit and take some pics of me. She has a 7D and definitely knows how to use it.

And yes. Her hair always looks this good. I have hair envy.

6. Went to the Taste of River North with Sarah + a group of friends last Sunday. My good friend Brandon McHose performed and he is actually going to let me give away a few CDs. Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. The man can sing. I have some more pics of the show here.


5. I launched some new pre-made templates and am going to let my readers take $10 off through Monday night! These can be recolored in the color scheme of your choice for an additional fee! Here is the Kendall, inspired by Kendall's nursery.


4. Last Wed afternoon I purchased something that could take my business to another level. We will see how long it takes me to figure this one out.

3. Shopped the C&C California sale yesterday. Cannot believe how much I saved!

2.  Bought this table from Grandin Road for $40. Chairs from World Market. I can officially cross that off my summer bucket list. Had dinner + ice pops on the balcony with Shari last night.
1. A week from tomorrow marks 1 year of living in Chicago. Cannot believe it's been a year. Planning something special, so stay tuned!

What's at the top of your list this weekend? Hope you had a great one!

Happy Sunday!

7.23.2011

girls night

Having a girls night with Shari tonight. Looking forward to all the things below and maybe some girl talk, too.



1. Tulip Salad Bowls  2. Salad Servers  3. Dressing Emulsifier

 We may be having this for dinner. Thank you, Martha.


What's your idea of the perfect girls night?

PS. Don't forget to enter my Williams-Sonoma giveaway!

Happy weekend!
xo

7.22.2011

C&C California SALE

Update. Sale extended through July 30th. Code + info at the bottom of this post!

I love a good sale + just got the most amazing deal at C&C California. The original price of everything above would have been $436. $288 with the initial sale and $173 with the extra 40% off.


Shop the sale here. Let me know if you get anything!

Happy Shopping!

bring out the short shorts.

It has been 40,000 degrees in the 100s here in Chicago. The hot weather has done wonders for my productivity. I don't want to go anywhere + work all day and night. True Story. I have been able to enjoy the balcony when temps drop down to the high 80s at midnight.

With these high temps, pants are just not an option. I actually haven't worn jeans in over a month. The thought of a dress makes me uncomfortable. It's all about the shorts.


All J. Crew sale items are an extra 40% off right now!


Stay cool. And if you haven't done it already...sign the sun savvy pledge.
Wear your SPF + have a great weekend!

xo

7.21.2011

the best of Los Angeles

It's about time I devoted a post to the place I called home for most of my life. While I prefer life in Chicago over LA, it's still a fun place to visit. There is lots to see and do.

Here are some of my favorite places to eat, shop + play. Enjoy.


dining
My first rec is Toast on 3rd for obvious reasons. This place is usually packed and is definitely one of those "it" places {which I normally cannot stand} but it's so good! Personal faves include the farmers {grilled veggie sandwich} and the grilled veggie salad.

X'ian is my favorite Chinese place. Personal faves include the crispy onion pancakes {even if you don't like onions you'll love them}, string beans, power zone rice + if you like meat, the crispy chicken is phenomenal. I do miss it a little bit. I had X'ian 3x the week before I moved to Chicago. It's that good.

La Scala is home to my favorite chopped salad. It is so good. I also recommend ordering a side of marinara for the bread. Amazing! There are a few locations. The one in BH is nice, but I prefer the Brentwood location on San Vicente because it's a little more low key. Also a really nice little area to walk around.



If you eat meat + do not mind going to a place that refuses to give you ketchup on your burger, give Father's Office a try. It is always packed and people that don't mind a limited menu usually love it. I am obviously not a fan, but everyone I know who has been there absolutely loves it.

Looking for a great deli? Nate 'N Al has been around since 1945. It's nothing fancy but the food is great and it's sort of a landmark in LA.

If you love Mexican food, El Cholo is a must.

Urth Cafe has locations in Beverly Hills, West LA, Santa Monica + Downtown.

If you want a guaranteed celeb sighting and like the idea of dining opposite some paparazzi, stop by The Ivy on Robertson.

Please keep in mind that I am not much of a foodie so my list may not be that exciting to some.

things to do/see/buy
I may not be much of a foodie, but I love to shop. I don't do too much of it, but I love it. Ron Herman, Planet Blue, and Robertson Blvd are some personal favorites. I suppose you should check out Rodeo, although it's a tourist trap and I tend to avoid it at any cost. I love James Perse on Canon {in BH} and in Malibu.

Century City + The Grove are my two favorite malls. The Grove is prettier {and is especially cheery at Christmas time}. It is also attached to a Farmer's Market. They both have great stores + Pinkberry.



If you're feeling fancy, Barneys, Saks + Neimans are all lined up in a row on Wilshire.

Speaking of Malibu, the Country Mart is a must see. Great food and shopping. If you're in to celebs, chances are that you will see someone. I have seen quite a few people there. If you are coming through the city, take Sunset to PCH. It's a beautiful drive. You will pass through the Palisades. Gorgeous homes. Wouldn't hurt to drive up and down the streets over there a little bit. I've done it and have found that Amalfi Drive {right off sunset} is my favorite.

I also love the Brentwood Country Mart.

The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica is a great place to walk around.  Great for shopping + people watching. Lots of random street performers.

I love Abbot Kinney in Venice.

I also recommend stopping by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for an ice blended mocha. You can thank me later.

Want a great {free} workout? Stop by the Santa Monica Stairs or go hiking in the hills somewhere. Lots of options in LA. If you want to pay for a great class, try indo-row with Josh Crosby. I used to take his class. Great workout.

If you're feeling really touristy, take a drive on Sunset Blvd.

something sweet
Stop by Sweet Lady Jane for dessert. Rated the #1 patisserie in the world {according to National Geographic}. It is that good.

Pinkberry. Which is also in Chicago + a few other places. If you haven't had it, you must go. The original + watermelon are my favorites. Hoping they bring back the pomegranate.

 

The Bigg Chill. Great fro yo. This place is usually packed + has been around forever. Love it.

Like cupcakes? Stop by Crumbs. 1000x better than Sprinkles.

Want some ice cream sandwiched in between two cookies? And even better...want to stand in line with dozens of college kids in the heart of Westwood? Head to Diddy Riese

If you are visiting LA and have time to head to Santa Barbara {it's 1.5 hrs away} I highly recommend a trip there. I used to live in SB + love it. Stop by the Summerland Beach Cafe on your way up. Great food + it's surrounded by lots of great little antique shops. Grab lunch or dinner and drinks at Carlitos on State Street.

And I suppose this means I'll need to do a best of Chicago. Maybe to celebrate my 1 year anniversary which is less than two weeks away! How has a year gone by?

Have you been to LA? Chicago? What are your favorite places in either city? And what are your favorite places in YOUR town? 

 

images via 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8

7.20.2011

Williams-Sonoma GIVEAWAY // Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker!

 THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

I am so excited to be partnering with Williams-Sonoma {one of my favorite stores!} to give one of my readers the Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker! I finally purchased it last weekend and absolutely love it. Not sure why I took so long to buy it. This thing is amazing. Once it is cold {you just let it sit in the freezer for 1 day} it whips up ice pops in just a few minutes! Brilliant.

The Zoku Duo Quick Pop Maker {$36.95} makes 2 pops at a time while the Zoku Quick Pop Maker {$49.95} makes 3 at a time.

I love all these fun accessories. I haven't purchased them yet but think the character kit and the tool kit look like it would be great for making lots of fancy looking ice pops.  The storage case looks pretty amazing, too.

Williams-Sonoma also has some amazing recipes for the Zoku on their site.  
Coffee Buzz // Strawberry Banana Pops // Malted Milk Ball Pops

 To enter to win this giveaway, become a follower of this blog through google friend connect on the right + leave a comment!
Please include your email address in your first comment.

For extra entries
 {leave a separate comment for each entry}

Follow Williams-Sonoma on Twitter
Follow me on Twitter
Like Williams-Sonoma on Facebook
Tweet to us and let us know you have entered the giveaway!
Follow Williams-Sonoma on Pinterest
Follow me on Pinterest
Mention this giveaway on your blog

A big thank you to the wonderful people at Williams-Sonoma for this giveaway!

You have until Wednesday, the 27th to enter!
This item will only ship within the continental US.

Girls who inspire // Who...me?

I am guest posting on one of my fave blogs today -- A La Mode. Sharing a color POP home post with Shelli's lovely readers + launching {and giving away} a new pre-made blog template on her blog today! If you are coming here from Shelli's blog, welcome!

I've been doing this girls who inspire thing for a while and love when each girl answers my series of Qs. Not sure how inspiring I am, but thought it would be fun if I answered my Qs. So today I am featuring myself on my blog. That's one way to get featured.

I usually come up with a few questions that are specific for the person being featured. Since asking myself questions would be a little awkward, I'll leave that to you. If you have any questions you want to ask me...go for it. I will answer anything. Unless I don't like the question. Choose wisely, my friends.

name & age:
Danielle. I am 28 and will be 29 in Sept. I'm getting up there.

hometown:
Los Angeles, CA.

current home:
Chicago, IL {moved here a year ago on August 1st!}
images via

meaning behind my blog name:
I love Toast in LA + there happens to be a Toast in Chicago. I wanted something simple + random. Loved that it {sort of} reminded me of Breakfast at Tiffany's. And no -- I have never worked there and am in no way affiliated with Toast.

current job:
Graphic designer. Starting to do a little photography, too. I also have a digital scrapbook line.


dream job:
I've always been all over the place with what I want to do. I definitely love working for myself and love design + photography, but would love to bring something else into the mix. I wrote a series of children's books and never tried to publish them. Any publishers reading this? I have a few ideas + there's some brainstorming going on so we will see what happens.

if i could travel anywhere...
Paris + London are first on the list. I would also love to visit Italy, Greece + spend a week on a beach in Fiji. I need a vacation.

something unique about me:
I haven't eaten fish since I was 9. I had a pet goldfish, decided that eating fish was wrong and never ate it again. This is probably more weird than unique. I can also sing a song about trolls and say "I'm eating my underwear" in Danish. And one more. The last name you see here is actually my mom's maiden name. I was very close to my grandfather and know he would love that I am using it.

i like:
the pup, the boyfriend {have been with him almost 7 months now. Guess I'm better at keeping secrets than I thought}, blogging, TV, Chicago, summer!, my amazing friends, Christmas time, girls nights, cooking, my apartment, design, photography + all things creative.

i watch:
A lot of TV. You can see the full list here. Favorites include Dexter, The Big C, Shameless + Modern Family. Also a big fan of Californication, Gossip Girl + Weeds. I even watch Glee. And then there's the reality TV. Home by Novogratz, Bill + Giuliana and even a little Bethenny. I can't help myself.

If you haven't seen 6 Feet Under, I highly recommend renting the series. The finale was rated one of the best series finales of all time. This was the show that made me love Michael C. Hall {who plays Dexter Morgan}.

I could talk about TV all day long. Is that sad? I'll save this for another post.

via 1. 2. 3

listening to:
I love a little bit of everything. Adele, Coldplay, The Beatles etc. Obsessed with the soundtrack from 500 days of summer. Oasis has been one of my favorites since I was 13. I'll always love them.

For the month of Nov + December you'll find me listening to Christmas music. All. Day. Long. I get a little Buddy the Elf-ish around the holidays. Right down to my Jessie Steele holly covered apron. That's probably why I named my dog after him. 

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

5 things that inspire me:
1. Design books, blogs, mags, etc... I have loved being a part of the blogging community. All of your creative posts almost always inspire me. Having to come up with different posts on my blog is also a really fun creative outlet. I try to have fun with my posts whether it's a  color pop post or a post about pancakes.


2. Browsing shops online + in person. I especially love Antique shops + flea markets. It's always fun and inspiring to see what's out there.

3. Traveling. My trip to Nashville, Indiana + Chicago inspired me to move to Chicago. I love exploring new places.

4. Decorating my apartment. I love making little changes to a space, reworking pieces etc. and trying to find pieces on a budget forces you to be creative. The dresser in my bedroom started as a piece in my entry, then spent a few months as a TV console before ending up in my bedroom.

Working on accessorizing the dresser + looking for a mirror to hang over it.
My sis met CL + had him sign a box top for me. One of my favorite things.

5. People who have started their own companies or just do something unique. That's how girls who inspire began.

favorite nail polish:
I'm an Essie girl. Chinchilly, geranium, cabi-o-lait, turquoise and caicos.

favorite perfume:

1. Hermes Merveilles
{fall + winter}
2. Flowerbomb by Viktor and Rolph
{Have worn it since it first came out + was exclusive at Saks}
3. Bobbi Brown Beach
{summer. obviously}

who are your favorite designers?
Fashion - I am a sucker for anything splendid or vince. I absolutely love {but cannot afford} Christian Louboutin, Chanel + Ralph Lauren. I love Tory Burch, Mulberry + Chloe bags. These things are just so pretty and I love looking at them. I also love finding great pieces at Zara, etc. Where I shop is not limited at all. I love things from all over the place.


Interiors - Where do I begin with this one? Kelly Wearstler, James Radin, Darryl Carter, Vicente Wolf, Bob + Cortney Novogratz, etc. The list goes on and on...

a few favorite home accessories:
Every home should have a West Elm laquer tray or two. Love them.

the vendor on eBay where I purchased my pouf

I love design books + fun little finds.
Most of my design books have been purchased used on Amazon.

great hand soap in the kitchen + pretty candles
{my favorite Williams Sonoma scent for summer}

favorite stores:
Shopbop is my favorite online store. Fast shipping + free return shipping.
Really love finding great pieces at Zara + H&M.
Excited that Topshop is coming to Chicago.

For furniture/home: West Elm, Grandin Road, Williams Sonoma, Wisteria, Ballard Designs, Anthropologie...the list goes on. 

Alright. Feel like you've had your Danielle for a lifetime?
This was fun. If you have any Qs for me just leave a comment!