Thursday, August 25, 2016

Recent Purchases

Good morning!  I'm currently heading to Westport for a long weekend on the beach, something I have not gotten nearly enough of this summer.  Even though I'm soaking up all the August I can, here's some fall shopping to get you excited about the impending seasonal change.

Recent Purchases
1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7

Alice & Olivia Fey Chunky-Knit Turtleneck Sweater - Back when everyone was shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary sale, I was shopping The Outnet's final clearance.  There were some serious deals to be had, like this thick, chunky, turtleneck sweater from Alice & Olivia.  It meets all my sweater criteria and was 85% off retail.  Sold.  Result: Kept. (Sold out - similar here.)

Amsale Alyce Illusion V-Neck Pleat Tulle Gown - Long story short, this might be my wedding party dress.  It's way more bridal than I was originally thinking, but it fits like a dream and is really, really pretty.  Result: Kept.

Milly Chain-Print Triangle Bikini (and Bottoms) - Things I learned from this bathing suit - Milly runs small.  Seriously small.  This bikini barely gave me any coverage.  So little in fact, that it may have been illegal to wear in public in several states.  That said, if it were available in larger sizes, I would have sized up.  The quality of the material was great and I really liked the navy & white chain print.  Result: Returned. (Top available here, bottoms here.)

Helmut Lang Wool Top - More from The Outnet clearance.  Now, here (and on the site) this is clearly a crewneck top.  However, the top I received is very much a turtleneck.  We all know I never met a turtleneck I didn't like, so that wasn't a problem for me, but it is a little disconcerting that a final sale item would be drastically different in person than it was as shown.  Anyway, it's sheer, wool, and a great layering piece.  Result: Kept. (Sold out - similar here.)

Kenneth Jay Lane Gold-Plated Tassel Earrings - You need hot pink tassel earrings in your life.  I know I did.  These are slightly absurd, but really fun and I think I'm going to get a LOT of wear out of them.  Result: Kept. (Gone from The Outnet, but available at Shopbop.)

Helmut Lang Cotton-Blend Boucle-Knit Sweater - And the last of the clearance finds.  I love a good oversized sweater and this one is ideal.  A chunky black & white knit can almost never go wrong.  This is nice and thick and will keep me warm all winter.  Result: Kept. (Sold out - similar here or here.)

M. Gemi The Latteo - M. Gemi is a new-ish show brand, but they've made a huge splash and with good cause.  They are making gorgeous Italian shoes for really reasonable prices.  When they had a sale recently, I grabbed these for my wedding.  While the heel is higher than I usually go, they are incredibly comfortable and haven't given me any problems while I've been dancing around my living room to break them in.  Result: Kept.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Navy Maxi & Tassel Earrings

Dress: Asos; Sandals: Jack Rogers; Tote: Old Navy (current version); Earrings: Kenneth Jay Lane; Shades: Ray Ban

Here's an abbreviated list of what I did this past weekend:

-Went running (not well)

-Grocery shopped

-Hit up the library...twice

-Made frosé.  I used the Bon Appetit recipe and while it was seriously delicious, it was very labor intensive.  If I were doing it again, I would make a bigger batch.  

-Cleaned my nightstand.  This was a serious undertaking.  I realize that's weird.

-Ate dinner at Cava

-Watched Mustang.  Beautiful movie that left me emotionally devastated, exactly how I like it.

-Reorganized my closet in preparation of fall (ahh! too soon!)

And here we are on Monday, but luckily, I head up north on Wednesday so I've got a short week and a fun long weekend to look forward to!

Friday, August 19, 2016

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

This post from Garance about how bodies become "trendy" is so good.  There's nothing wrong with your body, you might just be in the wrong decade!

A reporter had to be protected by the Secret Service after Trump called her our personally at a rally.  I repeat, a reporter had to be protected from a presidential candidate and his supporters by the Secret Service.  There's something very, very wrong here.

As if I needed another reason to shop at Patagonia, their explanation for why on-site child care pays for itself should be read by every company.

Did you watch and love Stranger Things?  I know I did.  Fill the void you feel after finishing it by taking this quiz to determine which character you are.  I got Dustin, which makes me irrationally happy.

I'm aware it's August, but if this is the year you decide you need Bean boots, order them now.  Seriously.  They will go out of stock and be on backorder for months.  You'll thank me later.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Recent Purchases

Recent Purchases

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

Emerson Road Short Sleeve PJ Set - As I mentioned last week, I'm upping my PJ game.  When this Eberjay lookalike pair went on sale at Shopbop, I made them mine.  Pros:  incredibly soft, super comfortable to sleep in, cute enough to rock at the breakfast table.  Cons: None.  I love them.  Result: Kept. (Exact pair sold out - very similar pair here.)

MM LaFleur Nisa Dress - Since my very first experience with them, I've loved MM LaFleur.  They truly make the most beautiful wear-to-work dresses.  When the opportunity came for another try-on at the Jefferson, I booked an appointment.  It's such a treat to spend your lunch break trying on beautiful clothes and sipping champagne.  I highly recommend it.  Anyway. I bought the Nisa dress in midnight because I can't not buy something after someone has spent an hour styling me.  While I loved the dress, I couldn't take the price tag right now, so this beautiful baby went back.  Result: Returned.

Plush Fleece Lined Tights with Stirrups - All winter, I'm freezing.  All summer too, actually, but my rant on air-conditioning is for another time.  Fleece-lined tights are pretty much a necessity for me from October-March.  And those stirrups brought me right back to second grade.  This pair of leggings was super warm and soft, but they ran seriously small and had very little stretch.  I could barely get them on.  Disappointing.  Result: Returned.

Iris & Ink Amber Wrap-Effect Ponte Jersey Dress - When this dress arrived, I took it home to try on.  Dan told me I looked like Claire Underwood.  If that isn't a compliment, I don't know what is.  The lines on this are beautiful, the dove gray shade is a perfect neutral, and the wrap skirt gives you mobility.  This is a pretty perfect dress.  Result: Kept. (Sold out, but great new dresses here and here.)

Vitamin A Sophie Bustier Bikini Top - Why are the simplest things always the most difficult to find?  For example, I've been searching for a black strapless bikini top.  Shouldn't be too hard, right?  Wrong.  This search took me months!  I bought this top after discovering Vitamin A (and a sale price didn't hurt either).  While the straps aren't removeable like I thought they would be, the top was too good to send back.  So I just slide them down when I don't want the tan lines.  Problem-solving at its peak.  Result: Kept.

Iris & Ink Daisy Striped Cotton Mini Dress - It's striped, it's cotton, and it's navy and white.  The grosgrain ribbon down the back seam is a nice detail as well.  Be warned though - this will shrink slightly, even if you air dry it.  Result: Kept. (Sold out, similar here or here.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Currently Reading

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara - This book.  This book.  It was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker.  The book follows the lives of four friends who meet at a small liberal arts college and then move to New York City.  An actor, an artist, an architect, and a lawyer, they all struggle through their twenties, but gain money, success, fame later in their careers and lives.  The true protagonist of the story is Jude, the lawyer.  His backstory is weaved throughout the book, slowly giving the reader hints as to the horrific abuses that he experienced as a child and explaining his behavior as an adult.  This book is long, it is dense, it is incredibly graphic (the scenes of Jude's abuse are brutal), it is depressing, and it is truly haunting.  I thought about A Little Life for weeks after finishing it, which is not something that I often do.  

Summerlong by Dean Bakopoulos - Summerlong reminded me of John Cheever's The Swimmer, so that should be a sign that I liked it.  Clare and Don have been married for years, but one hot summer night, they each leave their house - her on a run, him on a walk - and end up spending the night with other people.  Young, beautiful people.  As the summer continues, Don and Clare explore these new relationships, all while balancing their marriage, impending financial collapse, and parenting.  The foursome oddly works, attending parties together and playing with Clare & Don's children, even vacationing together.  Lines are drawn in the sand and then crossed.  I loved this book, loved the characters, loved the ending.  You don't often see women who are able to abandon their lives like Clare does.  

Relief Map by Rosalie Knecht - Livy and Nelson are best friends, sixteen-year-olds living in a dead town in rural Pennsylvania waiting for their lives to begin.  Suddenly, the town is essentially quarantined, locked down while the police and even the FBI are on a manhunt.  Who are they looking for?  A Georgian man, hiding in the woods.  As the manhunt drags on for days, the town begins to slowly implode.  Tensions run high, people become irritated and even violent.  This is a well-written and interesting debut.  I'll be looking out for more from Rosalie Knecht.

The Group by Mary McCarthy - The Group was published in 1963 and for the life of me, I can't remember where I hear about it.  Like A Little Life, it follows a group of college friends after they graduate.  In this case, it is eight women from Vassar.  It opens at Kay's wedding and we quickly see each woman's reaction to one of their own marrying immediately after school and to someone they don't quite approve of.  The rest of the novel follows the group, some of them settling down in New York, others traipsing around Europe, some who begin careers, others who are looking for love.  They all come together again when one of them dies tragically.  I was shocked by some of the discussions and behavior as this was set in between the World Wars.  Some of the talk of birth control and sex was incredibly frank.  It's an interesting look at the period through the eyes of young women.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August Ipsy Glam Bag

I've been getting an Ipsy bag for a couple of years now.  Birchbox was my gateway drug, but I became unhappy with the products they were sending me, so when I found Ipsy on my replacement search, I figured I would give them a try.

Years later, I still look forward to my bag every month.  Instead of a cardboard box, every month's bag comes in a make-up bag.  This month it was this super pretty Japanese mermaid looking one that I will definitely be keeping.  

This month was also good because I got lots of skincare products as opposed to make-up. I'm excited to try out these two-step masks and the face polish.  A good, gentle exfoliant is hard to find!  Also, I'm intrigued by this liquid illuminator.  Anything that gives me a glow is welcome.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

White & Navy in 100 Degrees

Tank: Trouve (old; similar here); Shorts: Asos (old, similar in mint); Tote: Old Navy; Sandals: Sam Edelman; Earrings: H&M (similar); Shades: Ray Ban

When it's 100 degrees, you only have a few options.  Get your butt by some water or hole up in air conditioning.  Or, if you're like me, you go for a walk around your neighborhood and eat a burrito.  I'm weird like that.

The walk was worth it.  We stumbled upon an open house for the MOST beautiful former stable that has been converted into a gorgeous home.  I'm talking high ceilings, exposed beams, built-in bookcases.  It was incredible.  Did I mention there was a pool and landscaped private outdoor space?  If anyone would like to loan me $2.3 million, I'll cook you dinner any time you want :)

I love me some heat and humidity.  This is my weather.  But this is too much DC.  Tone it down.

Friday, August 12, 2016

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

Donald and Hobbes is scarily accurate.

Canvas by Lands' End's new collection is really, really good.  I definitely suggest checking it out.

If you aren't watching The Americans, you should be.  Plus, Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are just delightful.  And he's Welsh, who knew?

In DC?  Follain at Union Market has some great new events coming up for the end of summer.  If you're looking for a self-care practice, ways to keep your summer glow, or a bright color makeup tutorial, they're your spot.

Ladies aren't getting the credit they deserve, even when they are Olympic level athletes.

Related:  Here's an easy template for when you're writing about woman athletes.

I'm always looking for sheets and to update our bedroom a bit.  Brooklinen caught my eye and may be heading my way soon.

Alexandra's tips for travel photography are awesome and I think can be used for everything (not just travel!)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Recent Purchases

Instead of the usual Weekly Wishlist, I'll be spending the next few Thursdays catching you up on my recent purchases because, well, I've been shopping.  Everyone is having sales on sales and I've been grabbing summer stuff and stocking up for the fall/winter.  By keeping track of my spending, I know that July is always a big shopping month, so now you get to see all the damage I've been doing!

On top of all that, I'm getting married soon, so that means I've been buying lots of white.  I swear, some of it isn't even conscious.  And yet, here we are.

Recent Purchases

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6

New Look Broderie Cami & Short - I decided to up my pajama game recently.  Ratty t-shirts and shorts with words on the butt are no longer ok.  I am thirty after all.  This pretty set has broderie trim and is just very sweet.  The cotton is nice and breathable, so this has been a good sleep set for the summer.  My one complaint is that there isn't any stretch to it.  Result: Kept.

Asos Ruched Bodice Maxi Dress with Embellished Waist - When you're getting married, but don't want a wedding dress, that means you buy many, many dresses to try on at home.  No, just me?  Well, this was a lot of dress.  It was heavy, with lots of layers and that embellished waist.  Very pretty, but too much for me.  Result: Returned.

Keepsake White Shadows Halter Neck Dress - This dress is so pretty!  Halters are usually a good shape on me and I hoped this might be good for the ceremony.  However, it was super difficult to get on and then it just kind of hung there.  Shapeless and unflattering.  Result: Returned.

Asos Fringed Beach Kimono - Talk about an impulse purchase.  I don't own a kimono, let alone a beach kimono, but apparently I thought, "hey, why not?"  This was fine.  It was sheer and breezy and the fringe was kinda fun, but ultimately, it wasn't for me.  Result: Returned. (Out of stock in white, but available in black.)

Warehouse Premium Mesh Lace Pencil Dress - Oooh, I really, really liked this dress.  It fit like a glove, the material was thick and luxe, and it really hugged my body in the most perfect way.  Even with all that going for it, it wasn't my style and I couldn't figure out where I would ever wear it.  Result: Reluctantly Returned.  

Oasis Pleat Asymmetric Hem Midi Dress - This is a cool shape.  Sort of a high halter neckline, with a pleated skirt and a midi length.  It's a bit sweeter than my usual taste, but I love how it moves.  It's more of a cream shade, which I also like.  Spoiler: It's likely going to be my ceremony dress.  Result: Kept.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Currently Reading

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 

American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis - I'm not sure why I've been reading so many short story collections.  I like them, but am always left wanting more.  American Housewife was dark, funny, and irreverant.  Some of the stories were laugh out loud funny (Dumpster Diving with Celebrities comes to mind) and some were brutal (the one with the two women emailing back and forth over what to do in their shared foyer).  Overall, these were highly entertaining.

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford - Evelyn is in her twenties, living in Manhattan, and has a fabulous new job working at a new social media website aimed at gaining elite members.  Evelyn is what we like to call a social climber.  She leverages her position at the company to make herself friends with the young, rich, and powerful.  In short, Evelyn is the worst.  Eventually, her behavior spirals out of control when her spending gets out of hand, she begins blowing off her commitments, and tries to seduce one of her targets.  I really liked this book, but I couldn't stand Evelyn.  

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen - Mercy Louis is a high-schooler, the star of the basketball team, a virgin, and was abandoned by her mother.  She lives with her evangelical grandmother, who is incredibly strict.  When a baby is discovered in a dumpster behind the local convenient store, every high school age girl becomes a suspect.  Which of them have been having sex?  The scent of shame roils through town.  This was a perfect, beautifully written book.  It reminded me a bit of Megan Abbott's Dare Me.  I loved it.

The Dead Lands by Benjamin Percy - Yes, yes, and yes.  Someone needs to make this into a movie or a series immediately.  In a post-apocalyptic future, a group of people live behind a wall.  Outside their walls, wild animals, more fierce than you can imagine, roam.  Inside, there is a serious shortage of water.  When a strange rider shows up from the west, some people realize that the only way to survive is to leave.  This is a re-imagining of Lewis & Clark and it is incredible.  The cast of characters are wonderfully diverse, their cross-country journey is in turns terrifying and delightful.  And when they arrive at their destination, everything comes to a head.  Fantastic.  Read it.