Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Recent Purchases

Don't you love when your shopping works out?

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

Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless Bra - Strapless bras are a necessary evil, or so I thought.  I needed a new one for my wedding and had heard good things about Wacoal, so I gave this one a shot.  Thank god I did!  The fit is perfect, it doesn't slide down, and it's about as comfortable as a bra can get.  Result: Kept. 

Theory Parieom Stretch-Jersey Top - I've stayed away from the recent trend of high-neck halter tops because they give me mid-90s flashbacks, but this top from Theory has brought me around.  The material is super soft, the cut is flattering, and the peekaboo back is a cute detail.  Winner!  Result: Kept.

Wacoal Underwire Lace Contour Bra - Speaking of new bras, I'm trying to be better about replacing mine before they get completely unwearable or (true story) break in the middle of the day.  A nude t-shirt bra is a staple and Wacoal (again) makes a great one.  Smooth fabric lets your clothes lie nicely.  And the fit is fantastic.  Consider me a fan.  Result: Kept.

Levi's Mile High Super Skinny Crop Jeans - Let me tell you a secret:  high rise is AMAZING.  Like, mom jeans are magical.  I've spent far too much time pulling up my low or even mid-rise denim and I say no more!  These Levi's are perfect.  The high-rise is incredible, the "crop" actually hit my ankle at the perfect spot, and the denim itself has the ideal combination of structure and stretch.  Love these.  Result: Kept.

Norma Kamali Kamali Kulture Turtleneck Dress - Winter is coming.  This dress combines three of my favorite things: black, turtleneck, long sleeves.  It was a no-brainer.  The fit is nice, the fabric has plenty of stretch, and I see myself wearing this many times in the future.  Result: Kept.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Orange Driving Mocs

I'm declaring it officially fall.  The temperatures have dropped, the winds have picked up, and the leaves are putting on their best show.

Now, what to wear for this glorious time of year?  

Might I recommend your best basics.

I've worn this striped tee countless times on the blog and many, many more times off of it.  There's a reason.  Stripes are the quickest route to looking casual, but stylish.

We all know you can't go wrong with a great pair of jeans.  This is a new pair, in a dark wash, with a good stretch.  I do need to get them hemmed, but for now I'm into the little turn-up.

Now, let's talk shoes.  If I were a better blogger, I would have had this post up before these beautiful driving mocs sold out.  Unfortunately, I'm me and that didn't happen.

I did find you some other similar pairs below!

There you go - a striped tee, your favorite denim, a bright shoe, and neutral accessories.  You're fall ready!

Get down with your bad self!

Top: J. Crew Factory (similar); Denim: J. Brand; Mocs: LL Bean (similar save or splurge); Tote: Old Navy (similar); Shades: Ray-Ban

Monday, October 24, 2016

Fall Florals

Hello out there! Boom - what a weekend!  It was absolutely packed, but in the best way possible.

Friday night I went to a dinner party to celebrate a friend being in town.  There were yummy mead cocktails, a truly delicious meal, and far too much wine.  

That led to too little sleep, combined with an early wake-up to get to my very first Bubbles & Bloggers meet-up!  I'm prepping a whole post about that, but let me just say that it was awesome to meet such a genuine and friendly group of local bloggers!

After that full day, I came home to crash, which meant putting on Mockingjay Part 2 and falling asleep for a solid twenty minutes in the middle.  By the time it was over, DT had come home with a couple of friends, so we had yet another delicious home-cooked meal.

Sunday was for working out and relaxing, which was exactly what I did.  Ready for a new week!

As much as I love summer, I finally feel ready for fall.

Happy to break out the booties, leather jackets, and darker floral patterns!

I grabbed this floral dress at Nordstrom Rack to wear to the rehearsal dinner at this wedding.  Normally, I don't do floral or flouncy, but this was too cute to pass up!

The built-in collar means there's no need for jewelry.  One less step in getting ready.

Top it off with a leather jacket and enjoy the cooler weather.  With a pumpkin beer of course.

Dress: Socialite; Jacket: Wilson's (similar); Booties: Cole Haan (similar on sale)

Friday, October 21, 2016

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

Cambridge, Vermont, September 2016

The wedding I went to last Halloween was featured in Virginia Bride magazine.  How gorgeous is everything?

Implicit bias is impacting even our pre-schoolers.  Also, here is an instance of racism on the playground and one father's reaction to it.

Small towns across the country that you may never have heard of, but should definitely visit.

The writer Elena Ferrante was outed recently by a journalist.  I fall into the outraged and disgusted camp.  As Roxane Gay tweeted, we are entitled to curiosity.  We are not entitled to satisfaction of that curiosity.

Related: how not to be a shitty human.

These letters to/about Michelle Obama are powerful and beautiful, much like the woman herself.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Weekly Wishlist

I hadn't done a wishlist since APRIL!

That really puts into perspective how nuts this spring/summer/fall have been.

But I'm ready for wishlists, particularly when they involve perfect neutral items for fall.
Weekly Wishlist

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

The Stellato by M. Gemi, $198 - I've been majorly focusing on shoes lately.  I know we've all heard it before, but as long as your shoes are good, your outfit matters less.  Since I spend most days walking everywhere, I want to invest in some quality flats.  This pair looks gorgeous.  Definitely a bit of a splurge, but these would become staples.

Everlane The Chunky Wool Cardigan, $110 - Every impending winter, I struggle to remember how cold I am from December through March.  Then it hits and I remember.  Oh how I remember.  The solution, outside of never getting out from between my flannel sheets, is a solid chunky knit.  This cool salt & pepper color combination looks particularly cozy.

Banana Republic Long-Sleeve Striped Tee, $29.50 - Even with all the stripes I own, and you know there are many, I don't have a black & white long-sleeve striped tee.  Here's the perfect fix.

Lands' End Minnie Pump, $44.99 - I own these pumps in leopard print, so I can personally attest to their comfort and walkability.  This pair in charcoal make a great basic for work, but I keep looking at the merlot color too.  Jewel tones for the win.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Currently Reading

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

The Girls by Emma Cline - As someone who is morbidly fascinated by cults and charismatic leaders, The Girls should be right up my alley.  Evie is a lonely, bored teenager who finds herself weirdly obsessed with a girl she meets around town, Suzanne.  They strike up an unlikely friendship and Suzanne invites Evie to the place she lives, which is essentially a commune on the outskirts of San Francisco.  Evie tells the story as an adult, looking back on the tragedy that eventually took place.  This book is inspired by the Manson Family and the Sharon Tate murder, but in this case, truth is stranger than fiction and I didn't think the concept of obsession, of total loyalty, of unwavering devotion came across in this book.  And Evie as an adult seemed like an unformed character.  Skip this one. 

Disappearance at Devil's Rock by Paul Tremblay - After A Head Full of Ghosts, I needed all the Paul Tremblay in my life I could find.  Luckily, his newest novel had recently come out, so I dove right in.  Elizabeth gets every parent's worst nightmare: a phone call in the middle of the night to tell her that her son is missing.  In the following days, a huge search party turns up nothing, the police have no leads, and Tommy's friends are keeping secrets.  What really happened that night in the woods?  What secrets had Tommy himself been keeping?  This was vaguely supernatural, but mostly preyed on our own darkest fears - abandonment, loss of a child, loss of a parent.  Dark without being unrealistic.

The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories by Anthony Marra - A Constellation of Vital Phenomena was one of my absolutely favorite books in 2014, so again, I was seeking out more by the author.  The Tsar of Love and Techno has many of the same themes, is beautifully written, and has richly developed characters.  In fact, the same characters show up in multiple "stories", so much so that this read more like a novel to me.  A censor spends his days erasing faces and bodies from photographs until he is stunned by a shot of a prima ballerina.  That prima ballerina's granddaughter marries well and becomes a film actress, at least until her divorce.  That film actress came from a small Siberian mining town where she was in love with a boy who was then sent to war.  That soldier and his brother shared a love of mix tapes.  This is worth a read.

Sex Object by Jessica Valenti - Even though it says so directly on the cover, I didn't know it was a memoir when I initially ordered it.  So, that sort of changed my expectations of what I was getting into.  Instead of being a sociological perspective on how women are sexualized, it is actually one woman's story of her own sexualization, her experiences with sexism and motherhood and love and drug use and feminism.  Valenti is a smart and honest writer, not shying away from embarrassing stories or one that don't paint her in a flattering light.  A good, smart, and quick read.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fancy Stripes

Is there anything better than fall in Vermont?

How about fall in Vermont when you're watching two of your very favorite people get married on your college campus?

Yeah, that's pretty good.

I wish we'd snapped these pictures a little earlier since they came out on the darker side, but I think you still get a feel for how flowy this dress is.

After a seriously intense showing on the dance floor though, the hem of this baby has seen better days.

Send positive vibes to my drycleaner.

Dress: Ann Taylor (similar); Blazer: Zara (similar); Shades: Ray Ban

Monday, October 17, 2016


Hello there!  Feels like it's been forever!

Here's the deal - this summer was insane.  Seven weddings to attend this year, including, suprise!, my own!  Yep, DT and I decided to get married last January, told everyone by May, planned the whole shebang, and did it just over a week ago!

We wanted to keep things small and not very traditional.  We managed to have the best of both worlds by having a very intimate ceremony on the beach followed by a family dinner, and then doing the big reception-style party the following day.  It was so perfect and so representative of us as low-key people, I can't really say how much it all meant to us.

Life has been a little bit hectic to say the least.

But now things have somewhat settled down.  I mean, I only have 2 more weddings to go to!

I'm looking forward to being more present in this space and to celebrating fall in DC!  I consider myself a summer girl, but there's something magical about fall.

There are lots of outfits, travel posts, and more to come.

Thanks for sticking along for the ride :)

Tank: Banana Republic (similar); Vest: Halogen (similar here or here); Shorts: Old Navy (similar); Sandals: Soludos; Tote: Old Navy; Necklace: Vintage via Eastern Market (similar); Shades: Ray Ban

Friday, September 23, 2016

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

Some weeks, you're on it, some weeks, you aren't.  This week got away from my in terms of blogging, but two back to back weekends of travel will do that to you.  Luckily, I'm taking lots of photos and will share them with you soon!

This salad bowl is on sale for the low, low price of $750!  More importantly, the reviews are gold.

Chelsea Clinton's husband dropped off their daughter on her first day of school.  Let me rephrase that.  A parent dropped off their daughter on her first day of school.  This should not be a news story.

When two of my favorite shows collide in the most perfect of ways.  #thathair

Cosmopolitan interviewed Ivanka Trump about her father's family leave policy.  It did not go well for her.

The New Yorker takes a look at what a Trump Presidency would look like.  Scary stuff.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, September 16, 2016

For Your (Weekend) Consideration

Greetings from Austin, Texas!  I'm here for a good friend's bachelorette party and likely eating tacos three meals a day.  If you have any tips, Tweet me @smartificial_ or Snap me @smartificial

My vacation shouldn't stop you avoiding doing work on a Friday though.  Lots of good links below!

Baker's Beach, Westport, August 2016

Tim Gunn tells it like it is.

Is the London Underground surrounded by bodies of plague victims?  Is this the grossest thing you can imagine?

There are unique difficulties in convincing women to run for office, especially at the federal level.  If you know a woman who you think should run, encourage her!

Related: this is a great read about the increasing role of women in the White House.  Can we all get on board with this "amplification" concept?

We don't treat sugar as a drug, but maybe we should.

I can't believe this story hasn't gotten more traction.  The real deal with the Trump Foundation is that it operates unlike any other family charity in the country.  And not in a good way.

This is how you do a cover song.  I literally spent all day Wednesday watching/listening to this on repeat.